Ahhhh it feels so good to be home! Ok, now that that’s said, I’d like to share some of my runs from a recent trip to Shanghai, China. The trip was for work, not pleasure, so I fit these in around my busy meeting schedule: four runs and a swim (which was crazy).
Work put me in the Pudong area of Shanghai, so my research immediately surfaced Century Park as an ideal spot for a jog. Think about NYC’s Central Park and this is the Shanghai equivalent.
My first run, jet-lag fueled was a bit longer, 8.62 miles. I knew the humidity would crush me, but I didn’t have meetings this day so I wanted to get the miles in.
Inside the park is filled with running paths and beautiful bridge overlooks. I went super early in the morning and had the place mostly to myself. A light drizzle kept me cool as I explored aimlessly around the park.
My second run was a bit more surgical since I planned a swim later with my lap swim partner from the US, who joined me on this trip. This humidity sweat line says it all. Even on a short run, I was drenched! I stayed around the perimeter of the park, which has nice track markings along the soft turf and ample tree coverage. On the north side border there’s an entrance that has a water fountain to refill your bottle at, which came in handy!
I decided to switch things up and after several days in the city felt pretty confident with my sense of directions. So I set out on a soul run, basically twisting and turning wherever looked fun and just letting my feet guide me. I ended up down the path below which dropped me into a cool area beneath the train tracks. Gliding along here for another mile I came to a secured exit point where, when they saw me coming, two guards stood up from their post, faced me and promptly placed their hands on their hips (I was not supposed to be there..). After a brief scolding, which I did not understand but assumed from their tone they let me pass, out onto the sidewalk where I continued my journey, a half-mile from my living situation. Perfect!
Later that evening my colleagues and I went out to do a little more exploring in Shanghai. Pictured below is the Jade Buddha Temple, which maybe is a bit more touristy, but in such a modern city, was cool to see a touch of classic architecture.
Also, you might guess that if you travel with me you don’t take the escalators…
On the day of departure I took one final run, returning to Century Park. This time, I found more runners, a run club and an occasional walker out enjoying the weather. Again, the humidity so damp that when the sky opened up and let loose some tropical rain, I could barely feel it on my skin seeing as I was already soaked through with sweat.
To top it off, I won my weekly Garmin step challenge (100k group) with 143k steps, which is also a PR!
This was my first trip to China and it was everything I hoped it would be. I had a rough start, underestimating how segregated their currency was from the rest of the world and how meat-centric their diet is. By day 2 I got my bearings and settled in. Now, as I think back, all I can do is hope that my next trip to this amazing country will put me in proximity of The Great Wall! I’d love to get a run (or maybe several runs) on it. One day…