New Year’s Osechi and First Run of 2023

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Osechi” Cedar Park, 2023

Happy New Year! We started 2023 off with a delicious osechi brunch. Mariko and her friends prepared everything here, with my contribution being the roast beef. All the dishes were yummy!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Osechi” Cedar Park, 2023
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Osechi” Cedar Park, 2023

These past two weeks have been filled with a lot of yummy foods and plenty of dessert, so I need to get back into my exercise routine quickly. With that in mind, I went for a long run this afternoon and completed my monthly half-marathon challenge in Strava. I struggled a little bit and walked a couple of times, but it wasn’t too bad. I’m really looking forward to a nice year of running!

Cold Weather Running

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/400 sec, ISO32
“Baggy Tights” Cedar Park, 2022

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”. That’s a Norwegian phrase that was going through my head as I suffered yesterday on my run. So today, I added another layer on top and put on my baggy tights on the bottom. What a difference it made! I was warm and the run was a lot of fun! I’ve always disliked running in cold weather, but with the right clothes, it can be very pleasant.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/16000 sec, ISO40
“Lovely Sky” Cedar Park, 2022

Evening Running

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/500 sec, ISO25
“Long Shadows” Cedar Park, 2022

These days it’s pretty hot at lunchtime when I like to go for a run, so I have been going out in the evening. It’s kind of fun and different! I’ll also put on an audiobook which is mixing it up a bit for me. I kind of like that too.

Running Naked

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 2.71mm, f/2.2, 1/550 sec, ISO25
“Running Naked” Cedar Park, 2022

Excuse the click-bait-ey title, but I thought it was funny. Anyways, on really hot days, I’ll take off my shirt when I go running. Mariko says that the “naked” running is never done in Japan. In fact, you might get the police called on you! But here in the States, or at least in Texas, men run shirtless a lot. (We now jokingly refer to it as “American-style” and to her, shirtless is “naked”, while to me “naked” means no clothes at all 😆)

For the longest time, I was too self-conscious to take my shirt off even though I wanted to get some sun. First, I have a farmer’s tan, and second, I am not skinny. My mind was in a bit of a conundrum: if I was skinny, I wouldn’t worry about the farmer’s tan. And If I was tan, then I wouldn’t worry about not being skinny. So I was stuck. I don’t want to look silly and have people laugh at me.

But now I am older, and simply don’t give a f*$k what others think. And honestly, most people don’t even care. And even if they do, that doesn’t concern me. I don’t even know these people, and they don’t know me. So off comes the shirt, and after a few runs, my farmer’s tan is well on its way out. I still have my love-handles but whatever. Maybe someday they’ll be gone, but it doesn’t really matter any more.

All that being said, I don’t run shirtless all the time. The sun is just too strong and I gotta protect my health. But just having that option is liberating.

I love running so much. It’s really my time to refocus my mind, listen to my body, listen to music, and perhaps practice some gratitude. I don’t ever want to give that up.

Also, I like to look at things when I go running. For instance, this puddle leftover from the morning rain reminds me of Maui. 😊

I hope you had a great day! またね〜

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/4800 sec, ISO32
“Maui Puddle” Cedar Park, 2022

Quick Running Update

Hi all,

I just wanted to write a note here that my running continues to improve! Last week I was able to up my distance to 10 km distance without any discomfort, and then after a couple of rest days, I was able to run a half-marathon distance!

My leg did start to feel weak at about the 9 mile mark, so I walked for a minute and did some light stretching before continuing on. The pain didn’t increase and actually went away and I was able to up the pace for the last few miles. It was a pleasant surprise!

Anyways, I am pretty stoked so I wanted to make a post about it. 😃 Injuries suck, but helps put things into perspective.