Near Yellow Mountain

Monday, February 7, 2011

The "runs" and the Super Bowl

Feb 6th

Super Bowl Sunday morning was a beautiful, sunny day in Charlotte. It was 32 degrees F (which for those of you on the metric system means 0 C). A sunny cold day is perfect running weather for me - cold enough for running tights, warm enough for a short sleeve shirt as long as I have light gloves on. I run almost every day - in this case, "almost" is defined as about 29 days a month. The return to the US has changed my "running life" quite a bit. Although technically we live in a city, the reality is - our house is really in a rural development with a golf course providing a scenic venue for a 10 mile run. Unlike my runs in Shanghai, where even the suburbs take on a "Tinker Toys on steriods" look with all the looming construction cranes, concete trucks and mass of humanity; my new running ground is quiet, hilly and full of wildlife. A day without seeing a deer is an unusual one. Yesterday, the only "cloud" in the sky was the continual white steam cloud coming from the nearby nuclear power plant - sort of like Walden's Pond meets Three Mile Island. I like to call the eternal cloud -  "Oppenheimer's Geyser".  Nature meets cheap energy. Our house sits less than 1000 yds from the man made lake built when the reactor came to town. Actually I am thankful for the nukes on both sides of Charlotte. As long as those deer don't start glowing at night, I think we are good.

Runs in Shanghai were interesting - locals calling out to me, hoping to practice english; the tai chi groups in the park; people "walking" their birds; card games in the street; and the silent killer of Shanghai - electric scooters which are upon you before you hear them. My running courses in Shanghai were flat, busy and their was always something new to see - a old building being replaced, a new street being cut out of what had been rice patty just a few years ago, more and more cars with first time drivers trying to adjust to "no rules" driving.

I love the peaceful, lung and leg challenging, hilly runs my new home provides but I miss the energy and constant stimulation of running in a city of 20 million people......

After my run, I read my email and found out some graduates from the film school Cailin (younger daughter) is attending were finalists in the Doritos constest for best Super Bowl ad. I watched the ad on You Tube and remembered that even though we could watch the Super Bowl (on Super Bowl Monday morning) in Asia; we never got the commericals. The Super Bowl was a good football game but honestly I enjoyed the commercials as much as the game - a lot has changed in 11 years and it certainly shows up in the Super Bowl ads. Change isn't always positive but sometimes it is entertaining.