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