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. Unfortunately...no 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.