November 23, 2017

Half Marathon: Not Bad but Not Great

I ran my annual fall half marathon on Sunday the 19th, finishing in 1:36:08. That's 4:33/km.
I was 8th in the 60s age group, they didn't have a 70s, so I was running against guys 10 years younger than me. Last year I was 6th. They gave out prizes to the top six.
I was also slower by two minutes than last year, the difference being the last 6k. Last year I sped up by one minute, this year I slowed down by one minute.
Still, it was not too bad, since as I said last time, I was not really in good shape for a half marathon.
Fortunately, my glue/hamstring benefitted from an easy week and three days rest prior to the race - it didn't bother me - it was just that my legs wouldn't move as well the last 4k.

Splits were: 4:15,37,32,27,38,35,29,26,26,27 (10K) 28,31,38,29,35,33,44,37,39,54,5:06.
The 20k split is wrong, they always have the mark in the wrong place. The last two were probably 5:44, 5:16.

The course is good, two slight hills on each of the two loops, so not really an issue. The weather was a good 14°C, mostly sunny, but it was fairly windy - it was in our faces about half the time,which I could have done without.

I had a good 10k from 3k to 13k, as I was running next to the No. 2 woman, and we were right behind another guy. Unfortunately, they picked up the pace from about 13k and I slowed down, so they pulled away from me.

All in all, a pretty good effort, but next year I'll probably run the 10K, where I would have been in the top six.

I'm resting all of this week.
Dec. 3rd is the Okutama ekiden, for which I organize our teams. I have 18 guys (3 teams of 6), so won't be running unless someone drops out.
I signed up for a 10K on Dec. 16th, the East Japan Masters Road Race, where I'll be in my own age group, so that should be fun.

Happy Thanksgiving! I stuffed myself with turkey - I guess maybe that's just an American thing.

November 13, 2017

Gearing Up for a Half

Actually, that should be "slightly gearing up" or "not gearing up enough".

Anyway, after the 10K race on Oct. 8th, I took 8 days off and then went out and did 400 x 4 and 800 x 2 with the X-country girls at a pretty good pace, and then intervals the next night - 1600, 1000 x 2, 800 x 2, which proved to be too much, too soon. Developed a slight pain in my upper hamstring or lower glute, somewhere in there, which gets better and worse and is rather annoying.

Took it easy for a week (better) than ran a 5k time trial in 20:19, which was a good run, but sent the glute back to "worse" territory.
Took it easy for another week and then did the interval workout, but not all out, then 3 more rest.easy days, followed by a half marathon done at a tempo pace at the club's annual run and barbecue on Nov. 5th. Ran it in 1:46:48, or 5:03/k pace, which was just what I wanted to do. The glute was getting sore the last 5k, but wasn't too bad. Anyway, I needed to see if I could run 21k at a decent pace.

Test was a success, so last week and this week has been just long, slow runs. Plan to jog wednesday night, not do the workout, then rest for three days before the race on Sunday.
Sooo, I'll be able to run but almost certainly not as fast as I would like to. Hopefully I'll be able to get under 1:35. The age group is 60 and above, so I won't win it and probably won't be in the top 6, which is where the prizes are. I was 6th last year with a 1:33. (1st 10 years ago with a 1:23.)
In any case, it's my favorite race so I'll try to enjoy it.

October 10, 2017

5K Time Trial, Ekiden, 10K Victory

Weeks of Sept. 25 ~ Oct. 8

These two weeks were marked by three running events. The rest of the time was regular training with a few extra rest days.

Monday easy, Tuesday rest, then Wednesday evening was a 5,000m time trial. My legs are never really fresh for these things, even with a rest on Tuesday, but they're basically training runs.
It was 25C and 65%, so not ideal conditions. Weight was 60kg, which is ok, but lower would be better.
In any case, the time was 20:22, with splits of 4:02/08/06/08/3:58.
I felt fairly good, and didn't go above 4:08/k, which was good. Was alone at 2k, but then friend Paddy went past, so stayed with him. Caught him and passed him with 800m to go, but he outkicked me.

Thursday was easy with the x-country kids in pouring rain, then a rest day on Friday.

