December 30, 2012

Upping the Mileage Somewhat

Week of Dec. 24 ~ 30

80k week. Did four runs, all over 16k (with walk breaks), so that is encouraging. The knee is holding up so far.

3:00 - 16k - 4k x 4 (200m, 2')
Planned to run 5:00/k pace for the last 2 and got under that.
Didn't struggle, but didn't feel real good due to having a slight cold, and weighing 63kg.
Weather: 7C/45F, clear.

11:30 - Gym workout.
1:30 - 20k - 4k x 3, 8k (200m/300m)
First one 23:30, then all about 5:42/k pace.
Knee slightly sore at times, but easy pace, so no problem.
Ran 8k without stopping - wow!
Weather: 7C/45F, clear.


Forced rest as no time to run.

12:00 - 20k - 6k x 2, 8k (200m)
32:07/30:37/39:45 @ 5:21/5:06/4:58
Good run! No pain in knee. 8k @ 4:58 is encouraging (but still a long way to go to get to marathon pace).
Weight: 61.9kg
Weather: 6C/43F, 30%H, cloudy

4:00 - 24k - 6k x 4 (200m, 2:20)
2:18 of running at a 5:45/k pace.
At this easy pace, the knee and hamstring were ok. Quads a bit sore, though.
Weather: 10C/50F, cloudy.

Rest. Quads pretty sore. That's good, as that is what I have to strengthen in order to run a decent marathon.

December 24, 2012

Longer and Slower. Glucosamine?

Week of Dec 17 ~ 23

That was the theme, although it wasn't too much longer, or too much slower.

Extra rest day. Knee slightly sore...and it was raining.

1:00 - gym workout with elliptical 10' and 20'
3:00 - 16km. 4k x 4 (200m, easy 2:30 walk)
First time to run 4k at a time, phew! Took it easier at only about 5:50/k.
Knee slightly sore and left hamstring also slightly sore!

6:00 - 9k in Yoyogi Park at about 6:00/k pace. (walks after 2k)
7:30 - 6k - On the track for 600,800,1000,1200,1000,800,600.
Ran them all at about 4:45 pace. Not bad, considering my quads were pretty sore.
Cold, windy night.


1:00 - Gym workout and elliptical 8' x 2.
3:30 - 16k - 4k x 4 (200m, 2:30)
22:25/22:34/22:34/23:00 @5:35~40

4:30 - 20k - 4k x 5 (200m, 300m, 300m, 200m)
Knee ok, but got very tired - legs got heavy.

By the way, I was thinking...I have been taking glucosamine (or that and chrondroitin) every day many years? 15? And I STILL got a knee injury - in the meniscus/cartilage area. I don't think glucosamine has done me any good. Is it really worth taking this stuff?

December 16, 2012


Week of Dec. 10 ~ 16

Ran a wee bit longer, but my knee hurt a wee bit more at the end.


Tuesday - 14km
AM - gym workout including 10' x 2 on the elliptical.
1:30 - 2000 x 7 (200m, 2' walk breaks)
Didn't try to run faster, it just happened. Wore heavier shoes (more cushioning) which felt pretty good.

Wednesday - 13.6km
2:00 - 1000 x 6 (100m, 1') @ about 5:30/k
7:30 - track workout 600 warmup, 1600 1200 1200 800 400
1600 @4:35/k, 1200s @4:55/k
Knee ok but quads sore! That's kind of nice for a change.

Rest  (2 days on, 1 day off)

Friday - 14km
AM - gym workout inc. 10' on elliptical.
2:00 - 2000 x 7 (200m, 2')
11:21/10:40/28/19/18/17/05. Knee ok.

Saturday - 16km
2000 x 8 (200m, 2')
11:33/10:53/37/21/9:49/48/44/56. Decided to run second 4 under 5:00 pace, but knee got a bit sore the last k of the last two, so may have been a bit too much. Also, I hesitate to say this, but my left hamstring was slightly sore - hope that does not come back!
I think at this point in my training, I can call this a hard workout.

Rest. Knee feels a bit sore. May rest Monday also.

Next week I think I will go slightly longer, but slower.
Here's an article on elliptical training. Maybe I should be doing more of this, rather than more running.

December 9, 2012

Getting There...Getting There

Back to normal running, that is. Not quite there yet, though.

Week of Dec. 3 ~ 9
It was about 10C/50F every day.
Total for week: 60km.

14K - 2000 x 7  w/ 200m (2') walks in between.
From 11:30 down to 10:34. Knee felt ok except for occasional twinges.

Gym workout with 10' x 2 on the elliptical machine.

12K. Track workout - 1000 x 6 x 2 (25' rest)
First 6 easy at 5:38 to 4:56, next 6 with the group at around 4:45.
Knee was ok, so that was an encouraging workout. But I was tired.
Note: it would be better to do this as two workouts - early afternoon and then evening on the track.


AM: Gym workout with 10' x 2 on the elliptical.
PM: 8K. 1k, 2k x 3, 1k. Average 5:30 pace.

12K. 2000 x 6 (200m walks). First 11:33, then about 10:30.
Had some twinges on the 5th one, so tried to glide more, and actually, slightly more heel striking reduces the discomfort.

14K. 2000 x 7 (200m walks). 11:39 down to 10:47.
Knee geting slightly sore at the end.

Well, I shouldn't be running three days in a row. I'm going to switch to 2 days on, 1 day off. Actually, I was planning to do this anyway, once I got back to normal running. With all days being either hard (intervals/tempo) or long. I came up with 6 different variations of 2 on, 1 off, 1 on, 2 off, etc. etc., but for now I'll just go with 2 on, 1 off. But not all hard days. In fact, no hard days yet.
I like to try new training programs, it keeps things interesting. And I generally do it twice a year.
I recommend it - shake your program up once in a while!

Oh, and the low carb, high fat diet is going well. Feeling good. Not losing much weight yet, but I'm not in a ketosis state yet, and also, I'm not THAT fat. When I start running more, I think I will lose the excess I have (about 2kg).

December 5, 2012

A 5K Run!

Still taking my recovery step by step, the knee seems to be ok so far (despite occasional twinges).

Week of Nov. 26 ~ Dec. 2

Gym workout with 36mins. on elliptical (12' x 3).

11.2K. Track workout. 1.2k wu
1000 x 4 in 5:38/24/25/09 (1' walk in between). A long rest, then:
1000 x 3, 2000, 1000 in 4:44/53/55/10:18/5:22 (1', 2' after 2000).
The knee was ok!

10K - 1000 x 10 (1' - 100m walk)
Knee ok, but getting just a bit sore at the end. Still, a good two days.
As I was running the 5:01 pace, I was thinking, Gee, I am actually doing a WORKOUT.

Gym workout with 30mins. on elliptical (10' x 3).

2k wu and 5K at the Run For The Cure around the Imperial Palace.
This is a fun event for a good cause and several Namban and American School people were running it, so I decided to go and do an "easy" 5K. Ran _all the way_ in 25:17. Wow, really blazing along! And my knee did not hurt.
Former ASIJ star Sara Wilhelm won the 10K in 40:49 and Nambanner Mary Eckstein was 3rd. Current ASIJ stars Tanya Riordan and Mina McClure were 1st and 2nd in the 5K. They all got lots of prizes!


