Not because it's perfect and there's nothing I want to improve, but because it allows me to accomplish amazing things. After almost 3 weeks off from any real cardio I went for a 5 mile run on Sunday and I was fine. I was more than fine. It felt great to run!
How did I do it, you ask? With my Relax Flavored Water, of course.
I've mentioned before that I love that there are vending machines everywhere here in Okinawa. It means I don't have to carry a water bottle, just a 100 yen coin and I'm good to go. At the end of mile 4 I knew I only had a mile left, but I was parched. This water, which was really lemon flavored not relaxed flavor, helped me push through. What's something that I don't take on runs?
That's right, Rana is the worst running dog ever! Let her off leash at the beach and she will tear it up with speed and boundless energy. Put her on a leash and take her for a run and I swear you can hear her spotty feet dragging on the pavement. She just gets bored out of her little dog mind. I can make her suffer through a 2 mile loop, but that's about it. Any suggestions?
Alrighty, enough dog talk, back to the run. I was trying out a new route that Chris had told me about. The one thing he forgot to mention is that on weekends there is a local market (think flea market mixed with farmer's market) lining both sides of the narrow street. At first the congestion annoyed me because I didn't want to slow down, but then I got all zen and went with the moment. Some of the locals clapped and cheered me on with "Gambate!" (You can do it! Keep going!) It was fun and made me feel like a rock star. Besides some thirst and tired legs on the last uphill I felt great the entire run. The human body is amazing.
Backing up a little, last weekend Chris and I were on a mission to wear out the dog. We decided that we would walk her to Kurashiki Dam, let her run around, and come home. The dam is a little over 5km away from our house. So we wound up going a total of close to 7 miles that day. We had a great time.
We're convinced that Rana is meant to be an agility dog so we had her jumping over chains and walking on walls.
From a distance we saw this floating bridge that looked like fun and seemed to lead to a little wooded island. We were bummed when we got to it and found out it was closed. I guess we'll just have to go back another time.
On the way home we decided to speed up the journey and run a little. We made it maybe 2km and it ended in a coughing, spitting mess. I guess I wasn't ready to jog at that point. I know this isn't an overly attractive picture, but Chris' expression cracks me up.
For a little cultural highlight, here's a treat my student, Michiko, brought me. It's very common to bring back small presents for friends and family when you travel. Michiko is from Ishigaki, a small island close to Okinawa known for its beauty and its huge spring triathlon. Apparently, they are also known for their salt. Michiko brought me a little box of chocolate bars that contain Ishigaki salt. I was a little hesitant, but it is delicious! It's the perfect combo of sweet and salty!
This Saturday we had our friends, the Wheelers, over for a game of Settlers. This just might be the best board game ever!
It is all about strategy and creating cities and settlements. You have to protect your cities from pirates and robbers by purchasing knights. It really is fantastic. My sister, Monica, gave it to me for Christmas. When I told her we had played she sounded very doubtful when she asked if we had fun. When she was buying it she had read the description and had decided that this is not a game you could play while drinking cocktails. I'm with her on that assessment because I was sober as a judge and was still having difficulty keeping up with every aspect of the game. If you're looking for a great game that can fill an afternoon, definitely check out Settler's!
I hope everyone has a great week!