Saturday I participated in a charity ekiden at the Odaiba area on Tokyo Bay. A fun event for the Special Olympics, Teams of 2 to 10 people, who run 1.2k loops for 3 hours. We had one fast team of six guys and two male/female teams of nine runners. The A team guys ran 7 or 8 times and the other people ran 4 times. Everyone cheers like mad, so you have to run hard! Also, there is an electronic board showing the team standings in real time (updated each time a team's chip crosses the changeover mat), so that also adds incentive. Our A team won - they were all fast, but actually, it's not a high level ekiden. The second team was 14th and my team was 29th, out of 190 teams, so a good day. An interval workout, actually, although 40 minutes between the intervals.

Sunday was a 90-minute run at a good pace, legs surprisingly felt quite good.

Monday I ran 5.5k to and from school, with a hilly 4 x 800m at a decent pace with the JV girls.

Tuesday regular rest day.
Wednesday 1000m x 6 where I cruised the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th in about 4:15 and ran the 2nd in 3:52 and 6th in 3:49. Felt good on the two faster ones, not killing myself.

Thursday was a high school x-country meet where I ran 4k, about half up and down hills.
The kids ran 5k, on a tough course that included one hill of about 300m and another of 600m. Running uphill for 600m in the middle of a 5k race is not ideal. Our top five girls ran from 20:07 to 20:35, a dominating performance. And four of them are freshmen! (1st yr of 4-yr hs). Our top two boys were 17:07 and 17:21.

Friday and Saturday rest days.
Sunday was the first of my two fall races, a 10K that I run each year. Again, conditions were not ideal. The announced temp and humidity were 23C and 75%, but once on the course in the sun it was probably 26C (79F).
I won the 70s age group in 42:05, with three guys within a minute behind me (151 in AG). The kilo splits were off, but 5k splits, which I think were accurate, were 20:41 and 21:24. I felt good and ran smoothly the whole way. Was tired the last 3k, but maintained the pace and had a decent kick. Even though it's a big race, I was alone for much of it. Tried to stay with runners passing me, generally unsuccessfully.
2 minutes slower than last year, which is a bit shocking, but that seems to be where I am these days. Maybe cooler weather will cut down the times.
The other fall race is a Half on Nov. 19, which may be very tough.
By the way, the US Masters 5K championship was two weeks ago in upstate NY, so probably good weather. Winning time for my age group was 20:56. See my time above for the first 5K of the race....

September 25, 2017

100+ K Week

103.4, to be exact. Although it was 7 days of running, and did come after a 63k week, so the average was 83k. Still, 100k is 100k.

Week of Sept. 11 ~ 17
63km, 6:21 running time

Monday - 116', 19.5km, but with two long rests. To and from school (5.5km) plus 5 miles at easy tempo pace with JV girls.

Tuesday - Rest and gym workout.
Wednesday - Track workout 1200, 1000 x 2, 800 x 3, 400
4:49, 3:50, 3:52, 3:10, 3:03, 3:00, 84.
3 mins. rest after the first 3, 2:15 after the 800s.
Felt pretty good, ran hard trying to stay with various people.
27C but didn't feel too hot.

Thursday - 102' 16k. To/from school with some easy hills.
Friday - gym workout then 90' run.
Saturday - Legs tired, knees sore, will take two days rest.
Sunday - Rest
Weight was about 60.3kg all week.

Week of Sept. 18 ~ 24
103.4km, 10:43 running time.

Monday - To/from school plus an easy 8.5k.
Thought my legs would be fresh, but no, they were tired and kind of sore.

Tuesday - Biked to school and ran 4 tempo miles with No. 5 varsity girl at 7:07, 7:04, 7:13, 7:16.
(7:15 = 4:30/k). Loop includes two small hills. Top girls (British freshman twins) were running 6:40s and did 5.
Felt quite good and weighed 59.8kg.

Wednesday - Track workout 400, 1600, 1000 x 2, 800 x 2, 400.
The 1600 was a time trial for those who wanted to do that.
My time was 6:23 which seems pitiful, but is as fast as I can go. Then 3:53, 3:51, 3:10, 3:06, 88 easy.
Legs slightly heavy, but felt surprisingly good after yesterday. Was able to "lift" for the last 400 of each 1000. Wore light shoes.
24C, 65%, so rather humid.

