Sunday, January 5, 2014

9:59 PM

Running the Beach
For two weeks now I have been watching people run the beach here at Hanalei - an amazing 1.5 mile arc of mountain-backed beach. Most run it barefoot and in bathing suits which has afforded many views of Greek god and goddess bodies (people are disproportionately beautiful here) and other not so godly, but beautifully human ones.

Since yoga is my focus this month of my Fitness Project, I have traded in my morning roadside 5 miler for shorter or no runs at all. Given that, I spent a leisurely morning on the beach playing with my kids and, as always, watching many happy looking runners go by. My husband came in from a bodysurf session to give me a break and asked me if I wanted to go for a swim. No, I announced, putting my inhibitions aside, I am going to go run the beach.

My daughter decided to join me for the first half mile (to the pier and back) which delighted me. I was too busy enjoying watching and being with her to wonder if anyone was smirking at my white, flabby butt as I tried to keep pace with her sprint-jog-walk running style (FYI, I am currently setting the record for days that can be spent sitting on the beach in Hawaii with no semblance of a tan to show for it).

By the time I dropped her back off at our beach blanket I was thoroughly enjoying the experience of running barefoot and bare naked (almost). I continued on for thirty more minutes, prancing along in typical barefoot running posture, enjoying the spectacular view and listening to the waves. It wasn't a fast run, it was a totally carefree, uninhibited run - like the occasional, joyful run you do in a rainstorm.

I am reminded of what I promised myself for this year - Keep it simple. Play more. Be in nature.

Running the beach seems like a good start to that because, tight calves aside, that run felt fantastic.

Incidentally, other play-inspired things that can be done half-naked on a beach that are also great workouts include:
  • All water play - wave jumping, body surfing, boogie boarding, SUPing, surfing, snorkeling (full body)
  • Digging holes (upper body and core)
  • Shell collecting (legs)
Beach Plyo Workout
If you want to learn more about my Fitness Project, please see the following posts:
Fitness Project Ground Rules
Fitness Project Design
Fitness Project - Month One

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