Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fun Run?

Last weekend a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to run a 5k with her, and I immediately said I'd do it thinking that it would be a breezy 3.2 miles, easy-peasy. Whelp, we ran the course on Futenma a few days early to try it out. All I can say is Hill Central. Leave it to the Marines to make up the hardest 5k course ever. I wasn't exactly looking forward to the run, my friend and I kept joking that they better be giving us a cool tee shirt. I just kept telling myself I didn't want to come in last. It was intimidating to show up and see so many "professional" looking runners.

We signed in, warmed up, and we were off. My hunny came to watch us run and it was the first time since track I've had pictures taken of me running (or since I've done hills this torturous). The run was a challenge to say the least. I finished strong and was the 3rd girl to finish. The run made me feel pretty good (after I recovered from feeling like my lungs were going to explode) and I got pretty motivated about my running. After the run I overheard a guy near us saying that this 5k was harder than a 10k he had recently run, and I believe it.

I seriously can't ever imagine running a marathon, I just don't have the desire. My family has some bad knee problems and that always makes me nervous. I just want to enjoy my runs, respect my body and make sure I can keep running for many years to come.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swimming with the Fishies

I had one of my favorite days in Okinawa when we went snorkeling at Maeda Point. Maeda Point is a popular dive site and the water was full of colorful tropical fish and other people enjoying the ocean.
We swam around and even swam into a cave. I wish my pictures had turned out better, but it was too dark inside the cave. We saw some huge black fish in there! We swam over to another cave area and got out to explore and climb on the rocks. You can see we were all wearing black booties, it's far from a fashion statement, everyone wears them and it's to protect our feet from the sharp rocks. I could have stayed out there all day. I can't wait to go again! Check out this video and the pictures below:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hiji Falls

We recently had a great time hiking to Hiji Falls. I've heard the hike was challenging from some people, then again my pregnant friend hiked it with no problem, so I was excited to try it out myself. When we got to the park we met a couple that said they turned around before they even got to the falls because it was too much, but we went in confident with our Camelback and cameras that we'd be ok. It was a hot, cloudy day with about a million percent humidity, a kind of day where you feel soaking wet as soon as you go outside. The both of us hit the trail at our normal fast pace, we tend to hike more like at someone elses jogging pace. (My sister knows all about this, and how I'm not allowed to lead on a hike because I tend to run.) Don't get me wrong, I love to take it all in and enjoy the sights and sounds. One of my favorite parts of the trail was the suspension bridge. The trail started out like a breeze, but quickly Incorporated an increasing amount of steep, uphill staircases that left us panting. It was so incredibly hot and humid, so we were quickly drenched.

We got to the falls in a half an hour just as it started raining. It was a beautiful sight and the rain was a welcomed cool off.

The hike back was a lot quicker because it was a lot more downhill stairs involved and we weren't stopping as often for me to take pictures. We did stop off in the river right off of the trial to cool off. The water was nice and cold and we were loving it.

Then, right close to our feet on the bank I notices something wriggling and realized it was a small snake. I pointed and yelled out so everyone would know it was there. A Japanese man confirmed that it was a small Habu snake, the very poisonous snake common in Okinawa. There were signs all over the trail that it's Habu season and to watch out, so I'm glad we didn't end the day with a snake bite.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

White Beach

I'd like to tell you our visit to White Beach. These pictures speak for themselves, but really don't capture the 360 degrees of beauty that surrounds this picturesque spot. It was a perfect, warm, sunny day with puffy white clouds in the sky and we wanted a day at the beach. We got there, with our beach chairs and normal beach gear in tow, but quickly saw that instead of camping out in the sand we wanted to explore the shallow tidal pools left by the low tide. We climbed out into the low water that was like bath water from baking in the sun and it was like snorkeling or being at the aquarium. The clear, shallow water had an array of life from fish, urchins, crabs and ... you name it.

We saw some huge, black sea cucumbers that really look kind of icky, but are less alarming because they don't move at all.

We walked out to a small island and explored around and found a beautiful sandy beach and not a person in sight. We spread out our towel and unwinded in the quiet private beach setting most people would fly thousands of miles and pay enormous amounts to enjoy. We felt pretty lucky and were just soaking it in. Boots zonked out and took a snooze, but I wanted to explore some more.

I walked all around the little island, never saw another person and got to enjoy these beautiful sights undisturbed and totally alone. It felt wonderful!

We finished off the day at the sandy beach part of White Beach and with a dip in the beach side pool. It was a wonderful, relaxing and vitamin D filled day!