Thursday, October 29, 2009
Back to reality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After five weeks in Asia, it`s back to reality and a training program. Even though I was on holiday, I managed to keep running five to six days a week, 45 minutes to 90 minutes at a time. Just steady running, no fast stuff. (Like I could run fast anyway!)
It was a great time, and very interesting running. Although my balance was forced to improve thanks to the rough seas, I still prefer running on land. Here's the skivvy:
Japanese like to run with very minimal arm swing; their arms hang down by their hips and pretty much stay there. (I run with massive and erratic arm swing. Very odd looking, which you will agree with if you have seen me run!) I did see many runners and most were friendly. It was difficult to run, bow, and say konnichiwa all at the same time. I know this level of friendliness, or any friendliness at all, is very different for some Canadian runners I know to comprehend. You know the ones, they never say hello and purposely try to look mean (but look constipated instead). You know who you are; Metamucil may offer some relief.
My run in Naha, Okinawa was exceptionally interesting. The temperature was around 28c, but the humidity was off the scale! At the halfway point, the monsoon started. Then, I got lost. My last minute sprint to the ship earned me dirty looks...again. I enjoyed running in the rain though, it was beautifully warm. (See the picture of me below. I am drenched; it took my shoes two days to dry!)
It was nice.
What an entirely different experience. The pollution is beyond imagination (see the photo above). It smelled as bad as it looks! My goal was to run in every city we visited, so away I went.
The problems run deeper than pollution. The sidewalks, if they exist at all, are rough. Mostly it`s running on the side of the road or broken concrete. This is best case scenario. In Beijing, or especially Shanghai, the sheer amount of people, bikes, scooters, and cars make running almost impossible. I am amazed I survived. Seriously.
Some highlights: Climbing the Great Wall. That was something. The grade is steeper than I expected and is freakin' high up. (See photo above.) I also ran the Olympic marathon course in Beijing. Again, see photo. Right down the blue line for at least three metres. "He`s pulling away from the pack. Can he do it?" ....Nah, I had a beer instead. Tsingtao - Mao`s favorite!
Anyway, I had a run today with a friend who is an "elite" athlete. It was the first time I've run with someone else in five weeks. I prefer running alone.....