October 11, 2015

39:46, 3rd Place — I'll Take It

Week of Oct. 5 ~ 11
43.2km /26.8 mi.

Monday thru Saturday was just preparation leading up to the 10K race on Sunday.

3:30 - 13k. 7k with JV girls @5:45/k then 6k tempo alone. Wanted to run 4:40-45 pace and ran the two 3k loops at 4:43 and 4:44.
Quads were a bit stiff, but felt ok.
21C/70F, 50%, DP 10

Weights and core at the gym.

7:30pm - club track workout. 12.2k with 4.2k warmup and 1000m x 6.
4:13/3:58/4:02/3:54/59/52 (about 2:40 jog/walk in between)
Pushing just a bit, but basically cruising. Tapering for Sunday.

3:30 - 8k. 15min warmup then 800 x 6 with JV girls. From 3:37 down to 3:20, with 90sec rest. Easy, but not slow-easy.

Friday and Saturday

10:00am - 10K race at Nagareyama in Chiba pref.
Very good race, which I enjoyed last year and did again this year. More in fact, because five other club members also ran. It's a good course, quite a lot of turns and about 5 up/downs, but that's ok, it keeps it interesting.
I felt good the whole way - well, not exactly good the last 3k - and finished in 39:46, good for 3rd in the 60s age group, out of 366 men. I was also 3rd last year, but 55 seconds faster. However, I knew I wasn't in as good shape this year, so was happy with both the time and the place. And with the fact that I had no pains or discomfort at all during the race!
Also, since my 5,000 time trial on sept 30 was 19:40, all out, 39:46 was not bad.
Splits were (some approx): 3:58/56/57/58/57/58/4:05/56/4:01 - I kicked the last 500m, but the 500m before that is a gradual uphill.
It rained right up until 30 minutes before the race, but luckily stopped. It was only 18C/64F, so it felt cool, although the humidity was about 100%, so everyone finished drenched in sweat.
There were 3,581 total runners, out of which I was 204th - I think that was the total place out of all men and women (it just says "total").
The winner was about 30:15. He was an independent, ahead of 5 university guys in the low 31s. And the top high school kid was 30:27! The other top five were also low 31s. The top 50-year-old was a bit over 35 and the top 40+ woman was also 35:30! She must have been an ex-corporate runner. The top 60 year old was 38:30 and the top 70 year old was 41:20! Love the quality of races in Japan.

Next race is another 10k on Nov. 23, so will try to improve on today's time.
Long term, I obviously need more stamina. Well, my long runs now are only 14k. The journey continues!

October 4, 2015

5K Time Comes Down Again

Week of Sept 28 ~ Oct 4
55.8km / 34.6 mi.

Well, it came down slightly: 19:40 from 19:53 last month. But progress is being made....

3:30 - 10k including 3.2k tempo with sophomore Emma Wingfield-Hayes. Two miles in 6:44, 6:47 on a cross-country type route with one small hill. 4:12/k
Short tempo run as I have the 5,000m TT on wed.
28C/82F, 70%, DP20

Complete rest

7:30pm - 11.8k with 5.8k warmup, 5,000 time trial.
19:40 with splits of 3:56/57/57/56/54.
Felt good - running alone after 1,000m, but held pace nicely.
19:40 seems like a slow time to me, but it felt fast when I was running. Does this mean I'm getting old?..impossible!
21C/70F. 55%, DP12. Nice night for running.


1:00 - Gym workout
3:30 - 5k easy with the whole x-c team, then 400m x 10 by myself in the park next to the school (we have measured routes in the park). The 400m has a slight up/down grade in it.
93/89/89/89/91/90/91/89/87. Felt fine.
26C/79F, 46%, DP15

3:30 - 10k easy, a bit under 6:00/k. However, I worked outside the house cutting, cleaning, etc. before the run for about 3 hours doing A LOT of bending, squatting, lifting (moving rocks).

3:00 - 14k easy and again worked for about 3 hours. As a result, quads were sore at the end of the run. The outside of our house looks nice, though.

10K race next Sunday. Ran this race last year in 38:51 for 3rd in the 60s, after which my hamstring problems started because I tried to run hard too soon afterwards. Don't think I can go that fast, but hope to have a decent run.

Congratulations to the Aussies among us! I watched the match - trying to learn to love rugby.

September 27, 2015

Good Week, No Problems

Week of Sept 21 ~ 27
61km / 38 mi

3:30 - 12k with 4k easy warmup, 8k tempo run in 34:51 @4:21.5.
Felt good after warmup and stretching. Upped the run from previous 6k to 8k. Pace not a problem. 26C but felt cool due to lower humidity - nice day for running.
45%, dew point 14C/57F. Steve Lacey told me that dew point is more important than humidity, as to how it affects you. DP of 16C/60F ~ 21C/70F is uncomfortable. Now I have to remember to check it on my iPhone, which I probably won't.

No run, gym workout.

7:30pm - club track workout 1000 x 4, 800 x 2, 400
10.6k with 3.8k warmup
3:49/44/47/46 3:13/19 89
Felt pretty good. All 1000s under 3:50 was good. Calf got tight at end of 4th, so cruised 800s and 400.

3:30 - 7.4k inc. 400 x 10 with junior varsity girls, all about 1:40, last two faster.
Basically, an easy day.

Cool, rainy day so ran inside the gym on the treadmill, 5k. God, I hate running on treadmills, don't know how anyone does it. Sweating like mad after 15 minutes, despite not going very fast, although it feels faster, which is annoying. Should have run out in the rain.
Usual weights and abs.