November 25, 2012

Running Without Pain

What a pleasant experience! I'd almost forgotten how it felt.

Week of Nov 19 ~ 25

8k — 500 x 2, 1000 x 6, 500 x 2 (100m walks in between)
Average 5:25/k. Slight soreness at time, but knee was basically ok.

Weights, abs and 20 mins elliptical (10' x 2). Knee was feeling a little sore after the second 10', so stopped.

8.4k. Track workout - 1600, 1200, 1000 x 2, 800, 400
All at about 5:00/k - good!
No pain at all in knee - good!


10k - 4k to and from Makuhari (from father in law's) and another 2k watching the Chiba International Ekiden. Lots of fun, even though it was raining. Kenya 1st, Japan 2nd, USA 3rd. Great 10k runs by Jake Riley (2nd in leg in 28:46) and Galen Rupp (1st in leg in 28:20). I talked to Galen a little before his leg and watched him and also the 4th leg runners (Emma Kertesz of the US also ran really well - a name to remember).
I did also cheer for the Canadians and the Australians (by name)!
For the complete race report see (with my comment on the bottom)

8k - 1000 x 8 (100m walks)
5:47/39/32/34/38/33/23/10. No pain.
Great Thanksgiving dinner at the Griffen's, where the guests included Jake Riley and his coach, Keith Hanson (of the Brooks Hanson Team). Real interesting to talk to them.

10k - 1000 x 10 (100m walks)
6:10/5:30/17/23/18/18/10/11/16/00. No pain.
Still taking it easy - don't want to push too much.
Planned to go to the gym today and run tomorrow, but forecast is rain all day tmrw, so will rest then. Fortunately, the knee was fine, even with 3 days of running.

First week of ketogenic diet, although I still ate too much carbs and protein, esp. on Saturday!
Still, I lost .5kg. I'm liking this diet, and think it will be good for me. Went to Costco and bought lots of nuts, cheese and sausage. Now that's a good diet!
I hope after one more week I will be back to normal (but not high mileage) training, ready to start my buildup for Boston.

November 18, 2012

Some Running; New Diet

Week of Nov. 11 ~ 18

Ran 6k Monday (500m run, 100m walk x 12) and went to the gym on Tuesday.

Ran 1200 x 3, 800 x 2, 400 x 1 on Wednesday night, all at 5:30/km pace.

Went to the gym on Thursday and did 30 mins. on the elliptical machine (10' x 3). Plus abs and weights. I like the elliptical, although like a treadmill, it gets boring. Namban member Fabrizio told me it was good for sore knees because there is no pounding, so I gave it a try. I will keep doing this a few times a week, probably even after my knee is all healed.

Friday: 10' x 3 on elliptical, wts and abs.

Saturday: 8k with 500m x 4, 1000m x 6, all at 5:30 pace. Knee was ok.

Sunday: 10' x 3 on elliptical, wts and abs.

And now, as Monty Python said, for something completely different. My new diet, recommended by another Namban member, the brilliant (and fast) Frenchman Harrisson Uk, who likes experimenting with training and nutrition even more than I do.

The first reference article (down on the bottom) is a good introduction.

Bob's Ketogenic Diet (not 100% ketogenic)

A ketogenic (from ketosis), low carb diet is NOT a high protein diet. 
It's a high fat diet, with a moderate protein and a very low 
carbohydrate intake. When you reduce the amount of 
carbohydrate and increase the fat and protein in your diet, it has 
the effect of switching your body into fat burning mode. 
Instead of using the easily exhausted sugar from carbohydrates for 
fuel, your body burns stored fat for energy (goes into ketosis state), 
and it's this fat burning process which greatly improves health 
and well-being.

Main points of the ketogenic diet are:
1. Sugar in all its forms is toxic. This includes fruits and fruit juices.
Eliminate it 100%.
2. Starches are bad: bread, rice, pasta, noodles, potatoes, crackers.
3. Carbohydrates (including vegetables) are to be avoided as much as possible — ideally zero, but small portions of rice (brown rice better), 
pasta, vegetables (better with creamy or oily sauce) can be eaten.
4. Protein is ok, but not too much.
5. Fat is your friend.
6. Good foods: FISH, meat, nuts, avocados, cheese, all dairy, 
olives (& olive oil. Also coconut oil and palm oil. 
Note that other types of oil are not good, they have omega-6 fats).

Breakfast (6:00 or 9:00)
Toast with butter and ham or sausage or bacon
Glass of whole milk
Cup of tea with cream or whole milk
(I need the toast because I can't eat just ham, etc. and it gives me 
something to put the butter on. Eggs would be good but I don't like eggs.)
(Previously: Summer - veggie shake with orange juice, spinach 
or komatsuba, carrot, banana, protein powder. 
Winter - dish of oatmeal with low-fat milk, banana, raisins and sugar)

Lunch (12:00)
Half a block of tofu, often with half a can of tunafish
Soy-based dressing (Japanese style, regular oil)
A few pieces of cheese
A few olives
(Previously: 1/3 block tofu with non-fat dressing, bread or crackers with peanut butter)
Note: I don't like natural peanut butter, but love Skippy. 
Reason: Skippy has sugar in it. Bye bye Skippy.

Snack (4:00)
Handful of nuts, coffee with cream or whole milk, no sugar

Dinner (6:00)
No change (whatever my wife makes, usually fish or meat with rice or 
pasta and vegetables). No bread. Sometimes a glass or two of wine.
Coffee with cream or whole milk, no sugar. No dessert.
(Previously: coffee with low-fat milk and sugar. Used to also eat 
a few cookies or dark chocolate, but gave that up in June)

Snack (11:00)
Mixed nuts and cheese
(Previously: sweetened yoghurt with muesli and raisins. 
Also a banana or crackers with peanut butter)

(the above one is great - when you get down to what he eats, you will be amused and shocked, and, if you're a vegetarian, appalled)

November 12, 2012

Encouraging Signs

Had a nice 11 days with my daughter and son-in-law, who were visiting from Bangkok. We went to Kyoto (lots of shrines and temples) and Nikko (one huge shrine and an old Edo village, which was fun), as well as sightseeing in Tokyo. Did a LOT of walking and a lot of eating too.

And a bit of running. Did some 3 and 4k runs the previous week, then 6k on the 7th and 4,8,6k on the weekend and today (Monday).
The 6k included 600 x 4 and 1000 x 4, at about 5:30/km. Only slight soreness in the knee.
The 8k and 6k today I did as kind of a test, the 8k being 500 x 4 and 1000 x 6, and the 6k being 500 x 12. All with 100m walk in between each run, and all the runs at 5:30 - 5:50/km. Again, only slight soreness, which did not get worse. In fact, at the end today, the knee didn't hurt at all.

If the knee had hurt, or had hurt significantly worse today than yesterday, I would have gone back to the orthopedist, but now I think I can get away without doing so.

