December 26, 2010

Progressing Nicely

Week of Dec 20~ 26

Plan: 98km
Ran: 98.6 km / 61 mi. 9:09

12 training weeks until the LA Marathon.
Decided to keep the mileage to about 100km rather than jumping up to 120, since my quads are still a bit sore. No calf muscle problems. Still applying the hot brick for 30 minutes each night.


11:00 - machines and core at the gym.
3:30 - 20k in 1:48:02 @5:25
Felt ok.
Weight: 62.4kg
Shoes: 240g Saucony with insoles
Weather: 9C/48F

7:30pm - 8.4k at the track.
1000 x 3, 1200 x 2. Easy in 4:51, 4:34, 4:36, 5:07, 5:02.
Legs ok, but felt heavy - I am heavy.
Shoes: 240g Saucony with insoles

11:30 - 20k in 1:52:56 @ 5:39.
Took it easy. Quads sore, also calf hurt a bit last night, due I think to running400m in street shoes. Used hot brick in the morning also, so the calf was ok, but I was a bit wary of it.
Weight: 62.6kg
Shoes: 240g Nike Cage+ with insoles
Weather: 13C/55F

3:30 - 10k in 53:24 @ 5:18
27:20/26:04. Felt ok
Weight: 61.7kg
Shoes: 240g Nike Cage+ with insoles
Weather: 10C/50F, sunny

11:00 - machines and core in the gym.
2:00 - 20k in 1:47:27 @ 5:27
Quads a bit sore, right hamstring very slightly sore.
Weight: 62.6kg
Shoes: 240g New K-Swiss without insoles. They feel good. No model name on the shoes, but they are the LA Marathon colors (K-Swiss is a sponsor) and have the Flow Cool system.
Weather: 8C/46F, sunny

1:00 - 20.2k in 2:01 @ 6:00. Not sure of time, because the garmin is a bit strange sometimes.
Took it easy. Quads slightly sore, but felt ok.
Weight: 61.7kg
Shoes: 240 K-Swiss no insole.
Weather: 10C/50F, sunny

Next week I will go up to about 120k and try to do some harder runs. At this point I would struggle to do 5k at marathon pace, so I need a good 11 weeks of training. Hope to be back to feeling fit and strong in 2 or 3 weeks.

December 19, 2010

Building Back Up

Week of Dec. 13 ~ 19

Plan: 80k
Ran: 77.3k 6:59

4:30 12.3k in Yoyogi Park. 1:07:53 @ 5:31
Felt ok.

10k at the track at night.
400 x 4 x 3 at an easy pace.

3:30 - 15k. 1:21:48 @ 5:27
Calf ok, but quads sore.
Temp: 7C/45F, clear
Weight: 62.4kg

11:00 - weights and core
3:30 - 10k. 56:16. Easy, quads a bit sore.
Temp: 9C/48F, clear
Weight: 62.2kg

3:00 - 15k around the Imperial Palace.
6.5 easy in 35:49 @5:31
5k in the Namban club partner race. You and a partner run 5k without a watch. You each give your estimated time and start separately. My time was 26:30 and my partner's was 25:00, so she started 1:30 behind me. If we both ran exactly the right pace, she would catch me right at the finish line. In fact, she caught me about 150m from the finish. Of course, we both could have been running the wrong pace, but we thought we were pretty close. And we were...we won! There were 10 teams. We were 8 seconds slow. (The two timekeepers did a great job of figuring everything out.)
The race was held before our bonenkai - year-end party, which was at the British Embassy, thanks to a woman in the club who works there.
Then another 3.5k easy.
(I just realized: the Palace is 26m long, so our 5k time was almost correct to the second.)

3:30 - 15k. 1:14:17 @4:57
26:14/24:44/23:19. Last 5k in 4:37/39/42/35/44.
Felt ok and quads were ok (but sore afterwards). Nice to run at a good pace felt all right.
Weather: 9C/48F, 30%, clear
Weight: 62.7 (due to parties Friday and Saturday night)

December 12, 2010

Running Again!

Week of Dec 6 ~ 12

Plan: 54K
Ran: 54K

Running again means, of course, running with no pain. If there was still pain, I would not be running.
So I decided to try 5 on Monday, then one more each day, and it worked fine.
One by-product of not running for 8 weeks is that I am really motivated to work hard to get back into good shape. So there is your new motivational technique: don't run for 8 weeks. Not really recommended, though.
Another is that it made me aware once more of how enjoyable running is. My runs this week were definitely the high points of each day. Does that mean I love running, or just that I don't have a life? ... Well, I think I do have a life, so it must mean I love running. And it's nice to be reminded of that. So let's remember to enjoy each run, even the bad, hard, wet, cold, etc. ones, because...they're better than not running.

3:00 - 5k in 28:49. Slow, but no calf pain!
Weight: 62.6kg (Ha! Gained 2 and 1/2 kilos. And it's all around the middle.)
15C/59F, clear

11:00 - Weights and abs in the gym, and 10 mins. walking on inclined treadmill.
1:00 - 6k in 33:24 @5:34
15C/59F, clear

1:30 - 7k in 39:18 @5:37
Calf ok, but quads sore! (maybe cause I haven't run for 8 weeks...)
Weight: 61.9kg
12C/54F, clear

3:00 - 8k in 42:18 @5:17. Quads sore.
11C/52F, clear

11:00 - Weights and abs, 15 mins walking uphill
1:00 - 8k in 42:03 @5:15
12C/54F, clear

12:30 - 10k in 52:57 @5:18. Wow, 10k! Quads still sore.
Each k got faster, from 5:36 to 5:07, which I was not trying to do.
15C/59F, clear

4:00 - 10k in 50:48 @5:08.
Quads ok until last 2k. Last 3k in 4:52/50/49. But just cruising.
14C/57F, cloudy
Weight: 62.3kg (big lunch). I WILL get back down to 60.0

So, I guess the calf is all better. Due mainly to rest, OR mainly to the hot brick therapy. That's the thing with rest and therapies, you can never tell what it was that worked. But that guy swore by the brick, and I think it actually did help. I am still doing it every night, but cut out the mornings. By the way, Kylie, a woman in my club, said I should name the brick, so I christened it Fred. I always thought Fred was a funky name, and it also has "red" in it.
54K for the week. Rest tomorrow, then next week I'll try about 80. If that goes all right, I'll go back into marathon training mode at 120 per week.That will give me 12 weeks until the LA Marathon, with a one-week taper.

December 5, 2010

The Rock Island Line

Well, there's no running news to report, so I decided to treat you to some good music.
(I didn't run this past week, I'll do a test run tomorrow and am hoping to be pain-free after 8 long weeks.)

So thanks to an unrelated Leadbelly link from former running and blogging legend, now brewing legend, Steve Lacey, I came upon The Rock Island Line, one of the greatest songs ever, which I hadn't heard for years and years.
Here's the Leadbelly original:

Then it got juiced up a bit by Carl Perkins:

And reached full expression by Johnny Cash (this is a remix, but good; you don't have to listen to the last part):

This is also a great version. Little Richard can generate more excitement just sitting in a chair in a studio than most singers can on a big stage:

Hope you enjoyed that. Talk to you next week.

November 28, 2010

Another Dull Week

Week of Nov 22 ~ 28

No running this week, just went to the gym twice. I'll give the calf another week and then try to run.

Went to the Tsukuba Marathon today (an hour+ north of Tokyo) to give out flyers for the LA Marathon, which I am the Japan representative for - promoting it to Japanese runners. I was entered in this race, but of course didn't run.
Well, I picked the right race, at least. It was a perfect day - cool, sunny, no wind, 9:00am start...and a flat course. Too bad. Maybe I'll try it again next year.

November 22, 2010

Hot Brick Therapy

Week of Nov. 15 ~ 21

No progress, my calf is still sore when I try to run. I ran 4k on Saturday and 6k on Sunday, with 2 walk breaks in each run. Started Sunday with a slight pain and it got worse as I went along. Was going slow, naturally. It was not a sharp pain, which would have caused me to stop, just a dull pain. Anyway, it looks like at least 2 or 3 more weeks of rest will be required.

Unless...the hot brick therapy works. This technique was told to me by a guy at the American School who works in the athletic office and was a serious soccer player. He has had various muscle tears and told me his surefire cure. You take an ordinary brick and put it in the microwave for 4 minutes (it doesn't explode). You then wrap a towel around it (one layer is what I use) and put it against the afflicted area. in my case, resting my leg on it. For 30 minutes twice a day, before bed and in the morning. Do this for 8 days and the muscle tear will be healed. He says.
Sounds like definitely worth a try, so I went out and stole a brick. Thought I would have to buy one, but passing a house on the street in back of my house, I spotted a brick on a side walkway. It didn't look like anyone was using it, so I went in and grabbed it, stuck it under my jacket and walked back to my house. After I'm finished with it, I'll return it. Which will freak them out more than when it disappeared, if they noticed.

Anyway, the brick should be hot, but not too hot, obviously. You don't burn your leg, you just heat it up. I suppose this promotes enhanced blood flow to the afflicted area. If it gets too hot, I just move my leg off for a few seconds. The heat lasts nicely for about 30 minutes. No progress yet, after 4 days, but I probably should not have run 2 days.I'll keep it up this week and let you know.
Also plan to get more serious about physio and also some acupuncture.

Since I can't run, I enjoy reading about your running, so keep those blogs up to date. Later....

November 15, 2010

Torn Calf Muscles — Common!

Week of Nov. 8 ~ 14

The torn calf muscle is still not healed. Tested it on Wednesday night at the track - ran an 800, then a 1000, then on the first lap of a 1600 it started to hurt so I stopped. Had been running easy, about 5min/k pace. Oh well, maybe next week. Or more likely two weeks from now. And have to run even easier.

Walked for 1:20 two days and went to the gym three times to spend some time on the bike, treadmill (walking up incline), and elliptical machine, just so I don't get too fat. I am putting on weight!

I found a blog with an entry on a torn calf muscle, to which people had left comments. About 300 people over the past two years! It turns out that torn calf muscles are not at all uncommon. It can happen to anyone, for a huge variety of reasons (or seemingly no reason at all). Often to beginners or weekend warriors, but also to pro rugby players, experienced hikers, etc. Actually, most people get it worse than I did. Many experience a "pop" sound, clearly audible, and a feeling like someone threw a rock at the back of their leg. They actually turn around to see who threw a rock at them. Then they fall down. That's a grade one tear - puts you on crutches. Mine seems to be grade two, not so serious, but still requires 4, 6, 8 weeks to heal. You're supposed to stretch the calf a lot, do light walking, get some physio...well, I'm doing those.

At first I didn't mind resting a while. But after a month it gets to be a drag. If you're a runner and you're not running...what are you? A blogger, I guess. Talk to you next week!

November 8, 2010

More of the Same

Week of Nov. 1 ~ 7

"The same" being, basically, nothing.
Following the advice of my expert commenters, I did not try to run or even jog the club 10k race, instead helping out with the timekeeping.
I had tried to run a bit on Thursday. Got to 23 minutes, 300m from home, when the calf started to get a bit sore. That was enough to tell me to rest for another week.
I did manage to do some walking and stationary biking on four days.

I also decided to throw in the towel on the Tsukuba Marathon on Nov. 28th. I won't be able to race it, and 42km is too far for a training run, so there is no reason to do it. Plus, even if the calf is better, I would risk re-injuring it.

I'll put all my eggs in the LA Marathon basket, next March 20th. If I can start training on Nov. 28th, that would give me 14 weeks.

