Thursday, December 24, 2009

Week 9, 60k

Well, this week was right on track with increasing my total kilometers up to 60, hoping for 65 next week. I had to run at the gym again, trails were all snowed in, but weather later this week looks clear and I have off starting wednesday so I foresee a lot of running outside. Nothing much to note this week, pretty normal. Hint of pain in my right foot at the end of my 20k on Sunday, but nothing too bad and nothing that hurt during running, so its probably ok.
I noticed that my weight has come back to 69Kilograms, that is nice. Building some muscle!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Week 8 (55k)

Don't call it a come back, but this week I got 55k in and three visits to the gym. However that is not the most exciting part of the week. There are a number of more important things to mention. First off, I did my first "long" run at the gym with 15k, it was awful. I was sweating like hell, not used to warm runs anymore, and the treadmill, I think, does not accurately measure distance. I have run a lot of path runs outside around my house and nothing ever seems as hard as the treadmill, or as boring for that matter. I used my ipod for about an hour of it and also discovered that I cant breath against a beat very well so based on what I want my breathing pattern to be I need to find music with the correct timing, does that make sense? Like I usually breath in a 3/3 patter, but my ipod has music that is 4/4 time, so I only felt comfortable running a 2/2 breathing pattern when listening to the music, but I cant keep breathing that hard for more than a few minutes without feeling bad. So I guess I will have to find some 3/4 music, I think I read that Creedence was good for that.
I also used my REI coat and Mountain Hardwear gloves for the first time. Both of which JUST keep me warm enough, like, I am not overheating, but I am not cold. Unless I stop for a few minutes and then I start to get cold. This week its been cold in Aizu, just above freezing, but sometimes windy and rainy/snowy. Its tought running outside but I really hate running in the gym. Just got to watch for ice on the bridges.
Probably the most important thing to note this week is that, despite my ankle getting a little tight again, my runs are becoming easier. Like the first 15k I did this week outside, didnt feel the slightest bit tired until I got to about 7k. 7k without feeling tired at all, what the hell has happened to my body? I like it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 7 (45k)

This week was good, and awful. Back from Hawaii I got back on track and did some miles...err... k's this week. That is mainly the good part, also that since Dan gave me two more pairs of shoes I have a couple more to kick around in. Still having some pain in my heal, but not as much. I have been icing it after runs and wearing a little heel pad I got at the local running gear store. So, feeling a bit better.
The awful part was that I failed at my long run this week. I ran everyday of the week, along with doing some gym work. On friday I did 5k and then upper body work. I was also battling a little cold. Saturday morning I got up and wanted to do 15k, so I put on the shoes and headed out the door. By 4k I could tell something was up. I just couldn't keep a good pace and my nose was running like crazy. For the mid 5k I headed into some hills. It was here that I died. I couldn't keep a good pace, my nose was running like crazy, and my chest and back were hurting. I decided to cut it short. At this point in a run, because its just training and not a real race, I decided it would be better to go home and lay down than to keep going. So I did, I went home and laid on the floor... for some time. Good news is, I feel better now and I am heading into another week feeling ready.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Weeks 4, 5, and 6 (40, 35, 20k)

The past three weeks have been very busy as I got ready to go to Hawaii to attend a friends wedding and get married myself. I feel lucky to have gotten in ANY running let alone get to write about it. I guess I will do my best to remember the past few weeks here and what happened during those weeks.
Currently my heel is hurting. I was having problems with my Achilles and those have largely gone, but now my heel is sore. I haven’t done any research yet, but intend to, and hopefully I can overcome that soon. The thing is, as I have found before, my injury doesn’t really hurt when I am running, its only after that it pains me. A few times I have even felt it during the night and in the morning when I had been off my feet for some time. Anyways, got to get on that.
I also got to meet up with my buddy Dan in Hawaii and he gave me some gels, two pairs of shoes, winter gloves, and a winter jacket for running. I also bought a pair of black running tights when I was in Tokyo on the way home. The jacket is REI, the gloves Mountain Hardwear, the tights… I cant remember the name, but Ichiro the baseball player was their ad guy and that was good enough for me. J
The race is now 3 months away, which means the serious training will now begin. I only foresee a small friction at the end of December as Aya and I will be doing a little bit of traveling, but overall as long as I don’t seriously hurt myself I should be able to amp up the miles to about 30 on the long run about 2 weeks before the race, then I plan to taper down a bit. Oh, one more bit of good news, after being missing for 3 months my ipod turned up in my buddy Richard’s car. Hello running mix tracks!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 3; 18k

