March 13, 2015

Crap: China is officially happening

My friend Amy and I have been talking about doing this Great Wall of China Marathon for about a year now.  What started off as a conversation that went about like this...

"That looks pretty cool.  I'll do it if you do it..."

"Well, I'll do it if you do it."

"Ok, let's do it?"

...has become reality.  Amy and I have officially signed up.  Tours have been booked.  Flights have been purchased.  Visas are, well, in progress.

That just leaves one thing:  ALL THE RUNNING.

I've been training for almost 2 months now, and I'm still scared sh*tless of this race.  I'm running long distances.  Hills.  Sprints.  Hill sprints.  I run until I feel like puking.  And I'm still terrified of not being able to even finish this race.  It's one of the most difficult marathons in the world - mountainous, hot and humid, and uneven terrain.  And let's be honest, with it being China and all, there will probably be a decent amount of air pollution, too.

So I'm spending a lot of money and time to torture myself.

I'm also having to prepare for this trip very differently than any other trip I've taken.  The usual preparations still apply, but there are a lot of new things to consider.  I need to carefully plan what I'll want to wear on race day.  I don't know what the race support will be like, so I need to pack my own supplies like nutrition and first aid.  And I'm going to have to fit all of this in a carry-on, because I refuse to check bags.

Then there are the potential communication issues to prepare for.  China blocks a lot of internet traffic, including many sites run by Google, because Google and China don't get along.  I'm a bit of a Google whore, so I want to ensure that I have some way of communicating with friends and family back home.  That'll take some research and advance planning.

I have my work cut out for me.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go work on my visa application.  Or run.  Ok, both.

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