Anyway, it was encouraging, although I'm sure if I tried to run faster or longer, it would start to hurt.

Interestingly, I found that if instead of a normal "barefoot" type stride (short strides, fast know what I mean), if I kind of glide along, not raising the knees high, it puts less stress on the knee. I'm going to keep running like this. You can't go fast that way, but that's just as well.

I'll try to increase distance gradually, sticking to the run/walk regimen for a while, and hopefully, one month from now I will be back to normal training. I'd better be!

October 29, 2012

Ran a Bit...Quads Sore

My quads are sore today (Monday) from all the running I've been doing. 1km on Friday, 2km on Saturday, and 2km yesterday! I may have to do some longer runs before Boston.

Anyway, I can run, although the knee feels like it would hurt if I tried to go further/faster.

It hurts a bit at first, then if I walk for a few hundred meters and run again, it doesn't hurt. So I guess that's a good sign.
We'll see how this week goes.

I did go to the orthopedist, who took an x-ray that looked ok (knee bones not rubbing together). Couldn't have an MRI as the whole day was full. He said as long as it is not swollen and is feeling better, I should try to run a bit and if it hurts, come back for an MRI. So that's what I'm doing.

October 22, 2012

Knee Improving

My knee is improving - no pain when walking, almost none when going up/down stairs. It does hurt if I twist it, though. The plan was to wait until there was no pain, then wait another week, then test it.
So I'm think of trying to jog a little bit next Sunday.

In addition, a friend told me about a very good orthopedist - Japanese doctor, but he speaks English (not absolutely necessary, but helpful), who can do an MRI right in his office and give you the results on the spot. This is great, as going to a Japanese hospital for an MRI is a very lengthly hassle requiring two visits.
So I plan to go see him tomorrow, even though there has been definite improvement.

If you (or at least, I) pinch the front of the kneecap with thumb and forefinger, both fingers rest in depressions. Where my right front thumb is, the depression is much less. In other words, it is swollen. However, after 5 weeks of not running, I don't think "swollen" is the correct term. There may be something there that shouldn't be there, and possibly should be removed. That's what I want his opinion on.
This would seem to be where the meniscus is, so it may be a meniscus problem. I'm quite sure I didn't tear the meniscus, however, because the problem was caused by only slight running, not enough to cause a tear, I'm sure. Anyway, I will get his opinion.

Hopefully, I will be running next week.

September 30, 2012

In Boston, Out of Training

Well, the Boston Marathon selection committee finally verified my Tokyo Marathon time and let me into their race. So that's good news.

Bad news is my knee is still sore, so am not running at all. But I think I will be in two or three weeks. As long as I can start training in November, that should be enough time to get ready for Boston in April.

Last year the 65-69 age group was won in 3:17, but it was extremely hot. In 2011, a more typical year, it was won in 3:04. So that's what I'll be aiming for. Coincidentally, that's what I've been aiming for for the last few years, so this time I've got to train hard/smart enough to actually make it.

If anyone else is going to Boston, let me know.

September 23, 2012

Knee Seems Totally Trashed

So I rested for seven days, then ran 3.4k on Tuesday, of which 1.6k was at 5:00/k pace. That's all. And on Wednesday I could barely walk.
The knee is still sore today. So I guess it's in pretty bad shape. Have been to the acupuncturist twice, which helps a bit, but not a lot. He thinks it will probably take a month to heal.

What caused it? I think it was a partly from doing squats, but more from not having run much (hardly at all) for three and a half months. My muscles (especially the quads that support the knee) just got so weak that an 8k run with 4k at a decent pace simply tore up the knee.

Apparently, when you're not running, you have to keep working your leg muscles, with exercises and I have also been told that the elliptical machine is good. And then get back into it VERY slowly.

So hopefully, in a month, I will be running again...slowly.

Still haven't heard from Boston. Strange, I think.

September 17, 2012

No running, but a different injury!

Just to keep things interesting, my right knee was hurting all week. I think it was mainly from doing too many squats in an effort to strengthen glutes and hamstrings. And running a bit too hard last Sunday. No more squats!
I'll try it out tomorrow and if it's ok, run easily every other day for a while.

Applied to Boston. They asked for a fax of my Tokyo marathon certificate (as TM does not post results on their homepage). Sent it to them, but have not heard back from them. Since I am WAY under the QT for my age, I should get in. I'll email them if I don't hear today.

September 9, 2012

Four Runs ... Use Sunscreen!

Week of Sept. 3 ~ 9

Did four runs this week. Hamstring was very slightly sore, but does not seem to be "seriously" sore. But now my right knee is sore. Ha ha. Maybe that's from the squats I have been doing (to strengthen glutes/hamstrings). I think I will stop doing them and go back to my regular glutes exercise:
Lie flat on your back. Pull legs up so feet are flat on the floor, right behind your behind. Extend left leg out straight at a 30° angle and also right arm. Right foot is still flat on floor. Push up with right leg, while pressing down with left arm. You will be using your right glute muscles. Push up strongly. Hold for a few seconds, then come back down. Then do the other side. Do 10 on each side, 3 sets.
This is great for strengthening the glutes to prevent hamstring problems.

Temperature every day was about 30 degrees.

7.4k Intervals with cross country team girls.
400 x 4, 800 x 2, 400 x2. Fiarly easy: 1:40 400s, 3:35 800s.

10.2k run with a rest at halfway point. With the girls again.
About 5:35/k out, 5:20/k in. Quads a bit sore from yesterday.

4:00 - 6k in 5:50/30/13/15/03/4:53
Felt heavy (I am heavy). Focusing on midfoot striking and straight up/down are swing.

4:00 - 8k with first 4k easy, second 4k in 4:54/52/47/47. Hamstring getting a bit sore at the end. Should run an easier pace, but just felt like running a decent pace for a change.

The good news is, my butt is no longer sore when I run.

Oh, and on Wednesday I had a dark mole removed from my back and a weird sore removed from my shin that hadn't gone away for like a year. The skin doctor said that they were not cancerous, but could possible become so, so it was better to remove them. He just stuck a needle in with painkiller and cut them out. Took about 45 minutes.
We should all be afraid of skin cancer, so make sure you use plenty of sunscreen everywhere, every time you run. Don't need to tell the Aussies this, but the rest of you need to keep it in mind.

Here's to good running!
PS: Going to apply for Boston tomorrow.

September 2, 2012

3 Runs, Little Pain, Encouraging

Sept. 2
Did three runs in the past eight days, Saturday, Tuesday and Friday. Saturday and Tuesday were about 6k very easy, with no hamstring pain. Friday was a bit harder, 3 x 1 mile with the American School cross-country team girls, total about 8k. That brought slight pain, but nothing drastic. Took the past two days off, so I'll see how it is tomorrow. I think the healing process is proceeding nicely. At least, I hope so.

