Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Morning Runs


I wake early, usually in the six o'clock hour. Even with my earplugs, outside has become a cacophony of calls, a symphony, an orchestra tuning their instruments before the show. The roosters' shattering crow of the symbols, the hawks with their piercing oboes and flutes, the pigeons cooing calls of cellos, the dogs with their commanding drums. The sounds ebb and flow through the air, thick with distance and saturation. The noise is almost deafening - not the sounds of cities or humans or horns, but of animals, thousands, all answering the call of the morning sun.

The sunrise was huge and welcoming, the air still cool from the night before. As I ran along the airstrip, the sun rose quickly over my right shoulder, brightening the sky and warming the air. The run on the airstrip is quite dull, so after 2.5 laps, I head back to the base. A quick check of my distance - not quite 4 miles - and I need to get at least that! Right before the gate to our compound, I turn and headed north up a side path, leaping over piles of sand and dust. Children adorn blue uniforms, laugh and run alongside me on their way to school. This would hopefully get me a few more strides. A u-turn around a tree and back at the gate, I've done 4.3. Oh, I can make it to 4.5! Past the gate, continuing southwest, around another large tree ("Good morning!" I say to a woman heading to the market), and back to the gate. 4.59 miles will do. I seem to always average 8 min/miles - though looking at my splits, that slower, second mile was when I stopped three times to take a picture of the sunrise. Maybe less stopping, more running?

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