Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Going away

Not to the nut house, but for a week to the north for some skiing and sight seeing etc. Hopefully I can blog up there and read yours. Take care and I'll be back proper on the 5th of Jan. I'll be thinking about you all. All the best with your activities over the holiday season.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Race Report

Everything was fine for the race I had a good race plan, the course was flat and fast and the weather near perfect. So why isn't this blog post titled "PB"? Read on.

This is the first time I've ran this marathon so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect but I was very happy with the course. About a one third of it was on road and the other two followed the river up and back. It was paved in sections but mostly we were running on hard dirt.

It was 13 to 15 degrees and not a cloud in the sky a little wind but nothing that worried me. The times it gusted up I'd just slip behind some other runners. The plan was to do the first 8 to 10 K in 4:15 per K and if I felt it too slow after that drop to 4:05~4:10 for the last 10K.

Well things didn't go exactly to plan. I lined up at the very front because I was a little late getting to the starting area and it was either there or right at the back cause I couldn't find a way in the middle. There were about 2000 runners and the start was a narrow street fenced on both sides.

The gun cracked and we were off down a small hill and around a corner and up over a bridge and down the other side where a flat bitumen path stretched out parallel to the river.

I hit the first K in 3:52 carried along by the crowd I didn't think I was running at that pace I thought I'd slow down but frankly I felt fine and thought I just ignore coach Pat's and Clairie's advice to go out slower. The next 2nd K I did in 3:58 and the following in 3:55 that's the first 3K in 11:45. I was pretty happy with myself and felt strong and full of air so I pushed on with it.

I did the next two Ks in 4:03 and 4:07 respectively rounding off the 5K in 19:55.
the next 5K I pretty much held my pace but dropped down 10 seconds on the 6th K and a few seconds each K after that until the 10th K. The total for the 10K was 41:33 about 1 minute off my 10K PB.

Now for the next half I was going to take coach Pat's advice and pick it up a bit and come home strong. Well the 11th K I did but from the 12 to the 16th, where I stopped taking splits, I was slowly dropping a few seconds each K, the 16th and last Split recorded on my watch was 4:34.

The remaining 5 Ks were pretty ugly in comparison to the first 5 but gave me plenty of time to think what I dick I was. The last K, try as I might, I couldn't pick up the pace. My feet were hot, a burning sensation on the bottom soft part of the inner arch of my left foot, my dodgy ankle was hurting and I was almost all out of air.

I cross in 1:31:37 a reasonable time by my standards but not the time I was looking for at the 10 K mark. Anyway as they say "what doesn't kill me blah blah blah."

Ten minutes after the race I regained my breath and felt good enough to jog back 2K to meet my family at a shopping center. I couldn't believe I couldn't have just done the remaining 3 K a little faster but I was spent at that time and at the limit of my fitness.

Regardless I had a great run, enjoyed myself as usual, and learnt somethings about myself. One thing in particular I learnt was that I'm still a cocky bastard and I don't listen to good advice.

Not to worry, my 10K PB of 40:10 looks to be in jeopardy this coming January.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Star Man

Thanks for all your recent comments I appreciate it and really get a kick out of reading what you write. I will respond in kind but today I have a christmas party for the kids that I have to go and organise. I'll leave you with my song of the week. A nice slideshow I'm sure you'll enjoy. I like his song "star man" the most and ever since I first heard it its been in my head. But I couldn't find a clear clip so here's another favourite.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Forward progress

Things are going well here the weather, although cold, has improved this last week and the sun has come out. On Tuesday I did a session of 3 x 2K with the goal to get them all under 7:45 per 2K. I was able to do the 1st 2K in 7:22, the 2nd in 7:30, and the 3rd in 7:40. I don't know if I have the endurance to run a PB for this coming Saturday's half because I missed a couple of long runs of late, but we will see come race day.

It's a new race for me and we are expecting great running conditions so anything could happen. It's interesting training and exciting racing I pretty much love this sport.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Two or three kilos

It is now 8 weeks before the Tokyo marathon and I think it would be better for me to go into this race 2 or 3 kilos lighter than I am now. I'm just a little worried that if I cut back too much on food I won't have the energy to do some of my high mileage weeks.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

That's it!

