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Running the flats

The footwear.
I pulled up rather stiff after my initial tide chasing beach run. Different muscles had been asked to go harder where they had not gone before. But today with my eye on the tide chart I sneeked in another run on the mud/sand flats.

I surprized myself. I had to take pain killers before I went out  which should not have been a good omen, right? Getting out of bed was hard enough.

My 'style' was terrible and it was much harder to put one foot in front of the other. But despite that I ran farther in my intervals than I had done previously. At this rate I should be able to reach the river mouth and get back without having to stop for breath....sooner rather than later.

The running cohort
That's the great thing about running: it is so easy to measure 'progress' as distance never lies.

En route back I ran the sandy beach rather than the tidal flats. Dry sand in classic gold. Narrow pathway (such as it is) among uprooted mangroves and Sheoaks. Between seagrass mounds. Zig Zagging between tree roots and stumps. Fording the stream that drains one end of the swamp lagoon.

I suspect I may be onto something -- something at once thrilling, ambient, at one with the bigness of it all, and challenging. 

I can henceforth talk about the sand at my feet as an ongoing metaphor. 

But then, I needed the tootsie hardware to enable me: my sandals -- my $19 (from Anaconda) sandals . Of which I bought another three pairs yesterday. My feets are covered. They can now get wet and sand encrusted without crippling the wearer. These sandals seem to have a slim flexible aluminium plate embedded in the sole which keeps the sharp shells at bay.

And the are light with toggle tighteners /no laces.

Maybe it's going to take a few months to get up to speed... and groove to it. On the tidal flats there are no paths; the terrain keeps changing with the level of the tide, impact of the currents and the shift of sand. Yesterday's wade may be deep water today. A few minutes here and there day to day can make a surface difference as the tide shifts There are no above ground markers to chart by -- no lamp posts or street corners.

For variation the undulations in the damp sand will change according to wave pattern...

Once I've mastered my stretch to the river mouth and back (2-3 km) I can begin to head north and go as far on the tidal flats as the seagrass beds at Godwin Beach. That's about a 15 + km round trip. I'd be doing the kickbike thing but on sand and on foot -- 'out to sea' as it were, rather than on land/on asphalt.

It also struck me that if I can sustain myself running like this I could get a local gathering together of folk keen to run the tidal flats on a weekly basis: the Tidal Flat Runners -- social meet up at low tide on Sundays.

And maybe an annual 'fun run'? Who else runs the flats?

In Pomona they run the mountain, we'd be flat earth.

 Thrilling, ambient, at one with the bigness of it all, and challenging. 
Complaint: I have one dog, the smaller of the two, who prefers the land to the sea and sneaks off at every opportunity if I don't remind him to stay with the pack. He prefers the sniffs and urinations on offer among grasses and bushes; and protests at being sentenced to the flat salty terrain of the sand flats and water crossings. He is a saboteur and is being dealt with  as humanely as possible. The other dog is a certified limpet and runs at my heels.


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