I'm back in the US and behind on blogs but am slowly getting back to my normal routine. But, I ran a half marathon this weekend and seem to have figured out the secrets to improving your running. I'm sure if you follow my steps, you'll have great success.
1. Pick an appropriate half marathon plan and follow it accordingly.
2. Find out you'll be in China for the month before the race. Abandon plan.
3. Still try to run in foreign country but do most runs on a really crappy hotel treadmill. Slowly start to lose interest with each passing day.
4. Run outside a total of two times in the month. Hate it. Can't find an appropriate route, too many people and really hate being stared at like a carnival attraction, all kinds of stomach/side pains.
5. Eat more food than you ever thought possible, most of it completely unknown (I tried absolutely everything others ordered for me), yet still manage to lose 7 pounds.
6. Also discover the best candy bar in the world (German, not Chinese but really good) and eat one daily.
7. Stop running all together one week prior to the half marathon...except for one attempt at 5K on a treadmill where I felt like I was going to die.
8. Travel home: 1 hour bus ride, 15.5 hour plane ride, 5 hour layover, 5 more hours of flight delays, 1 hour final flight, 1.5 hour drive home.
9. Arrive home a full 27 hours prior to half marathon.
10. Start sleeping.
11. If not sleeping, eat.
12. Realize at 8 PM you are registered for a half marathon the next morning, check weather.
13. Sleep some more.
14. Leave house for race, discover Garmin doesn't work. Head back in house. Find regular watch.
15. Arrive at race, see familiar faces.
16. Start running. Don't think, just keep running. Have no idea what pace you are going, just zone out.
17. Cross finish line. Official time: 1:56:07
18. Eat banana, drink water.
19. Drive back home, finish cleaning house and enjoy welcome home party your husband planned.
20. Realize running a half marathon that morning was probably a stupid idea, start sleeping and eating cycle again.