I could have cried today, only ten minutes into my long run and this ankle pain comes back. I said to my self "that's it back to square one!" It was hurting pretty badly and I thought I'd better head back to the car.

Anyway, I was walking back and decided to give my calf a massage and try again, did that and pain was still there. I flopped down on a grassy embankment, lay back and put my hands over my face in frustration. After laying there for five minutes, contemplating taking up darts, I sat up and did a few stretches touching my toes. I got up and tried again, but this time it felt OK. I sat down again and slowly stretched in the same manor holding the stretch for the count of 15, 4 times on each leg. It was pretty hard to hold these as my legs were tight as.

After I got up again I ran for an hour and a half with no problems at all. So that was it, tight hamstrings! I kinda feel silly that I didn't pick it up sooner but very happy that I did and relieved that I have nothing more than lack of flexibility.

I'm going to introduce some stretching into my progam now. Does anyone know of good ones to fix tight hamstrings? I want to know more about the working of the muscles and tendons etc it is amazing to me how tight back upper legs can give me a feeling of pain coming from deep low in the ankle.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

All over the place

Well my running was all over the place this week, with kids being off and my sore ankle I couldn't run as per my plan. But all is not lost cause after my run today I had no ankle pain and generally feel in good shape. I haven't had the build up I wanted to do a PB in my half next week still if I'm in good shape at the starting line I'll have a chance.

I need a good speed session to give me some confidence going into the next race as I missed out on Friday's planned one and I feel a little sluggish. I'll include a recent photo of my boys the reason I couldn't do my run yesterday. Their mother wanted to go out with her friends and asked if I could look after them for the day. I dare not refuse as there are sharp knives in our house!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wet, wet, wet.

Had a bit of rain around here the last few weeks and while I usually like running in the rain it is getting a little old coming back from a run with the only thing dry being my throat, inside that is. Anyways my mother told me there'd be days like these.

On the injury front I managed a couple of runs without any major pain but I think I damaged my left Achilles so I'm icing and massaging my calf as suggested by you good people.

I think I pin-pointed when I did the damage, it was while running 100m sprints as a warm up before a speed session. In my last of 6x100 I ran it in 14sec too fast for my little legs to handle. In my mind I was staring down Carl Lewis and he blinked!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

So Fucken Special

I'm on the mend, no worries, I think? Anyway I want to post this song for Tesso and Clairie in honor of their run on Sunday. As the song says!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I don't know exactly what's wrong but something is wrong with my ankle. On Friday I decided to cut my speedwork session as in the warm up I had pain in my ankle that caused me to limp a little. Anyway, I rested on Saturday and it felt fine but 20 mins into my long run today, Sunday, I got the pain back again and cancelled this run too.

The pain is a throbbing aching pain that feels like it's coming from deep inside and envelopes the whole area around the ankle. Yet when I stop running or only walk the pain goes away, although I still have a strange sensation there.

I will rest up today and tomorrow and try again on Tuesday.

Friday, December 08, 2006

X-Ray Spex

Thought I'd bring my song of the week forward a bit so as Tesso and Clairie could get some inspiration for their Sunday race from Poly Styrene and the X-ray Spex. Turn it up and run until you can't no more!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Did hill work yesterday which was pretty hard on the breathing after my cold. Though it did work to clear me right out and I feel good today. Just about to go out and do a longish hour and a half. I brought some new running gear this morning, long lycra pants, socks and ski type underware to protect me from the cold so I'm ready for the winter months of training.

Still I envy those in Australia who are able to run with only a "camel back, "lycra thong" and a "cheeky grin."

Monday, December 04, 2006


Did a longish run yesterday first one in 5 days. This is the first time I've taken so many days off running in a row since I don't know when. Anyway, the legs felt great the first 4omins no niggles or pain at all. I don't remember running on such fresh legs for a while either.

And apart from spiting up some residue phlegm I think I'm back. It's kind of strange how hard it was coming back after only five days out I can imagine how difficult it would be to start running again after an extended break I don't want to try that.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Building Confidence

Tesso was talking about Pat Carroll's group runs on her blog today.

I heard he might be introducing some affirmations to his training sessions like the ones below. Well, running is half mind games!

Long Run

Time for my song of the week. Like most others I like an eclectic mix of music, but I'm a bit of a closet cowboy and I like country music a fair bit.
You may want to listen to this before your Sunday morning run.

