2017 Year-end wrap-up

2017 Year-end wrap-up

I know that I haven’t posted anything in quite a long time.  Honestly I ran out of steam.  With the way that this year has gone (from everything in the world to everything in my little world), I just lost all motivation to post.  I drastically decreased my baking though still kept up with running (just not to the degree I had been doing it earlier this year).  I didn’t have any races after my Spring ones so didn’t feel the urge to run a ton and post about it.  I did work on increasing my running intensity (doing intervals on the treadmill and outside), which I think is good for my overall fitness.

There have been a lot of other big things going on such as re-doing our entire kitchen and taking up a new hobby.  Since I know this blog isn’t really read regularly or even much at all, I’m going to jot down some notes/thoughts from the past year mostly so I remember it.

Early 2017 involved some big changes at work with new co-workers that I worked with closely.  I enjoyed it as I got to put on a different work hat — that of being a mentor.  Also there were a ton of staffing changes and something I’ve started to be more comfortable with, which is change.  I’ve always been the type to like everything to stay fairly constant.  Change is/was always a scary word to me.  I need to take the advice of my father, who has the philosophy to “go with the flow” (of the river…or life).  I think that at least with regards to work, I’ve become better at adjusting to changes.

The highlight of the early part of 2017 was two-fold.  Japan (see posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) and the Big Sur Marathon.  While I was sick for the latter half of the Japan trip, it was still such an amazing place to visit and great experience.  The Big Sur Marathon was a bucket-list marathon and I’m still amazed I got in on the first go around with the lottery system.  Even though I bonked (and didn’t have the best taper leading up to the race due to Japan), I still enjoyed the experience overall.  Most likely I’ll never do it again so it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.  Plus you can’t beat visiting Monterey/Carmel.

The latter half of 2017 was focused mostly on the kitchen.  At some point I’ll probably put up some posts about it since it was a big part of the year.  I’m happy with the outcome and glad that it is done with.

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Sneak peek

A trip down to San Diego at the end of the year was a nice way to cap it off as well.  Again, I somehow was sick for this trip as well so even though I didn’t feel the greatest, I still enjoyed it because it is San Diego! Continue reading “2017 Year-end wrap-up”

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Tokyo Day 3 & 4 (Japan 2017)

Tokyo Day 3 & 4 (Japan 2017)

After a restful sleep, we awoke and ordered some room service and then decided to head over to the Imperial Palace area along with Tokyo Station and the many things around that area.  The weather was still fairly overcast and rainy, my wife was very smart and brought an umbrella.

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Tokyo Station

We walked around the outer perimeter of the Imperial Palace but didn’t try to go inside.  We started to get hungry and went looking for a snack.

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Imperial Palace

Near Tokyo Station is the KITTE building, which houses a lot of stores as well as restaurants.

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KITTE Building

I had read about it on a web site and since we were right there, we stopped in.  It was still fairly early in the day so they weren’t letting people go up onto higher floors.  So we headed to the basement and walked around where they had little shops of various food items and small trinket type things.  We got some Chicken Karaage from the convenience store.  This is essentially their version of chicken nuggets.  I also had an Onigiri (which became a theme of the trip).  Onigiri are triangles of rice wrapped in seaweed and filled with various items (I ended up trying some that had tuna salad, smoked salmon, fish roe, egg, etc). Continue reading “Tokyo Day 3 & 4 (Japan 2017)”

Tokyo Day 1 & 2 (Japan 2017)

Tokyo Day 1 & 2 (Japan 2017)

It has taken me quite awhile to finally get these first two days published from our trip back at the end of March-early April.  Will hopefully get the rest up in a timely manner.

Day 1 was a short day due to travel.  We landed at Narita airport in the late afternoon around 4:30 pm.  However, there was a crazy wait at customs/immigration.  The line for Japanese citizens was crazy short and those of foreign passports had a long wait.  They even had two separate customs areas and it still took somewhere around 1-1.5 hours of wait time to get through.  And then we needed to exchange our vouchers for the Japan Rail Pass, which came in handy throughout the trip but it was another 1 hour wait to get this pass.  As you can imagine, after an almost 11 hour flight, we were quite tired.  Thankfully once we received our rail pass, they also booked us on the train that would take us into Tokyo (about a 90 minute train ride).

Initially on approach to Japan I thought we’d have time to get to our hotel, put our stuff away and then head out for some dinner.  I realized after all the aforementioned wait times, we’d be lucky to find anywhere open for food.  Add onto that we were just bone tired and I wasn’t sure what we were going to do about foodstuffs.

