I know I'm not the only one with this disease: running on the same trails becomes less inspiring. Yes, the canyon behind your house is nice, but it's still the canyon behind your house; you wish you could get out and explore more, but there are only so many within an hour drive of where you live. And it gets boring. And the beach gets boring. And the mountains get boring.
But in the last year, something has happened. I've noticed new trails branching off from places I've been running for a few years now. Like Biltmore in Marian Bear? Never noticed that damn thing, or at least realized it was an official trail that didn't dead-end. I must've run by it a hundred times. Or all those semi-official-looking trails on the north side of Penasquitos.
And the trails I already knew, I appreciate more. Some days, I think the mustard growing on the hillside actually looks brighter, the sky looks bluer, the May Gray clouds seem more textured. Possibly because after my first year of clinical training in the hospitals, my already more-acute-than-average sense of mortality has been further sharpened, and I know that there will certainly be a last time I run on each of these trails. On any trail. I don't find that depressing. Serious, sincere perhaps, but not depressing. Uplifting actually. Inspiring. You run on the dirt, until you are dirt. One day, you most certainly will be dirt again.
I used to hesitate to post this kind of thing here but decided in the end that this is more interesting for me to write (and hopefully more interesting for you to read) than one more person documenting their workouts and checking off races. If that's your thing, that's fine too. But the reason I run, and run trails, is for experience, and that's what I want to share.