By the way don't these old buggers still sound good!

Feelin' better

Well it's the 5th day with this cold and just starting to get over it. I haven't run since last Sunday's long run I'm a little frustrated and I reckon I've lost a little fittness.

Still on the plus side the muscles down the bottom of the shins on both sides were sore to the touch for the last couple of weeks and there is no pain if I push those areas now.

I'll do a short 30min run tomorrow and a short long run on Sunday and I'll be right to continue my build up from Monday as usual.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

9 seconds

I'm still battling this cold but starting to feel a little better.

Good news today I got the official time for my half marathon and it seems I gained 9 seconds to slip me into 1:28:51. I'll take that! As you know the difference between this and 1:29:00 is huge to a runner like myself.

Now what to do with my extra nine seconds? And don't say it! I'm all too virile for that.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sore throat

Did my long run in the drizzle yesterday and now I have a sore throat and I feel like my body is in the process of fighting off some lurgy or another.

Even though I've lived here for a good 10 years I have little immunity to the colds and viruses that go around they seem to knock me around some, that is, more so than the locals.

Also every time I get something here it seems to come along with a sore throat. I don't think that was always the case in Australia.

Anyway, I'm pretty fit at the moment so I hope I can fight this one off.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Built for speed

Imagine, if Gandi hadn't been busy uniting a nation he could have run a pretty good marathon. I don't reckon his resting heart rate would have been more than 30bpm. Any other historical figures you think could of been good distance runners?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Wake up

Couldn't wake up early enough for my run this morning and got home late and feeling tired so I'll try get it in tomorrow morning. Usually Saturday is a non running day for me as I rest a little before my long run on Sunday.

What do you reckon about slipping in a short speedwork session on Saturday morning, the one I should have done on Friday. Do you think it will drain me too much before my 2 hours 40mins long run on Sunday?

I think if I can leave my long run until late afternoon Sunday and do the speed session early Saturday then I'll have enough time to recover between sessions.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Tesso came up with an idea to post a song a week and I agree it is a good idea. Do you know Ami and Yumi AKA Puffy from Japan? Not to everyones taste but I like them a lot. Listening to them pre race will help you PB. This and a couple of months of long runs and speedwork!

Monday, November 20, 2006


While on the subject of heart rate I was wondering what are your thoughts on this. My resting heart rate is 41bpm down from about 56bpm a couple of years ago just after starting running. What are your resting heart rates? And do you think that a lower one will translate into faster times? Or is it of no real consequence? What kind of resting heart rate would "Deek" have say compared to "Mona"? The guy above has an average resting heart rate of 32bpm, a normal person 70bpm.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Heart rate monitor

The blogger Stephen Lacey asked whether or not we reckon he should take his heart rate monitor along with him on his coming marathon attempt. Well, like he alluded to on his blog it does have the potential to mess with your mind. I reckon no, don't do it! But all the best anyway Stephen.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mid week crisis

No problems just thought that was a cool title for a blog post. Did and hour twenty last night and after running the first 3 K in about 5:30 per K I ran the next 12K in an average of 4:30 per K. I intended to run this session slow but just got the urge to go faster. Still feeling good from Sunday's race and the body is handling it well. Start the serious build up for Tokyo marathon the day after tomorrow. My last billards and beer night tonight for the month at least.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Getting better, together.

I want to share an email a mate of mine sent me.I'm sure he wouldn't mind. Malcolm and I have been running for about three years and friends for about one. In fact, we met in a job interview he was the employer and since finding out that eachother runs we have kept contact and have had a couple of runs together. He lives in Tokyo, me in Osaka. I enjoyed reading this as it shows an aspect of our sport that differs from other sports. Like surfing for example,I used to be pretty involved with it and we really don't encourage the beginner, in fact they aren't treated all that well.

"Today I ran 4 loops of the Imperial Palace with a couple of school administration staff from Lado.
They're new to running and wanted to run 20km today. They asked me to come along because it was their first time to run 20km and wanted some coaching and advice. And also a bit of encouragement to get them round the 4 loops. They've tried to run that distance before, but have given up half way in the past.

