Saturday, October 23, 2010

Where Am I?

A couple of days ago, I posted about my run in a new place and asked if anybody had any guesses. No surprises for me, only a few people looked at the blog and nobody guessed. Not really a fair question — you would have to know the streets to know that I'm in Ouagadougou, Bukina Faso. Well, OK, you would also have to actually care! :-D

We're here helping out with field orientation for new personnel. One of the things that I love about running is that I can do it anywhere I go. Except for the fact that my feet are so big (12D) and my shoes take up a lot of luggage space, it's nothing to carry running gear.

The first couple of days here, I was in downtown Ouaga. Night before last, I moved to a different guest house in a different part of town. Yesterday, since I didn't really know where I was in Ouaga, I decided to run up the major road (limiting my turns) for about 15 minutes and then come back -- about 3.5 miles. Easy enough -- no chance of getting lost or turned around, right? Wrong!

Coming back, I realized that there was nothing that identified my turn back to the guest house. And, as it turns out, I was already past the turn when I started looking. So, I kept thinking that it would be the next light. Finally, I knew I had missed badly, so I turned around and headed back -- uphill, of course. I found the turn and got back. When I finally got to an internet connection to check the route, I had run 6.1 miles rather than 3 and change.

That's also one of the great things about running -- sometimes I get to explore!! ... whether I intended to do so or not. I was bushed -- that's the longest I've gone in a year and in the heat and humidity of Ouaga to boot.

This morning -- I carefully noted my turn and managed to get directly back with a planned 4.2 mile run. One challenge of running in Ouaga, even at 5:45AM, is that there are thousands of people riding bicycles and motor bikes -- far more of those than cars. So, it turns out to be safer to run in the middle of a 4-lane major road in the city than on the edge of the road!! That's a first.

Running -- rarely a dull moment.

A shout out to Ryan and Sara Hall. They have resigned from the Mammoth Track Club and are striking out in a different direction to try to move to the next step in their running. Both are great runners and really, really fine people of faith.

Run well, y'all,
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