Sunday, March 8, 2009


I arrived in Florida on Friday morning and headed to the beach. I’m not much of a beach person, but I hung out there until I was bored. I threw on some shorts around 3:30 and headed out for a run in the “tropical” 80 degree weather.

My dad guiding me on a 9.5 mile run around the town of Venice. I knew this run would suck: hard workout the night before, early morning wakeup call (4am), mid-afternoon run and weather conditions I wasn’t very used. No matter, I just needed to slug through an hour and I’d be done. We zigzagged along the perimeter of the city and saw beachgoers leaving their sacred sandy spots and others heading out to drink frozen cocktails at happy hour. We eventually made our way to the Intercoastal; a canal-like river that watermen can take inland. The canal has a concrete bike path on either side with markers every .10 of a mile. I checked my pace (6:30) and then backed off. My legs felt hammered and I needed to slow down but I also wanted to get back and be done with the run. My stomach was bloated with a late lunch and swishing/swashing with water (as I attempt to over hydrate all afternoon). I ran past the now defunct Ringling Brothers training center. There are still a bunch of trapezes dangling in the wind. I thought I saw a red clown nose cobwebbed near the corner of the chain linked fence. Along the trail I saw a bunch of burrows and, in one, a gopher tortoise. I reached into the hole to tag his shell (why, I do not know) but he scampered away deep into the earth with un-turtle like speed.

We ran down the “main drag” and ended the run in front of the beach. I ran another mile on the sand and then took off my shoes. I waded into the surf and let my tired legs get some relief (though 65 degree water is no match for the FOX DEN ice bath!). I watched the sun wane in the western horizon while pelicans plunged into the surf. After 10 minutes, I walked out of the Gulf of Mexico and then had a beer.

I awoke on Saturday morning and ran the loop I did yesterday backwards (not to a T, but close enough). Again, my dad accompanied me on bike. I dogged the pace. Though my Achilles seems to be much better, my legs are generally tired. It might be a mix of the warm weather and the lingering effects from Thursday’s workout. My left hamstring especially is tight. This was the same area that was spasm-ing after the workout. I kept the pace around 7:00/mile and got in 10.5. Nothing of interest to report. Lots of pretty birds, but none as pretty as Mitten.

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