I set the pace slow and pretty much jogged the whole way. One of them almost dropped out after the 2nd loop and the other almost dropped out after the 3rd loop, but by combining jogging with walking I got them both round 4 loops and completed the 20km. Tears were had by all.

It took 2 hours 40 minutes !!

I personally didn't get much of a good run out of it, but it was good to be reminded about how hard it was when I also first started running.
It also made me realize how much I've achieved over the past 3 years or so. It was a good day for reflection.
They were really grateful for my help too, although I think I was the more moved at the end as I knew exactly what they were going through and how hard it was for them.
We runners keep chipping away to new heights and often forget what it was like in the early stages.

You've now chipped away a little more to set an new PB and the two girls today achieved something new which they will have for life and probably never forget.

This is a great sport. We can all be winners together!!"

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Well, did 1:29:00 exactly to get a half marathon PB. That is 1min36 seconds faster than my last PB. Didn't think I was going to do it at the 12K mark but just concentrated on keeping form and thinking I was going to do it today. I didn't feel I was running so well and the wind was howling about 14 degrees and it was raining pretty hard on and off so I'm happy with that time.

Thanks to all that gave words of advice pre race. They really helped! Cheers! Going to take a bath and eat a big dinner and drink a few beers and start thinking about the next race.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Getting to the line

It's been a hectic week with work and I feel like I could use a good 12 hour sleep. I have a half marathon this Sunday and although I want to run well I'm trying not to think about it too much.

I don't know if it's also your experience but the week prior to any race for me is the worst. I battle with real and imagined illnesses and generally come to the line in less than 100% condition. Can't tell you how many times I've manifested aches or pains or come down with colds the week prior to a race I'm really looking forward to.

I'm also checking the internet weather everyday looking for a dry and cool day. It has been forcasted to be Sunny all week and today three days before the half they changed the forcast to possible rain. I just have to shake my head and roll my eyes.

Anyway, I guess that is the game and we have to do our best. Still, there is just enough strange stuff happening too often before races, to get me thinking I might be sabotaging my efforts by getting sick and even changing the weather. Am I so powerful? Am I so vain and stupid? Or are there a variety of things at play here?

Monday, November 06, 2006

NYC Marathon

I was reading this morning about Lance Armstrong's showing in the New York City Marathon.
On his first attempt Lance managed 2:59:0o and he said that this attempt made his efforts in winning the Tour de France pedestrian.

Kind of makes me feel good that someone of his caliber has such respect for the distance. I don't think it will be his last attempt. After Sheryl Crow the only other thing that can give meaning to his life is the marathon, I reckon!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Don't cut run short!

Another running joke.

One man's hobby was running, he spent all his weekends on the park trails, paying no attention to weather. One Sunday, early in the morning, he went to the park as usual. It was still dark, cold and raining, so he decided to return back to his house. He came in, went to his bedroom, undressed and laid near his wife. "What terrible weather today honey," he said to her. "Yes" she replied "but my idiot husband still went running!"

Friday, November 03, 2006

Step 4

In the book "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill, that I mentioned last month, it specifies 4 simple steps which will lead to the habit of persistence. And it states that "Men of persistence have the capacity to master difficulties."

The first one I wrote on last month was "A definite purpose backed by buring desire for its fulfillment." The 4th step is also something those runners who blog will understand. It's, "A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose."

I started this blog in order to encourage and get encouragement and I appreciate that it is an important factor in achieving success in our sport and life. Thank you to everyone that continues to read and write theirs and eachothers' running blogs.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I bet this happened in Australia.

Michael Johnson, the Olympic gold medal runner, was on his way to a club with some friends. At the door, the bouncer turned to him and said: "Sorry, mate, you can't come in here - no denim". Michael was quite annoyed at this and retorted: "Don't you know who I am? I'm Michael Johnson". "Then it won't take you long to run home and change, will it?" replied the bouncer.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The day after

We had a good Halloween party here Saturday night, but I drank too much red wine and beer and struggled with my long run on Sunday.

I left it until I felt a little better in the afternoon and right on sunset set off for two and a half hours. The first 40mins were fine, the next 20mins hellish, and the last hour and a half I ran robotically while my thoughts raced from subjects as varied as "Why don't you ever see baby pigeons?" to "Clairie hasn't blogged since she wrote of hurting her back, I wonder if she's alright?"

