When I first arrived in Beijing in late 2010 for a long-term stay, I dreaded having a similar experience to that of 2005 — namely, that the pollution would send all my running indoors. Running in Beijing can be very trying. I would argue that only the truly dedicated runners regularly run outdoors there. I determined from Day 1 in 2010, however, not to let that happen this time around. I did join a gym soon after arrival, but I moved a few months later to a location much less convenient, and the contract (like so many other things) was non-refundable. I’d paid a negotiated sum up front. But I wasn’t too disappointed: I’d moved closer to a group of expat runners (mostly Swedes) that I’d recently met and I knew I’d have other nut jobs like myself to run around with outside.
Which, of course, means that despite the horrible pollution I ran about 3-5 times per week outside the year I lived there. Continue reading