October 26, 2014

Managed an Easy 10K

Week of Oct. 20 ~ 26

Rested Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, as the hamstring was still sore. Then Harrisson, the Frenchman who knows everything about everything, or at least everything about everything that he is interested in (obsessive knowledge-gatherer, in a good way), told me I should be doing "active recovery," explaining to me how the muscle fibers in my leg work.

So I jogged a bit on Thursday, 6k on Friday, a bit on Saturday and then did 10k on today at the Namban Rengo 10K, Half and barbecue. Did it in 50:03, so 5:00 per k, which is better than a jog but certainly not a quick pace. It was a bit sore, but didn't get worse, so that was good.

I thought I should stretch it a bit at the halfway point, but that was a mistake - made it feel worse.

It did feel somewhat more sore afterwards, but not really in the hamstring - more like the lower butt/glute, which is where I originally thought it was. So I guess it's not actually a strained hamstring, which seems to be a good thing, but it doesn't really matter, I just need it to get better fairly soon, as I have a Half on Nov. 16th, which is my main Fall race. 3 weeks away, so hopefully it will be ok by then.

At any rate I was actively recovering today, I hope.

By the way, it was a beautiful day, about 26° - too hot for some, but I prefer the heat. We had 80 people out for the club event, held along the wide bank of the Tama river in the southern part of Tokyo. Both the races and BBQ were great fun, and I drank a lot of Australian wine and ate a huge amount of food (we even threw some shrimp on the barbie, mate, as Paul Hogan used to say).

October 20, 2014

Hammy Niggle

Week of Oct. 13 ~ 19

That's right, 13km. I rested for two days after Sunday's 10K race, then assuming all was fine, went out for the club interval workout Wednesday night. Ha ha, no, we do not do intervals as the first workout after a race! Said my hamstring to me, as it became painful on the second interval. Hey, I wasn't even going that fast, but...too fast, obviously. So I jogged a few 400s, which was also a mistake, should have just shut it down completely.

Anyway, rested Thursday and Friday, then ran an easy 8k on Saturday, but only because an old friend was visiting from the states and wanted to do a run and dinner. Fortunately, he's no gazelle and was content to jog around slowly. Hammy was slightly sore, but not bad and didn't get any worse.

Now I'm just resting until it gets completely better, another day or two or whatever.

Have a club 10K run next Sunday, so I hope to be ready for a good run there. Then my main race is a Half on Nov. 16th, which I WILL be ready for.

So kiddies, today's lesson is: always be even more cautious than you think is necessary.

Until next week....

October 12, 2014

10k Race - 38:51 - 3rd Age Group

Week of Oct. 6 ~ 12
44.5km / 27.6 mi.

No school due to typhoon in morning, but actually it was just a hard rain storm, and it cleared up at noon.
3:00 - 14k with 7 easy out, 7 hard in. 1:15:30, splits 45:38/31:51 @6:14/4:33/km.
Felt good coming back, helped by a (mostly) tailwind.
26C/79F, 45%

Weights and core at the gym.

7:30 club track workout. 12.5k with 1200, 1000 x 2, 800 x 3, 400.
4:54, 3:49, 49, 3:07, 10, 12, 85.
Felt ok. 1200 was warmup, Ran the 1000s well, eased up a bit on the 800s and 400.
Starting to taper for Sunday's race.
20C/68F, 65%

12:30 - 8k easy. Legs tired.
HS X-country meet. Before this year, no American School in Japan boy had ever broken 15:00 on the course (a hard, hilly 4.4km) - that's about 30 years. Today, we had 3 under 15:00 - quite amazing.

Rest. Gym workout.