Anyway I was none the wiser after the run a little sore but happy I could get it in. If anyone knows the answers to the questions above or would like to share some things that go through their minds on long runs I'd be happy to know.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Weight loss

This subject was raised recently on Ewen's blog and since then I found a good article on an interesting blog "uncommonbody" Take a look you may know the information here but it's always good to brush up.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


It's getting as cold as a witch's tit over here thesedays, but it is fitting as we are now preparing for a Halloween party for the kids on Saturday and one for the "grown-ups" in the evening. It should be a hoot, so to speak. I encourage you all to go ahead and make some puns in way of your comments but I don't expect "boo" out of anyone.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Number 29

Not much happening today so I thought I'd add another installment on the theme "Things I don't want to see on my daily run." Today #29

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Photo shows me 500m from finishing, looking for a sub 40min, see hand,
close but not this time, but I did managed 40mins 10sec to get my 10K time down 21 seconds from my best time previously. Although I'm a little miffed I didn't go sub 40min I am rather happy with this as I've been fighting off a head cold for the last few days and I was feeling under the weather going into this.

I didn't mention that in my previous blog as I didn't want to come across as giving excuses just in case I didn't run well. Anyway still feeling a little fluey, but happy as I'm chipping away at my times and I was also able to spend the day with my family. Excellent seafood BBQ.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Wakaura Bay 10K

I'll be running a 10K race this Sunday the 22nd. It starts at a marina, while it's not as beautiful as the Gold Coast it is nice and there is a theme park for the kids and a BBQ restaurant right on the water where you can buy and cook your own seafood. I'll be doing that after the race with my family and the in-laws.

Anyway, this is the first race for me since July when I did the Gold Coast marathon. I had some time off, 3 weeks, without running and since I've been training in the heat of summer to race a fast one. A PB for me will be under 40mins 30 sec. I'll go for it but anywhere around there I'll take.

This is the second time I've raced here last year I did the half marathon in a pretty ordinary time. About half way through that race I passed the crushed shell of an old tortoise that had been squished by a car and I started dwelling on that image thinking that it was analogous to my race and I ran a bad one. It might sound strange but it doesn't take much to affect me mentally, got to work on that! *:)

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I want to talk about "persistence" as, I believe, it is the one quality that best enables us to succeed in life and running. I'm a bit of a "self/help improvement" nut, I have heaps of these kinds of books that I read and re-read. My favorite and the bible of the self help genre is a book titled "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill.

In this book it gives 4 simple steps which will lead to the habit of "persistence" and therefore success. The first of these is this:

"A define purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment."

It seems to me that distance runners understand this. Their "define purpose" being their next race, their "burning desire" comes from the their drive to get a PB. Basically we don't give up so easily and this persistence fuels improvements in all apects of our lives.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Close but no cigar

Attempted to break 11:00mins for 3Kms this morning but couldn't finish
it off. I'm a fader par excellence. I'll have to keep working on my overall fitness. My 1K splits were 1st 3:25, 2nd 3:48, 3rd 3:53. Total 11:06.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Break something

Something is going to be broken today. I'm wanting it to be my 3K time trial record, not my achillies tendon or my spirit. I'll do my best.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Measure me!

I had a nice weekend in Tokyo and was able to meet up with my English friend Malcolm for five laps around the Imperial Palace on Sunday morning. It is 5kms around and we did 5 loops.
Malcolm is looking fit, his last race was a run up Mt Fuji and he told me that it's so steep in sections that he had to use his hands to help him climb.

He also tells me that when they measured out the course for the Tokyo Marathon they used, wait for it, a meter rule. They were so keen to get it right. The Japanese are nothing if not perfectionists or anal retentive you could say.

Malcolm even told me, and I think he might be having a lend of me, that when they were going through the Ginza, a shopping district, that there was a band playing on the road and instead of asking them to move they just went right on through measuring between the bass player and the drummer. Got to love this country.

Friday, October 13, 2006

All roads lead to....

"Congratulations! You have been selected to run the 2007 Tokyo marathon." So said the email I received yesterday. Thanks for your wishes. To just say I'm happy is to understate it. I'm as happy as a bastard on Father's day!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Going to Tokyo

No, still haven't found out whether or not I've been accepted to enter the Tokyo Marathon, but I'm going for business there this weekend. I'm going to do my long run of 2 hours around the imperial palace on Sunday morning.

