I really, really wish someone would come visit so they could go running with me. Every time I am either screaming (in my head) because I am about to get hit by a car or laughing (to myself) because it’s just so ridiculous.
Saturday was a case of the hilarious-ness. I met with a new running club near Century Park (home of my ‘longest’ run of the year). Turns out this is where all the cool kids run because I saw Andrea’s running twin!
I met this running group a couple weekends ago at the Shanghai Nike 10k and liked them because they do longer runs together on weekends.
I arrive. Only foreigner but luckily a lot of the runners speak English fairly well.
We begin to stretch. This was when I start to laugh, cry, be embarrassed.
#1- I am not a stretcher. I used to try and stretch after long runs at Running Room but pretty much just stood there with one knee bent, talking. Sometimes I will do a little dynamic stretching if I am racing and want to look like I know what I am doing. (Leg swings are HC.)
#2. I am not flexible. Like at all. I have never, ever been flexible. I always lost points in gym class for not being able to touch the wooden block. (Stupidest test ever.) Yesterday my male co-worker could do the splits way better than me. (Weird for him too.) Chinese people, I have noticed are generally really flexible. Must be there super fast metabolisms.
#3- I was wearing short shorts. For starters, I am taller than everyone and now I can’t get as low as them! Who knows what views I was dishing out. Nice first impression.
#4. I wouldn’t even call this stretching. It was more like fitness, boot camp. We were jumping, doing squats, running on the spot. My legs were so tired… and this was all before the run! Who are these people?!
#5. And then came the photographer. No idea why on a Saturday long run they hired a photographer, but they did. So we have to do the warm-up all over again so he can take pictures!! I am too weak for this.
#6. Now it’s time to pose. We line up holding hands and running on the spot. I need to find a picture of this. Imagine: Me in the middle of a line of Chinese runners, holding hands,big smiles, running on the spot, waving our hands in the air. We are the world. How do I get myself into these situations?
#7. Finally, the run begins. We all run single file? The long run turns out to be a 5km loop around the outer area of the park. At first, I thought it was pretty boring but it grew on me. I had only planned on running 20km because I am running a half this weekend but when you are only thinking in 5km increments it’s really easy to just do ‘1 more.’ Kind of like going around a giant track except you have to dodge scooters. I ended up running 30km in 5:10 which is a decent pace for me on a LR. However, the route was totally flat and I ate 5-6 slices of pizza the night before so I think the carbo loading helped. (Whenever I go to Shanghai I tend to go a little crazy on the food, my city doesn’t have any Western restaurants!)
#8. I think there is something wrong with the way I run, because I had some majah chafing issues.
#9. Even though we didn’t technically run together, it was nice to have the structure of a team work-out. They thought I was crazy for coming from a different city but I would definitely do it again. Except I will arrive late so I can miss the stretching.
#10. I’ll leave you with the only other photo I could find from our photo shoot. This is our leader…
…because whenever I think of running I think of people putting on and taking off their shirts.