Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer vacation!


The Pumpkin Prince and Princess had their last day of the term on July 17th. There was a kinda sorta half-assed summer school going on the morning of the first week. The kids would go to school with their summer vacation workbooks (math and reading/ writing) and local volunteers (mostly nice ladies the kids' grandparents' age) would help them do it (read: keep them from wandering into the school playground). Then we went on a 3 day-trip to an island by ferry so that they would have something to write about in their "what I did on my summer vacation" enikki (picture essay).

The week after that, they had rajio taisou (radio exercises) every morning at 6:30. (Interestingly enough, it's apparently an American concept imported to Japan and then made much bigger than it ever was there.) When my brother and sister were in elementary school, it was every single weekday morning throughout the entire summer holiday, but now it's just once a week. Someone caught on that the parents (read: moms) who run the show are really too busy to go to the local park every morning with a portable stereo to play the radio broadcast, and stamp the attendance cards.

The rainy season ended a couple weeks ago and now the season of incredibly intense heat has begun. We escaped part of it when we were on our family vacation, but we're feeling it full-force now. The Pumpkin Daddy is shortening his triweekly runs from 10k to 8k, and I'm also holding back on extending my default distance beyond 5k. I'd been feeling disappointed that I wasn't getting any faster. My average speed for my 5k right now is slightly slower than 7 min/ km, which is what the Pumpkin Daddy's book on marathon training calls a LSD pace. Oh, how encouraging. But it's summer, so I'll keep my expectations low, my runs early (before the heat really sets in) and short, and my system well-watered. I've been at this for half a year now, so I've decided I deserve to invest in new gear (until now, I've been wearing Uniqlo stuff and shoes from when I had a "walking" phase about 5 years ago). I'm not sure I want to race. I'm doing this so I'll continue to fit in my current custom (as in DIY) altered wardrobe while maintaining my non-fitness-crazed eating habits. But it's nice to feel ready to take part in a "family 3k" with one of the kids while the Pumpkin Daddy runs his marathon, if the need and interest arise.

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