It is a loop run of about 3K and it's really a good scene if your a runner. A lot of individuals and running clubs gather there and its a good chance to socialize. This will be my 2nd time to run there, last time I met and old guy who, no kidding, has run more than 300 marathons.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Busy day

Busy day today so I couldn't get my run in until after work. I did an hour starting from 9:00pm and came home took a bath, ate and just writing this before going to bed. Legs a bit tired now and the left achilles has been a little sore for the last week. I don't think I need to run less just working less would suit me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Things I don't want to see

Another theme I'll start on this blog tentatively titled "Things I don't want to see on my daily run." Today #43


I had a strange experience while eating breakfast this morning. After doing a speed session this morning that I was just able to complete I came home took a shower and sat down to a big bowl of cornflakes. Somehow this tasted better than I've ever remebered I just woofed it down like a man obsessed. It was only after I finished that I realised that I've had that experience before, but before it wasn't fueled by a fast run but something else, I did as a misguided youth, yes I had the munchies. Is this possible? Or was I having a hunger induced flashback?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Tip # 25

As it is a slow running day I thought I'd introduce a theme for Monday's blog "25 Tips for improving your running." Today's tip, # 25 is: How to improve your stride length. You need 1 Bengal Tiger and a 1000 to 3000 meter stretch of ankle deep water.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lazy Sunday afternoon

Did my long run this morning I lost a bit of energy around the 1 hour 20 mark but I came good at the end. Still a little sore now, I'll get a massage on Tuesday. Tomorrow is a public holiday, day off, tonight it's the family mans salvation of red wine cheese and DVDs.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Clean streets

And no "Cat gravy"either please. No news yet on the Tokyo Marathon. Rest day too.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tokyo Marathon

The news came yesterday, for some, that they had gainned a place to run in the Tokyo Marathon. I heard that there were 90,000 applicants and 30,000 will be chosen to run, they do this by lottery.

I applied but haven't heard yet, they are sending emails to everyone whether they got a place or not, so I'm a little worried that I can't go. This will be the first such mass participation marathon held in Tokyo and they want it to soon rival the likes of NY, London, and Berlin marathons.

Anyone else applied and heard yet?

Fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Early vs Late

Back to running 5 days instead of 4 as I've been doing for the past couple of months and decided to take the advice of another blogger and try an early run before work. So I was up at 4:30 and just did a slow jog for 40 mins.

Last year I was doing just about all my running early, but recently doing them either during the day or later at night. My preference is for the early runs for no other reason than I'm sure to get the run in if I do it in the morning, but sometimes the late run will get bumped due to other commitments.

What is your preference and why?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bad run Good run

Did a 50 min jog today. I felt really stiff and tired for no apparent reason for the first half but at around 30min into it I was really cruising. The pain I had in my ankle disappeared and I got my wind back and ran the last half about 8 mins faster than the first with less effort.

I really don't know why some runs are easy and smooth and others are not so. I guess I'll know more with experience and simply keeping a record on this blog may offer up some answers.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Honest sport

Just want to touch on another factor that attracts me to running. It is the honesty of the sport. Pat Carroll often talks/writes about it and we all know that there is no faking a new PB.

I got thinking about this recently watching the news and dealing with people at work. The news can be spun and it depends how you look at the efforts people put in at work everyone has their own interpretation on value. Running is the polar opposite.

It's simple and clean, you either run faster or harder than the last time or you didn't. Running into a strong head wind, like I heard Clairie did recently, does not serve as an excuse for slower times, in fact, most runners, Clairie included, are just as happy or happier with a slower hard run than a faster easier one.

I'm sometimes stressed in my everyday life trying to sort out what is "the truth" and what is bullshit but running relieves me from that. I know what "the truth" is. The elation you feel after a good race comes because, I reckon, you have the certain knowledge that you did your best. It's beyond the judgment of others.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Back to work

Back to work full time from today. It is the end of my summer holidays and now I'm going to have to fit my running around my work and not the other way around like I have been doing. On Monday and Thursdays I have to leave my house at 6:30am so it's pretty hard to fit in any longish runs in the mornings on these days.

