Monday, June 21, 2010

Super Duper State Park

Almost a month ago I attempted to run the beach in the state park nearby - it went quite badly.  I only did 4.5 miles that day, and have no idea how I even finished that!  I averaged a 15:11/mile pace, but I did not get all the way to the end of the park and back.

Saturday I decided to try again.  I am running a 10K on July 10 on East Beach and I wanted to make sure I would be able to run on sand and not be totally embarrassed.  I had taken much of this week off from running to make sure that my ankle was ok.  I twisted is last Monday, and it has been cranky with me all week long.  But I wasn't going to miss this run for anything - I had a plan!

Usually Fridays I stay home and be still, knowing I have to get up early that next morning and perform some kind of torturous event.  But this Friday was a sort-of exception.  This is my birth month - yes, I get an entire month to enjoy - it also happens to be the birth month of a friend of mine.

We had planned a trip to the beach on Saturday, but I invited her down on Friday for a relaxing Girl's Night.  We went out and ate juicy hamburgers from The Spot (think Fuddruckers, but better) while drinking beer and watching waves roll on.  Very relaxing dinner.

Then we headed back to the house to make Skittles Vodka.  So there we were - two June babies, sorting out Skittles by color to mix with vodka, drinking Skinny Girl margaritas, watching Beerfest.  Best Friday Girl's night ever!  But I didn't get to bed until after midnight, so I slept in a little on Saturday.

The alarm went off, and I began to prepare for the morning run -

compression socks - check
geeky bat-belt - check
running hat - check
sunscreen - check
ipod - check
sunglasses - check
shoes - check

And out I went.  I was only about 30 minutes later leaving that house than I had originally hoped for - so not too bad.  Since my first attempt to run the beach was so miserable, I decided that instead of running for a distance - I was going to run for time.  I had chosen to run for 90 minutes - roughly what I have run the last two weekends.  I figured that would allow me to take my own pace on the sand, not get frustrated if I was insanely slow, and just enjoy myself.  And wherever I was at 45 minutes, I would turn around and go home.

So I left the house, full of ideas and last-night's margaritas.  I had 24 oz of fluid with me, my phone, and some GU.  I like to be prepared for the worst, ya know!  I jogged out the first mile with a rough pace of 14:19/mile.  Hit my first walking break right as I hit the sand.

The beaches are currently covered in sargassum and in order to run on the nice, compact sand I could chose to either run in the water or on the smelly stuff.  I chose the smell.  Ugh!

But I had a pretty decent time on the second mile with a pace of 14:31/mile.  I was even enjoying my morning run.  I wasn't hungover, I wasn't tired, I was fine.  And the oddest thing happened - I was running, I was happy, and I looked up and saw the poles delineating the state park from the next neighborhood.

Holy freakin' hell!  I made it!  And just as I got to the posts, the ipod says "40 minutes have elapsed."  I thought to myself I could go just a little bit further - and then I decided not to get too crazy and turned back.

Can you see those houses WAY in the distance, that's my neighborhood - looks far huh!

But I made it!  I never thought I would make the state park boundary - that's what people like Lance Armstrong and Coach Leno can do - and I did it!  Granted - slowly, but hey - whatever gets you there!

Overall, I ran 4.84 miles with an average pace of 14:52/mile - much faster than my last attempt.  I walked 0.60 miles with an average pace of 20:54/miles.  And those walking breaks are really helping!

And then I went home, my friend awoke and we finished making the Skittles Vodka and waited for the rest of our friends to arrive.  It was a most happy weekend!

Yum!  And Monday - hills.  I think I will try not to turn my ankle again.  Go team go - rah.

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