By the way, I said last week that web articles on muscle tears say to expect 2 to 4 weeks of recovery. I found more that say 5 to 8 weeks. Since it's been 4 weeks, I guess 5 to 8 is not so unreasonable. Don't tear a muscle!
Three years ago I came back too soon from a half marathon and strained a hamstring. We never learn! At least, I don't, it seems.

Hope all of you fellow bloggers stay healthy....

October 31, 2010

Unsuccessful Attempt

Week of Oct. 25 ~ 31

Went to the gym on Tuesday for some weights, step machine and elliptical trainer.
Then on Thursday, since my calf had not been hurting for a few days, I went out for a run, thought I would see if I could do 4k. I couldn't - calf started to hurt after 2.1k (13 minutes). I stopped _immediately_ — have gotten older and wiser in the past two weeks.
So I'll take another week off and see how it feels. Internet articles on muscle tears say they take 2 to 4 weeks to heal, so I guess mine will be more like 4 weeks.

Friday I had a business trip, Saturday we had a bit of a typhoon, so I finally got to the gym on Sunday for weights, core, bike 15 mins, elliptical 15 mins, bike 15 mins. Worked up a bit of a sweat, at least.

Thanks for the encouraging comments, talk to you again next week, hopefully with better news.
Actually next Sunday is the club Half Marathon and 10k, which I was planning to race, but now hope to be able to jog (10k). If not, at least the barbecue will be fun.

October 24, 2010

A Tear, Not a Cramp

Week of Oct. 18 ~ 24

That's tear as in muscle tear, not as in tears of pain, tears of rage, although I suppose tears of frustration would be appropriate.
Yes, two guys in the club, who know what they are talking about, immediately diagnosed my problem as a muscle tear, not simply a cramp. A search for "muscle tear" yielded lots of good results, so I am stretching my foot, wearing compressions socks, getting some physiotherapy, and mainly, resting until it gets better. Since it is a tear, this will be a while.

Anyway, it will get better eventually, hopefully in time to salvage some kind of a decent run at the Tsukuba Marathon on Nov. 28th.

This week I ran 6k on Monday and Tuesday with the kids, which even though it was an easy pace was a mistake (got the diagnosis on Wednesday, otherwise I would not have run), but it was their last practices, so I kind of wanted to run with them.

Did weights and core exercises on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, with 8 mins of step on each day, plus 20 mins on the elliptical trainer on Fri. and 20 mins on stationary bike and 15 on elliptical on Sat. Just 15 or 20 minutes on that elliptical trainer drenches me in sweat.
And did a lot of walking today (Sunday), which does not seem to have had a bad effect.

By the way, since it is a tear, the cause was not simply dehydration, but overuse. That is, too much hard training and not enough rest after the half marathon. Sound familiar, Scott? I hope we have both learned our lesson. And that anyone else reading this can learn as well.

Good running...I hope to be joining you soon.

October 19, 2010

A Lost Week

Week of Oct. 11 ~ 17

Having suffered a bad cramp in my left calf in the 10k race on Oct. 10, the only plan this week was to rest until it got better. Which did not happen by the end of the week. Still have some soreness on Sunday, will try to run Monday.
It got a bit better each day, but I can still feel some pain. It was a bad cramp!

Of course, jogging (limping) 3 kilometers on it did not help. Interesting that instead of just walking, I continued to jog, even though I had given up all thoughts of it being a race. In fact, with 600m to go, I was actually at the finish line. They needed an extra 600m, so runners had to go out 300m and back again...which I did. Stupid in hindsight, but I was just in the mindset: "This is a race and I should finish." Your mind is running on a certain track and it just doesn't occur to you to shift it over to a different track. Let that be a lesson to us all. If injury strikes, Walk! And you will be back running sooner.

I did drag myself to the gym on Sunday for 8' + 16' of stepping, weights and core exercises. I suppose I should have gone over there some other days, but paradoxically, when I am injured, cross training does not appeal to me. I feel if I'm not running, I'm not "in training." Strange, but there you are.

October 10, 2010

Calf Cramp Cramps My Style

Week of Oct. 4 ~ 10

Plan: 12/18/9/9/0/6/10 - 64km
Ran: 14.6/22.2/8/8.7/0/0/10 - 63.5km / 39.5 mi.

10K race started well, ended badly. Details below.

3:30 - 14.6k. 66:00
5.9 x 2 with x-country varsity boys. Out in 30:09 (25:41 for the first 5k), back in 23:23 (19:27 for the last 5k). Needless to say, a damn good pace coming back. Ran last 3k with 4th and 5th boys, as top 3 pulled away. Jogged extra 2.8k to pick up slow kids.
Weather: 20C/68F, humid.
Weight: 60.8kg

Got a Garmin 405!
11:00 - Weights and core at gym.
3:30 - 22.2k. To school 5.6k and back - 30:48/32:32
2.77k warmup. 600m (exactly!) hill x 6 in 2:40/45/36/33/31/25. Worked hard last 3 with the top girls.
Weather: 24C/75F, very humid.
Weight: 60.6kg

7:30pm - 8k. 43:00. 6 x 1000m.
$:08/03/08/3:55/48/29. Exactly how I wanted to run them - cruising first 3, then picking up the pace.
Weather: 21C/70F
Weight: 60.4kg

3:30 - 8.7k. 1.9k warmup in Tama Cemetery and then 800m x 8. (Which Garmin measured from 769 to 794, so that didn't help much. Seems to be 780). 3:20/18/10/26/01/54/48/44. The first 4 I was saving myself for the last 4. Last 3 with Bessie Noll and we were running fairly hard. 2:44 (800) = 3:33/k so a pretty good pace.
Weather: 21C/70F
Weight: 60.3kg

11:00 - Weights and core at gym.
Rest day

Hard rain in the morning and not much time anyway (out all day), so took another rest day.

10:00am - 10k race, the Saiko Eco 10k put on by two people in the running club. A small (300 people) 10k that went twice around a lake. Two minor hills (twice) but a mostly flat, pleasant course. Weather was good, about 20-21C, although humid as rain had ended at about 9:00. (By 11:30, it was hot!)
I wanted to run under 39:00, and hoped for 38:00, if I felt good. Last week's 5k time trial was 19:03, so 38:00 was an ambitious goal (although a race is different than a time trial, which is only "practice").
Finally figured out how to customize the Garmin display, so had "Pace" as one display. Ran the first k in 3:36 and realized that was too fast, so eased up. Next two were in 3:51 and 3:52. 3:51 is a 19:15 pace, so I figured that was ok. Next two were exactly the same in 7:43, giving me 19:02 for the first 5k. I then started to pick up the pace. Was moving well and feeling good and caught one guy ahead of me (I was in about 12th) and began catching 5 more, including the top woman. I felt confident of catching them, when at left calf began to hurt a bit. I slowed a bit, assuming it would go away. It didn't and got slightly worse. I slowed a bit more, now getting somewhat worried. It got worse. I slowed down some more. It got still worse, so now I was reduced to limping along. At this point I realized it was not going to get better and the race was over, so I just jogged (limped) in the last 2+k. Too bad. The top woman ran 38:17 and I definitely would have beaten her. The two guys with her at 6k, who I was catching, ran 37:45, so I like to think I would have been around there.
I guess the cause was dehydration. I had a late dinner the night before, which included some wine and coffee, no water. I still felt full in the morning, so ate nothing for breakfast and only had a cup of milk, a cup of coffee (which I usually do not do, but I wanted to go to the bathroom), and later half a small bottle of sports drink. Obviously not enough liquid in me. The shoes were the new super light racers, but I ran a half marathon in them, so they should not be the problem (I hope!). Maybe too hard a week?...although I did have two days rest. Maybe legs not 100% recovered from the half 14 days ago?
Moral of the story: light dinner before a race, 2 bananas and plenty of sports drink/gel for breakfast, maybe some oatmeal too.
Calf still hurts (11:30 at night) but I will rest tomorrow and hope it will be ok on Tuesday. And there's always another race!

October 4, 2010

Sort of a Recovery Week

Week of Sept. 27 ~ Oct. 3

Plan: 0/9/7/8/10/20 - 54km
Ran: 0/10.8/8.6/9.1/0/13.8/10 - 52.3km / 32.5 mi. 4:53

Recovered quickly from the half marathon on Sunday - enough to run a 19:03 5k on Wed. night, which is not so bad for me these days.


11:00 - weights and core at gym
4:00 - 10.8k. 57:00. New hill course with kids. A road with a wide sidewalk that goes steadily uphill for about 2k. We ran the upper part, which is a bit steeper. Boys ran 800m, girls ran 700. Ran one with boys and 3 with girls at a good pace. Legs a bit tired, but felt ok. Plus warmup and warmdown.

7:30pm. 8.6k. 5,000m time trial on the track in 19:03
3:49/54/51/43/45. Last 400 - 88.
Hoped to run 3:50/50/50/40/40, although I knew that was too ambitious. Had a good warmup, but was still a bit stiff the first k. Then felt ok, and felt good the last 2k.
I would like to run a 5k race in cool weather just to see what I could do. The USATF USA Masters 5k Championships was on Sunday. 60-64 group was won in 17:11 by a 60 year old. That's pretty fast. I could maybe run 18:11.
Temp: 21C/70F
Weight: 59.5kg

3:30 - 9.1k. 64:00
800m x 8 in the Tama Cemetery with the girls and ASIJ 3200m record holder Sara Wilhelm, who is back in Japan for 3 years. Great to see and run with her again (she graduated in 1996).
3:24/10/08/08/06/59/56/01 (walk 2:15 - 3:15). Legs felt ok.
Weather: Fairly hard rain.

11:00am - weight and core in gym
No run. Legs felt ok, but didn't want to push my luck (did 3 fairly hard days after a half marathon).

AM - At the ASIJ cross-country meet. 2.5k with super masters runners Susan and Mary. 2.5k running around the course in 500m bursts.
6:00 - 8.8k at Juergen's house up in northern Saitama with 10 other Namban runners. 49:30 @5:36/k. Not easy running in the dark....

5:00 - 10k. 54:50. Left knee slightly sore.
Temp: 22C/72F
Weight: 59.9kg.

I said I wanted a 5k time, but I will get a 10k time next week, as I will run a small 10k race on Sunday. Will run pretty hard with the kids on Mon, Tues and Thurs, so the taper will be Friday and Saturday. Back to long distance the following week (marathon is Nov. 28th).

September 26, 2010

1:25:03 Half Marathon

Week of Sept. 20 ~ 26

Plan: 11/22/8/9/0/6/21 race - 77km
Ran: 10.9/23.2/7.4/0/6/5/21 - 73.6km / 45.7 mi.

Finished the week with a good half marathon. See below.

9:00AM (no school, but a few of the kids came and ran). 10.9k.
Ran with No. 2 girl Arisa. 57:48 - Out 30:25, In 27:23 @5:36/5:00.
Legs felt ok.
Weather: 26C/79F, 50%

11:00 - weights and core at gym.
3:00 - 23.2k. 5.6k to/from school in 32:40/32:28 @5:50/48
2k warmup. 6 x 600m hill (about 300m is actual uphill). Up in 2:40/41/37/29/27/27, jog down (with varsity girls). Plus one extra with one of the boys. 1k warmdown.
Legs very tired running home (I have run for 9 straight days). I need 4 easy days before the race.
Temp: 31C/88F

7:30pm at the track. 7.4k.
1000 x 3, 800 x 3, 400. 5:03/27/02/3:54/43/37/1:46.
2nd with two new slow girls. Last 2 barefoot.
Legs very tired, so took it very easy - just an extended warmup.
Temp: 27C/81F

Rest. Heavy rain, so rested today instead of Friday.

