Thursday was probably the best run I’ve ever had. It was fun, adventurous and although not my longest I got more out of those 30 minutes than I have in a while.
This is a town I’ve been holidaying at with Mum (excellent woman) for years. Days spent as kids on the beach digging holes, exploring rock pools and jumping in the sea before lunch at the deli. I know it’s streets, the beach, the loops and flats. I had a while mental map planned.
It had started with a walk along the seafront, into pavements and houses, I set my GPS watch up and GO!
I ran up a hill (you don’t get better at then by walking Pinterest reminds me), onto the long flat main street where the sun was warm. A long stretch. 1.75km at least.
Onward past the bit I refer to as ‘that bit we park at’ and onto the one way road that loops past the golf course.
The golf course is in itself a scenic spot, open to the wind and rain but also the views of the sea. I flew down it, stopping only to take a photo. This was fun. Fun!
Back round to the main road where I went down to the beach, looking to see if Mum was where I thought she might be. She was. I stopped to chat and she pointed to the cliff, some cove she said. OK.
And off! Along part of the road I had come and up a hill I have never been up in my times coming to Fife.
There was a ruined hut of sorts and a tucked away bench. The sun was warm. I sat down to soak it all in. The view was amazing. Looking across the bay to the harbour I had come from it felt both vast because of the water and small. The sea was fairly calm. I took out my headphones to enjoy the sloshing sound of the waves. A sea bird caught my eye. A large black bird, decent wingspan that it showed off as it spread out to dry in the sun.
It was a fairly magical moment, the sort described in books or shown on TV. It could have appeared on ‘Coast’ and BBC viewers would have sat in their living rooms thinking ‘how nice’.
I continued, I wasn’t finished. Down the hill and cut down the nearest street headed for the dunes. Dunes. Sand. I came out beside the people, walking with purpose to the shore trying to show I had no interest in interrupting them. I opted to run to the far side of the wall I had come from in order to give myself a long stretch to finish on.
Once again my issues with sand running came into play but I continued, reaching the wall.
But I stopped again. Why was I running past this beautiful place?
Off came the shoes and earphones. This wasn’t a day to be wasted.
Into the sea, well aware I would probably not get my feet dry enough to get rid of the sand and thus unless I wanted to be running with veritable sandpaper toes I had accepted this was my finish line.
It was cold but pleasant. What a casual Thursday! Yes I wasn’t helping my training but I felt it was important to enjoy this moment in the sun.
And then it became obvious. The point of beach running wasn’t about just pounding sand underfoot or trying to enjoy a view bouncing past but to finish in a beautiful place and rest my feet in the fresh salty water. Why had I not seen it before?
I stood there in silence for several minutes, feeling more satisfied with every wash of water on the shore.
Thank you beach. I get it now.