My run to the coast and back.

I did indeed go running yesterday. The sun was shinning, still warm at 5pm, when I left the house in the direction of the Mar Cantábrico (Bay of Biscay). The streets lined with plant debris from corn the farmers are starting to cut down. Cows, corn, fabadas (a type of giant white bean they use in many typical dishes around here) and sporadic colorful houses were my companions as my feet rhythmically hit the ground at a steady pace. My iPod Shuffle (the small little green thing clipped to my shirt) smartly plays popular dance music to help me keep going even when my legs and lungs tire.

It’s been more than two weeks since I last set out for a run. I was actually expecting the outcome to be worse, but the roughly 2km (1.24 miles) to the coastline was surprisingly easy. Granted it was mostly flat, with a few hills here or there, but really, not that bad. There’s a path that follows the ocean line, and I walked a bit of it to get my breath back.

I stopped at point that jetted out, rocky cliffs falling into the water about 100 feet below. The waves crashed, the wind blew, and I couldn’t have felt more content to just stand there and soak it all in. The salty air was fresh and comforting, and it seemed as though each time a wave crashed into the rocks below and then pulled away, it pulled away another seed of stress that has been building up for some time now.

I’ve always loved the ocean. Not necessarily for swimming in, or laying on a sandy beach, but just watching it. It’s exhilarating. I’m not always a fan of a calm, movementless sea. There are times I like it, especially when I’m hoping to take a dip, or just enjoy the view. But to really relax, I need the water to have power behind it. Perhaps you think it’s weird–because it sort of is–but there is something about the power of the ocean that makes me feel lighter. I have sat on the edge of a cliff watching and listening to the ocean for hours. I close my eyes and I can almost feel the push and pull of the currents and tides. In a way it’s an escape from the drag of daily life, but it’s also an energizer to take on and excel in the demands that are provided.

Anyway, I stood just watching the ocean for some time. I’m not sure how long. The sun was getting lower and the wind picked up so I decided to head back to the house. I wasn’t really sure how I should get back. While there aren’t many roads to choose from, and the houses are few, once out of Puerto de Vega, things all start looking very similar. Not to mention there are no street names, just the occasional sign that you’re entering a certain village. It was my first time exploring the roads by myself, and I’ll admit I got a little lost. Not by much, but I added another kilometer on the way home. I thought I knew where to go, but I asked one man who was walking his dog just to be sure. And after that turn, I followed signs until I found it.