July 31, 2012

Back to No Running

I wrote to Linzay Logan, the woman who blogged about her injury on As it was exactly like mine, I asked her if she had continued to run a bit while she rehabbed. This is her answer:

I'm so sorry to hear about your injury! They are the worst! It does sound like you have a similar injury to mine: hamstring torn almost off the pelvic bone, but still hanging on by a thread. In my experience I had do no running at all and just do the PT/strength training. I felt like running, even for a few minutes, would pull on my hamstring and reverse all the progress I had done. Instead I biked, did the elliptical and went to PT twice a week for almost three months. I credit my recovery from the strength training I did at PT and not running at all. It's really tough to give up running for a little while, but it's worth it—I continued to run short amounts once a week or so for a few months because I wanted to run, but I really think it was hindering my recovery and I could have cut down my recovery time by months if I had stopped running earlier. 

I agree with her: I think the running I am doing is not doing me any good training-wise, and is probably aggravating the injury. In fact, I had been leaning in this direction even before I heard from her, and didn't run yesterday, doing a bike ride instead.

So I won't run for about a month and then I'll see how things are.

By the way, I got into the lottery for the Kobe marathon in November, but decided not to enter as I won't have time to train. I am entered in a half at the end of September, but I either won't run or will just cruise it for the fun of it, if my hamstring is healed..

So my long-term goal is now Boston 2013.

July 30, 2012

A Little Running, Interesting Blog Post

Week of July 23 ~ 29

Did a little running this week, but not much. 5 x 1k with walks in between on Monday, 4x on Wednesday and about 7x in the beach town of Kamakura on Saturday. Doing my best to run at 180 steps per minute, and in fact ran Mon and Wed holding the iPhone (metronome app), so managed to do so. I also tried to focus on proper midfoot striking, causing my calf to get a bit sore on Wednesday, thus proving that I had not been doing it properly before.

Also went to the gym on Tuesday and Friday, and of course am doing my physio exercises every day. Went to the physio again on Wednesday, and she gave me 3 new exercises to do, so I hope they work!

Read a very interesting blog post on (Staff blog by Linzay Logan - Lessons Learned from a Running Injury). Interesting because the injury she describes is EXACTLY what happened to me. Pain in glutes - kept running - pain in hamstring - kept running - thought it might be piriformis or bursitis - ran a few races - pain finally got so bad had to stop. Well, she had an MRI and found out that she had torn her hamstring - but not all at once, little by little. I'm positive that this is exactly what happened to me. Read the article - it has some good advice.
The good thing is, she's running again! This too, shall pass.

Good running to you all.

July 22, 2012

Physio Therapist's Analysis

Week of July 16 ~ 22

Leg is gradually getting better...hope the progress continues. I went to Tokyo Physio on wednesday, their analysis is below.

I have been doing self-massage with a foam roller each day (Marty: I find that easier to use than a tennis ball), as well as abs almost every day.

AM - walk 40 mins.
PM - walk 30 mins.

AM - gym workout
3:00 - walk 500m, run 1k x 4. Runs were very easy, around 6:00/k.
Slight soreness in hamstring.

Went to Tokyo Physio, then to the track workout.
1200, 1000, 1000, 600 (cut fm 1000), 800, 400
All at about 5:00/k, so that was a big improvement. Hamstring was slightly sore. Ran them at 180 steps/min. cadence (see below).


AM - gym workout + 3 x 1k @176 cadence and 3 min. walks. on the treadmill (raining).

Walk 500m, run 1k x 5. Runs at approx 5:00/k, @ 176 cadence (for some reason, 176 is just what I run at, even trying to do 180. Counting every other step for 30 seconds, I always get 44 instead of 45.

Bike ride at a fairly fast speed (although numerous slowing for obstacles first and last 25 mins.) for 1:27. Actually, did this last week also. I basically don't like bike riding, but it's a pretty good workout for the quads.

I went to Tokyo Physio (popular with expats, run by an Australian couple who are triathletes) for a "biomechanical assessment" to try to get at the root cause of my injuries.
It was very interesting (and expensive - 18,000 yen). The woman said it would be an hour and a half, but she wound up spending two hours on me (a tough case to crack?).
She spent a long time listening to all my running/injury history, then evaluated my posture and flexibility (legs, hips, back), then had me go outside and run up and down while she videoed me on an iPad. Then she made some suggestions and had me run again.
Finally, we went back inside and she showed me various recommended exercises/stretches to do. Later, she emailed me the videos and photos of how to do the exercises.
So I think it was worth it, and as I said, was very interesting.

Of particular note:

- The iPad is great for taking videos and analyzing form. It gives you a large, clear view of your running, and you can slow it down (control the speed with your finger). I would really like to do this for all the runners I know, i.e., Namban and ASIJ kids. It is SO helpful to see what you look like when you run, and rather surprising (even shocking) also.

- The video showed that I do not really midfoot strike, which was quite a surprise. I point my toe down, but right at the end of the stride it comes up (heel goes down) and then I land sort of all along the outside of the foot (heel to mid). Anyway, I do not have a nice midfoot striking stride, which I thought I did. (Photos at the end of marathons would show what looked like a heel strike, but I thought that was just because I was tired. No, I do that all the time.) Really have to work on this more.

- It also showed that I move my arms from side to side much more than I realized. She said I should keep my arms straighter, to the point of imagining that I have a long set of chopsticks under my armpits and I am holding on to them, i.e., arms moving (nearly) straight up and down.

- She also strongly recommended that I use a cadence of 180 steps per minute. I had read at some point that this is ideal and once counted my steps and was just about at 180. However, that was at a pretty fast training pace, like marathon pace (4:20/k) or faster. When I am running slower, my cadence is much less. She says I should always run at 180, which shortens my stride and thus prevents (well, mitigates against) heel striking. For the test run, she gave me her iPhone with a metronome app - great! (I now have it.) Of course, you can just count steps as you look at your watch.

- I had thought that leg length difference might be a cause of my problems, but she said that my legs are the same length.

- Her analysis:
As expected, it can be challenging to assess what would normally be your running technique when your left hamstring is still symptomatic, however I was able to identify a number of ways to improve your running efficiency and to decrease loads through the hamstrings.
Key Findings:
·         Dysfunction of the SIJ in its ability to transfer load during weight bearing.
·         Increased tone in hip flexor muscles, causing an anterior pelvic tilt - preventing effective gluteal activation and hence loading of hamstrings.
·         Reduced stability of the deep gluteal muscles - resulting in internal rotation of the hips and increased lateral pelvic tilt.
·         Decreased thoracic rotation, particularly to the left.

(SIJ is sacroiliac joint.)  
So she gave me four exercises to do to overcome these problems. 
She also said, don't stretch much while the hamstring is sore, and don't try to strengthen it until it is healed (I had been doing strengthening exercises).
And I should run every other day, fairly easily of course, but with a 180 cadence, so it's not THAT easy. Actually, on Wednesday night at the track (after the evaluation), I was able to run at 180, at a pace of 5:00/k (had been jogging at 6:00/k). With almost no soreness. Don't want to try to run faster yet, but at least I am seeing some progress. Now with these exercises, I hope to see more.

This is the main exercise for the glutes:
Lie on your back with legs bent and arms flat against the floor.
Extend one leg out and lift the opposite arm up off the floor. Push down with the other leg to lift the hips up off the floor whilst at the same time pushing into the floor with the elbow of the opposite arm. From this position, swap sides so that the opposite arm and leg are pushing.

