Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Close the gate on 2008

It has been an usually busy year with news stories from the economics crisis, an unmaned landing on Mars, the Olympics to Obama's election. Is it that I was simply paying more attention or was there a lot going on this year?

Well here we go again and no doubt we are in for another eventful ride this coming year. Hold on everyone.

I want to see us all happier, healthier and stronger this time next year. Happy New Year!

Tomorrow I'm going to go to Tokyo with my extended family. I'll be there for 4 days watching my niece compete in the national basketball tournament. She is good, one day she'll play for Japan. Anyway the games are played mostly at night so I will find time to run while I'm there around the Imperial Palace most likely. If you're in the area give me a call and we can meet up for a run, my keitai 09081443698.

Tonight they predict snow in Osaka so I'm going to crank up the gas fireplace hook into a bottle or two of red wine and reflect on the year that was and plan a bit for the coming one. Hope you have a good evening too.

All the best.

And stay tune for more infantile humour ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The 70s



Came across this old video today. Gone are the days when the boys in the band mostly had facial hair and could be mistaken for the guy at your local plumbing supplies store.

Check out the lead singer's moves. It it just me or does he look like David Carradine from "Kung-Fu, " with hair, or Toasty?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Joy and Woe, but not too slow.

I finished my marathon a couple of hours ago and now back at my hotel killing some time before my ferry leaves to go back home tonight. This race turned out as expected to be healthy mix of woe and joy. First for the good news I PBed with a 3:03:06. The weather was almost perfect not a cloud in the sky with the temperature ranging from 3 to 15 degrees. The course was flat and beautiful in parts with heaps of spectators giving us lots of encouragement. Just a note about the people down in Miyazaki, they have been extraordinarily friendly and helpful I really love this place.Food is excellent too but that's a separate blog.

Now the bad news, I F*#"! up at the start of this race. When the gun cracked I headed off doing a loop of the stadium and just as we were about to go out to the open road I over heard two guys talking saying they were doing the half, I panicked and ran back to the start. I thought I was in the wrong starting line but when I got back to the start I asked a guy and he said that they, the half and full marathon, were starting together. Not only did I feel like a fool I had lost 4mins and 20 seconds.

Anyway I started making my way through the crowd clocking some good 1k splits but it wasn't until the 20k mark that I had caught up to the sub 3 runners. Even though I was passing people until the end, and I don't remember anyone passing me, I couldn't, in the end, make up this lost time.

Actually at the 35k mark I thought I could but the last 7k was run along the beach and over 4 bridges and my nemesis the wind really put the brakes on things. That last 5K was bloody hard and I only got through by swinging my arms like crazy pumping them to keep my legs going against the wind.

So I'm thinking that I may have been robbed of a sub 3 but it was mostly my own dam fault. I won't complain, although I feel a like a dill, I won't give excuses. I didn't get the sub 3 chip time and that is the end of it!

Still, as usual, I did get a lot out of this race. Now I'm fully confident I can go sub 3 and I know how to train to make it happen. During the 10K from 20 to 30 I felt the best and strongest I've ever felt during a marathon and I want to get that feeling again.

As for my preparation for this I didn't do a few things I said I would, like stop drinking during the build up, run 100k weeks for at least 8 weeks, get my weight down, body fat %, and lose my little gut. So I don't really deserve it, but I have some things to work on for next race.

Well, in balance I'm a happy fella. I still have a goal, I PBed and I did my best on the day. Can't ask more than that!

By the way if you think I'm going to stop blogging when I get this sub 3 you're wrong. I have a good 5 years in me yet and I fully intend to reach my potential.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Joy and Woe

I had a 20 minute jog in the fog this morning. It's my last before heading down to Miyazaki by overnight ferry to run a full marathon on Sunday. It is a spectacular winters day today and watching the sunrise, seeing how it cleared the fog while jogging alone in the crisp morning air once more brought home to me the joy of running. With this experience and that of a few bad ones recently I remembered a poem that sums it up beautifully.

Man was made for Joy and Woe
And when this he rightly knows
Through the world he safely goes
Joy and Woe are woven fine
A clothing for the soul Divine.

William Blake

If running teaches us anything it is just that. That life is nothing without the highs and lows and on Sunday I'll be enjoying them both. Maybe that's why I love running marathons so much as you can get both the highs and lows and push through both knowing that neither will last. A perfect metaphore for life done in around 3 hours.

Well, under 3 for me, I hope!

Thanks in advance.

The above poem might be a bit high brow for you lot so I've included one below to suit the more earthy types. See start and end of song, Bloody good stuff!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

The horror continues...

Keep the light on while you’re reading this, it is really scary, but, believe me it happened.

I had just walked in the house after my Sunday long run and went to the upstairs shower. I was pulling my sweat drench clothes off over my head when I heard a noise. I backed up to the wall in fright as my wife and kids were out shopping and I was sure I was home alone.

What the hell was that? It sounded like someone talking. I stuck my head out the bathroom door and looked down the hallway. Nothing, I continued to strip for the shower when I heard it again. This time it was louder a definite voice. I jumped backwards into the shower recess my heart and mind racing.

