Sunday, February 07, 2010

Lac de ma Vallee

Went running this morning at Lac de ma Vallee which is about an hour from where I am staying in Kinshasa. I'm here for some meetings and as a place to run it sucks big time. We are under very strict security measures which I personally think are absurd -- we are not allowed to walk, we can only be driven around in cars. The only exception is the 2.5km loop around the British Embassy near the river. So during the week, I go over there very early in the morning to do several loops.

But today was Sunday and I needed to run 9 miles, so I went out to Lac de ma Vallee, where the loop is 4km (2.4 mi) which is a bit better. Besides it's beautiful there. Very much like a New England x-country course in August (with humidity and bugs to match!). I did four loops, which ended up being 9.5 miles, which was good. It was sunny by the time I got there, but it must have rained recently because it was less humid than it was last week when I went there.

I have a coach now which is good. She's building me back up slowly now and so far my energy is really good. I keep wanting to run more -- farther, more days of the week -- so that is good. I did a 10-day meditation retreat in December and had a nasty, nasty cold right before that, so I went 15 days without a run, which I think may have been my longest layoff since 2004.

I've been traveling a lot. The retreat was in Nairobi, then I went to Benin with a friend, which was great (warm, flat and mostly dirt/sand roads). Then two days in Bukavu and I went to Kindu which is in the interior of Congo, directly west of Bukavu on the Congo river. In Kindu, I actually ran a couple of times with a friend, Rob, which is something I rarely ever do. Had a good 11 mi run out there which was quite amusing to several villages I passed through. I'm sure I was THE topic of conversation all Sunday afternoon.

Was back in Bukavu one day, which was long enough to fall while running and get some nice road rash on my leg, before coming here to Kinshasa. Tuesday (hopefully -- it's a MONUC flight, so never sure) I head back to Bukavu for a couple of weeks before I'll head to Kindu again for a conference.

I'll try to post some photos as I go around and write more about my runs.

One thing about all this travel is that I'm in different climates and terrains all the time. Here in Kinshasa, it's flat and paved and my pace is faster than it has been in a year or more. Bukavu is hilly, rocky and like running on rough trails all the time. Kindu is pretty flat with a couple of gentle hills and sandy enough soil that one can generally run in the rain okay (something which can be quite treacherous in Bukavu).

I'm hoping to run a marathon in late June or early July, but first I have to figure out where I'm going to be then. Maybe the Seattle Rock n Roll marathon, though that conflicts with Pride weekend. In April, I'm doing a running holiday in Scotland through Running the Highlands. I'm really looking forward to that. I've never been to Scotland and it seems like the perfect way to see the place!

1 comment:

Linda said...

Hey really nice to read your blog.

I imagine, at least its not boring with all the changes of terrain.

Thanks for posting.