Dvorák quartet Op.96 ‘The American’ Largo is what I’m listening to this spring-like morning, coming home from my workout, tightroping the thin strip of grass between sidewalk and road. High-stepping to avoid tree roots exposed by years of subtropical winters. Icing the mind, is how I like to think of it, this music. This process. A classical movement in Largo tempo, complex and calming, bringing the mind back down after a hard run the way you would bring the legs back down by taking an ice bath. The way the ER nurse would case you in ice if you ran a sudden fever. Shooting straight along a mile stretch home, feeling good, resisting the desire to speed up. The first of the Cherry blossoms starting to appear. No lyrics to distract me. To anchor me. How a certain song will start you thinking about a woman. No lyrics leading me down a path, and so untethered alongside this Dvorák movement I’m thinking about Kenya. The vaccines I’ll have to get, how quickly things will need to fall in place if I am going to be there by March 15 for the race. Eldoret. Mosoriot. Now this late morning sun, and in a few hours a consultation with a travel advisor and a doctor, and in less than two weeks flying into Nairobi. Possibly. These are childhood dreams. Walls of bedrooms mosaics of World and Olympic champions. Dreams so far away they’re gossamer, disappearing even as you revisit them. They’ve named running shoes after the Rift Valley. Nike Eldoret, Nike Rift. I've named a pair. My Kipsang shoes, the same ones he wore when he set the marathon world record. Wilson Kipsang from the Keiyo district, Rift Valley, Kenya. Do you think I haven’t seen Asbel Kiprop banded to a tree running through sets of drills during a deluge, the water teeming down so fast and heavy the camera can barely pick up his outline, then emerging in the summer ready to threaten a world record? Violins, viola, cello. Do you think I haven’t heard the promises of a Kenyan sweep, and then watched them deliver, in Frankfurt, Delhi, New York? In Tokyo, Warsaw, San Vittore Olona. One, two, three. You want to eat their foods, be razed by their workouts, so tired in the afternoons your naps are narcoleptic, before your third run of the day. Dreams so long ago. Transformed into something new, something brighter and more hopeful. Runners stay runners, but also become landscapes, ideas. They merge with one's soul.