April 21, 2019

A Hot Half

Ran the Adachi Goshiki Sakura Half Marathon today. Adachi is an area of eastern Tokyo where the Arakawa river is, goshiki means five colors and sakura are cherry blossoms. I guess they have five kinds of sakura along the river.

Three other club members and I ran it and it was hot!! I was aiming for about 1:45 — 5:00/k pace, but assumed I would slow down after 15k, which is exactly what happened. Finished in 1:46:56, not bad, considering the heat (24C, bright sun) and that I hadn't run for 6 weeks in Feb/March and hadn't trained much for the race.

It was a nice race - maybe 300 in the 10k, 5-600 in the half. Lots of enthusiastic staff and pacers for about 7 different groups from 4:00 to about 7:00 per k. The pacers helped me a lot. The course was a 7k out and back, run 3 times.

Photos: With 5:00/k pacers and then starting to drift behind them at 16k.



April 18, 2019

Japan's First Parkrun

Thought you might be interested to know that the first parkrun in Japan was held on April 6.
It was held along the Tamagawa river, a little ways south of central Tokyo.
It was well attended - 343 people - and was a success, except that the first 20 runners got mis-directed and only ran 3k. 343 was quite good, since it wasn't promoted much to the Japanese running community - mostly on Facebook to English speakers.
My club had 30 people there.
It's too far from my house for me to go often (and I don't like running in the morning), but anyway, it's nice that parkrun made it to Japan.
Oh, and Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the founder of parkrun, was on hand for the first event, so that was cool.

My hamstring has healed - no pain at all for the past 3 weeks. I have a Half on Sunday, which I'll be able to run, but not at a quick pace. Too bad, as I had hoped to be in good shape for it, but happy that I'll at least be out there.

February 9, 2019

Nice Trip to Singapore, Then Pffft

Spent the end of December and early January training well, then went to Singapore on the 15th to visit my daughter. I love Singapore, truly love it - would move there if my wife would agree, but that will never happen. And I especially love it in the winter, as I hate cold weather.

So I had a great time running in the Botanic Gardens, which is only 2k from my daughter's apartment, and did two Parkruns — East Coast Park and Bishan. Interestingly, my time at both was exactly the same: 21:42. I guess that's what I'm capable of early in the morning, at 27° and 85% humidity. I worked hard at both of them, too. Also, I broke the age group records at both places, although...I hope I don't sound like I'm bragging, but 23:something was a pretty soft record, for me, anyway.

They were my first Parkruns, and yes, they're really nice events. Surprisingly, Parkrun will come to Japan in April, despite various obstacles, such as there being no parks in central Tokyo where you can have one. Apparently, they've found two parks in the suburbs, so we'll see if they catch on.

So....after returning, I rested for two days, did an easy 8k run and the next day (Sunday) went out for a 20k run. I thought this would be ok, as I had been doing 26k runs before going to Singapore. Well, it wasn't. At 18k my right hamstring started to hurt, badly enough that I immediately stopped. Tried a bit of a jog on Tuesday, still sore. Managed a slow jog Friday, but stopped at 4.5k rather than the planned 6k. Will try another slow jog on Monday.

Very annoying, and unexpected as well. You just never can tell, can you? I really don't think it's serious, but, well, annoying.

Fortunately, I don't have a serious race until mid-April, with a short 7.5k ekiden in March.

I'd like to blame it on the cold weather — I should go back to Singapore!