Tag Archive | challenge

February challenge. Done

Somewhat belated.
I finally decided on a challenge for February. A simple one, but nevertheless, still a challenge for me.
The challenge: a haircut.

I visit the hairdresser as often as I visit the dentist. That is to say, not often. Not often at all.
Fitting in February’s challenge was very giri giri (cutting it fine).
The only time I have to visit a hairdresser is on the weekend, and most of my weekends have been taken up by snowboarding trips which involve leaving on a Friday night and returning Sunday night.
I was able to make the February challenge deadline by booking an appointment for Feb 28.

It turns out the last time I had been to the hairdresser was back in October 2012. Nearly 1.5 years ago!

Didn’t get a drastic change. Same style, but just a little shorter. Boring but safe. I didn’t walk away with a mullet so win-win. And the haircut was only about 35-40 bucks which is a bargain for a lady with super long hair (as it was without having had a haircut for so long).

February challenge done. Here’s the proof (although I am loathe to post up a selfie):

From haircut

2014: 12 months, 12 challenges

One month down. Another 11 to go.

This year, I thought I’d set myself 12 challenges or goals/achievements/stuff I want to do, one for each month.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (subject to change):

January – Polar Bear dip. DONE
February – Get a haircut. DONE
March – Try as many new recipes as possible in the month (submitted by Jess), do the Color Run
April – Photo Project – complete as many photo projects as possible from the 52 Photo Project Book (submitted by Em)
May – Visit a new country (ticket is booked!)
June – 8km island crossing Guam open water swim (airfare is booked)
July – 10km ows race, Paddle mix ows race, sit JLPT exam – level N1
August – Tsugaru Channel Relay swim crossing (August or September)???
September – Murakami triathlon???
October – 15km ows race????
November – Full marathon run???
December – Sit the JLPT exam – Level N1 (aim to pass)

I need a challenge for February!!!
Send me your challenge proposals!

1300 steps: Climbing Tokyo Tower

During a limited time each year, you can apparently climb the stairs up Tokyo Tower. I thought you could take the stairs all year round, but it seems you can only do this during a 2-week window each year (I have my suspicions that you can take the stairs all year round though). I managed to sneak in a trip to Tokyo Tower just for the sole purpose of climbing about 1300 steps. I needed the distraction. I’ve been to Tokyo Tower before but took the elevator up.
Decided this time to go up to the observatory by taking the 600 or so steps up and then back down again. And still had to pay the regular entry price for the privelege.

Tokyo Tower:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/gFKiO6biqmF_IQQXO5L1rEyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-tCK-98LAadM/UtVNTf9OWMI/AAAAAAACeWE/sPyiroJHJZE/s640/IMG_6434.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/k3QvKQ4Tut0ziWlv_8ZBoEyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5FGmEg6Weg0/UtVNTbwVhDI/AAAAAAACeWQ/q02kR4mc5TE/s640/IMG_6436.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

Here we go:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/3FbDZd_1BuwwE7oxmdHpUEyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-jgisW1fseE4/UtVNTeKuRsI/AAAAAAACeWI/mNq9G6X7wfE/s640/IMG_6437.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Xxfp6P5UWwg9HkwJzfKsXUyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lU44y-ke7CQ/UtVNYy5SBiI/AAAAAAACeXo/W0FjfnUsc8Y/s640/IMG_6448.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/cyGGCADKFs3qKKoHJdV0lkyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4_8rP2Tlx-I/UtVNaWfsuFI/AAAAAAACeX8/Py83zij1Ke4/s640/IMG_6450.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

At the 333rd step:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RJvU8Pm8nwKGyEK6LjFg1kyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-LV-JiPeCFrY/UtVNUSkai7I/AAAAAAACeWc/uVEP6IeepYM/s640/IMG_6438.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCIv73p-fzLnWZQ&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/AqzlTE0Eg4qpFUosaD-2zkyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-IQJYr8lt4dE/UtVNa88itOI/AAAAAAACeYI/RDvMFwgdyr8/s640/IMG_6452.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCIv73p-fzLnWZQ&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/pQ0BzaVaNOVQu4tuputbyUyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-votKzGa8SXk/UtVNdI_1LrI/AAAAAAACeYs/mD5ilVn1yDM/s640/IMG_6455.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCIv73p-fzLnWZQ&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

At the 500th step:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9VwNYDeDzOj8QRN4sK2-VkyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FBYqtk4ZefY/UtVNVFkJqKI/AAAAAAACeWk/JUPS7zlB-8Y/s640/IMG_6440.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCIv73p-fzLnWZQ&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/hSdtSn5t8kQynV-eKsX3ukyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UKQKwDiDheM/UtVNiCKl-lI/AAAAAAACeZ0/tiyZsAgCJOA/s640/IMG_6468.JPG&#8221; height=”640″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