It sounded close, and there it was again, a muffled voice. Sweating, my eyes the size of saucers I swung my head around looking for the source of the sound. Then my eyes stopped on my armband and IPod mixed in with my wet clothes. Relieved I pick it up off the floor, I was thinking it must still be on. But when I looked closer it was off, the red tag showing and no light. Besides, I had heard a voice and I only had songs uploaded on that iPod. Just when I was thinking I must be mistaken, it must have switched itself on, or something, there it was again. And it was definitely coming from my off iPod. I put it to my ear and I could just make out a forced, wheezing voice.

"Scotty… Scotty"

Bloody hell that voice…. It was Eddies’ my recently deceased running mate!

I threw out my arm in horror almost dropping the iPod. But the voice returned. Gingerly I press the iPod against my ear.

"38 minutes that’s a good 10K time" the voice wheezed,

Is this Eddie, I spluttered.

"1:22 is a great half marathon time too. But…."

But what mate? What are you trying to say??

"But…But 3:05 is a fucken soft marathon time!"



Well, that certainly is the truth!!

Wish me luck for my upcoming marathon PB attempt ;)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What to make of it?

This has been a hard few weeks. It started with a letter from the Tokyo marathon organizers saying, very politely, that I was not accepted to enter as all places had been taken. I shook my head and headed for the computer to make alternate plans. One week later I'm holding a ticket to Hawaii and I'm booked in to run the
12th Annual Big Island International Marathon on March 22nd in the town of Hilo.

Pays not to be too despondent about set backs, like not getting into Tokyo, there is always another marathon, as they say. Anyone care to join me? Seriously! I'll be there for 8 days from the 18th of March, by myself, and could do with some company.

With this good news came some pretty soul shaking news. My running mate here, Eddie, you may have noticed a few of his recent comments on this blog, has turned up dead! I know he had been depressed, of late, and I talked to him about the value of holding on and all that shit, but Eddie decided it was all too much and took his own life.

Look, I won't say he was wrong, who knows what he was going through. But I will say I'm shocked that he actually went through with it and that I won't be able to talk with him again. There goes our budding racing rivalry.

So what to make of it? I don't know. I'm going to put it down to a chemical imbalance and try to continue to prove to myself that there are things in this world worth living for.

Still, it will take me a while to get over the fact that no matter how close we are to other people, we often get so into ourselves and our own pain that we fail to understand that we can know what the other is going through and that we want to help.

A song to match my mood. Goodbye Eddie.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Random thoughts

Did I tell you I was happy about the outcome of the US Presidential election.




And did I ever tell you I was once a pretty good surfer. Yet, the dangers of farting while in a wetsuit still haunt me!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Half marathon PB




I seem to be on a roll and heading towards achieving my goal of going sub 3 for the marathon. Today I did the Riverside half marathon in 1:22:56 On the same course last year I did 1:31 and some change so I'm real happy with my time today. Usually after doing a PB I think that it is going to be the best I can do but after today, I think I can go faster! We will see.

Now I haven't been putting in the mileage I wanted to up until now, only about 50 to 70kms per week, I've been really busy with work, but I have just over 4 weeks until my full marathon and I think if I can get in 3 over 3hour long, long runs, I might be ready to go sub 3 on Dec 14th. I'm going to stop drinking until that race and try to lose 1 or 2 more kilos. I think while I'm running so well I had better do all I can to help me get in under 3 hours.

Today, I was taking the 5kms splits and did 18:29 for the 1st 5k a PB and 38:05 for my 10K. That 10k time is a PB too! Can I count the 5k as a PB and the 10K as such even though I was running a half marathon?

Anyway back to the training. I reckon if I can show half the grit and determination of my little ferret friend then all will be well.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

10K PB




Ran my first race since a full marathon in Early August today."The Wakaura Bay Marathon with Jazz" It is usually the first race of my, somewhat busy, racing year here. I'll be doing one or two races a month until I take a bit of a break in May 2009.

Usually I'm a bit sluggish with the first one so seeing as I was able to PB it looks good for the season. I ran well up until the 7th K today but that one and most of the 8th I was feeling my lack of race conditioning. Still managed to hold on and run the last K with my head up, and no Ewen it wasn't up my arse.

I came 5th in my age group. I got a gift,a nice bag, and a little trophy. It was the first time I've ever been on the podium in Japan, see photo, and hope it is not the last.

Thanks for your email American Eddie. No, although it rained it was light and it didn't cause me too may problems today.

Time 39:15

Friday, September 19, 2008

Japanese lesson

Hello, thought I'd upload this as it is best understood with video. Ewen, I hope this is easier to load and it's synchronized better than the last one.

Just a thought as it relates to "suffering" but not from a Buddhist perspective but a Christian one, and a note to any pedophile priests, when God said "suffer the little children come on to me" that's not what he meant ;)

video

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How to spot perverts?

