I have realized that most of my weeks in China are the same. A website gets censored. I run a race, it goes poorly. I wear a cool shirt. I get myself into some sort of pickle due to lack of communication. Somebody says something hilarious to me that doesn’t really make any sense. I like and/or complain about the weather. I cook with my students. I discover something new I love about China. I get confused. I come to some sort of running revelation…
Sooo let’s break it down, bullet time! Can’t touch this… dumdedenda… (my lack of rhythm and musical talent just came across through my blog, wow).
- Censorship– BBC AND CNN!! She’s a big one this week folks. I think it’s due to Wikileaks and/or the mixed messages about China and North Korea’s relationship and/or the protesters due to Lui Xiaobo’s Nobel Prize. There are too many things they don’t want their people reading about. I have never been more thankful for little ol’ CBC.
- Race– Shanghai Half Marathon.
I am never satisfied after a race. I always think that I could have run harder, faster, took off more time, etc. I think that most runners feel this way, that’s why we keep racing. That being said, this race was absolutely my worst race of the year and I am far from satisfied.
I want to blame it on the fact that there were 22,000 people with no staggered start. That I was standing behind Yao Ming at the beginning and could not move. That we we had to run through a tunnel for almost 2km and it felt like a sauna. That the first 1.5km I was moving at a shuffle. That there were really long lines at H&M the day before so my legs were tired…
BUT everyone else had to deal with this too. (Well, maybe not the H&M lines…) The reason it went so poorly was that I just ran a really stupid race. I was so anxious about the start, and losing time that when I finally started running, I was going faster than my 10km pace. I figured even when I started to slow down, I would still be going at a decent clip that it would all work out.
I can’t even pinpoint when things went downhill. One minute I am racing, the next I am out for a Sunday jog… with 20 000 other people. And that was it really.
I really tried to focus on the fact that I was in Shanghai. City of Millions (Billions?!) Running through closed off streets. Surrounded by culture and skyscrapers.
People’s square usually looks like this:
It was cool to see it look like this on race day:
- Cool Shirt- Beer Mile. Thanks Alan 🙂
- Pickle- OH EM GEEEE. I spent 15 dollars on this cinnamon!!! I don’t even know what to do with sticks of cinnamon?! Must get better at dividing by 6 and/or start reading the price…
- Quote– I text I received from a Chinese friend… “I got drunk like a shit last night.” K.
- Cooking– How to Make Dumplings
- Step 1:
My cooking skills are improving immensely.
- Weather– There isn’t any insulation or central heating in the buildings here so it’s so cold during the morning and evening BUT during the day it has been beautiful… and no smog this weekend. A+ Oh- now it’s raining and it’s supposed to rain all week. D-
- Fav New Chinese Thing- I have discovered the secret to Chinese women and their beautiful hair. They don’t wash it themselves! They go to salons and have it washed and dried once or twice a week. In the winter my friends never wash their own hair. I’ll take a head massage and wash for 3 dollars, thankyouverymuch. The only problem is as soon as I work-out my hair is ruined. I need to find out how to get the non-sweating Asian gene.
- Confusion– I really don’t get this firework thing. It’s like every time someone turns a page in a book, a firework goes off for good luck. Why would you want these fireworks in front of you on your wedding day? The noise, the smoke, the whole you might burn your dress if you get to close factor. I don’t see the appeal.
- Running Revelation– Once I moved here and saw the Chinese race schedule, I was so excited to meet the China running community that I signed up for as many races as I could. It’s been a great way to see the country and meet new people and I have enjoyed them all but I have realized 2 things:
- 1- I didn’t make any training plans or set any real goals for improvement. I have just been racing to race. I am going to make a training plan for my next race.
- 2- I like going fast. I think 10km is my best distance and I am going to start focusing on that and going under 41 officially. This weekend I am running a 9km or a 6km as part of the Chinese Club Championship and I am puuummped. Totally getting my hair blown out so I am prepared for the team photographer.