Today is a great day. For one, I successfully ran 10 miles yesterday, my first double digit run since November and I spent 4 of those glorious miles outside on the bike path. I won't lie. Running outside after five weeks on the treadmill felt more challenging than I expected. I was surprised how sensitive my body was to the minute changes in elevation and terrain. The best thing about running 10 miles yesterday, however, is how great I feel today. No aches. No pains. No soreness or weird tweaks.
But today is a great day for another reason. Today is my wonderful sister's 22nd birthday! I might be a little biased, but I have the best sister in the entire world and I could easily write 50 posts on how great she is. Last year Caitlin spent several months living in Senegal for school. She stayed with a host family, spoke almost exclusively French, and had the oppotunity to completely immerse herself in the culture (including getting up and close with all the mosquitos). One of the best things about running is all of the places it can take you. You could live in a city for 10 years and never really experience it until you hit the pavement. For me, running and travel go hand in hand. So, I'd like to share a poem that my sister wrote about running in Senegal (complete with some awesome pics). Happy birthday Caitlin!
Reflections on Running
Hello. This is where it begins
The home turf,
Where I learned to love to run.
Monuments streak past,
Photo-bombing a thousand tourists.
Ohayo Gozaimas. Black and deep,
The water undulating as a rolling cavern
Dips past me unaware.
Strange buildings loom over the river
As I run silently and alone through thick air.
A tranquil place,
Retaining the spirit of the old country
Amidst the electric modernism that surrounds.
Top o’ the morning! A field of curious cows
Turn their heads to follow us.
Sheep blocking the path,
We find unexpected undergrowth
Emanating from the country road.
We step swiftly over creeks, up mossy banks.
The air is pure, the smell of time slowed down.
Buenos dias. My muscles swiftly climb stone steps,
Rising above the historic city,
Exhaling memories of ancient festivals past.
Tienes frío? And me in my summer shorts—
Kalimera. Feet pound against cobblestone,
A veritable maze intended to ward off pirates,
Now feeding my momentum.
A different winding alley every other step,
Until I exit the puzzled old town,
Welcomed by the open sea.
Asalaam Maleikum. Pollution leeching into my lungs,
Grabbing hold for a future with better air quality.
Excusez-moi, I need to breathe with those.
Yet in another village, breath comes quickly
In the desert heat.
Mangrove forests to my left,
Orange African sun rising to my right.
Giant paw prints guiding my way across the sand.
— No greeting here, anti-social society.
A different home,
Where I learned to love distance,
Hard concrete pressing back against my feet.
My personal peace in the city
That never sleeps.