Thursday - 111', 17k. To/from school, 6k up and down hills and stairs on a nice (and new to me) woodsy course not too far from school.
Friday - 78'. Planned 90, but left calf a bit sore, so cut it short.
Saturday - 90', legs felt tired but not sore.
Sunday - 120' 19k. Easy pace about 6:20 per k, legs ok, but getting sore at the end.
After being under 60kg for most of the week, ended at 60.4 due to pigging out somewhat on Saturday (with wine).

September 11, 2017

Time Trial and 95k Week

Week of Aug. 28 ~ Sept. 3
54.9km, 5:29 running time

Monday and Tuesday - rest

Wednesday - club 5,000m time trial at 7:30pm as usual, 28°C/82F and 80% humidity - very humid!
The time was 20:45, 17 seconds faster than last month and not bad for the heat and humidty.
Splits were 4:02/04/09/17/12. Just couldn't hold sub-4:10 pace the last 2k, but at least managed a bit of a kick. I felt like I was boiling when I finished, really exhausted. Maybe the worst I ever felt after a 5k. Well, what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.
Weight before running was 60.3kg, which is where I seem to be every day. I want to lose more, but at least I'm not gaining any (and I do weigh less than Scott Brown!).

Thursday - 102 mins, 16.2k. Ran to and from school (5.5k each way) then one easy mile and one tempo mile (7:04 or 4:23/k) with one of the fast girls.

Fri, Sat, Sun - daughter visiting from Singapore so only had time for a 1 hr. run each day.

Week of Sept. 4 ~ 10
95.3k, 9:41 running time

Monday - 108 mins., 18.2k. 5.5k to/fm school, 2.2k to/fm track, 400 x 7 easy with kids after they did a 1600m time trial.

Tuesday - gym workout and rest, but had to run 30 mins. as one of the girls got knee pain, so I had to let her ride my bike, which I had been riding along with them.

Wednesday - track workout, 1000m x 6 in 4:01/3:55/3:54/3:53/3:54/3:49.
About 3:00 jog/walk in between, with 4:00 after the 4th. Not so hot (23C), but 100% humidity as it had just rained. Felt pretty good and worked hard.
Weight 60.1kg

Thursday - 97 mins, to/fm school and an 800m slightly hilly loop x 5 at a moderate pace. Again, 100% humidity. Just makes it hard to run.

Friday - 90 mins. and gym workout.
Saturday - 69 mins/12k with the last 4k at about 4:40/k pace. 30°C.
Sunday - 120 mins in 30°C heat. Legs a bit tired, especially last 4k.
Weight: 60.2kg

August 29, 2017

2 Race Postscripts; Recovery

Two postscripts to my Beach to Beacon 10K race:
My age graded performance was 86%, which correlates to a 31:13.
I beat Bill Rodgers. Who, admittedly, is not the runner he used to be, but still it sounds good to say, "I beat Bill Rodgers."

On the 11th, 12th and 13th, I ran 40, 60 and 90 minutes.
Rested the 14th, ran 40 mins. on the 15th and on the 16th did a track workout that included 2 1000s in 4:04 and 3:57, so I was fairly well recovered 11 days after the race.

Then the next 5 days did 60, 80, 90, 90 and 90 minutes. Of course, these are all at a comfortable pace.

Rested last Tuesday and Wednesday did 1000 x 4, 800 x 2, 400.
Times were 3:57/56/56/57, 3:09/12 and 88.
This was at 7:30pm and it was 32°C and 62% humidity with not a leaf stirring on the surrounding trees. A hot workout. Happy to keep all 4 1000s under 4:00. Worked pretty hard to do it.

Did 90-minute runs the next 3 days and on Sunday the club had another beach day at Kamakura with about 25 people. We started through the town, stopping at the Great Buddha (huge statue of seated Buddha), from there went up into the hills for about 30 minutes of climbing stairs and hills, then about 15 mins down just to work the quads a bit more. That took an hour, then did another hour (a very hot hour) along the beach road. So that was quite a hard effort.

Had planned a long run for today (Monday) but the legs are sore and tired, so will rest two days and then do the club 5,000m time trial on Wednesday night.

August 11, 2017

Beach to Beacon 10K

I traveled to Portland, Maine and ran the Beach to Beacon 10K on August 5th.
I won my age group (70-74) in 42:36. Would have been 2nd in the 65-69 AG and 7th in the 60-64.
Overall was 511th out of about 6,880.

