I just read my friend Jeff’s latest post on his blog, A Run to Remember about running where he talks about trying to train through a funk of dysmotivation. I can identify with that. I just moved to a new place, in a foreign country, where the air is notoriously polluted (Shenyang has made top “10 lists” of most polluted cities in China), where the temperature is often in single or negative digits. I live in the center of town, and there aren’t exactly sport-friendly greenways here. Plus, I had just left a great community of runners who would meet together no and wonder where I was if I didn’t show up.
The first few days after arrival, I had zero desire to get out. Although I was up in plenty of time to run, I just wanted to stay in bed and rest. Fair enough. But the jet-lag was getting old and I wanted to get over it. I thought, “if I’m up and not sleeping, I might as well run“. So I did. And it felt good. Besides, there is nothing like running through a city to get to know your way around!
Even so, I was just getting out the door, and that is half the battle. No running computer or heartrate monitor – just run. Besides, I didn’t want to get depressed if I was slow. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I HATE the cold, but anyone can adjust to any environment. I was going to keep running, and I can’t wait for the spring! No “dreadmill” (thanks, Denise, for that term) to fall back on!
So, I just pull on my tights, jacket, two pairs of gloves, and my ninja mask, and make a go of it. One has to learn how to dress – how to keep warm enough without overheating with too many clothes. Which is possible, even when the windchill is -17F. I also need a defroster for my eyelashes, but I’m otherwise pretty well equipped.
I went for a long run this morning and so I brought along some water. I stopped to take a drink 45 minutes into my run but I had to shake up the ice first. The first sip froze my esophagus and it had become an ice cube on my butt so I pitched it. My nose runs faster than my legs, but the worst is wiping your nose with ice-crusted gloves. ouch!
The amazing thing is that there are many other exercisers out – even runners! And they aren’t wearing the technical gear that I’m blessed to have! I’m gradually finding my way around and I even have a couple of routes picked out, and found a couple of parks.
This morning I ran I was thinking about my running group, PR Training, and wishing they were with me in China. In some part I wish I could have some company on the run, but also so that they could see the things that I see, the things that make you go hmm at 5:30 in the morning in a Chinese city. So I just imagined they were with me as I thought about what to write.