April 27, 2009

More Speed

More speed workouts this week, although not really hard ones.

Mon: 8.7k with the kids. Last 4k at about 4:40 pace.

Tues: 7.5k at 300m track. 600m x 4 in 2:11/16/20/18 (300m jog in bet.) with 3000m girl runner.
300m x 4 in 58/57/56/57 (2-3 min. jog in bet.).
This was in the rain. 18°.

Wed: 6k. Evening track workout. 800 warmup in 3:15, then 1200/400/1200/400/1200/400 in 4:32 / 80 / 4:32 / 81 / 4:28 / 82 (1,2,2 mins. after 1200s, 3 mins. after 400s). 4:32 is a 3:45 1000m, so not so slow. Felt very comfortable.

Thurs: 6k. Again at 300m track. 900/600/900/600/300 in 3:18/2:07/3:30/2:07/56 (3-5 mins. in bet.) again running with the girls (Arisa and Emiri).

Fri: 10.7k. 10k in 48:30 - 27:14, 21:16 (4:25/28/9/11/2). Doing the midfoot-landing running style, which I like. Pushed a bit, but felt fairly comfortable. Nice to run 3:00 MP and feel that good after four kind of leg-stressing days.

Sat: Cold rain. Track meet cancelled.

Sun: 10k. 51:31 (26:51, 24:40). Easy, felt ok. Weight down to 60.8! (Was 62.6 two weeks ago.)
Will go a bit harder tomorrow, but easy tuesday, because I want to do a decent 5,000m time trial on Wednesday night.
48.9k week.

April 20, 2009

Nice week

Continuing my enjoyable 50km (30 mile) weeks, the past one was 48.1k:

Mon: 7.9k with ASIJ 3000m girl Wynn Callon in 39:30. The last 16 mins. was at a good pace, about 4:30 per k.

Tues: AM - X-trng (weights, a few minutes of steps and 20 mins on bike).
PM - 5.4k of good track workout with girl distance runners.
300 x 3 in 62, 59, 55 (1 min. jog then 6 min after 3rd)
600 x 2 in 2:05, 2:09 (4 and 6 min jog)
300 x 2 in 58, 57 (1 min)
This was in the rain, which was hard at times. So that was fun.
Then 4 laps of jogging straights and running turns, but I started to cramp in the left calf, so stopped. Had been running up on the balls of my feet, seems to happen every time. Have to build up the calf muscles.

Wed: Trip to Shiojiri in Nagano pref. (Epson HQ) so no time to run.

Thurs: 10k in 54:54 (27:31, 26:22) at 7:30 am due to trip to Hamamatsu (Yamaha).

Fri: 15k in 1:12:51 (26:25, 24:36, 21:49). Felt good after halfway, cruising at a good pace. Last 2k were 4:18 and 4:15. Up on front of feet. Cool and misty at 3:00.

Sat: ASIJ track meet. Sam Krauth ran 2:01 and 4:11 (1500m). Jennifer Stolle ran 2:25 and 5:10. Pretty good times. 

Sun: 10k in 52:55 (28:26, 24:29). Pretty easy. 22° at 4:30 and weight down to 61.6 from 62.6 a week ago, so feeling better. I'll feel better yet at 60.6.

April 12, 2009

Having fun...

I listed up my weekly mileage for the 18 weeks before Napa Valley and also for the 18 weeks before last year's Tokyo marathon. Listing it up like that, I could see at a glance how little I had run, compared with Pfitzinger's middle level program, or even the low level one. Almost laughable. I was not really doing marathon training. Not surprising I could not run a 3:00 or even 3:05 marathon. It also showed me that I need a structured program with daily workouts. Which is what I had decided, so I am looking forward to that in a few months.

I am not in a serious training mode, so just having fun doing relatively easy runs along with workouts with the ASIJ kids.

Sunday 5th: Sakura Onsen run with 8 people, which turned out to be 24k at 5:54/k pace. Easy but my legs were getting sore at the end. Still not 100% recovered from the marathon.

Monday 6th: 5.1k (about) fairly hard with kids in 20:57. Felt heavy (I am heavy). Then another 4.6k easy, looking for two kids who got lost (they found their own way back).