11:30 - 6k. 18:48/16:56
Easy. Legs still not feeling fresh at all.

12:00 - 5k. 31:58. Very easy 3k, then 2 500m pickups with easy 500m after each.
Legs felt better but still only so-so.

10:30 - Watarase Half Marathon
Got up at 4:30, left home at 6:00 - long trip of almost 3 hours (north of Tokyo).
A nice, fairly small (about 1,500 runners) low-key race around a lake (3 times around). It was a warm, sunny day...I would almost say hot (24-25C/75-77F ?). There was a breeze off the lake (about half of the way around) but the sun was bright and there was no shade.
I felt ok after warming up. Planned to run 4:00/k pace (1:24:23) with Paddy, who ran 1:21 here last year, and we started off at what we thought that was. No kilo markers until 5k and we were at 19:46. The next 5k was 20:21. I felt good, but Paddy's calf became painful so he slowed and eventually stopped. I picked up the pace and ran the next 5k in 19:47. The top woman had been right ahead of us the first 5k, then got further ahead. However, I caught her at 16k and we ran together all the way in. We were going at a good, steady pace, I am sure I did not slow down the 4th 5k, but my watch said 20:58. Very strange. Even if I slowed slightly, I certainly did not slow 1:15 from the previous 5k. The last 1.1k was 4:11 - 3:48/k pace, so too fast, but only by about 12 seconds. So was the course long or just the 20k marker in the wrong place? I measured the course on Map My Run and got 21.22k instead of 21.1 (extra 27 seconds), but actually I do not really trust Map My Run. So...the time might have been faster, but I am happy with 1:25 on a hot day. Gun time was 1:25:13, putting me 4th in the over 50 age group (no 60s age group). I won a thermos.
By the way, the top woman and one of our Namban women who took her 5k splits both said they also thought the 4th 5k was too slow/long.
My legs seem to feel ok tonight, but i will play it by ear for a few days. 5k time trial on Wednesday night...maybe not.

September 19, 2010

A Bit Shorter and Faster

Week of Sept 13 ~ 19

Plan: 24/18/8/23/25/20 - 118km
Ran: 22/21/10/20/20/10/10 - 113km / 70 mi. 10:15

No long run but a few hard efforts as I am (not too scientifically) preparing for a half marathon next Sunday.

22k. 1:59:15
To and from school (5.6k) in 33:18, 29:17 (@5:57,5:14), with a long break after the run to school (pre-workout meeting).
10.8k run, out at 27:49/5k pace, back at 24:15 pace. Legs felt ok coming back.
Weather: 32C/90F, 40%
Weight: 60.3kg

21k. 1:57:29
To/from school - 31:15, 31:15 @5:35. 16:33 warmup. 600m hill x 5. Up: 2:35/40/32/34/30. Torrential downpour on 2nd, 3rd and 4th, which made it fun (and cooler). Then the sun came out again as I was running home.
AM - weights and core at gym.
Weather: 32C/90F > 26C/79F, 35% > 65%
Weight: 60.1kg

10k. At track: 800/1200/1600/1200/800/400
3:17/4:54/6:46/4:18/3:26/1:42. 200 jog after 800s, 400 jog after 12s and 16.
Took if easy, except for 2nd 1200, which did not feel very hard.
Weather: 23C/73F, light rain

Rain, so did not go to school, as I had to go in to Tokyo afterwards.
3:00 - 20k. 1:42:46 @5:08
27:26/26:04/24:20/24:55 @5:30/13/4:52/59.
Wanter to run last 10k at 5:00 pace. Felt ok.
Weather: 21C/70F, rain

20k. 1:40:08 @5:00
27:44/15/23:28/21:41 @5:33/27/4:42/4:20
Wanted to run last 5k at marathon pace (4:21). The pace felt fast, but it was no problem. A good run.
Weather: 29C/84F > 26C/79F, 40% > 65%.

5:00 - 10k easy from my father-in-law's place. 30:00/29:10. No time for more.

Instead of 20 yesterday and 0 today, ran 10/10, which was just as well.
5:00 - 10k. 29:57/29:36 Very easy. Legs tired. Also have to run with the kids at 9:00am tomorrow (no school, but most of the varsity kids will be there to run).

Next Sunday is the Watarase Half Marathon, in northern Saitama, which is just north of Tokyo. Some guys ran it last year and said it is a flat course, nice race, not too big with about 1,500 runners. So it will be an interesting test of my fitness, and I hope to run a good time (good being under 1:25). So I will taper the last half of the coming week.

September 12, 2010

Keeping Up With the Kids

Week of Sept 6 ~ 12

Plan: 23/18/18/19/15/30 = 123km
Ran: 23.9/18.2/9/21.6/20/20.4 = 113.1km / 70 mi.

Ran with the ASIJ X-country team on Mon, Tues and Thurs, which requires some extra effort, and then did a good run on Friday, so it was a hard week, even though I didn't run as much as planned.

3:30 - 23.9k 2:08:01
To/from school - 5.6k x 2 32:54/32:00 @5:52/42.
Long break after getting to school. Run with varsity boys 4k to Tama river and 1.4k along river. Easy out @5:49, hard back for3.8k @4:10. Ran back .7k to run in with a slow kid, then 4 x 100m barefoot and a series of ab exercises. Fairly hard day.
Temp: 32C/90F
Weight: 60.3kg

11:00 - Weights and core at the gym.
3:30 - 18.2k 1:34:16
To/from school - 5.6 x 2 32:50/31:38 @5:51/38
2k warmup to and in the huge Tama Cemetery (great place to run, wide streets with few cars), then 800 x 2, 400 x 2, 800 x 2.
3:18/06/1;32/34/2:54/53 (abt. 3:30 walk after the 800s). Legs stiff. Saved myself for the last 2 800s with Bess, the top girl. (2:53 800 is 3:36 1000 pace)
Weather: 34C/93F > 30C/86F, 40% > 50%
Weight: 60.4kg

AM - planned to run 10k, but legs sore (right hamstring). Also heavy rain due to nearby typhoon.
7:30 - 400 x 4 x 3 at easy pace - first 4 @ abt 1:42, next 4 @ 1:35, next 4 @1:37. 200m jog in 1:40 after each one, adn 400m jog after 4th and 8th.
Right hamstring was a bit sore all day, but felt fine as soon as I started running!
Temp: 25C/77F. Felt very cool!

3:30 - 21.6k 2:38.
To hill near Nogawa Park next to school - 28:20 @5:15.
600m hill x 3 with girls. Up in 2:46/28/18 (2:18 is fast.) Down easy.
3k loop (by myself) x 2 16:47/58 @5:36/39. 5.7k back in 31:55 @5:36.
Felt good on hills but legs a bit tired coming back.
Temp: 28C/82F

11:00 - Weights and core at the gym.
4:00 - 20k. 1:41:32 @5:04
27:50/43/23:13/22:44 @5:34/33/4:38/4:33
Legs tired all day, but felt ok after 2k. Planned to come back at marathon pace (4:21) but that did not happen. Still a very good run after 4 good efforts the previous days.
Weather: 27C/81F, 60%
Weight: 60.1kg

3:00 - 20.4k 1:55:43
28:11/57/20/30:17 (first and last 5.2k) @5:25/47/39/50. Took it easy. Legs tired, but not too bad. Hot.
Temp: 32C/90F
Weight: 59.3kg
First ASIJ x-country meet. Kids ran pretty well, considering it was hot. Bess won the girl's race, kicking in strongly to beat another girl.


By the way, does anyone use Map My Run? I have mapped some runs very carefully at the highest magnification, but they never turn out the same as I had previously measured (by car, for example) or estimated (by pace, but over the course of many runs, so I am pretty confident of the accuracy). Usually the Map My Run is longer. Is this thing really 100% accurate?

September 6, 2010

Unrelenting Heat

Week of Aug. 30 ~ Sept. 5

Plan: 20/20/20/30/0/20/20 - 130km
Ran: 23.4/17.7/16/7.8/15/35/0 - 114.9km / 71 mi. 10:02

Plan got altered due to start of American School X-country season, so I ran with the kids 4 days. Monday is their hard day, so I will run long on Saturday and rest on Sunday for the next 8 weeks.
As for the heat, this is officially the hottest summer ever in Japan since record keeping started in 1898. We are now at over 50 days/nights of the temp never falling below 25C/77F, and the average temp is way higher than ever. And it's supposed to continue for another two weeks!

3:30 - 23.4k. To school and back (5.5k each way, easy pace). 11k with top 4 boys, including about 5k @ 4:20-4:50.
(Long rest after arriving at school and short rest before starting back).
Weather: 33C/91F > 30C/86F, 30% > 45%
Weight: 59.7kg

3:30 - 17.7k. To school and back, easy. 2k easy. 800, 400x2. 800, 400x2, 800
3:15/1:28/1:23/3:04/1:27/1:29/2:53 (with top 6 girls, last one with No. 1 girl)
Weather: 34C/93F > 30C/86F, 30% > 50%

4:30 - 6k. In Nogawa Park, next to school. 3k warmup, 3k time trial. 11:00 (@3:40/k). I came in 4th (ahead of 31 boys). The good thing was, the next 6 boys in back of me were not too far behind, so the team should be pretty good (the girls team will be awesome).
7:30 - 10k. 1000 x 6
Legs a bit tired, but running easily. On the 4th, ran the last 300m at a good pace with Paddy (I was in group B, he was in group A). Last one barefoot, then 1000m easy barefoot.
Temp: 4:30: 32C/90F, 7:30: 30C/86F

4:30 - 7.8k. At school, 600m hill x 4. 2:58/3:00/2:42/2:46. With girls, average effort.
No time today to run more.

2:30 - 15k. 1:24:44. 29:33/29:08/26:12
Weather: 32C/90F, 40%

1:00 - 35k. 3:14:44. @5:34
28:39/27:55/27:31/28:05/27:17/53/21 @5:44/35/30/37/27/35/28
Legs real tired last 10 (15?) k. Not bad pace, considering that and the heat (had to run at 1:00 because I had to go out at night).
Weather: 34C/93F > 32C/90F, 30% > 40%

Weights and core in the gym. Because I forgot to go on Tuesday and had no time on Friday.

August 29, 2010

Recovery Week

Week of Aug. 23 ~ 29

Plan: 10/10/15/10/15/18.6 - 78.6km
Ran: 10/10/15/0/15/18.6 - 68.6km / 42.6 mi. 6:41

A strange recovery week, with a 5,000m time trial, then a marathon pace 5k in a 15k, then 2 hours of hills on Sunday. But one extra day of rest. That's because tomorrow (Monday) will not be a rest day, because the American School X-country team starts practice.
By the way, my fall races will be: a Half on Sept. 26, a 10k on Oct. 10, a Half on Nov. 7, and a full marathon (Tsukuba) on Nov. 28. The first three are speed work for the marathon.