I thought I would run 42 or 43, but would have liked to go under 42. Well, the time was ok, given that the course had about four hills (not steep, although the last one was the biggest) and it was very humid. The temperature was good at about 20C/72F, but the humidity was in the 90s. I felt ok while running, but was very hot and drenched in sweat when I finished.

Mile splits (no km marks) were 6:30, 59, 47, 57, 51, 7:13 and 78 for the last 320yds (included a hill).
5K splits were 21:12, 21:24. That was good, since the second half was hillier and since last month's 5,000m time trial was 21:02.

I felt good the whole way and ran pretty well, I think.
I still think I can run faster than this, and plan to in the fall.

July 31, 2017

5,000m TT - Slightly Better

Week of July 17 ~ 23

7:32, 72.2km

Monday and Tuesday - 60 minute runs

Wednesday - Track workout 1200, 1000 x 2, 800 x 3, 400
4:50 (4:04 1000), 3:52, 3:53, 3:10, 3:06, 3:03, 87 (3 mins jog/walk after 12 and 10s, 2:30 after 8s)
Felt good on the 1000s and still fairly good on the 800s.
27C, 60% but didn't feel too hot.

Thursday - 90 mins
Friday - Rest, gym
Saturday - 13k with 2k x 3 in 9:10, 9:11, 9:13 (4 mins. walk)
Very hot (34C) but worked hard.

Sunday - 9:00: 30 mins. with my daughter, visiting from Singapore.
3:30: 60 mins.

July 24 ~ 30

5:28, 53.7km

Monday - 60 mins
Tuesday - resting for TT tomorrow, gym

Wednesday - 5,000m time trial
Wanted to go under 21:00, but ran 21:02.
Splits were 4:12/17/11/14/08
Felt pretty good - 2nd 1000 was too slow as I was following a guy and he slowed down. Went around him when I realized the pace was too slow. Kicked as well as possible on a very humid night (actual humidity 99%). 27C
Still have hopes of going under 20 on a cool day in the fall.

Thursday - 60 mins on stiff, heavy legs.
Friday - rest and gym
Saturday - Club trip to seaside town of Kamakura for a 9.8k run up in the hills. Very easy pace first 2k, then 3 2k loops each getting faster and pushing the uphills, then 2k back as best I could in the heat. It was very hot!

Sunday - 90 mins and legs didn't feel too bad.
Monday - 60 mins.
Tuesday - may do a short run in the morning if I have time. Leaving for Portland, Maine about 11:00am. Beach to Beacon 10K is on Sat. Aug. 5. Seems like the weather there is cool - around 20C/68F in the morning. Hoping for a good run.

July 18, 2017

2 Good Training Weeks

Week of July 3 ~ 9

8:06 running time, 74.4km

Monday - 90 mins.
Tuesday - 60 mins. + gym workout

Wednesday - Interval workout 1000m x 6 in the park because the track is closed for two weeks.
4:10, 3:59, 4:02, 4:05, 4:05, 4:00
26°C, 98% humidity (after a typhoon just missed Tokyo)
Warmed up the first one, then felt fairly good.

Thursday - 90 mins.
Friday - Gym
Saturday - 10k with 2k tempo x 2
8:40 and 8:45.
Felt just ok. Very hot - 34°C, in the shade.
Only did two to save my legs for the trail tomorrow.

Sunday - 2:11:13 running time of constant up and down a trail - 17.4k - with 8 others.
Going at an easy pace - walking (climbing) up most of the steep parts (of which there are a lot). The heat - 32° didn't make it easier, even though it's mostly in the shade. As always on this course, ran the last 2.8k all out - no steep parts but continual ups and downs.

Weight was about 59kg all week.

Week of July 10 ~ 16

6:10 running time, 61.1km

Monday - 60 mins.
Tuesday - Gym - need two days of rest this week.

Wednesday - In the park, 2000, 1000 x 3, 500 x 2
8:21, 4:02, 4:06, 4:02, 500s about 1:56
30°C and 77% humidity made for tough conditions. Felt ok and worked hard.

Thursday - 90 mins
Friday - Gym
Saturday - 6k tempo run in 28:09, which averages to 4:42/k
Well, it was hot - 35-36° (95-97F). Tried to keep pushing the pace.

