Our plans were to drive down (4 hours) and have dinner with him and spend a couple hours with him and then he and his family were headed on down to Florida to spend the few days of leave he gets before heading out. We were going to just get a hotel because of the late hour and then drive home Sunday. Well, we changed plans and decided to drive the couple extra hours south and spend the night with them since they had rented a beach house in Fernandina Beach, Florida, just over the Georgia/Florida border. This gave us a little more time to spend with them before saying goodbye. We were very happy we did.
I woke up this morning just before 5 and laid there for just over another hour because it was still dark out and I didn't know the area. I knew we were only a couple small blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and the beach and I love the water. The problem was I didn't bring anything to run in, and the only shoes I brought were my recently retired running shoes. I couldn't miss the opportunity so I put on the swim suit I had brought, and one of the t-shirts I brought and my retired running shoes and headed out the door at 6:55 this morning, just as the sun was rising over the water. It was a beautiful 50 degrees and the morning was gorgeous. I headed down the road a bit and then turned towards the beach.
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I started to run down Ocean Drive which is just on the edge of the beach because I figured the sand would be too loose. I only took this for a short time when I had to walk over the steps to the beach. The sand was quite solid down by the water, and the beach was almost deserted. That coupled with the fact that the sun was just rising over the water, I ran the rest of my run on the beach. I didn't have any watch, mp3 player or even a plan on how far I would go other than I knew I couldn't be gone much over 30 minutes. I just ran, one of the most enjoyable runs I have ever had. Much because of the place I was privileged to run, but also because I had no watch, plan, or felt like I needed to do a certain mileage. I ran down the beach until I was ready to turn around, and then just ran back.
One interesting point that I didn't think about till it was too late and I had turned around and was heading back. I had not made any mental note of where I had gotten on the beach. This was probably because I was completely mindless just enjoying the run. I was running back trying to figure out how far I had gone. Luckily the beach was almost deserted so I eventually found my footsteps and followed them back till they headed off the beach.
I ended up running for about 35 minutes and when we got home to Atlanta tonight I checked and I had run about 3.25 miles. My favorite course so far :)