January 30, 2012

Bad Start, Good Finish

Week of Jan. 23 ~ 29

Plan: 10/30/10/15/20/10/35 - 130km
Ran: 0/0/11/20/20/20/35 - 106km / 69 mi.   9:55

The week started off with a cold (caught from my wife), but finished with a good 35k.

Felt weak from cold.

Still suffering.

7:30pm - 11k. 5 x 1000 in the park (track closed).
Cold is pretty much gone, but not ready to do a real workout.

2:00 - 20k in 1:57:45 @5:53/k
Very easy, but both hamstrings sore. I think this is turning into a chronic hamstring problem. Have to get aggressive with acupuncture, massage, kinesio taping.
Weather: 6C/43F, 20%, sunny
Weight: 61.3kg

11:00 - machines and core at the gym.
2:00 - 20k in 1:50:08 @5:30/k
Too cold to move well.
Weather: 5C/41F, 20%, sunny, windy
Weight: 60.6kg

2:00 - 20k in 1:56:38 @5:50/k at Tsudanuma (Makuhari)
Easy day. Into cold wind coming back.
Left hamstring slightly sore.
Weather: 6C/43F

2:45 35k in 3:08:49 @5:24/k
28:01/27:35/27:08/27:54 (lots of icy places)/26:33/26:00/25:44
@5:36/31/26/35/17/12/09    aver 5k: 26:58
Weather; 6C/43F > 2C/35F
Quite a good run after 3 20k days. Left lower hamstring slightly sore, but not bad. Took one small ibuprofen and put kinesio tape on it - may have helped. Also wore short tights under long tights to keep my legs warm.
First 25k felt easy. Thought I picked up the last 5k more, but I guess I was tired.
Felt much better than the last 3 days, but I was mentally ready for a good run, which I think makes a difference.

Only 4 weeks to the Tokyo Marathon (and 3 weeks to the Ome 10k), so this will be my last 35k. I'll probably do two 30k runs with 15k at MP.

January 22, 2012

Decent 5-Day Week with a 1/2 Mar MP Run

Week of Jan 16 ~ 22

Plan: 0/20/20/15/15/23/0
Ran: 0/20/17/15/15/25/0


10:30 - machines and core at the gym
3:00 - 20k in 1:43;00 @ 5:09/k
27:30/26:37/25:05/23:40 @ 5:31/19/01/4:44
Planned 5:40/30/00/MP, but hamstrings were tight and a bit sore, so happy to run 4:44 for last 5k.
Weather: 7C/45F, 30%, sunny
Weight: 60.8kg

6:30pm - 17k.  8k in the park to get some more distance in (wanted to do 10, but didn't have time).
Track workout - 600/800/1000/1200/1000/800/600
2:26/3:11/4:40/5:07/4:13/3:28/2:36 (200m jog)
Legs tired, left buttock hurt last 3.
Weather: 8C/46F

3:00 - 15k in 1:27:30 29:16/03/10
Very easy. Just trying to run without hs and butt hurting, which I managed.
Weather: 8C/46F

2:30 - 15k in 1:29. A long, cold run in snow and wind.

25k - Half with 4k warmup.
10:30 - Half marathon training run with 8 others (but all at different paces, so I ran alone) in and around Ueno Park, one of Tokyo's big, popular parks. Two guys measured out a 5.025k loop, and an extra 1k. The loop had two hills, one short and steep, one long and gradual (two long downhills). The short one was a killer, especially the 4th time around. You lose your rhythm, and I'm not sure you make it up on the downhills.
My time was 1:33:50. 5.025k splits were 22:15/22:03/22:31(14 sec. water stop)/22:40. Last k 4:21. 3:04 marathon pace would be 21:51 (4:21/k and this was 4:27). Pretty good, really, considering the hills, cold, slight rain and running alone. And slight pain in hamstring area, as usual.
Could I have run another half marathon after that? No. In fact, I could not have run another 100m. But in 5 weeks, with fresh legs, we'll see what happens.
Weather: 4C/39F, light rain partway


January 17, 2012

Tokyo Marathon is Feb. 26th

And that is not enough time to get ready! But then, there is never enough time, is there?

Week of Jan. 10 ~ 15
Ran: 79.5km / 49.4 mi.   6:34

(Monday was the Ushiku 10k race)
11:30 - Machines and core at the gym.
No running. Calves sore.

7:30 - Club workout in the park (track closed).
1000 x 6 in 4:50/18/17/14/27/38
Didn't want to run too hard, also it was very cold (4C/39F).
Calves a bit sore, although ok when running. Hamstrings got sore after the 4th, so took 5th and 6th easier.