I know you are all nice "normal" people, but remember my other hobby, apart from running, is spotting perverts. Watch what you blog, eh. And not blogging won't save you either. I'll just read more into that ;)

Monday, September 08, 2008

New plan

Having a bad day today. This morning the car key broke off in the ignition, in the afternoon the bedroom door handle came off in my hand. Now I'm afraid to go and take a piss ;)

Well, other than that, things are good. I'm relaxed after a nice long holiday, still just a little concerned about having to go back to a regular work shedule. Having time off always gets me to thinking that this is the way things should be so I'm going to have to find a way to get money and work less. Actually, I think I will start a blog on this topic and/or make a plan to make it happen.

Talking about plans ;) my running one is almost set. I'm going to run a sub 3 hour marathon in Miyazaki, the Aoshima marathon, on December 14th and leading up to that I will attempt to PB in the 5k, 10k and half marathon. I'm going to pretty much do as I did for the Townsville marathon but increase the milage peaking at 150kms per week. If I can again avoid injury and get PBs for a 10k race in late October and a half marrathon in early November I'm certain I can get my sub 3 hour marathon.

I don't want to sound too cocky as anything can happen, as you all know, but I really think that I have stumbled across a system that will produce results for me.
I will elaborate in the coming weeks and months but in brief it is pretty simple. High mileage, core work, healthy food to get the weight down and consistant reading of all your blogs on the subject ;)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Home

Well, back home in Japan now and somehow very happy to be here. I'll collect my thoughts and blog something of substance shortly but for now I just wanted to upload this link as I thought it would be of interest to you. It's short interviews with the 3 American runners post Beijing.

http://news.runtowin.com/2008/08/31/video-post-olympic-marathon-interviews.html

bye for now

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Great Pyramid Race






Above, my son Casey riding the bull with "Walsh's Pyramid" in the back ground. Yeeeeha!

Yesterday the 16th was my 44th Birthday and the date of the Great Pyramid Race, maybe you've heard of it? It has been held in Gordonvale near Cairns, my sister's home town, every year for about the last 50. It's a 12km race up "Walsh's Pyramid" a small mountain about 922m, pretty close to vertical, to the top. The total distance for the race is 12kms and it gets about 100 runners a year doing it.

I wanted to to it but seeing as I have never done any trail races and it was only 2 weeks after my full marathon I decided to just do the 5km Road Race part of this running festival. Anyway, I'm seriously thinking of trainning for and running the Pyramid Race next year.

As for the 5k race there were only about 30 people entered and I won $100 bucks coming in first in the male open division. Very happy about that as I have never won any race before. My time wasn't that fast, well not considering the PBs of some of our blogging friends,Punter Matty with 17:26, Steve Lacey with 17:53, Robert Song with 17:13 and Ewen with 17:33, still not too bad coming off a marathon and with no preparation, the course wasn't a straight road course it went down and up a reasonably high grass hill, twice, and over a small creek with about 2k on dirt tracks. So My 19:10 wasn't too bad.

After the race we had a BBQ and watched the fireworks there drinking beer and wine until early the next day. You guys really have a good lifestyle here. I think I'd move back but only if I didn't have to work ;)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

305 and still alive

Thanks for your comments in my comments. We are now here in Arlie Beach staying for about ten days before heading back to Cairns on Weds. Having a great family holiday and still have about 3 weeks of it left ;)

I have only run once since last Sunday and that was 5 mins to the shops to buy some beer. I really feel like I could run now but going to curb my enthusiasm so as I can recover fully and come Sept start it all over again with a sub 3 marathon in mind.

After the 3:05 in Townsville I really feel I can do it now as it wasn't a struggle to do that time and I'm keener than ever to train hard and improve on my times. In fact it is kind of scary I haven't been able to think of much else since the race. I don't realy want to be so single minded about running but not much I can do about it now I'm hooked! Anyway I'll do my best to deaden this feeling with beer but I can't promise anything.

I will catch up with what you are all doing when I get back to my sisters place and a home computer and post some photos of the run and this holiday, got a good one of me and Pat Carroll but until then thanks again for your support and all the best for your training and races.

The Noosa half may not be a good idea it's a little too soon to run and I'm fast running out of money (What the hell happened to this country it is now more expensive than Japan and the AUD is stronger than the Yen). Anyway I brought some T-shirts to give to Tesso and Rob the Runner when I went to Noosa but can't now so if you guys can send me an email with your home address I will send them by post. abenoki@gmail.com

See ya

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Home Strait




Well, writing to you from beautiful Far North Queensland. The above photo was taken at Port Douglas markets with my kids, sister and niece.The other south of Cairns, the kids are grimacing and holding their noses because of the strong smell coming from the sugar cane processing plant. I love this smell like that of of malted sugar.

This coming Sunday I'll run my marathon and while I'm looking forward to it I'm not sure even now of my race plan. As you know I had a good build up, the best I've done to date, but since coming here I've quickly slipped into holiday mode and lost a bit of focus. Been eating more than I should and not running to my taper plan, still I am basically in good shape and although sub 3 may be a bit beyond me this race I will, all things being equal, PB and have a nice race. Anyway as you all know anything can happen on race day so there is no point speculating at this stage. I'll do my best.

By the way nice country you have here, well done ;)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mate!!



Well I'm off for 5 weeks in Australia. Just brush up on my "Australian" on the plane tonight and gargle with some VB in the morning and she'll be right. I'll blog next from there.

see you later

Scott F"#? all to do with you ;)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tape her!




