Running Again

I’m on the train heading back home after running 12.21km south towards Yokohama. I think it’s the furthest I’ve run since the Marathon in February, and the first time I’ve done over 10km since May.

It’s extraordinary how out of shape I am. I used to have a really big barrier at 20km – that seems to have slipped back to 8km!

Having said that, I was running in 34 degree heat, which made it pretty tough. Sweated buckets.

Running empowers me. It satisfies me. It makes me feel alive (It also helps me deal with my belly…).

With the Autumn approaching I think this is a great time to pick it back up – and not just because I hope to run a marathon in February. The weather is usually perfect running weather, and well, there’s that ‘start of a new year’ feel what with kids going back to school.

I also feel that the older I get the more responsibility I have to actively look after my health.

Anyway, time to get off this train and step back into the heat. A cold shower awaits!

A new bird feeder

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Following on from my last post: having packed my rucksack with Macbook, clothes and shoes for work, water and stuff for my Japanese lesson, I realised it would be daft to try and run like that. Carrying so much weight would not be easy, and would probably leave me with mightily sore shoulders.

So, instead, I decided to run across the south of Tokyo to the bay area, or more specifically, to Rainbow Bridge, from which I thought I might be able to get a mighty fine view of the area.

I left home at 6.30am, and arrived an hour later – only to find that the bridge opened to pedestrians at 9am! It took me another hour to get home, but I made it in time for a shower / change and then off to the office for a 10am start.

I really enjoyed the challenge. But you know, I’m struck by how small Tokyo really is. Shinagawa is, in my mind, miles away, somewhere that is somehow in a different realm, access to which is only granted by train or subway. But my jog gave me a concrete sense of the relationship between our home and Tokyo Bay. It makes me feel that I have somehow tamed that section of the city, that it can’t overwhelm me, as I’ve seen it for what it really is – and it’s not scary.

I shot a number of videos whilst jogging which were live-streamed to http://www.qik.com/tamegoeswild. One thing I discovered is that the iPhone Mic is susceptible to wind noise, and that’s something I’ll need to get sorted for the race next week. I bought a jogging hat today and will try and modify my iPhone arm-band so as to accommodate it and the extra battery, and attach to my new hat.


Today I’m taking the day off the day job to work on other stuff. I find it difficult to work in untidy surroundings, so utilised productive procrastination to tidy the whole flat, do a load of washing up and wash all the bedding.

A couple of days back I bought a couple of plastic bird feeders – but they were a bit pants really as they had to hang on the edge of the 40cm-high railings outside the window, not giving the birds anywhere to stand as they ate. However, this morning at about 7am I heard a few birds pecking away at the ultra-small window sill – they’d been throwing the food out of the bowls onto that.

This inspired me to think about creating a proper windowsill …and that’s what I did. I picked up some cheap wooden racks at the local department store, sawed them in half and then nailed them together, and slotted them into place between the existing mini-windowsill and the metal guard.

And this is the result.

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All part of the ongoing (yet already successful) effort to make home home. Mum and dad have an incredible number of birds at their feeders in Orcop – the photo at the top of this post was taken from their conservatory – and I’d like to continue what I think of as an English tradition. It also only strikes me as fair. We’ve destroyed so much of the natural habitat of birds that I think it’s right that we try and make their current lives as pleasant as possible!

Good timing too, what with the approach of Spring!