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Beach Run, With Obstacles: Summer Solstice, June 2011

Trying to catch a low tide run at West Meadow Beach is harder than you think!

I don’t run as frequently as I used to after killing my knees, running daily for 20+ years. But when I do run, I prefer the softer sands of West Meadow Beach in Setauket, at low tide. So, I started out, on this first day of summer, with the full intention of getting there right at the peak of low tide.

But, as luck would have it, I ran into a friend whom I haven’t seen in a long time. So we yakked it up, and by that time, all that was left of low tide was an oblong sliver of sand, smaller than a ¼ mile track.

 I was determined, though, to run on the beach, rocky north shore seascape and all. So I started running circles on the sand track only to discover that my trusty Timex Ironman stopwatch had died, leaving me with only the music on my iPod to time my run. I figured, most songs run about 3 minutes and change, so I started counting off the tunes: Elton John’s “Amoreena,” Muse’s "The Uprising,” Jason Mraz’ “The Remedy,” Gavin DeGraw’s “I don’t Want to to Be,” The Eagles' “In the City,” until I hit about 8 or 9 tunes, figured I must have been running around 30 minutes, and headed back along the beach to my car.

Then, I realized how many hoops I’d jumped through, just to catch that small slip of sand before the tide washed it all away. There had to be a lesson here, some message, about life and determination, maybe?

Or simply this: when you’re running out of time on the sand, just make sure you have some good tunes!

Enjoy the summer!

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Hilary Topper June 24, 2011 at 04:58 PM
Don't you find the sand to be harder to run on than say a dirt road or the boardwalk? Great post btw!
Lily Zajc June 24, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Thank you! I prefer hard sand to anything, for the view as well. I first check my tide charts for low tide-there's maybe a 30 minute window earlier and later that you have to get down to the shore for flat hard sand. That's how it is at West Meadow Beach. I don't know if other North Shore beaches have that advantage. On the South Shore, there's more of a slope, but I've run at Cupsogue and Robert Moses, sometimes, without sneakers, and it's amazing! I love boardwalks and dirt trails, though!


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