After arriving at Shinjuku station (the one closest to our hotel for the night), I looked on the map and decided that it wasn’t too far of a walk from the train station to the hotel.  The wife had mentioned there was a courtesy hotel shuttle from Shinjuku station though we couldn’t be exactly sure where the pickup point was.  So after about a 15 minute walk, we arrived at our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Tokyo.  It has quite an impressive entrance with these very large low hanging chandeliers.  We  checked in and immediately headed upstairs to offload our stuff.  When we first arrived, I noticed that there appeared to be some restaurants and stores in the basement level (which becomes a theme in Japan).  We initially looked at some of the hotel restaurants (they have a handful of them situated in the hotel itself) but it looked like most places closed at 9 pm and we had arrived just after 9 pm.

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So it was off the convenience store in the basement for food. Luckily they actually stock some food that is edible and not extremely bad for you.  The wife and I both picked up a pre-made sandwich and I also got a hot dog and some snacks (chips).  After eating some food and cleaning up a little, it was off to bed for us. Continue reading “Tokyo Day 1 & 2 (Japan 2017)”

Marathon Training Week 15 & 16

A bit late but I figured I should get my 2nd to last week of training in before the actual Big Sur Marathon.

I was pretty much recovered from my GI illness and was able to get some okay runs in.  I know that I’m supposed to be tapering so I didn’t really push myself too hard but I wanted to at least get some decent mileage in.  I also tried to hold back a little in terms of pushing the speed (not that I’m fast to begin with).

Tuesday – 3.75 miles

Thursday – 4.25 miles

Friday – 6.25 miles (treadmill)

Saturday -3.5 miles

Sunday – rest

Total – 17.75 miles

Week 16

Tuesday – 3.5 miles

I’ve been experiencing some tenderness in my left distal calf.  It doesn’t seem to bother much after I get about 0.5 mile into my run but I can feel it when I am done with my run.  I’ve only done one run in week 16 because I don’t want to exacerbate my calf.  I will probably do a very short shakeout run on Saturday before the race.

I’m still working on my Japan posts but here’s a sneak peek:

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-StewsCat

Marathon Training Week 12, 13, 14

Hello!

It’s been awhile since my last post and that is because I’ve been on vacation.  My wife and I had planned a trip to Japan during Cherry Blossom season and so we traveled halfway around the world and visited the beautiful country for a few weeks.  I realized after booking the trip that the timing of the trip would interfere with my training for the Big Sur Marathon, but it’s Japan!  I had also read an article on Runner’s World about how a marathoner stopped being so stringent and strict about sticking to the training plan especially when on vacation.  They went on to say that their overall race times didn’t suffer and they were less stressed because they didn’t constantly worry about missing certain workouts.

Of course I had good intentions of doing some runs while on my trip to Japan.  I packed a few sets of running clothes and also planned on doing some laundry while over there.  Just prior to leaving, I managed to get in a very short run during week 12.  This turned out to my only run of week 12.

3/28 – 2 miles

Once we arrived in Japan, we did the normal touristy thing and did a TON of walking.  My wife’s phone provided us with an indication that we were walking anywhere from 5-10 miles per day.  A lot of this involved going up and down stairs so I count that as my workouts of the day.  I still did want to at least get some actual running in and managed to get a treadmill run done at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.  The neat thing about the gym/pool at the hotel is that it is located on the 47th floor.  If you’ve seen the movie Lost in Translation, you’ll know the pool.  The treadmills sit on one side of the building with full-length windows overlooking the city.  It’s a fantastic view.  Here’s a link to some views (pictures are not allowed in the gym): pictures.

4/4 – 4.25 miles

I figured that I’d get in a few runs (maybe 2) in Kyoto and call it a day for runs on vacation.  Of course the night before my first planned in Kyoto, I woke up at midnight with chills, fever, and diarrhea.  This went on to afflict me the rest of the trip and so now running was to be had.  I barely ate anything for 2 days while sick and was overall sick.  We returned to the States this past week and after getting on some medications I’m doing better, though not 100%.  While at work, my co-worker pointed out that I only have 2 more weeks until the Big Sur Marathon.  I know that I’m in my taper but since I barely have done any running for for almost 2 weeks I decided to jump back into it.

Thursday – 4 miles

Saturday – 6 miles

Sunday – 4.44 miles

Total – 14.44 miles

While not an ideal total for 2 weeks from race day, I’ll accept it.  Like I said, I’m still not 100% and my GI is still having some re-structuring issues.  Hopefully it irons itself out over this next week.  Overall I’m still happy with where I am and still look forward to the race.  I’m not dreading it yet.

Happy Easter!

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-StewsCat