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Red, Dusty Memories

April 12, 2010


A great trail, both in--and for--my head.

My first leg of the RLAM tour kicked off in Santa Fe on Friday, and of all the non-book things I was looking forward to—seeing changes made to our former house; eating a breakfast burrito loaded with green chile; drinking margs with good friends—one stood out: running on the Dale Ball Trails.

They’re located just five minutes out of town and are broken down into small segments (.3 to around 1.5 miles, I think) with helpful maps that mark mileage and direction—a dream combo for me, who can get lost navigating my own neighborhood. (“Are you lost again, Mom?” my kids ask almost daily, as I whip yet another U-turn in the Odyssey.) As with most places and things one returns to after being away for an extended period, memories came flooding back on Sunday morning as I ran them. Losing Dharma, our adopted hound who had been abused before we got her, on them because she would bolt into into the woods anytime another being, four- or two-legged, approached her; ascending their short, steep hills as I trained for my first triathlon; huffing around them with Amelia, then a babe in the Bjorn, and my mom. “I can’t believe I used to run these, and just walking feels so hard now,” I lamented; feeling so proud when I ran for 30 minutes straight on them, post-Amelia.

Sunday morning, I swear somebody pushed reboot on my spirit—and not just because I was in the City Different, which has a cloud of incense hovering over it. The past few weeks, the combination of RLAM being launched and accompanying enthusiasm for it (a huge thank you!) with the upcoming results of my MRI has my head swirling. All I can think about is running, and yet there’s this uncertainty about my own running. An easy hour on trails that I know so intimately was exactly what I needed to process the situation. As I tromped along the red, rocky trails and watched a mental slide-show of my former peaks and valleys, I reminded myself that small victories—the first post-birth run when you don’t feel like quitting; the first time you get up a hill without walking; the first time you complete a double-digit run—often make the most meaningful memories. I’m not sure yet what my small victories will look like in the next few months, but I know I’ve got a handful just waiting to be plucked.

I’m also pretty sure, in two or four years, when I get back to Santa Fe again, the memory of yesterday’s run will be the first slide up when I get back to the Dale Balls. I’m already looking forward to reminiscing about the RLAM tour. 

What running memories or small victories reboot your sprit?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2010 11:24 am

    Received my goodies on Saturday…love them and thank you so much.

  2. April 12, 2010 7:17 pm

    Oh I know that path…in the winter…might need to take a little trip to Sante Fe this summer.

  3. April 13, 2010 9:23 am

    Running my first marathon at 17. Wearing new shoes… ones that I had before.. but did not realize that Brooks changes the shoe slightly each year.

    Walking the last 3 miles barefoot… and having a 90 year old man beat me at the finish.

    I am running my 2nd marathon, 16 years later, in October. I hope to do better.

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