Last weekend I ran the Shamrock’n half marathon here in town. I had previously done this race 5 years ago and actually PRed it with my only sub-2. I hadn’t even done much speed work and somehow just mentally pushed myself to a sub-2. This year I had no time goal and just wanted to run a decent race.
Race overview: Easy packet pick-up, good amount of porta-potties at race start, flat and fast course, good weather, nice finish line amenities.
The night before the race I had my usual pizza pre-race meal. Initially we were going to eat at Federalist Public House, but it was packed and so we ended up just getting the pizzas to go. Race morning came early as per my usual. I hadn’t realized that this race fell on daylight savings time until the week before the race. So with the “spring forward,” I was getting one less hour of sleep than usual. I didn’t sleep quite as well because of anxiety of the time change but probably managed a decent 5.5-6 hours probably, which is a lot better than when I first started doing races.
In the last 5 years, technology has really taken off and this year for parking you had the option of reserving a spot in one of the local parking garages/lots before race day. On the web site they didn’t list the parking structure I previously parked in that wasn’t too far from the race start/finish. I made the decision to park in Old Sacramento, which was about a 3/4 mile walk to the race start. I chose that lot because it meant not having to take the freeway and also I was hoping to avoid traffic and it was a success. The trek from the parking lot to Raley Field and the race start took me across the Tower Bridge.
I woke up early on a Sunday morning to get a run in before it became too warm. Somewhere along the way I went from sleeping in really late (especially in college) to waking up early without any alarm. Nowadays I wake up automatically around 5:30 am on workdays and between 6 and 7 am on weekends. For my birthday I knew that I wanted to get an outside run and for that I had to get up early. I have been mostly logging treadmill miles because of the heat wave that has been plaguing Sacramento.
Once outside I came across a momma turkey and two poults (young baby turkeys).
We awoke on our first full day in Kyoto with some big plans. There were quite a few locations we wanted to tick off our boxes in Kyoto and we only had so many days to see them. We decided to head over to the Imperial Palace as it was supposed to be prime sakura (cherry blossom) viewing. There is a web site that lists the various locales within Kyoto and the status of the cherry blossoms in that location – ranging from peak viewing to not blossomed. The Imperial Palace was a short subway ride and walk from our AirBnB.
The Imperial Palace actually sits in the middle of a very large park. Upon first entering the park, you could see that others had the same idea of checking out the cherry blossoms. With it still being mid-morning, the lighting was actually quite good for picture-taking and so we did like the other tourists and posted in and around the trees. We didn’t actually go to the front of the Palace and elected to check out the Shirakumo Shrine, which is located towards the south-eastern portion of the park.
I remember when they called it National Running day. While it was a work day, and a long one at that, I still wanted to get in at least a few miles. Getting some In N Out for dinner helped spur me to get off my butt and run. I wound up getting 3 miles on the treadmill. It was also a good night since the Warriors beat the Cavs in Game 3 of the Finals.
I’ve not been doing a ton of running since the Big Sur Marathon. I’ve still had weird foot pain/soreness after I run. Sometimes it is sore even after just a long day on my feet. I’m just too stubborn to call a doc and schedule to be seen. Ah well, we’ll see how it goes.
Here’s a pic of me from the Austin Half Marathon many moons ago.
I lost my original post for these days. Oh well, I’ll just re-start it and not try to re-create the old one that I had made.
So it was our last day in Tokyo and at the awesome Park Hyatt. Before leaving Tokyo I wanted to try to get at least one run in while in Japan. I decided to head up to the fitness center in the Park Hyatt. This is located up on the 47th floor. If you’ve seen the movie Lost in Translation, there is a scene where the main characters are swimming in this pool. I didn’t get any pictures because you’re not supposed to take pictures in the gym area. To actually get up to the fitness center you have to go through their spa (and actually tell them you’re a guest to get up there). They have a row of treadmills that face outward towards their floor-to-ceiling windows. You have this great overlook of the city and being so high up you get a bird’s eye view. It was a nice way to wake up for the day.
After sadly leaving the wonderful confines of the Park Hyatt, we made our way back to Tokyo Station by way of Shinjuku station for the ride over to Kyoto. Prior to taking the bullet train (Shinkansen), we needed some lunch. Within the underground mall area of Tokyo Station is Ramen Street. This was our first experience with ordering from a vending machine. So you walk up to a vending machine and can choose the type of Ramen you want (as well as any extras such as extra noodle, meat, other things), put money in the machine and then it spits out a ticket. You give the ticket to the attendant and wait in the line outside the restaurant. Once there is an open seat, they take you to it and then your food shows up. This place also had a paper bib for you to wear in case of splatter from the ramen. It was very tasty.