Sunday - 90 mins. and legs felt pretty good.

Temperatures were 32 and above every day. Weight was about 59kg.

Sunday evening went to the annual samba festival in my town. Not of course, to ogle the girl dancers, but because I feel it's my duty as a good citizen to support the town's big event.

July 3, 2017

Sinusitis, Time Trial

Week of June 19 ~ 25

After having a cold, or probably some type of virus since colds don't last that long, I developed sinusitis on Wednesday. This occurs when you have a cold/virus, and your sinus cavities fill with fluid. Germs get into the fluid and the area becomes infected. The result is pain in the sinus area, the left side in my case, which can be quite intense. As it was on thursday, when it radiated all the way down to my jaw, causing my back teeth on the left side to be extremely sore - like, sore to the touch and impossible to chew on that side. I just kept popping ibuprofen until the pain was manageable.
Needless to say, I didn't run thursday or friday. By saturday it was not too bad, so was able to do a long interval workout of 4K, 3K, 2K at around 4:30-4:40 per k. I still had chest congestion and it was very hot as well.
Did an easy 90 mins. on Sunday, with some coughing and slight sinus pain.

Note: There are home remedies for sinusitis, like breathing in steam, but they don't work very well on a bad case. Antibiotics work, but I stay away from those. And it can last for many weeks. Hopefully mine won't, but one week later and I still have discomfort when I lie down - it's ok when I'm upright. Unfortunately, you have to lie down to go to bed.

Week of June 26 ~ July 2

Monday - 60 mins.
Tuesday - 60 mins. and gym workout.
Wednesday - 5,000m time trial, but I took it easy (23:21) because the big multi-club time trial is tomorrow.
Thursday - 5,000m time trial in 21:15. Not bad, but not particularly good. I felt ok, but just didn't have it to go faster. Had people to run with, too. I still have some chest congestion, so that might have been a factor, along with warm, humid weather. Not hot, though, it was at 7pm.
I hope I can run faster at the end of July, to set myself up for the 10K race on Aug. 5 in the US.

Friday - 50 mins, gym workout. Legs felt ok.
Saturday - 70 mins. including 3k x 2 at 4:39 and 4:37 pace. Felt ok, but legs a bit tired. Just after a rain, so VERY humid.
Sunday - 120 mins. A long, tiring run.
Totals for the week were 7:45 running time and 76.8km.
My weight is down to 59kg and staying there, so that's good.

June 18, 2017

Good Trail Workout

Week of June 12 ~ 18

8:02 running time  75.6k

Monday - 60'  My runny nose from 7 days ago has turned into a real cold.
Tuesday - 60' and gym workout. 18C and felt very chilly.
Wednesday - 1200, 1000 x 2, 800 x 3, 400
5:03, 3:53, 3:54, 3:06, 3:10, 3:16, 87
Chest cold affected me - coughing on the 1200, which is not a good sign.
Was breathing ok on the 1000s, however. Then on the 800s I was feeling weak and also my quads were hurting, I suppose from 4 hours running in the last 3 days.

Thursday - 90' - felt ok, but slight cough
Friday - rest, gym
Saturday - 73' - 6k WU, 4k tempo, 2k
Ran the 4k at 4:37/k, not pushing hard because I still have congestion and also will be doing a hard trail run tomorrow.
28C, but a cool breeze in the park. Weight is down to 59.3kg

Sunday - 18.6k, of which about 14 is an unending series of steep up/down/up/down, etc. With lots of roots and stones. Running with 4 other guys and 3 girls - but ran most of it with one of the guys.
Very easy out and back until 3k to go, at which point I went hard to the finish (as I always do on this course). That 3k is rolling up and down but more down than up.
For most of the way, I had to walk up a lot of the steep uphills, more so than in the past. 20 years ago I would run the whole way, but no more. Still a very hard workout, though, great for building leg strength.
It was cool in the woods (it's all woods), but very humid, so not ideal conditions.
All in all, a very pleasant run followed by an even more pleasant soak in a hot spring and then beer and soba noodles.

June 11, 2017

Training Program

But first, the week that was.

