A Year In China, IV

Friends: I apologize for the formatting mess-up in this post. Tuesday, 10/08: 71 degrees, cloudy. Great conditions. Air somewhat improved, but still 120's right now. Runable, but hoping for more improvement. Went out to run a few, but seems there was an endless recess period today. Kids from all grades, all directions, were flying around and milling about everywhere. I waited outside a while by the back canal--nice, peaceful, wooded spot, but eventually walked back in.

Heading out immediately after my 4th period Global Scholars class to get ina quick workout before the teacher's bus departs at 16:28.

Monday, 10/07: Dang it. 38 AQI in early morning. 50 when I left the apartment about 06:52. By afternoon, it was 140’s. By evening, 150+. I still went to

 InterSport. We still had 5 of us at the training session. But after one 800m interval with mask on, I opted to delay my marathon Yassos workout until ttomorrow, or Wednesday. I really wanted to do it, but decided to run a few easy miles instead. Great temperature. I just hate when the air here goes bad.

Sunday, 10/06: Ideal weather–about 78 for high, 50% humidity–and air–38

AQI dropping to 35--Guilin, such a wonderful woman as she is, accompanied me by bike as I ran a relaxed half marathon along the East Bund. I had to do it.

And so glad I got in the mileage. After all, Saturday was a full recovery day, then Monday the air went bad...worst we've had since summer break.

We ate at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet afterwards. Needless to say,far different than American counterparts. This one has at least six different kinds of tofu, several types of fried rice, and plenty of fruits, vegetables and is still far less expensive than even the very cheap American buffets. About $7 USD for two people.

Saturday, 10/05: Pretty much the first thing that happens upon exiting

Immigration and re-entering the People's Republic of China? A fairly attractive, tall Chinese woman walks by my girlfriend and I, audibly passing gas. Another group of Chinese folks nearby laughs, seemingly at the clearly exposed sound.

We are home.

Wednesday, 10/09: Glory to G--d. Morning began with 170 AQI . Terrible. By 13:00 or so, it was in the 50's. Amazing change. Usually air doesn't improve so dramatically unless there are huge gusts of wind, which there were not. I HAD to capitalize so I bothered Leigh in his office yet again--my new habit this year--and changed into running gear. I put in 14k before my Running ECA kids arrived at the track. I ran through two shorter PE periods occurring among various school divisions and grades, then into my own running class.We warmed up, did some stretching and drills, then 6 x stride outs together. Finally, 20+   more minutes of free running. I ended up with about 20km. Most ever in one day on our school track. About 67 laps.

Then I headed to the gym and met with the trainer for an hour of various

planks (9+ sets total), balancing acts and walking lunges.

Began the morning frustrated by bad air quality. As it turns out, it was a

 Great day of training.

Thursday, 10/10:  10 x 800m Yassos

So nice to get it done in school and not have to stay after.

Beautiful day, but very warm during workout. About 85. Solid training.

Friday, 10/11: Had to make a huge money transfer to American bank account

due to my tenant in Bronx not paying rent. I'm not going to dwell on him. Will continue to compartmentalize.

Always an interesting experience to have bank employees with hammer & sickle pins on lapel assisting me in money transfer to an adversary--the United States.

Employees were very helpful. But it took twice as long as usual, in part because I had to go to a different branch since our neighborhood branch is being renovated.

I was the last customer. Metal security gates were down mid-way into the 90 minutes or so I spent in the chair there. By the time I left, even the security guard had already changed into their street clothing, just waiting for my transfer ordeal to be completed.

Went to Carrefour afterwards, then to Beer Plus for vegan pizza. Best cashew parm anywhere.

Saturday, 10/12: Relaxed day. Tried on my new Nike ZoomFly’s. Felt fast.

Ready for a solid workout tomorrow.

Sunday, 10/13: Not Gonna Eat Chocolate Anymore–sleeve of woman’s jacket

Always fascinated by Chinese clothing choices.

Gorgeous day, albeit very warm, on the East Bund. Journey to the East half marathon and 10k. Got up to 81 degrees today, around 78-80 during the race; more of a marathon pacing workout. However, if I'd been able to hang with Vincent & Pedro on the second loop of the course, I would have. We all worked together in first loop--4:05 pace for 10.6 km--but in second loop, I stayed ahead of my projected marathon pace (4:08), while they dipped down into 3:50's. I averaged 4:07 for second loop.

Strong run overall. Great workout. Guilin surprised me on bike as I ran back to InterSport. She came loaded with Pocari Sweat sports drinks and a tub of pomelo and pear fruits. I changed my shoes at store and ate fruit and refueled. My girl then accompanied me as I completed another 10.2km.

Monday, 10/14: Still stunned by Kipchoge’s run. I showed a video segment of

 his finish to two of my classes today. Spent some time discussing how fast his pace was. Focused on Kipchoge's philosophy of No Limits.

Eliud is a terrific exemplar for coaching-teaching.

Tuesday, 10/15: How can I be this relaxed while working as a middle school teacher?

Well, blue skies, 33 AQI (Air Quality Index), no first period today, a great breakfast made by a colleague's wife--straight to us Breakfast Club cult devotees--my new Sri Lankan lemon-lime black tea and having time enough to read some of The Washington Post & The New York Times...all of this will brighten my day.

I get to run this afternoon. Will teach 2 x 80 minute periods--lunch in between--then I have 2 full hours free. Running Time!

Wednesday, 10/16: Best School Day EVER!

So quiet, I'm the only teacher or student in the middle school. I think the secretary is upstairs. Maybe one other teacher in G building, a good distance away. Now I'm thanking my lucky stars for having this 5th grade PE class one day a week for 37 minutes.

Because of this, I was excluded from the field trips today--each grade in a different location. Field trips can be fun and I like visiting new places, but I've been to Tianping in Suzhou where sixth grade is today. And, most importantly at this stage in my marathon training, I really need the time for today's track workout.

Perfect timing

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