Friday, 12 March 2010

It's a Beach

I was tucked up all cozy in bed, deep into the latest Kinsey Millhone thriller and Bill supplying cups of coffee when a thought of metal drifted through my mind. Seriously. They don't call it 'steely determination' for nothing. Last night I had sort of made a promise to myself I'd go for a run this morning and it looked like I was going to end up keeping it. That metallic thought was telling me to just grit my teeth and get it over with. I was finished with the book in a few pages and proceeded to collect running gear.

It was raining out and the wind had been blowing earlier but I comforted myself it was calmer now. Soon as I was out the door I knew different, it had just shifted direction, coming in from the North East, straight off the sea. Down on the beach I was thinking this was the dumbest idea I'd ever had. The noise of the sea and the incessant, deafening rush of the wind were like two March lions roaring. My arm was insufficient shelter from the needles being driven into my face. At times like this it's always good to lie to yourself. 'You can see the end', I said, 'You only have to make it to the end of the beach, it's right there in front of you.' Of course that was not the end, only the turn around point, but with the wind at my back it had to be easier.

Being lazy, I was down near the surf on the wet part, much more solid and easier to manage than the soft sand at the top. However, this meant dealing with the streams either coming down from inland or created by ravines in the sand, I don't know. To the left of the rocks in front was a pond about calf-deep. I went to the right through the shallower stream feeding the pond. The shock of the cold water through my shoes was almost electric. I could almost imagine the North Sea laughing at my protest that it was supposed to be spring. Still, at least both shoes were wet. I hate it when only one foot is wet, I feel unbalanced. And in some ways the cold of my feet helped offset the heat of my upper half. I had on plenty of layers and I was probably steaming, the outer layer being completely soaked.

Sure enough, as soon as the wind was at my back it faded to a gentle whisper. The rain stopped. As I trudged Mt. Olympus back up to the road I noticed the top portion of my jacket was nearly dry. I passed a bank of grass dotted with thousands of yellow and a few purple crocuses. 'See, sea, it really is spring', but he'd forgotten I existed by then, if he'd ever noticed. Still, the last bit wasn't bad at all.

Bill was waiting for my return to go out on his run, why I'm not certain, but there it is. As he let me in the front door and went to get his jacket he asked 'Was that terrible? Or just awful?'

I had my answer well rehearsed: 'It was lovely'.

6 comments:

James said...

What a great description of your morning! I don't run, but I felt as if I was on the beach with you. Good job on the post and for finishing your run.

TKW said...

I'm impressed that you braved that kind of weather to exercise. I definitely need some of your willpower.

Struggler said...

Totally character building! I'm glad you had the wind at your back for the second half, anyway.
I agree with James, your wording was very descriptive.

Shelley said...

Thank you all for your kind words. In addition to fibbing to myself that morning, I distracted myself by capturing the phrases that came to mind whilst running.

The thing about the weather is that it is usually pretty crap around here. If I were to let the weather decide what I did, I'd never step foot out of the house. Bill did comment that the beach was really asking for trouble; he ran through the park where it is sheltered.

We both agree, however, that imagining yourself doing something has to come before actually doing it. I had imagined myself running on the beach and so that was pretty much where I had to go. Also, I won't probably always live here and this is the only house I have near a beach, so I'd best enjoy it while I can.

Revanche said...

Belated though it is, I'm quite impressed you did it. I'm awful at taking my lumps in weather being so spoiled by the Southern Cal and prone to tremendous headaches when running in the cold.

Always thought I should get some earmuffs no matter how silly they seem. Now that I'm moving towards the inclement weather, I'd better find some way to get over it lest I become a sludgy lump!

Shelley said...

Revanche - I think an awful headache might be sufficient excuse to avoid cold weather and stay on a treadmill (boring though it is). I've seen plenty of people wearing head bands and ear muffs - I think they are a great idea. There is a funny tube made from soft technical material that can be used in a variety of ways. Mine is usually either around my neck or has ear protection that keeps my hair out of my face. It can also be a hat and several other things I wouldn't be seen wearing.