Monday, December 31, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR



Wishing everybody a peaceful, prosperous, and successful new year. I will continue to run and blog and hope that this time next year we will still be in contact and better runners/people for the experience.

All the best

Scott Brown

Bye the way I'm all set up with Skype and if you'd like to talk sometime I can be found under the name "abenokibrown"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A PB's a PB no matter how small!



Well that's, the title of this post, what I'm telling myself. Did 3:17:50 a full 2 minutes faster than my previous best time so I'd have to be happy with that. It ended up being near perfect conditions so I didn't have to worry about that and as this came on the back of a pretty average build up and mileage I should be satisfied.

I do know one thing for sure I will really have to train hard and have things all come together on the day if I'm going to get anywhere near under 3 hours.

But you'll be happy to know today didn't deter me from that goal.

The photo was taken by Kato san a fellow Kawachinagano running club member and it is 200 metres from the finish of today's marathon. And if you look closely you can see that I'm getting some "air!" ;)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Unfriggenbelievable



I can't believe my luck when it comes to rain. I just checked the weather and it is going to rain on this Sunday. Seriously the last time it rained on Sunday here was the last race I ran. This would be funny if it happened to someone else, Ewen for example. But frankly I'm a little pissed off.

Any advice for running marathons in the rain and/or uplifting stories about you or anyone you know running a PB in the cold drivng rain.

As the clip says "I'm looking for a perfect sky."

By the way this song sung by Bonnie Pink features "Ebi Chan" the lastest teen idol here. "Ebi" is "Prawn" and "Chan" a title for young girls. The prawn reference comes from the fact that she made her debut in a TV commerial for the McDonalds "Ebi Burger."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Torn



I have a few things to say but also pretty tired tonight. As I was "torn" between posting and going to bed I thought about this clip. I reckon it makes a good compromise.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Feel the vibe from here to Asia!



I've had a good week and feeling pretty fit. Had three great sessions this week, a long run, 31kms, on Sunday, a speed session on Tuesday 2mins flat out 2mins jog recovery, 1min flat out, 1min jog, 30 seconds flat out and 30 seconds jog, x 3. And a 15km run on Weds @ an average of 4:30 per km. The reason I'm happy about all this is that I did them all relatively easily.

I don't want to put a jinx on myself but I'm really feeling good about my marathon on the 23rd. The foot pain is down to a slight burn and even with a bit of partying recently I've been able to keep the weight down.

I'm still a bit worried about my lack of kms in the build up but I have a secret training method that sometimes helps in cases like these. Now don't go writing into the running site's noticeboards cause its an advantage I'd like to keep pretty much under wraps. What I do is, I've learnt the words to "Cantaloop" see video, and I sing these at the top of my voice while dancing under a alternatively burning hot and ice cold shower. Please try it and let me know how it goes for you. If you're worried about your mother/father, wife/husband or children, boyfriend/girlfriend coming in mid session you could do it in some bicycle pants. A good idea too for those old fellas prone to shrinkage, pun intended. "Bid de Bid de Bop!!"

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's your favorite movie?

I finally signed up to "facebook" the other day. I mean I've been resisting cause I know that I'm going to spend more time over there than I should, but I think I'll try it. Not that I will give up this blog, not as long as Ewen and Speedygeoff and a half dozen others, you know who you are, continue to blog.

"Facebook" seems interesting but I don't like when they ask questions like: "What are your favorite books?" And "What are your favorite movies?" I mean I've read a fair bit and of course watched a few movies, still, I feel I always come off like a dill when I say what they are. I just think I'm not as "highbrow" as most. A bit like the following.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Don't be so postless.

Sorry for the delay in posting, I've be lurking but shirking. Anyway I'm fine, working a bit more than I'd like but can't complain about that.

I've lost 6 kgs in the last 5 weeks and feel good but my ankle is still not 100% and I've cut out a few runs to try to rest it. That seems to have helped as it is definitely getting better but I'm a little worried that I'm under done, kms wise, for my up coming marathon on Dec 23rd.

Well just thankful that I've lost the extra weight that I put on over the summer here and that the ankle is almost healed. I was thinking that as this is my 7th attempt at a full marathon and if I hit the start line with no other problems my experience and my 4 years of accumulated kms might be enough to see me to a PB. I've still been doing about 50 to 70kms a week for the past three months just haven't been able to get in the couple of 100km weeks that I wanted to do before this next marathon.

We will see. I'll let you know how the training goes for the remaining three weeks.

I'll leave you now with a favourite song from my youth. Actually still is. This kind of music probably doesn't do much for you there in Australia as you still may hear it often but for me it is special for the memories it brings, I reckon I haven't heard this song for close on 20 years.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mixed bag

Well my foot held up during today's' race but it hurts now. I had a bad first 10 kms still nursing a big hangover from the night's before BBQ. You know I've never got drunk the night before a race so at the time I thought it would be OK ;)

Anyway it wasn't OK and I was so dry the first half and couldn't get into a comfortable rhythm. But somehow at the 13km mark I came good and ran my second half really well I seemed to be getting stronger and faster from the 13th K on right up until the 20th K when a lady of about 60 years (The eventual 2nd place woman's winner) flew by me and I couldn't catch her.

My time was 1:31:15. I'm a little disappointed with that as I should have done better given the conditions today. It was 19 degrees and no wind to cause problems and apart from ten minutes at the end it didn't rain. I was thinking on the way home that I just have to toughen up my training if I want any more PBs, more harder runs at pace and a bit more consistency. These PB don't come easy, you know.

On a brighter note I went to see a pro soccer game with my sons after the run today and our local team "Cerezo Osaka" won 4 to 0. We will take that ;)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Run from reality!

I'm running a half marathon this Sunday. This race is special to me for several reasons and it's a bit of a love hate thing. It was the first time I'd ever raced. I trained for about 5 months and did this race and 4 years later and I'm still running races regularly with no end in sight. So for this reason I love it and I do it every year. Also it's a fast half and I hold my current half marathon PB there.

What I'm not so thrilled about is that it has been cold and rained every year on this particular day since the first one I did here and it's at time of writing this forecast to rain again this year! It usually blows a gale too as it runs up and back along a river. You might think, "Oh a river that sounds lovely" but the old Yodo river is not a very scenic affair and the only time you might "Oh" is when you see a animal carcass float by.

It seems that some races are like this either they are always held in perfect conditions or they are always held in crappy weather. Still, I won't give this race up as sure enough the day a decide to not run it it will be 15 degrees sunny with a light breeze.

On another related note, my ankle is still not better and I now regret entering the last 10K race as it was not 100% when I ran this race but I did it anyway and I've aggravated it to the point that it has interrupted my preparation for this half and I will go into this Sundays race a little underdone and still a little lame.

Anyways, you might say I'm a little lame brained to be doing this and I'd agree. I would say to anyone of you, "take it off and save yourself for the next race", (mine is a full marathon on the end of December). but I can't bear to miss this race and the injury is more of a niggle than anything. One day it seems fine and next day, not so much ;(

Well it hasn't stopped me from running my normal runs this week and I'm betting that a few days rest before and the atmosphere on the day will have me pumped up enough to run a good race, even if it's not a PB.

This brings me to my song of the week from the German Punk band "Oxymoron." We are all sometimes a bit oxymoronish, I reckon. Song title: "Run from reality" exactly what I`ll be doing this weekend ;)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Do you think you will......

I was teaching a final year high school class today and as they are only a few weeks away from graduating I've been taking them aside one by one and asking them questions about their future. This has been for my benefit perhaps more than theirs.

Here are some of the questions I put to them today.
"In your future do you think you will:

run a marathon?"
have children?"
learn to play a musical instrument?"
take a trip to Europe?"
own your own business?"

After they answer I ask follow up questions but apart from the students simply practicing using the language I've found this exercise illuminating. Basically nobody imagines themselves running a marathon in their future. This is, I guess, because they are simply not interested in running or they can't imagine doing something that seems impossible to them now.