3:30 - 10k in 55:51 (28:18/27:33).
Planned 10 or 15. Legs still sore, so did 10.
Weather: 6C/43F, 15%, sunny.
Weight: 61.3kg

10:30 - Machines and core at the gym.
4:45 - 12k in 1:03:06 @5:16/k
Legs slightly sore, but felt pretty good.
Weather: 8C/46F, 15%

11:30 - 9.3km. Hill workout with James Midgely (British) and Arnout Baneke (Dutch) in Ebisu (a neighborhood in central Tokyo).
2.7k warmup. 200m hill. 12 times up, 11 down in 21:00. Worked hard going up and ran a pretty good pace going down. A hard workout. 2k warmdown.
Weather: 6C/43F

1:30 - 30k in 2:24:08 @4:48/k
26:38/25:37/25:09/22:09/22:16/22:18 @5:20/06/01/4:26/27/27
Pace as planned. Actually wanted to run last 15k at MP (4:21), but thought that would be difficult and anything under 4:30 would be ok. Legs (esp. left HS) sore last 8k, but held the pace ok. Very good run after hills yesterday and 10k race on Monday.
Weather: 6C/43F, 30%, sunny
Weight: 61.4kg

January 12, 2012

Thailand Vacation, 10k Race

Dec. 26 ~ Jan 9

Traveled to Bangkok yesterday with the wife, and started right in on gaining weight with a big Christmas dinner with my daughter and her husband. Today was spent doing a lot of walking, shopping and eating.

Traveled to Koh Kood, a "new resort" island that is still largely unspoiled. The trip entailed a one-hour flight south to Trat, a one-hour taxi ride to the port, and a one-hour high-speed boat ride to the island. Talk about getting away from it all! We stayed at the Koh Kood Resort, which was great. Small cottages, not many guests (mostly Europeans), friendly staff, and nothing to do but eat, drink, swim, get a massage and lie in the sun. What more do you need? Well, a bit of running, which I managed to do. Out the back of the resort 1km on a dusty road, then 6k out, 6k back on the "main" road, which was VERY hilly. Temperature around 28C/82F, so this was a good workout.

8.7k at 7:15 in the morning, then 12.6k at 3:15, with a snorkeling trip to another island in between. Ran to the island's waterfall, which although ostensibly THE local attraction, requires a 1km trek up a very rocky road - even scooters can't handle that road. And the waterfall is not real high, although you can stand under it.

15k in 1:21:25 - out 46:50, then worked hard to come back the last 6.7k in 34:35 - 5:06 per k, not bad considering the heat and big, long hills.
Pina coladas, beautiful sunset...actually, I wish I was still there.

Trip back from Koh Kood.

Legs still tired from those hills, but no time to run anyway. Excursion to see the Emerald Buddha.

Run from daughter's apartment 2.6k (main road with a fairly smooth, for Bangkok, uncrowded sidewalk) to Lumpini Park in central Bangkok. The park has a 2.543k loop, marked every 100m. Very nice park with a large lake, lots of people jogging, walking, sitting, playing, eating...a real nice park to run in. Total 11.6k.

Monday Jan. 2
4:00 - 13.2k. To and from the park, with 3 loops in 13:08/12:56/12:22 @ 5:07/5:05/4:50. Legs felt heavy and hamstrings a bit sore. Not too hot, though, about 26C/79F.

4:00 - 20.7k. To and from the park, with 6 loops in 13:52/34/12:40/41/10:59/52 @5:27/22/5:00/00/4:20/16. Planned to run 3rd and 4th in 5:00 and 5th and 6th "all out", and did that. Legs not sore, but did not feel great due to general tiredness and added weight (needless to say, I am eating a lot).

Tour of the Jim Thompson house/museum. He was the American guy who revived the Thai silk industry after WWII, and lived in a large, lovely house with much art and antiques. It has a nice restaurant, too. Check it out if you travel to Bangkok.
3:00 - 8.1k easy run to the park, one loop and back. Legs tired and sore.

Trip back to Tokyo.

11:30 - machines and core at the gym. Back to the usual routine in cold Tokyo.
3:30 - 10k in 53:48. 27:34/26:14. Felt so-so. Legs sore here and there.
Weather: 9C/48F, 30%, sunny
Weight: 61.6kg - not so bad....

3:30 - 10k in 53:06. 27:15/25:50. Felt ok.

12:00 - 6k in 33:48. Easy run @5:38/k. Left leg still a bit sore on the side.

9:15 - Ushiku City Marathon (10K).

Ushiku is in Ibaragi pref., about two hours from my home and is where my wife's cousins live (stayed with them Sunday night). It’s a bit famous for wine and a bit famous for a big Buddha. Actually, the Buddha is huge, about the size of a 10-story building — it should be more famous than it is.
Ushiku is also the home of Komori Corporation, which has a running team that is pretty good. Their captain, Akiba, is well known (12th in last year’s Tokyo Marathon), and they have two good Kenyans. Akiba and a Kenyan and 8 other Komori runners ran in the race, so it was fun to see them gliding swiftly along (the 10k had two 180 degree turns).
Anyway, despite not doing great training the last 3 weeks, I felt pretty good and ran well. In fact, I ran a 38:08, which is fairly good for me these days and in fact was 2 seconds faster than last February’s Ome 10K, where I felt real good. So I guess I’m in better shape than I thought.
The 38:08 got me 5th in my age group out of 260 men, and 106th out of 1,977 men overall.
Surprisingly, this was a pretty high level race. I was also 5th in that Ome race, which is known as a top-level masters race. And 4 years ago in Ushiku, with a 38:05, I was 1st, which I guess means the quality level of Japanese age groups is going steadily up. All of the other age groups also had fairly impressive times.