Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Adjusting to village running

Well, I got back to Buala on Tuesday. No food in the house, so I lived on PB&J and tuna for a couple of days. Perhaps not surprisingly, I discovered that this is not really a sufficient diet for a runner. So I went out Wednesday morning and I was supposed to run 6 miles. Ha! I barely made it 4 miles. I had no energy at all. Running in the mud and up and down the hills, I felt dead, dead, dead. Oh, for the flat paved  main road of Honiara!

The rest of the week went better and I was looking forward to my 8 mile run on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, Friday night I started watching Season 1 of Ugly Betty, which I had found in one of the shops in Chinatown in Honiara. It completely possessed me. The next thing I knew, it was (oh my God) 1:46am! And I think I watched another episode! Oy vey. In the morning, too tired to think, I just bagged it. I knew there was no way I was going to make 8 miles on 3 hours sleep. I think at the time I thought Id skip church the next morning and run then.

But of course, the power of Ugly Betty was much stronger than me, and so Saturday night, I didnt get to sleep until nearly midnight. . . And I was debating with myself all day about the church thing. I had gone running instead of church last Sunday and I had not actually been back to Jejevo church since the week I came over to Isabel to check out houses. That was at least a month ago. There are a lot of reasons why going to church was important, not the least of which is that I would like to get permission to serve here. So, awake (enough) at 6 to go to church but not feeling up for the run, I bagged it again.

Monday morning I had good food in me (bought a big pack of lentils in Honiara and made myself a lentil stew and some boiled sweet potatoes), almost enough sleep (Sunday night I was able to break away from Betty at about 10pm), and knew it was now or never. Telling myself that running *something* was most important, and I could stop at 4 or 6 miles if I chose, I headed out. The first two miles are difficult. The second half mile is a muddy uphill then down, the next half mile is mud, then the killer hill (also muddy) then down. But then I crossed the river and it was flat, firm ground (except for the deep ruts where someone had driven a truck that shouldnt have been out there ruined the road, grrr). At three miles I was feeling really good and could see that it was all flat from here on out, so I decided to go for the full 8 miles. At 3.75 there was another river to cross and then at 3.9 another! Wet, wet feet, but I gotta say the cool water was quite refreshing (crossing a river means I actually have to run through it, the ones with bridges are too numerous to mention). On the way back, I stopped and splashed water on my face and neck. Fortunately, it would seem that either I have exceptional socks or Im just not very prone to blisters because despite running at least 4 of the miles in soaking wet shoes, there were no ill effects. This is a good thing as this road is the only path I know of that is longer than a mile or so, and it does require running through rivers.

This week, the catch up plan is to run 4-6-6-4-8-3 rather than the scheduled 4-6-4-6-3-8. Mostly this is because I know I cannot do the long run on Sunday and it is at least possible to get 3 miles in either before or after church. Its quite inconvenient that church here starts at 7am. . .

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