I think I would have answered in the negative too at seventeen but I hope they will try one day and come to know the reasons I love running so much.

The following quote by Christopher Reeve explains much. He says: "So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."

For me I love running because I can challenge myself and what I once thought impossible can be made, through effort and sacrifice, possible.

Living a good life is all about doing now what we thought we couldn't do before. Or at least trying to ;)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

All things considered

Had my first race, a 10k, today. That is the first since before the summer here. Last race was Nagano marathon in July.

Anyway, on Thursday night I slipped coming out of the shower and twisted my ankle. It was pretty bloody painful at the time and next morning I couldn't put much weight on it without screaming like a banchee. Part of what I wanted to scream about was: Why does this sort of shit always happen so close to race days #%&!?

I thought my race for this weekend had finished right there, but with a program of ice and hot baths I felt right to go on the day, two days later.

I started the race with a 4:05 first K slowed by the large crowd. The 2nd K was better a 3:39 and a 4:00 min K the 3rd one. From about the 6th K I felt a little out of wind, first race blues or blews, but mostly I was starting to feel my ankle and it was weakening me enough that I started to bleed seconds.

I finished in 41:58 the best I could do today. Still all things considered I reckon that was a pretty good time.

After the event my wife, the kids and I went to a theme park and had a very nice BBQ lunch down by the ocean. It was a bloody terrific day ;)

Now to continue the training. I need to lose at least 5kgs before my full marathon in Dec and get in a few good/hard speedwork sessions in before my next half marathon event on Nov 11th.

 

 

 
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Is anybody out there?

Hi, just a bit of housekeeping. Does it seem quiet in bloggsville or is it only me?

Maybe just a dry patch during the change of seasons? I wouldn't be so worried but I just had a look at Ewens blog and he has only 1 comment, mine, for the last couple of days. This coming from Mr. blogopular who normally gets 20 comments.

Now I'm thinking twice about uploading my lastest video I took of an open leg sore that was going to be titled "Does this look infected to you?"

Anyway, I hope you'll all come back when you can. One thing I really wanted to ask, seriously, is does anybody else have trouble when logging on to Robert Song's or Tugerranong Don's blog? Cause 9 times out of ten when I visit these blogs my computer just shuts down seconds into reading. While it always boots itself back up I don't understand why it does this and only to these two blogs. It's been like this with Roberts blog for 8 months and TD's for about 6 months. I can only comment on them at the computer at work my home one doesn't want to view there work for some reason.

Anyway, let me know if you know. And if you're caught under a overturned bulldozer and can't blog at the moment I fully understand ;)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Just because you can see thru it....



On my never ending quest for self improvement I came across this clip. Definitely found this a help and I'm now looking to avoid all future "retard traps." I will try to think about any so called traps that us runners could try to avoid. Please also let me know if you can think of any.

By the way how's my penmanship?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gogo



It's been a strange week and it's only half way over. Some rough classes at school. See youtube clip for example. Boy "Gogo Yubari" the Japanese school girl from "Kill Bill" has nothing on some of my students. They can be rough ;)

Also came down with a cold on Sunday night after my 27K long run, maybe in sympathy with Tesso and I haven't run at all for a couple of days. Still feel better already after a few early nights.

Well it hasn't been all bad news as I found out that I had some "lost super" still on hold for me and it is possible to make claim to it. Now that put some balance back in the week ;) Think I'll go and buy a new pair of runners to celebrate!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Born to run



We've got a lot of friends running the Melbourne Marathon tomorrow. So I my song of the month is posted with them in mind. I know not everyone is 100% ready for it but I know you will all show at least as much grit as bruce did. All the best!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Time for a cool change

 
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Today marks 12 weeks before my next full marathon, so it's full steam ahead with training from this point on. The temperature has dropped between 5 and 10 degrees since last week and with mornings around 20 degrees and clear I'm really starting to get into my runs of late. Those last few months of sauna room temperatures certainly took their toll on my motivation.

By the middle of next month the foliage will be changing to golden brown, red and bright yellow and I'll be so fit that my old PBs will be dropping like the leaves themselves.

That's the plan anyway.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Skin and blister

Sorry for my delay in posting, like I said before I'm still coming to terms with being back at work and my sister and niece are visiting us so I've also been busy with my guide duties.

I joined a running club here too at the beginning of the month. They meet twice a every month on Sunday mornings near my house. I'm happy to finally find a local club this should help with any flagging motivation. It's a good club with over hundred runners the fastest woman runs 2:40 for the marathon and there are a couple of runners who run under 2:30. The Japanese guy that won the 2007 Gold Coast marathon is a local runner here and sometimes makes an appearance.

It's still bloody hot here, 34 degrees today, but I'm starting to get a groove on, so to speak, building the kms and my fitness. A ways to go though and a few kgs to lose but that will have to wait a couple of weeks until my sister goes home. I can't resist BBQing and drinking while catching up. Call me old fashioned ;)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Beside You



Since coming back from holidays I've been little shocked to be thrown into work so soon. I was at work within 12 hours of arriving. Still sort of glad to be back into it as a few weeks more and I might have started thinking I could have done without it and stayed on holidays ;

A lot has been going through my mind of late and part of the reason I've only posted once since returning is that I have so many different thoughts I can't decide what to write first. How's that for an excuse?

Anyway, while I gather myself please take a listen to my "Song of the month."

I'm sure I'm not the only Iggy Pop fan.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

"Buster"



The above photo is of Craig Mottram running in the heats of his event at Osaka last Thursday. Doesn't he look fit and ready for the next race!

I'm looking forward to tomorrow evening as Craig Mottram will be running the final of the 5000m. Such a time for Australian Athletics and having the race here, my adopted city, is all the more exciting. The Stadium where it will be held is less than 20 minutes from my house here in southern Osaka and I often go there for my speed-work sessions.

How is the hype in Australia about this race? I'm sure my fellow bloggers will be watching tomorrow. I would have gotten tickets and gone to see it had anyone of you wanted to come over and see this race but as I'm the only one here, at least among my family and friends, that really is interested in this particular event I will just watch it on TV like you guys. I did try to get a ticket to the stadium for this, this morning but they already stopped selling them and at $200 AUD a ticket my wife was happy they had.

Anyway, good luck Buster!!

Just a note it will be 36 degrees tomorrow here and probably around 30 degrees when Craig runs in the early evening. The Marathon girls start at 7:00am and by 9:00am it will be close to the max for the day, they will find it all the more difficult. Still they all must have trained with this in mind.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Back

Got back home last night. I'll write again soon and start catching up with your posts but just wanted to let you know I'm OK. The photos here are of the place where we stayed. The first one is of my youngest son at the one bed cabin on the beach we stayed at for most of our time, it was really wonderful.

 

 

 

 
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another day older and deeper in...

Hope you`re all well. I`m fine enjoying my holiday with the family and clocking up the Ks. Running between 10 and 18kms a day not doing anything fancy, no speedwork, hills etc, just happy to be getting in the miles.

When I go back in Sept I`ll get a bit more serious and plan for my coming races starting in early Oct with a full marathon in December in Japan.

This brings me to my point.(bloggers rule #1 "have a point") This Thursday the 16th I turn 43 and I was hoping I could get a little advice about how you reckon I should proceed from this year on in relation to my running life.

Sure I will and should take my own decision in regards to this but I would be interested in your comments along the lines of "If I were you I`d ......"

