Stopped at First Beach on the way home from the office today. There’s something about winter that really perks me up, ‘specially when the weather is reasonable. Foggy days, especially, really, really make me happy. During my drinkin’ days, a nasty, foggy day was a good excuse to find a deep red wine, or better yet, a stout as black as the secret parts of my soul cut off from the rest of my mind. And there are few spots in the US as good as Newport for having a foggy winter bender, complete with singing and dancing in the street.
But, having given that all up, the fog perks me up since it means that the temperature’s up in the high 30’s or 40’s. Today was one of the unusual foggy days where the surf was really pounding. As I parked and changed, there was a guy swimming out on his surf board to catch waves right off of the beach. I’m no surfer, but usually, I don’t see those folks nearly as close to the parking lot.
Synched up the Forerunner, laced up the shoes, hit “Shuffle Songs” and was served with the album version of “Spiders (Kidsmoke)”. Song never, ever, gets old. Which is good, since those spiders will be filling out tax returns as long as they live. Great sign.
Ran down the beach towards Middletown. Spotted a runner about 200 yards in front of me, and I suppose subconsciously kicked up the pace. Chased her down by the turnaround where the creek runs into the ocean.
Ran through the flock of seagulls sitting in the surf. I always feel kind of bad for making them fly, but it looks cool, and I suppose if I really irk them, they’ll poop on me. Or, they’re smarter than I give them credit for, and that’s why they always poop on my car.
At the west end of the beach, I jumped onto the road to head up to the Cliffwalk just as a 20-something, much fitter than I am, ran past (as in a runner, not a jogger). We made eye contact and passed the iPod nod, knowing that there was no chance that either of us would hear a “hi” unless we shouted. Which would kill what little “cool” factor we were getting from our iPods, what now that everyone’s doing it. She accelerated up the hill, and, well, I had to chase.
Chase I did. Darn, I’m out of shape. She put 50 yards into me in the quarter mile from the parking lot to the start of the Cliffwalk, but once the ground leveled out, I was able to hang. Then I started worrying that she’d think I was a stalker and turn around and mace me. So I thought about speeding up and passing, but there was little chance of that. Thought about slowing down and just relaxing, but I was really enjoying blowing out the carbon.
At the first street on the cliffwalk, she turned around and started running back towards the beach. I muttered something about “Thanks for the pace!”, and she avoided looking at me. Pshew, no mace.
Rest of the run was great – three and a third in 30 minutes. First mile – 8:33 (ish). Second paced mile (8:15). Third mile – 8:33. Last bit – 8:15 pace. How much more fun could I have?