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May 14, 2010 / elodie kaye

Vision Test

My time in Santa Barbara is coming to an end.  It coincides with a shift in my running too.  During my stay, I’ve tried my best to not think about it because I was re-building, first from injury, then warm weather acclimation, and then the flu.  To consider my pace was to look up from a well as deep as the miles I had left to run, before I would get faster.  It has been an exercise in dogged nearsightedness, thinking only as far as the next footfall.

Last week I ran 30 miles for only the second time in 2010.  Thirty miles in a week is my magic real-runner mark.  If I’m running more than that, I feel ‘serious’.  It’s the mark at which I’m allowed to have up to 3 miles of running hard each week.  Not fast mind you, fast is still a season away, but hard enough to flinch.  I get to fumble around for tempo pace, or charge some hills.  I begin to wonder about which days of the week the local track is available.

Thirty miles a week also marks the point when I have to think more consciously about the running as I’m doing it.  For me, running faster doesn’t come easy.  It doesn’t come at all unless I narrow my focus to the bubble enclosing my arms, legs and the 10 ft. I’m about to travel.  If my time in Santa Barbara was nearsighted, I was at least compensated with a wide-eyed view of the big world minus my two feet.  As I go back home, at least some of my runs will require pin-prick goggles.  I’m looking forward to running a little faster and seeing some improvement apart from blunt force miles, but also wistful.  I have loved running my bluff trail and the new sensations it brought me each day, the exotic birds, even more exotic people, head-flooding sounds and sharp odours.



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  1. Sara Grace / May 14 2010 7:49 pm

    Sharp odors? Are you sure you haven’t been in Lower East Side NY these past months?? 🙂

    I think we’re on somewhat parallel tracks, you and I, although my version of serious that i hope to retake is a bit less serious than yours. And I’m not moving home, but this is finally becoming home – so hopefully I’ll be able to narrow my focus as well.

    • elodiekaye / May 16 2010 10:56 am

      I started a post about all the new smells but it was interrupted too often by work. Apart from the eucalyptus and sagebrush, the ocean reeks, yet never smelled the same two days in a row.

      I commented on DM a long while ago that you and I are like matter and anti-matter, living in anti-parallel universes! I never was able to make running a steady habit while I lived in the city. There were simply too many fascinating distractions everywhere. All the time. So you have all my sympathy and envy at once! 🙂

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