Hope you're well, no problems with me. Did 36kms this morning that is the last long run before my goal race in Townsville. I have 3 more weeks and while I pretty much know how to taper the week before the next two weeks I'm not too sure about. Any advice would be appreciated.

My weekly mileage for the past 9 weeks has been as follows, 98kms,104,112,122,80,121,124,109,107. I've been doing one speedwork session a week for those 9 weeks and one medium long run at 4:15 pace each week but nothing too long from about 8kms to 20kms.

Did my long run today and although is wasn't at anywhere near the pace I want to run at in Townsville I 'm taking two positives from it, one it was done in the heat, 27 to 33 degrees and I was able to handle this so the winter temp at Townsville shouldn't be too hot for me. And I'm feeling recovered enough only a few hours after this run that I could, if I was so inclined, run another slow 10k or so.

I think I have done the work to get a PB this next race and now just have to get the final balance right so I can hit the line strong at fit. Anyway any advice would be good, but I think I will err on the side of caution. The last full marathon I raced (while I had nowhere near the build up mileage wise as this time)I blew, I think, by training too hard up until a few days before that race.

Anyway if all goes well I might try the cup tape caper come race day evening ;)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

George Carlin



Hope you're all well and to those running at the Gold Coast this weekend I'm going to upload a performance by George Carlin in honor of him and you. Robert Song mentioned recently about the benefit of staying relaxed before a goal race and there is nothing better than some fine comedy to take your mind off yourself and the race.

Besides that I love this guy not exactly for what he says here but because he is so consistently fearless and honest. He never not talks about something just because it is considered off limits and even when seemingly preaching he remains funny to the core. I have not see a comedian of his caliber. All the best for your respective races. Be fearless too ;)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"I am Legend!"






Before you start thinking something like "He is Wanker" that blog title doesn't refer to me but to my new training grounds. For the past 4 months I've been getting up early, 4 am, twice a week and driving into one of my University jobs, one, to save time on the commute, and two, to use the facilities at a sports complex just near my school.

As in the movie with the above title it is always completely empty and I get that same sense that I did from watching the movie "I am Legend." Still don't really understand why nobody uses it, it has some prime running tracks, two 400 meter tracks and a 3km loop of red sponge track that winds its way around the complex between brand spanking tennis courts , soccer grounds and baseball stadiums.

I'm sure people are using it on weekends and later in the day, but truly I haven't seen hide nor hair of anyone there between 6:00 and 9:00am the times I'm usually there and it is all pretty bizarre.

Not complaining mind you but to make it perfect it would just need a few friendly/ large eyed women spread evenly, so to speak, around the track gently shouting words of encouragement. I've gone too far again haven't I?

Anyway, the pictures speak for themselves. To finish off, I will tell you that things are fine with my training the last two weeks being at 119kms and 120kms respectively. If I can just hold up without breaking I will be set for a great marathon come August.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Love vibration



122kms this week and another trip into uncharted territory that sees me sore but still standing, albeit against a wall. Its been a good month, I've only missed one short run and clocked up close to 450 kms. Next week I'm going to drop the kms, think I'll aim for about 80K, and try to get one quality speed work session in. Any suggestions for the this week I basically just want to keep on rolling but at the same time give the body a bit of a rest?

I have to thank my long suffering wife and kids for allowing me the time to indulge in such a frivolous pass time and the new Ipod. I bought it three weeks ago and have found that it has allowed me to make the time spent running just that little bit more interesting. I've of course been listening to music but have also been downloading books, 1 hour biographies, and other much longer books that interest me and on occasion have found that I'm running longer just so I can listen some more. All this has been a revelation for me as I have never run with earphones and in fact, I thought previously that it would be detrimental to my ability to run with good style and think the thoughts that serve as a kind of meditation for me. But so far I've found only positives with this.

Well, on with the show. The youtube clip is one of the songs that I've been listening to on my runs lately. Good beat for running this.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Twin Peaks



It wouldn't of been much better if I had married Miss Wang, my family name is Brown you know ;)

Anyway on to more serious matters.

Moving toward my goal of consistency and quality in training. I fully expect after doing my long run tomorrow morning to have done 112kms this week. This is something I'm happy with as it is another mileage record for me. Although I'm not doing this for the records,I am interested in how my body is dealing with these long weeks. I've, since starting running 4 years ago, never gone much above 70kms per week, for the most part running between 30 and 60kms per week.

It is a bit premature to make any bold conclusions but it seems like on the whole I can handle them. I just seem to need an adequate amount of sleep the night after a long/hard session and I'm alright the next day. I've been trying to include three sessions, 1 hour each, of weight and core exercises but those leave me feeling pretty weak, i.e needing a saucer of milk, so I have cut them back to two and will in fact stop them altogether before any future speed work sessions and race pace sessions. The only complaint I have is a small ticklish cough that was probably picked up as my immunity would have to have been a bit low after a month of hard training. The week after next I'll drop the kms and increase my weight sessions again and just keep trying to mix it up in a way that enables me to keep a high level of fitness, not breakdown and remain on the high mileage wagon, so to speak.

