I was telling my friend Peppermint the other day that I didn't actually enjoy running DURING the run, but afterwards! It's not the whole truth, but it's an abbreviated version of it. Sometimes during the run, all I can think about is finishing it. That was the case today. Although, I admit, the journey was quite beautiful, but full of obstacles. I ran all 10 miles on the packed sand from La Jolla Shores to Torrey Pines and back.
Todd and I got up at 5:50am, because we had to get to La Jolla shores by 6:35am for my group's start time at 6:45am. I was wondering why the start time was early, but as you will see on the way back, the tide that was low early in the morning was no longer low tide a couple of hours later!
I LOVE the look of the palm trees all lined up at La Jolla Shores, it's one of my favorite sights. This is my group cheering each other on right before we started running.
The start of the beach run...
We ran under the Scripps Pier
Running on the sand was pretty difficult to navigate. There were puddles of water to avoid, as well as rocks. The sand IS easier on the joints, but it absorbs all your energy as you run, so I felt like I had to make a greater effort to put one foot in front of the other. When I run on pavement, I feel like each stride bounces into the next stride, but not on sand.
Navigating the rocks on the way...
Yea, can't really run that fast here!
There were breaks between the steep rocky cliffs, where the sun came through from the east.
I was trapped by an incoming wave and had to wait for it to recede before moving on.
At times, there were so many rocks on the sand that I had to stop and walk, because I was afraid I'd sprain my ankle or foot.
After running five miles and turning around at Torrey Pines, I ate a packet of 100 calorie GU, then I ran into Todd's group on the way out.
The cutest one in the bunch!
I thought this scene was beautiful.
The whole second half of the run, I was already super-tired. My muscles were tired from running on sand and navigating all the obstacles. I really wanted to quit, but how else was I going to get back to La Jolla Shores? So I kept on. Mary Jo caught up with me in the last three miles and we ran together, which helped us keep the pace.
When we got back to where the huge pile of large boulders were, the low tide had risen to higher tide and I was trapped on some rocks when the waves came in!
Climbing on the rocks while avoiding the waves... yea, this part was super-slow!
Look what I had to climb over!
Suddenly, Mary Jo stopped and kind of freaked out as she turned back towards me. I looked and saw this sea lion! He was totally posing for photos!
Mary Jo had her camera too, so we took turns taking photos of each other with the sea lion.
Coming upon the Scripps Pier again, almost there! The sun was fully out and it was beautiful!
Todd's group ran the hilly road back to La Jolla Shores, because they thought the tide came up already. Well, that was pretty smart, why didn't I think of that? Why didn't my group do that? So he made it back before me, and took photo of us running in.
I took my shoes off and went into the VERY COLD ocean to cool off my legs.
Soaking in cold water really helps your legs recover because your muscles are inflamed after long-distance running. Did you know that? I did this after I ran last year's Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon, and my legs felt super-good the day after and didn't hurt at all.
When we went back to our car, we were parked next to TWO VW vans! I love the look of them together.
I'm just glad I survived this run. I'm fairly certain that running 10 miles on the beach means I'm already prepared to run 13.1 on the pavement for race day. It felt that grueling!
Location: Beach run on sand, from La Jolla to Torrey Pines and back.
Distance: 10.00 miles
Avg pace/mile: 12:32 (about a minute slower than usual for me)
After we got home and cleaned up, we went to Chili's for lunch. Big bunch of greasy food, YES!