Doing different things

Before getting to the meat of things (such as it is), a little celebration. This morning, in Val di Fiemme, Italy, Alex Harvey became the first Canadian man to win an individual medal at Nordic skiing’s World Championships, in the sprint. If you want to see what REALLY WANTING IT at the race finish looks like; watch this video of the final. Forza, Alex!

Back to it. While Alex and co were working their butts off over in Europe, I was checking out the trails in Hawaii. On the “Garden Island” of Kaua’i, specifically. Now, sadly, I have to report that if trail running is the focus of your Hawaiian vacation, you should probably stay away from Kaua’i. The “Powerline trail” shows great promise, but, last maintained in, oh, 1997 or so, it seems to be a haven for feral pigs. And the people who hunt them – the highest my adrenaline got was turning a corner to look into the barrel of a gun, and hearing a barely apologetic “Huh. Thought you were a pig.” The Kalalau trail, on Kaua’i’s northwestern Na Pali coast, is a gem everyone should hike – overnight, with a tent and sleeping bag. For the runner, the consequences of a slip are… pretty cliffy.

It kind of doesn’t matter that the running in Kaua’i isn’t that great, and not only because the Ahi tuna makes up for it. What matters is the chance to do something different. I find it’s so easy to get into a groove, where, say, Monday is the rest day, Tuesday is tempo, Wednesday is hills, and so on, week after week. Routine is a good thing, and habit makes it easier to get out the door, but it’s great to switch it up every once in a while. Whether it’s a question of going clockwise instead of counterclockwise on your Sunday loop (track runners, I’m looking at you!), of taking a chance on a new trail, or trying a new type of intervals, I say give it a shot. It seems to make everything else, even the routine feel fresher, easier, and, over all, more fun! And isn’t that the point?

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