Nope, not a typo, 18k was all I did this "week" now, technically from Monday to Sunday I actually did 36, but 23 of that belonged to Monday which I had promised was going in the week before. In any case, details, the big picture is that the number of TOF was down this week. Here is the reason why.
My achilles, ever since my first over 20k run, has been feeling a bit weird. It doesn't hurt, but sometimes if I have been sitting for a while, or getting out of bed, basically when I am "cold" it gets this weird kind of clicky feeling if I move around too fast. Once it gets warmed up pretty good. But was worried about it, so I decided to take some time off of it.
The result of that is a couple of noticeable things. First, my achilles feels better. There is still the smallest of feelings that there is something not quite the same with the left leg as the right, but no pain and no clicking. So for now that gets a thumbs up.
I also am highly suspect what an easy week has done to me otherwise. I basically feel like crap. My body just feels weak and tight. This could be because I didn't run much, or because I drank more beer because I wasn't running as much and had more free time, or a combo of the two. Anyway it shakes out I am resolved to get back on my feet this coming week.
One final thing to note about this week is that I put on the 993s again. First I put them on for a 3k couples run that Aya did on Tuesday. We got 18 minutes something, which was nice, she did well. After the race I did feel a bit of the same old pressure on the left knee, pain in the left hip, but for whatever reason was not convinced, so Friday I did another 5k after school with them on and that was that. More pain = ditch the shoes. I am sorry to say that the 993s are out for me, stupid pronation crap. Dang. Saturday I did a 10k in the Saucony Shadows again and that felt ok, but that is also when I noticed the "I feel like crap" coming over me. So the run was less than thrilling. Here I am on Monday night, after another 12 in the Shadows and ... well, that will have to wait for next week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week 2, 53k

This weeks running has been good. I have continued to use the Saucony Shadows instead of the NB 993s, I guess I will try to see if the pronation thing is an insole or something that I can rip out, I would have to waste the shoes after I just bought them (for 150!). Also, this week my ankle has been bothering me a bit. Last week on the long run I was on a very narrow shoulder, a car was passing so I moved over and wasnt watching carefully and hit the lip of the pavement, twisting my ankle slightly. It smarted then, but I walked it off and it was fine. Then Monday I was in the john and in japan johns are pretty tight, so I was making a turn and my ankle had some pain again, I think from the twist on sunday. So tuesday I did no running, but went to aikido, lots of twisting about, falling down, etc. But my ankle was fine. Wed I ran a 10k and did leg work at the gym, thursday I did 10, and friday I did 10 hill running. That hill running was awesome, just finished at dark and was running through really pretty colors with the sunset it was really cool. However, Thursday when I was at elementary school i was playing soccer with some kids, aware of my ankle, and still accidentally gave it a little tweak, nothing big, just hurt for 1 sec, but now my ankle feels funny, not painful, just funny, like I cant really rotate it the 360 without feeling kind of wrong. So, needless to say I am a bit concerned. I feel ok, running my ankle doesnt hurt and generally it feels fine, but of course I dont want to screw it up. Monday I did the 23k. Everything was good, had some Aquarius and a mikan about 45 minutes before, about 10oz of Aquarius and a Weider Energy Gel after the first 10k and a, what was it called Dakara? after the next 8 or so. Everything worked well. The gel gave me a little burping and gas, but just a little and it seems to have worked well as this week I did not struggle with the last 2k or so. I still have energy now. I also at a big plate of beef spaghetti after the run and did not nap for 2 hours like last week, so a bit of a change. Also, no pain this week, a little fatigue in my left hip while running, but no pain now, feeling good. Oh, last thing, the 23k was in 2hr 20 minutes, which isn't such a bad time. Maybe I will get to 4hr 30 after all.

