Tag Archive | run

Journey towards Tokyo Marathon 2018

Today I officially got accepted into the Tokyo Marathon! A bucket list item about to come true (if I make it to the finish line)!

I saw people on Facebook getting their rejection emails, so I checked my email and nothing yet. Hopefully no news is good news. I then finally got an email and was amazed to see that I had been accepted! I had previously applied 5 times and been rejected. So about time, I say.

Wow. Can’t believe I’m one of the lucky ones who get to participate.

Shit. This means I’m going to actually have to run and train! I don’t remember the last time I went for a jog and I’m at my heaviest weight ever!

So now I gotta train for a full marathon. I can’t believe my first ever marathon is going to be the Tokyo Marathon in 2018. I think the hardest part is over though – the actually getting accepting into it. I suppose running is the easy part but perhaps not for me. This is going to be a huge wake up call for the body.

First thing on my list is to buy a pair of running shoes. My current running shoes are so old and ruined that they are no longer wearable. I’m going to have to do something about.

And I’m going to have to find a lot of motivation to train for this. But it’s such a rare opportunity that I don’t want to squander it, so I really want to finish within the time limit of 7 hours.

I’m going to make an effort to jog, train and blog about my journey to Tokyo Marathon 2018! Bring. It. On.

 

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A “Colourful” Run

Took a weekend off from snowboarding last weekend and did the Power Colour Run instead. It’s not the official “Color Run” but something similar. Apparently, the first time they’ve had it in Japan so the turnout was small. The official Color Run is also coming to Japan this year, so may also run that as well and hopefully get to the start line before everyone else has finished the race.

The Power Color Run is a 5km fun run. It was held in Kanagawa prefecture and the traffic getting there was crazy. Took our bus 3 hours to get there which meant that it was over by the time we got to the start line. Luckily, they let our group of 40 people or so, just run our own race instead. We ran 3km instead of 5km so as not to miss out on all the festivities. That was fine by me. I haven’t jogged in ages now. Swimming has been taking over my life.

It was a fun day, just a shame that the turnout was rather small. Hopefully the event will continue to grow, given that it was the first time they’ve held it here.

This kind of race puts the “fun” in fun run. It is an untimed event so no need to be fast or even train. You can even walk it if you want to. The gist is that you wear all white clothing (costumes are encouraged), and then get covered in coloured powder along the run. Oh the hue-manity of it.

I had a nurse uniform costume laying about the house (as you do!), and turned up to the race in a nice clean white outfit.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZJfAYe8f5bC4jo9L_CHWHzymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-wtfrw8w8hZo/UxK2QsjcsPI/AAAAAAAChE4/G-fwn4TbibM/s400/IMG_7160.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”300″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

By the end of the day, it looked like this:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/02fAt01woJYeW8suvwC6SzymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-615xV8H70-I/UxK25wRyPqI/AAAAAAAChPA/se81HiMA618/s400/RIMG0734.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”300″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vtTe0Q45fl7MnnhpKSJC3jymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-x5isCbSd2sI/UxK26VF7_8I/AAAAAAAChPI/JlAox0Qc5g8/s400/RIMG0735.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”300″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

Here is how my friend and I looked – a side-by-side comparison:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/N7BGLUiKk07NxEuPOE_1nzymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-FjlZ0tROY7I/UxK2dm_dmdI/AAAAAAAChIg/1rHim9oCuLE/s400/IMG_7187.JPG&#8221; height=”400″ width=”400″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

Race entry includes a white race t-shirt (which I wore under the uniform), a pair of sunnies (to protect the eyes from all the colour powder), and three bags each of coloured pwoder to toss on each other throughout the race.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/VEB2mLQhWUotJl5pOff8oDymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sp6uy1gF3lY/UxK2PfrDfaI/AAAAAAAChEk/bERHkIxDhRM/s640/IMG_7156.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

And then the run/walk/waddle begins:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vmN4bzk1mGlFqILQXnOyezymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-34uRHwQPZqc/UxK2qR3gglI/AAAAAAAChLo/n_UJmToL4G0/s400/RIMG0705.JPG&#8221; height=”300″ width=”400″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1rYCLA-aZ5SMBdsl074RvjymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-l-R2DttxHFg/UxK2vGyzZgI/AAAAAAAChMg/gb4mqUKntsA/s400/RIMG0715.JPG&#8221; height=”300″ width=”400″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

