About time for another challenge. This pic is from Shanghai's half marathon back in 2006.
I have a hate/love relationship with running. Some days I almost feel like crying when I am putting on my sneakers and heading out for a run, while other days I cannot wait to get out there. It's kind of strange. I have been running for some years now (except for a 9 month break due to a broken and slowly healed left foot, A black spot on my otherwise quite clean record). There was a time when I wanted to push myself and be a really fast runner. Yeah, for a while I was even considering going on a diet to get lighter and run faster... (gosh!) But the thought of restricting what I eat (read: what I love! I am a total food junkie, especially here in China) was just so appalling that I gave up those thoughts about 1 hour after I starting thinking about it. Nah, screw being lighter! Screw being faster. I run because I enjoy it, and especially if I can keep a relatively comfortable pace (at least so comfortable that I am not out of breath when I am done), somewhere around 10/10.5/11km/hour. Obviously, the longer the run, the slower the pace.
Yesterday was one of those I-love-running-days and I did a good 9 mile on the treadmill (the sky was too sad looking for me to run outside. Big downside with running in China: running outside is not that fun; I hate running when the air is bad, and all that traffic that you have to run next do doesn't make matters any better) and it felt really good. So when I came home I started thinking that maybe it's about time I sign up for a half marathon this year (and no pathetic mini marathon like last year). Not to break any speed record or anything (my fastest half marathon is 1:50, my slowest is... 2:05), but more just to.. do it! I'd like to run something else than the most obvious races this year (Beijing marathon, Shanghai marathon) so I was thinking... maybe Yangzhou half marathon could be something? According to this Suzhou blogger it's on April 26 (although how hot will it be by then? I have a goldfish memory so I don't really remember how hot it was at the end of April last year. I cannot stand running when it is all humid and stuff), and the location seems to be quite good.. not too hard to get to from Suzhou (I have to look up what train I could catch there).
Has anyone run this race? How's the course? Flat/hilly? Is it a popular race? What about scenery -anything nice to look at while running? The Yangzhou Half Marathon homepage is kind of confusing (and their online sign up link doesn't seem to work), at least the English version, so I am going to give the Chinese version a throughout look later on today. But yeah, I have to say that the thought of getting another half marathon under my belt is kind of appealing. (Also, running races in China is kind of interesting. Fellow runners turn up wearing everything from plastic bags on their heads to jeans, skirts and sandals. It's kind of wacky! And then there are all the 'senior runners' that have their last smoke on the starting line...) Not to mention what a great excuse a race is for going on a little wknd trip and seeing something new!