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Wolfgang Lenz
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Grown up on the countryside in northern Germany, lived 20 Years in Tokyo, now back on the countryside up the mountains in Japan
Grown up on the countryside in northern Germany, lived 20 Years in Tokyo, now back on the countryside up the mountains in Japan

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Back in Germany for a 10day holiday with wife and kid. Went to the supermarket and felt overwelmed by the amount of fresh fruits on display: a good few varieties of apples and pears, mango, figs, water melon, honey melon etc. This is on the countryside in northern Germany and a few of these where not around at all when I was a kid, but now it´s on sale the whole year, flown in from the south like Argentinia, Brasil, Africa and other places. Kind of makes me sad actually.

Went to my first ever half-marathon race, finished in 2:02:24. Below my goal of 2:00. Than again this is not your usual run: Start/Finish at 200 m altitude it had a few up-downs, between 175 m and 337m! Especially grueling were the 2downhills: between 5 and 10% steep, from 16 km and 19 km. My lower legs felt like on fire and I had a few dozen people passing me by. And as this descent finished right into the goal there was no way of upping the path or a final sprint.

One week to go until my very first half-marathon race and today I finally managed to run a longer distance, about 10 km that is. Time was around 55 min, not really a good time. Than again, altitude here in Karuizawa is about 950 m ( 3100 feet) and temperature slightly above 0 C, with sun shining but cold air. Part of the course goes through forest, still snow left and puddles to run through. Nevertheless I was able to run concentrated, checking on posture and food work, and the most time I ran a pace I felt I could keep for another 10 k. Today's lessons learned: You don't need regular, long distance training to be fit enough to run a marathon; more important: get hydrated before running, damn; just coffee is not enough!

Just realized that it's only two more weeks until my first half-marathon race and I really haven't done long-distance running the whole winter, just short jogs of about 5 km, also I tried to concentrate on posture and foot work...well, the time limit is 2:30, should be ok with that. There actually is another one coming up in May here in my neighborhood of Karuizawa, but the starting fee of 5.000 Yen (!) and a field of 5.500 people in the narrow streets here is a bit off-putting. Not to mention the weather, what with 1.000 m altitude can turn nasty really fast. Last year it was 6 degrees C at start, than it started to drizzle and the temperature dropped to 3 C, poor runners!

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Doing some translating volunteering this week for the German team at the Karuizawa International Curling Championships...and watching lot's of curling, experimenting with the camera etc. At least we got some real snow last weekend, finally!
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Riding your mama-chari bike to the station early morning at -10 C sure isn't fun. But that is followed by a comfortable one-hour shinkansen ride that should warm my wife up again...while I stay back in the cold appartment.

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A few of the cute pics from the past month of our precious little one

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I drove this car last week for 2 days when our car went to inspection. The dealer said it's not much more than 10 years old, but because the paint is horribly pealing off at some places, it will go to scrap soon. It's a pity, only about 45.000 km driven and the design still turns heads around.
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Mitsuoka Viewt (4 photos)
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"To Your Health, daddy!"
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