After totally tanking a few weeks ago and taking 10 days off totally, I’ve been able to run 3 times this week. I meant to run yesterday morning – it hadn’t rained in a good 36 glorious hours – but I had some sort of stomach trouble and didn’t want to risk being far from my bathroom.
But it seems to be working to just tell myself I need to get out and run, just do what I can. After all, 4 miles 3 or 4 times a week is better than 5 miles once. And tomorrow I’ll go at least 6 and maybe more, depending on how “gung ho” I feel. There’s this point after crossing the first river where the path gets flooded. Some days I’m up for getting through it, some days, aack, it just gets me down. But living within a circumference of 3 miles definitely makes me stir crazy. I remember the day when I was in Cameroon that I realized that one thing I value very, very highly is mobility. The ability to get around. When I moved from PRTC out in the village, where I was 5k from the road, to Bamenda town, one cause of intense relief for me was that I could get around. I could go anywhere I wanted to. I could catch a cab or a bus or a moto and go wherever. When I was coming to the Solomon Islands, one friend warned me that other friends of hers had felt claustrophobic on a small pacific island. At the time I thought, “claustrophobic? With the entire Pacific Ocean right there?” Yea, well, the ocean requires a boat which I don’t have. And hiring one is very expensive. So, now I know.
The rain is now having an impact on the island in some striking ways. The ground is so saturated that trees – even some rather large trees – are falling. A mango tree fell sometime Sunday night around the government houses. It completely blocked the path and took down power wires, but amazingly it fell straight between two houses, hitting neither. In Buala village there was a large landslide on what had been a vegetation covered hill. And yet, it can rain all night, be hot and sunny during the day, and then many places can be bone dry by the end of the day. I’m becoming quite aware of the difference between different types of dirt. Grey sandy dirt dries very quickly, particularly with heat. Red, claylike dirt never seems to dry. Then there is the swampy, bog-like black dirt that falls somewhere between those two.
I’ve signed up for the World Wide Festival of Races Half Marathon yet again: http://www.worldwidefestivalofraces.com
I am leaving the Solomon Islands mid-April and intend to be back in Africa somewhere by the beginning of August at the latest. I’m not sure what is next yet, though. So, I don’t know where I’ll be running the Worldwide Half, but wonderfully, I don’t need to know that now!