Maybe the middle of winter wasn’t the best time to hold a fun run:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6btPmdTCBptPGTZs3jrCYjymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HL85MBtVwTc/UxK2nAOc0PI/AAAAAAAChK0/H-sn2hH3qac/s400/RIMG0699.JPG&#8221; height=”300″ width=”400″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/EXqi8hjkMS5eDtY7Uv7yZjymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/–JCZQsKOfnQ/UxK2z3H4y9I/AAAAAAAChNs/DK2wRiHfr5k/s400/RIMG0714.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”300″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/DINlgn3701R7jkT4GIK8LDymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-twtdNwgtoN8/UxK2vkfAjrI/AAAAAAAChMs/x2ey-MmenQQ/s400/RIMG0716.JPG&#8221; height=”300″ width=”400″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

At intervals throughout the run course, you’ll pass the colour toss stations where volunteers will douse you in a shower of colour powder:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_c20SVmuqDTK5df7kBZ20zymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ayDy4oF5Bvc/UxK2k4YGz_I/AAAAAAAChKg/HNeAKUDLT8k/s640/RIMG0696.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/KgDYdk0y4MoIyBWRm05-STymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cyBx6Y2-ZBI/UxK2lpDCV-I/AAAAAAAChKk/MDUZPOsv3f0/s640/RIMG0697.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/EI63H6E9CNBN4pG4CEgnKTymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7uaQADgTqMg/UxK2TKJsKcI/AAAAAAAChFo/6JM0BTI68q8/s400/IMG_7165.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”300″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

That was a lot of fun. Basically, like a water fight, without water. A colour fight?!

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/3HaEYjKDLVD3NYpQPof11TymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-yk4QKQxZa24/UxK2T3yLaUI/AAAAAAAChFw/dg8HZ-kXuxQ/s640/IMG_7166.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/yBd5jnDcTS0-LFBgbVbgTzymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-P81qXeKv-YE/UxK2Uanpo3I/AAAAAAAChGA/hZ10nPGZXi8/s400/IMG_7167.JPG&#8221; height=”300″ width=”400″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

The obligatory jump shot:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Cr0nz-kmaZ38XQbecRKdIDymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0RxyhCVJgBM/UxK2VUs3qGI/AAAAAAAChGI/9gFK2nFJmGs/s400/IMG_7169.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”300″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

And then the dance party and colour toss fun begins:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/NMoq2skm7_HNRBwfK5wK8zymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-mL7krdKs1E0/UxK3AE8FkBI/AAAAAAAChQg/ptF8ro-Q_eI/s640/RIMG0746.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/SyqSLWqtSpg7Ss6brKzWZzymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-j4jGu35k2RA/UxK3AhKs7II/AAAAAAAChQs/EuLhy2QIFzQ/s640/RIMG0747.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JafmXQuhXiwv5dvIZSFDmDymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-xqESMm_OftA/UxK3CD1TPCI/AAAAAAAChQ8/qAHt0xgl_V8/s640/RIMG0750.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

These kids were literally rolling in it:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fKZwUg_L2FT3vyW8M-NXNTymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-5MUeKJ1e0EI/UxK3FGe_U-I/AAAAAAAChRw/lbLgtxbwBiM/s640/RIMG0756.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Suc5TqJnxGtuLkpWyHn_BzymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YRS23LuYO3Y/UxK2_Aecn9I/AAAAAAAChQQ/QxPxkHM0B2A/s640/RIMG0744.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

Coloured leggings:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/o9Q5V6zxuHljckmYC6vuhzymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-8AT2TccpBo8/UxK2YfkZPHI/AAAAAAAChHI/POinXMBc7a4/s640/IMG_7173.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

Coloured wigs:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/LPTGQm1Y_wG_ZFVTPdJQDzymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ZM6JKmVW2jQ/UxK2X7tHpOI/AAAAAAAChGw/JxbYb7xWR-g/s640/IMG_7175.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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

You’ll want to protect your eyes from all the coloured powder:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/EeC888YzRlVL9AR2uyoMeDymPfxbL97XSfDC4QI1pM0?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kqyZ3gPQZxU/UxK2YQJ00NI/AAAAAAAChG4/S8_FzOFIG6A/s400/IMG_7176.jpg&#8221; height=”400″ width=”300″ /></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/PowerColourRun?authuser=0&amp;authkey=Gv1sRgCOHp0OT1uqq-qgE&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Power Colour Run</a></td></tr></table>

Greasing your hair up with leave-in conditioner will also help to wash out the colour later. The “powder” is in fact dyed cornstarch, so the colours will wash out pretty easily. My nurse uniform is actually white again after putting it in the wash machine. I highly recommend rinsing clothes out first and let a lot of the colour run out naturally with the water, and then throw it in the washing machine.

