Sunday, November 25, 2007

21 miles, ha!

This morning, after my long run, I was walking down the street (dirt road) from the Bouilangerie where I went to buy eggs and looking at the people around me and in my head, all I could think was, "ha! I ran 21 miles already this morning!" I'm not actually proud of myself very often, but I was this morning. That was a really nice feeling. And I did it in just over 3 1/2 hours. That means that if I could maintain that, I could do about a 4 hour marathon. We shall see. That would be totally awesome.

It was nice and overcast for most of the run, which was good because I got out late, not until 6am (I had intended to be out by 5:30am at the latest). I thought I'd refill my Camelback at this one tap before I turned onto the dirt road in Bafut (after which there is no tap water available for about the next 6 miles), but that tap was dry (as had been the two or three I saw before then). I still had some water left, so I wasn't too worried. However, by the time I got to mile 18, I really wanted more water. I saw a tap and went over to it, but it, too, was dry. Then the awesome kindness of total strangers kicked in. The man with the shop next to the tap asks me, "do you want a drink?" "Yes!," I replied. He went in and took a plastic bottle filled with water out of his fridge. So I whipped open my Camelback and he filled it up. With cold water. That was a really different experience (I almost never drink cold water), and it was good at that point in the run. Thank you, sir!

A little voice in my head said, "hmm you don't know where that water came from, was that safe?" But I had to figure that since his shop is right next to the tap, it came from the tap, which I know is clean water.

My pace was slightly faster than the last 20 miler I did, using the run/walk method, and I felt better overall. I did walk some in the last 8 miles -- basically up part of most of the hills (there are some rough ones on this track), but I think running steady as long as I can and then taking walk breaks in the second half or later works better for me. At least it did this time.

The dry season seems to have finally arrived. It hasn't rained in several days now and it is noticeably colder in the mornings and hotter later in the day. And the clouds are different, high in the sky and a bit wispy. Yeah!

On Wednesday I leave for India to do a one-month intensive Yoga Teacher's training. I'm bringing my running shoes, although I'm not sure if I'll be able to run at all, possibly once a week. I'm hoping that doing a couple of hours of yoga a day, along with pranayama, will maintain my fitness. Perhaps the change of focus will even be good for me. We shall see. When I come back I will have just over a month to prepare for Mt. Cameroon.

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