NBO 10k of unexpected grace

why yes, of course i would love to run a 10k at 530 in the morning at a mile high altitude and minimal training and nominal jet lag!

my brain, after basically half a mile “i hate you.” mile 1 “did i mention i hate you?” mile 3 “WE’RE DYING!” mile 5 “i’m pretty sure we’ve died.” mile 6 “hey that was pretty great, lets do it again!”
me: “seriously? such a drama queen.”

there are hills in nairobi, for those of you keeping track at home.

i woke up at around 330 nervous and ready to go–and tried to go back to sleep,mostly tossing and turning and trying to force daydreams until my 520 alarm. this was…mildly successful. if nothing else it produced an interesting dream involving the ethiopian restaurant we went to yesterday, jomo kenyatta, john wesley and sylvia plath. wild. all i remember is that they all joined us for dinner and we had the most interesting conversation. sylvia plath was remarkably funny and the men sort of sulked and stared at each other. colonialism?

the sky was stunning when we left the house–the stars so vivid and bright–
the air was cool and fresh

i wish i could stay the sunrise was really gorgeous–but i’ll be honest with you, it rose while i think we were climbing one of the zillion hills. so my experience of this sunrise was “it is dark” “it is now not dark” alas.

my running hosts were gracious and endured my times of needing to walk. (or when my brain said i needed to walk–frankly, my body was annoyed with the walking. deal with it body.) and marika reminded me that she began running all those years ago on the same c25k program I started and blogged the heck out of while preparing to leave karamoja. (so i really brought this on myself, i suppose!)

and every once in a while i would remember–“hey, dummy, you’re running in nairobi. look around and see the trees–smell the air and listen to the birds and the city waking up. this is something you’ll want to remember beyond sore calves.”

and so i tried–and yet again running taught me a lesson on mindfulness and community:
it is good to be able to practice mindfulness on ones own, but sometimes you just need other humans to be running along side you, or just in front of you, or just behind you to remember the goodness and joy and beauty that is life. especially when your brain is being dramatic.

so while i didn’t watch the sun rise from the horizon, i can say that it felt like a superbly magnificent one.


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