Nagareyama 10K road race. 38:51, 3rd in 60s age group out of 368 men. Overall 157 out of about 3,600 total. It was in Chiba prefecture, 2 hours travel from home.
I felt good and ran well. Knew there were two 60s ahead of me, but couldn't catch them (they started further ahead). They ran 37:45 and 38:14, so were well ahead. Thought I was in 3rd, but wasn't really thinking about it, was just trying to run a good time. Held back a bit the first 7k, then went harder, but even so the first 5k was faster than the second.
Splits: 3:46/57/51/48/49/52/4:05/54/56/53. Not sure why the 7th was slow - there was a hill and I guess I slowed a bit. Worked hard the last 3k, mostly running alone.
My goal was to run in the 38s and win the age group or at least be in the top 3, so was happy to accomplish that.
Course was pretty flat, a few short hills, nothing difficult. Weather was perfect - 21C/70F, no wind.
This was a really good race from all viewpoints (except I only got a medal and a small towel), I wish I had known about it in previous years.
Next year I'll go back and run 38:00.
But in order to do that, I have to think about my training. The race effort was really much harder than anything I do in training. Of course, that will always be the case, but...it should be "harder", not "MUCH harder." I need to do more to prepare for race efforts. Maybe I will take an extra day off - Friday - and go harder on Saturday. Instead of 3k intervals, do a hard 10k effort. Or a hard/long hill workout.
I have a half marathon next month (16th), which I think is going to be very tough.

October 5, 2014

From Good to Bad, Weather-wise

Week of Sept. 29 ~ Oct. 5
64.5km / 40 mi.
Would have been 78k with a 14k run on Sunday, but bagged it.

3:30 - 14k, 8k easy with the kids, 6k tempo alone at 4:43/4:30 (3k/3k).
Felt fine on the tempo run. A beautiful day for running!
26C/79F, 60%, sunny

Rest. No time to go to the gym.

7:30pm. 15.5km. 7.7k + 800m warmup. 1000m x 6.
3:57/49/47/50/47/38 (2:30~3:00 200m jog + walk)
Felt good, ran hard, pushed the last one.
20C/68F but very humid.

3:30 - 9.5k with 2 easy 300m hills.
26C/79F, sunny

3:30 - Team 5k time trial in the park (flat, w/ 5 small hills)
20:07 - Ran hard. First two miles 6:31, 6:47. Running alone after the first mile, trying to catch the boy ahead of me, who is our 10th boy (strong team). Didn't quite catch him. But beat the other 15 boys and of course all of the girls. Top girl ran 21:12, which is pretty good for a HS girl on a practice day, and a hot day to boot. (They don't have a meet tomorrow.)
27C/81F, sunny, felt a bit hot.

2:30 - 18K easy in 1:47:00. 6:12 out, 5:42 in.
25C/77F, 70% (rain coming).

Chilly with fairly hard rain, didn't feel like going out in it. Legs are tired, so a rest day, or probably two, since a big typhoon will hit tomorrow morning, is ok. The weather may clear by late afternoon, however.

September 28, 2014

Only 50K But 4 Hard Runs

Week of Sept. 22 ~ 28
50.5km / 31.4 mi.

This is what happens when I start running with the HS kids: shorter and harder.

3:30 - 10k including 4-mile tempo run with the 4 top varsity girls.
Mile splits: 7:25/6:57/6:55/6:44. Total 29:01 @4:32/km.
I felt good and the girls also had no problem with the pace. The pace was supposed to be 7:07, but we were so slow on the first mile (so much for me as the pacer) that we sped up and just kept going at a high pace. BTW, this is a loop in a park with one hill and quite a bit on dirt paths. It's not run on a track.
Didn't feel hot, but the humidity was very high.

12:00 - Weights and core at the gym.

7:30pm - 8k incl. club 5,000m time trial. 19:24
Splits: 3:50/56/53/57/48.
Felt tired all day, but good once the running started.
Was following Padraig, but he slowed on the 2nd 1000 so went past him and then had no one to follow. But felt good on the last k. Next month, Padraig!
22C/72F, high humidity (rained just before)
58.4 (but much lower at night, didn't eat much during the day)

3:30 - With JV boys 8.5k incl. 4 x 300m hill moderate pace and with Varsity girls 2 x 500m hill fairly hard.
So not really a "hard" workout, but not so easy, either.
26C/79F and again, high humidity.

12:00 - Weights and core at the gym
No time to run, but had decided on a rest day anyway as legs are sore.

3:30 - 14k with 4k warmup, then 4k,3k, 2k at a pretty respectable pace.
4k: 16:43 (4:09/14/20/20) 5' walk
3k: 12:42 (4:15/16/11) 4' walk
2k: 7:56 (3:57/59)
Felt good on all of them.
22C/72F, 60%, cloudy - felt cool.

4:00 - 10k very easy.
25C/77F, 60%

September 21, 2014

Good 5K x 2 Workout

Week of Sept. 15 ~ 21
72km / 44.7 mi.

