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Jogging in the Smog (With Sally Jenkins)

At some point during our first week here, I came up with the brilliant idea that Sally Jenkins and I should go for a lengthy jog in the smog with the blog and the bog and report back our respiratory findings. So we did so Wednesday morning, she in jogging pants and an athletic shirt, me in shorts and my LeBron James "Crybaby 23" t-shirt, which was awesome. Sally has this peaceful park she's quite fond of, and I ran about 2.5 miles trying to find it, despite the fact that it's a half-mile from our hotel.

So by the time we finally met up on Beijing's version of the Beltway, we had both already covered some ground. But humor us, as we run together and breathe together and realize our mouths are collecting some weird grainy film together.

I was initially skeptical about all things smog, but let me tell you, it's for real. Granted, I feel like death whenever I jog, but this time I felt like death covered with tar enveloped in exhaust fumes wrapped in insulation sprinkled with gasoline and tied together with a sandpaper bow. In all honesty, running at a slow clip for a very short distance, we undeniably got a lot thirstier and felt a lot crummier than we would have even in D.C.'s humidity. Take a look. Thanks to Jonathan Newton for the camera work and Jonathan Forsythe for the edit, and don't make fun of us too much.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 7, 2008; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  Olympics  
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Wrong video, eh.

Posted by: Incredulous | August 7, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I wish I could get paid to run, not that I am particularly good at it. But I wanted more action shots. And maybe some computer animation of the smog particles building up in your lungs. Otherwise, good job.

Posted by: Lindemann | August 7, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Is it the worst running conditions you have experienced? I mean, just walking around in Times Square and places like that in the US, I definitely feel gross afterward.

Posted by: Susan | August 7, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Love the Dr Seuss-ism. Keep it simple for me.

Posted by: Stumped | August 7, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Ah, much better.

Posted by: Incredulous | August 7, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I thought Sally smokes? Doesn't that give her an unfair advantage over you, smog-wise?

Posted by: Rob Iola | August 7, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I feel your pain Dan Steinberg and Sally Jenkins. There is nothing that will destroy your lungs more than a run in the Beijing Summer Smog. I tried this last summer and it failed miserably. I had to make a detour home about 10 minutes in. The other thing about running in the city is the huge increase in stares you get. The Chinese must be thinking, who are these crazy foreigners believing they can run here?!?

Posted by: Ethan | August 7, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Looking good, Steinz, although Sally was definitely pacing herself for you.

Posted by: Navi | August 7, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Hehe, watching you jog was the highlight of my day. I know...I need a more exciting life.

Posted by: Maggie | August 7, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Lookin' pretty sporty there.

Posted by: misschatter | August 7, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Where, may I ask, was your Agent Zero mask, young man?

Posted by: | August 8, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Good stuff, Sally and Dan and the cameraman who had to keep up with you.

Posted by: Jamie Mottram | August 8, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Ha, Agent Zero mask. Great!

Posted by: Eric | August 8, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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