November 25, 2015

Ootawara 10K — Not What I Hoped For

Nov. 16 ~ Nov. 23

3:15 - 10k with 5k easy, 5k tempo at about 4:30.
21C, 56%

Gym workout

7:30pm - warmup 3.5k, 2000, 1000 x 3, 500 x 2.
8:01, 3:54, 56, 56, 1:58, 1:48 (500 dist. a bit off)
Legs tired, couldn't generate much speed.
David Sweeny from Brisbane led us through the workout.
Andrew Green from England (52-year-old 5000m world record holder - 15:32) and son Jack were also there.

8k easy

8K easy

Saturday and Sunday - rest

Ootawara 10K — 40:52, 14th in age group.
Didn't feel quite right from the start - nothing I could put my finger on, but just didn't seem to be running smoothly and strongly. Chilly weather and light rain did not help - I like warm weather!
First 3k were just over 4:00, next two were just under, then 4:02, 4:07, 4:11, 4:14, 4:14. I felt like I sped up the last 3k, but in fact slowed down, which was a bit strange and disheartening. Ran most of the way just behind or in front of another 60-year-old guy, so it's not like I was working all by myself.
Anyway, not a great result considering my last 10K a month ago was 39:40, but that's the way it goes sometimes.
Good result from David Sweeney, who ran 34:58 for 6th in his age group, which was 40-59. So at 54, he beat most of the 40-year-olds. Andrew unfortunately had achilles problems after 8k and just jogged in. Mike Trees ran 34:05 for 3rd in the same AG.
Next up is a 7.4k leg in the Okutama Ekiden on Dec. 6.

November 15, 2015

New Training Maxim

Week of Nov. 9 ~ 15

My new training maxim: As long as you're pain-free, you're training well.

61km / 38 mi.

3:00 - 12k, with 6k easy, 6k easy tempo
Second 6k was just about 5:00 pace for 4k, then 4:30 pace for 2k.
Did a 10k easy tempo run yesterday, so decided to do another today.
18C/64F, 80%. 18DP

Weight machines and core.

7:30 - 12k with club interval workout in the park. 2000 x 2, 1000, 500 x 2.
5k warmup. Intervals: 8:01, 7:53, 3:48, 1:54, 1:54. (4:30 after 2000s, 3:30 after 1000, 500)
Felt good, ran hard.
Had the pleasure of meeting David Sweeney at dinner. He's here from Oz visiting Mike Trees and will run the Otawara 10K on the 23rd, which I am also doing.
16C/61F, 40%, 5DP

8k easy

1:00 - Weight machines and core.
3:30 - 13k with hard 4k, 3k, 2k.
17:47 @4:27 (5min walk)
12:56 @4:19 (5min walk)
8:27 @4:14
Felt good and ran well. Good workout.
15C/59F. 55%, 6DP

Decided to take an extra rest day.

4:00 - 16k in 1:35:52, just about an easy 6:00 pace.
I go over one small bridge that goes over a road, but it's high enough to afford a view of Fuji-san. Clear day, golden sunset with blue mountain in the front of it - beautiful. Fuji is a long, long ways away (100km?), but it is so immense that it is visible from here and even from well north of Tokyo.

November 8, 2015

Nice Week with Two Fun Events

Week of Nov. 2 ~ 8

61.9km / 38.5 mi.

Rest - Far East HS cross-country championships at Camp Fuji (a HUGE US military area up near Mt Fuji, so big that they practice shooting their big guns there, and almost no one even knows it's there).
Once again, both our boys and girls took first place.

6k easy. Second day of the cross-country, the relay event (which our kids also won), during which I ran about 6k back and forth cheering for kids.

7:30pm - club workout in Yoyogi Park.
1000m x 6, however, the consensus was that it was about 5 seconds short.
3:44/40/41/41/43/38. Even so, not bad. Felt good and ran hard.
16C/61F, 60% DP9

7:30pm - 10k around the Imperial Palace with Eduardo, an ultra-marathoner from Spain who is doing an event called Tohoku Crossing, in support of the people of Tohoku and also to promote ties between Spain and Japan. He is from a town in Spain called Coria del Rio where a Japanese delegation went from Tohoku 400 years ago (!). Some of the Japanese stayed there, and today there are still about 700 people in the town with the name "Japon."
So we had 11 people out to run with him, and it was a very nice event (also supported by the Spanish Embassy).
He presented us with a beautiful, handmade ceramic plaque.

2:00 - Gym workout
3:30 - 10k with 3k x 2 at a good tempo. Wanted to run 4:10/k pace and ran 12:34 and 12:33. Felt good but had to work a bit to keep the pace.
It's very satisfying to plan a workout and then do exactly what you wanted to, feeling good at the end.
19C/66F, 40%, DP7

8k easy.

Namban Rengo 10K and Half, followed by a BBQ. Planned the 10k as a tempo run at 4:30, but was asked by one of our women members (Naoko) to pace her under 48:00, so ran at 4:45 pace and finished in 47:34. Raining, but a nice run. We had about 80 people out for the event. (Didn't want to go all-out because my goal 10K race is 8 days away on the 23rd.)

November 1, 2015

Rolling Along

Week of Oct. 26 ~ Nov 1

65km / 40 mi.
Typical good week with three hard workouts.
4th week of not eating any sugar, so weight is coming down a bit more.
No sugar means no desserts of any kind, no dark chocolate, no sugar in coffee.
First because sugar is basically bad for you and second to keep weight down.

