Monday, February 17, 2014

10 Miles of "Whose idea was this?"

Last weekend I ran the Caladesi Island Trail and Beach Race. I've raced on the beach before (last summer at a duathlon in Sarasota), so I was ready for the uneven surface of the sugar sand, as well as the hip/calf strain involved in running on the angled part of the packed sand.

This race was 10 miles total:  7 miles of beach with 3 miles of trail in the middle. Since Florida is currently the only state without snow (that's right, even Hawaii has snow!), I was excited to run on the beach in February. My excitement dwindled, however, after running the first 3.5 miles into cold, rainy, 40 mph winds during high tide so that--on certain parts of the course where the dunes jutted out to touch the sea--we were forced to run in the ocean which resulted in 6.5 miles of running in cold, wet shoes.
At only 10 miles, it was the hardest race I've ever run because of all the obstacles and elements. Granted, it was no Spartan Race, but I never claimed to be a Spartan, just a mom who runs, preferably around obstacles, not through them. I finished with my slowest time ever, my shame alleviated only mildly by the fact that even with that time, in my age group I still finished 13th place--that's how much EVERYONE was struggling.

I spent the last 3.5 miles doing my best to ignore my exhaustion and frustration. Instead I focused on the golf ball-sized frothy bubbles of foam that washed ashore with each wave and then blew across the sand in front of me like tumbleweeds through a deserted western town.  I mourned all the dead, cracked horseshoe crab shells, and even rescued a starfish that had washed up too far from the tide, throwing it back into the fray of the foam.

Though my pride was broken by my RunKeeper, who sarcastically reported every five minutes, "You are 1 minute and 30 seconds BEHIND your target pace," I have to say I really lived up to the title of this blog on this race. When I released any hopes of a decent time, I took in all the beauty of a stormy sky and all the nature Seen On My Run.


  1. She speaks the truth! I ran this race with Heather and the elements were against us for all 10 miles. Despite the wind, race, tide, soft sand, sloping shoreline - I still loved being outdoors and among my peeps - fellow runners. And referring to the title of this post…it was your FABULOUS idea Heather. Thanks for bringing me along!

    1. Agreed, Heather. You are a good sport to come out with me so last minute (and kill it, by the way!), and ALL of us were good sports to just keep going that day.

  2. Running on sand is more difficult than running on firm terrain. Is there no way to put that RunKeeper on mute?