You’ll also want to ziplock your iPhone or store away safely. It will get covered in coloured powder. You have been made.

The race venue also had free showers onsite, so we took advantage of that. Just BYO soap and shampoo.
And most importantly, the venue had beer for sale.

A fun day was had by all despite the cold weather and somewhat small turn-out. I guess, it’s better than being too crowded and made for a nicer more intimate atmosphere.
Will most probably participate in the official Color Run next month. Hopefully, will be a warmer day and a bigger turn out.

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.

Progress

Getting faster, slowly.

From Progress

Not running as often as I’d like.

And to think that I ran a half marathon this time last last year (in Feb 2012). Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I struggle to run 5km these days, let alone 21km!

“Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going.”

Kozushima aquathlon race report

So it’s been a while since I did a race report…or simply a race for that matter. This summer, I didn’t have much of a chance to enter in an as many events due to lengthy travel plans. At the beginning of the year, I did a slow and painful half marathon. I have also only done one other open water swim race and a sprint aquathlon race this year. Over the weekend, I finally got around to completing my first proper (longer) distance aquathlon race. I started out in 2010 doing only ows races. I needed more of a challenge than just swimming, so have slowly built in jogging into my fitness routine, despite being a really lousy runner. I have bad, uncooperative feet. So on Saturday, I did a 1.5km open water swim and a 10km run race (ie an aquathlon). I didn’t treat it too much like a race, more like a hard training session, in preparation for a triathlon I have prematurely and foolishly entered. The race was on Kozushima island. Logistics for this race was a bit of a nightmare. Because it’s on an island, access is only by boat. And the boats to get there were all fully-booked! I ended up having to take the Friday off work and get there the day earlier. At least there were seats available on the Friday. This meant staying on the island for two nights. Next nightmare was accommodation! I rang up 10 places and they were all booked out! No room at the inn! I very nearly thought I would have to camp on the island! I ended up finally finding a place to stay at a little minshuku. Thankfully, this place had a room to spare. Actually, they weren’t booked out at all. They even had rooms to spare. And it was in a great location. A 5-minute walk to the beach and my room had partial sea views.

From Kozushima aquathlon

On Friday, I snorkeled and explored the island. The island is fabulous for marine activities – snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming. The waters were teeming with marine life. That’ll be a separate post. Took some awesome pics. Saturday was race day. Breakfast at the minshuku was served at 7:30am:

From Kozushima aquathlon

However, the race didn’t start until 1:50pm. The weather was concerning. It rained in the morning, then cleared up to be a ridiculously hot day. This summer has been crazy hot. Temps were in the 30s and I was worried about running in the heat and the humidity of the middle of the day. I had the morning free, so I decided to walk a part of the run course to familiarise myself with it. Kozushima island is beautiful. Wonderful coastline and beautiful beaches and water. My favourite beach on the island was Sawajiri beach.

From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon

Lovely water vista:

From Kozushima aquathlon

The swim part of the race took place on Maehama beach (the beach next to the port). This beach was ok. On the Friday, I had tested out the waters, and there were a lot of jellyfish. In the race briefing, we had been warned there would be a lot of jellyfish but during my swim, I didn’t see or notice any. Thank God! Maehama beach:

From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon

A pretty nice race venue, I might add on a nice little island. This was the first race where I would test out my new wetsuit. I vowed I would never own a wetsuit, being the swimming purist that I am. But unfortunately, wetsuits are compulsory for triathlon races in Japan, so I had to buy one. I ended up forking over about 200 buks and buying one on the Internet (I don’t really fit into Japanese sizes) which is always risky because you can’t try before you buy. I had only worn it once before in the water at a test open water swim training session at Kamakura beach. This would be the first time under race conditions.

From Kozushima aquathlon

The very cool lifeguard team. They would have given the Baywatch cast a run for their money!

