Beaches and Running

Beach running is a new adventure for me. BA and I are spending some time at the Oregon coast, one of my favorite places on the planet. Shortly after our return from the eclipse, BA mentioned that she really wanted some time at the ocean. As the ocean is my best place for relaxing and “clearing the cobwebs”, I happily agreed.

We are now ensconced in the Mermaid’s Nest, our home for 5 days in the town of Seaside. Its lovely and quiet, a few blocks from the beach. Our hosts Kim and Rick live in the other half of this duplex. They welcomed us on arrival, oriented us to our space and have left us to our devices. Just right. Mermaid’s Nest is a comfortable one bedroom, one bath apartment, with a functional kitchen. It has a nice “beachy” feel without being cluttered, and some whimsical touches, such as this mini chandelier over the small dining table:mermaid chandelier For us, its a great place to stay. If you’re interested, you can check them out here:

Arrival day, we enjoyed a walk on the beach, and after an early dinner, crashed (like many travel days, we had started very early). The next morning, following a leisurely cup of coffee and a visit to the market, I went for a run on the beach. Lovely. The sound of the surf, the fairly flat beach, with just-resilient enough sand, a delightful new experience. Based on time and a few landmarks, I think I did about 3.5 miles. Its also pretty nice to run at sea level, when I live at 5400 feet. All that extra oxygen!

The weather forecast suggested that our first 3 days would be sunny and quite warm, followed by clouds and rain. So far, the weather has been as predicted. Today, it was cloudy and misty early, and cool, but not cold, so I headed out for a run. Running every other day works well for me without being over impactful. We’re also doing a lot of walking and some hiking, enjoying the outside opportunities. Since I’m on vacation, I’m  not focused on triathlon training, although we saw a path yesterday that would have been perfect for biking. Next visit, perhaps.

Back to today’s run. I headed to the beach, where it was foggy and misty. Running felt good, and I ran north to the end of beach. Around the time I started my return trip, the mist turned to rain and the wind picked up. Despite the increasing rain, I was still comfortable, and kept running, getting wetter all the time. I was really glad I had worn my billed cap, as it kept the rain out of my eyes. My thin fleece tights worked well for warmth, even wet, although as they got heavier, they tended to slide down and required a few “readjustments” as I ran. By the time I got back to our place, I was, as they say, soaked to the skin. I haven’t been this wet outside of a body of water since backpacking during flood season in New Zealand. A shower, dry clothes, and breakfast were all most welcome.

Beaches are really interesting places, for all manner of reasons, most of which I won’t go into today. Here in the Pacific Northwest, I see them as community resources. People from all walks of life are out on the beaches. Infants to seniors, families, groups, couples, individuals. Lots of dogs with their people. The first day I ran here, it was a sunny mid-morning, and there were many walkers, some runners, lots of older people and families with young children. Being a weekday, many people were at work or in school, and there were still a number of people taking advantage of a warm sunny late September day.

Later that same day, BA and I were at a different beach a few miles south, the starting point for our hike up onto a headland. That beach had bigger waves and the surfers were out en masse, with many arriving as the work day ended, again taking advantage of these favorable late-season conditions. Yesterday, we were at a beach 30 miles north of here, and again, lots of walkers, a few cyclists, and a number of cars (only one of which got mired in the sand) on the beach. A little later that day, on the other side of the long beach peninsula, we explored a wildlife preserve and enjoyed clouds of shorebirds with their flowing formations skimming above the water. Here, there were fewer people, most of them with binoculars or cameras, apparently connecting to and observing the natural world.

This morning, there were fewer people on the beach, but still a number of walkers, many with their dogs, and sporting rain gear. I saw very few runners. Weather or timing, I don’t know. After the wet morning, I was surprised to find the skies quite clear this afternoon. After supper, BA and I walked down to the beach and were delighted to catch the sunset. We had quite a lot of company, with many others also taking advantage of the lovely evening. As we were walking home, we encountered a steady stream heading to the beach, many with dogs, and many without. It seems clear to me that there is a lot more to learn about these beaches and all that goes on, simply from the human perspective. A tough job, but I’m willing to take it on.

7 thoughts on “Beaches and Running

  1. Beach running is truly enjoyable. So much to look at – people watch or just enjoy nature. I’m an east coaster so our running choice is the packed sand close to the water in shoes, or soft sand by the boardwalk, barefoot. I’ll be at the beach next weekend. Think I’m going for the soft sand.

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  2. Your lungs must go through serious training at the elevation Steph–do you feel like you’re flying when you get down to sea level? That’s great how well you run in the sand–it’s tough for me, but a nice challenge too. I played court volleyball for years and whenever I tried to play in the sand I was amazed at how much more challenging it is, takes a lot more strength in your legs to push off and dive for a ball in the sand! Glad you guys are enjoying/enjoyed your time (didn’t check the day of this post yet, catching up on all my blogs today 😍)

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    1. I took the easy part of sand running this time, Cat, staying on the wet hard packed area. That seemed plenty of challenge to me. The loose soft stuff I don’t feel ready for. I hadn’t thought about it, but now I can really appreciate how hard it is to get the jump and move when playing sand court volleyball. (And the competitive version has only two on a side, quite the workout!). One way to develop explosive leg power!

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  3. The beach photo is beautiful. I have a strange relationship with beaches: as a young kid I loved going to the beach, as an older kid and into teens I hated it because I would have sand everywhere for days after, now I want to spend more time on them as part of being outside in nature (and running on them would be nice too).

    I default to thinking we don’t have any nice beaches in the UK, but that’s a lie. There are some amazing ones in west Wales – a little bit of a trek from where I live, but I’ll consider making the effort to go and see some over a weekend when the weather warms up.

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    1. I just restarted running this past summer after more than 30 years off, as I wanted to do a triathlon. I’m definitely in the beginner category. And beach walking is one of my favorite things to do. Enjoy!

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