Happy Holidays, fellow runners and bloggers!

Although I should be finishing up my Marathon recap (woot woot, first one in the bag!) I am having a drink (or a few) and celebrating Xmas with loved ones. On slow work days, I’ve made it to the gym and on days off I get myself into the park for a nice long run. It’s a pretty great schedule.

Holiday feet

Holiday feet

Cold weather running gear - goofy but it does the job!

Cold weather running gear – goofy but it does the job!

Happy Holidays from Harlem!

Happy Holidays from Harlem! Stay cozy, eat and drink up, and have a lovely run!


Run for JAPAN #9 and my Longest Run Ever

2 Years and 20 Miles Later

20130310_100259On 10 March, our heroic friend Ayako organized the 9th Run for JAPAN group run around Central Park to raise money for the people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. This Run for JAPAN fundraising event which started two years ago kicked off my renewed running ‘career’ as it was the first time I had ever attempted 6 miles straight, the longest run of my life to that date. This time, I followed suit by marking the run as the current Longest Run to date. And that distance was Twenty. 20 Miles. Blaw.

Before the meet up time of 10AM, I decided to go out and do a pre-run, so that I would get some miles in beforehand in case my running friend Santiago would not do more than 2 loops with me. Fernando, still nursing his fracture, joined my side on his bike. Proudly sporting our Run for JAPAN shirts, we went down to the park, covered the east side, and then did two of the small 1.7 southern loop so that we’d be near the meeting point. By the time it was 10AM, I had completed over 6 miles, the whopping distance of 2011.

Run for JAPAN #9, Huge Success, thanks to Ayako!

Run for JAPAN #9, Huge Success, thanks to Ayako!

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Feeding the Foot


Mmmm BBQ

As I eat a box of chocolates for lunch today, I started reflecting on my nutritional intake. I haven’t eaten too many vegetables this week. And come to think of it, I am only eating these chocolates for lunch because I have no food here in my apartment.

Hmmmm…..reflection time! Let me describe myself briefly: I like tasty food. I grew up on a very healthy diet of my mom’s home Japanese German cooking, a lot of which involved vegetables and almost no junk food till I was older. However, there are two things about me preventing me having a nice lunch of greek salad or chicken and vegetables. They are 1. I am incredibly lazy when it comes to food, and 2. I am incredibly cheap when it comes to food.

1. Lazy Foodie: I am totally being honest when I say I’d rather run 8 miles than go to the store and buy something to eat. I just don’t see the point of putting on proper outside clothes just to grab something to eat when I have edible things here, even if they aren’t great for me. If I am going to go outside, it must be worth it, such as accomplishing my run for the day, going to work to get my salary, or seeing friends and having fun, but not to get food. I have been notorious for sustaining myself on canned corn and cereal in college, which has slowly changed to toast and chocolate in adulthood. Again, I do enjoy great food. If you put it in front of me, I will be ecstatic. If it is FREE, I will be elated. But I will not make effort to get it.

2. Cheapest Person I Know – Me: For being a lazy eater, I believe I work very hard for my cash. I have a lot of responsibility at my job and work extra extra hard to receive what some may consider a donation. Therefore, valuing the dollar as I do, I just cannot bring myself to spend money frivolously. But I do like nice things. For example, I have a very nice folding bike. I also have a super laptop ready for Diablo III when it comes out. I also have my fancy GPS watch and more than a few pairs of nice shoes. I especially am willing to shell out money for a trip abroad – with my tent and sleeping bag, of course! In any case, despite not being poor, you won’t catch me buying smoked salmon or at Le Bernardin any time soon. I just can’t bring myself to spend much on something that will be gone in 30 minutes or less! I enjoy a good outing with proper company, that is worth more than just the food. But still, I cringe at menu prices and pretty much read everything simultaneously with the price.

This killer combination of lazy and cheap is 100% detrimental to my nutritional intake. Combined with not having much will to go outside to get food with the fact that I don’t want to pay for it either, I just do not get food. And that leaves me with this old box of chocolates.

For a runner, this is not the best lifestyle. I have been trying to change, but I need help. When pushed gently, I do the right thing and get myself some proper healthy carbs the night before races, and even make vegetable soup with some assistance!

Carbing up before a race with natto nama tamago Udon

Post long run protein to repair my muscles!

Salad and half sandwich dinner - an attempt at a balanced meal

Mackerel, You are Mine!!!

Omega-3, salad, antioxidants

Vegetable soup for the week

With all this in mind, what will I have pre-10 mile race? I will stop eating these chocolates, put down my glass of wine, and meet Luke for a nice and affordable Ramen dinner in the city!

Running up to my First Half Marathon

anti climactic pre-first half-marathon training

My first half marathon is coming up in exactly a week from today! And I am not giving it much thought. I had heavily prepared for the first time I thought I was going to run a half marathon (the Bronx Half), but this time, I am not only running it, I am going to taiko practice afterwards, and snowboarding the next day. It seems to just be another notation in my planner.


How did this happen? Well, I suppose the fact that my first half-mara was supposed to be last summer and was tragically cancelled due to a freak hurricane in New York. And also, it is cold as HECK so training is not a bunch of inspirational Central Park runs with the sun shining on my enthusiastic face. It’s more like a frozen grimace on a very red face. And teary burning wind-whipped eyes. And a torturous first freezing mile, and a desperate shuffling ‘cool down’ mile back home. Or boring treadmills and smelling people’s gym farts. Getting a nice picture here?

I got this.

In any case, I am going to run this half marathon (itself a sort of ‘bore’ as it is 2 laps around Central Park, which I have done numerous times already in training!) despite it all because 1. It is a good gauge for me to figure out a proper goal time for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, 2. I need to do at least 9 races this year and/or 4 NY half marathons to be guaranteed for the ING NYC Marathon in 2013, and 3. Santiago will be my running buddy so it will be fun! So I will be pretty tired and then be forced to do Hachidan jumps. So I might fall asleep on the subway back home from taiko practice and end up freezing in Coney Island. So I have to wake up at 5am the next day to catch the bus to Hunter Mountain. So what? I am alive and I am living. Clap Your Hands! And have a fun beer.

Taiko practice is serious business!

Three Years in Yamagata has made me an avid Snowboarder

Beer today, Beer tomorrow!

I will be running 10 miles tomorrow with sore taiko practice arms in the bitter 20 degree weather by the bridge if you want to find me!

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.