Costa Rica, March 16, 2006
Around the world and back again too
Its dawn in San Jose, Costa Rica and I am up and out. I am in my running shoes, my GPS is warming up and I'm headed out for the best in business-related travel - early morning runs.
More than in Washington, DC, where I never seem to have the time, when I travel for work, I have long, relaxing morning runs. Dakar, Beirut, San Francisco, San Jose, each city has its own distinct feel at dawn.
This dawn it's San Jose, a city just starting to awake to a tropical day. Cool, breezy, with a definite Central American feel, I'm enjoying my run. I'm getting into the 1,300 meter elevation and corresponding harder work on my lungs. I'm passing folks headed to work and those who live on the street. I'm watching wild dogs watch me as I pass.
It's a great run until I get deep into downtown. There, with buses on every corner idling or driving, the diesel fumes start to tickle my throat, and not in a good way. The altitude + fumes start to hurt so I make may way to La Sabana. Once San Jose's airport, it is now a giant park on the east side of town, a testament to Costa Rica's progressive environmental policies.
Here I pass random art and beautiful vistas, the mountains that surround San Jose frame every view with peaks in the clouds. Here I run so far and the park is so large that I get lost. Disorientated, I'm saved by my handy GPS, which while directing me home shows I put in 7.5 kilometers this morning.
Seven wonderful, relaxing, morning run work trip kilometers.