Just a brief history, for those that don`t know this will be my 4th year running and apart from a short cross country career when I was 15 and 16 I didn`t run at all up until I was 39, unless it was from someone I upset. Well that`s not entirely true I did a little chasing over the years, wink, wink ;)

You know my PBs, listed on this blog, and I can tell you that I want to go as far as I can go in this sport. While I will not rule out divorce I`m not sure if willing to give up beer ;)

Anyways any advice will be appreciated, thanks in advance.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

"Malaysia Truly Asia"

Well just starting to settle into the holiday. We got ourselves a cabin on the sand and been enjoying swimming at the beach all day and eating tasty Malaysian and Indian food breakfast, noon and night. I truly love South East Asia and this place is the perfect location for a family holiday. I will post some photos when I get home.

As for my running I have been doing it on the beach in the mornings. Where we are staying, it`s on about 2km long strip of beach I`ve been doing laps of this coconut fringed white sand beach and it`s quiet the novelty. I have never ran on a beach before, well not along it, only ever down to the water to go for a surf. I`m sure you have all had this experience but I never have so I`m going to make the most of it and only run on the road once a week or so.

The exact location is Langkawi Island, do you know it, have you ever been here? I have been almost all over Asia but it`s my first time here.

Anyway back to the duty free beer and a afternoon nap, it`s too hot to do much else.

I`ll be in contact soon.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Here today, gone......


Yes, Tomorrow I'm leaving on holidays. I'll be back September 1st. I'll be able to continue to read and comment on your blogs which is great, I don't need a holiday from you lot, yet ;)

And I'll continue to run so all I can say now as I sink the last bottle of beer in my home frig, pack the sun tan lotion and a spare lycra thong, is "I love yous all!"

Talk soon.

Can you guess where I'm going? A souvenir to the person that gets it right. The photo above and this post are the only clues. If that is not enough I'll leave you with my favorite Sherlock Holmes quote as said to dear old Watson "You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear."

Friday, July 20, 2007

Time for a holiday


I thought I'd post something that I could relate to. This is from a blog of a woman "Binary Blonde" I read her blog every now and then but never comment, shame on me, anyway It's good to know that apart from "runners" there are many interesting/kind/sensitive/funny people out there.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Some cheese with that whine.

Recently been reading about how cold it is in Australia now from those there and I sympathise as I know how hard it is to get going on those cold early mornings.

Here it is the end of the monsoon season about 30 degrees and 90% humidity. Running it this is certainly a challenge and it's only comfortable between 3 and 4AM. Still we all have our crosses to bear ;)

I fell off the high mileage wagon last week with a BBQ and hangover and a bit of ITB pain I thought I'd better have a bit of a rest. So now day 4 without a run and not only do I feel out of condition, I feel a cold coming on. And to top this off I've put on close to 2kgs in 5 days!

It's really a constant battle , isn't it? Just got to keep moving to even stay in place. Well no matter what I'm back into it tomorrow I can't let this go on too much longer as I don't like feeling like this anymore. Now I can't be happy unless I feel healthy and fit. I fear the consequences of inaction and I'm no longer much tempted by the lure of inactivity.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Warning: Not a substitute for human interaction

Hi sorry for the delay in posting. Although I don't think I'm upsetting too many people ;) I'd like to get more comments but I think that's not going to happen until I either get a decent personality or break 2 hours for the marathon.

Anyways, things are good here building up my weekly mileage without breaking down. 68kms last week and going to go close to 80kms this week. I want to get up around 100kms a week and do this for a few months before my racing season starts in early Oct. We will see how it goes I have never done a 100k week. I usually run pretty low mileage but I think that it's time to try out this high mileage stuff everyone is talking about. You never know I might thrive on it, Tesso tells me that she does, when she's not nursing an injury that is.

This means running in all conditions and I had an interesting experience today in relation to this. A big Typhoon is on the way here and they locked the gate on the track at the local university today. It was pissing down and no one around so I jumped the fence and begun with 3kms of warm up 6x 100 sprints and some 800m intervals. I had done two 800s the 1st 2:59, 2nd 2:49 when a couple of guys in suits with huge umbrellas came in and asked me, ever so politely, to leave as it was dangerous to run in such weather.

It wasn't dangerous of course but the Japanese are so bloody anal (perhaps why I like it so much here I'm a tad that way myself) they just get freaked out when things are done differently than usual. Still so polite they didn't ask me how I got in through the locked gate and who the bloody hell I was, and they looked quite pained to ask me to leave. I perhaps could have argued the point but I didn't have any right to be there even on a dry day and they were so bloody nice about asking me to go I just had to be nice back, and go!

Great thing about Japanese people on the whole is that they know that force will meet with force and often try to get their way with a softer approach not like the typical "white male" who will be abusive first and aggro later.

I don't include you white male runners with that lot. You're all just pale Kenyans to me. ;P

Sunday, July 01, 2007

2000~2007 before and after running

Thanks for your positive comments vis a vis the youtube videos, I will tell you how I did it next post but believe me it's the easiest thing, otherwise I wouldn't of been able to do it.

Anyway I'm also experimenting with web albums and I put together this one of my progress from before I started running until today. You may agree that it has been a positive thing. To be frank I hardly know the old me anymore as I've change both inside and out.

Take a look at it here.

Just click to enlarge photos and follow the progression.

The Gold Coast Marathon is being held as I type, I really wish I could be there :(

Friday, June 22, 2007

Rainy Season

The rainy season officially started last week and this means, you guessed it, lots of rain. It should rain almost everyday for a month or so but usually we get a few dry ones in between.

I've probably mentioned it but I do like running in the rain, especially warm rain like now. One of the reasons for this is because it was a warm rainy day around 4 years ago that I got up off the couch and did my first run, that is, the first one that began this present obsession.

By the way if you want a Japanese lesson go ahead and download it from the box to the right.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Home sick



Thanks for your nice comments. I really am happy that I started this blog as I'm able to be in contact with such cool people! Thanks, here is a song cause I feel home sick. I'm sure you all like this! thanks again.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Looking for signs

My Grandmother, the one I told you about recently, passed away yesterday morning.
I was thinking about her all day today, about what constitutes a "life" and what remains after one has gone.

I left for my daily run a little later than usual and when I arrived at my route, it was 9:00pm. The ground was wet from a big storm that had been battering the Osaka region all day, but the storm had stopped by the time I arrived it was humid and sprinkling lightly. In the dark the lights from the nearby houses and apartments reflected off the glassy lake. I began on my first loop of my usual 3k track.

I was still thinking about my grandmother and sort of wishing that she would be able to show me a sign that everything would be alright. As soon as I started I noticed a group of ten or so tiny bats swirling and swooping just above and around my head. Was this a sign?

I was not yet into the 2km when a weasel dashed across my path, this has never happened to me before. Was this a sign?

On my second loop I noticed how calm and quiet it was, not a soul around. Was this a sign?

On the final loop not yet seeing a ghostly vision I started to think I was being stupid looking for such signs so I instead focused on my breath and the way I was feeling running through the darkness. I could feel each breath going in and out, each step bringing droplets of water down on me ones that had gathered in my wet hair. I concentrated on the moving of my chest and arms and by the time I hit the 10km mark I was really cruising. Racing through the dark wet night thinking to myself, this is a sign, I'm alive, I'm healthy and doing what I love and none of this would have been possible without my grandmother.

She continues to live in me and as long as I keep her in my memory and do my best I am honoring her memory by living as she did, the best she could.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Teach them well and let them .....




I went to my youngest son's sports festival on the weekend just gone and was pleased to see that he seems to have some talent for running. Well at least he is not as awkward as his older brother and Dad.

In my family my Great Grandfather won the Stawell Gift in Victoria, my Father qualified for the Melbourne Olympics, but didn't go, he was too young, and my elder sister was going to be a handy runner too but bronchitis and a boyfriend derailed her career.

As for my Mother and most other members of my family and me when it comes to sports we are pretty good at watching them, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a bit of sporting talent jumped a generation in my youngest son's case.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Take up running Paris



I'm not really impressed by the coverage Paris Hilton gets at the expense of real news but there is certainly somethings to be gained from knowing about this story.

