United Nations 66th Session of the General Assembly

When the Prime Minister is in town, Blackfoot doesn’t get to run

This week has been the opening of the next session of the General Assembly, opening with the General Debate, that all of us United Nations-related governments, staff, diplomats, companies, etc. must endure. A majority of the world’s and nation’s leaders gather in New York to deliver speeches, discuss global challenges and concerns face-to-face, and announce new policies, even perhaps appeal for UN membership and recognition as a state. Japan’s new Prime Minister Noda and Foreign Minister Genma also came to New York, and, as a part of the Press Team at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN, needless to say, I had to sacrifice my running to make sure the press could cover what they needed to at the UN.

President Abbas delivers his speech at the UN General Assembly

I found out that I would much rather run 10 miles than stand for 16 hours straight. However, I accomplished a lot – I was able to, though my experience, familiarity, relationships, and friendliness, get the national press who came all the way from Tokyo to cover the events, everything they needed. I missed running, I missed taiko, but they didn’t miss anything if they were on my shift.

Foreign Minister Genma chairs a ministerial meeting on the MDGs

US-Japan Bilateral Meeting between PM Noda and President Obama

Japanese press readies for the bilateral between PM Noda and PM David Cameron

My crowning moment – also the moment I almost had a nervous breakdown – was when there were no more tickets for the pen press to sit on the balcony of the General Assembly Hall to follow the Prime Minister’s speech. We had a bad slot sandwiched between Palestine and Israel.  Most of our pen press could not go to the Media Center to follow it because they would have to follow it in English, and they only speak Japanese, thus needed to hear it in the floor language. After wheeling and dealing and asking HUGE favors from people I can’t even mention or their jobs would be on the line, I got most of them in. We got to watch President Abbas’ speech live but unfortunately, afterwards when Prime Minister Noda was speaking, everyone was up in a rabble, leaving, talking, etc. so much that the President of the General Assembly had to bang his gavel to get some order. I almost cried. We worked so hard to get to this moment and no one was listening. And the speech was SO GOOD. He spent time to thank all the countries who supported Japan during the multiple disasters which struck Tohoku, and recounted stories he had heard from children in developing countries doing what they could to help “their friends who are suffering in Japan.”

Prime Minister Noda's heartfelt speech at the UN General Assembly Hall

That was my week. I have more follow-up work to do and will still be very busy but I should be able to start running and taiko-ing again for the most part. I had some very difficult times with the press team and sometimes the press themselves, but overall, I think they finally realized what I was worth and I got told I had a fan club in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thank you!!!

Ms. Blackfoot, Japan Press Team Member

And don’t forget to ask me about the Turks.


The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Running is feels so good…and so yet so bad!

I had a fabulous weekend at the Soh Daiko retreat in East Moriches, Long Island! So much fun was had, and my running was not derailed! I even had a great running partner, my inspirational co-2009 Soh Daiko member, Danny. He astounds me to no end with his running prowess.

Soh Daiko Retreat - Jason, Junko, Blackfoot, Momo, and Danny!

I have not had a running day off since last Sunday so I have been running for a week and a half with no break. And I sure do feel it! I was noting how after a certain point, all my aches and pains were fading. Now they are back again, and I am gonna chalk it up to the no-break thing. Fair?

Kayaking finally made my loose toenail (well, one of them) soften up enough to come off. It doesn’t hurt at all! The under part grew tough enough to act like a soft crab shell nail. 🙂 That would be the middle toe here on the left. I didn’t make the photo bigger because I didn’t want anyone to read this at lunch time and be grossed out.

So, this week, I will plow on with running and maybe do my ‘break’ day on Saturday since I have to do laundry, go to my spa appointment, primp for Rich (my good great awesome friend from university – we played kendo together) and then actually attend Rich and Naomi’s wedding.

Or maybe I will save my day off for Sunday if I can ram in a Saturday run so I can nurse my impending hangover.

Hurricane Irene Ruined My Race

But I got a PR out of running with the wind of it…

I was supposed to have been a half marathoner by now. August 28th I was to run through the Bronx and get a medal and drink some celebration beer. But instead, I hid in the Upper West Side from Hurricane Irene.

The hurricane swept in and flooded some areas. Some New Yorkers even had to evacuate for the first time in history. Luckily we did not get much damage but NJ and New England got seriously hit and some people died while others suffered days of power outages and flood damage. I won’t say that they should have run the race anyway – definitely it was too windy and dangerous with tree branches flying everywhere. I ran my usual running path in Bay Ridge and some killer waves crashed into the concrete path, breaking two huge chunks off and sending the bolts rocketing upwards. It is barricaded but us runners have to be really careful of the bolts sticking up.

But still, this was a huge disappointment. I spent the last 7 weeks on a rigorous training program and it was supposed to lead up to something, even if it wasn’t going to be my goal time. I ran almost every day in California to complete the training, and some of my toenails have gotten more wiggly for it. I don’t regret training, I certainly learned a lot and got better and smarter about running, but its still a big bummer. All we got from NYRR was a running tank top, and not a very good looking one at that. No refund, no credit. Boo.

Now I am running for fun again, which is….fun! I get up and go, without ‘having’ to do anything but some miles. It feels good. I think even without the race, I need this mental break and do some free running.

Some toenails are on the verge of leaving me
Sand makes them want to leave me faster
Gotta treat my feet – New Shoes!

These babies (see my products page) are super AND I get compliments from people while I run (on the shoes, not my running).

Lastly, I have to mention my new record for the 1 mile, made during my 7 mile stint post hurricane. The wind was ridiculously strong and I ended up kicking myself a few times. When I was against the wind, I felt like I was running through molasses. With the wind, super speed. I won’t say what it was since it was not my own running prowess which made this time and it will probably take years before I can run 1 mile in that time without a hurricane to help, but it made me happy that I went out there anyway and did my thing.