Do 10 each leg, 3 sets, twice a day.

July 16, 2012

A Little Bit of Running

Week of July 2 ~ 8 — No running.

Week of July 9 ~ 15

Monday — 3k
Wednesday —4k
Friday — 5k
Sunday —8k

Monday and Wednesday were: run 400, walk 400.
Friday and Sunday were: run 1k, walk 500
All at very easy pace, just a jog, really.

Not pain-free — some soreness, but not bad pain. Sometimes the pain is in the hamstring, sometimes higher, which is strange.
Also doing various exercises and stretches.
So maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.

July 1, 2012

Hamstring Still Painful

Ran a bit...a tiny bit...on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with the hamstring getting more painful each time, so decided that "active rehabilitation" at least in the form of running, is not what is called for. Also had some massage, acupuncture and PT, which feel nice, but the effectiveness is questionable. I think I just have to rest until there is no more pain, however long that may take.
My preferred treatment now is heat (to bring blood to the area) and compression. Patience is called for.

If you or anyone you know has actually cured a badly strained hamstring, please let me know what they did.


June 24, 2012


Week of June 18 ~ 24

Still no running, as soreness persists, but is lessening.

I found this and it describes my smyptoms exactly, so I guess this is it.

A common spot for bursitis is on the side of the hip. Here a large tendon passes over the bony bump on the side of the hip. The bony bump is called the greater trochanter. Inflammation in the bursa between the tendon and the greater trochanter is calledtrochanteric bursitis. This problem is common in older individuals. It may also occur in younger patients who are extremely active in exercises such as walking, running, or biking.
Friction can build in the bursa during walking if the long tendon on the side of the thigh is tight. It is unclear what causes this tightening of the tendon. The gluteus maximus attaches to this long tendon. As you walk, the gluteus maximus pulls this tendon over the greater trochanter with each step. When the tendon is tight, it rubs against the bursa. The rubbing causes friction to build in the bursa, leading to irritation and inflammation. Friction can also start if the outer hip muscle (gluteus medius) is weak, if one leg is longer than the other, or if you run on banked (slanted) surfaces. … This thickening, constant irritation, and inflammation may result in the condition becoming chronic, or long lasting.
The first symptom of trochanteric bursitis is usually pain. The pain can be felt in the area of the hip right over the bump that forms the greater trochanter. Eventually the pain may radiate down the outside of the thigh. As the problem progresses, the symptoms produce a limp when walking and stiffness in the hip joint. Eventually, the pain will also be present at rest and may even cause a problem with sleeping.

This is exactly where I have had pain for the last 6 months - sore to the touch - so I guess that qualifies as chronic. And I do have it at rest, in fact, it gets worse when I sit down.
I thought it was weird that that spot is ALWAYS sore to the touch, so I guess that is why.

I sent this to a fellow club member with leg/hip problems, and he said Yes, this is what I have had for 15 years (!!). He controls it with stretching, specifically, with the stretch known as Pigeon in yoga, where you put the affected leg in front of you at a 90-degree angle and extend the other one in back of you. I can't do 90, so I do about 45 and lean forward until I feel the stretch. You can also bend the back leg to make it easier to do.
Sometimes he stops while he is running and stretches for a while.
He says if he stops running he can walk with no discomfort, but it never heals completely - comes back when he starts running again. (Maybe if you stopped for 4-6 months it would go away, but that is an experiment I am not willing to try - as long as it is manageable.)

So I am stretching a lot, and since I have not run for a month, I plan to start tomorrow with very easy and short runs. Let's see what happens.

June 17, 2012

Still No Running So Here's an Aussie Music Video

Hamstring still sore, so no running yet. It is improving, but I plan to be super-cautious and not run until I am sure, no doubly sure, that it is healed.

Now for all you Aussie blokes, do you remember this? Most people, at least Americans, think it is a Johnny Cash song. Some know that it was done before him (and better) by Hank Snow. But the original version was by Lucky Starr.

Here is the Hank Snow version.

June 11, 2012

Still No Running

Week of June 4 ~ 10

But I did jog 1km on Friday and 2 km on Sunday! With pain in the hamstring, though....
I guess it will be a while yet.

June 4, 2012

Bummer: Hamstring Pain!

Week of May 28 ~ June 3

Well, the stress on the legs of two races in two weeks caught up with me.
I ran a Half on the 13th, then a 5K on the 20th. In between them I did a fairly hard interval workout on Wed. night, otherwise easy or nothing.
The following week, I only did two workouts: 6k of fast intervals on Wednesday and a fairly hard 24k on Sunday. So five days of rest. Then I took off Monday and Tuesday.
7 days of rest out of 9. You would think that would be enough. But...
Went out Wednesday for a 5k time trial and felt ok while warming up. Then felt ok at a not too hard 4:00/k pace for 400m. Then the left hamstring (where all the previous problems were) was sore for 400m. Then more sore for the next 400m. A dull pain. Which suddenly turned into a sharp pain, whereupon I immediately stopped.
After which it hurt to walk. And today, Sunday, it still hurts a bit to walk.
(By "sharp" I don't mean a severe pull, just sharp enough to tell me to stop.)

So...this time I think I've really learned the lesson. Don't do two races in two weeks, if one of them is a half marathon. (At least, if you're an older runner, don't. Older being, over 50?). Or if you "have to", just rest/jog for two weeks afterwards.
I think it was the second interval workout that was the mistake. Which was compounded by the Sunday 24km run.
Anyway, I'm out for at least a week, probably two. I believe that hamstring injuries require "active" rehab, so I'll jog a bit when I can, but today I couldn't even jog 4 strides. Did walk for an hour, though.

Hope the rest of you are feeling ok.

May 27, 2012

Easy Week, Sendai Half Result, Birthday

Week of May 21 ~ 27

Ran: 0/0/8.2/0/0/0/24 - 32.2km / 20 mi.

Ran a 5k ekiden race yesterday, after a Half the week before, so think it best to rest for two days.

Speaking of the Sendai Half, I found out I won my age group. (It only took them 10 days to post the age group results!) Out of 598 men. So that was nice. I beat one guy by 11 seconds. I remember passing a guy who looked to be about 60 sometime in the last km, so I guess that was him.
One of the delivery services has been trying to deliver something to me for 3 days, but I haven't been home, nor has my wife, so I guess that is my prize.


7:30pm - club track workout.
Interval: 200m jog, then walk, abt. 3 mins.
Felt fairly good, worked pretty hard the first 4.
Weather: 21C/70F

Today was also the first day of the Far East HS track meet, at the Yokota Air Force base (about an hour by car). So I was standing and walking for a good part of 7 hours.

Rest - sore.
Second day of the meet. Our boys finished 2nd and girls 1st, out of about 20 schools. Lots of our kids had great performances.

Oh, and my 65th birthday. No one, including myself, believes I'm that old.
This puts me in a new age group in the US, so it would be nice to run a big race next fall or spring. Maybe Boston....

11:30 - Gym workout.