3:30 - 10k with top three x-country boys.
5k out in 24:26, gradually picking up pace.
5k in in 21:30, starting at 4:30, down to 4:10, last k in 4:00.
Legs a bit stiff so had to work hard. The boys were just cruising along.
18C/64F, nice day.

Weight machines and core.

7:30pm - 10.6k inc. 5,000m time trial in the park (track closed). Unfortunately, it turned out to be about 4,800. Will try to get it right next month.
Ran 19:38, which would be about 20:26 for 5,000. Good pace, working hard to stay with other guys (and a woman), it felt faster.
22C/72F, 40%, DP9

3:30 - 6.4k easy with kids.

3:30 - 10k easy

11:00 - 12k easy, a bit faster coming back.
16C/61F, 60%, DP7

2:00 - 16k with 8k easy, 8k tempo.
1:23:45 - 46:00/37:45 @ 5:45/4:43 last 4k@4:40/40/30/30
Felt very good after three easy days - legs fresh. Gliding along nicely for the 8k tempo.
17C/63F, about perfect for running.

October 25, 2015

Pretty Good Week

Week of Oct. 19 ~ 25

64.4km / 40 mi.

3:30 - 12.2k. 6.2k easy with the JV girls, 6k alone @4:35 pace.
Quads stiff, legs kind of heavy.

Weight machines and core.

7:30pm - 11.4k with 1000m x 6.
Running in the park because our track is closed for six months for resurfacing.
Nice loop on a wide asphalt path with one slight down/up hill, pretty close to exactly 1,000m.
3:50/44/44/47/48/44 (150m jog/walk in about 2:50).
Felt good and ran well - worked pretty hard.
17C/63F, 75%, dp 13

3:30 - 6.8 easy, mostly with the kids. Legs tired.

12:30 - Weight machines and core.
3:30 - 12k. 6k warmup, 250m hill x 10 hard up, easy down. A bit faster than previous weeks, due to cooler weather.
Legs were stiff warming up, but felt good once I started the hills.

4:30 - 8k easy.

3:00 - 14k in 1:20:26. 42:23/38:03
Out at 6:00/k, back at 5:30, with 5th and 6th ks faster.
20C/68F, 23%, dp -2.

October 18, 2015

Avoiding Injury This Year

Week of October 12 ~ 18
35.8km - recovery week.

Last year on Wednesday of this week, after the 10K race, I tried to do the club interval workout and got a pain in my hamstring. Which took 6 months to completely go away.
So, a year later and quite a bit smarter.
Two rest days, then three easy days of 5-6k, then an easy 8k run, and today an easy 12k run. No aches or pains at all, so I'll try a tempo run tomorrow.

Nice running weather, about 22° every day, supposed to be clear all next week.

In American School cross-country news, both our boys and girls won the Far East Championships, held in Guam. Four runners score and our girls had four in the top ten, boys had four in the top 11. So it was a rout. And our top boy and girl both won. The team still has two more meets in Japan.

My next race is a 10K on Nov. 23rd. So four good training weeks and a taper week until then.

October 11, 2015

39:46, 3rd Place — I'll Take It

Week of Oct. 5 ~ 11
43.2km /26.8 mi.

Monday thru Saturday was just preparation leading up to the 10K race on Sunday.

3:30 - 13k. 7k with JV girls @5:45/k then 6k tempo alone. Wanted to run 4:40-45 pace and ran the two 3k loops at 4:43 and 4:44.
Quads were a bit stiff, but felt ok.
21C/70F, 50%, DP 10

Weights and core at the gym.

7:30pm - club track workout. 12.2k with 4.2k warmup and 1000m x 6.
4:13/3:58/4:02/3:54/59/52 (about 2:40 jog/walk in between)
Pushing just a bit, but basically cruising. Tapering for Sunday.

3:30 - 8k. 15min warmup then 800 x 6 with JV girls. From 3:37 down to 3:20, with 90sec rest. Easy, but not slow-easy.

Friday and Saturday

10:00am - 10K race at Nagareyama in Chiba pref.
Very good race, which I enjoyed last year and did again this year. More in fact, because five other club members also ran. It's a good course, quite a lot of turns and about 5 up/downs, but that's ok, it keeps it interesting.
I felt good the whole way - well, not exactly good the last 3k - and finished in 39:46, good for 3rd in the 60s age group, out of 366 men. I was also 3rd last year, but 55 seconds faster. However, I knew I wasn't in as good shape this year, so was happy with both the time and the place. And with the fact that I had no pains or discomfort at all during the race!
Also, since my 5,000 time trial on sept 30 was 19:40, all out, 39:46 was not bad.
Splits were (some approx): 3:58/56/57/58/57/58/4:05/56/4:01 - I kicked the last 500m, but the 500m before that is a gradual uphill.
It rained right up until 30 minutes before the race, but luckily stopped. It was only 18C/64F, so it felt cool, although the humidity was about 100%, so everyone finished drenched in sweat.
There were 3,581 total runners, out of which I was 204th - I think that was the total place out of all men and women (it just says "total").
The winner was about 30:15. He was an independent, ahead of 5 university guys in the low 31s. And the top high school kid was 30:27! The other top five were also low 31s. The top 50-year-old was a bit over 35 and the top 40+ woman was also 35:30! She must have been an ex-corporate runner. The top 60 year old was 38:30 and the top 70 year old was 41:20! Love the quality of races in Japan.

Next race is another 10k on Nov. 23, so will try to improve on today's time.
Long term, I obviously need more stamina. Well, my long runs now are only 14k. The journey continues!