I have some more happy news to report, last Tuesday I did a 3KTT and finally cracked 11:00mins. I've not been able to get below 11:01 for about three years, for a few reasons. Firstly, I hate the feeling of legs screaming with pain and being out of breath (call me old fashion), and I also haven't been methodical and consistent enough in my training to warrant breaking this time. But now I think I know how to do it and I may be able to keep chipping away at this new time in the next two or so years. I say this with a little confidence as this new 3KTT time of 10:53 came on the day after I returned from a day off because of a cold. So I think it's something to be sneezed at ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One hundred and four and not sore

I have in the week just finished, done my longest mileage to date. Did over 100kms for the week, 104 to be exact. The "104 and not sore" title isn't really true but saying "104 and shafted" doesn't have such a good ring to it. Took yesterday off, my short recovery run, as I felt weak as a kitten and a bit fluey but today Tuesday morning I did a nice slow 21kms and have come good again. Anyway I'll just keep trying to click the kms over and back off when things seem to be getting a bit wobbly, like Lulu said I should. Here is the week that was. Another one done, ten to go.

Mon 19 35 MIN RR 5:19 to 5:38 per K
Tue 20 3KTT warm up warm down did 11:13
Wed 21 1HR 30 MIN 4:50 - 5:27 per K
Thu 22 50 MIN RR 5:19 to 538 per K
Fri 23 12K @ mara pace 4:15 per K
Sat 24 15K around 5:15 per K
Sun 25 29K 4:50 - 5:27 per K

Total 104kms

You all have a good week.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

High mileage gamble




“You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?”

First week on the quest for more mileage and so far so good.

Mon 11 35 MIN RR 5:19 to 5:38 per K
Tue 12 10K @ MARA PACE sub 4:15 per K
Wed 13 1HR 30 MIN 4:50 - 5:27 per K
Thu 14 50 MIN RR 5:19 to 538 per K
Fri 15 3KTT warm up warm down did 11:56
Sat 16 15K around 5:15 per K
Sun 17 26K 4:50 - 5:27 per K

Total 98kms

First week done in my countdown to Townsville marathon. Didn't quite hit 100kms but happy nonetheless as this is my most kms in one week ever.My legs are a little sore around the knees but I'm not feeling too beat up as I had an hour massage yesterday and that helped get a bit of tiredness out of the old pins.

Another good sign for this stage of my build up is that I've been able to lose a fair bit of weight. Been doing core exercises, weights and eating high protein small meals at regular intervals.The gut is starting to lose its layer of fat. I don't have six pack abs yet but with all this training and this eating regime I should be looking like our friend above come race day. Of course with a bit more skin ;)

Thanks to Ewen, Robert Song and Steve Lacey, I read and am taking your advice which I will adjust week by week according to how I'm holding up. You're all right as well, too much speed work maybe counter productive at this stage I'll just try for some sustained quality and to build my endurance.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Plan

May 2008

WEEK 11

Mon 11 35 MIN RR 5:19 to 5:38 per K
Tue 12 10K @ MARA PACE sub 4:30 per K
Wed 13 1HR 30 MIN 4:50 - 5:27 per K
Thu 14 3 X 3K sub 4mins per K 90sec rest between efforts
Fri 15 35 MIN RR 5:19 to 5:38 per K
Sat 16 1.5K X 4 6:30 per 1.5K 60sec rest between efforts
Sun 17 2HRS 30 MIN 4:50 - 5:27 per K

week total about 90kms

The above is the 1st week of an 11 week marathon plan that will take me to the Townsville Marathon. I want to basically repeat this plan for the first 4 weeks, in
the 5th week cut back on the speedwork and mileage a little just to give the body a little rest. For the last weeks until the taper go back to following the same basic pattern. The only things I think I will change are the speed at which I do my fast runs, I want to run them at the paces recommended for those capable of a sub 3 hour marathon and I want to increase the Tuesday marathon pace run slowly each week so as by 4 weeks out I'm running close to 30kms @ marathon pace.

So what do you think about this? I will be busy with work but I'm going to try very hard not to miss any planned sessions as I know that even a bad plan done with consistency is going to work better than a good plan done sporadically.

I've had professional advice about strength training and diet that I will implement as well because a couple of weeks ago I had a fitness test and was found lacking in many areas. This came as I bit of a shock as I'd considered myself a pretty healthy specimen. For example, I was told that my body fat % was 23. That is mainly on my love handles. Now that's not what it should be if I want to run sub 3 hour marathon.

Still it does give me some hope cause if I'm able to get all the numbers down or in place then it just may be possible to run some times that I can't even imagine yet.

Anyway, any advice on these topics by you would be much appreciated.

And I'd like to apologize for the last karaoke post. I know it was a bit of a disaster, but if I was going to butcher a song it's better to do it to that song than to a good one, don't you agree?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I think I love you!

Just mucking around with this karaoke program I found. Normal posts will resume shortly.

video

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Taking it slow..



No speedwork for a couple of weeks, just slow paced mid ranged runs for me at the moment. I was pretty beat up after that last marathon. Looking back over my training schedule I'd only done 1 long run of 30 kms in the 10 weeks before that marathon. Mostly I was doing a lot of fast mid distance runs, like 20kms at sub 4:20 per K. Good for the half but they left me wanting in the full.

