I arrive at the track and field track and am already sweating. The bicycle ride from home is just 10 minutes. The air seems cool at the sunset but is just an impression. As soon as you stop moving the sweat starts. I jump down. Pay the 10 Pesos offer at the entrance. Lock the bike. Fix my iPod Shuffle. Earplugs. Walk to the loop. For the first time in my life I find myself going jogging on areal 400m track and field loop in this small stadium in Dumaguete. And I am not alone. The opening times for this track to the public are 04:30am to 09:00am and from 04:00pm to 07:00pm. I did not tired yet the 4:30 in the morning and I am not sure I ever will. But I like to arrive here in the late afternoon before the quick sunset of the tropics sets in. The has a warmer tone but the sun is not so hot anymore. People come here stretch, to walk, jog, and practice. All walk anticlockwise with the slower on the outer lanes and the runner in the inner lanes. The impression is that people seem to talk at a lower tone or in whispers when walking next to each other. But it is just an impression. the place is quite open, there are no high building around the stadium. The breeze at times form the sea and at times form the nearby mountains carries the words away.
I stretch a little bit the legs which are already quite warm for the bicycle ride. Then stand up and start to walk with the flow. Select ‘Message in a Bottle’ and start to run at an easy pace in lane 5. I have not been running for some time. First I have been in Ha Noi alone while Katja was already here in the Philippines. The moving here. Looking for a house. The school. The work. A lot going on the last couple of months.
I reach the second turn and feel good. The knees are doing fine and Sting is singing in alive version of So Lonely. Somebody in lane 2 is doing 200m series. The recovers for 200m then again a sprint for 200m. I am tempted but better to leave it for in a month or so, depending how I can keep up with running between the trips for the work. The sun is setting behind the mountains its rays are spreading all over the blue sky. How strange to be here. Running on this track in a town that 6 months ago we never heard of. In the last few days I have felt more a sense of routine and normality. The fact that we now get our Guardian Weekly has of course helped. We are connected again!
Keep up my pace. Will do 14 loops today. Listening music. Breathing clean air. With the company of unknown fellow runners. The night will come quickly but for the time being we are ok. It is 90% humidity, 35C, and scattered clouds which are turning form white to orange hide the top of the vulcano which towers over the mountain range behind Dumaguete.