Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cross Country

Living in Matsukawa Place has its advantages.  I am close to school and I have a smaller place.  These two advantages can also be considered disadvantages.  My previous two places were three bedroom houses and now I live in a one bedroom apartment.  I have to be creative and thoughtful on how and where I put things.  Since I live right beside school, I do not need to ride my bicycle to commute to work.  That means I'm not exercising as much, although I try to get to the school's gym to work out, but I've found I'm not as consistent since bicycling isn't a must and well, the gym isn't always available or by a certain time at night, I just don't feel like going to exercise. 
So, being able to bicycle to Tama Hills for the cross country meet, is a welcome opportunity.  I did have to navigate a bit of a different route since I'm now coming from Higashi Kurume instead of Kiyose, but that wasn't eventful.  It is about a 17 km ride one way, with a steep hill at Tama Hills.  It felt great and I look forward to next week.  I also hope to be able to take my mountain bicycle rather than my Japanese bicycle. 
This year the Kanto Plain International schools purchased a new system to determine finishing times for the runners.  The students have to tie in a chip on their shoe laces and when they finish, run over these mats that pick up the chip's information which is recorded on computers.  It's a pretty slick system.  Bette V. and I have helped in past years and our job has become significantly easier.  When the whistle blows, we throw a chip on the mat and then pick it up to indicate the start of a race on the computer.  We check the computer to make sure it has recorded that.  As the runners run across the mats, we'll check to see if their chip was read. 
Mats the participants run over to have the chips read.
Computers that collect the chip informtion
Chip tied into the shoe laces. 
Ready to start!
CAJ High School Team
Coming to the finish!
Keep running until you're past the mats!
Well done!
To top off the ride, we were able to stop at the store on the way down the hill and pick up some American food!  I was able to have some Kraft Mac and Cheese and Cheetos.  I know, where did that come from!  I found that sometimes I have a craving for certain foods and it wasn't even something I loved when I lived in America! 
It was a beautiful day, not so hot and not terribly cold.  Once I returned, I was able to get some homework completed, clean up the apartment (advantage to having a smaller place) and do laundry.  I am glad we have weekends!  Now to get some more sleep! 

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