10:30 - Weights and core at the gym.
5:00 - 10k. 58:54 (29:55/28:59)
Legs stiff and heavy. Ran in old Mizuno's zero dropped (that is, I cut the heels off). I don't know where that term came from, but it seems to be what people are using. So they went from 240g to 205g. They felt ok.
Weather: 31C/88F, 50%
Weight: 59.6kg

7:30 - 10k. 2k warmup, 5000m time trial, 3k more (1200m barefoot).
18:49. 3:49/43/50/47/40. Legs felt good. Running with Yoshida-san all the way, which helped a lot (he is generally a bit faster than me over 5k (much faster over a marathon)). Kicked well, with last 400 in 84.
Wore new super-light shoes - Asics Sortie Japan Lyte, which I hope to use for the marathon. They weigh 145g on my scale (previous lightest shoes were 180). They weighed 160 in the store, but actually their scale said 1.6kg, so it was only accurate in steps of 100g, and in fact, did not look very accurate. I trust my own scale more and anyway that is what I weighed all my other shoes on. Anyway, they are very light!
They felt great, except that in the last k the bottom of my left foot hurt. I was worried about this (too light?) but ran in them Thursday and realized...ah ha! they were laced too tightly. My left foot is bigger, so when I lace shoes too tightly, the bottom of the foot (for some reason) starts to hurt. This happened once before, but I had forgotten about it. Anyway, I loosened them up and they were fine over 15k. I'll try them in the three races and for one long run prior to the marathon.
Weather: 29C/84F

5:00 - 15k. 1:15:14. @5:01
27:40/26:09/21:25 @5:32/14/4:17. Last k 4:07
New shoes again. Planned last 5k @4:30-4:40. Seemed to have forgotten that this is a recovery week.
Weather: 32C/90F, 40% > 30C/86F, 50%
Weight: 59.4kg

Rest - Business trip
Planned 10k early in the morning but decided to take a rest day since I ran fast the last two days and next Monday will not be a rest day.

10:00 - Weights and core at gym.
4:00 - 15k. 1:21:54. @5:27
28:50/27:21/25:42 @5:45/28/09
Felt only so-so, legs stiff.
Weather: 32C/90F, 40%

18.6k. 2:17:32. Out: 1:15:00 very easy. In: 1:02:32 moderate.
On the Ome trial course. Through the woods, constant up and down, with some major climbs, including up large steps (roots and rocks) where you just haul yourself up slowly. Last 4k at a decent pace. Legs were pretty tired at the end.
Weather: 34C/93F, although cooler on the trial, which is completely in the shade. (Still hot of course.) Used Camelback and drank a liter and a half of sports drink.

August 22, 2010

Another 140k Week

Week of Aug. 16 ~ 22

Plan: 25/30/5/25/20/35
Ran: 25/30/0/25/25/35 = 140k / 87 mi. 13:04

Had to go on a business trip on Thursday, so planned only 5k in the morning, however, after 4 runs the preceding two days, even 5k in the early morning was too much. But made it up on Saturday.


9:30 - 10k. 57:36 29:30/28:06
11:30 - Weights and core at gym.
5:00 - 15k. 1:20:59. @5:24
28:27/26:47/25:45 @5:42/21/7
Felt ok coming back although legs a bit heavy.
Weather: 33C/91F, 40%
Weight: 59.2kg

10:30 - 15k. 1:26:44 @5:47
7:30 - 15k. 9k @6:00. Track workout: 800x4, 800x3.
Legs tired, easy pace. 2:30 walk after each, but 400 jog after 4th. Last one barefoot.
10:30 - 33C/91F. 7:30 - 28C/82F

Rest - business trip all day.

10:00 - 5k. 28:23
5:30 - 20k. 1:41:42. @5:06
27:58/26:53/23:37/23:12 @ 5:36/22/4:42/39
Last k in 4:25. Felt ok after 5k. Planned to run last 10k @ 4:40.
Weather: 29C/84F, 50%
Weight: 59.7kg

9:30 - 5k. 29:59
4:30 - 20k. 2:00:27. @6:01
Legs real tired (as expected, from quick pace 10k yesterday). Just tried to maintain this easy pace.
Weather: 32C/90F > 28C/82F, 50%
Weight: 59.5kg

3:45 - 35k. 3:15:42. @5:36
Legs felt tired going out. Was thinking of cutting it to 30k, but forged on. Felt really tired at halfway point and walked around for a bit. Then coming back, kept feeling better and better. Part psychological? part due to temp dropping somewhat? Stopped for water 8 times (with a bit of stretching each time).
Weather: 33C/91F > 29C/84F, 40%
Weight: 59.7kg

Next week will be a recovery week, which I definitely need (last 3 were 130/140/140). 80-90k with a 5k time trial on Wednesday.

August 16, 2010

141k - No Aches or Pains

Week of Aug. 9 ~ 15

Plan: 20/20/20/25/20/35 = 140k
Ran: 20/21/25/20/20/35 = 141k / 87.6 mi. 12:39

Top Namban runner Brett Larner says that he found several plateaus as he increased his training. When you reach and maintain those levels, you show improvement. His were 80k, 100k, 130k and 160k per week. In other words, running 120 a week does not do you much more good than running 100, but if you can do 130, you will show more improvement. I would agree that above 100 (62 mi.) seems to make a difference. Since I have been doing that consistently, my quads are never sore anymore. I'm hoping that 130 or in my case 140 is another plateau.


11:00 - Weights and core at gym.
4:00 20k. 1:45:27 @5:16.
28:44/27:03/25:12/24:26 @5:45/24/02/4:53
Legs not moving too well going out, but ok coming back.
Weather: 30C/86F, 60% > 28C/82F, 60%
Weight: 59.4kg

12:00 - 12k. 1:08:04 @5:43
35:05/32:58 @5:51/30 (32C/90F)
7:30 - 9k. 400 x 4 x 3 sets.
Nice pace. All 95-105, but last one in 87. Last 4 barefoot.

2:00 - 25k. 2:13:42. @5:21
Pace varied quite a bit as I slowed to run with another runner the 3rd and 4th 5ks.
Weather: 28C/82F (felt cool!), rain at start, nice at finish.

9:00 - 10k. 54:04 @5:24. 29:21/24:43. (28C/82F)
11:00 - Weights and core at gym.
1:00 - 10k. 48:15.
26:08/22:07 @5:13/4:25.
Felt pretty good at 1:00. Didn't plan to run 2nd 5k so fast...a bit surprising (in the heat).
Weather: 30C/86F, 50%

4:15 - 20k. 1:45:03 @5:15
26:49/29:18/25:46/26:08 @5:21/15/9/13
Legs a bit tired, but felt ok. Running easily...had to force myself to slow down last 7k.
Weather: 30C/86F, 50%
Weight: 59.5kg

4:00 - 35k. 3:12:39 @5:30
29:27/28:48/28:05/27:46/26:13/26:41/25:36 @5:54/45/36/33/14/20/06
Legs felt just "ok." Took it easy going out, picked up the pace without really trying to the last 15k. Felt ok the last 5k.
Really sweated a lot the whole way - more than usual. Stopped for water 6 times.
Weather: 32C/90F, 50% > 30C/86F, 65% (still 30° at 7pm)
Weight: 60.1kg (pancake brunch).

August 9, 2010

Train to 140K Derailed by a Stubbed Toe

Week of Aug. 2 ~ 8

Plan: 25/20/25/15/20/35 = 140km
Ran: 25/20/30/0/20/35 = 130km / 81 mi. 11:42

Had to go on a business trip on Friday, so decided to do 30 on Thursday and 10 on Friday morning, however, I smashed my little toe into a door on Thursday night and it was still very sore on Friday morning. To tell the truth, my legs were trashed from the 30 on Thursday, so I probably would not have run anyway. Would have had to run at 7:30 in the morning, which for this spoiled freelancer is pure agony. Finished the week with a good 35k, though, moving at a good clip the last 5k.


9:30am - 10k. 56:04 28:39/27:26 (32C/90F)
11:30 - Weights and core at the gym.
5:30 - 15k 1:23:34 @5:36
28:33/23/26:56 @5:42/39/23 (33C/91F)
Weight: 60kg

High Noon: 12k. 1:08:22 28:47/25/11:09 (32C/90F)
7:30 pm - 8k. 1000m x 6 on the track
Felt good. Cruising easily the first 3, so ran the next 3 with the top 3 people in the B group and still felt easy.
6 x 100m barefoot.
Weight: 59.4kg
Temp: 28C/82F

4:00 - 30k. 2:39:00 1:23:22/1:15:38
@ 5:18 5:35/5:03
5k splits got a bit screwed up.
Temp: 33C/91F

Rest - away all day.

11:00 am -20k. 1:48:55 @5:26
28:30/27:44/26:58/25:31 @5:42/33/24/06
Felt ok after 4k. Not pushing at all. Heat not too bad - run is mostly in the shade and there was a breeze. Toe was ok.
Weather: 31C/88F, 45% > 32C/90F, 40%
Weight: 60kg
Shoes: 225g

3:30pm - 35k. 3:03:50 @5:15
@ 5:42/30/30/24/07/4:55/4:36 last k 4:27
Shady course, cloudy day, breeze, so did not feel hot. Felt ok going out, good last 15k and surprisingly good last 5k. Drank water 6 times and ate 5 Gu Chomps.
Temp: 30C/86F, 50% > 28C/82F, 60%
Weight: 60kg
Shoes: 182g. Interesting - I used to use these only for racing 5k, with a cushiony insole, now I run 35k in them with no insole.

August 2, 2010

"Easy" Week

Week of July 26 ~ Aug. 1

Plan: 15/15/10/10/15/20/10 = 95km
Ran: 15/15/11/10/18.5/18/15 = 102.5km / 64 mi. 9:44

This was a recovery week - about 100k spread out over 7 days - but it did include a 5k time trial and a hilly 18k run.

5:00pm - 15k. 1:27:42 @5:51
Took yesterday off, so ran today. Legs stiff and tired, was thinking about 20k, but decided 15 was enough.
Weather: 30C/86F, 60%
Weight: 60.1kg

11:30 - Weights and core at gym.
3:00 - 15k. 1:22:21 @5:30.
29:45/27:16/25:19 @5:58/27/04
On shady course. Felt ok last 5k, but not really "good."
Weather: 32C/90F, 45%

7:30pm - 5,000m time trial in 19:01.
3:48/51/48/50/43 Last 400m in 86.
Felt ok, running with club member Juergen. Hot, but not too bad. Quite windy.
Had time for long warmup, so legs felt ok.
2000m warmdown (actually extra distance) barefoot.
Weather: 28C/82F
Weight: 60.2kg
Shoes: 182g (lightest, no insoles)

11:00 - 10k. 55:59 29:13/26:46
Legs stiff from time trial.
Weather: 26C/79F, light rain, very humid

9:00 - 5k. 28:08 15;11/12:57
11:00 - Weights and core at gym
7:00 - 13.5k. 1:11:19
Farewell run for Christian Sommer. (Namban is losing one of our best runners).
Included 3 laps around the Detached Palace ( 3 x 3.3k) with 2.5 at a good pace (about 4:48).
Weight: 59.8kg

18k but distance approximate. 1:57
Namban run in Kamakura with 36 people. (Not everyone did 18k). Farewell run for Arnaud and Leng Leng, who are going back to Singapore and who will be missed. About 2k flat, then 3k of hills, then 2k flat, then 6k of hilly trials, 1k flat easy, 4k flat along beach road at a good pace (last k working hard thanks to Juergen and Paddy).
Relaxing at a beach club and a fun dinner. A great day.

