08 September, 2012

Chilling out on an army reserve with cross-country

Today the inter-school cross-country season started in Tokyo. This is our third season as parents of a cross-country runner. Last year I wrote about the cool venue here.

Looking down the steep hill the runners
call "gut hill". It was painful to watch some
runners try to get to the top of this.
I think we've acclimatised to the different system of inter-school sport. Here I wrote about the vast differences between this system and the Australian system. Today I found myself trying to explain to our middle son about these differences. He's in Grade 4 here, only a couple of years away from being able to "go out for" inter-school sport. The first year he'll be eligible is Grade 6 and that year we're planning to be in Australia for a year's home assignment. I tried to explain how different school sport was there. That there was a within-school once-off cross-country race from which they chose the best runners who went on to represent the school in one regional race. None of the serial races that happen here. I think the season for our middle schooler will be a total of six races over six weeks, quite a different system to Australia's, with much more training (three 2 hr afternoons a week for middle schoolers).

The races between these international schools all happen about an hour from here at a U.S. army recreational facility, a mini forest in the middle of suburbia. Because it is still hot, the races start early. This morning I have to admit to feeling less than enthusiastic about getting up at 5.30, especially when it was already 28 C in our bedroom (it was nicer outside, but only by a few degrees for an hour or so). I was also carrying a headache I've been battling on and off for the last few days. However I'm glad I went.

The setting is tranquil (especially if you ignore all the sweaty teenagers), and with no responsibilities I could sit and relax for a few hours under shady trees with a book. It did mean two hours of Tokyo driving, but I was fortunate enough to be a passenger, not a driver. I feel tired now, but mentally refreshed. Getting out of the house and not staring at this computer for a while was good for me.

It was also good to see my eldest son compete. He did well — bested his previous best time at the course by 32 seconds. His comment at the end was that it felt shorter than in previous years. He's grown and is stronger! I'm looking forward to seeing what further improvements he can make during the season.


Judie said...

Drink more water. Dehydration is the major cause of headaches.
And keep that hat ON.

Wendy said...

Judie, I drink more water than most people! In summer I sometimes feel like all I'm doing is drinking and going to the loo. Many of my headaches are stress and muscle tension related, but the heat and humidity isn't helping much at present either.