June 5 ~ 11
Total 7:35   75.9km

Monday - 60'
Tuesday - 60'
Wednesday - 50' Track workout of 1000 x 6
3:57, 56, 54, 56, 59, 46
Didn't feel too good on the first two, but then felt better. Planned to go hard on the last one. Back to the A group! (We have so many people on wednesday nights that we have to run two groups, each of which has about 40 people. The A group is people running under 4:00 per k pace.)
All together, there are 300-400 runners on the track (but not always at the same time). That's running in Tokyo!

Thursday - 90'
Friday - Gym workout
Saturday - 75' with 6k warmup, then 2k x 3.
8:38 (20/18), 8:42 (18/24), 8:47 (21/26).
Cut recovery time from last week's 3:30 to 2:30 walk.
Felt pretty good and worked pretty hard.
It was hot - 29C/84F - but cloudy so didn't feel so hot.

Sunday - 120'

So here's my latest basic training program.
The one I'm doing now is aimed at preparing for a race, and is as above, with maybe some variations on Saturday. (10K race on Aug. 5.)
At other times, the basic plan will be:
F - rest, gym
S - 120'
S - 120'
M - 120'
T - 60' + gym
W - 60' intervals
T - 120'
Which is 10 hours of running, 9 at an easy/comfortable pace, total about 96k.
Decided to rest on Fridays, due to DOMS from wednesday and to recover for the days ahead.

June 5, 2017

A 5.8km "5K", TT and More

Week of May 15 ~ 21

All runs at fairly easy pace unless indicated.

7:25 running time, 70.7km
Monday - 90'
Tuesday - 60'
Wednesday - club track workout
1200 x 2, 1000 x 2, 800 x 2
4:48, 4:36, 3:49, 3:51, 3:07, 3:10 (intervals abt 3:30 jog/walk)
Felt pretty good, especially second 1200. Nice to be down at 3:50 for the 1000s. Calves were sore on the 800s, so eased up.

Thursday - Rest
Friday - 38' with 3k at tempo pace + gym
Saturday - 120'
Sunday - 43'  Watched the Grand Prix track meet in Kawasaki with some big stars and several good races.

Week of May 22 ~ 28
2:39  28.2km

Monday & Tuesday - Far East HS track meet
Wednesday - 1600, 1000 x 3, 800, 400
6:21, 3:57, 3:59, 4:11, 3:22, 1:40
Tried to run fast on the 1600, but it was still pretty slow!
Calves and right inner thigh got sore from second 1000, so slowed down.

Thursday & Friday - Rest
Saturday - TELL Charity Runathon 5K
Turned out to be 5.8km! So I'm no longer the race director, and they screwed up! Didn't matter though, it was not a serious race anyway. Plus it was hot and we were running into the wind coming back. So...25:20, which works out to 21:48. I didn't like the dirt path, either...
Sunday - 40'

Oh, and the 24th was my birthday, one of those milestone ones, but not for me, as I do my best to ignore birthdays, and if anyone asks I tell them 45 (actually I tell them you're as old as you look, think and feel), but some club guys gave me a dinner party with "a few close friends" which turned out to be 26 people. It was a fun evening.

Week of May 29 ~ June 4
6:51  70.4km

Monday - 50'
Tuesday - 40'+ gym
Wednesday - 5,000m time trial
21:17 (4:10/16/18/21/12)
Wanted to run 21:00, so not too bad, but of course, I want to/think I should be running 20:00.
Had a good woman runner to follow after 1200, which was good because I would have slowed if running by myself.

Thursday - Rest
Friday - 40' and 60' with a gym workout in the middle.
Saturday - 6k warmup, 2k x 2, 1.5k warmdown
2Ks: 8:45 (20/25), 8:41 (21/20), 8:46 (25/21) 3:30 walk in between.
27C/81F, 60.8kg (need to get down under 59)
Followed running guru Harrisson's advice to do 2k intervals and felt pretty good on each one.
This is part of gearing up for the Beach to Beacon 10K race on August 5 in Portland, Maine (one of the best 10Ks in America). Goal pace at this point is 4:10 per km, so wanted to run 4:20~30, which I did.
Sunday - 90' - legs felt ok at an easy pace.