15k. 1:22:36 @5:30
At Tsudanuma (Makuhari) (visiting father-in-law). Measured this with the car and later with Map My Run, which were in close agreement. The strange thing is, I don't think I was running 5:30 pace. The first 2k were about 6:00. After that I picked up the pace, but not much and there are some marked kilometers that I was doing in 5:40, which seemed right, and which I held til the end. Strange....
Anyway, I'll call it 15k and see what happens the next time I run it.
3:00 - 32C/90F
Next week hope to be back up to 140k.

July 27, 2010

Too Damn Hot

Week of July 19 ~ 25

Plan: 25/20/25/15/20/35 = 140km
Ran: 25/17.2/30/15/30/0 = 117.2km / 73 mi. 10:42

The week got a bit screwed up by trips on Friday and Sunday, and the HOT weather.
By the way, the temperatures I give are all in the shade. I don't even want to know the heat in the sun. They are on my own thermometer, but FYI I just read that "official" temperatures are measured at a height of 2 meters, above GRASS. Since most of us spend most of our time outdoors on asphalt or the like, actual temperatures are much hotter. If the weather report says it's 33C out, you're actually baking in 38 or 40 degree heat if you go out. And kids and dogs closer to the ground are even hotter! Good to keep in mind....


11:30 - Weights and core at the gym.
1:00 - 10k in 28:57/28:03. Legs stiff. 34C/93F
5:15 - 15k. 1:20:20. 28:52/26:41/24:47 @5:47/20/4:58 Tired going out but then felt ok last 5k. It cooled off to 32C/90F!

1:30 - 8k in 45:57 @5:44. 34C Pressed for time, but felt too hot to run more.
7:30 - at the track. 800/1200/1600/1200/800/400
3:25/4:57/6:40/4:53/3:10/93 (jog 200m after the 800s, 400m after the others).
1600 @ 4:10/k, others a bit faster. Legs ok, not running hard. Last two barefoot. 31C/88F

30k. 2:32:51 @5:06
Knew I would not be able to do a long run on Sunday, so wanted to get a bit of extra distance.
Felt ok after 5k and better after 15k. Stopped for water 5 times and drank a lot. Still lost 1.2kg/2.6lbs.
Time: 4:30
Weather: 33C/91F > 31C/88F 40%
Shoes: 182g. Running in light shoes is nice.

15k. 1:23:04 @5:32
28:28/27:30/27:06 @5:41/30/25
Legs stiff and tired, but not sore. Thought it would be 5:40 pace all the way, so not bad.
No time for gym in the morning.
Time: 5:00
Weather: 32C/91F 40%

Planned 10/10, ran 10/20.
9:30 - 10k 29:50/28:46 32C/90F
4:00 - 20k 1:57:56 @5:54
Legs tired, hot! Did well to pick up last 5k and finish. Tough run, even though mostly in the shade.
34C/93F > 32C/90F

Went out in the afternoon. Planned 15 in the morning, but legs were too tired and it was too hot.
Will run Monday, although next week I will cut back to 100k or less. Have a time trial on Wednesday and a run in the hills on Saturday (so no long run on Sunday).

July 19, 2010

140K With Two Good Runs

Week of July 12 ~ 18

Plan: 25/20/25/15/25/30 140k
Ran: 25/20/25/15/20/35 140k / 87 mi. 12:48

Finally got to 140k! Which is much more satisfying to say than 87 miles.
And felt good at the end of it!
Only running in light shoes these days, and with no insoles. Feels good, no problems.

Rest (So important - gotta have a rest day!)

10:00 - 10k 30:34/28:43 @5:55/k (24C/75F, rain)
11:30 - weights and core at gym
4:00 - 15k 1:15:54 @5:03
26:22/24:39/24:54 @ 5:15/4:57/59
Felt real good after 4k warmup. Had to force myself to run slower than 4:50. Two runs are better than one on easy days. The one in the morning is kind of a slog, but the one in the afternoon feels great.

11:00 - 12k 34:33/33:28 @5:40
7:30 - 8k 400 x 4 x 3 sets
Running easily, legs felt fine. Last two barefoot.
Club divided into 6 groups of 6-8 people, everyone enjoyed the workout.

4:00 - 25k 2:03:51 @4:56
5 x 500m hills in the middle.
27:41/26:16/23:34/22:09 @5:32/15/4:42/26
Middle 5k of hills was 3 up hard, 2 down hard.
Up - 2:16/13/13/41/49 Down - 2:34/34/36/1:54/56
Last 5k was 4:30/30/30/26/15. Didn't think it would be so fast! Quads felt ok.
This was a good workout.
Weather: 28C/82F, 55%
Weight: 60.1kg

11:00 - weights and core at gym
4:30 - 15k 1:24:52
Legs tired, as expected, from yesterday. Very hot day, but cooled a bit, with a breeze, from 4:30
Weather: 31C/88F > 28/82, 55%
Weight: 60kg. I seem to have come down from around 61 to 60.

11:30 - 20k 1:56:27
59:30/56:56 @5:49
Legs tired, very hot. 2 water stops.
Wanted to run 10/15, but had to go out in the afternoon.
Along Tamagawa Josui (shady, next to a stream), so distance not quite exact. I should map this carefully on Map My Run.
30 > 32C/90F, 50>40%
Weight: 60kg

3:30 - 35k/21.7mi. 3:17:25 @5:38
Tamagawa Josui. Total distance and splits approx, but very close, esp. first and last 5k.
Legs felt ok and surprisingly good last 10k. Tired last 5k, but quads ok and could run 5min kilos.
Wore Nike fuel belt and drank lots - refilled all four bottles.
Weather: 31C/88F > 27, 45% > 60%
Weight: 60.9kg (bigger than usual breakfast and lunch)

I will try another 140k week, then cut down the following week.

July 11, 2010

Not 140K But a Good Week

Week of July 5 ~ 11

Plan: 25/20/25/15/25/30k 140k / 87mi.
Ran: 25/19/25/15/22/30k 136k / 84.5mi. 12:31

Too tired on Sunday to add an extra 4k!


10:30 - weights and core at gym.
4:00 - 25k. 2:08:21 @5:08
A progressive run without trying to!
First 5k WU, then felt ok. Last 10k not pushing, felt slower than 5:00. Drank no water, was ok.
Weather: 28C/82F, 60%...humid!
Weight: 60.7kg
Shoes: 210g/7.4oz Nike Cage2

10:00 - 10k very easy 30:30/28:44 Typical morning shuffle.
7:30 - 9k with 1000m x 6
4:43/27/25/25/29/18 (200m abt. 3:30 in bet.)
Actually felt pretty good - cruising easily. Last one barefoot, also 600m jog.
Temp. was comfortable.

4:00 - 25k 2:15:37 with 5 x 500m hill
29:04/28:43/26:06/26:03 @5:49/45/13/12
5 500m hills in the middle (after 11.4k) - Up: 2:35/33/31/25/21 Down: 2:41/39/39/41/30
Legs tired going out (and hot). Stretched for 4' after 10k and felt ok on hills. Expected 2:35 each one, but got faster. Drank water before and after hills, Tired last 3k.
Weather: 30C/86F, 45%
Weight: 60.8kg
Shoes: 275g/9.7oz Biom

11:30 - weights and core at gym
1:00 - 15k 29:56/29:32/28;53
Legs very heavy and didn't want to try to go faster because hills Sat. and long Sun. Also very humid, with some rain.

2:15 at Kamakura with Jay, Keren and Michael.
22k. 1:57
Distance probably a bit less, but about 15 mins of steep hills in the beginning.
Beach to Zushi Marina, up hill to "Beverly Hills", back to beach road, almost all the way to Enoshima (against the wind), back to beach. Hot but not brutally hot.
Shoes: 182g/6.4oz Nike Zoom Air

3:30 - 30k. 2:44:02 @5:28
29:05/27:38/03/26:25/33/27:16 @5:49/31/24/17/18/27
Felt ok first 20k, taking it easy, but legs got tired last 10k. Thought I might add an extra 4k to make the week 140k, but too tired. (Adding extra k at the end of long runs almost _never_ happens.)
Water at 9k, 21k, 24.5k.
Weather: 28C/82F > 26C/79F 60%>80% But it rained 3 times, so why isn't it 100%?

Anyway, 136k is a good week (especially with the hills on Thursday), the most I have ever run.
I'll try for 140k next week....
Good running to you all.

July 5, 2010

5K TT and 35K Run

Week of June 28 ~ July 4

Plan: 0/25/20/0/25/15/35 120k / 75mi.
Ran: 0/25/20/0/20/25/35 125k / 78mi. 11:24
Had been having some pain in my left shin, although it's ok after warming up, so decided to take Thursday off (also due to an all-day business trip).


9:30am - 10k 60:17 Hot and very humid (27C/81F, 80+%) - like running in a steambath.
11:30 - weight machines and core exercises
4:30pm - 15k 28:42/27:18/26:01 @5:45/27/12
Picked up pace at halfway and felt ok.
Weight: 60.5kg
Weather: 26C/79F, 70%

12:30pm - 10k 29:40/29:00 Legs heavy and tired.
7:30pm - 5000m time trial in 19:19 3:52/52/53/53/48.
Legs felt really tired in the afternoon. Got to the track early and lay down for 10 minutes before warming up. (Yes, lay is the past tense of lie.) But after warming up and stretching I felt ok and got into a nice pace at 3:52 with 3 other guys and held it.
Shoes: 182g
Weight: approx. 60.3kg.
Weather: very warm but not oppressive - 25,6C?


9:00am - 20K. 29:05/27:52/24:36/24:26 @5/49/34/4:55/53
Sluggish going out, but stretched for 2mins at halfway and was able to run back under 5:00 pace.
Not enough time to run 25k.
Weather: 25C > 28C/82F, 60%

11:00am - 25k. 2:14:56 @5:24
Very tired last 5k.
Only needed to run 20k for the planned 120k week, but I guess I didn't realize that.

3:15pm - 35k. 3:12:02 @5:29
28:10/27:42/34/29/14/03/26:49 @5:38/32/31/30/26/24/21
Felt ok first half. Hard rain at 18k, then steady rain, cleared last 3k. Legs tired last 10k, but held sub 5:30 pace and picked up last 2k - 5:20, 5:00. Hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be.
Drank 6 6oz. bottles of sports drink and water, ate 5 Gu Chomps.
Shoes - 240g.
Weight: 60.4kg
Weather: 31C/88F, 50% > 26C/79F, 75%

June 27, 2010

Longer and harder

Week of June 21 ~ 27
Comes with a revelation.

Plan: 20/20/24/15/20/30km 129km / 87 mi.
Ran: 20/20/24/15/20/30km 129km / 87 mi. 11:27


20k @5:13 1:44:17
28:05/27:01/24:30/24:39 @5:36/24/4:54/57
Knees very stiff first 5k. 3mins walk & stretch after 10k, then felt better.
Time: 2:30
Weather: 30C/86F, 50%
11:30 - Wts and core at gym

12:00 - 12k. 6k@5:55, 6k@5:27 Knees stiff.
7:30pm - 8k. Another new workout for the running club. 1200 at a moderate pace, jog 100, run 300 fast. x4.
B group did 800m for the last 2. About 3:30 rest between each. That's a tough one on a hot night.
I ran with the B group and took it easy, but still a good workout. Ran the last 1600 barefoot. Felt good!