I wonder how full time workers fit in their running and balance their other commitments? I rarely if ever miss a session but sometimes that means running later in the evening after all the things I must do. Tonight I have no running planned but I have to do my strength program and I can't start that until 9:00pm which sees me pretty tired going into it. The only alternative is to not do it but feel more satisfied if I can do it.

In a perverse sort of way I like the fact that it is not always easy to fit in my running. I think you understand.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

In the rain

Did my long run in the rain today. 24 kms all up around a pond I go to all the time (Sayama). This course is a loop just under 3K around and I did 8 laps at around 16 to 17 mins a lap. Pretty slow, but I usually run my long runs slowly. I picked it up the last lap doing that in 15mins.

That went relatively easy today, I like running in the warm rain.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Believing is seeing

Thanks for the comments on the last post. I've quoted something that's related to these, I found and copied it a few years ago from the web somewhere.

"Everything begins in the heart and mind. Every great achievement began in the mind of one person. The great achievers have a habit. They "see" things. They picture themselves walking around their CEO office in their new 25 million-dollar corporate headquarters, even while they are sitting on a folding chair in their garage "headquarters." Great free-throw shooters in the NBA picture the ball going through the basket. PGA golfers picture the ball going straight down the fairway. World-class Speakers picture themselves speaking with energy and emotion. All of this grooms the mind to control the body to carry out the dream."

I'll focus on "seeing myself" getting a few PBs this coming year and after that I'm going for that "new 25 million-dollar corporate headquarters."

Friday, September 29, 2006

In the mind

Ran 4kms all sub 4mins today and did it with less effort than usual. I am trying to decide whether the fact that I've been doing strength work is making my sessions easier or is it simply because I'm thinking that the strength work ought to be helping and so I run better. After all, I've only been doing this extra work for 6 weeks.

I know a little of how the mind works to know that "thinking makes it so," within reason, and I'm interested in the "mental" side of sport. The main reasons I'm so attracted to long distance running is because it has so much of the "mental" in it, so to speak.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Went to harvest a half dozen pumpkins today. These were two handed leg benders that my father-in-law has been growing. He is somewhat of a big vege growing genius.

We are going to cut them up into so called "Jack-o-lanterns" to decorate the home for Halloween. I'm not really sure how to celebrate this tradition as we never did growing up in Australia, but it has become popular here in Japan especially over the last 5 years.

Although there is no "trick or treating" there are some parties for grown ups and many shops are decorated for the Halloween period. Japanese
people love tradition and like to participate in their own and many introduced ones, but sometimes with strange results.

I don't know if this is really true or not but I've heard a story of a Christmas display in a shop window here which had a full sized Santa hammered to a crucifix.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


The surest way to get faster is to lose some weight, but that takes a lot of discipline. In Japan there are many delicious healthy alternatives to burgers and pizza but there is also some of the best tasting fried pork cutlets, beer and all you can eat restaurants. It's a constant battle.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Power Yoga

I was asked what exactly is "Power Yoga"? While it sounds cool it is not anything too different from exercises you have done before. Here are some explanations of the ones I'm doing now mixed in with a weights program.

So called “Power Yoga” exercises are all done with leg weights I use 3 kilo ones now.

To do the Salabhasana you are on your stomach with your arms beside your body and palms facing up with each breath in you raise one of your legs as high as it can go exhale and bring it down. Do relatively slowly each leg 20 times per set. I do 3 sets and I find these hard, somehow.

To do the Kondasana you lie on your side with one hand holding up your head and the other hand resting near your stomach. Lift one of your legs as high as you can in a scissor motion and bring it down slowly. 20 each leg and 3 sets is good for starters.

To do the Padchalankriya you are on your back with hands palm down by your side. Raise your legs about 30cm off the floor and move them like you are riding a bicycle count slowly to 20, 1 for each rotation.

They have many exercises in the DVD “Yoga for body building” I brought this in a shop in Byron Bay when I was down there for the Gold Coast marathon this year.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Strength training

I've been doing hour sessions, three days a week of strength work for the last six weeks and I'm going to continue these except for before and after race weeks until the end of the year and look at things then.

I read somewhere that "Deek" had exceptional core strength that allowed him to keep his form right to the end of marathons. In my last race my wife watched me come into the finish and said I looked a bit wobbly and that it looked as if I was weak in the stomach area.

