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February 11, 2011 / elodie kaye

Souvenir

It was supposed to be a mountain trail run, but I wimped out.  I’ve been tired, I didn’t get enough sleep, and for the first time in a long time, I can’t say I was galvanised by the thought of reaching for a summit to see what’s up there.  I didn’t even feel much like moving my legs.

These days, I find myself in a position where I don’t have to run.  I’ve logged fairly steady mileage for a few months, with a good mix of long runs, speed, hills and trails.  My routine pace is a little bit improved, and best of all, running feels easy and smooth every day.  I’ve run so much that I don’t need to push for a while.  For the last month while I’ve been in Santa Barbara, I’ve run chiefly because I couldn’t stop myself.  It is the sort of place that makes me want to break into a trot when I walk from one building to another, just to feel the play of warm air and sun over my skin.

I had decided not to run today, because I didn’t want to, and I don’t have to.  And then, I stepped outside to get some lunch; the ocean was more achingly blue than I’ve ever seen it.  The grass was emphatically thicker, littered with tiny yellow wildflowers.  Boston wears its finest clothes in October.  Washington, D.C. puts on its best dress in April.  Santa Barbara is climbing into her most magnificent gown right now.

I laced up my shoes and loped out to the trail beyond the estuary.  The sea is deeper than the sky.  Against that glittering field of blue, the cliffs are painted in broad strokes with the textures of tall grasses and red-tinged succulents, starkly brilliant chalk, mustard blossoms cheerfully bobbing in the breeze, even small patches of tender green moss.  For twenty-three enchanted strides, a hawk rode the updraft next to me, both of us edging the border of beach and bluff.

Possibly, fever sharpened my vision.  About an hour after my run, my body temperature hit 103.2ºF, but I couldn’t wish for a finer postcard of California to carry back home to the Canadian frost.

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One Comment

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  1. Anne / Feb 11 2011 8:39 am

    Lovely. Simply lovely.

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