The Qingdao Grand Theatre is the city’s largest performing arts centre. It is near Shilaoren (Old Stone Man) – the beach that we have been referring to in many of our most recent posts – and adjacent to Qingdao International Beer Street. This massive landmark costs over a billion yuan and is Qingdao’s premier host venue for cultural events, concerts and theatrical performances. The area around Shilaoren has been steadily developing along with the rest of the city, so the addition of this cultural complex in Hong Kong East Road in 2010, means there is now a more of a definite central area that could be considered “downtown” Laotian district. The Qingdao Museum, Qingdao International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Beer City, SPR Coffee and Surf Plaza Resorts are all found in the area directly surrounding the Qingdao Grand Theatre.
In the image below (image source), you can see that the beach is merely a block away from the Grand Theatre. Our apartment complex is located towards the bottom of the picture. I would put a little arrow to show you the exact spot, but we are actually cut off from this picture. Basically, we are only one block away from the Qingdao Grand Theatre, and we walk by it on almost a daily basis.
As you can see, the architectural design of this theatre is just beautiful. I don’t know exactly why, but I love looking at this building! No matter what the skies look like, the clean white exterior of the theatre is refreshing and enticing. I was therefore very pleased when I figured out that one lap around the theatre measures exactly one kilometre. I have no problem running the same route over and over and over again, especially if it means that I can avoid the inconsiderate drivers that make up most of Qingdao’s daily traffic. Pedestrians have NO right of way here, even a “green man” doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be hit by a taxi, truck or bus. While out running this can be quite dangerous, especially with a baby in a stroller (which FYI, doesn’t cause anyone to slow down).
I have been considering competing in another marathon. I don’t have much time to train, but I thought that I would use this race (which takes place mid-September) to get myself back into a good running routine. That meant jumping into the middle of a marathon training program, and only allowing myself 10-12 weeks to train, instead of the normal 10-20 weeks. Maybe I am being a little too optimistic, especially with a vacation coming up, but the training has definitely given me the drive that I was after. If all else fails, at least I’ll be really fit by the end of summer. Running in fall is absolutely amazing so I’d like to be ready for that.
Last weekend, I needed to complete 21km and I didn’t want to run too far from home because I hadn’t run this distance in a very long time. I decided that Qingdao Grand Theatre would be the perfect spot for me to train since there would be barely any people around, and I could go home at any stage if I realised that I was in over my head. I woke up early, fed Elijah, and set off on my morning run. A big advantage of staying so close to home was that Justin and Eli could come and cheer me on, replenish my water supply and bring me a little snack.
It feels like summer has only been here a short while, but on this morning I saw a few fallen leaves. It seems that we are on our way towards Autumn already!
When Justin and Elijah arrived I was on lap number 15, and although I was doing really well I was a bit apprehensive about the dark clouds that had rolled over. Of course I could just run in the rain and get wet – but fancy running gadgets (like my iPhone and Fitbit) make things a little more complicated. Justin and Eli walked a lap while I continued to run. As they came around the theatre, the rain suddenly came pouring down. We ran to a small sheltered area to escape the downpour, and there we shared a snack until the rain stopped. It was a perfect little rest spot with my boys.
Within a few minutes the rain had stopped and I was running again. The boys walked to meet with our friends for fellowship, and I continued on home to change once I was done. I managed to get to fellowship in semi-decent time, so thankfully the rain didn’t delay my finishing time too much!
It is great having my two loves cheering me on through my running endeavours. I’m happy to be back and feeling fitter by the day. Two days ago I was set to do a 26km along the coast, but we woke up to rainy skies and heavy pollution so I chose to do my long run indoors, on our treadmill, inside. It is much easier to run on a treadmill, so we shall see how this weekend goes. I am supposed to do another 26km – hopefully this time it will be clear outside and I can do it along the boardwalk.