So I had the bright idea of going for an early morning run on the beach this morning. Thought it would be lovely, and in some ways it was, but without daylight saving, even though I was up and out at 5:30 the sun was well and truly up.
Not sure whether the photo fully conveys it, but the sea was rough and the sky was hazy because there was a howling southerly gale.
That meant that running south down the beach meant running straight into the teeth of it (and then it’s less help than one might assume and hope on the way back). Also, the tide was coming in, not going out, so rather than the firm plane of sand I’d expected to be running on, it was near-quicksand.
It’s a dog beach we come to often, and we tend to think that it’s 2 km from the sand dredging jetty in the photo to the point that marks the end of the dog beach, and therefore our round trip is 4 km. My plan was to add an extra 700 m or so south at the end to make it just over 5.3 round trip. Pushed, fought, struggled – glasses gradually being obscured by salt spray – to the marker, only to discover it’s 1.5 km, not 2.0.
At this point, with the deep sand, my right achilles was on the verge of protected industrial action, so I decided to turn around, finish the beach section, and then finish the distance around the park. It did get a bit easier on the way north, but the sand was still treacherous.
More dogs than usual said “Hi”. Maybe the sweat smells good to them, maybe it was because I was alone and am usually in a group… or maybe they were just checking in whether I was in need of assistance!
The first two runs I’d forgotten to wear the Apple Watch with its built-in heart rate counter (a gift from a very kind friend), which was not clever, but this time I brought it. I think it confirmed that I’d been doing pretty much the right thing. I’d run for a bit, until I felt kind of wrecked, then slow to a fast walk for a bit, and alternate.
I found that, when I chose to stop running, my heart rate was usually at about 161-162 bpm. Since the danger zone is considered to be roughly 220 minus your age, that intuition was serving me pretty well in keeping me at a place where I was pushing the boundaries but not to the point of risk or harm.
After running on the beach in those conditions, I have to admit I paused the Strava for a moment to put shoes on (I’m no triathlete) and then run-walking in the park felt like… a run-walk in the park.
On the beach I’d been thinking the time would be over an hour with the tough going, but in the end it was less than 5 minutes longer than my first run, less than a week ago. Slight increase in fitness? A few more steps run to hit the target zone? Who knows: stay tuned for Marathon in a Month 4/8!