Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Aug 5-13 : Striding through Shanghai

The last stage in the month-long global whilwind... Argentina, Philly, Atlanta, Greenville, and finally, Shanghai.

Left GVL on Sunday at 6am, arrived in Shanghai on Monday at 3pm, local time.  The longest leg of the flight was 15 hours.  Watch a couple movies, sleep your way through the rest a much as you can, and drink whenever you get a chance to avoid compromising your immune system.

Rode the Maglev from the airport into the city.  It goes a pedestrian 301kph during business hours, instead of the 431kph it hits at other times.

(Maglev "tracks"... no real tracks... just looks like a flat wood surface with 2 narrow gutters)

Monday evening, I did a bit of exploring on the Bund, the river bank where many colonial powers set up their official buildings back in the day.  Looking across the river, you can see many modern skyscrapers.  I stuck around that area until nighttime, which gave a different perspective, even more stunning.

I intentionally sought out opportunities to drink juice and eat produce, to stay healthy through all of the travel.

That night, I hit the well-stocked gym for 5.6 mi in 48:11, 8:36 average.  The run went well despite doing it after hours of walking on tired legs.  Watched the Olympics during the run, in Chinese, of course.

I thought I'd be able to adjust to the 12 hour time difference pretty easily, since I tend to sleep 4-6 hours per night (wish I could do more; it would certainly help my running and make me feel less tired) and my sleep schedule is so messed up.  But... I didn't, and 4pm-7pm was always rough.  On two nights, I went straight into a nap after work and just hit a Seven Eleven at like 11pm to eat snacks for dinner.

Breakfast and lunch buffets at the hotel were good, though, with many options to suit Western and Eastern tastes of its diverse clientele.  I always went for a variety of veggies with some lean protein and a bit of fruit.

(big breakfast)

What was awesome about being in China during the Olympics was that they had multiple channels with coverage of the games like 24/7.  I'd usuall wake up at 2am after managing only a couple hours of sleep, and Olympics were there to keep me company through the night.  I only have antenna TV at home, and NBC PrimeTime coverage limits you to intermittent coverage of certain popular sports, so the all-you-can-eat buffet of Olympics was a nice change. 

Wednesday, got in another 5 mi.  1K warmup in 5:39, 2 x [1.6K @ 14kph (6:52... about a mile), 0.4K @ 11mph (2:08)], 3K cooldown.  Total time 39:02, ave pace 7:48.

Friday, another 5 mi.  This time, easy, in 46:02, 9:12 pace.

The flight was $1000 cheaper if I stayed the weekend, so I did.  Took advantage of the opportunity to explore.

(Old teahouse)
(Old city shopping)


(Zhu Jia Jiao - one of the 7-or-so "Venices" of the Shanghai area)

(Got my name carved in a seal)

This was week 2 of marathon training, so I still had to get in a 12 miler.  On Monday, before checking out, I hit the gym at 7am to get in the miles. I alternated 2K at 1 degree, 2K at 3 degrees, to vary the use of muscles for the long run.  I also varied the pace to whatever was comfortable.  I eased up on the pace during the 3 degree portions.  I was so proud of myself for fitting it all in this week, despite the heavy jet lag and social and work obligations.  The gym felt like a sauna, and I was soaked with sweat afterwards, even after drinking 2 bottles of water during the run.  12.1 in 1:53:01, 9:20 ave.

Shanhai in general was super hot and humid, making GVL feel cool in comparison.  Just step outside for a minute, and you start sweating, even though it's usually cloudy.  Don't know if it's a cloud of smog.  Makes me thankful for the clean air in the States. 

Made it through the trip back.  Touchdown in Newark... you can see Manhattan in the background. 

Now, back home for the near future. 

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