Tuesday 7th: AM at gym. PM at 300m track. 50m x 2, 300, 400 x 2, 300 - all at moderate pace. 1500 in 6:05.
Wore the Newtons, calf started to cramp after 400s, so switched to ordinary shoes. Dummy! No sense wearing them until June, when I will be running at a fairly easy pace most days. I will start doing parts of runs with forefoot running style, though, to get used to it.

Wednesday 8th: Track workout. 600/1000/800/1200/800/1200/800. First 3 about 4:08/k pace, last 4 about 4:00. Calves were sore when walking, but ok when running (?).

Thursday 9th: At 300m track. 300 x 5, moderate pace.

Friday 10th: AM at gym. PM 15k in 1:15:01 (25:51, 25:37, 23:32). Legs a bit sore, but not bad. Forefoot running last 5k.

Saturday 10th: Off, ASIJ track meet. Our star distance runner, Sam Krauth (a junior) ran a 4:15 1500 (68 per 400m) and a 2:01 800. Good start to the season. There were some great races, in which our kids outkicked opponents for the win, with the entire team and fans going wild. I love high school track.

Sunday 11th: 10k in 57:54, nice easy run.
Still not losing weight! I have to lose some to be able to run with these kids.

It has been a great week weather-wise, at least 20° (70°F) every day. And with no rain and little wind, the cherry blossoms stayed out a long time...you can still see some today.

April 3, 2009

Up to speed / Newtons

First of all, after reading and ruminating on Steve and Joachim's comments, and looking again at Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning, I decided that if I am to do a fall marathon, I should follow a proper marathon schedule. In other words, building up mileage over an 18-week period. Probably the Pfitzinger 55 to 70 miles (88 to 113km) per week plan. So after running with the ASIJ (American School in Japan) track team until mid-May and another two months of base building, I will start that, aiming for, maybe, the Santa Barbara Marathon on Dec. 6. ...To be decided.

As for the past two weeks, I started more or less regular training on March 23.
Ran 9k with 5k at about marathon pace on the 23rd, easy on the 24th and a 5k time trial on the 25th in 19:38. It was very cold and my legs were not used to trying to go fast.
The interesting thing was, I wore my new Newton shoes on the 23rd and 25th. You have probably heard about these, if not, see newtonrunning.com. They are the shoes with four bars under the forefoot, designed to get you off your heels and up on your forefeet. Still controversial, but a lot of people are coming out in favor of these shoes. Run like a Kenyan and all that. Well, they felt good, but I could tell they are hard on the quads and especially the calves in the beginning. You are supposed to ease into training with them with easy runs. But they felt good. So after a rest day on the 26th, I went out for 3 x 2k on the 27th. First one was fine, in 7:48. Second one, after 500m, my left calf started to knot up. I immediately slowed, then stopped. Walked then tried to jog, but could tell it would get worse if I kept it up. So walked home. Obviously I do not know the meaning of "ease into". But with some ice and ibuprofen and compression (Recovery socks!), I was able to jog 6k the next day with no pain. Took Sunday off and...

Started up Monday with the track team kids. Did a 7k run with the 3rd and 4th boys. The 1st and 2nd are way too fast for me, the others are too, at short distances, but over 5k, I can run with them.
Ran about a 4:06/k pace over a 2.5k loop twice (includes a steep 300m hill), and the 3rd time cutting off the last 500m. Tough! Also, I gained weight, which I have to lose!

Tuesday at the track (300m track in Fuchu). 1500m x 2 in 5:29 and 5:51, 900m in 3:26, 600m in 2:15. This was with the top two girls (boys are too fast). And not in the Newtons.

Wednesday off, then Thursday (yesterday), 6 x "triangle hill", which is up the 300m hill, then down the other side, then 300m straight. Hard up, fairly hard down, moderate pace on the straight. No stopping. First two hard with 4th and 5th guys, next 3 at a decent pace with one of the girls, then one more (workout was 5) with another girl who had taken a bathroom break. These girls, by the way, are not slow. They are pretty good runners.
It's a lot of fun running with them, and they like having me pace them (I always try to run with someone who is running alone. Sometimes I run with slow kids.). And it's good for me!

Today was gym work and tomorrow will be the annual 30k cherry blossom run (along the bike path from the station near my house up to and partly around Tama-ko (lake). Then to the onsen (hot spring "resort"), which is here in town. It's a real hot spring! It will just be at an easy pace with about 10 people. Blossoms should be at their peak tomorrow. Hope you can see some where you are.