November 20, 2016

Successful Half in 1:33:52, 6th Place

Week of Nov. 14 ~ 15

Not a training week, a tapering week for the Half on Sunday.

Monday & Tuesday — rest after the 17k of hills on Sunday. Quads sore!

Wednesday - 12k with 1000 x 5 and 500 x 2 easy - 5:00/k pace. Quads still sore.

Thursday — 40 minutes easy. Quads seem ok but legs still tired.

Friday & Saturday — rest

Toda Half Marathon in Saitama prefecture, just a little north of Tokyo.
My favorite race, nice course twice around a lake, flat except for two small hills (x2).
Weather was good, about 18C/64F, sunny. One of those days where it's warm in the sun and cool/chilly in the shade - perfect for running. There was a slight wind, against or behind depending on where you were on the course, but not much of a factor.
My plan (hope) was to run under 1:35. That required kilometers of 4:30, which would be 1:34:56. So I wanted to pick up the last 6k, if possible, to be sure of getting under it. In previous years I have done that on this course, so I was hoping that I would be mentally prepared and physically capable of doing it again.

All went according to plan, as my 5k splits were:
22:31 (4:25/29/36/28/32)
22:31 (4:31/26/25/32/38)
22:22 (4:23/30/34/24/29)
21:50 (4:20/20/17/20/32) (seemed like the 10k and 20k mats were a bit wrong)
Last km 4:15, last 0.1km 0:25

I had guys to run with most of the way, and when I didn't there were people ahead to chase (about 2,500 in the race - there was also a 10K with 1,500 and a 5K with 1,000).

By the way, another goal was to finish in the top 6 in the 60s age group - top 6 get prizes.
So an added incentive the last 6k was that I could see (there are several switchbacks that made this possible) two guys 50m and 100m ahead who looked like being in the 60s age group, so I wanted to pass them...which I did, between 16 and 17k.
Then with 2k to go, I noticed another guy ahead so pushed the aching legs to try to catch him. Halved the distance, but couldn't get him. Fortunately, he finished 5th and I was 6th.

So the last 2k was a bit tough, but all in all I felt good and ran a good race.
The prize was a towel...but a nice towel.
I'm pretty sure I can go faster with more training aimed at the Half distance, so I'll try to run another one next April (no winter races for me). I ran 1:28:27 just 3 years ago....
And by the way, I have the second fastest time at this race for the 60s age group - a 1:23:15 when I was 60.
Did I say 60? Wait, I just turned 40....

November 13, 2016

Another Good Week-Ending run

Week of Nov. 7 ~ 13

68.7km / 42.7 mi.    7:09 running time

Two days rest after the Half effort on Sunday.

Club workout - 2000m x 3. Total 12.2k
Started ok, but legs felt very tired, so slowed. 2nd and 3rd quads were sore, so took it very easy.

70 minutes very easy.

80 minutes, at a decent pace coming back.
Also a gym workout.
11C, slight rain

90 minutes very easy.

17.4k trail run (123 minutes) with 10 other people on my favorite Ome trail.
A bear has been sighted out there recently, so the hikers (of which there are not many) all had bells, but he/she didn't show.
This is the trail with constant up/down and a large number of very steep places, where you step up rocks and roots - very good for the leg muscles. We went out at a very easy pace, and picked up a bit coming back. About I guess 2.7k from the end is a spot where I always used to go hard, so muscle memory kicked in and I kicked in to the end. It's rolling up/downs, with a long downhill to the finish. I used to run that stretch (5 years and more ago) in around 11:00 on my fast days, and today did 12:19, which was pretty good on tired legs.
So a good workout, which together with last Sunday's tempo-paced Half, should hold me in good stead for the Half next Sunday. Serious tapering this week!

November 6, 2016

Nice Half Marathon Tempo Run

Week of Oct. 31 ~ Nov. 6

79.3km / 49.3 mi.  7:38 running time

109 mins. (17k), split up into three parts, middle part easy with HS girls team.

Rest day; gym workout

Club workout 1000m x 6 in Yoyogi Park.
Felt pretty good, had another guy to run with on each one.
Planned to kick the last 500m and did.
11C/52F, 75%, chilly

Same as Monday, with 10 mins. pickup in the middle 6k with the girls.

