Almost two weeks ago I headed out on a Sunday afternoon to do the Jelly Bean 5k Virtual Race hosted by Run with Jess. It was my first full day in Florida, and it was in the 70’s when I headed out. Most of my runs in the last few months have been in the cold (with running tights!), so I’m not so trained for this weather. I also decided to run on the beach (the same beach as the Welcome to Summer 5k), which is a different sort of running then I normally do (on cement or hard grass).

Luckily my dad came out on the run with me, because, to be honest, I’m not sure I would’ve made it the 3.1 miles without another person there. At 1.3 miles, I remember telling my dad that running both of my half marathons was easier than that 1 mile we had gone. Every time my feet hit the sand they twisted a little, so my IT bands and hips were aching. The wind was blowing, and I was being slapped by sand. But it was beautiful, and I tried to focus on the sunshine (at least I wasn’t slipping on ice like runs in February!) and the sound of the waves.

We turned around at almost two miles, and it was instantly better. We found a place with more packed down sand and the wind died down. The rest of the run was beautiful, and we actually went closer to four miles instead of 3.1.

I tried to look at the run as a really good training run. No, my half marathon won’t be on sand, but I have no idea what the weather will be like that day. Maybe it will be pouring and really rainy. Maybe it will be weather that I trained in, maybe not. No matter what, this run in very different conditions helped get me in a different mindset.

My pace… now that is another story. I was running pretty pathetic 13 minute miles. OUCH. Luckily my runs since that time have been a bit faster or I’d be a little worried.

All of these tough runs are frustrating but learning experiences and important going into race day. Besides, I had a pretty great view (here).

Now it’s your turn to share! What’s the toughest run (or work out) you’ve had? Do you like beach work outs?