The problem for Paris, as I see it, is that she cannot stand to be in an uncomfortable position. It's understandable growing up in America with all the "pursuit of happiness" and "greed is good" bullshit but this is on the whole unbalanced and unrealistic.

Life is about putting up with being uncomfortable. And the key to a having a successful life is doing just that as best we can.

Runners understand this and are good examples to others. Where would we be if we never put ourselves into uncomfortable positions. I mean we wouldn't be runners at all without "hills," "speedwork" and "long slow runs." And I bet that there is no real runner that seriously wants to avoid discomfort, I know for a fact that we secretly enjoy the pain to various extents.

Now if Paris would just go to jail quietly, put up with this discomfort, and use this time to read up on running and runners she might just be able to get over this and continue with her life.

But if she refuses to acknowledge the "truth" of the matter the suffering will only come in some other far worse form. That is, by trying to avoid this suffering she will lose the respect of people, this in turn may result in a loss of popularity something that sustains her carreer at present.

Quite apart from my quazi-philosophical musings, Paris should be a runner. She has runners arms and legs, looks like an albino Kenyan to me, now only needs a runner's heart.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Shaking things up



I'm on the second day of my new running plan. For the last couple of years of my running life I've been getting professional advice having others write my plans. While it was indispensable at first, as I had neither the time or knowledge of the sport, I now think I can write a reasonable plan based on my experience so far. And with the help of you dear bloggers who have generously given me direct help and/or written the down the details of your own training routines on a regular basis.

I have taken a little bit from all of you and hopefully put it all together in a way that will work for me. We will see.

It's about time I thought more deeply about my running goals and how to achieve them so I'm happy I made this step, no matter what the outcome I will learn from this and get better.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Ani's raw food kitchen


In my quest for a healthier life style I've come across so called "raw food." The people who adhere to this type of eating are extreme to be sure but its basic principals are sound.

I'm not "going raw" anytime soon but if "Ani" would have me I'd think about it. Anyway, the recipes are delicious and obviously good for your health.Take a look at one such recipe above.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

lighter, harder

Been taking it easy the last few weeks haven't run much at all only 5 times in two weeks and nothing over 7kms. I haven't done any speedwork or hills in this time to give the achillies a rest and I've been on a pretty restrictive diet so I haven't done any long runs.

Happy to say I've shed 4 kgs in the two weeks from 70 to 66kgs and I'm going back to my nornal, healthy diet, from Monday and going to start training in earnest, over the summer here, with my first race in October.

We'll see how the lighter me handles the new training schedule but I gotta believe that minus a few kgs and plus hard training equals PBs!

Friday, May 25, 2007

like a turtle


I've been pretty busy lately I will get to reading and commenting on some blogs over the weekend. Not much going on with me so I won't be Bombastic, I'll leave that to "Shaggy."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Places I run



I'm going to upload some snaps of the "places I run" now and in future posts. Here is "sayama pond" a 3K loop around , yes , a pond. It was the first place I started to run and has remained a favorite as it has clean well kept toilets, I like that in a run, and the sunrises over the back mountains are fantastic, although you can't see the mountains so well in these photos and its not morning, you are going to have to take my word for it.

Hope you're all well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

King of the road



I'm sad today as I got news that my Grandmother's health has taken a turn for the worse. My Aunt tells me that she no longer recognises anyone and basically her system is shutting down and she's on the way out.

I love this grandmother as she was the smartest of our family, most well read, and the most cheerful. She is in her nineties so I can accept her going but nevertheless I'm depressed that I can no longer communicate with her and that she is lingering without the quality of life that she's used to.

One of the things those of us that push ourselves physically can look forward to is that we will meet our end relatively quickly. Unfit people tend to die more slowly and painfully, you can't avoid suffering I reckon, either you suffer while getting fit or suffer with a more painful demise. I want to go out like a light and not linger with pain.

Anyway I'm going to post a song that always makes me feel good and hope we all continue to make the most of our lives as we don't have forever to live them that way.

Note to Ewen and 2P it's "King of the road" not "king of the trail."

Monday, May 14, 2007

If you want to run faster....

I uploaded an excellent article, see to the right, on the height to weight ratio. According to this I'm over the average weight for my height and over the summer, here, I'm going to get down to what I should be in order to give myself the best chance at running closer to 3 hours in December, planning a full marathon then.

If I lose that weight I'm going to have to run around in the shower to get wet, but I'm sure it will help me with my running goals.

So how do you measure up according to this scale? I wouldn't dare tell anyone what they should weight but it does make sense vis a vis our running life and it gives one food for thought, so to speak.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

"Take comfort in your friends"


It seems there are a few of us nursing injuries so I'll post this song. And hope you don't "hurt" for long. Also I hope those that haven't posted here recently are doing so for reasons other than because they are injured. I'll accept pregnant and/or pissed off at me but nothing else ;)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Downloads

Can you see the box in the side column? I got the idea from David's blog and thought I'd use it here.

What I'll do is post articles, mainly on running, that I think that some of you will be interested in. You simply save them to somewhere on your computer, download and read them. After that you can delete or keep as you want. Let me know if you read any of them and if you think it's a good idea perhaps you can get a box for your blog and upload some articles you find for others to share.

For my part I'd like to start building a electronic library of sorts that, in the future, can be turned into a one stop, web page that people can go to for articles and stories about running.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Free running


Not too much going on with me but I did find a good clip of "free running" I'll post. Might give Ewen something else to do with his "walking frame". And I wonder could this be what Tesso has been up to on her "week off".

Actually I have been trying a few, small, jumps. Like, I was practicing jumping backwards onto a box about half a meter high. I fell over many times before finally being able to do it. I'm really not good at this type of thing at all but I'd like to be. If you want to see another good example of "free running" take a look at the opening scene of the lastest James Bond movie, it is fantastic!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Deadlines

Just some thoughts on why it's important to set goals and deadlines in ones life. Like I said before I need goals and deadlines to help me focus in relation to my running and in my life without some sort of plan I just lurch from one thing to another without really getting much done. In running the race date is a pefect analogy for a deadline.

The following quote puts it nicely:

"Deadlines bring focus, forcing us to make time for the achievements we would otherwise postpone, encouraging us to reach beyond our conservative estimates of what we think possible, helping us to wrench victory from the jaws of sleep. A deadline, is simply put, optimism in its most ass-kicking form. It's a potent force that, when wielded with respect, will level any obstacle in its path." - Chris Baty, No Plot No Problem

Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's Cricket



I heard that Australia is in the final of the "World Cup of Cricket." Thought I'd post this by way of congratulations. If I had to pick one thing that I love most about Australia I'd say it would have to be cricket.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What to do?



Coming down a bit after Nagano and Tokyo. For the past six months I've been training with an aim for both marathons and now they are over I'm having a rest after rediscovering the element "IDONTGIVEASHITIUM."

Enough of that, I reckon, now I'm going to have to find myself a new goal. Still, that's not as easy as just picking a new race as it is coming into summer here and unless I head way north I won't find any marathons run under 30 degrees.

I'm thinking of simply running "for fun" over the summer and starting up racing again in the "Fall" with a 10K and a half in late September or early October and a race in November, maybe another half and a full marathon in December of this year.

I'm a bit worried that I might not be able to stay focused over the summer so I think I'll use this time to try to get a 3K PB by myself by the end of August. That should keep me healthy, busy and occupied.

Anyway if you "DOGIVEASHITIUM" let me know what you think?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nagano more details

Start

The temperature really climbed between the time I left my hotel 6:30am and the time of the race 8:30am、from 3 degrees to 14 degrees. Milling around the start area I was struck by the light atmosphere, people were going about their preparations often commenting on what a lovely morning it was. For warm up I jogged 5 laps of a 1K dirt covered track that was lined with cherry blossoms in full bloom. As you turned the first corner of this track you caught sight of a massive mountain range covered top 20% with snow. This contrasted against the deep blue sky and the pink of the cherry trees and was really a sight to see. Everyone was smiling and anticipating a great race.