The view on a cold winter’s day:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/dPoDNh9g5eh9Cl8bPshmckyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-bkTGOSgBXGc/UtVNWrfVv2I/AAAAAAACeW4/qs-W1BMm1Vg/s640/IMG_6443.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCIv73p-fzLnWZQ&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/2npBjBqE-tUOG5C8jiWm9kyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-k95ROIwS_wo/UtVNXYlUhbI/AAAAAAACeXI/ANjJfh1SDMM/s640/IMG_6444.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCIv73p-fzLnWZQ&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RENZqDFGrh-43gQUcsMePEyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qi7zEigGWcM/UtVNXbolMJI/AAAAAAACeXQ/2pnPgltiNtg/s640/IMG_6445.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCIv73p-fzLnWZQ&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/yx-iuSfWhKNSCnMMnl6RO0yfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-y-s0jSUqcgQ/UtVNX_TeeQI/AAAAAAACeXc/Fd6QT73_zfU/s640/IMG_6446.JPG&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCIv73p-fzLnWZQ&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

And now to walk the 600-plus steps back down again. I do believe you can ride the elevator down if you so wish.

View from the ground, looking up:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/xIpZixZxBMoNi0qy8yRBr0yfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xZuWNmPuMFc/UtVNdB8JdCI/AAAAAAACeYk/vGPA_ypaf60/s640/IMG_6456.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”480″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7psYr8yB9ScFWI_ACzFR0UyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GHemtoaLRlE/UtVNdS98cRI/AAAAAAACeYw/EPwFE4TJhKk/s640/IMG_6457.jpg&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/xyIm-CqhaLWryO4iHHDfJ0yfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-_mD-G0LpDIM/UtVNeD8iiBI/AAAAAAACelE/uyZgrVN4cw8/s640/IMG_6459.jpg&#8221; height=”480″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/E_nsPRDD8XdNLSwE_aafpkyfHhUe1gNt21gz4-UIDf4?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ez9ip9c-oWo/UtVNfG6p11I/AAAAAAACeZQ/GkhKB5_KvnI/s640/IMG_6462.JPG&#8221; height=”640″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/TokyoTower?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Tokyo Tower</a></td></tr></table>

For less than 10buks you can get in a good stair workout, and entry to Tokyo Tower and views over Tokyo.

Bucketlist swim: Coogee Wedding Cake Island Swim Challenge 2013

One needs to work off all these high teas, so I timed one of my trips back home last year with an open water swim race back in Sydney – a mecca for open water swimming, or as we call it “ocean swimming”. It’s pretty big in Ostraya.

Sydney is where I did my first open water swim race back when I was a wee uni student. I went along to a beach race on my own having decided to enter it without ever having done an open water swim ever. I’m not really sure what possessed to try open water swimming given that I didn’t really grow up near the beach.

My first ows race was the Cole Classic – a then-2km swim from North Bondi beach to South Bondi beach (and back?). They have since moved the Cole Classic to a different beach. I’m glad I got to swim the original Cole Classic swim at the iconic Bondi Beach before they changed venues.

One of the things I’m really looking forward to when I come home (on a permanent basis), is all the open water swim races available in Australia. We have quite the ocean swimming scene, and a lot of beaches and races I’d love to swim. So I’ve got that to look forward to.

One of my bucketlist swims has been the Coogee Island Swim Challenge aka the Wedding Cake Island Swim, and I got to tick this off last November. This particular swim is pretty popular. They actually hold it twice – once in November (beginning of Oz summer – the cold water challenge) and again in April (end of Oz summer – the cool water challenge). The difference is degrees.

The last Sunday in November last year was a beautiful sunny clear day. Water temps about 19 degrees, but air temp was in the low 30 degrees.

The race was at Coogee Beach and it’s a 2.4km swim from the beach out and around Wedding Cake Island and back inland. Wedding Cake Island is a rocky reef. The crashing white waves over the top of it makes it look as though it’s icing…hence Wedding Cake Island….I think. It is a challenging swim. Conditions can be tough. And in some previous years, they’ve had to change the course bypassing the Island loop….which kinda defeats the challenge of this swim.

Picturesque Coogee Beach:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

This is a typical Sunday in Sydney:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

From the beach out to Wedding Cake Island, around the island and then back in.

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

A big turn out for this race. About 800 people or so, with wave starts – mixed gender by age group.
Ocean swims in Oz are very different to those in Japan. In Oz, you have to deal with waves and the surf. Most swims in Japan are very flat and tame.

