Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Running and Racing in Kenya and Tanzania

Last week I got back from spending two of the greatest and most rewarding weeks ever in Kenya. I was on a mission trip to work in the Mathare Valley slum of Nairobi helping out in the schools and with teachers. Despite the incredible poverty, I found the children to be happy and friendly and it was a privilege to be part of this trip. You can read more about the trip here: although there is plenty more to report and on that blog.

Who would have thought that I would ever be in Kenya and then who would have thought that when I was in Kenya that I could not run? Well, that was the case as I have not run a step since around March due to a torn labrum in my left hip.

Fortunately, I asked the doctor before leaving if there was anything I could take to relieve the pain I was feeling on my left side. I was told it is nerve pain from something being pinched due to the hip. I took a drug that left me basically pain-free for the first time in many years. My hip was not a worry at all and I was able to focus all my energies on the work that I was doing.

Anyhow, I could not resist the urge to run just a little bit. So while on safari, we got out of our vans at a marker seperatating Tanzania from Kenya and I did a short two country run. Then I invited some teammates to join me again for a race between the two countries. It was a blast. Never mind the 40+ pounds I have put on since not being able to run, it was good to move again.

To top off that day, I did some dancing and jumping with some Massai Warriors. I am suprised I got off the ground.

I got to talk Kenyan runners with many of the students I worked with and Ethiopean runners with a host at an Ethiopean restaurant, but I saw very very few Kenyans running. School children were all walking. I guess the runners are up in the mountain of Kenya.

Now the good news. My surgery for the torn labrum has been moved ahead to this coming Monday. If all goes well and after a long recovery, I may be back on the road to running by the end of the year!

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