running with the cows

muddy runRunning in rural Mexico is not always easy. I usually run through a pasture, next to a seasonal river, through a barely visible trail, over narrow path covered with rocks to a road that leads to a small colony/village.

After a rain, the pasture trail is thick dark black mud mixed with fresh manure. But running through a field dotted with prickly pear cactus and six foot tall agave plants beats running on the treadmill.  The hills surrounding the pasture are covered with scrub brush, cacti, and corn fields.  The smell of fresh grass mixes with the calls of the birds. Today, i ran into the cow herd, who merely turned to observe as I trotted past.  Even the largest of them, after a gentle snort of disbelief, returned to grazing.  Then, on the road, a pack of dogs ran past me, chasing something far down the road.  In the distance, I could hear cattle moaning and more dogs barking.  Suddenly, two local runners past me, waving.

It was the first time that I have seen anyone else running on the road. They smiled and waved, and laughed. I no longer felt alone as a runner out here.

The most challenging part was the mud, which is so thick that I came back splattered like a Pollock painting.

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