Living thirty minutes from the sea, I rarely go there except on long weekends, and most likely not at seven in the morning. But the past month has seen me drive into the parking lot at Carl’s Junior on Saturdays when the sky is darkly tinted and there’s a strong breeze rustling the pillars of casuarinas along East Coast Park. It’s a place of youth, afternoons on rented bikes, class picnics.
Only clusters of runners and cyclists share the quiet park for now, and I run into the warm wind, flavored with sea salt and the smell of big ships on the horizon, determined to stay on my feet at a certain cadence for the next two hours. Scenes like the one above are too significant to not stop and snap, for I know I will not always be running this route again.
Tomorrow is my biggest race so far, my longest at 21 km (13.1 miles). After tomorrow, I don’t know when I’ll drop by the coast again, to run past the old folk doing taichi, and to fill my lungs with the breath of the sea.