Drank way too much last night. Can't even think about running. Went to watch the Namban Rengo (club) Beer Mile, always a fun event. If you are watching.

4:15 - 24k in 2:01:06 @5:00/k
Warmed up after 5k. Quads started hurting after 14k. You'd think the legs would be fresh after 3 days rest, but maybe 3 days rest is too much.... Quads and left butt (but not hamstring) pretty sore the last 6k, but held the pace fairly well and picked up the last k from 5:05 to 4:50, as practice for trying to run faster when in pain. Marathon mental training.
Weather: 24C/75F, 20%, sunny
Weight: 62.2 (lots of food, not much running).

Next week will be the club 5,000m time trial on Wednesday, which I will run easily, because the next night is the twice-a-year big multi-club time trial. I'll run that one hard.

Then from Saturday, June 2nd, I'll start my summer program. The theme this year is: All hard, no easy, work your butt off.
The program will be:
Wednesday - 10k. Intervals on the track. Run them as fast as possible. No cruising. This is speed work!
Thursday - A 30k run I'm calling the Caballo Blanco run. Get off my usual marked course and just run out about 15k in various directions, then back. Use the garmin, but don't take 5k splits, don't pay attention to time. Run as you feel, but basically a moderate pace. Just a nice free-form run for the enjoyment of running.
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Total 20k very hard. Choice of various workouts, including marathon pace for 15k, half marathon pace for 10k, 5k x 3 at half pace, 3k x 6 at half pace, 10k of hills.
Fast, sustained paces is what I did not do last summer.
Sunday - 30k at a hard pace. Probably progressive. Running the second half as hard as possible. Maybe up it to 35k occasionally (although that's pretty tough in the heat).
Monday, Tuesday - Rest.
So 4 hard days, no easy days, but 3 days of rest. I want to try it and see how it goes.
Oh, and no sweets! Of any kind. The other theme is: lean and mean by autumn.

May 20, 2012

Easy Week with Fun Ekiden at the End

Week of May 14 ~20

Ran: 0/0/15.4/9.6/0/6/9 — 40km / 25 mi.  3:36

Rest after Half Marathon on Sunday


3:00 — Easy 7k (approx) with two girls on the track team.
7:30 — Club track workout.
Only 1.2k warmup. Felt stiff on first 600 and 800, then good on the 1000, ok on the 1200, real good on the 1000, then tired.
Weather: 23C/73F

3:00 — 4.8k School to Fuchu track and back at easy pace.

11:30 — Gym workout
Rest day

6:30pm — 6k very easy in 34:00.

Mari Tanigawa Ekiden (she's a famous Japanese marathoner, now retired).
4-person teams, each person running 5K. The club entered 3 teams. It's a very large (Men's and Mixed team races, with about 600 teams each), but not high-level, more low-key and friendly, ekiden.
I ran my team's first leg in 18:53, which was not bad considering I had basically no warmup and it was a hot day. Legs were ok (recovered from the Half), I felt pretty good and worked hard.
Our team finished 43rd, our A team was 21st.
Beer and kebab afterward while cheering for the other runners, it was a fun day.
Weather: 26C/79F (approx. - anyway, it was hot in the sun)
Weight: 61.1kg

Next week will also be mostly easy, then the following week, or maybe from the coming weekend, I'll start my new hard summer program, which I'll tell you about next week.

May 14, 2012

1:27:31 Half...Not Bad....

Week of May 7 ~ 12

Ran: 10.8/0/8.8/3.3/10/0/21.1  54km / 33.5 mi.  4:26

3:00 — 10.8 River Run with varsity girls.
53:08. Out: 27:47 @5:09. In: 25:20 with last .7k slower. About 4:35/k pace.
Felt ok.
Weather: 25C/77F, sunny

Business trip, but planned to rest anyway (race on Sunday).

7:30pm — Club track workout. 1000/1600/800/800/800/800
Ran the 1600 @ 3:56 pace and cruised the rest easily. Miserable conditions.
Weather: 17C/63F, rain, windy, chilly

3:00 — Thunderstorm, so kids could not run outside. Just ran 1.5k warmup, then 60m x 10 x 3 in the parking garage. A good "getting the legs to move faster than usual" workout.

1:00 — Gym workout.
5:30 — 10k in 53:41. 28:27/25:14.
The 5k coming back I ran 500 pickup, 500 easy x 5.
500 pickups started at 5:00/k pace and went down to 4:10.
Quads were a bit stiff, but felt ok.

Bullet Train  2 hours north of Tokyo to Sendai, up where the tsunami hit. However, it only affected the coastal area, not the main part (most) of Sendai. Sightseeing in Sendai, which is a very nice city, lots of greenery and wide streets with green strips in the middle.
14 club members went, so it was a fun two-day trip.

Sendai Half Marathon. A big Half, 8,000 men and 2,000 women, with two Japan-based Kenyans and Olympic marathoner Fujiwara and popular marathon hero Kawauchi. A Kenyan won in 1:01:30, with Fujiwara 2nd.
It was a good race — flat course and nice weather. Actually rather warm at about 18C/64F, and a bit windy. But I prefer warm to cold.
I ran 1:27:31, which was pretty good considering my lack of mileage over the past two months. This is a pace of 4:09/km. I had assumed 4:00 was out of the question, and anything under 4:10 would be good, so I was satisfied. Also, I beat club rival James Midgely, passing him at 15.5k, so that was enjoyable.
5k splits were: 20:50 (lost 30 sec. the first 2k because stupid Japanese races start track federation members - lots of slow people - in the front)/20:37/20:16/21:08 and 4:31 for last 1.1k.
Wore light 160g AdiZero Pro shoes and got my weight down to a bit over 61kg, so was not too heavy. And unlike James, I didn't drink any beer on Saturday....

Oh, no age group results were posted, nor have been posted online yet. Like many Japanese races, they do not understand how to use the chip data and website properly. But with 8,000 men, there were probably some quite fast guys in each age group.

Will take it easy next week to recover and because I will run a 5k in an ekiden on Sunday. A "semi-serious" ekiden.

The Namban Rengo runners:

May 7, 2012

Good Runs, Nice Weather and Allyson Felix

Week of April 30 ~ May 6

Ran: 15/13.8/10.2/4.8/20/0/10 — 73.8km / 46mi.   6:23

3:15 — 15k in 1:11:56 @4:48/k
26:34/24:45/20:35 @5:19/4:57/4:06
Stiff and sore first 4k, 2nd 5k was ok, pretty smooth, 3rd 5k I just pushed all the way.
Weather: 22C/72F, 50%, cloudy
Weight: 61.7kg

11:00 — Gym workout
3:00 — 4.8k easy to and from Fuchu track.
600m x 5 in 2:11/10/10/8/9 (walk 1:45)
About 87 per 400m, which is Michelle Stolle's 1500 pace.
Good pace with minimal rest - the 4th and 5th were a bit harder.
Weather: 22C/72F, 50%, cloudy
Weight: 62.3kg

7:30 — Club track workout.
1000m x 6 in 4:03/3:53/53/54/55/57 (jog 200m in 2', walk 1')
Rain, puddles and chilly temp not conducive to good running, but managed a good workout.
Weather: 15C/59F, rain

3:00 — 4.8k easy run to the Fuchu track. Just watched the workout and rode back in the van. Legs very tired.