Anyway, going to have to really look at what I'm doing for my next marathon. In fact I'm in the process of writing a plan that I will show you all and hopefully get your advice on what looks good and/or what you reckon is missing etc.

In the time being have a look at this clip. I Really love Bob Marley and that line: "It'll make you rebel..............Against what?!"

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blowout!






Did a full marathon in Ishikawa prefecture today. Ishikawa is on the sea of Japan, a beautiful, mostly rural place about 6 hours drive from my home here. We went to this area because it has a lot of hot springs and me and the family were able to stay over night at a resort there.

On Sunday morning I went out to the the start by myself leaving the family still eating breakfast at the hotel. It started at 9, although the wind was strong it was otherwise perfect weather, not a cloud in the sky.

This is a very small marathon by Japanese standards with only about 400 people doing the full marathon, nevertheless well organised, picturesque course out and back with rolling hills none much above 35%.

I set off feeling great stayed with the top 20 leaders almost up till the 30km mark and then everything fell apart. My first 5km split was 20:31 and I kept under 22:00 right up until 30K but my legs just gave up the ghost. By 35kms the poor old pins were "swimming in a sea of lactic acid", (always wanted to write that ;) ) and I walked/ran Galloway style to the finish.

I know some of you are going to say I'm an idiot and it was never an option to to run a fast PB after doing a fast half only the week before. But nobody has ever accused me of being running smart ( I used to think "lactate threshold" was something you carried your pregnant wife across) besides I had convinced myself that the rules didn't apply to me and I kept repeating "Rob the Runner"'s last comment like a mantra: "You're on fire" "You're on fire" You're on fire."

Well as I sit here something is definitely "on fire" but it's my calves and ankles. Anyway not disappointed with this for one thing I didn't drop out like I wanted to on many occasions and I toughed out the last 10kms like I haven't done before in a marathon. So it's a lesson well learnt and I did survive.

No more racing for the next 12 weeks I'm going to relax a bit and train like a mad man to PB in Townsville come August. Thanks for your continuing support.

Photos, the day before the marathon and today limping into the finish with Casey, my son, showing his old man how it should be done.

Almost forgot. Finishing time 3:23:32

Sunday, April 13, 2008

PB and a half





I'm looking forward to reading all your blogs on how things in Canberra went so post as soon as you can. I couldn't wait to post this one. I had a half marathon today and PBed by a whopping 4 mins! Only two months ago I was running 1:35 for the half and today I did 1:23 and some change. Really doubted this at first but it was a chip time and this course is the same one I ran a couple of times before.

To say I'm happy would be to understate it. I have a full marathon next weekend and if all things work out there I should be PBing again :)

I'm going to have a bath and spend the night with my family and my nephew who is in Japan now and visiting with us, see photos. My nephew said to me, after the race today, "You're bloody fast." That's enough to make an old uncle very proud ;)

Anyway hurry up with those Canberra reports.

My official time 1:23:41 43rd place, that's out of 2010 people entered.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Spring




Things are fine, although I haven't posted in a while it's only because I've been busy preparing to go back to work after a nice break. I start in earnest on April 7th and will be pretty much full time until the next holiday which starts at the end of July.

For those that have been following this blog you'd know that I was asking you for suggestions about where I should run when coming to Australia. Thanks for your suggestions by the way. Well after much thought I have decided to come and do two runs in Australia. In late July my family and I will fly into Cairns, stay with my sister there, see my father, and also do some camping in the general region. As for running I plan to go down to Townsville with my family to run a full marathon there on August the 3rd.

The other race I want to do is the Noosa half, I was thinking to leave the kids with my sister for a few days and fly down to Noosa with the missus and do the race. I've been able to swing this with my wife saying it will be a romantic long weekend, just the two of us ;) We runners will sink to almost any depths to do a race ;)

This is as certain as can be so I hope I will see as many of you as I can while I'm there. Has anyone of you done the Townsville marathon? It looks good, relatively small event, but fast and not too hot about 10 degrees at the start and 25 at the finish. I should be able to handle the humidity as I will have been training for it in the early summer here Japan time. How about a few of you come up to Townsville for this race?

Just one more thing for now. I did a good session on the treadmill the other day 8 x 800m each just under 3mins. I was happy with that but wondering if doing that on the tready is the same, effort/difficultly as on the track. I suppose I will try next week as see for myself but I have a feeling its easier to run this inside.

I'll upload a photo of me and the boys taken yesterday among the cherry trees.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Family or running?

I had a chance to think about the above question the other day. Last Thursday, a public holiday here, I set off to my Bulgarian mate's house for a spring BBQ. My wife went somewhere else so I took the kids as "Tiho" has kids too and I thought with the kids playing we would be able to get down to some serious talking, eating and drinking. A win win situation :)

About 20 minutes into the BBQ my youngest "Tyler" and Tiho's youngest "George" 4 and 5 respectively said they were going to the park next door and we waved them off in that direction busy with putting the first slabs of meat on the barbie.

