Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 767

Recently I decided to change the title of my blog. When I started this several months ago, I had a distinct plan in mind. I was going to qualify for, and run the Boston Marathon. On the way, I would run a series of races that would take me 105 miles (not counting training, of course!) to the city of Boston. Well, I got through step 1 (qualifying) but step 2 is going to take a while (2011). Instead, I decided to rename the blog to something more fitting for me as a committed runner, and specifically one who "streaks".

Now, streaking is not what you might think, and it is not related to the recent rebirth of barefoot running either. A streak, is a continuous period of days running every day for some minimum distance. I read about the concept while training for Shamrock 2008 and started on December 18, 2007 running a minimum of one mile a day. The idea of streaking led me (read: my wife) to come up with the name "Never not running". It sounded pretty catchy to me, and I especially like the notion that my wife with her English MA degree came up with such a clever double negative. Anyway, most days I run more than one mile (usually 4), but on Sunday, my streak put me at day 767.

I just wanted to mention 767 because it was a particularly odd run. I was at the beach and the weather looked pretty awful. Visibility was lousy (serious fog), the seas were choppy, and there was not much of a low tide to speak of (would have to run on mostly looser sugar white sands). But I had a streak to keep and the weather was oddly enough, something I thought might be fun.

I chose to go barefoot, expecting loose sand which ended up being a very good choice, because I was knee deep in brackish water from time to time. The cool ocean water was just enough to feel refreshing, and not frigid. The fog was eerie and I could only see about 100 paces down the beach. On my return, I told my wife it was like running on another planet. The barefoot run felt great, and I actually found a good bit of packed sand to run to, to the point that I had to start really accentuating my forefoot strike to avoid hurting my heels. A flock of about 100 gulls was spooked as I ran by them. As they took flight, the winds were so fast that some just hovered mid-air, with an occasional gentle flap while gusts kept them aloft. I also saw a group of six ducks who appeared to be guarding a nest (they were in the same spot on my out and back, despite flying away from my on my first pass). I was the only one (human) out there, and I had about four straight miles of beach all to myself.

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