Running Shoes and Manhole Covers

"Running Shoes in Kobe" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Running Shoes in Kobe” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。Today I was watching my favorite program “10km Run” and I noticed that the host took a photo of her shoe with the cool manhole cover. I smiled because I did the same thing when I ran in Osaka a few years ago. It’s so fun to run and sightsee/take photos.

Osaka Castle Manhole Cover
Osaka Castle Manhole Cover

By the way, here’s a site all about manhole covers. If you are interested… 🤗

The Ultimate Manhole Covers Site

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

Running on Vacation

Christmas Eve Morning Run

"Running Shoes" Torrance, 2018
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/30 sec, ISO361
“Running Shoes” Torrance, 2018

Went for a 2-mile run/walk around my the neighborhood where I grew up. There have been a few changes over the years, such as stop signs replacing yield sign, but for the most part, the neighborhood is still the same. I ran around my old elementary school as well, and it still looks the same. The original buildings are there, and of course, there are the newer “temporary” classrooms that have been there for so long, they seem permanent.

Every year, I am happy to see that the rocket ship in the playground still survives. It has seen several modernization/safety upgrades over the years but it’s essentially the same. I hope they never get rid of it!

"Rocket" Torrance, 2018
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/120 sec, ISO177
“Rocket” Torrance, 2018

Running Weather

"Sunlight" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/1150 sec, ISO100
“Sunlight” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。

Today I braced myself to go running in the cold weather, but as it turned out, the afternoon was a warm and pleasant 74° F! 🌞 I don’t know how long this warm spell will last, but I definitely wanted to take advantage of it.

I hope you had a nice Friday!

またね~

"Small Pond" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/900 sec, ISO100
“Small Pond” Cedar Park, 2018
"Pool Weather in November" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/1000 sec, ISO100
“Pool Weather in November” Cedar Park, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

"Water and Ink" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/90 sec, ISO3200
“Water and Ink” Cedar Park, 2018
"On the Run" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/180 sec, ISO100
“On the Run” Cedar Park, 2018

🎨👟

Running in China

It’s been a couple months since I returned from my trip to China, but I wanted to write a post about running while I was over there. I’ve written about running while on vacation before, but I’d like to expand a little more on the subject about why I love to bring my running shoes with me when I travel.

First of all, I heard that exercise helps get over jet lag, and since China is 13 hours ahead of Texas (during daylight savings) any opportunity to beat the tiredness is one worth trying. And speaking of tiredness, whenever I run in the morning, I find that I have a ton of energy throughout the day, all the way up until bedtime. This proved to be the case on the China trip as well – I had so much energy that I didn’t need to nap at all, and was even up at the lounge dancing until 11 pm. Which is kind of crazy for an introvert like myself. 😌

Another fun thing about running while on vacation, and running first thing in the morning in particular, is that there’s the anticipation and excitement of exploring new neighborhoods. I’d kind of check out what’s nearby in Google Maps, then just head out. On the other hand, on my run in Beijing, I just started running towards a park, not knowing what was there, and stumbled upon the Temple of the Sun, which apparently is a popular spot for runners. It was so fun to see this park, and stop to take photos, then run a bit more, then stop for photos again. It’s discoveries like these that just fuel the excitement for the next run in a new city.

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And a little bonus discovery – I found the nearby shopping center which had two of my favorite stores, Muji and Uniqlo, and made a note to return later when we had free time. Score!

When I was in Stockholm, I went for runs after work, around 5 pm, but for the China trip, I’d head out at around 6 am, with plans on being back at the hotel for breakfast at around 7 am or so. Running early in the morning has a couple bonuses. Firstly, there was pretty much no traffic on the streets. And I mean this literally. Even in the Beijing business district, I could run down the center of the boulevard if I wanted to! It was surreal. But by 6:45, the traffic had picked up and it was a completely different city.

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Secondly, the early morning running gave me a chance to see the sunrise. The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an is pretty spectacular, but seeing the sun rise over it was epic. Something I’ll never forget!

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And speaking of epicness, my morning run along The Bund in Shanghai was amazing. The sunrise over the skyscrapers, the kites taking off, and the taichi was so perfect, it was like living in a dream.

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I think that even an early morning walk would be good, but elevating that walk into a run (or even a jog) will allow you to cover a lot more distance. It’s kind of surprising how far you’ll be able to get in a short amount of time and how much you’ll be able to see, especially in the city. Another thing I that I thought was really cool and convenient is that as a runner, you have an excuse to be pretty much anywhere, and no one will question your presence. If you are just walking along down some back alley at 6 am, it could look a little weird. But as a runner, you become kind of invisible. Plus, you stop standing out as a tourist, even if it’s only for an hour.

Another huge bonus, at least to me, is that the morning run means you’ll be hungry a lot. I actually enjoy feeling hungry… it makes me feel alive.* But what is nice is that you’ll have a good appetite for tasting all the new and interesting foods that come with vacation. On the China trip, I tried to avoid food that I could easily eat at home. So, instead of eating a breakfast of eggs, sausage, bacon, and toast, I’d have rice porridge, pickled vegetables, kimchee, and dumplings. And my mindset shifted from eating to get full, to eating to taste everything. (Spicy frog, anyone?) That meant not needing to go back for seconds of the same item, but try to eat new things with each plate. Of course, if I found something that was particularly delicious, I’d have extra! But that was the exception, not the rule. And eating less has the benefit of being less tired since your body doesn’t have to expend as much energy digesting enormous amounts of food.

I truly believe running on vacation is something everyone should do. But before you think that running on vacation is only for hardcore exercise nuts, I can tell you that I am far from being super-fit. I am carrying a few extra pounds and my pace is more of a jog than a run. But for vacation, this is enough. Being able to jog for an hour is sufficient to reap the benefits of seeing new cities in a completely new way, and separate yourself from the tourist crowds. So, if you have a vacation coming up, it’s time to start running! Just get your cardio in shape, muscles in condition, and have your shoes/running kit ready to go. I know that you’ll take your vacation to the next level just by getting off the beaten path with your running shoes.

And the final bonus to running is that you’ll generally be in good enough shape to be able to participate in the more strenuous excursions and activities without feeling exhausted later. Climbing the 99 steps of the pagoda in Shibaozhai was cake, and I was able to recover from the steep portions of the Great Wall quickly. It felt so good! 😄

I hope you give running a try on your next vacation!

またね~

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Beijing Run at Strava:

Xi’an Run 1 at Strava:

Xi’an Run 2 at Strava:

Shanghai Run at Strava:

*I think the mindset of thinking that hunger should be avoided at all costs is terrible and something pushed by the food industry. And the fact that hunger is different than starvation is an important point.