The first 10 Kilometers: 1st 5km split 23:21 the 2nd 22:42

The first kilometer was totally straight and flat, followed by 2- 90 degree turns which resulted in you running in the opposite direction on a neighboring road. At the 2.6 kilometer point you make a sharp turn-around which then set you on your way to the main part of the course. This is run though the city proper and there were people lined three deep in places cheering us runners on.

Most of the way, you run on soft asphalt, however there were patches of hard cement between the 3-8 kilometer points. We ran under a train line just after the 4 kilometer point which is a steep downhill followed by uphill where the road was kind of rough. Still nothing that would slow anyone down at this point.

The course opened up even more at the 5 Km point as you entered the heart of the city. The roads were wider and the pack thinned out a great deal. There was a 300 m long incline leading up to the 6 Km mark. Just in front of the famous Zenkoji temple you turned left where the pace really picked up due to a 500m downhill stretch. Everyone was seemly cruising as we hadn’t even reached the 7km point yet. We then ran past Central Square (site of the medal ceremonies for the Olympics) and ran through central Nagano. Then it was another 2 kilometers to “Big Hat” (site of the Olympic hockey finals) and the 10 Km point. It was around this point that I struck up a conversation with “Adam”. A thirty something Englishman, a strapping fellow that looked to be doing it easy and around my pace. Turned out that Adam is a triathlete doing his first marathon and a friend of Stephen Lacey belonging to the same running club in Tokyo. Adam also had on a new Garmin that was beeping like mad. It sounded like some crazed cicada but it was rather reassuring as I knew we were on pace for a 3:15 finish.

10 Km to 25 Km: 3rd 5km split 23:13, the 4th 23:05, 5th 22:39

The stretch from Big Hat to the next Olympic Venue, “M-Wave” had nice new and flat roads. Between 10 Km and 15 Km, there were not the crowds of the first 10. The temperature was climbing but still comfortable I almost wanted to stop and take a break to glance at the different views. Adam and I took advantage of this stretch to talk and relax a bit.

However, the heart of the race was yet to come, and as you passed the 15 Km mark, we again enter a prime “cheering zone” and M- Wave came into view. On this stretch up to the 17 Km point you were able to see all the runners that were ahead of you coming back on the opposite side of the road. This helped to keep us on pace.

From M-Wave to the 19 Km point it was a flat stretch. Very easy to run however there was a little head wind here that only got worse as we ran over the 2 km long Gorin Bridge. It wasn’t too bad though and we didn’t lose any pace.

The 25 Km point brought us to the next point of interest on the course, “White Ring” (the venue for the figure skating at the Olympics). It was here that I thought I might be starting to feel the race in my legs as they were getting heavier and I ran a little faster to compensate, don’t know if this was a good idea.

25 Km to Finish:  6th 5km split 23:58, the 7th 24:22, 8th 25:24

There was no reason to hold back any longer but it was from the 30th K that I really started to think this isn’t going to be easy to finish off. The stretch to Km 33 was straight on nice winding bicycle path asphalt trails, and the only difference after that is that from Km 33 to 39 we were going in the opposite direction on the other side of the river! The wind played a factor in this part of the race and it seemed to last forever. I lost Adam at a drink station and I was by myself with my thoughts and tiring body. The finish point, the Olympic stadium came into view from kilometer 33 on the left, and reaching it was all I was thinking about from that point on! This part of the course ran alongside the Chikuma river, the longest running river in Japan. There are fruit orchards (apple, pear and peach) whose flowers were in full bloom at this time of year making for attractive scenery.

At km 39 we went over the last of 3 bridges coming up a slight rise on to this last bridge I had a strange feeling like I was running the wrong way on one of those moving airport walkways. I knew I was really in trouble from that point. Then we headed into the final 3 km home stretch. This section was tough for me I thought of my fellow bloggers/runners and dug deep as it was all I could do to not stop.

Finishing in an Olympic stadium was exhilarating but it was a bit of a blur, I must have looked in trouble cause several Japanese spectators took the time to scream at me in their best English, stuff like “good luck” and “Go fight!” The Olympic track was covered with some really soft spongy substance that almost buckled my legs after coming off the hard concrete through the tunnel into the stadium. It felt like I was running on a bloody waterbed.

Everyone was cheering us on and after making a small sprint to the line I was interviewed/filmed and asked to make an appeal to my fellow countrymen to “Come to Nagano” for next year’s 10th anniversary of this marathon. This I did with as much effort as I could still muster.

Later at restaurant with my new found mate Adam, drinking beer eating pizza like it was our last meal, we reflected on how great this sport is. And coming back on the train to Osaka I promised myself that I would PB in my next race as well.

I have played high level rugby and surfed waves the size of apartment blocks but nothing has given such thrills, satisfaction and feelings of anticipation that running does. I think I have found my sport. It's really a terrific sport isn't it? I'm sure I'm preaching to the converted when I say that.

Total time 3:19:42

Monday, April 16, 2007

Nagano race report



Well, it was an interesting kind of weekend. Started off with a bit of a scare. Friday morning woke up with definite headcold symptoms and went to bed early to try to nip it in the bud. Saturday morning felt better but by Sat night I felt bad again runny nose, headache, and the start of a cough.

I stayed in my hotel room and I swear had I not been such a hard bastard, I would have cried ;) Anyway after a restless sleep and a few prays I woke the morning of the race feeling much better, I still had a runny nose but chest seemed clear. It helped too when I looked out my window to see the dawn of a clear crisp day.

Anyway to get to the point, blog details later, the race was good, fantastic course with mountain ranges caped with snow on one side and cherry and plum blossoms on the other. I'd say it's the most scenic course I've run so far. The weather was 14 degrees at the start, much warmed than predicted, and 18 at the finish. If it wasn't for the head wind between 35 and 40kms it was the perfect conditions/race.

As for my performance, well I hit the wall at the 35km mark and felt then that my race had finished but sucked it up and thought I can't come back to this blog with bad news, but I can tell you I really think I would have stopped for a rest if it wasn't for me thinking the other runners I know always try their best I'm not going to give up today.

Those last 7kms were some of the hardest I've ever run but I'm happy to say that I managed to finish off and record a PB that was a good 5mins faster than my previous one.

Total time 3:19:42

Overall pretty pleased with the day and effort again thanks for your support. I'm heading toward 3hrs, it may take me longer than anticipated but with your help, good advice and encouragement, I know now I can do it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The right temperature?



I was reading on "Speedygeoff's blog" that the forecast for this Sunday's Canberra Marathon is "fine and sunny, 9 minimum, 26 maximum". The forecast for this Sunday's Nagano Marathon is "cloudy later sunny, 3 minimum, 15 maximum".

I'd be interested to know what you people think about what the ideal weather/conditions are for running a marathon, and why. I guess that for all but the Queenslanders 26 degrees would be a bit too hot :p

Friday, April 06, 2007

Spring has sprung




Attempted a 5KTT today. I couldn't get out till the afternoon and it was windy as usual but managed to do 3:40 1st K, 3:43 2nd K, 3:45 3rd K, 3:50 4th K and then stopped as I was getting a side stitch. Pushed my hand into my guts and took some deep ones and after 2 mins rest took off for the last 1K angry with myself for not being able to finish off the 5th K straight. Anyway, pushed the last one and did it in 3:30, so I kind of made up for it.

One week to go after today and its smooth sailing as the taper really kicks in from Monday. My wife is back from overseas so all is right in my little piece of the world today. The photo, of my family, was taken today. Note the cherry blossoms in the background. Spring has finally sprung.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Godless Liberal


I found this while following some links from Steve Lacey's blog. Pretty funny stuff.The cat at the end probably best sums up my attitude to organised religion.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Missing you..

