Tokyo had a lot of nice weather recently. The sun was warm but not hot, the humidity of the rainy season hasn’t come yet. The warm weather recently indicates we are probably in for another very hot summer, one that will probably come with blackouts or power restrictions given the loss of power from the tsunami damage to the nuclear plants. But for now, it is just a nice day to be out.
I have been feeling a bit up and down recently, so I thought it might be good to get out and get a little more exercise. I went running a few times in the last week, but I am planning to enter a few races this year, including the Osaka marathon in October, so I need to get out and do more distance for that. More importantly, I know that when I run more I feel better. So I threw on my shoes and my iPod and was out the door.
Last week I bought my first CD in some time, The Sound of Sunshine, by Michael Franti and Spearhead. It is a lot lighter and more joyful than a lot of their previous stuff, and as I jogged around I listened to a mix of it and a few other Franti albums. I couldn’t have asked for better audio accompaniment for my run.
I ran at a fairly slow speed, not pushing myself, just wanting to do the 10k with some enjoyment and a lack of pain. I did so, and about two thirds of the way through the run I reached, not exactly runners high, but a stage where I feel better. Where the sun, the run, and the music had flushed out my mind and body of at least some of its depression and anxiety.
At the end I checked my watch, it had taken a little over an hour. I stretched a little, and enjoyed the moment. Then I took off my shoes and socks and walked back home. I’ve been doing a little barefoot walking recently, and it is pretty enjoyable. It reminds me of being a kid, my feet touching the ground without being imprisoned in stiff shoes, being able to feel the texture, the temperature of the ground. It is a simple pleasure, but it is really something.
You would expect that the ground is rough and dangerous, but actually it is not bad. In Tokyo, despite a near-total lack of rubbish bins there is little litter, and while the pavement and roads are not exactly made of rubber, they are perfectly fine to walk on. I haven’t been to the beach for a long time, but I think I’d like to try and get there at some stage in the near future. I’d like to feel the sand between my toes, feel the sunshine, see the waves coming in. That’s definitely on my to-do list now.