The Squeaky Wheel gets the Grease!

Week 10 of my RW Challenge! So exciting!

Living in Okinawa Japan definitely has its pros and cons.

My number one CON to being here is the postal system. The FPO (Foreign Post Office) is seriously like the black hole of delivery. I have had textbooks for school take 3 months to get here…and well, the semester was already over. Before I started this RW challenge I subscribed to the RW Magazine. I anxiously awaited my January copy and by the middle of the month I just gave up and went to the Shoppette to buy a copy. Then, January 26th there it was, my copy of RW in my mailbox. Same thing for February – and actually the March issues were already on the newsstands before my February copy came. I decided to send complaint emails to RW via their “contact me” tab on the website and a complaint on their FB wall. I got a customer service reply from them, “Sorry for the inconvenience we’ll mail out a copy to you, it should be there in 3-4 weeks.

This is how I feel when dealing with the FPO system!

How was this supposed to help? So I emailed them back complaining some more. Guess what? The squeaky wheel really did get some grease! Monday when I checked my mail (March14th) there was my APRIL 2011 RW Magazine! I could hardly believe it!

At the post office I was told that once mail enters into the FPO system from the USPS system there is no guarantee as to how long something can take to reach its final destination. So I was convinced that even though I was complaining to RW they really might not be able to do anything about my particular problem b/c of our location. But alas I stand corrected!

Another treat was in my box for me today! My new Asics trailing running shoes! WOOT here I come! Wahoo! I have lined up two teen girls who have agreed to occasionally babysit for me at 6:30am on Saturday mornings when I go for a run with the local women’s trail running group called WOOT (Women On Okinawa Trails).  I had met up with this group for some Cocok’s Toes pampering as a meet and greet and to pick their brains about any “gear” I might need. Plus, I just wanted someone to give me permission to feed my gear junkie side! One of the women I asked said that she just runs in old running shoes, others said that they bought trail shoes – no clear cut answers. I decided to just do my homework and read some reviews on the differences between the two types of shoes – Road vs trail.

Turns out, trial running shoes don’t just keep your feet a little less wet they also really do offer protection and way better traction. Trail shoes are designed with thin metal plates strategically placed to prevent sharp rocks, broken sticks, you name it – from jabbing into your foot and causing injury. I chose Asics simply because that is what I have been running in for years now and know I like them and know my size – so ordering online works. The trail shoe I chose is the 2009 model, Asics Gel Trail Attack 6 – click here for a video review.

I was fitted at a professional running store in Fredericksburg, VA and have just continued to order the same shoe ever since. If you have never been professionally fitted for a shoe, I highly recommend it. Before I had this done I was constantly getting shin splints and all sort of weird aches and pains. I had no idea what pronation even meant nor did I have any clue how it related to the type of shoes I should wear. There are some shoe fitting expos taking place this month and next month. MizunoShoeFitting – click on the link for the details.

Training updates – TODAY: I did a running interval. Warm-up: Active stretch, 25 Jumping Jacks, 15 curb step-ups each side (last week my hip flexors were tweaked so we are focusing on really warming them up!).

Work-out: 25 Jumping Jacks, 25 sit-ups, 10 pushups – Run 1 mile – repeat 3X.

I had planned to do this outside of the gym today while having Nola in the COOP but today’s volunteer was a NO SHOW. Hardly ever happens but man is it frustrating. Once we returned home it started to rain so I decided to wait until afternoon. When we were running our errands it was still sprinkling out so I decided to just make this a treadmill exercise. At the beginning I thought, maybe I’ll do 4 rounds or more…this doesn’t sound so hard! YEAH RIGHT! This was a challenging workout and by the end I was drenched in sweat and in no mood to go longer than Jeanne had instructed!

Wednesday – Run 3.5 miles nice and easy + Yoga @ 9am

Thursday –  We’re hitting it hard w/ Hills or Speed – Jeanne’s gonna let me know when I get there! Eeek!

Friday: I have a follow up Fitness Assesment. I had one of these done about a year after I had Nola, then again the week I started training with Jeanne, now this one is going to be a Re-Assesment after 9 weeks of training w. a coach. I am very excited to see (on paper) what my gains truly have been! I recommend this to everyone – they are free w/ any fitness coordinator. They do measurements, strength, BMI and some card testing and then give you an overall fitness score. It was REALLY cool to see the difference between last year and this years score! I’ll post all of my results after my meeting on Friday.