Finding it hard to get in all my sessions this week but with some ingenuity and a lot of irresponsibility I've managed to get them done. I did one session at a local track and as "Running Uphill" suggested I just did loops while keeping my eye on the boys who were happily playing with a Frisbee off to the side. Still that session was 1hr30mins and running around a 400m track made me somewhat dizzy.

The other times I left home really early and came back before the boys woke up. Luckily no one swallowed their tongue while sleeping.

I'm forced to admit that the wife not being here is making life pretty difficult. But it is just what I need to give me a new found appreciation of what she means to me. And that is not only a help to my running, but I do digress. Anyways:

I'm ready for a taper now and after my 2hrs tomorrow I'll just try to keep my level of fitness. I did a good fast session yesterday of 4X1k at 3:40 each with 1:30sec standing recovery and finished off that with 2X500m at 1:40 each. Handled that so I think I'm right to keep marathon pace, well at least until 35k and I'll just fight it out to the end. There is no way, barring something unusual, that I'm coming home from Nagano without a PB.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Final countdown

Had my last long, long run on Sunday, 30kms, before the Nagano marathon and because I ate before, and drank sports drinks during I felt fine keeping an easy 5:30 pace. Faster in the last 5kms, 5:10 a K pace.

So now to just get in all my scheduled sessions until then and arrive at the start line healthy. My wife is away for 10 days in Thailand, yes Ewen I'm going to have to burn my own dinners for a while, and it is a bit difficult trying to fit all my running in and look after my two boys at the same time, anyway I'll do my best.

If only I could lock my car from the inside I could put the little buggers in there. With the windows down a bit, of course. I'm not a complete monster, you know ;)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

How do you feel?


I haven't been drinking beer these last two weeks in an effort to lose a few kgs before the marathon. It doesn't seem to be working and everywhere I look I'm reminded of the "joy of beer".

Just searching for a song for my blog and I came across this classic. I remember this ad really well and could even sing the words after 25 years not hearing it at all.

Perhaps it is trying to tell me to have a beer. What do you reckon?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Work in progress

Not a good run again today. I was suppose to do 1 hour 20 but because my Achilles on my left leg was throbbing and the shin on my right leg was also aching I stopped at an hour. I will try to get this session in again tomorrow.

Just had a bath, soaked my ankle in a bucket of ice and put some cream on it. That usually is enough to fix it at least for next run. I'm getting frustrated with this ankle pain as it seems to be getting chronic and I just want it to go away!

Anyways, it seems by the response to my last post that, like I thought, nobody wants to be told what to eat. Tesso asked me if I had tried a vegan diet and if I eat more healthily here in Japan compared to in Australia?

I try to eat "well" like I don't eat much processed foods anymore and I haven't had any milk for the last year and a half, but I don't worry too much if I have a hamburger now and then and ice-cream and cake is hard to turn down.

When in Australia I would eat anything I could get my hands on, I had a thing for "Chiko rolls" and pies but as I was young and active with surfing it didn't effect my health to any degree that I could see.

Since moving overseas and growing older I'm aware that food is the number one thing that affects my physical and emotional health so I don't "pig out" anymore and due to eating less sugar I don't "flip out" as much as I used to either but that could be related to aging as well.

Of course some Australians eat really well, not many as indicated by Tuggeranong Don's Doctor's 3% story, and some Japanese eat very badly, lots of processed and fried foods. But overall it is a little easier to eat more healthy foods as the Japanese have a long history of vegetarianism and therefore a lot more choices.

While I won't tell others how to eat it is a goal of mine to go "Vegan", totally vegetarian, as it is, I believe, the best way to look after my health and that of my brothers the animals. It's a work in progress as they say.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Vegan

I'm not preaching and I wouldn't pretend to tell anyone how to eat but I did find this article interesting as it does show a way to improved running performance and health.

An Article by CARL LEWIS

"Can a world-class athlete get enough protein from a vegetarian diet to compete? I've found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. Moreover, by continuing to eat a vegan diet, my weight is under control, I like the way I look. (I know that sounds vain, but all of us want to like the way we look.) I enjoy eating more, and I feel great. Here's my story."

HERE

Monday, March 19, 2007

I bet she would know!



Cute isn't it? "Ahem," clearing the throat, now back to the subject of running.

Sunday's long run, 30kms, was a marked improvement on the week before's effort. Although I was tired at the end I kept a slow but even pace throughout, at about 5:30 per K.

I had a relatively fast mid week long run that took me a few days to get over so I didn't want to push this one, that is go too fast. I'll be happy to get through next Sunday's long run between 4:30 to 5:30 pace per K. If I'm able to do that and do two solid speedwork sessions a week up until the marathon on April 15th I reckon that will put me in good shape for a PB.

That and good weather.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Graduation


I'm suppose to do a 1 and a half hour run today but it will have to wait until tonight after work as this morning I couldn't fit it in as we had to get up early and go to my eldest son's graduation ceremony from kindergarten.(See photo) Casey is going to start primary school from April and he'll be 7 in May this year too.

A lot has changed since he was born. At that time I wasn't even thinking about running, I was pretty unhealthy, overweight and smoking and drinking everyday.

I hope by the time he graduates from primary school I'll be healthier still and be able to break 3 hours for the marathon at will ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Don't worry baby

With Mr. Lacey doing another marathon so soon after Tokyo I dedicate my song of the week. You'll do just fine! This song has something for everyone. Tesso if you ever give up running there is always a future for you as a human jump rope. Those surfing boys of the 60's certainly knew how to treat their women. And I swear that given a 6 foot track singlet the lead singer looks like 2P incarnate. Enjoy.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hard one

I had a terrible long run yesterday. I was supposed to do 2 hours 30 minutes and I set off at 3pm to run round my usual 3km loop around a pond. I thought 9 or 10 laps of this would cover the time alright.

Anyways, I don't know exactly why but it was a real struggle after the first hour. I did the last hour and a half at about 5:40 pace per K and basically felt like I had hit the wall and it took all my strength just to finish this session. I just kept saying to myself. "Don't be a wimp, if you can't finish this you won't be any good for Nagano."

Like I said I don't know why it was such a struggle there were some new factors involved but that run has never been that hard for me. Was it the wind? it was blowing a gail, Did I tell you I really hate wind especially when it's cold. Was it because a ran too hard the day before? Did my speed session on Saturday instead of Friday to avoid the wind. Was it the lack of food? No lunch before running at 3pm, but I usually don't eat before my morning long runs and I'm OK.

I read that a few of you, EG Eddie, struggled with their long runs because of the heat. I can't say that's why I had so much trouble but glad to have done it. Another one of those before my goal marathon might break the spirit. Like Eddie said I couldn't of imagined running at goal pace over 42kms yesterday!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Funny


Asians Are Funny - The most popular videos are here
I found this while surfing this arvo. It's real and the victims involved have no idea. I like the last one in particular they all yell out "look out!" in Japanese.

Friday, March 09, 2007

All the best

I will be thinking about all those doing the 6ft track race this weekend. It's a great thing to train and prepare and then to go public, so to speak. It shows amazing guts to put it on the line like that. Win, lose or draw just the fact that you all take a risk is, for mine, what makes you special.

Not much to say with my training today so I'll leave you with a cute running joke.

Two gas company servicemen, a senior training supervisor and a young trainee, were out checking meters in a suburban neighborhood. They parked their truck at the end of the alley and worked their way to the other end. At the last house a woman looking out her kitchen window watched the two men as they checked her gas meter. Finishing the meter check, the senior supervisor challenged his younger coworker to a foot race down the alley back to the truck to prove that an older guy could outrun a younger one. As they came running up to the truck, they realized the lady from that last house was huffing and puffing right behind them. They stopped and asked her what was wrong. Gasping for breath, she replied "When I see two gas men running as hard as you two were, I figured I'd better run too!"

