Yes, I’m still running

Marine Corps Marathon is a month and a half away, and I’ve been a lot quieter this year about training. But it’s going. Going well? I hope so. The past couple of weeks things fell apart due to a sore knee, followed by a cold, followed by some barefoot running that resulted in blisters. But I’m back, baby, and from here on out I’m training by the book. It’s what worked for me last year during Thunder Road, and I know it’s what I need to do. I’ve certainly gotten cocky after my great experience last year: “Oh, a marathon is easy … I can do this, no problem.” The second I start thinking that way is the second it becomes untrue.

Speaking of barefoot running, I ran 8 miles on the beach last week. And it was one of the best runs I’ve ever had  – at least, for the first 3 miles. I didn’t listen to my iPod, I listened to the ocean. I was so busy looking for shells that I didn’t want to step on that I forgot to worry about the miles.

After about a mile, there were no more beach houses and no people on the beach. It was just me, a dead jellyfish, some shells and the water. It was so serene and beautiful I couldn’t help but think how this would be the perfect setting for a horror movie. I figured if I had to pee and went into the ocean to do so, a monster would likely pull me under and I’d never be heard from again. Made a mental note to hold it should that happen.

After about 2.5 miles, even the waves stopped. The water was quiet, and the beach took a sharp curve to the left. I continued running and the sand got really soft. Around 3 miles, the beach “ran out”. Which means there was enough ocean debris and soft sand that I wasn’t going to risk running on bare feet and stepping on something. I stopped for a moment to take it all in, and this is the view I had:

That makes running worth it, right there.

And then, cue the dolphins. For real. I looked out at the water, and there were two of them, and I was mesmerized. I took a video but I must’ve not pushed the start button because it doesn’t exist. I did snap a photo, and unfortunately the iPhone is not so great at getting the distance shots. But the dolphins are in the red circle, I promise!

I hate to ruin the moment by talking about the miserable run back. But I turned around to run back after that, had 5 miles left to run, and I realized why the first 3 miles had been so great: I’d been running with the wind. Turning around to run against it was brutal. I just look at it as good resistance training. And the next few days my feet paid for it with blisters and bruises. But it was worth it and I plan to run at the beach every time from now on.

In other running news, I got new running shoes finally – they were long overdue. The best part is they have pink and yellow paisley on them.

As usual, the folks over at TrySports are amazing. They are so attentive to my needs that it almost feels as if they are my own personal shoppers. If you haven’t gone over there yet, please do your feet a favor and go. And do me a favor and tell them I sent you – I get a gift certificate for $30 if you do!

Happy running!