After a beer, a chat and a nibble I left the BBQ zone to just check in on the kids.
I briefly looked through the hedges and a nonchalantly commented to Tiho, "Kids aren't in the park." "I'll go and get them and we'll put the sausages on for them eh" "Right then" said Tiho. It was from this moment that one of the worst days of my life played out.

Forward 7 hours later, it was dark, I was searching the reed beds that fringed a large nearby pond and elsewhere, neighbours, friends, family and dozens of local police were also searching for our two little boys. About 9:30pm I got a call on my mobile phone. It was Tiho saying "They found the boys!" I promptly sat down in the long grass and cried tears of pure joy and relief.

Apparently they were found about 8 kms away trying to get a bus home,with no money and to where they had no idea. A person getting off the bus at the same time took them to the police station.

As I was searching all those hours, in vain, for the boys I thought a lot about my values and my family and I can tell you I didn't think about "running" at all. But to be fair when I'm running I don't think about my "family" either ;) Still there is no question what my first priority is. Without the presence, love and support of my family I couldn't enjoy anything life has to offer.

So I'd better start with some actions to prove my supposition. The first being to not complain about my wife's cooking. See comic below ;)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Half Marathon PB

Had a nice run today and feel I made up for the last half I ran. It was perfect weather the course was mostly flat, very scenic, with only 3 long hills to slow us down, still made up for it on the downsides.

Happy today because apart from finally getting some good weather I felt in control. Usually when I PB I feel at the limit of my potential but today, at least after the race, I felt I could have gone faster.

My time was 1:27:26 (chip) a PB for me and bit of redemption. Also I feel like I'm on the right track with my training and my hamstring problem wasn't a problem today. So onwards and upwards. Thanks for your continued support :)

I'll upload a few photos from the day. Me my kids and I.
The whole family stayed at a hotspring resort the night before so the weekend in total was very enjoyable and relaxing.







Thursday, March 13, 2008

Miyama marathon (half)




Hello, thanks to everyone for their understanding in regards to Canberra, sure it's disappointing but put in perspective not so bad. I will have the chance to meet you all at some stage, I'm sure. Got to be happy just to run in any capacity.

Well things on the running front aren't too bad, I've been doing a lot of weights and eating well and have dropped a couple of kilos in three weeks. I have been doing some core exercises and generally feel much stronger than I did when I ran my last half marathon almost 4 weeks ago.

I have another half this Sunday, "The Miyama Marathon", so I will be able to see how the drop in weight and extra strength will translate to in time. I want to at least break 1:30:00 but I'll see how it goes on the day.

I've heard that it takes at least 12 weeks of good training, be it weights or running, for it to really show up with improved performance so I'll keep up the training regime until it bears fruit.

The photo above was taken at Miyama by my, "Kawachinagano Running Club" buddy Mr. Kato. Thanks for that :)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Canberra a go go? Canberra a no go!

This song's related to what I wanted to do, "cry" and dedicated to my dear mother a Canberra native and a great fan of Elvis.



I've been very much planning and looking forward to running in Canberra. Particularly to meeting my friends that will go there and up until a week ago I was still in countdown mode but circumstances have conspired to bugger up my plans as I'll explain.

Firstly I'd like to let you know that I agonized over this decision but in the end it was the way I think I had to go.

My bum leg, hamstring strain, has stubbornly stuck with me and although it hasn't stopped me from running it's meant that I've been running shorter mileage so as not to aggravate it further. I thought that was going to be OK as I was doing a lot of extra cross training that was keeping up the fitness and bringing down my weight so it was all going to even out. I was happy thinking I could run a half decent race even though it wouldn't be a PB.

I really think just running would have been OK in this case as I would be among friends, so to speak, and frankly I wanted to see this race and see what Canberra is like now. It's been such a long time since I've been there. I have a strong connection to Canberra as my Mother was born there, I've been there heaps and I have many cousins still living there.

Anyway a week ago I was offered a job at a decent University here and basically couldn't turn it down. With this new job comes a lot of benefits but I will have to start on April 7th and they don't want me taking my second week at work off. I will get almost 20 weeks holidays but none during the Canberra Marathon. I guess I could have pushed it, lied and said I have to go back for a funeral but I can't do it being the honest guy I am ;)

I think that once I'm in I will be able to swing a few unscheduled holidays to coincide with the Canberra and Gold Coast Marathons but not this year :(

My wife seeing that I was so upset about missing Canberra promised we could go to Oz on a family vacation for the whole of August and half of September I could stay there by myself to do anything, well almost anything, I wanted. Got to be happy with that consolation prize ;)

I'm really sorry mainly cause I'm not going to have the chance to met you all next month and besides I really hate to go back on my word in any situation. But I will continue to work toward the goal of running PBs and running a few of them on Aussie soil. And you know, us Australians, we rarely if ever give up ;)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pre

Thought those with a fast internet connection and a few spare minutes might enjoy this clip as I did. Steve Prefontaine and this song are my favorites :)

Yes, sorry I lost that first clip on youtube, it was a series of shots of Prefontaine running with the Church song "Under the milkyway." Well I'm going to
upload another one in its place. Nothing related but we are thinking about getting a pet for the kids and after watching this I don't think it will be a cat! Don't want either of my boys to end up like this. Any suggestions for a boys first pet?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happiness defined

Continuing on from my last post on the topic of happiness I thought I’d relate it to this post about my half marathon last Sunday.