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Perfect Day


It should have been around 8 degrees today at this time of year. But today was one out of the box an absolute cracker 23 degrees and totally wind less. Did a two hour run today and got sunburn. That just doesn't happen at this time of year! Still I'll take it as I've pretty much had a gut full of winter.

Hope you like the song. I love Lou Reed and don't us runners know "You're going to reap just what you sow."

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Tokyo photos

Here are some photos I took from the internet of me running the Tokyo marathon. I couldn't get them any larger unless I bought them which I wouldn't do. My hamstrings aren't the only things "tight" on me.











Friday, March 02, 2007

Constipation


Had "conveyor belt" sushi for lunch yesterday and have been getting these pretty nasty stomach cramps since. I reckon a good dump, again sorry ladies, would sort me out but nothing is moving, so to speak.

Did my scheduled 10k nonetheless and feel I'm ready to get back into training for the Nagano Marathon April 15th. I took the whole week off running after the Tokyo marathon and this weeks been no speedwork just jogging twice at 50min an hour today and I'll do 2 hours on Sunday before getting back into it proper from Monday.

Thanks for the feedback vis a vis long run pace I've settled on a plan thanks to this advice. One thing I've been thinking is that come Nagano I won't have any excuse that I haven't done a long run at pace cause I'm now considering Tokyo as a 42km long run done at an average of 4:40 per K. That is pretty close to the race pace I'll be looking for in Nagano ;)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Question

I have been thinking about how I can give myself a better chance of improving my Marathon times and think that my main problem is that I've been running my long runs too slowly. This is the most likely the reason for recent poor showings in the marathon as my training otherwise seems to have all the other keys for success. Well it could be my ticker but that's another story.

I run most of my long runs at a very slow pace considering my normal race pace of about 4:40 per K in the marathon. I'm doing my long runs at anywhere between 5:20 and 6:00 min pace.

What do you all reckon, too fast, too slow, or just right? Thanks in advance.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Crazy


I picked this song as it pretty accurately reflects my mood right now. And in the spirit of foolishness I've signed up for another full marathon just 6 weeks from now.
Please tell me I'm wrong but Nagano is too tempting to turn down and frankly I feel fine and reckon I could do a marathon this Sunday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

You're peaches!

Thanks for the well wishes I can really benefit from your thoughtful comments. I was thinking to write a detailed report on the marathon today but it might be better to
leave it for a while as it will take sometime for me to put it into proper perspective.

Anyways, I will give you my splits which you runners will understand tell their own story. By the way a got a few more minutes due to the actual time being faster than the gun time cause it took some time to cross the starting line. I'm pretty pleased with them in that they are somewhat consistent albeit slower than I was aiming for.

1st 5k 26,10
2nd 5k 24,43
3rd 5k 23,22
4th 5K 23,04
5th 5k 23,50
6th 5k 24,20
7th 5k 24,43
8th 5k 24,53
last few 11,05

Total 3:26:14

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Shoganai

"shoganai" in Japanese means roughly "what are you gonna do? You just have to put on a brave face." Well that's exactly what I've got to do. Did 3:28: about 8 to 15 minutes short of what I hoped for.

I thought I was running well enough today to PB and up until the end I ran pretty even splits, but because of the crowd, 30 thousand + runners, it was a sight to behold, I lost a lot of time in the first 10 Kms until I could get some room to move.

It was bloody cold and it didn't stop raining until about 1k from the end so this also contributed to slower times all round. Stephen was not a happy chappy either as he didn't break 3hrs and got 3:08:Again "shoganai." We will be back.

I left Stephen at a party as I didn't feel much like partying and I took a train home. Four hours later I'm home so I though I'd just write briefly about the day. Will go into more detail later. Thanks for your support as usual. By the way Stephen is, as expected, a terrific bloke and it was great to meet him face to face.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Last post

Well the last before the marathon anyways.
I'm going to leave Saturday afternoon and take the fast train up to Tokyo.I'll meet up with a friend and go and pick up my race kit before some dinner and back to the hotel room for a hot bath with a couple of cold coronas and and early night.

Looking forward to the weekend but can't say I'm not a tad nervous. My shins are still both sore to the touch, yes I won't touch them, and my Achilles are also a bit suspect. If I don't do as well as I want it will be because of these, but on the positive side they haven't been bad enough to stop me from training and I have never had an injury prevent me from finishing a marathon before. Actually any prior injuries have all seemed to disappear when running the marathon funnily other injuries and tiredness seem to come up and trump the old pains.

I'm going to meet our friend Stephen Lacey too for the first time which I'm looking forward to too.

Wish me luck and as they say in Japan "Gambaremasu" "I'll do my best."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rain


I see that there is a chance of rain for Sunday's marathon so I'm going to post an old favorite, One Fine Day, it is also dedicated to my favorite coach who has, strangely enough, the same name as the singer "Pat Carroll." I wonder how many times Pat has been asked to sing this at Karaoke.

Race pace "discipline"

Thanks for the comments about music, I reckon I'll try it while training but not during any races for now. Today I did 4kms at race pace which is going to be 4:37 per 1K. Found that I really couldn't keep the pace I was running 15 to 25 seconds too fast.

Somehow I have a lot of trouble holding pace either too slow by far or too fast. I think I'm going to set my watch to beep at 4:37 invervals and try to keep strictly to running 23:05 for every 5kms. I know I'm able to run faster but even ten or so seconds faster per K will hurt me in the last 10K. Anyway I'll try to be disciplined
this time and if I feel I've got something with 7K to go I'll push it a bit faster. We'll see but this is my 6th full marathon and I'm yet to finish with much in the tank.

Also Clairie and Tesso have now "tightened the screws" , nice discipline metaphor hey Stephen,with such fine races on the weekend. I'm going to have to be hurting real bad in this one before I give up on my goal. Thanks girls.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Wired for sound

I heard part of tapering is to get your mind off stressing about the race so I was thinking about running with some music. You know it may sound strange but I've never done it so I'd like to try. Do you all listen to music when you run? Do you think it helps and in what way? I know some people don't care for it what are your views on this?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Food Glorious Food


You would all be happy to know my lovely wife is including me in meal times again so all offers of food baskets, although appreciated, are now no longer needed. While on the subject I'd like to know if you have any carbo loading secrets you would like to share?

I heard of one way that I tried before a training run but never in a race. It worked well! I ate basically no carbs for two days and the day before my run I loaded up only eating high carb food for breaky, lunch and tea. I felt switched on for that run and flew through 18K with the type of energy I rarely feel. So I'm going to try this again for Tokyo and hope it can make up for the gaps in my training.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The last of the long runs ran

Did the last of my long runs yesterday. It was about 30K on the streets around my local area. Not too easy as there were a few long hills in there but ankles behaved and although a real slow run, nothing under 5min per K, I feel it did me some good.

Now I'm just going to concentrate on my speed sessions, pump out a few black ones, like Ewen says and visualize like Clairie says. And keep my fingers crossed for a day weather wise like today. A deep dark blue sky, no wind, and 14 degrees, very mild here for this time of year.

Friday, February 02, 2007

They don't write like this anymore


Time for my song of the week. I've recently been listening to Joni Mitchell and I saw a recent interview were she says she's blocked and can't write songs anymore.
She puts it down to the present time which she says is "unromantic and shallow" and she calls songs on the radio today little more than jingles around which commercials fit. I can't really argue with her as I don't see much soul and romanticism in recent music. Having said that I see this beginning to change and I'm more than happy to be convinced otherwise.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Shock the Monkey

Had a hard run yesterday. Went to bed Tuesday night with a ticklish throat and a little phlegmy. I was thinking here we go old Murphy's law is coming into play again.

On Weds morning I didn't feel any worst but I was feeling tired with a small headache. Anyways I did my scheduled 90 min run and shuffled all the way. I didn't have the energy and my bloody ankles were hurting again. Didn't get above 130BPM the whole run. Still after I finished I felt pretty good, no more pain in the ankles and minus a fair bit of phlegm, excuse me ladies.

