May 12, 2015

Made It...Barely

Ran the Sendai Half Marathon on Sunday - short story, 1:49, managed not to re-injure the hamstring.

Sendai is 90 minutes from Tokyo by almost-non-stop bullet train, up near where the earthquake/tsunami was. It's a very nice city, with wide streets and lots of greenery.

The race is a fairly big one, about 8,000 in the Half, with some elite Japanese runners, including the popular Yuki Kawauchi who seems to have had an off day, running 1:08.

The weather was good, chilly early in the morning, then getting pretty warm by the 10:00 start and quite warm by noontime. Windy, but not too bad.

I went out at about the top pace I could handle for 21k, given that I'm out of shape, which was 4:45 per km (1:40 half). Held that for 9k, when I felt a twinge in the hamstring. Slowed to 5:00, felt another twinge at 10k, slowed to 5:15, then held that pretty much the rest of the way, although I walked at the water stops. Felt a few more twinges, the kind that tell you you had better not go any faster, but manged to get to the finish line with no damage done.

So it was an enjoyable trot through the city, but of course frustrating in that I was A) out of shape and B) forced to hold back.

Now I'll rest up for a while, then get into some good summer training to get in shape to run some good races in the fall. I will be back!

May 4, 2015

55 Again

No, not my age, the number of kilometers I ran this week.
Last three weeks were 55, 54.4, 55, so I guess I'm in a groove.
Did a 5,000m time trial on Wednesday, notable not for the 22:27 time, but for the fact that it was my first in 7 months and I had no aches or pains at all.
Also did a pretty good tempo run with the high school boys on Monday and a good hill workout (250m x 10) on Friday.
Then had a nice 8k run with Marty Lever on Saturday. He's in Tokyo for a few days for a photo shoot (good photographer). We may have had a few beers also.

Next Sunday is the Sendai Half. Hope I get through it with no issues.

April 27, 2015

Picking It Up a Bit

Week of April 20 ~ 26

54.4km / 33.8 mi.

Did 5 runs, taking an extra day off Thursday, in addition to Saturday.
This included:
10k on Monday, 5k out @5:11/k, 5k in @4:32.
I'm not in shape, so 4:32 is a good pace at this point.

Interval workout on Wednesday - 1600/1200/1000/800/600/400
All at 4:30 pace or under. Felt pretty good but still holding back so as to not strain the hamstring.

13k on Friday - 7k easy then 10 x 250m (150m hill) up and down.

16k on Sunday - 8k easy, walk 400m, 8k easy.

So that was a better week than I have had in a long time. Trying to build a bit of fitness for the Sendai Half two weeks from today, which I will not "race" but will try to run all the way at a halfway decent pace.

Weight is a little over 60kg, which is not too bad.
Weather has thankfully turned warm, today was a beautiful day.

April 19, 2015

2 More Ok Weeks

Sunday the 19th.

Following Ewen's advice, I am easing back gradually, did 52K the week of 6-12 and 55K this past week. No hamstring pain at all.
Included three halfway decent workouts this week, intervals at about 4:30/k pace on Wednesday, 11k with 10 150m hills on Friday and a 5k tempo run today at 4:50.

If I can do a 10K tempo run next Sunday and a 15K one the Sunday after that, maybe I will be ok for the Sendai Half on May 10. I don't want to race it, just run it all the way at a moderately good pace.

Hope I can get a live feed of Boston tomorrow night.

April 5, 2015

Puttering Along

Hi. How's it goin'? Oh wait, that's Scott Brown.

But anyway, it's going ok. 34k last week, 41k this week, in little bits and pieces, no pain in the hamstring at all. But taking it very, very cautiously. I refuse to be injured again. One more week of this and maybe I'll try something a bit more challenging.
Next week promises to be mostly lousy weather anyway. Cherry blossoms just about over. Ephemeral, that's the word.

March 23, 2015

Back to Running...Slowly. Hamstring Exercises.

Week of March 16 ~ 22

Hello. I'm happy to say that I ran every day this week. 3k, then 3.5k, then a whole 4k! Just 1k at a time, then a walk break. Slowly, slowly...meaning slow pace and slowly working my way back.
No pain in the hamstring or anywhere. But I'll be very cautious for a month.
Then I'll try to train for a month and then run the Sendai Half on May 17th. Not fast, but pain-free, I hope.

The goal is to never again get injured. Which means being very, very careful. Well, we'll see.

I had the hamstring problem diagnosed at a place called Tokyo Physio, run by two Australian triathletes. The diagnosis was that the hamstring (and glutes also) was too weak. So the cure is to strengthen it. Rest does not help - you have to make it stronger. So I've got a series of exercises that I do 4 or 5 times a week. This is a good idea for every runner, actually, to prevent hamstring problems.

Quick course:
1) Single leg squat. Stand on right leg, touch left hand to right foot, back up. 10x. Then switch. Set of 3.
2) Stand on right leg, Raise left knee, then extend left leg behind you, leaning forward with arms out for balance. Back to standing position. 10 x 3 each leg.
3) Lie on back, feet pulled back to nearly touch butt, pull left leg to chest, push up on right foot. You're working the right glute. You can also just extend the left leg. VERY good for glutes. 10 x 3 each leg.
4) Use a big ball - the kind they have in gyms. Lie on your back with your legs extended so feet are on top of ball. Pull both legs back (bend knees) so ball comes back to you. Then raise left leg and extend right leg which is still on the ball. You're working the right hamstring. 10 x 3 each leg. I've found that at home, this can be done with a chair that has casters so it moves. A big ball is of course preferable.
5) Calf raises. Stand on the edge of a stair or anything so that your heel extends down. Raise up. Use both legs or one at a time if you can. 10 x 3 both legs.

They told me to do these two days, then one day off. I do them four days out of seven.

February 2, 2015

Slight Setback

Another addition to my now comical list of injuries — I managed a week of actual running and then tried the 5,000m time trial last Wednesday. Ran 3k in about 4:15/4:30/4:25 and 200m later my hamstring started to pull. Not the previous injury, just because I hadn't tried to run that "fast" in about 10 weeks. I didn't think it was fast, but apparently my hamstring did.
And it is still sore! So...maybe next week.
Over and out.