Nola is Daddy's Cammies!

This deployment is almost over! Our Return and Reunion brief is scheduled for March 22nd and I am getting very excited to hear what they have to say. My husband already told me not expect any solid dates of return – but this is exciting b/c it’s a milestone. This means the end is in sight. I have missed my husband so much – I have tried to keep all of these emotions at arms length for the most part and certainly haven’t let them be a part of this blog too frequently. I really appreciate everyone’s support through this deployment. Having our little girl grow up (a little dramatic but that’s what it feels like) in front of me and not being able to share that w/ my husband has been really tough. He was SO eager to be a father and it seemed like no sooner than we got the hang of this parenting thing – he was gone. He started leaving for 3 months at a time when she was only 3 months old. Now she is 15 months and counting. She has learned how to walk, talk and has a mouth full of teeth not to mention a large personality! We are both so eager to have him safely with us – day and night! My feet are so cold in the big bed!

Such a Daddy's girl. These were the last photos we had taken as a family before he deployed in September 2010.

Miles ran this week = 3.48

Year-to-date = 75.84


Stadiums are for Spectators

“Stadium are for spectators. We runners have Nature, and that is much better.” –Juha Vaatainen (Finnish 5000 and 10,000 meter star from the 1970s)

I’m not sure how many of you who read my page are actually in OKI but you might be interested to know that there is a trail running group of women here called “WOOT.” This stands for Women On Okinawa Trails. I have yet to do a trail run but more and more people I am meeting have been and say it is sooo much fun! SO the group has organized a “Pedicure Day” at Cocok’s this Saturday and I have signed up to go! I am very excited to meet these adventure-seeking ladies and pepper them with questions! The only thing that has really held me back from going was my nervousness of trying something new all by myself. So I figure this is a great way to get to know some of them first and then ease on into a Saturday morning run! Check them out on FaceBook!

Winter is almost over…and in Okinawa that only means one thing…the HEAT is coming! Even though it doesn’t really start getting really hot here until June it’s really the humidity that gets to you. That is something that comes and goes during spring but it has already started. By June it will be black flag PT conditions by 7am and that is when people are highly discouraged from physical activity outside.

For now though I will enjoy my mid morning runs while I can!

Training Updates:

This week has been extremely motivating and productive for me! I am getting my legs back in runner condition and am very excited. I am nervous though about getting back into speed and hill training too soon so I asked Jeanne if we could just do strength training and interval running for a few weeks to build my legs back up and then hit it hard again. She seems okay with this but warned that we don’t want to stray away from the hard work for too long… and I want a rematch with that menacing plaza hill!

Tuesday’s workout:

400 meter repeats remix. This was a tough but steady workout. I had to run 400meters at a 10min/mile pace then do 5 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 15 squats, and 20 jumping jacks then immediately take off for the next round – run 400m and 5, 10, 15, 20 again – I think we made it through 5 or 6 rounds. I lost count. Jeanne tracked my time as far as consistency was concerned and told me I did a good job of being able to maintain the running pace throughout. Needless to say I was really worn out after!!!

Wednesday was a rest day since I had been gaining mileage steadily since Saturday.

Thursday (today):

Jeanne took it easy on me today since I have a Functional Fitness 5K Saturday that I am hoping to be competitive in. Today I did a 800m run at a 10min/mile pace for a warm-up and then a progression of pushups, sit-ups, and squats for the main workout. The pushups really broke me off and really the whole workout did. By this afternoon my eyes were burning and heavy…I really could have used a nap!

Tomorrow: I will be running 2 miles at an easy pace – gotta save myself for Saturday’s race on Kinser. I’m really excited about this for several reasons but one important one is that my neighbor and friend, Liz (and her daughter), will be accompanying me! She will watch Nola and hopefully get some photos of my killing myself! I’m so glad that I don’t have to go alone. Competing alone is fine but driving all the way there and then having no one to cheer for you is a real buzz kill sometimes!

Upcoming Races:

“Lord of the Tengan” @ Camp Courtney, March 27th – 5K/10K Fun Run

Gunner’s Gym Fun Run 5K held April 2nd

T-shirts are provided for both.

I’m hoping to be able to be competitive in the 10K in late March but Jeanne is thinking this might have to be more of a training run and less of a “push hard – competitive run” for me. Darn that injury and getting sick setback (fists shacking in the air!)

Miles ran so far this week = 5.6