Gym workout and then 80mins easy run. Legs feeling tired.

Rest for Half tempo run tomorrow.

Namban Rengo 10K/Half and BBQ. We had almost 100 people (inc. kids) come out to the Tama riverside for some serious racing (?) and some serious eating and drinking (!).
I had planned on doing 10K, but realized that a Half at tempo pace would be good training, and a good test, two weeks before my Half race. Was thinking of doing about a 4:45/k pace, and clubmate Yuichi planned the same as a training run for his marathon in two weeks, so we stuck together for 15K at 4:50 pace, which we settled into naturally. The course was 5k out and back (extra 1.1k after 10k) and the wind was with us going out, which you don't notice, and against us coming back, which we did notice, as it was damn strong. Time was 1:43:17, with about 40 seconds water breaks. 5k splits were 24:00/24:18/24:03/24:26 (plus the 1.1k extra), so it was a good effort. Legs were getting a bit tired and tight the last few k, but had no problems.
Now to see if I can get under 1:35 for the Half on Nov. 20. I don't consider that a great time, but I also don't think I'm really in half marathon shape.

October 31, 2016

Still Showing Progress

"Progress" as compared to the last year, not, of course, compared to 3 or even 2 years ago (38:51 10K).
Anyway, I'm running better than I have in a while.

Week of Oct. 10 ~ 16
Very easy week after the 10K race, with 3 days off and 4 light days.

Week of Oct. 17 ~ 23
64.7km / 40.2 mi.   6:32
Rest on Monday, then a 5mile/8k tempo run on Tuesday with one of the x-country girls at a 4:36/k pace, so not a bad run.
After which took it very easy on wednesday, rest on thursday and easy on fri, sat, sun with legs still a bit tired.

Week of Oct. 24 ~ 30
75.9km / 47.2 mi.   7:33
Monday - 8k easy
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 5,000m time trial on the track. 19:46, nice to be under 20:00 again.
Splits were 3:55/3:55/4:00/4:00/3:56.
Felt pretty good, followed two guys the first 2k, then was alone, but had people ahead to try to chase.
Temp was 22C/72F, but felt cool, however, the humidity was a very high 83%. Was drenched in sweat at the finish.
Weight: 58.7kg

Next four days were 100, 70, 70, 120 mins.
Friday was 12C and raining - it was really cold. That may sound silly, but I was wearing gloves and my hands were still really cold. A very unpleasant run, so I was proud of myself for getting out there, being I am not English or Irish.

Next two weeks will do some hard running, then taper for the Half on the 20th (for which I have no confidence of being able to run a decent time).

October 10, 2016

Surprisingly Good 10K

Week of Oct. 3 ~ 9

50.2k / 31.2 mi.    4:23 total time

19.2k to & from school + tempo run with x-c team.
4 mile tempo in 7:42/8:03/7:57/7:40 with some of the JV girls on our slightly hilly course.
Legs tired, so not such an easy run.
24C/75F, 90% (rain just before)

Tuesday - Gym workout

12.5k with easy 1000 x 6 all around 5:00.
Just cruised because legs tired, 5k run tempo tomorrow and race on Sunday.

5k tempo run with JV girls.
23:23 - the pace seemed faster and the first mile WAS faster, but that's what the watch said, so I guess it was right. Anyway, it was a nice moderately hard effort.
29C/84F, 60%

Friday and Saturday - rest

10K race in Nagareyama, Chiba pref.
39:58 which got me 4th in the 60s age group (out of 376).
193 overall out of 3,279 men.
Surprisingly good result, as it was only 14 seconds slower than last year, when I was in better shape. Also because my last two 5k time trials on the track were 20:04 and 20:28, so didn't think I could run under 40:00.
Also because it was raining fairly hard and there were lots of big puddles to splash through.
I missed some splits, but I think the 5k splits were 19:54, 20:04.
I felt good the whole way, although was constantly pushing to hold the pace. Followed a guy who I thought was in my age group (only one number in front, so couldn't see it) from 4k to 8k, then he pulled away (or I slowed). But I kept him within 10-15 meters and with 200m to go kicked a bit and caught up about halfway. So I decided to go for it and blasted the last 100m, which really surprised me. Caught and passed him, and then looked back to see his number and realized he was in the 50s.  Was very happy with that kick anyway.
I always run well at this race, will go next year and win the 70s age group.
24C/75F, 100% - rain (hard although not torrential) from 9:30 to 10:30, race started at 10:00)
Weight about 58.2kg

Next race is a half marathon on Nov. 19.

