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Ft. Lauderdale Beach Run

May 13, 2013

After a monsoon of a first day in Ft. Lauderdale, I was thrilled to wake up on day two to sunny blue skies.  Knowing that storms were predicted to roll in later that afternoon was all the motivation I needed to hop out of bed early and lace up my sneakers, eager to make the most of the beautiful weather while it was around.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

As I’ve said here before, one of my favorite things to do on vacation is go for a run somewhere beautiful.  I’ve been to Ft. Lauderdale countless times, so here it’s more about soaking up some sun than exploration. (Did I mention that?  I was born in Ft. Lauderdale and lived there as a young child, and even though we moved away when I was very young we returned frequently to visit my grandparents, who also lived there.  And now that my parents are retired, they live there in the winters and I love visiting them).

My favorite place to run in Ft. Lauderdale is the obvious one – along the beach.  The main stretch of Ft. Lauderdale Beach, which in my definition stretches from the Sheraton Yankee Clipper to Sunrise Boulevard, is almost exactly 2 miles.  This totally flat out-and-back 4-miler is one of my favorite runs anywhere.  Why?  How about I just show you…

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

For this landlocked lady, running along A1A (beachfront avenue!) is a little slice of heaven.

A1A Beach Path

All along the beach, there is a wide pedestrian walkway.  To the east you’ve got unobstructed views of the Atlantic, and to the west are Ft. Lauderdale’s beachfront hotels and restaurants.  The area gets busy, so it’s definitely best to pound the pavement early to avoid zigzagging around people every other step.  I set out around 8 a.m. each morning and was right on the cusp of beating the crowds and beating the heat, but earlier definitely would have been better.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

One of the great things about living at 7,500 feet and running at sea level is that all that oxygen makes it feel so easy.  At the two-mile mark I was still feeling like superwoman but starting to get very thirsty, so I turned around and headed back south once I hit Sunrise.

Sunrise Blvd

On my way back down the beach, I saw the single most de-motivating sight I’ve ever encountered on a run.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach Hammock

I mean, really?  As good as it felt to run, that definitely looked better.  Figuring that hammock was only big enough for one, I kept moving.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

I loved this bike sculpture with its “Green Your Routine” message.  I passed quite a few cyclists who made me eager to hop on my road bike once I got back to Colorado.

Beach Bike

Up north the beach was pretty deserted, with a few lone walkers and couples sipping coffee while watching the waves come in.

Beach Walker

As I headed south toward the more populated part of the beach, I saw a lot of beach-goers getting set up on the sand at that early hour.  It seemed like everyone had the same idea: soak up the sun while it’s out!

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

Toward the end of my route I ran through Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park and saw the antidote to the lazy hammock scene I’d witnessed before.

Beachside Boot Camp

In addition to this beachside boot camp class, there were a bunch of athletes working hard on the park’s exercise bars.  There is something so motivating to me about seeing other people working out while I’m doing the same, and it helped me finish my run strong.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park

Back at my parents’ house, I got to end my run in my favorite way that just isn’t an option at home: a refreshing dip in the pool.  After cooling down in the water, it was time for breakfast and then the beach.  With my run behind me, I was ready to kick back and just enjoy the sunshine.

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