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

2.4km course map (there was also a 1km option as well):

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

Aerial view:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

Here are some pics from the previous wave starts:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

And now for some action:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

It’s a battlefield out there:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

It’s nearly my turn to swim.
Swim essential: Check.

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

I was a little disappointed that the race-issued cap didn’t come with a race-feature logo. They often make a nice memory-sake. I keep all my swim caps from races.

Preparing to swim:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

And my purple wave starts. I’m somewhere in the pack:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

Now, I thought sharks would be my biggest worry because the swim involves going out further past the shark nets. And I have actually done a training swim here and seen a wobbegong shark here at the beach before. I saw this “thing” at the bottom of the water, and it wasn’t until afterwards I was told that “thing” was a shark. Argh freak out. Ignorance is bliss. Kinda glad I didn’t know it was a shark whilst swimming over the top of it.

Turns out on race day, my biggest problem was the gazillions of jellyfish I would be swimming through. Never have I seen so many jellyfish. Gah, my worst nightmare. I was nearly going to pull out of the race because I was not coping. They weren’t the stinging kind, but every hand stroke through the water, you felt them. They gave me the heebie jeebies. They were kinda going in my cosies. And made very sure to keep my mouth closed in the water. There were so many jellyfish that it got to a point where I refused to put my face in the water and basically was swimming freestyle with my head above water.
The majority of the course was jellyfish infested. Just making it to the finish line was going to be an achievement. I was so close to pulling myself out the race. Just mentally was not coping with the smacks upon smacks of jellyfish. (Did you know the collective noun for jellyfish is “smacks”?)

You don’t really ever see the island at any point even though you swim around it. I had been told that one should take a look at the reef island as you swim around, but even then it’s hard to catch a glimpse of. I was too preoccupied with jellyfish.

I felt only a sense of relief, not a sense of accomplishment when I finished this race.

That finish line could not come soon enough. Was so glad to be out of the water:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

About to cross the finish line…hooray:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

Swam terribly slow.
A time of a flat 51 minutes for the 2.4 km swim. So so slow. But glad to have just finished considering this is a race that I was prepared to pull out of. I should add, that my dad also entered this swim. His longest open swim distance race and was only a few minutes behind me time-wise. I need to lift my game! (I came 523rd out of 822 people. Was 134 out of 248 females. And 33rd in age group. Not great stats). Although I am glad to have finished, I can’t even say it was an enjoyable swim really. The jellyfish really bothered, even though no one else there seemed bothered by it all. It was a beautiful day though. The sun was shining, and I survived the swim. So win-win.

It was nice to enjoy the scenery. Bucketlist swim complete. Got a few more up my sleeve though.

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

The best part about finishing is eating.

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

And I have to say, a good ol’ Aussie meat pie beats a Japanese onigiri as a post-race snack anyday!

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

This pie sums up how I felt:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

And a mini sausage roll as well:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

Ahh, beautiful Coogee Beach:

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

Look how clean and clear the water is. You can see Wedding Cake Island to the right of the photo. And to think I swam out there and back!

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

Coogee Island Challenge – complete! Got a heap of merchandise – the hoodie and the towel to commemorate.

From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim
From Coogee Wedding Cake island swim

My second half marathon

Why do I run?
Because it feels soooo good when I stop!
To say I do not enjoy running is an understatement.

Last weekend, I ran my second ever half marathon. Much easier the second time round. (You can read about the first time here).
Managed to even convince a few friends to sign up.

Truthfully, I was supposed to run a half marathon a month ago. It rained on the day so I didn’t even bother turning up. A half marathon is not fun on a nice day, let alone being wet, cold and miserable.
So I signed up for another one this month instead.

The run was at Odaiba bay (a man-made artificial island somewhere off Tokyo Bay). It was the most unorganised running event ever. If I had of rocked up on my own, I actually would have left and just gone home. But there was a bunch of us, which motivated me to stay.
They were severely disorganised and understaffed. It took over an hour to register upon arrival and they had to postpone all the races by about nearly an hour.
I do not recommend partaking in this half marathon event (The International (Embassy) Friendly Run).

The ridiculously long line to register, least of all no race/event t-shirt.

From Half marathon 2013

Ready to run:

From Half marathon 2013

It was a 7km course, which we had to complete 3 laps of. The course was absolutely flat as a pancake. As far as half marathon courses go, it was an easy course.

I didn’t train a lot for this. On average 2-3 runs a week between 6-10km. And in the last 4 months I only did a 15km run 2 or 3 times.
Was pretty proud of my time though.
2 hours 12 minutes. A huge improvement on last year’s first half marathon event which I did in 2 hours and 45minutes. A 30min shaving off of previous time.
Maybe a sub-2 hour half marathon next year if I decide to actually proper train.

A well-deserved beer and bowl of ramen. Any calories burnt after running 21km were just all put back on.

