Sadly, we’re back on the mainland. It was a fantastic vacation — ten days of fresh Apple Bananas, fun with the kids and morning breakfast and coffee on our lanai. But, like all good things — the NFL season, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Charlie Sheen’s “Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour — it had to come to an end. As I look back on the last week and a half, one thing that is in the forefront of my mind is the opportunity that I had to run in such an incredible place. Anywhere I ran, there was a kind of beauty that I don’t think that I can ever get too much of — red dirt everywhere covered with an amazing variety of flowers and lush green plant life. And, though there were several times when the humidity nearly brought me to a walk, I’d welcome any chance to run on Kauai without hesitation. I know, I know, that’s one of those “Well, duh!” statements but, for a bit of perspective on what it’s like out there, some of the locals informed me that, at the Kauai Marathon last September, two Nigerians, who were expected to take first and second in the race, dropped out after 22 miles because of the heat and humidity.
But now, it’s back to reality. Tomorrow, I’ll be doing my standard 10mi run and honestly, the prospect of doing it is kind of a let down. Normally, I look forward to the weekend runs in my hood but tomorrow, I’m just kind of “meh”. The more I think about it though, the more I think I need to change my perspective of the same old, same old. After all, were it not for my standard routes on the fringes of Silicon Valley, I wouldn’t be able to experience the magic of places like Kauai.
I think of the 2 mile long inclines that I just ran and how I never would have been able to run them were it not for all of the irritating hills and false flats around my home town of Los Gatos. I also think of all of the base miles on my standard routes and how they’ve enabled me to run on roads and paths lined with common houseplants growing wild in their natural environment. I also think of my runs in Mendocino — listening to the simultaneous barks of Elephant Seals on one side of the road and mooing of cows on the other as I ran through the fog, unable to see the sources of either sound.
It’s an amazing world out there, with an incredible variety of cultures, scenery and experiences and I’d love to witness as much as it has to offer. Somehow, running positions me, better than anything else, to fully grasp what each geography has to offer. So yes, though my run tomorrow will be on the same old roads and through the same old communities, I’ll remember my runs in Kauai and Mendocino; I’ll remember the runs of my younger days through on the trails of the Santa Cruz Mountains and know that, were it not for my “same old, same old” of today, I wouldn’t be able to experience the “same old, same old” that others experience on a daily basis.