Last night I had and early night and woke up this morning feeling fine. What is that?
Well, with that shock behind me I moving forward with all fingers and toes crossed that I can remain healthy and injury free for two more weeks at least.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Long and soft

Happy to say I completed my week injury free and with the number of Ks I wanted to run. At the beginning of the week my ankles/achilles on both legs were sore and I hobbled along on my Tuesday run. Still it seems that the more I ran the better they got and I completed a relatively easy 32K long run today in just under 3hrs with my heart rate not climbing above 145BPM.

The weeks total mileage was 85kms, which is high for me, I usually do between 40 and 60K per week, so my confidence is building that I can have a decent race in Tokyo, a PB of under 3:20:00 that is.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Baby it's you



Music, like it or loathe it, is an amazing memory trigger. I was 16 when this song was popular, a skinny surf rat without a care in the world. Looking at this now I'm guessing that it was more the girl at the front, so to speak, that attracted me to this song.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Q and A


Thanks for your comments on last post you're all very kind and encouraging, not like the girl above. Anyway, I'll answer a few questions you raised. Tesso asked "So, how did you feel during the race? What were your splits?" I felt like I was running hard but only really felt in trouble on the uphills, there were three of about 200 meters. There weren't any 1k markers but I started with a group of sub forty people and just tried to keep with this group and not let the group behind catch me.

Ewen asked "Were you always on schedule, or did you have to kick down to get it?" I was ahead for the first 3K, on target at 5K and think I slowed on the 7th or 8th K and ran hard the last 1500m as I couldn't see the finishing stadium at that point and started to panic thinking I was going to miss out. With about 800m to go I came around a corner and saw the stadium right in front of me. It was a good feeling to see the clock at 39:40 something with less than a 100m to go.

Clairie asked "How long have you been running for?" About three and a half years. So by what Clairie said I should have a few more PBs in me.

Well I still have a desire to train and run faster and as far as quitting or cutting back racing plans I'll reassess the situation 10 years from now when I'm 52 I'll ask you all again then if you think I have a future in this game.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Breaking forty

I managed to slip under 40mins for the 10K today. My time 39:55. I'm pretty happy as it's a PB and that 40min mark is a bit of a milestone for distance runners one that has had my number for the last couple of years.

Although I'm pleased it is bitter sweet as I thought while I was running today that I won't be able to go much faster than this and I might be just about be at my peak, which was a little sad.

But on the way home I was thinking "sure I can do better" and I thought about several factors that would contribute to a faster time.

That's what's so great about this game, you can alway aim to do better and enjoy the struggle in the process.

Thanks for your continued support.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fly away


Here is my song of the week. Randy Crawford's "One Day I'll Fly Away." I'd do just about anything to see her live like this. By the way, I've got a 10K this Sunday and hoping this will be the day I "fly away" too.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Building


Well I've managed to organise a good plan for building up mileage before the Tokyo marathon. It looks like I can get in enough Ks in the next 4 weeks to give me the confidence that I can finish reasonably strong and crack it for a PB.

Now if only my dodgy ankles hold up I'll be fine. I ran 90mins today and my ankles were a bit sore the right one that is usually no problem started to give me some grief but there were patches in the run where they both went numb and I could cruise.

I won't run injured but if I listened too closely to my aches and pains I probably wouldn't run at all.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Long Runs

How many KS should long runner run if long runner could run long? A lame attempt at a tongue twister but a genuine question. I'm a bit worried about my ability to handle the distance in Tokyo in 5 weeks time. Since my last marathon, the Gold Coast, I have run the following weekly Ks for the past 20 weeks.

20, 40, 36, 44, 44, 48, 59, 61, 37, 63, 67, 38, 73, 70, 57, 37, 48, 48, 36, 65, I have five more weeks to go and would like to know what sort of distances I should be doing per week in order to see me in the best shape to make an attempt on my marathon PB. I've PBed on my half marathon since the Gold Coast and should PB on my 10K time next week or come bloody close so my forms not bad but I would have been happier with a few more longer runs under my belt.

An update on the Natto situation I went to the supermarket today and the Natto was "SOLD OUT" there was a sign that said due to the TV program, that I told you about, it had become more popular and they were waiting on more stock. I was able to buy some but the more expensive one was the only one still in stock. "Hooo"

Friday, January 12, 2007

Food for thought

Got in another 10K late last night. Thursday is a busy with work and it being so cold I can't get up early enough to get my run in as I already have to leave my house at 6:00am to get to work on time. I finish at 9:00pm and try to run then but often I feel tried and don't have a good one. But last night was fine started to feel strong as the run went on, always a good sign.

As far as the Natto diet is concerned I share your doubts and too believe there are no short cuts with weight loss. Having said that, I really like the taste of natto anyway and it is bloody good for you so I'll try doing this morning and night and see what happens in two weeks. Stephen was right and after a little research I found that it is supposed to help you lose weight by firing up your metabolism. We will see.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Natto diet


After two days of no carbs I ate some rice for breakfast and lunch today and had a great 10K run in the early evening. Keeping my heart rate under 160BPM I did 10K in 47mins and ended the session with a sprint up my local version of heartbreak hill.

I also came across a way to lose weight that I thought I'd share. I can't say for sure if it works but it's simple and worth the two week try.

I saw this on an hour long Japanese TV special and it goes like this. You remain eating the same food, healthly of course, that you normally eat but just add a serving of natto in the morning with breakfast and one at night with dinner. The key is to mix the natto into a kind of gel by stirring it at least 50 times and then leave it to sit for 20 minutes before eating. That is it! And apparently if you do this, all things being equal, you will be 3 kgs lighter after a two week period.

You must be able to get natto now in Australia, The US and Europe so if your looking
to loss a few KGS It might be worth a go.

You may think "WOW WHAT A GREAT GUY" he is giving away this info even though he has a bet with Clairie to lose weight but contrary to popular believe I'm a kind and forbearing man.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

40 min wall

Gees 2p wasn't kidding when he said I'd feel like crap. Frankly I'm shocked that after only 2 days without carbs my energy level for running was so low. Did the usual 10K Tuesday run at a semi slow pace and had hit the wall after 40 minutes. Struggled to finish off at the same pace and reckon if I'd have gone on much further I'd of crashed.

So a bit of balance is in order I'll use of all of your great advice and hopefully get rid off some weight and train half decently while I'm at it. Thanks as usual.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Low Carb

In a desperate attempt to shed a few kilos before my next 10K race in just over two weeks I've decided to go on a low carb diet from today. I say desperate because under normal circumstances I wouldn't consider it, love my beer, pasta, and bread, but I put on 4 kilos over the holidays and if I don't lose a bit of weight I may be throwing away my chances at a PB for my coming 10K, Marathon, and Half Marathon races.

I've never done one of these low carb diets so I'd appreciate any advice. My plan is to simply cut out and down the rice, and bread and pasta that is my staple thesedays.
I'll do this for two weeks and slowly bring back the carbs but in smaller portions until the weight is down or the 18th of Feb comes around, that's the Tokyo Marathon.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Song of the ...


Here's my new favorite singer song writer Josh Rouse.

New Year 10 K

Did a 10K race this morning and managed 40:51. Did the best I could today and not too worried that I didn't break 40:00 as it was horrible conditions, 4 degrees howling wind with snow and sleet. Also there are no K markers and us semi fast 10Ks had to dodge the half marathon runners on the same loop course so had no feel for pacing.

I've also put on 4 Kilos in the two weeks I was away with all you can eat buffets for breakfast, lunch and tea. Anyway got another chance
in two weeks and I'll my best then. Also I had a terrible nights sleep and found a pea under my mattress this morning. That's all for excuses!

I'll get back to training and try to lose a few Kilos.