FIRST HALF MARATHON!

Running buddy Claire and I kind of accidentally registered for this half marathon in Yinchuan. Turned out to be a great trip to a place that previously wasn't on our radar. There were some cool sites just outside of the city - like the Western Xia Mausoleums - where we ran into many other runners touring before the race. Yinchuan has a high muslim population with culture and cuisine that is very different to east coast China. 

And now for a montage of me in orange - yuck. It was a bit of a struggle getting our race packs as two of the five foreigners registered for the race but finally we got our bibs and trackers. We stayed in the Kempinski Hotel which was just across the street from the starting point which was super convenient. This was the first race that I tried muscle tape and I LOVE IT. My legs did not get tired until well beyond the halfway point.  

I'm very proud of myself for completing the half and am looking forward to the next race - hopefully in a location with better air quality AND proper training beforehand. My pace was a lot slower than I would have liked, but work got in the way and I hadn't really been training the two months leading up to the big day. Possibly Shanghai Marathon this November?

JETSETTER GIFT LIST

Some of my travel favorites that I either own or are on my own wish list. If you're shopping for a world-traveler this season, check out my recommendations:

Wireless Headphones - I always have headphones with me, whether traveling on holiday or taking the metro to work. I especially like this wireless version for extra freedom when running and fewer tangled cables when traveling. 

Mahabi Slippers - A friend first introduced me to these when we were living in London. Her testimony convinced me to give them a go and I'm glad I did. They are super comfortable, slip on and off easily, and come with removable tread so they can go from indoor to outdoor. 

Travel Steamer - While I might not actually travel with one of these myself, I love the compact design. Living in a small central flat in a metropolitan area, space is a rare commodity. This steamer tucks away nicely and if I really had to, I could pack it for a trip. 

Travel Fragrance - This is actually something I don't technically buy. I have one full-size Jo Malone perfume for home use but the fragrance(s) I travel with are all samples. Every order on Sephora, I choose sample packs because they take up the least amount of space.

Herbivore Face Oil & Herbivore Face Mist - A recent resolution of mine has been to take better care of my skin/face, especially when on the road or in the air. I first tried Herbivore products as a free sample and fell in love. Now, most of their products are available in travel sizes too!

Eyemask - Anyone that has been on a long-haul flight knows that these are essential. I know that overhead reading lights are designed to only shine into one seating area but they never seem to work that way in reality - hence, eyemasks. 

Blanket Scarf - Doubles as a scarf and blanket. The perfect extra layer that you can pull out on cold flights or on arrival. 

Verso Travel Set - Part of my new skin regimen is consistency, that means travel sizes of the stuff I regularly use at home. 

Dry Shampoo - Tried and tested! I finally found a dry shampoo that works well with my in-between hair. Feels silky smooth and doesn't leave additional build-up. On longer flights, I feel like my hair gets oily more quickly than usual. One spritz of this and I'm good to go. 

Swiss Army Knife - This comes in super handy when traveling - just remember to keep it in checked luggage. I had one on my keyring once and nearly lost it at the security checkpoint. Luckily, China customs offers express shipping for confiscated items. 

Rimowa Cabin Luggage - I recently upgraded my cabin luggage this year with the rationalization of a new job with more solo travel. Since I would be lugging my suitcase around airports myself, spin wheels and light body were essential.