May 15, 2017

Feeling Better

Week of May 1 ~ 7
This was a recovery week from the 10K last Saturday. I have to take it easy for a week or even two after a race or else I get injured. Of course the race time was only 43, not 38, but still best to be cautious. Monday and very easy the next three days.
Friday I did 100 mins., split into two runs with a gym workout in between.
Saturday was 80 mins, legs still feeling heavy.
Sunday 66 mins,  feeling a bit better.

The two highlights of the week were first, the Breaking2 run by Kipchoge, of which I watched the last half. Just mesmerizing. I was blown away not only by the final time, but by the fact that at 30k, he looked better than the pacers! Such wonderful running form.
And second, the Namban Rengo Beer Mile on Sunday, which I am not crazy enough to participate in, but had a lot of fun watching and timing. Check out the great article about it on our website at

Week of May 8 ~ 14
Monday and Tuesday - 50 mins, easy runs with the HS track team.
Wednesday - intervals at the track, 800, 1000, 1200, 1200, 1000, 800.
Felt good, like I was actually running at a good pace, for the first time in a very long time. Warmed up the first 800, then did a 3:51 1000, 4:45 1200s (3:59 at the 1000), 3:49 1000 and 3:02 800. Not blazingly fast by any means, but nice to be down at 3:50/k again.
It was a coolish 17C, but about 80% humidity. No wind. Not a bad night for running.
Thursday was very easy, Friday was 50 mins, gym, 50 mins.
Saturday I took a rest day, as I had run 11 days in a row.
Sunday did 120 mins at 6:00/k pace (20km), which is actually a little faster than I have been running, but still keeping in my comfort zone (the Ed Whitlock philosophy).

So that was 68k for the week, not so bad. Aiming for 80 and eventually, 100.

May 2, 2017

10K — Perhaps Best Forgotten

So I ran the 10K race on Saturday the 29th and found out...I'm not in very good shape.
43:18 and the course was probably 150m short, although the last 4k was uphill (gradual, but still....)
Just did not feel capable of moving very fast at all.

Week of 4/17 ~23

67km, 6:12 running time
The week was marked by a decent 8k tempo run with the kids on Monday, an interval workout where I did not feel good (as in, able to run fast) on Wednesday, and a 2 hour run on Friday.

Week of 4/24 ~ 30

Did two easy days, then cruised the 5,000m time trial in 23:00 on wednesday. Took off thursday and friday, travelling up to the hot spring resort area of Nasu Shiobara on Friday. It's in the mountains, one hour north of Tokyo by shinkansen bullet train. Very nice area. Went up with the wife, and Padraig from the club was also there with his family, so it was a nice weekend.
Except for the race. The weather was good, so no excuses there. I had been running for 10 weeks since recovering from the cracked kneecap, but only 5 of those were decent training weeks. So I wasn't expecting too much, in fact, said that I would be happy with 44 minutes. But once the race comes around, you go into it with the same feeling as other races, namely, that you will go out at a good pace and hold it or pick it up. This was not to be, as I went out at about 4:15/k, did all right on the downhill section, but then got slower and slower. All kinds of old, feeble-looking dudes were passing me. At least that's how it seemed, although I suppose they were running fairly well.
Was only 14th in the 60s (out of 182), which is the lowest I ever finished a race.

Ok, so I'm not in great shape! I get it. I'll work on that over the next few months.

April 16, 2017

More Running, Less Eating!

That's my mantra these days, for getting into better shape and losing weight. Now to see if I can actually do it.

Week of April 3 ~ 9

This was pre-mantra, and I only ran 49k with two days off. Did a decent tempo run on monday and a good 1000m x 6 workout on wednesday night, averaging about 4:14 with the last one at 4:08. Not sure if the distance was exact, as we ran a slightly different loop due to many cherry blossom viewing revelers in the park, but it was pretty close.
Weight was around 61.5kg

Week of April 10 ~ 16

Once again, only ran 5 days due to cold rain on Tuesday and HS track meet on Saturday, but got up to 70k with two good workouts and three long runs.

Monday was a moderate tempo run with the kids, Wednesday was 1200 x 3, 800 x 2, 400 x1, as we were back on our track (!) after more than a year. That called for 12s and 8s rather than the 1000s we've been doing for so long.
Ran at about a 4:08/1000m pace, despite not feeling great, there being a strong wind on the homestretch and the track being absolutely packed with people (several hundreds). Seemed like all the clubs were happy to be back.