24k. 2:01:22. This was the "harder" part of the week. In the middle of the 20k run (8.6k going out), there is a 500m hill. It is not extremely steep, but steep enough, and continuous. So I ran 10k out, then 1.4 back, then turned around and ran up and down the hill 4 times (an extra 4k). Running hard up and easy down. The ups & downs were 2:20/18/16/15 and 2:36/35/37/35. Pumped my arms hard the last 200m of each hill - that's what weight training is for!
The 20k was 28:51/26:13/23:23/23:21. @5:45/15/4:40/4:40. So the last 10k was pretty good, especially after 4 hills.
Last k was 4:32. Very tired, but quads were ok. Took 3 stretching and 2 water breaks.
Time: 4:00
Weather: 28C/82F, 35%
Weight: 61kg

15k. 1:21:22 29:05/26:59/25:16 @5:49/24/03.
Legs felt very tired at first. 6th k was 5:56, so I said this is ridiculous and picked up the pace. Then I felt better. Felt surprisingly ok the last 5k.
Revelation: Wore my lightest shoes, which are an old pair of Nike Zoom Air Racing that weigh 182g/6.4oz. - with no insoles! They felt really good! This could be an easy way to achieve "minimalist" footwear - light shoes with no insoles.
Time: 1:00
Weather: 31C/88F, 30%
11:30 - wts and core at gym.

20k. 1:51:46. @5:36. Distance approximate, but very close. In Tsudanuma, at my father-in-law's. Ran a different course than usual for the first 10k. Have to measure it by car the next time I go there. Legs tired. Wore my Nike Air Zoom Cage+ with no insoles. I used these for the Santa Barbara and LA marathons, but I now realize they are too soft, especially with insoles. Without insoles they feel much better.

30k. 2:38:00. @5:15
@ 5:40/18/12/00/12/12
At planned pace thru 20k. Wanted to go fast last 10k, but legs too tired and temp too hot to go under 5:00. Did very well to stay at 5:12, thought it would be 5:20 or more. Drank 2 160ml bottles of Aquarius, plus stopped and drank a lot of water at 21k, and refilled one bottle. Legs VERY tired and did well to pick up last k to 5:00.
Time: 2:30
Weather: 29C/84F, 60% (felt like 90%)
Weight: 60.2kg (finally got the weight down near 60. Can I keep it here?)
Shoes: 210g old Nike Cage 2 with no insoles. Felt fine.

129k is not my longest week ever, I did two 130+ weeks in 2008, but much of that was twice a day easy 10k runs. So this was my hardest week ever!
Next week: 135k including a 5,000m time trial.

June 21, 2010

Pretty Good Week

Week of June 14 ~ 20

Plan: 20/15/15/20/20/25k = 115km / 71.5 mi.
Ran: 25/18.5/12/20/15/27.5 = 118km / 73 mi.

Finished the week with a nice long trail run. Legs tired but not painful, so training is going ok, I guess.


7:15am - 5k 28:19 2.5k@6:18 2.5k@5:00
Thought I would try an early morning (for me) run to see if I should do this more in the coming weeks to add mileage. First half at very easy 6:00 pace, stretch a bit, then pick it up to 5:00. It felt ok.
4:00pm - 20k @5:14 26:55/26:40/25:23/25:40 @5:23/20/05/08
Ok going out, legs kind of tired coming back.
Temp,humidity: 28C/82F 50%
Weight: 60.9kg
11:30 - weights and core. 3 workouts!

12:00 - 12k @5:33 5:54/5:13
Pace as planned. Ok, but legs heavy.
7:30 (track) - 400 x 4 x 3. First 2 sets very easy at 1:50, then 1:40, last 2 @1:30. Last 4 barefoot - felt good.
Gave the club members some speed work on a hot night. Broke into small groups (6-8) and had different people lead each 400. Worked very well. Even slower people ran much faster when they were the leaders - great motivational technique. Everyone enjoyed the workout (if they didn't, they didn't tell me...).

12k @5:27 5:56/4:58
7:15am. 4 mins. walking/stretching in between the 6ks.
Actually, I now realize that if I am not running the Wednesday night intervals hard, Thursday should be a hard day and not an easy day. (Although today I had to go to Epson in Nagano prefecture.) Then Friday easy, Sat moderate and Sun very long.

20k @5:09 1:42:55
27:10/26:05/24:49/24:49 @5:25/13/4:58/58
Felt ok but quads a bit sore last 6k.
Time: 1:00
Temp/hum:29C/84F, then rain
Weight: 60.8kg
AM- weights and core at gym

15k @5:25 1:21:17
27:33/26:51/26:53 @5:30/22/23
Easy day. Legs quite tired so took it real easy.

27.5 2:46:36
Long run on the trails in the hills above Kamakura (very old, cool town an hour south of Tokyo) with two other club members. Then the last hour on roads, including a looong (9-minute) hill. Distance approx because a good part of it was clambering up, down and over big rocks, roots, etc. Actual distance was shorter but I was working much harder than a flat run, so 27.5 is a good approximation of the effort. (The Garmin wearer's battery failed - I don't have one). Cool and pleasant up in the hills, with a good breeze. But a very tiring run.
We tried to go to Ajisai-dera (hydrangea temple) to see the flowers, but since they are in full bloom, the place was PACKED, including about 100m of the road leading to the place. A laughable amount of people. Ah, Japan....

Total for week: 118k / 73.2 miles. 10:56
Next week...130k?

June 13, 2010

Up to 100km

Week of June 7 ~ June 13

Plan: 20/15/15/20/15/25k = 110k / 68 mi.
Ran: 20/16/15/20/14/15k = 100k

Cut back the last long run because my quads are sore.
Planning to run nothing under 5:00/k pace (except Wed. intervals). Decided I don't need to run "fast" when I am building up distance. It just makes the legs more sore.


20k @ 5:11 26:41/26:08/25:22/25:26
Felt. ok. Ran the pace I wanted to.
AM: weights and core at gym.
Weight: 61.1kg

12:30 - 8k @5:31
7:30 - 8k. Warmup then 1000/1000/1500/1000/1000
4:25/4:33/5:36/4:14/4:18 (1500 @ 3:44/k)
The objective of this workout (for club members) was to run 2 1000s at 15 secs. slower than usual pace (jog 200), then a 1500m time trial (walk 200), then 2 1000s at usual (hard) pace. I decided to let the runners try a 1500m time trial and this seemed to be a good way to do it. I think it was a good workout. I took the 1000s easy and ran fairly hard on the 1500. However, this caused a bit of hamstring tightness over the next few days. From now on, Wednesdays will be easy.

15k @ 5:42 28:50/27:55/28:39
Quads stiff first 10k, sore last 5k. Any pace was ok...just for the mileage.
15k is a long way when your quads are sore and you are running at a slow pace.

20k @ 5:29 27:32/27:20/27:14/27:34
Kept the pace easy. Quads a bit sore the last 3k.
AM - weights and core in the gym.

14k @5;22 26:43/26:22/22:04
Last 4k @ 5:32 as quads got sore.

15k @ 5:36 (different course, no splits)
Legs tired and right quad sore.
Well, 100k is ok for the week.
Weight: 61.2kg

Total for week: 100k / 62 mi. 9:14
Nice weather every day but next week is supposed to be rainy (start of the rainy season).

June 6, 2010

Revving Up (for the World Cup, too)

Week of May 31 ~ June 6

Plan: 10/15/10/15/10/10/20 = 90k / 56 mi.
Ran: 10/15/10/15/ 0/15/10+15 = 90k

First week of marathon training leading to a Nov. marathon. Will spend 3 weeks working up to 140k weeks, which I will then maintain, more or less, for 18 weeks. For a bit of historical perspective, before the LA marathon in March I had 9 110/120k weeks. Prior to that, before the Santa Barbara marathon in Dec. I had 18 weeks of 88-113K.

10k @5:09 26:18/25:15
Felt ok, legs a little stiff.

15k @ 4:48 1:12:03 25:30/24:18/22:14 @5:06/4:52/4:27
Very surprising. Not trying to go fast, but every k was 10 secs faster than i thought I was going.
Due to the new Biom shoes or to having fresh legs (haven't run much last 2 weeks)? Probably fresh legs.
AM: wts and core at gym.
Time: 4:00
Temp/humd: 23C/73F, 30%
Weight: 60.7kg

10k @ 5:21 27:04/26:34

15k @ 4:47 1:11:50 25:19/23:48/22:42 @5:05/4:46/4:32
Around the Imperial Palace (each 5k actually 26m short). Lovely day for a run.
Ran in between afternoon meeting and evening drinking bout with 5 other blokes to do our World Cup pool. You put in 6,000 yen and "buy" teams in an auction format. Each time one of your teams wins, you get 3 points, and 1 point for a draw. I came away with Argentina, Cameroon, Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, Algeria and South Africa. Not so great, but not so bad either. None of those teams are real losers. If Argentina, Greece and Cameroon go through the first round, Slovenia gets past England and USA, the home team does well and the other two win a game, I could be ok. Oh, and if Argentina wins the whole thing. So root for my teams. Go Slovakia! (Note to Ewen & Jon: Steve got Australia, but spent most of his money on Spain and Italy, so only has 3 teams.)

2 - 3 hour meeting turned into 5 hours. Planned another Palace run, but had no time.
Actually, just as well, because I ran too hard Tuesday and Thursday.

15k @ 5:33 Left thigh a bit sore, just wanted to take it easy.

8:00am - 10k @ 5:51 Moving at any pace in the morning is acceptable.
2:30pm - 15k @5:16 1:19:06 27;11/26:05/25:49 @5:27/5:13/5:10
Legs tired, as I suppose they should be, since I ran 39k last week and 35k the week before.
Temp, humd: 25C/77F, 40%
Next week: 110k

May 30, 2010

Another 5k - Same Result (And Another Birthday)

Week of May 24 ~ 30

Whoops, today seems to be my birthday. 63 and still not grown up. Hard to believe I'm 63, since I feel like I'm in my early 40s, but that's what running will do for us. Wish I was running like I was in my early 40s, but I think I have a few good years left.
Anyway, today was a rest day, after the 18:32 5k yesterday.

8k easy @5:38 pace, hamstrings ok.
Am - weights and core at gym

Another rest day - 5k time trial tomorrow night.

5,000m on the track at 7:30pm. 18:34 with splits of 3:41/39/41/49/44. Last 400 in 85.
I wanted to run under 18:30, hopefully about 18:20. I felt good but started out too slow - 3:45 pace for 800m then picked it up. This was a big multi-club time trial held in 3 sections, with about 70 people in each section. I was in the middle group (17:00 ~ 18:30). Had a nice group of people to follow for 3,000m, but then I slowed a bit and lost them. That caused me to slow more, so ran a 3:49. Ran in alone, but picked up the last 400. Too bad I couldn't go faster, but I suppose it was a pretty good effort since I have not trained hard for about 6 weeks - basically have been running 50k/30mi weeks. I'd like to try to run a good one in late September after 4 months of hard training.
The fast section (under 17:00) Two guys were hammering (actually they were cruising) at about 3:05 per k. The one in 2nd was a tall, young guy, very smooth. He moved ahead with about 4 laps to go, picking up the pace. Then with 300m to go...Zoom! He just took off. Looked like he was running an 800. Everyone went "Whoooa." Like, Oh, that's how a good runner kicks in a 5000. He flew across the finish in 15:06. 6 guys were in the 15s. Fun to watch.
Weight: 60.3kg
Shoes: 192g (light racers)
Temp: 19C/66F

Rest. Am - weights and core in the gym.

7k very easy. Legs not sore but kind of stiff and tired.