From Kozushima aquathlon

Wetsuits have a negative effect for me. I actually swim faster without one. I already have a high percentage of body fat so I don’t need the extra bouyancy. If anything, I felt that it weighed me down and made me feel heavier and slower. It also gave me a hell of a neck rash. I barely have any skin left on my neck. For me, I like the feeling of being light and free in the water, and a wetsuit detracts that from me. I would much rather prefer to be as close to naked as possible when in the water. The wetsuit felt cumbersome in the water. During the swim, I was really bothered by the stinging and chafing on my neck. 1.5km swim time was 30min and 32 seconds, which I wasn’t happy with. I had expected to swim well under 30minutes.That being said, I was the 5th female out of the water, and overall 33rd place (out of total 99 people). The swim course was 2 laps of 750m, with a land exit between the 2 laps. The water temperature was a whopping 29 degrees! I seriously debated not wearing the wetsuit thinking it would be kind of dangerous in this heat. But I really needed a trial run wearing it. I wasn’t really relaxed swimming in the wetsuit. How lovely does the water look!

From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon

Transition was awkward. I got out of the wetsuit pretty quickly though. Helps that it was sleeveless. The thing with the transition was that it was on the sand! Here are our transition baskets laid on the actual beach!

From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon

There was no possible way to clean and dry your wet feet! How were we supposed to put on socks and joggers when your whole body is wet and there was nothing to stand on but sand, and we all had to dump our wetsuits on the sand. At the transition, I took off goggles, cap, wetsuit, threw on my glasses, a cap, and wrist sweatbands (yeah, I know, I went bought sweatbands. How very 80s of me. But seriously, you try jogging in 35-degree heat). I had also bought a race belt and buckled that on as well. I didn’t know what to do with my wet sandy feet. So I held my joggers and socks and ran up the beach barefooted until I got up to the beach promenade where I sat down and tried to brush sand off my feet with my hands, threw on my socks onto my damp sandy feet, threw on the shoes and just started running.

From Kozushima aquathlon

By the time I started the run leg, I was the 5th female out there. And this is where I lose it. I really wish my running was a lot better to be able to maintain my lead. This 10km course was intense. It was extremely hilly. We were on a crazy hilly island. It was a tough, hard course. A lot of people’s times were slower than normal for a 10km run. They actually used to hold a triathlon here, but it was deemed too hilly, curvy and dangerous, they used to have bike accidents, so this was the first year they changed it to an aquathlon event instead. Still, the hills were a killer. And it was 2 laps of a 5km course. The flat parts of the run course were nice though along the coastline. Run course:

From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon

Now during the run leg, I was in a lot of pain! It also happened to be the first time that I was wearing a tri suit, which I wore under the wetsuit for the swim leg. This meant that I was already wearing shorts and a singlet so I didn’t need to faff about with clothes at the transition. The shorts though come with padding for the bike leg in a triathlon. I was in for a rude surprise, when I felt major discomfort. How shall I put this delicately… it was something akin to adult nappy rash. Under the shorts, you don’t wear swimmers or undies, so I was suffering major chafing in a majorly sensitive area. Holy crap. I had heard of saddle sores, but I had not been warned about this kind of friction. You try running in wet, salty, sandy, sweaty shorts for 10km in 30 degree heat. Basically, I had two mantras going in my head during the run course. “Nappy rash. Blisters. Nappy rash. Blisters.” I didn’t know which was worse! — the chafing or the blisters on my feet. I couldn’t run as fast as I would have liked given that my feet were giving me grief. You might already be aware that I have a lot of feet problems…namely blisters and that I am very prone to them. I think the fact that I have flat feet (absolutely no arch) doesn’t help. More surface area for friction. And given the crappy transition, there was no way to properly dry my feet and get rid of the sand. So my feet were moist and sandy. I’m not exaggerating when I say the blisters were slowing me down. It hurts to run when meanwhile this is going on…WARNING: ugly feet photos coming up NOW! This is how my feet looked after 10km. Believe me, I wanted to quit during the run. Yeah, I know I gotta HTFU (Harden The FEET UP).

From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon

Seriously, flat feet much?

From Kozushima aquathlon

Friction is my Enemy Number 1. Given the hilly course, my nappy-like rash and blisters on my feet, I finally hauled my arse to the finish line. The 10km run took me a whopping and painfully slow 1hr and 9min and 27 seconds. I’ve mapped out the run, and yes, there was definitely one hilly section. And we had to do it twice. A lot of people struggled on this section. I much prefer an absolute flat courses! To hell with hills.

5km course x 2 laps

Total race time for 1.5km and 10km hill run was 1hr 39min and 59 seconds. Transition time is included in there as well (although I’m not sure if that gets lumped in with the swim time or run time). Hooray. Made it to the finish line in one piece! (Check out the sweat wristbands!)

