Magic

Sometimes I have to pull all the tricks out of my running hat to get out the door. Today was such a day. Still on vacation I could spent all day in bed under warm blankets, hoping that the cats would suddenly realize that this is where they are supposed to live.
It was still cold out there … well cold for Ireland at least. Sometimes though something is better than nothing and I knew I had to get at least some running done. I decided to replace words while discussing with myself, if I would get out there or not. The words “cold”, “freezing” etc. were to be replaced by “magic” and the word “but” with “and”. So my inner dialog went something like this:
“I should really get out before the sun rises … AND it’s MAGIC.”
“I’d feel better after my run … AND my toes will be MAGIC out there.”

In the end the game was so silly, I found myself just putting on my running clothes and heading out there. I’m glad I did, as the MAGIC wasn’t as bad under all those layers and the sunrise was just breathtaking.

This was in stark contrast to my running, which was all easy and only 50 minutes. Though something is better than nothing and my warm blanket is still here.

For future reference, this is what waits outside. Surely I never want to miss this! Look at the pebbles.

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Hard to run on, forcing quick steps and making jazzy noise to fit the sound of the waves. The waves were subtle today. At the end of the beach, the pebbles make room for more sand to run on.

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I love this last picture. I took it at the end of my run. wp-1483436376465.jpg

If you zoom in you can see a bird, bathing in the first sunlight. I love how calm and clear the sea is, you can see the pebbles on the right and reflections of the sunrise on the left.

Rest then Run

I didn’t go for a run yesterday. My resting heart rate was higher than normal and I didn’t feel like it. So I checked my TSB (Training Stress Balance) and surely it wasn’t just my demon of laziness talking. I had increased over the past two weeks and probably my body needed a bit of time to repair and build. Anyhow … I paid for it later in the day, when I had way too much energy … well at least the laundry got done and all my old – way too big – clothes are gone!

Today my resting heart rate was good again and despite the sun not making an appearance it was a pleasant run. I did only 40 minutes, don’t want to risk anything lol.

I did notice a couple of things:

  • it took me much longer than usual to get warmed up – not sure how much time, but I had to walk probably at least 500 meters more
  • there is funny pattern emerging on my strava segments, it looks like every week I get faster by the end of the week (it is quite consistent over 107 runs I did on this segment). The blue dots are the duration it takes me to run the segment and each dot is a different day:

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  • I also discovered the entry to a cave

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Where do you think it leads to? The door was open today … (Googling the answer does not count, I have no clue myself yet).

Daily Sunrise Fix

It wasn’t the easiest to get out for a run in the morning. I suppose that is the consequence of my recent increase in duration. However it has become a reflex by now and so there is no question if I do or not. Unless I am feeling tired or something is hurting I put on my clothes and go run.

I’m starting to notice, especially in the beginning of my runs, it is much harder to reach the 144 heartrate, at least on the beach. I feel super comfy for at least the first 5-15 minutes to just run around 139.

Of course it was a perfect start … to the end of the beach with the sunrise and spectacular clouds and I had planned to take it super easy today …

… then at the end of the beach there are the stairs of hell and I found myself climbing up and to the top of the hill …

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Halfway point

Well that’s that for the low heartrate … so the story of today’s run ends with me running around the hill, catching breath to check that Dublin is still there in the far distance and running downhill (my favourite part). Only down-hills I run like a Kenyan – 180 step rate, lightning fast (in my head). (Don’t try this if you haven’t trained this for a long time, it will trash your quads, ankles and whatever else you’ve never used before).

After 70 minutes I was back to where I started and since I had completely messed up the heartrate I decided it was enough and headed home. Still I did average an HR of 144 … I did walk the hills and stairs … oh and I didn’t reach the “red zone of death” on my Garmin … that should all count for something.

Catching Dawn

Finally I managed to catch the sunrise at my favourite spot. I didn’t catch dawn … I need to do that on a medium run day!

Since I run 6 days per week  and really slow, I notice a lot of things. Things like how the tide influences my running and when I can beat it, as today. Tide was low which leads to beautiful soft sandy spots.

One of the things I know will keep me running is the joy of it. Sometimes those are awkward things … like “running in circles” or “hills“, but usually it’s enough to head to the beach. During winter it was easier to catch dawn and run into the sunrise obviously …

So when would I have to get up to have the full experience? At 4:31!!!

Sunrise

05:17

Dawn starts at

04:31

Duration Dawn

17:42

I left the house at 4:38 if I can believe my Garmin which I don’t even remember putting around my wrist. Luckily it had just started and I arrived at the right time. I prefer “the sun behind the clouds rising action”  over “pink fluffy happy dreamy no action”.

Yeah … one gets a bit picky about the perfect sunrise … so here are the photos:

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Running on the beach – when the tide is in

I tried to catch the sunrise, but I got out a couple of minutes too late. I knew the tide was in … but I couldn’t resist the beach … I had 35 minutes to contemplate, why I usually avoid running there when the tide is in and what I love/hate about running on the beach. So here are my 10 points:

  1. It is a different surface every day.
  2. The tide is the boss, never think you can be faster …
  3. The tide does what it wants, but there are apps for it!
  4. Not all waves are equal.
  5. Pebbles suck and pebbles rock.
  6. It is a slanted surface.
  7. Though shall practise walking first before hopping, hopping before slopping and the you can run … slowly … maybe …
  8. Never look at the sun while you run, there might be a stone or hole or an iphone (hopefully the drunk teenager isn’t attached anymore), waiting to use the opportunity to surprise you.
  9. It looks marvelous, but that is a trick.
  10. Beware of the mighty wave! (Around every 7th is bigger than all others in it’s group)

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Can’t wait for the one perfect run … when I make it to the beach early enough for sunrise … the tide being out and the sand soft, but not too soft … all pebbles washed away and my only task is to create the first footprints of the day … because then I’ll be flying and all is forgotten.

A treat?

Somehow I do need my daily fix of running into the sunrise … now I feel better. Not that I wasn’t ok before, but that 30 minutes of just taking it all in makes my day start right.