So, in total, this week, 53k. Not too bad, I also had time to get in an upper and lower body workout and go to aikido once. Not too shabby, although I did go over one day and did my long run monday instead of sunday, but my days were changed at work, so that is that. anyways, good week. Looking forward to another good one to come. Oh, one more thing, I was trying to find out what the official drink is for the Tokyo 2010 marathon. My wife found it for me, here is a link.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Week 1

This week I logged 51k. I did two 5k with Aya, monday and thursday; two 10 and 12 by myself on wed and friday; and 21k on Sunday by myself. I also managed to get in gym time for my upper and lower on wed and tuesday.My hip and knee on my left leg had been bothering me, feeling like joint pain, not muscle. my hip was just sore, but my knee felt more like pressure, like that feeling you get in your fingers just before they pop when you are cracking them.
I just started running with my new shoes, the New Balance 993 with support for over-pronation. I was running in a pair of New Balance 490 which I liked, but they were just getting old. I was looking into getting new shoes and read about pronation and looked at my old shoes noticing wear marks on the inner part of the shoe. So I decided to buy my new 993s with that in mind. That was about a month ago that I got them and started running with them, its also about that time that my k's started to get above 10 so when I started to feel the pains in my knee and hip I wasn't sure if it was form, my shoes, or just the extra miles.
On the advice of my friend Dan I switched out my 993s for a pair of 'normal' shoes, my Saucony Shadows, which I had just been using as gym shoes. I ran the 21k in them and felt fine after. I also had changed my form a week before to one with a shorter gait and more steps per minute. I think the form cut the hip pain and the shoes cut the knee pain because I felt pretty darn good after my long run.
after the 21k I came home to some little girls at my door, so I did not eat after, I just went and played kickball with them which was stupid because I was stupid tired. When I finally did get home I had some beef curry with spaghetti and then almost immediatly fell asleep.
A couple of notes for this run. At 10 and 15k I stopped to walk and drink. That was sorely needed. Putting some more drinks/food into the run would be super. At 19kish I was running out of steam. Also, popped in the mp3 player for the first time ever after 10k, it was good as long as I could keep good music going, so I have to make a playlist or something. Eat after the run, eat after the run.

This is me

I have always been a runner. When I was in 7th grade my friend at the time, Tim, introduced me to running by way of his father. His dad was a runner. He would run a 5k a few times a week, if I remember correctly. He also would smoke cigars on occasion and drink beer with dinner. Generally I liked the guy and Tim and I would run with him sometimes, but more importantly it started me running an I loved it. That lead to my first pair of running shoes and my first races, all 5ks.
When I was in high school I joined the cross country team, but that didn't last too long. That also happened to be the time when I was discovering all the dirty pleasures of life and running took a back seat. I didn't run much again until college when I got a job at a valet company. Basically I would spend 3 nights a week, for 5 or so hours at a time, driving cars from restaurants to parking lots and then briskly running back. It got me running again and I felt great. Soon after I started lifting weights and running at the university gym. I continue that to this day.
However, in the last 4 months or so my running has taken off. I went from doing a couple 5ks a week to logging 20, then 30, then 40, now 50k a week running. I ran my first 10k in 51 minutes on October 4th and ran my first half marathon this past week while training in about 2:15. I am pretty happy with these times.
I also was excepted to the Tokyo Marathon, which is on reason for me starting this blog. Out of roughly 275,000 people who applied to run, 30,000 were excepted. I was excepted. It might have to do with my location. I doubt a whole lot of runner applied from my area of Japan, its a bit remote. It could just be a completely random lottery. No idea, but I'm in and that is awesome.
I plan to keep a weekly track of my progress up until the race, about 16 weeks away. It's mainly just for me to keep track of how long or how comfortably I ran. I hope this will give me some insights into what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong, good gear and good nutrition along the way. So here we go.