this week I did this for me

Has it really been a week since I last updated?

Well, the outcome of last Saturday’s run and its misguided attempt at modifying the way I hit the ground (which in truth was kind of unnecessary as I am not a heel striker anyway), was devastating, crippling shin splints. I walked all over Gongguan that afternoon and by the end of the day could hardly hobble to the bus-stop. Google told me to RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) so I lay with my legs in the air and used a pair of tights to strap my shins whilst balancing bags of ice on ’em.

Sunday rolled around and it quickly became obvious I would not be running, as walking was still painful. I am not an athlete and missing a China Hash is not the end of the world… nonetheless, it was frustrating.

By Tuesday I felt recovered enough for a yoga class, which I very much enjoyed, and then on Wednesday I braved the rain for the Metro Hash. I ran with Rebecca, only the two of us were dependent on the very dim light of my torch (and also got lost a couple of times) and it ended up being more of a crawl through the muddy woods for the first half. We ran really comfortably for the road section though, and although RunKeeper didn't work properly, I think it took us an hour to walk/run the 5km. Not great but it was nice to be out in the dark and the rain and just get some fresh air.

Thursday's yoga class was quite tough, because the teacher likes to challenge us with all sorts of strange postures which may add variety but I also am terrified will damage my knees further. I was planning to go again on Friday but forgot my yoga mat… annoying.

And that brings us back to Saturday, and a really fun run which deserves its own post really! I decided to forget about running 5ks along the river, as I'm just not enjoying the experience. Instead I tried to find a way to the top of the mountain where I live… I thought I'd found a trail — and discovered the joys of running face first into a huge spider web — but it culminated in a shed, a goat, and 4 or 5 dogs running at me and barking their heads off. Luckily I am not scared of dogs (thank you, French farm dogs of my youth, for teaching me how to deal with Big Barking Dogs) and I simply stopped and greeted them with excited shrieks of "Hello doggies! hello! hello!" which confused them immensely. They ran around me a few more times then watched me leave.

Further on, I thought I might have a better chance running up another street, but then a policeman appeared in front of me and informed me I was trespassing. He insisted I get onto his scooter and drove me back down the hill, telling me to go to Zhengda if I was so foolish to want to run up mountains.

So I did! in the end I ran a bit over 8km, with a 5-minute break at the top of some insanely steep and never-ending stairs on Zhengda campus. I'm informed that some of the hardcore Hash runners run up those steps to train every week. 5 times. If I can ever run up those steps ONCE I will be very proud. And I just love the mountains here… It is precisely what I was dreaming of when I decided to come to Zhengda this summer, running in the misty mountains… a dream come true.

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