15k. 1:16:16. @5:06
26:24/25:12/24:39 @5:17/5:02/4:56
Legs felt fine, hamstrings fine, although quads getting a little sore at the end. Seems like the first nice run in a long time (the 5ks are more like sprints). The first in 6 weeks, actually. Cruising at a 5:00 pace feels good for a change.
So I am ready to start my marathon training tomorrow. The first week will be building back up to decent mileage, probably 90k/55mi, then going to 110, then to 140, which is where I want to be.
Weight: 60.1kg. This is quite low, considering I haven't been running much. It is due to my new policy of not eating before going to bed. I expect to get really lean this summer, down to 59 or below, which is where I have not been for a long time.
So...bring it on!

May 23, 2010

Easy Week with 18:32 5k at the End

Week of May 17 ~ 23

Only 35k, but it ended well with an 18:32 5k. The objective was to heal my hamstring and run a decent 5k on Sunday, so mission accomplished.

6k easy @ 5:30/k.

AM: weights and core at the gym

8k very easy @5:39. No track workout.

8k easy @ 5:26. No pain in hamstring.

AM: weights and core at the gym

6k @ 5:06. Easy, then from 2.5k @5:00 for one k, 4:06 for one k and 5:00 for last 1.5k.
Hamstring ok, but felt kind of sluggish (from not running much).

Mari Tanagawa Ekiden. Mari Tanigawa has been retired for several years but is still a very popular runner in Japan because she became one of the top Japanese marathoners without coming up through the corporate pro team system (she was one of us!).
This ekiden is 4-person teams, 5k each, along the wide path next to the Arakawa river in northern Tokyo. There were 1,700 teams in two divisions (men's and women's/mixed). I suppose 1,000 teams in the men's division.
The weather was about 17C/63F and raining, although not hard rain.

Unfortunately one of our members got sick the day before and could not run. I found a substitute, but due to a communication problem (misunderstanding) he did not make it. However, it was ok, since I was coming off a hamstring problem and the other two guys, Paddy and Harrisson, both have had sore ankles. So none of us was treating this as a "must try to run fast" race, but rather as a "let's see how the injuries are" race. And since it was chip timing, we got our official times, even though we did not officially finish.

I ran the first leg. Due to waiting for the fourth member and a long line at the registration, I only had time to jog 300m to the toilet, then another 300m to the start. I started in the middle of the pack, so could not move too well for about 500m, and then better but still not up to speed for the next 500. Actually, this was just as well, as it served as a warmup. Still, I ran it in 4:06. The rain was not a factor, but the puddles were. After that I moved out and got into a good rhythm, having fun picking out groups to pass and flying (well, kind of) by them. I felt good and the hamstring was fine. Didn't even think about it.

I didn't see any of the remaining kilo marks, but there was a 3.5k mark at the second turnaround. The course went out, turned 180°, came back past the start, went out the other direction, another 180, then back to the start area and around a track, where the handoff zones were. It was perfectly flat...a good course and good for spectators/teammates. Anyway, at the 3.5 mark I was 12:56, so 8:50 for 2.5k, or 3:32 per k. (17:40 pace if the marks were correct). Finished in 18:32, so the last 1.5k was 5:36, or 3:44 per k. Paddy's garmin measured the course at exactly 5k. Anyway, 95% if not 100% of large Japanese races are measured correctly.

So considering I have not done any hard training for the past 5 weeks (except for a few sessions of 400s, which were not that hard), and considering that my 5,000m time trials over the past year have been about 18:50 (not races, but as hard as I could go in training), I am very happy with 18:32.
Of course, immediately after saying that, I think, gee, if I get into really good shape I could give sub-18 a shot. By October, I intend to be in really good shape (marathon shape, but my 5 and 10ks are based on stamina and not speed anyway) so maybe I should try to run a 5k race then. I am planning a 10k and a half...maybe I can fit a 5k in also. Before a marathon in November (probably Tsukuba).

Looking directly ahead, there is a big 5,000m time trial on the track this thursday - our club and several others. If the hamstring is ok I will try to run a good time then. Then ease into marathon training the following week.

As for the dnf ekiden, next year we will come back and run it well! We now know exactly what to expect, where to be, when to be there, etc., and it's a fun race, year!

Hope you dear readers are running well and enjoying the warmer weather (don't know about you Aussies in Oz).

May 16, 2010

Biding My Time

Week of May 10 ~ 16

51km. Just taking it easy to heal my (slightly) sore hamstring before 5k in an ekiden on May 23rd.

6.5k @ 5:30 (approx). With Amer. Schood girls.
Went to physical therapist in the morning. HS is not sore, but interestingly is a bit painful when pressed...showing that it is not healed.
Weight: 60.8kg

In Nogawa park, 6 x 400 with girls @ about 84 (turns and slt hill).
HS slightly sore at first, but ok on 400s.
AM - weights and core at gym

7.8k at track. 1200 x 4, 600 x 2
Very easy - about 4:40/k. HS sltly sore.
Interesting how much faster you run on a track, even when you are running "easy" (see next two days).

9k. Very easy @5:39

10.5k @5:32. Easy with Don McMillan (visiting from Calif.)
New BIOM shoes - look cool and feel great. I am an official Biom tester, so got a free pair, which is good because they cost ¥35,000 ($375).
"Natural Motion", yak leather, Polyurethane instead of EVA, bonded not sewn. They last twice or more as long as other shoes (they better!). Check them out at Made by Ecco of Denmark.
AM - weights and core.

Rest. HS Invitational track meet, with the usual league, plus international schools from Okinawa and Korea. Our kids ran very well. Beautiful day for running.

10k @5:42
Very easy. Hamstring soreness 0.5 on a scale of 10. Not zero.
Weight 60.2kg. By the way, in an impressive display of will power, I stopped eating before bedtime about 4 weeks ago. I have been eating quite a bit before bed for many, many years, so it is no mean feat. I tend to wake up early in the morning, starving, but once I start running decent mileage again I should lose even more weight than the 2kg (4.4lbs) I have already lost. I plan to be VERY thin next fall.

May 9, 2010

Easy Week

Week of May 3 ~ 9
53.4k/33 mi.

10.4k 10k easy in 55:54 @5:36
400m barefoot on asphalt just for the fun of it.
No pain in hamstring, slight stiffness.

At Fuchu 300m track.
400 x 7 81/80/79/78/77/79/76
Was going to run easier, but Arisa wanted me to pace her.
HS sltly stiff when warming up, but totally ok during the 400s. Easy tomorrow!
4:00 24C/75F

7.6k at the track
1000 x 2, 600 x 4. HS a bit sore, so took it very easy.
1000s in 4:06/4:29, 600s easy.
Morning: wts and core at gym.

9k at 300m track. just running by myself. 4.5k easy, stretching, 4.5k @5:10 to 4:55.
HS only slightly sore.
4:00 28C/82F

6k @5:40. Easy run after gym workout.

Rest. American School track finals. Very good efforts by all of our kids. Sam Krauth won the 3000m and 1500m, Soren Rasmussen won the 800, Arisa won the 1500m.

14k @5:21. 1:14:50.
5:31 for 5k, then 5:15. HS did not hurt at all, so did not want to push my luck.
4:00 25C/77F

One more easy week, then 5k races on the 23rd (ekiden) and 27th (big time trial), then will get back to marathon training from June, which I am really looking forward to.

For those of you who are injured and can't

May 6, 2010

In a Holding Pattern

Week of April 26 - May 2
The hamstring is improving. Mainly focused on running with the ASIJ kids and taking it easy. I have a 5k race (ekiden) on May 23rd and also a 5,000m time trial on May 27th. Will start serious marathon training again on June 1st, so just waiting around for that.

6.2k. 5.4 @ 5:30, easy with top distance guy, who also has a sore hamstring. HS felt better after running. Also 8 x 100m barefoot on artificial turf.

8k. 3k on a treadmill at 10:30. Also weights and core.
Then 5k at 12:30 @ 5:17. HS slightly sore at first, but almost fully ok at the end.
(From 2:00 hard, cold rain.)

Rest. Business trip to Hamamatsu.

9k. 4.5k warmup, then 12 x 300m (4 sets of 3), picking up 200m each lap.
HS slightly sore.

8k @5:29.HS pain 1 on a scale of 1 to 10...but 1 means you still have to be careful.
AM; weights and core and 15 mins. on elliptical trainer.

TELL charity 5k and 10k, which I help to organize (race director). A beautiful sunny day and we had 970 people turn out, which was great. (TELL is the Tokyo English Life Line, a free telephone counseling service.)

20k @ 5:36
Easy pace so as not to stress hamstring. It was ok, but got a bit sore at the end. 18k would have been good. Legs also getting tired!

Total for week: 51.2k 4:42

April 30, 2010

Best running video ever

Thanks to Stacey of Runner's Girl Blog Spot

April 26, 2010

Hamstring Issue

Week of April 19 ~25

6k. 24 mins. fairly easy with the kids, then 70m hill x 10, "sprinting" up.

4.8k At the Fuchu 300m track. 400 x 6. 80/81/81/81/81/81 (100m slow walk in between).
Rain and cold (abt. 13C/55F but felt colder). With 3000/1500m girl runner Arisa. Kind of funny...kept trying to pick up each one, and each one was the same 81. Arisa and I just didn't have it to go fast today.
Due to the accumulation of the 19:00 5k (in the middle of a 20k run) on Sunday, hills on Monday and 400s today, my right hamstring was sore at the end of the workout. Actually, I think the hills yesterday was the mistake.
AM: weights and core at the gym.

8.4 at the track in the evening.
4:30/2:35/4:27/2:26/4:21/2:36/1:44 (200 jog after each)
Right hamstring a bit sore, so took it very easy. Fortunately, it was ok.

Rest. Rt hamstring sore. Also cold rainy day.


Hamstring sore early morning, but not in the afternoon.

18.2. Easy run with 6 Namban Rengo members.
1:42:30. Out 52:30, In 50:00. @5:46/5:30.
On dirt and asphalt path of Tamagawa Josui (old Edo watercourse).
Right hamstring slightly sore, but not bad and did not get any worse.
Actually, with a hamstring problem, rest does not seem to help. I have had this experience before. Easy running is better, although 18k is too long.

Total for week: 37.4k 3:34

April 20, 2010

Mostly Short and Quick

Week of April 12 ~ 18

9.4k with kids. About 5k easy, then 10 x 70m hill, hard. Easy back.
Cold and rainy.

7.3k at Fuchu track. 400 x 8
With top 1500m girl. Felt ok once warmed up, but 79s felt harder than last week.
AM: weights and core at gym

Evening at the track. 2k warmup, 1600/1200/1000/800/600/400
Felt ok, ran the first 1500 hard for time (5:28) just to see what I could do. The rest at about 4:00/k pace.

7k with kids in Nogawa park (next to the school).
Relay race: 200/200/400/800 x 2. Ran fairly hard and jogged in between. Didn't have a watch.

Rest. Had to go to Hamamatsu (Yamaha).

15k @ 5:02 1:15:27
Stiff at first, but felt fine after 3k.
Snow in the morning! Track meet cancelled.
Very strange weather. It never snows in April....

20k. Around Imperial Palace with Namban runner James Midgely. He wanted to run the 4 5ks in 25/20/25/20. I ran 25:07/19:00/24:25/23:19. (26m short).
He took off like a shot on the second 5k, I worked hard to follow. Followed for 3k, then eased up a bit. All in at the end, did not plan on running that fast. He also took off on the 4th, but I was content to cruise around on my tired legs in 23+.
Pretty hard run, considering I will run hills on Monday and 400s on Tuesday.
LOTS of people running around the Palace. The Japanese running boom is not subsiding.

