Day 1

Sunday

Started my 30 days running challenge. Rather exhilarating to finally get under way. Lovely weather for a run. To kick off just did a gentle hill jog for about 35minutes.Left Rimu St, went up Emano St, over Orsmond Cresent, down Saint Vincent Street and back to Rimu St. Saw picturesque spring wild flowers in orange, bright yellows, purples and reds, and dozens of cherry blossoms in full bloom. Simply magic.

In the afternoon went to Miyazu Gardens for a picnic under the cherry blossom trees, with Chiharu and Jubair, and our friends Phillip, Hiromi and their energetic boy Shion. Tippled sake and snacked on crackers. It felt like paradise.

It reminded me of my old friends, Susumu and Hiroko Watanabe, who live in Matsuzaki, Japan.

Susumu is a landscape gardener, and he has the most charming garden you’ll ever see, shaped around a stunning cherry tree that be planted many years ago. Sleepers are laid into a seating square under the tree, for the Spring, when every year for three days the Watanabes celebrate with friends, sitting around the sunked hearth to roast mochi, grill trout and river ayu (sweetfish) and heat bamboo tubes of sake. The photo on the left is of the tree in his garden.

Legs were a bit heavy by evening, reminding me how long it’s been since I exercised regularly. Stretched well before sleeping, and had an early(ish) night.

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The 30 Day Challenge

Running for 30 Days

There was a clip on TED recently about trying something new for 30 days. The speaker, Matt Cutts, had been inspired by the film “Supersize Me”, a documentary of a vegetarian man who tried eating McDonald’s every day for thirty days and recorded the effects it had on him.

Matt Cutts decided to try doing some things he had always wanted to do just for 30 days, to see if he could do it. He tried cycling to work every day for a month. He gave up chocolate and sweets for a month. He wrote a novel in a ‘Write a Book in 30 days Contest’. He gained confidence and did things he never thought he’d be able to do. Some of the things he tried doing he loved, and continued to do after 30 days, such as cycling to work. He found other challenges, such as giving up candy and sweets,  much harder to continue. You can see more about his challenges on his blog 30 Days.

Taking inspiration from this TED clip, my wife and I chatted about what we could try doing, or not doing, for just 30 days. Here’s a short list of what we came up with;

  1. Run every day for 30 days
  2. Study Japanese kanji for 30 days
  3. Read a whole book in English every day for 30 days
  4. Not do any cleaning for 30 days
  5. Walk somewhere every day for 30 days
  6. Practice a musical instrument every day for 30 days
  7. Not drink any alcohol for 30 days
  8. Write a blog every day for 30 days
  9. Not touch anything electronic for 30 days
  10. Write a letter to a friend every day for 30 days.

There was a time when this list would have included challenges like Not Have Sex for 30 Days, or Get Drunk Every Evening for 30 Days but I’m afraid married life has changed what I call exciting. (Now it’s exciting to have two hours of uninterrupted gardening, or get to eat all of a meal while it’s still hot – how much we change!).

The top of the challenge list for both of us was trying to run every day. So I’m going to run every day for 30 days. I’m 33 years old, a portly 76.5kg (168lbs) and 5’6” (1.68m), and reasonably unfit. We have a 10-month-old boy, an old house in need of repair, and a garden in need of Round-up.  Life is busy, and always seem to run out of time before I get to run anywhere.

I currently run about once every two weeks. I’ve never been a quick or capable runner, however I have done a few middle-distance running events in the past. My best effort was 5km in 22mins. I dream of running daily, while I curl back up in bed, wishing I wasn’t so lazy.

One day I would like to be able to run a full marathon, and hopefully lose my beer gut somewhere along the way.

This is a blog to share my 30-day challenge. It should keep me motivated and honest, and I hope to also inspire others to try their own challenges and share them!

Thanks for joining me for the month. It could be quite an interesting jog along a new trail in life, or it might be a grueling hobble through a new trial. Let’s see.

Wish me luck!

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