Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Day 16. Beach Comber

Difficult to get up today. Five goes at the snooze button and I was suffering whiplash from yesterday's crash but looking out of the window to see what the weather was doing woke me up enough to get the enthusiasm for Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth.

Not that the weather was that good and Marine Parade was dull once I'd passed the all-closed-up pleasure beach so I went in search of the real beach. Once I'd remembered that wet sand is firmer than dry I got running again. I tried to take a picture of the sunrise but it was a mere sliver of crimson beneath very big grey skies. So I photographed my trial shoes under different conditions.

Running next to the ocean is so catatonic. It reminded me of the best of my time in Folkstone and without even getting wet the waves washed over me. I put a foot on the breakwater then ran back to the pier near my hotel. I checked the Garmin to see if I had run the necessary distance but sadly I'd forgotten to zero de pooter so I had no clue. The knee started to hurt so I clocked my lap (4 miles - woo hoo). I'm hardly surprised though, my sore neck is the same side as my painful knee and I'd been running on a sloped beach in a sloppy fashion so as not to scare my Achilles. After 37 minutes I headed back to the pier, sat in the wet sand, took my shoes off and wandered into the sea.

That I managed not to scream is amazing. I think I've been in colder water in spring in Scotland but I was trying to figure it out. I stood for a moment feeling the sand running out from underneath my toes and the water sploshing around my ankles bubbling and tickling and the seeping pain of cold purging through my legs and it was overwhelmingly exhilarating.

I stepped out and walked over to my shoes and instantly thought "I need to do that again". I felt like I'd missed out on that happy place where your body momentarily adapts to the cold and feels warm before you actually realise you've just gone numb. I walked back in, full of determination and enthusiasm to make the most of a mad morning. Like a child running towards a favourite slide at the park, screaming 'again' I paddled away, my brain silently squealing in delight. I felt alive! Then I felt painfully cold in the feet. An entire stage of cold water swimming skipped, I ran away for the last time, sat by my shoes, lay back in the sand, lifted my legs into the air and arms outstretched I wiggled my feet at the cold December sky.

Enough toy time. Back to the hotel for a shower, breakfast in cycling clothes and a ride to the client's site along the dockside. Sometimes enjoying this job is about making the most of its most rubbish bits.

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