11:30 — Gym workout.
3:30 — 20k in 1:37:20 @4:52/k
26:02/25:33/24:02/21:42 @ 5:12/06/4:48/20
Felt surprisingly good. 26:02 first 5k means my legs felt pretty good. Sore last 5k but not too bad.
Weather: 18C/64F, 70%, sun-cloud-lt rain
Weight: 61.9kg

TELL (Tokyo English Life Line) charity race, of which I am the co-race director. Had about 700 people, beautiful weather.

9:30am — 10k very easy
Afternoon — Went to the Golden Grand Prix track meet in Kawasaki, Tokyo. Allyson Felix was the biggest star - she won the 100m despite a poor start. There were a few good Americans, lots of Australians, and a good 3000m steeplechase with 3 elite Kenyans and 2 Ethiopians. It was fun to watch, even with some rain toward the end.

April 29, 2012

Five Good Days

Week of April 23 ~ 29

Ran: 10.8/10.4/8.2/13.5/24/0/0 — 66.9km / 41.5 mi.  5:43

Five pretty good workouts followed by two days of rest.

3:00 — 10.8 with the track team girls. Out at 5:15/k, back at 4:30. Last 5k 22:27.
Felt ok, hamstring slightly sore.
Weather: 16C/61F, light rain

11:30 — gym workout
3:00 — 2.2k warmup and warmdown.
400m x 8 in 80/80/80/80/80/81/80/81 + 1 easy (all with the girls)
80 sec. between each one, 6:50 walk after the 4th.
200m x 5 in 40/40/39/38/37  3 min. walk after each.
A pretty hard workout, esp. in warm weather.
Weather: 24C/75F, sunny
Weight: 62.2kg

7:30pm — 5000m time trial on the track. 19:31
Splits: 3:51/55/55/57/52. Last 400 in 90.
Planned to run 19:30, so this was ok. Felt pretty good. Followed some guys the first half, then led them the second half. About 50 club members did this time trial. There were five guys in the low/mid 17s.
No soreness at all (took 450mg of ibuprofen 2 hours before).
Weather: 17C/63F
Weight: 62.0kg

3:00 — 9.6k to/from Fuchu track at moderate pace, but picked up last 2k to about 4:30-40/k.
300m x 3, 600m x 1, 300m x 2. All very easy. 300m jogs in between.
Weather: Chilly rain

4:00 — 24k in 2:06:37 @ 5:17/k
Splits: 28:29/27:14/25:33/25:16/20:03 @5:35/27/06/03/00
Felt just "ok", but legs getting more and more sore and tired from 15k.
Weather: 16C/61F, light rain
Weight: 62.9kg. Huh? I have to lose weight!

I should really be running more distance to prepare for the half marathon on May 15th, but can't do that while running with the kids 3 days a week, so this will have to do. Actually, losing some weight is more important...but is proving to be difficult.

April 22, 2012

Feeling Better....

Week of April 16 ~ 22

Ran: 10.8/4/15.4/12.6/20/0/15 — 77.8km / 48 mi.  6:44

Soreness in hamstrings and butt is abating, due I think to 2~4 15-min sessions per day on the massage cushion (can be painful) and the rubber tube exercise recommended by Chris Parry. This involves getting a length of rubber tubing and tying it around a firm support (I put it around a sofa leg), then putting it around your ankle and kicking out against the resistance, then relaxing the leg completely. Do this about 25 times, a few times a day. This is supposed to be very good for the hamstrings.

3:00 — 10.8k River Run (seems to be 10.8 rather than the 11k I thought).
51:48 @4:48/k. Out at abt. 5:00/k, then back at 4:30/k with last 800m easy.
Weather: 15C/59F, cloudy
Weight: 62.5kg

11:30 — gym workout
3:00 — Thunder and lightning canceled the track workout (American high schools do not allow kids to be outside when it is lightning. You may have heard of a New Jersey state meet in which a kid was about to break the state 3200m record and they stopped the race with one or two laps to go.) So just ran 2k in the large, covered parking facility, then 100m x 20.

3:00 — 4.4k. Easy run to and from track near school for team workout, which I only helped with timing.
7:30 — Club track workout. 1200/800/1000/800/1000/800/400
A new workout I somehow came up with. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Well, it was ok.
Ran 4:40/2:58/3:44/3:00/3:43/2:59/83. Rest jog/walk 200m in 2:30-3:00.
Afterwards, 6 x 100m barefoot strides on grass.
First hard interval workout in a long time. Nice to be running 3:44 again. Not much soreness, but felt heavy...had to really push all the way.
Weather: 16C/61F

3:00 — 4.8k to/from Fuchu track in 25:44/23:26. 300m x 4 in 66/64/60/64, then 200m x 6 easy.
Weather: 16C/61F again, which is not very warm. In fact, it's rather chilly. You would think it would feel warm after the winter, but once it gets up to 20C, then goes back to 16, it feels chilly. Relativity!
Weight: 62.1kg

4:30 — 20k in 1:39:33 @4:58/k
27:30/26:24/23:33/22:05 @ 5:30/5:17/4:42/4:25 (last 2k: 4:15/16)
Felt ok. Planned to pick up the last 10k and especially the last 5k. Some soreness the last 5k, but I ignored it.
Weather: 15C/59F, 50%, cloudy
Weight: 62.0kg

ASIJ track meet. Top boy 800/1500/3000: 2:04/4:21/9:15 — good, but not great. He also anchored the 4 x 400m.
Top girl: 1500/3000: 5:23/11:32 — pretty good.

12:00 — 15k in 1:25:26. Took it easy at about 5:40/k.
Weather: 12C/54F, 60%, cloudy.

Preparing (more or less, mostly less) for the Sendai Half Marathon on May 13. Sendai is up where the tsunami was. Needless to say, this race was canceled last year, so I think they are looking forward to a nice event this year. We have about 12 club members going.

April 15, 2012

A Little Better...

Week of April 9 ~ 15

Ran: 11/5/10.2/7/25/0/15 — 73.2km / 45.5 mi.  6:31

Not a bad week...feeling a bit better.

The day after a 10K race, but since I only ran 40:05, I figured I could just keep training.
3:00 - 11k run from the American School along the Nogawa river, which is lined with cherry trees, which were in full bloom, so that was nice. 57:44 - out in 26, back in 31 with a tired boy. Average pace: 5:15/k. Legs were tired, but not sore!
Weather: 22C/72F, sunny
Weight: 62.7kg

11:30 — gym workout
3:00 — Easy run to/from a new track near the school that we rented.
Quads sore (from the Sunday 10K, I assume).

7:30pm — track workout. 3.2 WU. 1600, 1200, 1000, 1000, 800, 400
6:48, 4:54, 3:59, 3:57, 3:12, 1:38. Not trying to run fast, just 4:00/k pace.
Hamstring a bit sore. Very cold by the end.
Weather: Rain that got harder, temp that got colder.

