Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sore Sanderlings

A few discoveries I made today:

1) Beach running is awesome
2) Changing pants in a crowded parking lot is...awkward
3) Running makes sore calves even more sore

When my obnoxious phone alarm went off at six this morning, I didn't feel like getting up. So I didn't. I slept for an extra hour. Not an auspacious start to the year.

By the time I was finally trotting down the street to start my usual four-mile loop through the nearby flood control basin, I was thoroughly ticked off. It was cold, my calves felt as if they'd been methodically beaten with a baseball bat (or perhaps a crowbar), and I was hungry. Breakfast is one of the main reasons I wake up in the morning, and depriving myself of the pleasure of a bowl of granola is a sure way to put myself in a bad mood.

It was a good enough run. I wallowed through plenty of mud, saw a couple California Gnatcatchers, and chuckled at my fossilized FiveFingers tracks from a few days ago. It looks like someone went barefoot...with the bottoms of their feet covered in warts. Gross.

I wasn't satisfied with the thirty-three species I found on this first run...I wanted to stage a blitzkrieg that none could resist. So, I went for another run--at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a coastal estuary that just happens to be an awesome birding spot. I put in another 3.5 miles here and destroyed Dunlin, among other birds. The last stint followed the beach for a mile or so, where I ran in the company of a band of legitamate Sanderlings for a ways. After making the obligatory pilgrimmage to the Portable Toilet of Horrors, I cruised home while listening to Stevie Nicks and munching on a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich (yes, the peanut butter was chunky, but unfortunately the jelly had to be strawberry. Yuck.)

I was almost home when I realized I was still wearing my FiveFingers. They're starting to feel like part of my body; I can't decide whether that's good or bad.

Oh, totals! Sixty-nine.

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