3:30 - 12k in 1:07:50 - 36:26/31:23 @6:04/5:14 per km.
No school, easy day.
25C/77F, 60%

Tuesday - Weights and core at the gym.

3:30 - 5.5k with kids - included 5 x 500m hill at moderate pace.
7:30 - track workout. 11.4k with 1600, 1000 x 2, 800 x 2, 400 x 2.
6:24, 3:46/42, 3:05/05, 88/91(jog/walk from 3:00 down to 1:30 in between).
Good workout, ran the 1000s hard, eased up on the 800s and 400s.
Abt. 24C/75F

3:30 - Intervals with varsity girls. 7.1k with 400 x 2, 800 x 3, 400 x 2.
Cruising pace at about 94 for 400s, 3:23 for 800s. (1 min. after 4s, 1.5 min after 8s)
26C/79F, sunny

12:00 - Weights and core at the gym.
3:30 - 12k in 1:11:52 36:45/35:06 @6:07/5:53.
Easy, legs tired.

Am - running around the 5k x-country course, including up/down an 800m hill 3x, but won't count this, as i was mostly standing around.
Our top 3 boys all ran in the 16:40s, on a course with two big hills, so quite good.
3:00 - 14k with 5k x 2 fairly hard: 21:27 and 21:25. 6:00 walk in between. This was good, as I expected to run 22:30 or over. Didn't look at the 1000m splits while running.
22C/72F - cool!, 65%, cloudy

1:00 - 10k easy in 59:50.
26C/79F, sunny.                                                                                                

Looking forward to the 5,000m time trial on Wednesday.

September 14, 2014

80K On The Nose

Week of Sep. 8 ~ 14
80km / 49.7 mi.

3:30 - 14k. 8k from school along back streets to the Tamagawa river and back with the varsity girls. 24:00 4k out, 20:38 in.
The 6k alone in the park at tempo pace: 4:32/31/30/27/34/20.
Felt so-so on the 8k, but good on the 6k. I call these runs "tempo" but actually I couldn't go much faster even if I wanted to (given that I did 3 "hard" workouts in the previous 6 days).
24C/75F, 80%

12:00 - Weights and core at the gym.

7:30pm - Club track workout. 11.6k with 1200, 1000 x 2, 800 x 3, 400.
4:59, 3:50, 3:51, 3:00, 3:01, 2:55, 87 (2:50 jog/walk after first 3, 2:10 walk after 800s).
Sluggish on the 1200, then felt ok. Ran hard.
23C/73F, Very humid (had rained just before).

3:30 - 10.4k with 2k warmup, 100m x 4 strides, 800 x 3, 400 x 2, 400 x 2 with varsity girls.
3:22/22/21, 94/100, 98/88 (90 sec after 800s, 60 sec after 400s)
First meet is on Saturday, so the purpose was not to run fast, just to run at about race pace (race is 3.3km for girls).
Then 4k in the park @5:20/k.
21C/70F, 85%
56.7kg !

12:00 - Weights and core at the gym.
3:30 - 14k in 1:24:20 @6:00/k. (6:13/5:50) Legs tired.
26C/79F, 60%

3:00 - 18k in 1:38:27. Out 55:00 @6:07, in 43:27 @4:50.
Didn't feel so good going out, legs felt weak, but was ok after stretching. Last 2k were 4:31/29.
26C/79F, 60%

3:00 - 12k very easy. Legs stiff and tired.
26C/79F, 50% - a beautiful day!

Saturday morning was the first American School cross-country meet. Slightly too warm and humid, but pretty good weather for running. Our kids did great. In fact, our top boy, Evan Yukevich, ran the fastest time ever by an ASIJ boy on that course! Shocked us all. 14:57 for 4.4k, and it's a tough course. 3rd fastest time ever on that course, and that's more than 30 years of races. And he's only a junior. Obviously, running with the Namban club this summer helped him.... :)
Our second boy was only 15 seconds behind him, and third was another 15 seconds back. 4th and 5th are also pretty good, so we have a powerful boys team. Our top girl was not there, but 2nd and 3rd girls ran very well - faster than we expected. They came in 2nd and 3rd out of all schools, and they are only a 10th and 9th grader. So it should be an exciting season.