After she got up off the ground......Joke. I took her advice and made myself a nice workout that combines power yoga with weights and some traditional exercises. Happy to pass this along if anyone wants details.

Anyway I feel much stronger already and with a diet that has me eating only fresh food, no coffee, beer or milk I have cut 10cm off my gut and I've toned up. Even though I've not cut my weight people are commenting on how I'm looking "buff" no well "healthy" at least.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

New track

Did my long run today, 1:40mins, around a pond near my place. I've been here before but not around , just out and back. Today I found the way around and did 4 loops each one taking about 25 mins. Nice course with plenty of shade and a couple of bush tracks. I'll post a photo in the coming blogs.

I saw about ten other runners there today and it was relatively cool considering it was sunny. Looks like we've just about seen the last of the summer here.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

running legends

Above some running legends with good advice. If you want to hear what they had to say that day you can at

It was another beautiful September day here. No running plan for the day and although I feel fine and would really of liked to run today I'm going to stick to the plan and build up my weekly kilometers slowly.

I'm starting to see the benefits of rest days to the overall plan and think the main contributing factor to my past injuries and plateau vis a vis results was that I was running too much and training tired.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Did the speedwork session I was set. It was hard at the end but I can feel my fitness coming back. It must be due to the strength training I've been doing for the past six weeks. I will elaborate on this in the coming posts.
Above is a photo of Koyasan an hour or so away from my house.

Cooling down

Going to start to increase the speed in tomorrows run, I've got 4kms to do at sub 3:48 per K. This is the start of my campaign to get my body used to running under 4 minute Ks so as I can try to get a PB and a sub 40min 10k this coming October.

My ability to do this, or not, will depend on getting through these sessions. Although I do my best with speed work it is never easy and
sometimes it is my metal strength that lets me down.

I always do these speed session by myself and hate the feeling of say finishing the 3rd of 8 X 500m efforts at a good clip and thinking to myself there is no way I can do 8 of these buggers. If I can't put those kind of thoughts out of my mind I usual can't finish the session.

I envy those people who train with groups of friends that help them to push it that little bit further. But I guess everyone battles with these type of negative thoughts.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Running plan

These are the races I plan to do in the near future

Oct 22 2006
wakaura bay marathon (10K)
Nov 12 2006
19th riverside mara (half)
Dec 23 2006
takarazuka mara (half)
Jan 7 2007
sakai new year mara (10K)
Jan 21 2007
takatsuki city mara (10K if can)
Feb 18 2007
tokyo marathon (full)
Mar 19 2007
senri international (10K)
April 9 2007
ashiya fun run (half)

September morn

No running today as my online coach, Pat Carroll, has me on a 4 day a week plan as a build up to the new racing season here. From Oct to April
you can find a race a week here and you don't have to travel too far.

I've heard that the marathon, they call any race from 5K to 42K a marathon, is only second to baseball as the most popular sport,
and often people line the streets to watch complete strangers run.

Being a foreigner runner here has its rewards as there are few of us in each race and people are friendly and talkative, more so than in a normal situation. But there are problems. One is that people think that because you're a foreigner that you are "Steve Prefontanie" incarnate so there is some pressure to run well and Japanese runners seem to get a kick out of beating me. I think even if they finish in the middle of the pack if they can beat me they think they have done well. But sadly that's not really hard to do. I did have one guy throw himself at the finishing line and take me by a nose. I think we ended up 451st and 452nd respectively.

Anyway Autumn in Japan is a perfect place for a runnner to be so I'm glad I'm here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Here is a photo taken last year before a race with my two sons Casey and Tyler.

First time

Hello. This is my first posting so I'd like to introduce myself and explain why I wanted to start this blog.

I have been living and working as an English teacher here in southern Osaka Japan for the past 10 years or so. Three years ago I started running as a hobby initially to help me lose weight and give up smoking.

I now run regularly in local races, 10K to marathons, and have progressively been getting better at it. While I have gotten to know some of the local runners in my area, I mostly run and train alone. I would like to be more social and share my experiences with other runners who blog regularly.

I have been reading with interest other running blogs and see this as a way to both keep a record of my progress and share in other peoples passion for running.

I hope you will find my posts as interesting as I find yours.