Tuesday, September 5, 2006

High Altitude Running

It was with mixed emotions that I anticipated running today. A bit of background. Until mid-2002, we lived in Tigoni, Kenya. Tigoni is in the highlands of Kenya and sits at about 7500' above sea level. Back in 1999, I had run fairly regularly in Tigoni but there was one hill that I had never conquered -- always had to walk a bit on it -- and another that I had never tried because it is a 0.75 km steep uphill. Around that time, I was running in Tanzania one morning and was surrounded by a pack of garbage heap village dogs, one of whom decided my leg might be a great protein supplement for his daily fare. He took a bite and, fortunately, decided he didn't like my taste. But, that experience sort of dampened my enthusiasm for running and a couple of months later, I quit running in East Africa until I took it back up in Nairobi in 2003.

We're about halfway through a 3 week trip to Kenya and DR Congo and staying at the Baptist Conference Centre in Tigoni (Brackenhurst Baptist International Centre) -- at the top of the hill that I had never tried. So, this morning, my plan was to run down that hill, run my old route which includes the hill I had never conquered, and then back up the hill to the conference centre. I was excited about trying but a little afraid that I couldn't do it.

So, about 5:40 this morning, I headed out and 35 minutes later I had conquered BOTH hills! I felt good about that. Without being too philosophical, this morning helped me realize that in many, many cases, the anticipation of a difficult task is worse than the task itself.

I'll do it again tomorrow. It is really good to be "home" and to be running in very cool weather -- it was probably around 52º this morning.

Live well,
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