Guest post for AGoodRun

My guest post on AGood Run… Check it out 🙂

A Good Run

Written by Sandi Blankenship

The past 11 months have been quite an adventure for me. Last August, I went home to the States for my 30-year high school reunion and met with a high school friend who is a life coach.  I was living and working in the Middle East, had been offered a job in China and weighed 255 lbs. I completely changed my lifestyle a few weeks later, moved to China in September, started running in January and lost 111 pounds! I ran my first 5K on June 9th and came in just past the middle of the pack. I’m now training for a triathlon.

My Run:
I started my run at The Vineyard. A restaurant in the West Lake District that is run by an American chef, Reuben, who gets my diet needs. I am so thankful for the food I’m served there and the friends I’ve…

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Dukan – Day 260 – West Lake Hike

Friday was a PP Day 🙂

Daily Weight Loss: +0.2 lb/0.10 kg
Total Weight Loss: 91.8 lb/41.71 kg
Stubborn last 10 pounds… LOL

I have Friday’s off and typically try to get out of the house early. I got out the door about 845, which is late for me, given that I’m up before 6. The sun is up very early here, around 530 a.m., and I’m a “be awake while the sun is up” kinda girl!

I took the city bus and finally found West Lake (by bus, that is… I’ve been there many times by taxi). My plan was to map out a running track for a guest blog post that I’m doing in July over at A Good Run.

I ended up meandering through some beautiful pathways, not really running safe, though. Which was fine. Because after the week I’ve had, I needed some serenity and I got it! You’ll see that in the pictures below.

After about a one hour walk, I found a Starbucks I didn’t know about, tucked in the trees next to the lake! I wasn’t planning on stopping there, my plan had been to hike about another 1/2 mile to the NE tip of the lake and have a coffee at that Starbucks. But I was drawn by the veranda overhanging the lake, so in I went.

Ordered a Venti Iced Latte w/Skim and headed up the winding stairs to the balcony. As I approached I noticed 3 local people sitting out there. As I opened the door an older man says, with a huge smile on his face, “We’ve been waiting for you all morning!”. At first I was surprised at his English, but managed to say immediately, “Well I’m glad you saved a seat for me!”.

It is challenging, dear readers, to live in a country where you do not know the language and a good deal of the people don’t know yours. I have what I call “China Moments”… not said in a positive light, LOL. But this was a wonderful China Moment. We sat and chatted, the 4 of us, for over an hour. The older man was quite a character, teasing us. What was amazing is that no one knew each other before walking on that balcony!

I needed that moment and God and the universe knew that. I really, really needed it. Funny how things work like that 🙂

Here’s a sampling of the beauty I saw along the way…

Sign at the head of the trail.

There are temples and gardens and even huts that you can rent for the night.

View over the “Little” lake. There are 2 lakes with walking causeway between them.

Stone bridge that crosses one of the many brooks that run through the park.

Cute little guy!

Gorgeous sculpture!

In her hands…

Quiet & easy to meditate in these gardens.

Been here 8 months… this is the first squirrel I’ve seen 🙂


Walking bridge over the connecting between the “little” lake and the “big” lake.

Path along the “big” lake… sorry for the finger in the shot… using my iPhone 🙂

View from the balcony at Starbucks.

One last pond as I exit the West Lake walk.

My route.

After finishing my walk, I took the bus to Kira’s to hang for a while… okay, well for a long time, LOL. But worth it. She’s moving back to the States on Wednesday and I’m going to miss her and Soren and Dan and Helena… a lot. I won’t miss their cat, Brooklyn, AKA “Tits”, because he’s moving in with me. I’ll have a wee piece of them here with me as a remembrance 🙂

Breakfast: 2 egg omelet with onions & garlic (I know, don’t fall off your chairs… ALERT! Sandi didn’t have tea eggs for brekkies!) Thanks for the idea Mel 🙂
Lunch: 2 tea eggs and 2 ounces of Edam
Dinner: 1/2 broiled chicken and grilled onions
Snack: pot of FF yogurt with bran and Splenda

2.76 mile walk along West Lake in morning
3.38 mile walk home from Kira’s in the evening