For the past weeks I have been training quite a lot for the Shanghai Marathon. Not easy to fit the training schedule into my busy work schedule, but I have managed with early morning and late-night runs. I feel much better now that I am back in good shape, and feel I can do a lot more work in the same time. And while running I always have many new ideas.
The race will take place on November 26, so still 5 weeks to practice. One of the biggest drawbacks of living in a city like Shanghai is that it is almost impossible to run outside. Therefore I mainly run on the treadmill in the gym. Boring, but a good way to practice running at a certain speed.
But because you cannot only train on a treadmill for an outside marathon, I decided to start running twice a week outdoor. Last Thursday was my first attempt, and it was not a huge success. The running itself went well, I just ran a relatively short distance (8 km) to get used to running on paved roads. But the moment I hit the streets I realized that it was not without danger. Cars do not expect runners, so you have to be constantly alert that they do not hit you. Bike riders are very surprised when you pass them (not that I run so fast, but bike riders normally ride very slow), and sometimes almost cause accidents because of that. But the worst is the people looking and pointing at you like a monkey in the zoo. I heard people scream ‘laowai’ at least 10 times during my 40 minute run! I ran to the Shanghai Stadium, and did some laps around the building, but even there it is busy. Cars trying to find a short cut from traffic jams, and a bus station and supermarket in the stadium do not help to create a safe running environment.
This weekend I returned to the treadmill again for my longer runs (Saturday a slow 16 km in 1 h 30 min, and today a faster 19 km in 1 h 30 min.), that’s a lot safer!
(BTW, picture was taken earlier this year on Koh Samui. For me, running on a quiet beach early in the morning is among the nicest things in the world. Too bad Shanghai has no beaches – yet)