Barefoot Quagmire. I went to the beach (Englewood Beach, FL) and had a cabin right on the water (15 feet away!). Sunday morning I felt ripe for a barefoot run, feeling like 9-10 miles would be about right. I headed north from in front of my cabin and the sand was firm and clean. About a half mile up it started getting soft. Then the Gulf shells were collecting in the surf and making the going tougher than a soft Alaskan sled dog trail. I quit the beach after 2 miles and cut over to the asphalt road. That was tolerable for about 200 yard until it got too hot and rough. I walked home and resigned myself to being a shell scavenger. I found a few keepers and enjoyed the open water and boats.
Hot Teamwork. Monday was another day. My vacation party had five runners in it and we decided to go for a run at 830 am (actually too late). Two wanted to go no more than three miles, one might stretch to 4 miles and the other in training for his cross country team had to go 45-50 minutes no matter how far it was. I was going long and mayber further.
We took off in sneakers up the tree shaded tropical 2-lane road along the gulf that runs the spine of the key we were on. We stayed together, me dropping back then speeding up to run with each of the other four runners. At 1.5 miles out I told the 3-milers they could turn back now. I pulled up to the 4-miler and ran with him until the 2-mile post and he felt good enough to go even further. At 2.5 miles he stopped to walk and freed me to move up to the XC runner. He was way ahead and I closed in on him and found him stopped and waiting just as I reached the 25 minutes out point. We turned together to return home and were surprised to see the 4-miler had continued to chase us, even with some walking. We caught up to him and passed him, pacing ourselves to run the faster clip that we craved.
The heat was about 85 and the humidity thick enought to slice. I felt fantastic and ran it home hard. It was nothing compared to the soft shelly sand of yesterday.
That gives me about 63 miles for May, 13 better than the average I want for the year. Miles in the bank and I feel great.
In 4.5 weeks I'll be in Rhode Island and the cooler air. I can't wait to run up there.