3:00 — To a track near the school. 300m x 8 with the "getting faster" girls (we don't say "slow").
First few in 70secs, then 65, then last two in 64 and 61 — very good for the girl I was running with.
Weather: 22C/72F, sunny
Weight: 62.1kg

11:30 — gym workout
3:00 — 25k in 2:08:40 @5:09
27:51/25:55/25:12/24:36/25:02 @ 5:35/09/02/4:56/5:00
Felt ok after 5k, although legs kind of tired. Butt sore last half, but not too bad.
Weather: 21C/70F, cloudy
Weight: 62.3kg

Supposed to be a HS track meet, but called on account of heavy rain.

2:00 — 15k very easy in 1:26:17 — legs heavy.
Weather: 16C/61F, 30%, could
Weight: 62.6kg

April 10, 2012

38, 39, 40...Going Backwards

Week of April 2 ~ 8

Ran: 11/0/9.4/9.6/5/0/10 (Race) - 45km / 28 mi.  3:41

Fairly easy week ending with a 10K race in 40:05. Slow time, but 3rd in my age group (60s) out of 352. However, I should have been running faster than the top two - winner was 38:47. I ran 38:08 on Jan. 9, 39:04 on Feb. 19, and 40:05 on Sunday. Not a happy trend. Time to lose weight.

3:30 — 11k river run with the HS distance girls. Out at about 5:20 up to 5:00/km pace. Back at 4:30 for 1.5, then 4:20. Last 800m easy. Legs felt good, it was a good run.

11:30 — gym workout.
Afternoon — typhoon-strength wind and rain. Decided to rest.

7:30pm track workout. 1000 x 6 in 4:04/05/02/03/07/3:53 (200m jog/walk in 2:30-3:00)
Just trying to run 4:00/km pace. Sore the first one, then felt ok as I warmed up.

3:00 — Fairly easy 4.8km run to and from the track where the kids did a workout of 400m x 8.

11:30 — gym workout
3:00 — easy 5k.


Hitachi Sakura 10K Road Race. Hitachi is a small city 90 minutes by express train north of Tokyo. It's right on the coast. The Hitachi company has lots of factories, etc. there, don't know if the company is named for the city, or vice versa, or they are both named for some dynastic family from 200 years ago, which is probably the case. The "Sakura", meaning cherry blossoms, is because the street in front of the station where the start is, is lined with cherry tress. blossoms! They are late this year. Actually, they are full in Tokyo, but just 90 minutes north...not a one.

Anyway, this was a Half, a 10K and a 5K, with about 3,000 people in each one, and a nice, friendly, well-organized event. New club member Steve and I (and his girlfriend Jane visiting from NYC), took the 7:00 train from Ueno, arriving at 8:35 for a 9:05 start. Which, as I said, was conveniently right in front of the station. We jogged just a bit, then lined up right near the front. Due to a weight gain of 2kg/4.5 lbs. after the Tokyo Marathon and lack of hard training, I was just planning to run about 4:00 per k pace, which is how it worked out.
Splits were actually: 4:03/3:50/3:47/3:57/4:04/4:04/3:59/4:06/4:10/4:04 (8 and 9 into wind).

After about 600m, I realized there were two guys just ahead of me who looked to be over 60, one in red and one in blue — the competition! So I tucked in right behind them. The course made a few turns through the town, then went onto a road built out over the ocean! Like a bridge, but not a bridge, just a coast road that they decided to build out over the water. Nice! We ran on that for about 3.5k, then turned back. Red had dropped off at about 3k and I was following Blue. Coming back was into the wind, although it wasn't too strong. On a very windy, rainy day, this would be a terrible course. Then at 6k, Red came back and passed us both. I stayed with him and we dropped Blue, but Red picked it up a bit more and I couldn't stay with him. I kicked a bit at the end, but he was too far ahead.

However, as it turned out, there was one more guy ahead of the three of us! The guy who ran 38:47. Oh, and Blue turned out to be a 72 year old! It seems he's a famous guy, holds several Japan masters records. Good that I beat him, though. He ran about 40:20.
I got a bottle of sake and 6 Amino Vital energy gels for 3rd.

So: the butt and hamstring seem to be improving (massage cushion!) so it's definitely time to lose weight and train harder. Next race is the Sendai Half Marathon on May 13th. (Sendai is up where the tsunami was.)

3rd photo shows the road over the ocean where the course was.

April 1, 2012

Feeling heavy. 2nd at Tokyo

Week of Mar. 26 ~ Apr. 1

Ran: 10/10/8/13.5/13.5/20/10 - 85km / 53 mi.  7:48

Gained weight after the Tokyo Marathon, which I'm having trouble losing, so I'm not feeling too light on my feet these days.
And speaking of Tokyo, I got my results and was 2nd in my age group (60-64 men), out of 1,312. Rather a surprise, since there are a lot of good veteran Japanese runners (who can run faster than 3:08:22). I guess the lottery kept a lot of them out of the race.

The Tokyo Marathon is not in the internet age yet, so they mail you a piece of paper. No way to search age group results, or any results except your own time, on the website. You can't contact them either, so I wrote to the company that handles the registrations (the wonderfully named Kinki Nippon Tourist), and asked them to pass along the message that this situation is unacceptable and they should do such and such. I got an answer saying they had heard the same thing from other runners and would pass along my plea.

However, I don't think I'll run Tokyo again. We were lucky with the weather this year and I am going to quit while I'm ahead. When the weather is bad in February, it's really bad. Rain in April or November, ok, rain in February, no. Next year I'll run in April or go overseas.

The American School is on spring break this week, so no track workouts.

3:30 - 10k in 48:49 with splits 27:03/21:45.
A bit sore, but felt better going faster. Last 2k in 4:12, 4:10, so not too bad.
Weather: 11C/52F, 15%, sunny
Weight: 62.8kg (was 61)

3:30 - 10k very easy in 58:00. Legs sore,

7:30 5,000m time trial on the track. 20:13 (4:00/05/09/02/3:57)
A bit shocking, since I was running hard. Was breathing hard after 800m, showing that I haven't run "fast" for quite a while. And of course, I'm heavy. Legs felt ok (took 450mg of ibuprofen 2 hours before).
Weather: 9C/48F, slight wind

5:00pm - 13.5k very easy with another guy. 1:19:32 @5:54/k
Weather: 14C/57F, sunny
Weight: 63.6kg!

11:30 - gym workout
1:00 - 13.5k with 3k x 3 "hard"
12:34/12:28/12:56. (5 mins. walk in between). 1st and 3rd had a short, steep hill and were 2/3 into the wind.
Slow times, but a hard workout.
Weather: 18C/64F, 30%, sunny

10:00am - 20k easy in 1:56:03. Butt got sore last 4k.
Tremendously strong wind made running a bit difficult.

10:00am - 10k easy in 56:29. Legs tired and fairly sore.

But...I got a massage cushion recommended by Chris Parry, who says it really helped his piriformis/HS/butt problems. You turn it on and metal balls inside roll around and painfully massage wherever you are sitting. So we'll see if that helps.