From Kozushima aquathlon

I ended up being 12th overall female (out of 21 females), and 70th place out of 99 competitors (male and female). I surprised myself by not coming last! Despite slow times, I did ok relative to the field. I was actually 2nd place in my female age group (of which there were 5 of us). Unfortunately, no AG prizes. Only the top overall 6 places got prizes. Bummer. I was disappointed. Far out, I have no idea how I am supposed to squeeze in a 40km cycle in between all that, in the upcoming triathlon. I’m going to be looking at about 3.5 hours for the OD tri. Ugh. My feet were in a lot of pain after the race. Could barely walk on the soles of my feet. Had to bandaid and tape them up. Had a shower back at the minshuku. And boy was I stinging in places where one should never be stinging. It hurt to shower (and pee for that matter. TMI?). Finally, got myself refreshed, although I was rather exhausted and sore. Definitely feeling a little worse for wear. Definitely was not looking as fresh as this during the race.

Saw the sun set.

From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon

In the evening, there was a party and awards ceremony. It was all a free all you can eat and drink spread, prize giving and taiko performance (all included in race entry).

From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon
From Kozushima aquathlon

Goal to complete a full aquathlon distance, now complete, although painfully slow as it was.

From Kozushima aquathlon

5193322 2012-09-04 10:18:21 2012-09-04 01:18:21 open closed kozushima-aquathlon-race-report publish 0 0 post 0 aquathlon Fitness here and there in japan Japan Swimming Swimming Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo life Travel _edit_last 253158 _encloseme 1 _encloseme 1 _encloseme 1

September 5km run race

I started off today with a pathetic 5km run race – one that I’d rather forget. —- Last weekend, I bought new running shoes at a shopping outlet. Super bargain! A pair of Adidas (SuperNova Glide 3W – a wide lightweight running shoe). They are super light. And were really cheap. They were reduced! My current, old pair were also Adidas. I’ve had them for over 5 years, so I guess, I was in need of a new pair – way overdue. If I get accepted into the Tokyo Marathon, I’ll splurge on another pair and get a proper fitting consultation.

From 5km run
From 5km run

Super white and clean. They practically glow in the dark!

From 5km run

I have small feet. I also wear orthotics so I needed a pair of shoes that fit them. My feet are also quite wide. Yesterday, I had to go to and pre-register for the race – pick up my race number and goodie bag. Entry into the 5km race was 2500yen. Running races are so much cheaper than open water swimming races in Japan which will set you back around 7000-8000yen. Here is the goodie bag:

From 5km run
From 5km run

It included some Vaam gel sportsdrink, and a bag. I was pretty happy with the bag. It’s super lightweight and folds and packs up, but it’s also a drawstring backpack. This will come in super handy for my swimtrek. I need a swim bag/day pack that will fit in my luggage, so the bag is pretty awesome. I had a sleepless night last night. Couldn’t sleep at all. I woke up this morning overtired, and I nearly slept in. I also woke up ridiculously dehydrated. It was kinda hot during the night. I guzzled over half a litre of fluids prior to the race. The 5km race was one lap around the Imperial Palace – my favourite running race route in Tokyo because it’s so familiar, and convenient to get to. I rode the train in, with my very conspicuous joggers.

From 5km run

I got to the race this morning with about 15-20 minutes to spare. I was still half asleep and very thirsty. Here are some pics pre-race around the Palace.

From 5km run
From 5km run

It was a very small turnout.

From 5km run

The race was only 5km. And there were two categories: Serious and Beginners. Needless to say I had registered myself for the Beginners and we raced at 9:35am. Here is the line-up for the “serious” runners:

From 5km run

The weather was a tad warm for my liking. If there’s one thing I hate more than jogging – it’s jogging in the heat. The race start was 9:35am, and the temp was already in the high 20s. Like I said, too warm for my liking. I had only one goal for this race. And that was to run sub-30minutes. Not a big deal to most people, but a challenging goal for me. My pace on average is 6min/km. I’m having trouble breaking that pace. So off I went on the 5km run. Torture. The worst 5km run I had ever run.

I started out strong, but then I don’t know what happened. I was still so freaking dehydrated. Super thirsty. Every breath was drying out my mouth, and being only 5km, there were of course no water stations. Crap. So super thirsty and I was also really hot. Reached the 2km mark, and thought crap, I’m already beat. How unfit am I. Another 3km to go! Geez. 3km to 5km was struggle, struggle, struggle. Needed water. Stat. A most bizarre feeling overcame me. I felt so incredibly dehydrated and hot. My whole body was heating up. Scarily so. I needed water like one needs air. I thought about dropping out of the race because I needed a drink so bad. The temperature was one thing, but my God, the humidity was abominable.