Thursday - 100 mins. although had two long rests as I ran to school then to the track (HS team practice), then home.

Friday - 50 mins and 70 mins, with a gym workout in between. Two-a-days seems like a good idea to save some wear and tear on the legs. I'll try to do more of these, especially when track season is over.

Sunday - 90 mins., after "exercising" for about two hours cleaning up leaves, weeds and so on around the house.

Weight down to around 60.5kg.

Nice to see the NY Times article, "To add years to your life, running is the best way." Results of a large study showed that "if every non-runner who had been part of the reviwwed studies took up the sport, there would have been 16 percent fewer deaths over all (sic), and 25 percent fewer heart attacks." And "The good news is that prolonged running does not seem to become counterproductive for longevity."

But we knew that, didn't we?

April 3, 2017

Making Progress

Over the past month, my knee has been fine - no pain at all - and I've been working myself back into shape. I'm getting there, but not really in good shape yet.

Week of Mar 6~12
6 runs of 50-60 mins., 50km, Wednesday night 1000s were about 4:25.

Week of Mar 13~19
5 runs with one 80 mins., 44km, wed 6 1000s aver abt. 4:20
Good 8k tempo run with HS team on Monday - 5 hilly loops, had to work to stay with top girls the last 2.

Week of Mar 20~26
6 runs of 60,70,80 mins., 60km, wed 1000s in 4:20
Another Monday tempo run, as above.

Week of Mar 27~Apr 2
6 runs of abt 60 and one 80 min, 64km, 5k time trial on wed. in 21:46.
Happy enough with the time trial, since I had been doing 4:20 1000s but averaged the 5k in 4:21.
Then did a 17k run on Sunday at about 5:50/k (usual pace is over 6:00), with no soreness or ill effects.

Hoping to be in good enough shape to run the 10k race on the 29th in a time that won't be embarrassing.

March 2, 2017

Running Again

Hi - it's been awhile. I took two months off - one month during which my cracked kneecap was still painful, and one more month for the healing process to hopefully complete.

It seems as though it did, as I began running almost two weeks ago, and have been pain-free. Started with just 30 very slow minutes a day, then tried two runs of 50 minutes and last night did an interval workout (!). The pace was still quite easy - 5 mins. per km - but was quite a bit faster than I had been running.

No pain at all, so I'll continue building up gradually and hope to be in some kind of shape two months from now. I entered a 10K race on April 29, so that's my target for being able to run 10K without embarrassing myself.

January 15, 2017

Cracked Kneecap

Great way to start the year!
I was in Singapore, visiting my daughter and loving the warm weather. She lives 2km from the Botanic Gardens, so did two runs there, which were very enjoyable.

Was planning to do the Park Run on Saturday Dec. 24, but on Thursday, disaster struck.
My daughter has two cats, which love to escape from the apartment and go one flight up to the roof, where it's difficult to catch them. So we're careful about the front door. I had it open to get the newspaper, having checked that the cat was across the room. Well, the cat was faster than I thought. It zoomed across the room and out the door. I lunged after it and went down hard. Hit my left knee, left hand and left big toe. The knee was intensely painful, I was almost in shock from the pain.

After a while it lessened, but it was still difficult to walk. And it stayed that way for the next three weeks, so I couldn't take advantage of the beautiful greenery and weather to run in Singapore. Very frustrating.

I bought a knee support and managed to walk around with only slight pain and taking stairs slowly. Went to Gardens By the Sea, Marina Bay Sands, the zoo, Sentosa Island and Jurong Bird Park (which we liked a lot - great bird show). And of course, lots of shopping and eating out. I love Singapore - really want to live there!

I thought it was quite possible that I had a small fracture, but didn't bother going to a doctor down there, since whether it was or not, there's nothing to do but rest until it gets better.

After arriving back home, I went to a hospital for an X-ray (last Thursday), which showed a crack right in the center of the knee. Not a large one, but clearly visible. And the doctor said...all you can do is wait until it heals, two or three months. My ring and middle fingers also still hurt, but the x-rays were negative.

Too bad, since I had been getting into good shape, but, them's the breaks (ha ha).
I'll let you know when I start up again. At least when I do, my hamstrings and everything else will be well rested.