October 2, 2016

So-so Time Trial, Fun Ekiden

Sept. 19 ~ 25

79.3 km / 49.3 mi   8:06 total time

43.3 km / 26.9 mi   6:06 total time

120 mins with 2 long rests
To and from school, easy 10k run with x-country junior varsity boys.
22C/72F, 100%, light rain

Gym workout

Club workout - 2000 x 2, 1000, 500(?) x 2
8:21, 8:12, 3:57, 1:58, 1:47
Cool, but humid. Felt pretty good.
22C/72F, 80%

70 mins

Gym workout, 90 mins

70 minutes with 6k tempo run at 4:40/48/47/38/32/23.
Legs a bit heavy, but felt ok. Some rain, but even without the rain, the humidity is sort of oppressive. Been this way all week.
22C/72F, 93%, rain.

70 mins
Quads tight, legs very tired, but a nice day!

51 mins, 10k with 4 mile tempo run on slightly hilly course with 3 varsity girls (not the top girl, who was running 6:20 miles).
7:15, 7:15, 7:05, 7:05 (7:15 is 4:30/k)
26C/79F, very humid

Gym workout

5,000m time trial on a track.
20:28, 24 seconds slower than last month.
Very humid, but also legs didn't feel very fresh due I guess to the tempo run on Monday. Also had no one to follow.
Almost everyone ran slower than last month, although we did have 8 under 19:00, including a 3-time olympic woman triathlete (Kiyomi Niwata), who ran 18:29 as a tempo run.
27C/81F, 85%


Gym workout, 70 mins.

Charity ekiden to benefit the Special Olympics. Teams of from 4 to 10 run a 1.1km course for 3 hours, and there's a chip in the sash that keeps track of each team's total distance. An electronic board updates the team standings each lap, which is fun and interesting to watch.
We put in a team of 5 men and 5 women and surprisingly came in 5th out of 184 teams. Not a high level race, although the top four teams were pretty good runners (all men).
5 people ran 3 times, and 5 ran 4 times. I was planning on just an easy, fun day, jogging a lot in between, but our first runner came in 8th, then the second guy brought us down to 5th, so Christ, I guess we'll have to go all out to keep this place. Which we did - go all out on each lap, I mean.
It was cool, but very humid (85%), with some light rain, so not easy running. Lots of fun, though.
We got a podium (stage, actually) finish for 5th, although our prizes were only small red megaphones.

Easy 45 min run, 6.5k. Nice day!

Receiving certificate from Olympic marathon medalist Yuko Arimori.

Megaphones double as hats.

September 18, 2016

Two Good Weeks

Week of Sept. 5 ~ 11

85.2km / 52.9 mi.  8:38 total time

Week of Sept. 12 ~ 18

86.6km / 53.8 mi.   8:46 total time

Total of 115 mins., 18.4k. To school, with team, back home.
32C/90F, 44%, 20dp

Tues - Gym workout

Wed - 83 mins., 14.5k with 1000 x 6
Ran well, pushed each one, kicked last 200m of last one.
30C/86F, 65%

Thurs - 92 mins. To/from school, warmup with team.
Legs heavy!
27C/81F, 100%

Gym workout
71 mins., quads sore.

68 mins, 11.9k, ran last 4k at about 4:45/k pace.
30C/86F, 66%

89 mins., 15k

127 mins., 21.2k. To school, run with team, back.
10K with varsity boys, easy out, 5:10/k back. An easy day for them.
29C/84F, 70%

Tues - Rest

Wed - 58 mins., 10.5k with 1000 x 5, 500 x 2
4:01/02/04/03/3:56  2:01/1:55 (approx)
Felt ok, very humid!
25C/77F, 80%

Thurs - 91 mins., same as last week

Fri - 100 mins, 16k
24C/75F, 80%, rain off and on

Sat - 60 mins, 10K, w/4k tempo, same as last week

Sun - 90 mins, 14.4k. Legs a bit tired, but ok.
24C/75F, 86%, 22 dp