Here is a weather analysis of the day (source: Yahoo weather, Japan): Between 9-10am (the race time), the temperature was about 28 degrees (orange dotted line), and the humidity was a whopping 90%! (the green dotted line). You can see that the humidity level really dropped off to about 75% in the hours after. It’s still summer here and Japanese summers are incredibly humid. Dangerously so. Today the humidity really affected me. I felt like I was going to pass out. I’ve suffered heat exhaustion before, to the point of fainting, so I knew something was wrong because I got that same feeling. I didn’t feel ok. So badly wanted to quit, but I’m not a quitter, and I hate to say, that I had to walk a bit of the race. Walk, slow jog, walk, slow jog for the last couple of k’s. I was annoyed that I had to walk but my safety was paramount. My whole body was extremely overheated. I managed to cross the finish line in one piece. I felt so hot and red. I must have looked like an incredibly unfit freak…but the truth was, I wasn’t feeling good. The sooner I got to the finish line, the sooner I could guzzle some water. Got to the finish and sat down. Could barely stand up. Drank lots of water, wet my body, and drank some sportsdrink as well. Needed sugar. Body was incredibly overheated. Such a crazy, unusual thing to happen over such a short distance race. I sat for about 30-45min, not being able to move. Felt weak and headachey. I took my time to relax and for the body to cool. I looked at the time on my iPhone/music player, and had worked out that by my time I had run about 32minutes. Didn’t break my 30 minute goal. But I didn’t much care. I was glad that I had even finished the race, and not walked out on it. 32minutes wasn’t too bad considering I walked a portion of the race. I had run the first couple of k’s strong.

They had the little prize ceremony for placegetters in the serious category. Fastest male did 17minutes, and fastest female did 20minutes. They also had lucky dip/door prizes. I wanted to check out my official race time. I saw on the record sheet that it said: 37min, 23 seconds! What!!!!! I started to mentally flagellate myself…thinking how shit I had run and was thinking about ways to punish myself for such an atrocious time. I wondered how my stopwatch could have been so off. It wasn’t possible that my time could be 37minutes, considering we started at 9:35am and I was back by 10:07am. I then realized that the time hadn’t accounted for the 5min lag between the serious and the beginners start. We started five minutes after, so I needed to subtract 5minutes. So my official race time was 32minute and 23 seconds. That was better. Still not good. But better, especially given how rotten I felt during the run. I got home and crawled into bed with the air conditioner on and slept for a few hours. I was super tired, and had a giant headache, and was feeling not 100%. A little bit lightheaded.

Am feeling much better now though…although I don’t think I have eaten enough today. Here’s what I think went wrong that accounted towards how I felt today: – high humidity. (Major cause). Not healthy to run in such high humidity. And yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I need to HTFU. But as consolation, here is one tidbit I found on the Internet: “Humidity is considered high when the levels go above 45 to 50%. When combined with high temperatures, high humidity can be very dangerous to the body as it interferes with the bodies ability to cool itself down, which may cause heat stroke. High humidity can also trigger an asthma attack.” – total lack of acclimatisation. Today’s race was the first time I had jogged outdoors. All summer, I have jogged indoors, inside at a gym on a treadmill. I had no exposure to running outdoors in the heat and humidity. My body didn’t adjust so well. I think it was a bit of a shock to the system, especially given how much I swim – I’m too used to being in the water where it’s wet and cool. – lack of proper hydration.

I don’t know why I woke up so thirsty. I had drunk plenty of water the day before but I guess the heat during the night took it out of me a bit. Even now as I write this at 5pm, it’s 29 degrees. It’s just hot. And my body does not enjoy running in summer. This is why I swim. – no breakfast, no fuel prior to the race. I’ll often race on an empty stomach, so this isn’t usually a huge problem especially for such a short race. Even though I only jogged 5km, I also somehow managed to get blisters on both feet. Maybe a marathon wasn’t such a great idea after all. Still hoping I get accepted anyway. At least it’s in the winter. I’d rather run in snow than in 90% humidity in near 30-degree temps! Will probably regret saying this, especially if it does actually snow on marathon day next year. I didn’t achieve my sub-30minute goal, but I ran 5km, so I s’pose that’s better than nothing. Gotta start somewhere. Around the Palace moat on my way back to the station, there were some turtles. I felt as slow as a turtle today. But on the upside, turtles live a really, really long time!

From 5km run
From 5km run

Saw a t-shirt today that said: “Run yourself better”. Simple. But nice.