Tag Archives: exercise

Experiences health

I’m illegal!

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Sorry for the lack of updates recently.

It’s been somewhat stressful at work (not the work itself which is busy but nothing I can’t handle – rather… the “environment”) and in between that and still going to look for furnishings during my spare time has meant that I’m pretty wiped out when I get home.  I often just get home, change, start to do some cleaning… and wake up around 2-3AM wondering why all the lights are on.

I’ve even stopped exercising for the past month or – no running, no taichi… 🙁

But – I ran 10km last Friday!  I’m sure that wasn’t the wisest of ideas, but… heck, when have I ever claimed to be wise? 😛

The run was actually the Odaiba summer marathon – a yearly event where people can apply to run in a 10km run around the Odaiba dock area.  Since it’s a fairly “easy” run, and it’s in a fairly accessible spot, the Odaiba marathon is quite popular and there’s a lottery that people have to sign up for in order to see if they can get in.

I lost.

Actually, I lost last year as well, but that didn’t stop me from joining both this year and last.  Last year, 1 colleague won the lottery and this year that same colleague plus 2 more won.  (you probably understand why I never buy lottery tickets – I’ve been fortunate enough in very many areas, but gambling/lottery is not one of them. (not that I’m complaining mind you – while it would be nice to win a bajillion yen, life could also be so much worse!)

Anyway, to get back to my story – last year both myself and another colleague decided to participate “unofficially” to encourage/support the 1 colleague that did get in.  What we did was mingle amongst the official participants and use them as cover so that officials wouldn’t see that we didn’t have any running numbers pinned to our shirts.  We joined in the 3 laps, then veered off to the side just before reaching the finish line.

Last Friday I did the same and participated again as an “illegal runner”. 😛  To be honest though, I don’t think that officials would do much even if they did catch us.  It’s not like they would halt the entire race to kick us out, and of course we don’t get any official time records or the Odaiba marathon T-shirt.

I’m happy to say that even though I hadn’t run for a month, I made pretty good time, coming in just under 56 minutes.  But BOY HOWDY did I feel it.  The run consists of 3 laps and by the end of the first lap my lungs and chest were already burning.  By the second lap my legs were dying on me, and by the end of the third lap, it was all I could do to just keep up a semblance of jogging.  I did it though – didn’t stop once, but kept on moving the whole time.  So a thumbs up for me. 🙂

After the run, 3 of us went to a nearby onsen – it’s a really nice one (at 2,000 yen entrance fee it better be!) and after about 40 minutes of soaking, a bowl of miso ramen, and 2 bottles of whole milk the self-inflicted torture I had just imposed on myself was already already fading.

Needless to say, I slept well that night!
(though I did have to get up after only 5hrs of sleep to go back into work – but let’s not talk about that)

Sights & Sounds

First Tai Chi session of 2009

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It’s been almost a year now that I’ve started Tai Chi lessons – hard to believe it’s  been that long!  Unfortunately my progress has been very very slow, because I just don’t practice as much as I should.  🙁

I’ve found that I  like the peacefulness of tai chi and that it’s done outdoors under the trees.  It’s both relaxing and clears the mind – something that’s good, almost essential, to do in a city like Tokyo.  I used to do Taekwondo some years ago… wow… almost EIGHT years ago now??  Goodness… time does fly – it certainly doesn’t feel that long ago!  While I do occasionally miss the activity involved (there’s a certain satisfaction to be had every now and then from pounding the stuffing out of one of those target pads), I think at this stage of my life tai chi is very good for me.

There is a lot of stretching involved, which is really good (though I constantly constantly forget the order! >_<) and the forms are harder than they look!  I always have to remember about my balance, about having a focus (instead of just meandering all over), and not rushing.  Done right, (like when Stephanie demonstrates) it’s very graceful, but at the same time very powerful.  I have a very very long way to go before achieving that balance, but little by little I’m hopeful that will come 🙂

Following are some pictures of the park where we do the taichi – the park looks much more peaceful than it usually is in these shots, I suspect because it’s too cold for many people to be walking around.  There is a small homeless population that lives in the park and while they are usually quiet, I do dislike the fact that many of them smoke 🙁 Otherwise, there are also alot of joggers, families with children, people walking their dogs (only got pictures of Waka and Hime this time – gotta get one of Marron!) and other people practicing various sports, including other tai chi groups.  There’s even been the occasional Chinese sword practitioner there! (didn’t see one last Sunday though)

Here’s to the first lesson of year – I look forward to the rest!

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Sights & Sounds

First Run of 2009

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I went running yesterday – my first run of the year 2009!  Have to say, it was harder than usual to get started; it’s just so cold now and thinking of the cold wind really saps your motivation, gotta say.  However, writing the previous post kind of forced me to do it!  Self-motivation, right there.  🙂

I started “seriously” running (ie at least once a week) at around the beginning of last year.  I had been stressful at the time, even gotten sick and lost weight (which actually needed to be lost, so that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing!), and decided that I would try to be more healthy.  So I joined the running group in the office.

We’re usually a small group of people, typically only 3-4 “regulars” a week, and we head over to run laps around the Imperial Palace.  We’ve also participated in a few marathons, most recently the FIT For Charity run.  I must say that I have definitely noticed an improvement in my physical condition since I started a year ago.  I’m nowhere near the level of my more experienced colleagues, but little by little, I’m getting slowly better.

And it feels good!  It’s been a ridiculously busy week at work and I’ve been getting more and more tense and stressed as the week progressed.  However, I did a leisurely 1-hr, 10km run last night (solo, since the people in the office are even MORE busy than I am!), and I felt really good after finishing.  The tension in my shoulders was gone, and my head had cleared a little.

Also tried to take pictures, but I’ve found that running and picture taking do NOT mix.  You’re panting, heart is thudding… no way to keep the camera steady.  Even when trying to balance against a pole or tree, 90% of the pictures came out blurry.  However, you can see the whopping 3 pictures I took. 😛

2 pictures are of the area around the palace, and the 3rd is the sento where we go to change and wash off after the run.

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