Archive for ‘marathon’

February 10, 2013

Year-in-Review: 2012

I’m a little late with this post this year, many apologies!

On the whole, 2012 was not an easy year. I learned a lot and experienced a lot. There were highs and there were lows; and I am ever-so-grateful for the people who were there to share in the highs and catch me in the lows. I couldn’t have done it without you.

I am proud of what I have achieved last year and am very much looking forward to what 2013 has in store.

And now without further ado, I bring you… 2012:

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October 17, 2012

Random Observations as of Late #6

Aaaaaaaaaaaand it’s time for another catch-up post. I haven’t posted a “daily life”/random observations blog in a while, so here we go! Warning: This is long.

※ I was wondering…Why is everything I do so interesting? To everyone? For example, every time I come to this one school, the office lady asks me, “Did you bike here again today?” She asks me this and she is amazed when I answer “Yes”. The weather is nice and it only takes 30 minutes. Why is that so interesting? Also, people are amazed when I mention that I like exercise. And that I like to go to the gym after work. You’d think I qualified for the Olympics from the reactions I get. This stuff is normal, but since I am a foreigner in Japan… I guess everything I do is just interesting?

※ At one of my schools, there is a transfer student from another country. His father has already been here for a while, working, so he just recently came to join him. The rest of their family is still in their home country. I think it is interesting, because this kid speaks little Japanese and little English. Man, that must be hard. Plus, his name when put into Japanese katakana means “Ant.” I talked to the teachers about him recently and they said that the kid is being teased a bit and has few friends. The situation kind of makes me sad.

※ For the month of October, Kyle and Tori’s tradition is to watch one Halloween movie per night. So far I have joined them for Nightmare Before Christmas, Slither, Idle Hands, The Witches, and The Ring. The Ring (American version) is one of the scariest movies I have seen. I had horrible nightmares the night after I watched it the first time. I even slept-walked in Sam’s house and woke up on the floor in her bedroom’s entryway with a huge bruise on my foot. Still have no idea what happened there. Since then I’ve gotten a little desensitized by it and was okay to go to bed by myself. After we watched it last week, I went home and got in bed. I reached up to turn my overhead light off, but then froze. My lamp that hangs above my bed is a circle-shaped light, resembling a ring. The line from the movie played in my head: “Before you die, you see the ring.” So I bravely turned off the light, knowing what I would see. The room was completely dark aside from the ring of light, which faded into the dark seconds later. Pretty scary.

※ I’ve been cooking a little more lately. I’ve made a new curry recipe and this one is rocking my taste buds right now: click here for the recipe! And also, I rediscovered some of my Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free baking flour that Tori and Kyle gave me for Christmas last year. I still had some left! So I decided that I was going to try and make carrot cake. I even bought nutmeg and everything. I used this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie and while the results were not as visually “pretty” as a normal carrot cake… The taste was incredible. I hadn’t tasted carrot cake in probably over a year, so it was pure heaven for this carrot cake lover. Plus, it takes 5 minutes and you can make it in the microwave. I don’t have an oven here in Japan, but… This carrot cake can be made anywhere in the world with a microwave! I need to order more gluten-free flour. :)

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Another thing I made was… CHILI. Oh my gosh. I have not had chili in… two years? I can’t remember the last time I ate real chili. I am so looking forward to eating this with a nice ripe avocado on top. I used this recipe from Oh She Glows.

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April 10, 2012

Random Observations As Of Late #3

  • Sad news first. My co-worker’s sister died suddenly on a Friday. This was also the last day of the fiscal year. So, naturally he requested some time off to grieve with his family. He was absent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; came back to work on Thursday. During our morning meeting on the first day he was back, he made a speech in front of everyone: he thanked everyone for the monetary gifts and flowers.  And then he thanked everyone for the three days off and promised to work hard because he missed those first three days of the fiscal year. He then bought a huge box of sweets for the whole office. I get the feeling that this is pretty different from what happens in America when an office member has a death in the family.
  • It snowed on April 7th, Saturday… A pretty big storm, actually. Here’s hoping that this one was the last.
  • Japanese people bow constantly. And I mean constantly. At home, at work, at school, at the store, on the streets, in their cars, on bicycles… It is so amusing to watch my co-workers bow while they are on the phone. Just the other minute my co-worker was bowing so low that his forehead nearly touched his desk. Why do they bow on the phone? The other person can’t see them…
  • Ever since I downloaded the free Photoshop CS6 beta for my work PC, I’ve found a new way to pass the time. I made some flyers and a business card for my mom. I made some icons and a banner for Tori, who is the new AJET (Association for Japan Exchange and Teaching) President. Here is what I made:

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October 14, 2011

Hirosaki Apple Marathon

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I think it was back in August that we all began talking about running in the Hirosaki Apple Marathon. Myself, Tori, Kimberly, and Ayu were sitting around and Ayu brought up the idea. I said that I had always wanted to run in a marathon, but never got up the guts to do it. I know, I know… I lived in Austin, Texas and they have marathon events literally all the time… But I had never done it. So I thought to myself,

“Hey Stacy! You’re in Japan! Let’s try new crazy things! How about running a 10k?”

I had no real perception of what it would be like to run a 10k, but why the heck not?

Ayu signed us all up on the website. A 10k (6.2 mi) is about the furthest you can run without truly going insane and pulling a half-marathon (13 mi/21 km) or a full-marathon (26 mi/42 km). And the 3k and 5k just seemed way too easy. I wanted a challenge! Maybe it was that former competitive athlete in me talking…

After the four of us signed up, I learned that our other ALT friends Mike and Claire were going to run with us too. We had a team! Tori came up with the idea to design a shirt and have it professionally printed by some friends. It was totally Tori’s design (creative people are awesome!) and the color was awesome because we had no trouble picking ourselves out in the crowds of runners.

I imagined that I should do some sort of training to get ready for the longest run I’d ever attempted in my life. Tori was totally hard-core about getting an actual training regimen and Kimberly was already a devoted runner, so… I just thought I would get in the habit of running as much as I could to build up some running muscles. This sounded like a reasonable goal to me.

This however was thwarted when I fell deathly ill with the worst cold ever only two weeks before the race. Spent the first week basically in bed and the next week still recovering. I think I made it out to run about twice in those two weeks before the race. Whoops… I wondered how I would feel on race day, with my cough lingering and my nose still running. It was a little hard to breathe sometimes with the cough and I got winded easily. I didn’t have very high expectations for myself, so I was just there to do the best I could.

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