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?

KOH TAO, THAILAND

David and I did something a little unusual for us for Chinese New Year - we traveled to a place we've already been. We both had hectic schedules leading up to this holiday and were feeling too exhausted to plan a proper trip (not to mention holiday airfare prices), so we headed to a tried and true destination - Thailand. We first visited Koh Tao six-ish years ago on one of our first trips as a couple and found Haad Tien beach. When looking around for places this year, I stumbled on a price drop for the Beach Club by Haad Tien. They are practically the only resort on the bay which makes it easily the most peaceful, relaxed, and tranquil beaches on Koh Tao. 

Since we were already familiar with the area, our only plans were to relax and unwind. We each had reading lists to tackle and podcasts to catch up on. For books, we were both really taken away with The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and HHhH. Both books were refreshing and captivating reads - highly recommended. 

My reading spot was usually either the pool or the beach so I could multi-task and work on building up a nice bronze while David on the other hand, was posted up on our balcony - shaded but still able to get the sea breeze. Since we spent most daytime hours apart, we enjoyed quality time once the sun was starting to set with sundowners and grilled fish dinners. 

For two weeks of travel, coming from a colder climate, our Tom Bihn Aeronaut - still one of my favorite travel purchase - was more than enough luggage (that's including two Turkish beach towels). The Fjrallraven Kanken backpack was perfect for day trips on the motorbike - especially picking up fruit and extra bits to bring back to the resort. 

This week I've slowly been getting back into the regular grind - hopefully, that includes a few more blog posts!