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I have been able to solve some issues that I have had with my mom, and she is allowing me to write on the blog again.
My mother and I arrived in Japan this week. It is totally different here than anywhere I have ever been.
I have not been able to do any running here yet, but hopefully will start running again in the next couple of days.
It is good to be back on the blog. :)
Today I went with my mom to finish my registration to start school here.
Since neither of us speak Japanese it was kind of a challenge. We finally got it all finished though. I will be starting classes tomorrow. I am kind of (actually very) nervous about starting school because I don't speak the language, but I will try and stay positive about it.
We also met with the coach of the track team. That didn't go so well. Right now they are doing what they call Ekiden. The school has three racing teams. Groups A, B and C. The other members (mainly first year students do not run in races). The coach said that since it would not be fair for the other girls who are already on the racing teams if I took one of their places, I would not be on a racing team. I can train though with the other girls who are not on a racing team. The coach was not even interested in seeing me run. My mother was upset about that. The girls who are not on a racing team do not train with the other girls. Their main responsibility is to carry the equipment, help with timing, etc. and train on their own. The coach said she does not have time to give them instruction. My mother asked if she could help coach me and these girls. The coach said no. My mother is upset and is going to have my step-father talk with the principal tomorrow. I told her to just let it go, because if the coach gets upset, she will never let me run.
Oh well we will just have to wait and see what happens.
Anyway, I plan on starting my running again tomorrow morning by myself.
This morning I ran at a park near our home here. There is a walking/running course in the park that is 4km long and is marked off every .25 km (back to everthing being in meters). I ran a short warm up than ran 6 x 1km with a 250 m recover run in between.
Felt very good. Not too hard. Hardly breathing hard after these. I didn't want to go too hard because I have school today after this.
Okay off to school. Probably will run some more later.
Today was my first day of classes here in a Japanese school, and my second experience of attending school. This Japanese school was so much different than the school that I attended in Singapore. I was expecting a similare experience. InSingapore most of the students were well behaved and were quiet during class. But today, I couldn't believe it. The students weren't listening to the teacher. Students would get up out of their seats and start talking with other students, totally ignoring the teacher. I could hardly even hear what the teachers were saying (not that I could have understood anything if I could have heard since I don't speak the language).
In Singapore after each class period, the students would change to the next classroom, but here the students stay in the same room and the teachers change rooms. I don't like that. I think it is good to get up and change environment. Sitting in the same seat the whole day was kind of mentally challenging.
Having not attended school in the USA, I am not sure how things are there. I have thought that maybe I would like to be a teacher, but after today I am not sure anymore.
After school, I went to track practice. I am not sure if I like it either. When I trained with the college team in Singapore, it was such a friendly atmosphere, and every one was encouraging everybody.
Here the older members on the team are called "Senpai" and the new members like me are called "Kohai". The Kohai are almost like slaves to the senpais. We have to carry their bags, and stuff. When they walk past us we have to stand at attention and bow at them, which I didn't know I was supposed to do, and I got scolded for that. I felt like crying but I kept it in.
Us kohais are not allowed to train with the senpais, we have to run on our own.
Today the senpais were running 4 x 1500m. They were doing it in the inside lane. I asked the coach if I could run them, but she said only if I ran them in the very outside lane so that I was not in the way.
Yesterday on my Blog, Sasha said that I need to impress people with my tiimes to get respect, so I told myself no matter what happened I was going to beat these Senpais even though I was in the outside lane.
Well, I was not able to beat a couple of the girls, but I was faster than most for all of the 1500m intervals. I don't know how much longer running in the very outside lane is, but I tried my hardest to impress. The coach totally ignored me though, so I probably did not impress her.
The hardest thing for me right now is trying to communicate. It is such a challenge because of the language barrier. I need to learn Japanese quickly. The peoiple here can speak English a little, but it is difficult to understand.
Total running for this afternoon was probably close to being another 10K.
I can't believe how early it gets light here in Japan. It is starting to get light about 5:00am. It is good for early morning running though.
I was super sore today when i got up this morning. Yesterdays 1500m intervals must have taken more out of me than I thought. I gave them everything I had because I was trying to impress. Didn't seem to make an impression though.
Today I ran with my mother. We did two laps around the park. That is a total of 8K (5 miles) easy at 7:00/mile. Then there is a hill nearby so we ran 5 of those. The hill is approximately 400m long (and very steep). We ran fast up the hill and walked down.
I made a decision. Today I am quitting the track team. I would rather come home and do my studying for my home schooling. I would also like to quit the Japanese school. I hated it yesterday. To be honest, I don't really like it here in Japan. I think if I could speak the language it would be different.
My mom says that she will try to find a better school. However, it is hard to find one that I can enter in the middle of the school year. The school year begins in April here.
The food is good here in Japan though. We went to an Indian Curry place yesterday. I had Indian Curry in Singapore and it was good. But the Indian Curry we had yesterday was the best. Also, the workers at the restaurant were from Nepal and spoke English. I don' t know what I enjoyed most, the food or being able to hear English.
Well, I did it. I quit the track team. Joining the track team was the thing I was most looking forward to in coming to Japan, but unfortunately, this team and I were not a good mix for each other. I will try to take Sasha's advice and find some open races to run in. The only problem is the language barrier and finding information on open races.
I need to do some of my home school study this afternoon. I have US history, Calculus and Physics to study today.
I also had math homework for my Japanese school, but it was such a breeze that I finished it already.
It is raining really hard here this morning, so no running this morning.
Still raining... I guess I won't be running today. I guess it is okay. I am still sore from the other day.
Did an easy two laps around the park (8K). It was a hot day here today.