From Half marathon 2013

Post-race festivities was a trip to the Oedo Onsen Land in Odaiba. 4 hours of onsen, massage and exfoliation (think Turkish hamam Japanese-style called “akasuri”) is just what the doctor ordered. The absolute bomb. The next day I felt as though I didn’t even run a half marathon. Felt like a new woman apart from my flat feet giving me grief. I think I have something like plantar fascititis or something. Ouch. It’s been a week and still hurting.

Might have to hang up the running shoes for a while and SUIT up. Swim SUIT up, that is. I am planning on doing a marathon swim next year (in the swimming world, (only) 10km is considered a marathon).

Mud, sweat and beers: Where’s Wally Warriors

Got a fun post for you today. Two weekends ago, a bunch of us entered in the Warrior Dash.
The Warrior Dash is a 5km run in fancy dress costume through a bunch of obstacles. Think Survivor-style obstacles in a festival-type atmosphere with music and beer.
Sounds like fun, ay. Try doing it in 30-degree heat, ridiculous humidity, and in a Where’s Wally outfit!

Riding the train at 7am in a Where’s Wally outfit. Mind you, I felt sexy!

We travelled all the way to Chiba to a place called Deutsche Mura – a German village theme park. Very random.

From Warrior Dash 2013

The turf here was ridiculously green and well manicured.

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

Here I am decked out in my outfit, in pursuit of Wally (or Waldo, for you American readers):

From Warrior Dash 2013

Our team of Where’s Wallies:

From Warrior Dash 2013

Everyone was decked out in costumes which was great to see:

Mario and Luigi:

From Warrior Dash 2013

The toga team:

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

Let the race begin! Contestants set out in wave starts every half hour.
We took it quite leisurely and helped each other out through all the obstacles, stopping for lots of photos along the way. The 5km distance alone was a struggle…I’m pretty sure we walked most of it.

There was probably at least 10 obstacles throughout the course.

Obstacle 1:

From Warrior Dash 2013

Obstacle 2:

From Warrior Dash 2013

There was fire jumping (somehow managed not to burn myself ;-):

From Warrior Dash 2013

The Spider trap (Obstacle 4):

From Warrior Dash 2013

Horizontal rock climbing:

From Warrior Dash 2013

Barrel jumping:

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

More climbing:

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

A much needed water break. It was so goddamn hot, we could barely breathe:

From Warrior Dash 2013

Wearing knee-high socks and a beanie probably didn’t help the situation.

More obstacles to get through, not even half way through yet!

Spiderman doing his thang!

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

Goddamn, more climbing. Someone kill me now says the girl with no.upper.body.strength. I should add that with a few of the obstacles, there was also an easier version (often shorter, smaller obstacle version). So you don’t actually need to be a superhero to compete in this event.

From Warrior Dash 2013

Will this climbing never end?!

From Warrior Dash 2013

Run, Wally, Run!

From Warrior Dash 2013

Pace slows to a walk:

From Warrior Dash 2013

We sweated our way through the course which was hilly, gravelly, up and down hills – a flat course, it is not.

Relief came at the water obstacle. It was a breath of fresh air. It was just what we needed on this 30-degree plus heat day. Never have I been so eager to crawl through tunnels submerged in water.
Yep shoes and socks, fully clothed into the pool.

Wet Wallies:

From Warrior Dash 2013

Time for an impromptu water fight!

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

And then back to the race (clearly, we were not going for the fastest time):

From Warrior Dash 2013

Where’s Wally now? Drowning, apparently (and yes, this is me):

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

We were sopping wet, and we still had another 4 obstacles to get through to get to the finish line.

More climbing!

From Warrior Dash 2013

And crawling:

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

Are you tired just reading this? You try running this course!

And because there wasn’t enough climbing obstacles, for a bit of variety, there was more climbing!

From Warrior Dash 2013

(I opted for the easier version)

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

Nearly at the finish line:

From Warrior Dash 2013

But not before doing the Mud Pit!

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

Fully clothed, with shoes and socks, glasses and beanie, we crawled through the muddy water:

From Warrior Dash 2013

We finished and survived! Hell yeah. Go the Where’s Wally Warriors!

From Warrior Dash 2013

Hooray for the finish line. It took us over 90 minutes to finish. Mind you, there was a lot of stopping and cheering and supporting everyone and photo taking etc.

Time for our medals:

From Warrior Dash 2013
From Warrior Dash 2013

Mind you, the laundry aftermath was a bitch! I had to put everything through the wash twice and had to actually dispose of my socks which were unsalvageable.

The Before and After shot: Evidence of a great day.

From Warrior Dash 2013

A super crazy fun day!
Mud, sweat and beers all round.