3:00 - 12k with 6k easy warmup, 250m hill x 10, 1k home.
Ran the hills quite well, faster than previous outings.
23C/73F, 75%, DP 19C/66F

2:30 - 14k at an easy pace.
24C/75F, nice day.

September 21, 2015

Ok, I Suppose

Week of Sept. 14 ~ 20

55.6km / 34.5 mi.

I'm still a bit wary of my knee, although it doesn't really bother me.
Did have two good workouts.

3:30 - 14.6k. 8.6k easy pace with the Junior Varsity girls, then 6k tempo run with former Amer.School runner Michael Thornton, who is helping with coaching this season. 4:31/k pace, so a nice run.
BTW, I mentioned the word "varsity" to an Aussie friend, and he didn't know what it meant. Apparently, it's an Americanism. It means the "first team", basically. JV is everybody else. Very often, schools will have varsity meets/games/matches and also JV contests, so everyone gets a chance to participate.
57.6kg - I'm thin again!

Rest day, gym workout.

Club track workout at night:
Did them at an easy pace, abt 4:20/k, because will run a 5,000m time trial tomorrow night. Knee got sore last 20m!

Multi-club time trial cancelled due to heavy rain in the morning and afternoon. However, at night, it was hardly raining at all. Nevertheless, none of the other clubs showed up. So six of us Nambanners did our own time trial. Ran 20:15, trying to pace another guy to a sub-20:00. Unfortunately, I did a poor job, running the first k in 4:09, so we couldn't make that up. He did get a PB, though.
My knee was fine, didn't feel anything.
19C/66F, 95%

Rest day, gym workout.

8.5k easy.

4:30 - 14k at an easy (6:00/k) pace.
Beautiful day, and all next week is supposed to be nice - for a change!

September 13, 2015

Coming Back

This trick knee or whatever it is had been bothering me, so after a good track workout on wednesday of last week I decided to take four days off.
Did an easy run on Monday and everything was fine, but then we had two days of torrential rain, so took those days off also.
Did 6 x 800 at about 3 minutes with the cross country girls on thursday, so that was a decent workout, and nothing hurt or twinged. Then did easy runs friday, saturday and today.
I'll try a tempo run tomorrow and hopefully will be back to my normal training week.

Was supposed to have a 10K race today, which would have been only semi-serious, but it was cancelled due to all the rain! It was to be on a path next to the Tama river, but the river swelled to about twice normal size this past week and even though it's down now, I'm sure that the dirt path and that whole area is still completely waterlogged.
You may have seen images of the floods further north. This was not that bad, but everywhere in Japan got a lot of rain. The whole last four weeks have been cool and rainy - a far cry from the usual heat at this time of year.

Next race is a good 10K on Oct. 11. Will also try a multi-club 5,000m time trial this thursday night.

August 31, 2015

Two Low K Weeks

Weeks of Aug. 17 ~ 30.

40K and 30K. This was due to being cautious because of a weird pain in my left quad, or maybe knee. It's a sudden, brief sharp pain that causes my knee to give way...or maybe I do that involuntarily when I feel the pain. It doesn't last, just very brief, but quite disconcerting.
And sometimes my quad is a bit sore, and feels like if I go faster, it will start to hurt.
So I took a number of days off (but only two in a row) and ran less distance and slower pace on the easy days. (But still ran some hard days.)

This may have been brought about by two hard days in a row, which was a bad mistake.
I had taken Monday the 17th off, due to very tired legs, so did my usual Monday tempo run on Tuesday, then did 400m x 12 at the track on Wednesday.
All the 400s were good - 86 to 82 - but felt twinges in knee on the last two.

Took thursday off as quad was a bit sore, then tried to run friday, but had slight pain, so stopped after 2k.
Easy saturday, then a hilly 8.4k in seaside town of Kamakura on sunday, but at an easy pace. Got a twinge just at the end of that.

This past week, rested mon and tues, then ran the 5,000m time trial on wednesday night, with no pain, in 19:53, which was nice since it was the first time in about 10 months that I have been under 20:00. (A cool 21C but 100% humidity.)

Rest thursday, then 800m x 6 and 400m x 2 at moderate paces with the high school cross country varsity girls (season has started) on friday.

Easy 5k on sat and easy 10k today, with quad feeling "ok" but a bit iffy.

I'll do a tempo run with the kids tomorrow and see how it is. If I have any issues I'll just rest for about 4 days, which should clear it up.

Hope you're all going into the autumn feeling good.

August 16, 2015

Finally Over 70K

Week of Aug. 10 ~ 16

71.6km / 44.5 mi.

Finally got a week over 70k, which is not a helluva lot of mileage, but is at least my target, and enough for 10K racing, with three hard workouts a week, I believe.

4:00 - 12k with 6k warmup and 6k tempo @4:45/k.
Well, "perceived effort" is what counts, right?
The humidity made it tough, and my legs were tired and heavy. Actually, I think humidity aggravates the heaviness.
30C/86F, 66%
A light 58.1 kg

Weight machines, core, hamstrings.

6:30pm - Club track workout - 15k with 7k warmup, 1000/800 x 3, 400
Felt good and worked hard to run with others (big group). Hot and humid, but didn't feel too bad, for some reason. Much more comfortable than the last two weeks.
30C/86F, 65%

8:15pm - 10k easy.
28C/82F, 60%

1:00 - gym workout
4:00 - 12k with 250m hill x 10
Good workout, up hard, down easy, as usual. Humid, sweat pouring off, but felt ok.
31C/88F, 60%

4:00 - 8.6k easy.

4:00 - 14k easy. Quads a bit sore and heavy.
31C/88F, 60%