A Year in China, III

9/15: That was eerily rational. Chinese folks, at least 4 at once, stood fast as several of us exited the train at South Shaanxi. Wow.

9/16: Tired but less humidity, breezy, good air. I’m heading to InterSport.

4 classes today but felt like 2. 3 were 80 minute periods. But these sixth graders are great.

Looking forward to a nice slow run alongside Huang Pu Jiang river.


Was tired but so glad I went. Rob and I had an easy 10k along with our crew. Relaxed in less humidity. Breeze coming over the river. There was nowhere better to be.

9/17: The low humidity and breeze carried over into today. I ran a nice relaxed 6 miles on school track in afternoon.

9/18: Andy at the gym put me to the grindstone again. Focused on arms and back. I definitely think this work will pay off.

9/19: It would’ve truly been a crime to take bus home yesterday. Like today, the 20th, and day before, weather and air are ideal. Though Leigh and I ran a hard track workout, I proceeded to run 17.77k home afterwards. I HAD to do it.

9/20: Cyst be damned! Am I the only person in world history to get a cyst due to touching a poisonous plant? That’s my hypothesis.

Darn that rash from running in Wuxi in May. Just after rash disappeared I got water over left knee. Ultrasound today showed a cyst filled with fluid. Never changed in size. I kept thinking it would go away. Now that I know that probably won’t happen, I also know I’ve trained 4 months through it. Averaging 105km a week for past 8 consecutive weeks , for example.

Doc says a month or more off after fluid drainage. We know that ain’t happening. I’m only 7 months back from 3 months off for fractured foot. Even after my November marathon, I dread the thought of losing fitness. I want to build up even stronger for a March marathon.

What would you do??

I live in ASIA! It just struck me again as I walked to the clinic, 40% humidity breeze cooling us. Like anywhere, you get into a routine many days and sometimes forget to reflect on the “little” things. Listening to “Dissident,” I feel like I’m on the little yellow bus with my Seneca teammates heading to a cross country meet.

But, only, now I walk down 延安西路 and replay Chinese in my head. My cup overflows…

9/21: My legs have a growing power within.

Relaxed, confident, I glide along.

Light rain, wind, no sun–ideal training conditions. Great air quality.

Lily ponds, the wooden tunnel, The Forest. The East Bund is a truly special place.

I was born to run here.

9/22: Nice trek over to New Town Central Park in the rain, then to City Shop. Found some really good “Cheezie” vegan tortilla chips that Guilin & I ate later with salsa. Nice snack.

She made her terrifically delicious fruit juice–grape, pear–and ice cream–orange/apple juice frozen–and we watched “The Italian Job” before heading out to Maruyama vegan Japanese restaurant.

Some of the best fried rice anywhere.


43% humidity. The kids were out running. Or not. Still wondering why some joined Competitive Running ECA. Overall, a good group to work with. But why are they walking so much?

Heading out to East Bund tonight. Some of our InterSport regulars won’t be there but we’ll have a core group present. Should get in a solid hour of training. Then a full recovery day tomorrow; my first in over two weeks.

That man OD’d. Quintessentially, the worst China has to offer. The one who gives some Chinese a bad name in some far off lands.

Rushing up from back of Family Mart, small box with water filter or something in hand. His arm brushes past my left shoulder as he barges to front of the line.

Looked like a line to me. I thought I was second in line. Perhaps the woman in front of me was conducting other biz. Either way, this 60-something thought he owned the joint and cut me off.

Stunned, I felt I’d been violated. Somehow.

Thoughts of possible reactions ran through my head. I said nothing. Did nothing but wait patiently.

In a foreign land, should I say something??

Really not that serious. But it tells me some definite things about this guy:


Meat eater

Thankfully, this is the worst I’ve seen in two years.

9/24: Happy Birthday, Papa!

Love You

9/25: Well, it only took me about 25 months of living in China before I cooked a meal for myself.

9/26: Missed the late bus. It left early. Dang it. I’m in a taxi now. Leigh and I ran a tough workout on tired legs: 1200m at 5k pace/effort-pushing into a 300m at VO2 Max effort-pushing into a 100m sprint/whatever is left. 3 repeats.

Solid work.

Air improving as day goes on. Sunset soon. Low humidity. Traffic on the G50, but no worries. Life is blessed.

9/27: It’s Friday, but really like Wednesday. With National Holiday quickly approaching, we must work through the weekend. Yes, Sunday School, too.

It’s all good, though. Small price to pay for my permanent vacation. Nice to still be a teacher AND simultaneously able to write that with confidence.

9/28, Saturday: Squeezed in my run however I could. Not much, only about 7.7km, but ran with Running ECA kids last period. They’re a good group. Only one 8th grader–who left today for annual exchange with our sister school in Hawaii–and two 7th grade girls. Rest are 6th graders. Overall, I find this group a bit easier to work with than my Wednesday crew.

Maybe it’s because they’re more impressionable; or, perhaps, just more invested in running. Not sure yet.

9/29, Sunday: “I’m on the highway to Hell!”

Marcus just sang this out in the midst of our Kahoot game on Southeast Asia geography.

“Marcus, are you listening to AC/DC?!” I inquired.


“Put away your headphones.”

Very interesting. A sixth grade boy in China listening to AC/DC in the midst of a geography lesson.

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