Lucky for me, this weekend was the Run Smiley virtual run. I don’t know if the Run Smiley Collective is at all hooked into the Running Podcasts community, which hosts the Worldwide Festival of Races (now for the 6th year I think), but the Run Smiley virtual run is the same idea—we all (hopefully all!) ran Smiley and barefoot this weekend. This was lucky for me because I had been feeling a bit under the weather this week and had not been out for a run since Tuesday. But I’d decided that I was going to get out and Run Smiley, even if I only got out to the road (about 200 meters)! But it seems that taking my Yin Chiao “at the first sign of a cold” pills all day Friday did the trick and I woke Saturday feeling just fine, though perhaps a bit lazy.
After listening to an episode of NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “This American Life” while drinking my coffee, I finally got dressed and got out at 10am. My pace was a bit slow (in order to keep my heartrate in the right range), which makes sense since I’ve been fighting something off, but this just gave me more time to look around and say hello to people and smile. There aren’t that many people around my area (honestly, there aren’t that many people in all of Namibia), but it being a Saturday morning, and a bit later than I usually go out, there were quite a few people scattered here and there who were heading to town or to fetch water. I had one boy run with me for a few meters, but though I invited him to continue, he went back to doing his chores. By the halfway point, I was quite aware of the heat of the pavement underfoot and decided to return on the sandy path off the road. For the most part that was a bit cooler, though there were a few spots that were quite hot. So, I’m going to have to get out earlier now that we are heading into summer. Everyone tells me that October is the hottest month. Then the rains start in November. I’m not sure what to expect then, since I arrived here at the end of the rainy season and it only rained a few times, and always in the afternoon.
Of course, the most difficult part, as ever, is having someone take my picture. I’m usually the one behind the camera! But my friend John, who takes care of the building where I am living, gladly obliged me. So here I am – shoeless, braless, and smiley (just imagine two dots for eyes above my head – see? My arms are a smile ;-) )