I set off this morning to do my longest run so far since leaving the UK.
It’s been less than a month since I ran my first marathon so I don’t want my fitness to drop too much. I’ve been struggling with the heat on my runs so far – in England I only ran in the evening when the temperature was less than 24 degrees but in China it’s been reaching 32-34 degrees by 8am frequently! When I’ve been finishing my runs I’ve been feeling more dehydrated than tired.
So today I set off with 3/4 full bottle of water and a plan to run a loop of the park which I guessed to be about 10km.
I found a pathway through the park which was heavily shaded and ran parallel to the fitness centre that I was at yesterday for a few hundred meters. Even though I was out of the direct rays of the sun for my first 4km the humidity was pretty high and by 5km – the putter edge of the park- I was almost out of water. My legs felt good so I carried on running a little farther, under a bridge (where people were playing tennis and hacky-sack in the shade), passed a beach volleyball court and roller blading centre until I saw 6km flash up on my watch (Suunto ambit sport 3).
I finished off the last remaining drops of my water, threw my bottle in the bin and then took a more direct way back to the hotel through the park. My clothes were wet and my mouth was dry but the route was so nice to run! I couldn’t ask for better views or atmosphere!
Picnic in the park
Leah and I planned to eat breakfast in the park this morning so bought some fruit from a fruit stall on route.
We found a nice little shaded area along the main pathway and munched away on our peaches and bananas. A few people stopped to look at us as they were passing but one guy was so shocked that he almost walked into a table tennis bat attached to a statue, and had to dodge last minute!
After food we retraced my running route from this morning and ended up walking the entire length of the park. There are so many sculptures! Placed at different points throughout the park on both the main walkway and the more scenic, off road pathways. Lots are depicting various sports; children skipping, playing games, Olympic sports etc. but there’s also some odd ones like two frogs pushing a water wheel and a Manchester United flag in the ‘friendship village’ part of the park.
A women appeared behind me and started reading over my shoulder what I was writing, then she came back with her family for them to read it to! I hope I didn’t bore them too much! We’d also passed a 24 hour book library/ vending machine in the park earlier so this park must be a popular place for it.
The tofu was so good in the restaurant last night that we returned for lunch today and ended up ordering two tofu dishes between us! We were so full that we waddled off down the river front to another riverside bar where we ordered drinks ( I tried the apple and blackberry iced tea and it was so nice!) and carried on catching up on our journals. Yet again people came over to look what we were doing as we must have seemed pretty engrossed in our writing!
After our arms were truly exhausted from all of the scribbling we carried on our walk and wandered through the shaded pathways to find a bench underneath a tree. It was a lot harder than it sounds. Almost every bench in the park that we came across was full! Luckily we stumbled upon a man just leaving the bench and pounced quickly.
The spot was ideal! We sat there for over an hour watching a women practising something in between Thai chi and mime. It looked like she was pretending to be an animal but she looked pretty peaceful….
After a while our peace was disrupted by two women who wanted to have a photograph with us. We obliged but things got a little awkward….
The older wombs jumped in between leah and I on the bench and literally pulled us close to her. She then put her arms around us and held our hands in the direction of the camera. We she was satisfied with our positioning she put up the bunny ear/ peace sign and her friend took a few photos.
Once they’d left, leah went to the shop to buy a violet ice cream and left me on the park bench alone… Never again! The women came back and wanted more photos! The older women took lots of selfies with me and uploaded them onto something that looked like snapchat! When Leah came back she said the women had caught up with her too and were moaning to her that she was looking in the wrong direction in one of the many photos that they took! Strange…
After running away back to the comfort of our hotel we knew this was going to be the last day of our mini holiday in Wuhan so went to a really nice restaurant opposite our hotel. It was recommended in the lonely planet and looked busy whenever we passed it.
The food all looked really good on the menu but it was just a shame that we didn’t really enjoy our dinner. Two dishes were served cold (we didn’t realise that we’d ordered off the cold menu until afterwards) and the best part about the meal was the aubergines and green beans dish and the rice which we had to share.
The night was still young by the time that we’d finished our dinner so we headed back to the riverside bar and had a cold beer on the swinging chairs. The bund at Wuhan is so hypnotic at night, we easily lost 2 hours sitting back and enjoying watching everyone.