This morning I ran a warm up with my mother at the park. Then I ran 10 x 500 m with 250 m recovery run in between. It is nice that the running path at the park is marked every 250 m. My mother had my do the first five 500 m intervals going around the loop in the park in counterclockwise direction, and then the last five going in the clockwise direction. My target time was 1:35. After I finished off with a cool down run with my mother.
10 x 500m (250m recovery run in between)
The first one was way off, but the rest were pretty much where I wanted them.
Today it is a holiday here in Japan. In 1964 japan hosted the Olympic games in Tokyo. This holiday is called "Athletics Day" and is to commemorate those Olympics. I guess it is a day when everyone is supposed to do something athletic, because we saw lots of people on the running path this morning, and usually it is just us.
I have been feeling very homesick here in Japan, and I haven't been enjoying it much here, but over the weekend I got to thinking about that. I think the problem is my attitude. Japan is not going to change for me. I realized that I need to change my attitude. I have a very great chance of a lifetime here to learn about a different culture, to learn a different language. I need to look at things here from a different perspective. So from today, I have decided I am going to be positive about being here, and try to learn as much as I can about Japan. I need to try and find some new friends here as soon as possible.
Okay...enough rambling from me. I have lots of studying to do today, so I guess I should get started. I will probably try to run again later in the afternoon.
Ran an easy 10K (6.2 miles) this afternoon. Because of the holiday here, there were so many people out running. They all looked like pretty good runners too.
Ran a warm up run to the park, then ran and easy 10K (6.2 miles) with my mom at 8:00 min/mile pace. I kept trying to pick up the pace and my mother would get after me. She said that on easy days, I need to take it easy. It is hard for me to go easy. I always want to go hard. She says I can either "Train" my body or "Break" my body,. She says if I don't make the easy days easy I will be "Breaking" my body instead of "Training" my body. She (and also my grandfather) have the way of thinking that you should only do hard work outs when your body is feeling good and you can give the workout 100%. My mom has been reading some of the blogs on here recently, and says she can't believe how many runners on here are injured, and then she looks at their training and shows me that it is because they are "Breaking" their bodies instead of "Training". She doesn't understand what their coaches are thinking.
We ran 5 hills (400 m hill). Ran up and walked down.
Then did a cool down to reach about 10 miles.
Well, I am on my way to school. It looks like it is going to be a hot day here today. I will run again later when I get home from school.
Ran an easy 5 miles.
Ran about 10 miles fairly easy at approximately 7:00 min/mile pace. I ran this with my mother. I kept expecting her to drop off, but she kept up with me the entire way.
In the park where we run, there is a large stadium with a track. The city track and field championships are there this weekend. I would have like to have run, but I learned that I would have had to sign up back in September. I think I am going to go and watch though.
I am a little sleepy today. I was working on a Physics problem last night, and styed up until I solved it. It was a fun problem, and was a challenge to solve, but I finally got it. I love math and Science. Solving problems is kind of like a game or puzzle, and it is always exciting when I finally figure it out and get the right answer.
Was going to run this afternoon after school, but my mother and I decided to go to the hair salon. This is going to be interesting since we can can't communicate well. Who knows, maybe I will come out with purple hair or something. :)
Did an easy 10 miles this morning.
Ran an easy 3 miles.
Ran a warm up to the park. Then ran 8K (5 miles) at a fairly fast pace of 6:20/mile. Then ran 6 x 400 m steep hils (fast up, walk down).
I met some girls at school yesterday from the track team. They are first year students (kohai) like me. They asked me why I stopped coming. I tried to tell them it is because we can't run in races, and because we can't train with the rest of the team (senpais). Also, because they practice until 6:00pm, my studies would suffer. I am not sure if they understood what I was trying to tell them.
Since then I have been doing a lot of thinking. I wonder if I should stop putting so much emphasis on trying to be the best I can be and becoming as fast as I can be. Maybe it should be more important for me to be associating with the other girls and having friends. I don't want them to get the false impression that I think I am better than them.
It is raining this afternoon. Did a nice peaceful easy 5 mile run in the rain.
It is raining very hard here this morning. I was going to run 3 x 2000m this morning, but I guess that won't be happening.
This afternoon, is the city track and field championships at the stadium in the park where I run. If it is not raining, I plan on going to watch. Today is the finals for the 800m and the 5000m. Tomorrow is the finals for the 1500m.
If I have time this afternoon I will try to do some running then.
I ran an easy 3 miles in the park and then watched the City Track Meet.
The rain had stopped when I was running, but it started raining hard while I was watching the races. I only watched the 5000m races, and then went home. The winner of the girls 5000m won in 18:15.34, and the winner of the boys 5000m won in 15:19.56.
I think I could have won the girls race.
5 easy miles in the rain. I wish it would stop raining, but the forecast is for rain all this week.
Just woke up. It is raining very hard this morning, so I guess I won't be running, Maybe later today.
Ran 8 miles in the rain. Don't feel too good since coming home from my run. Have the chills.
Did not feel well today, so I did not run. I have had a fever. Maybe I shouldn't have run in the rain the last few days.
Ran 6 very easy miles. Still not feeling well.
It is still raining hard here. It has been raining here for a week. Also, there is a strong typhoon heading this way that is supposed to be here by the weekend or early next week. Sure makes running hard. I still am not feeling 100%. Maybe I should rest from running for a few days until the weather turn nice again before I run.
Easy 3 miles in the rain.
4 miles in the rain. I am SO tired of rain.
3 easy miles.
5 miles in a light rain.
I was signed up to run an Open 5K race here tomorrow, but there is supposed to be a large typhoon tomorrow, so the race was cancelled.
There is a typhoon here this morning. It is my first ever Typhoon. Right now it doesn't seem to be so bad. The main force of the storm is supposed to arrive at about noon today.
I guess I will just be staying inside all day.
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