Total for week: 67.7k 5:44 (only 67, but 5 "hard" workouts)

April 13, 2010

Great Asics video

A history of Asics, narrated by the founder, Mr. Onitsuka, before he died. (I once had a pair of Onitsuka Tigers.)

It's in origami and English.

April 12, 2010

Getting Back Into it

Week of April 5 ~ 11
A few good workouts. Not trying to put in mileage, just focusing on running with the American School kids 2 or 3 days a week and doing some speed work.

18.7k 1:36:37
5.5k to ASIJ in 30:51 @5:36
.9k warmup with kids
4.1 in 16:31 @4:00
Hill sprints (8 x 70m hill)
1k back to school, then 5.5k home @5:27

At 300m Fuchu track with kids.
3.6 @ 5:24
400 x 6 76/76/78/76/77/76 (100m slow walk in between). First 2 behind the boys, who are too fast, last 4 with top 1500/3000m girl (Arisa). Last 2 were hard. Fun workout. 2.4k warmdown
Weather turned warm at 18C/64F
AM - weights & core & 10 mins on elliptical trainer

Track workout in the evening
3k warmup, 100m x 6
4:07/01/07/02/03/3:59 (jog 200m, 2:30)
Pace not hard, but didn't want to go any faster.
Got cold again - 10C/50F and light rain.

10k @5:14 Easy

20k @4:52
26:23/25:04/23:11/22:37 @5:17/00/4:39/31
Last 2k 4:21/23
Legs a bit stiff, not smooth and easy
Time: 4:30
Temp: 14C/57F

Rest, went to ASIJ track meet. Good 1500 by Arisa, 5:17 and she beat Izzy, a strong runner from Sacred Heart.

12k @5:17. Easy - felt ok.

Total for week: 80.7k/50 mi.) 6:57

April 5, 2010

Easy Week and Cherry Blossom Viewing

Week of Mar 29 ~ Apr 4

After not running at all the week after the LA Marathon, I got back into it with an easy week of 45.5k.
Sunday I went to the big park 5 minutes from my house, which is famous for cherry trees. The cherry blossoms were full and a few thousand people were having fun doing "hanami", literally flower viewing but in fact it means picnicing/drinking while sitting under the cherry trees. Something that every person in Japan, Japanese and foreigner alike, enjoys doing. Took a video with my new iPhone. I guess I have to practice so I can do this with less bouncing, the way Scott and Ewen do it. Fortunately, it got too crowded to run. Anyway, it gives you a rough idea of what Hanami in Japan is like.

7.5k @5:28.
Planned 10, but quads were a bit sore after 5, so cut it short. Felt ok, though.

6.5k At Fuchu track (300m) with ASIJ kids (with two top distance girls, actually).
600/400/300 x 3
2:16/86/63 2:13/86/60 2:21/84/57
Not hard, but had to work a little.
AM: weights and core in gym

5,000m time trial at the track at night
18:54 3:44/50/48/50/42
Felt pretty good. Legs were ok, slightly tired. Did I run a marathon 10 days ago?

Rest - calves a bit sore.

Cold rain. 2k on treadmill at the gym. I hate running on treadmills, so got off after 2k. No time to run outside, but some more rest is ok.
Weights and core.

12k @5:16 Easy at 10:00am. Felt ok.

9.5k @5:30 (walking part not included). Easy in park with iPhone.

Here's the video:

April 1, 2010

Good read on LA Marathon

As I said, some bloggers wrote much more interesting accounts of the LA marathon than I did. Here's another good (and funny one) one, by the Punk Rock Runner. He's good on the Oakland marathon also.

Here's the only race photo of me taken by my daughter near the finish.

And specially for Ewen, who for some unknown reason, thinks that arm warmers are "girly" despite the fact that many top male marathoners in Japan and the US wear them (you want to try telling that to this dude?):

March 29, 2010

Time To Get Serious

But first....
I discovered that a lot of people wrote a lot more, and a lot better, than me about the LA Marathon. In fact, if you really want to know about the races I run in, don't read my blog, read other people's. Two specifically about LA are those of The Running Fat Guy and Chicrunner. It seems that there was a really fun race out there that due to my focus on time I missed a great deal of. Well, I kind of saw it, but didn't really take it all in.
Those folks even have cool videos (love the dancers, runningfatguy), and photos. Did I forget to mention the drag queen cheerleaders? Sorry about that, one of the high points of the race. I did completely miss the Kodak Theater, Whisky A Go Go and several other famous spots, although I did notice Graumann's Chinese Theater. There were lots of cool bands too, and taiko drummers. Oh well, I can drive the course the next time I'm in LA....

Photo from LA Runner's blog...thanks....

Thanks to Glenn Jones (the fat guy) I also found a good blog - discombobulatedrunning - and that led me to Captain Nuts -the smithendorffiles - check those out. (See Captain Nuts' Gasparilla report - great.) Obviously, any runner named Captain Nuts has to have a good blog.

So...about getting serious. I was watching The Killers DVD, Live from the Royal Albert Hall, which I HIGHLY recommend. In fact, if you have any kind of a large TV and an audio system, and you like rock music, this is an absolute must. And as this great music surged over me, inspiring and empowering me, I thought, Tokyoracer, it's time to stop frigging around and get serious. You have still not put in a really good marathon effort. You are still falling apart at the end of these things. More hard work is called for. A lot more hard work.

So when I get back into marathon training, which will be June 1 (running a 5k in an ekiden on May 23rd, which I would like to run fast), I plan to up the mileage to about 140k (87mi.) a week, with either 3 hill intervals or one long marathon pace run plus one very long run. The hill interval stuff comes from world record holder Hosaka-san, who does 5 x 1000m (up/down) twice a day. Of course I am not going to do that, but 6 x 500m, one day up, the next time down, in the middle of a 24k run, sounds like it would be good for the quads.
Basically, I want to work very hard and become a man of steel. Well, a man with quads of steel.

Are we human? Or are we dancer? ... Or are we going to be a pure, lean, mean racing machine? I'm ready to turn it up to 11.

March 25, 2010

They Don't Get Any Easier

Week of March 16 ~ 21. LA Marathon.

I keep waiting for them to get easier...I keep expecting them to get easier. But they don't. This marathon was just as painful as the previous ones...which is pretty damn painful!
The short story:
3:08:17. Age grade: 83%. 1st in the M60-64 age group, out of 421. 226th overall out of 22,484. 204th male out of 13,311.

Travel to US.

AM- 6.6k easy in 38:19.
PM: On track with Pasedena club. 7.2k with 2k @MP, jog 400, 1k @MP.

5.3k easy in 30:17


4.8k easy along course down Sunset Blvd in 28:30.
Jet lag not improving at all, but feeling ok.

The day did not start out too well. Eric, my daughter Jennifer's fiance, was my driver for the trip to the start at Dodger Stadium. This should take no more than 30 mins. from the apartment. We left at 6:00, marathon start to be 7:25. Got on to the 101 freeway, which after about 5 minutes, in the two lanes for the 110 to the stadium, came to a complete halt. Lots of people going to the marathon! Inching along. Not good. Gave up, decided to go further down, get on the 5 coming back up. Looked over at the 5, also not moving at all. Now both of us getting a bit worried, Eric frantically checking his iPhone for traffic and route information. Drove around in no man's land for a while looking for other freeway possibilities, finally Eric figured a route to get me close to Sunset (which was of course closed to traffic) as close as possible to the stadium. Got out of the car a bit after 7:00, about 2 miles from the start. Jogged there at a decent pace, with lots of other people. In general, a nightmare for thousands of people. Got to the start area, climbed over a fence, and was in the 3:00 to 4:00 corral...with one minute to spare. However, they delayed the start 22 minutes (knowing that lots of people were late). So I had some time to relax.

I thought I was fairly near the front, but after the race started, realized that there were A LOT of people ahead of me, including a lot of slow people. It took 1:15 to the start. The start and first 1.4 mile was on a road/parking lot around the stadium, not so wide. Also included a hill. On the downhill the crowd finally started moving, but the first mile was slow.

I felt ok and was running very relaxed, but due to hills (not steep but rather long) and general difficulty in finding the right pace at the start, my first 8 miles were very up and down.
To describe the race in terms of splits, for 5ks (target 21:48 or 4:21.6/k) they were: 22:09, 22:13, 21:51, 21:53, 22:04, 22:17, 23:09, 22:44, 9:56.
Even though they were fairly even, within each 5k the pace was up and down, and I did not hit the target pace at all.

Per mile (target pace 7:01), the splits were:
1 7:53 Disappointed to lose 50 seconds already
2 6:43 Trying to compensate
3 6:49 Downhill
4 7:20 Uphill
5 7:44 Uphill
6 6:25 Down/uphill. Drank the Weider gel I was carrying.
7 6:56 Downhill. Finally passed the 3:10 pace group (should have started ahead of them).
8 7:10 Got 2 more gels from Jennifer
9 7:01 Hollywood Blvd. Very small kid passed me, looking great. Later found he was 10 years old, ran 3:03:40.
10 6:55 Started taking the 2nd gel, a little at a time.
11 7:04 Graumman's Chinese Theater
12 6:59
13 7:22 Uphill. Halfway about 1:33
14 7:06
15 7:04 Chateau Marmont.
16 7:03 54-yr-old guy named Frank Tai caught me and we ran together for 2 miles at a nice pace. He told me there was one 60-year-old ahead of me (he knows Cal. runners). Until I saw the results later online I assumed I was 2nd. The guy had been ahead of me, I passed him between 35 and 40k (without realizing it), as he ran 25:02 for that 5k.
17 7:08 Rodeo Drive! Bottom of left foot started to hurt. I think the shoe was laced too tight.
18 7:12 Frank picked up and I slowed, so he went ahead.
19 7:17 Approx. - missed mile mark. Foot hurting. Started drinking second gel.
20 7:17 Approx. Caught Frank. Ribcage area (muscles) hurting quite a bit. Why? I don't know. Strange.... Quads are now also sore.
21 7:47 Uphill. Lost Frank again.
22 7:11 Quads very sore. Ribs still sore. This is where I always wish I could stop and today is no exception.
23 7:39 Uphill
24 7:10 Gradual downhill. Decided to stretch out my stride and just go for it. Foot and ribs didn't bother me, maybe because my quads were so painful.
25 7:08 Gradual downhill
26 7:16 A long, long, long 1.1 miles.

So...I was very happy to win my age group and happy to run the last 5k faster than the previous 5k.
Other positives were: Fun course, running through various LA neighborhoods is great. Perfect temperature abt. 14-17C/57-63F. Great spectator support (especially nice: your bib has your name, mine said BOB, so people was always yelling, Go, Bob!, You can do it, Bob!. In the last 6 miles when runners are spread out, most everyone yells this, it is great.)
Negative was that I did not run, or really come close to, my target time of 3:04. Running 35k (at the end of a 120k week) at 5:00 pace is no problem (even feel fine the next day), but running 42k at 4:21 pace is a big problem. Today is Thursday and my quads are still a bit sore. I guess I have to do more long marathon pace runs, and maybe I will take a page from Hosaka's book and run fast up and down hills 2 or 3 times a week. Anyway, the next marathon may not be until LA next year. Not sure about the fall, I may just run a few halfs. We shall see....

Thanks for your readership and support (especially Michael B, who was there at the finish!). It is great knowing that you people are pulling for me.