200 Words

5.42 Minutes per Kilometer – New Record

I will run the first kilometer in less than 5:20 minutes. I will then run the second kilometer in less than 5:40 minutes.

These two resolutions were ringing in my mind as I slipped on my purple running top and marched out of the house into the biting cold of a July morning. Bariki, our long-serving neighborhood shopkeeper was still asleep, as was evidenced by the darkness in his shop.

Four minutes later, I was at Kamuti’s butchery, the starting line of my morning run.

On your marks… I told myself… Set… Go! I sped off, eager to complete this first kilometer in less than 5:20 minutes. After the first few steps, I breathed a sigh relief. My hips, knees, thighs and ankles felt good so I gradually increased my speed.

I knew that this would be a good run when I ran effortlessly past a STOP sign where I normally pause to rest for a few seconds. When I finished this first kilometer, I was thrilled to learn that I had completed it in 5:10 minutes. Awesome! I fist-bumped the cold air.

I ended up finishing the second kilometer in 5:16 minutes and the third one in 5:15 minutes. Because I finished the fourth and fifth kilometers in 5:44 minutes and 5:23 minutes respectively, my total time for the first 5k was 26:48 minutes.

By my standards, this was a blistering pace that set the tone for the rest of the run. It took me 1 hour, 6 minutes and 8 seconds to complete the 11.57-kilometer run. This translated to an average pace of 5:42 minutes per kilometer –  a new record that beat the old one of 5:46 min/km by a good 4 seconds.

In the words of Bwak the Bantu Poet, ‘consistency delivers the sweet taste of victory.’

The Sheer Sweetness of Gatanga's Sour Porridge

The warm glow that am feeling in my spirit has nothing to do with chicken biryani, one of my favorite meals. Rather, the warm glow is stemming from a sip of sour porridge from Gatanga. Every sip seems to set ablaze a joyful campfire in my heart.

Two Days in a Row

The main gate to our court was locked. So I had to touch it in order to open it. In these Covid-19 days, one thinks twice before touching public places. But I had no option, so I cast a glance at the security guard cubicle and opened the gate. The guard was deep asleep.

The Small Room

A quick note to my future wife - if you furtively me catch me in the act of dashing to the washroom with my Samsung phone all the time, it is not because I want to send a quick message to an old flame. The only reason my phone escorts me to the small room all the the time is because I enjoy reading stuff as I sit there.

Go Back Home

Christine was at her kibanda in Kangemi, preparing to start cooking the chapatis that paid her rent. Her beefy fist pounded into the wheat flour dough. Then her strong fingers dug into the dough, twisted it, rolled it and squeezed it.