I've heard happiness defined as "the experience of meaning and pleasure." That is, what you enjoy and what is important to you. When both factors come together you can be pretty sure that, that is "happiness."

As you might know already I think running is "important." The whys are numerous but you all know them at different levels in different patterns. After all if we didn't think running was important we wouldn’t keep these blogs would we?

Enjoyment is the other factor and although most of us, except for the insane and Tesso, rarely smile while training or racing we all love what we do and get pleasure out of it.

So did the experience of meaning and pleasure come together last Sunday to make me happy? Decidedly not!

I had high expectations in this race, always a mistake when looking for happiness. High expectations in life and running can often lead to disappointments. So in this case when I ran “badly” it undermined my sense of “meaning” that comes from my ability to keep improving in some way despite the obstacles whatever they are. Add to this bitterly cold winds that left me shaking for an hour after the race and an aggravated hamstring injury that had me stopping 3 times to walk a little and you can see that the enjoyment factor was sorely lacking.

Some might say that enjoyment doesn’t mean simply that everything is perfect, and I’d agree, I like pain but only if it doesn’t hurt ;) no I like pain if it is the sort that comes from entering a new level of fitness, but last Sundays pain mostly came from the hills, 4 long high ones, and the realization that I was totally unprepared to make a decent job of this race.

Although the finishing time of 1:35:20 seconds doesn’t seem too “bad” the only time I’ve ran slower for the half was 4 years ago on my very first half marathon race. I’m too young to be contemplating PW (personal worst’s.) And, as I sit here 7 weeks from my first Canberra marathon (is that math right, Aussie Eddie?) nursing a sore hamstring, 8 kilos above my “perfect running weight” and way under the fitness level I need, I’m a tad depressed.

No need to hide the razor blades yet. If there is one thing above all else that I love about this sport is that it offers one a chance of redemption. And this I will take.

Besides I vowed to cream Eddie my American running mate here, who handed me my head by running last Sunday, his very first half marathon, in 1:28:00! I wonder if I should have said that now. Still nothing like a friendly rivalry is there? ;)

Friday, February 15, 2008

If it makes you happy then why the hell are you so sad?



I have a half marathon this Sunday and I was going to have a whinge, that is, complain about the weather, the course or about being under done, slightly injured etc etc.

But this song reminded me not to!

Wish me luck ;)

And have a nice marathon in Tokyo this Sunday too Steve, we'll be thinking of you.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Slow start



Things are OK, just starting to get rolling after a few set backs. Like I mentioned last post a bit of sickness and more recently an injury. I had a mystery pain at the back of the knee on my right leg that hurt a bit especially going up hills but after a a few sessions with the doctor and a couple more days of rest it is definitely on the mend.

I was ready to get back an do a run this morning but woke to snow again. See above photo that is our house taken from the 2nd floor of our little home school. I couldn't face going back on the treadmill again so I'll take today off as well and start seriously tomorrow.

Not a good start for my Canberra preparation but not a total loss as still have 8 weeks and I reckon I only really train well under tight deadline pressure ;)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Hey boys! Why don't you let us put a nipple on that for you"

Down with a flu at the moment. Not too bad though just a pretty bad sore throat but not any other symptoms. Should be back into it tomorrow. Took 3 days off running, just to be safe. I don't want to make it worse by running my energy down even more.

That's how I think I got this in the first place. After a week of more than usual work, at work, combined with my regular running schedule and a party Sunday I was rundown enough for this bastard virus to take hold.

Anyway Sundays' party does give me the opportunity to upload a clip related to drinking that I think you will like. Apologies to any Germans ;)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rant

"Nothing like a good rant" and this is nothing like a good rant but I'm going to write it anyway.

This afternoon I got the news that my uncle had died and my first thought was "Jesus! Why are all my relatives dropping like flies" And the second thought was "Why is it always my favorite ones?" The answer on reflection is simple. Firstly, they are all getting older and I suppose plenty of worse relatives have died before my "favorites" but frankly they weren't such good people so I guess I hardly recognised their passing ;)

If this isn't making much sense then it must be at least a half decent "rant". Well, I'm going to miss this Uncle as he was really everything I reckon a "man" should be, that is, he made you feel like you were important and always made people in his company feel safe and happy. This wasn't easy as he was physically kind of imposing. A big guy with tattoos and a head that at first glance had the neck hairs rising and you looking for the nearest exit.

I will never watch another "Aussie Rules" game or drink another beer without thinking about him as he was the person that made these things cool enough to want to make them a part of me.

As I'm feeling the distance between here and there a bit more tonight and I'm thinking about the value of people I'd like to say, even if it goes without saying, that virtual or not you bloggers mean a lot to me.

Any talk about giving up blogging should be given some more thought.While I wouldn't pressure anyone to write if they "can't" at times, I understand we all have other lives, still I feel that we got into this for the right reasons and those reasons haven't changed.

My supposition is that blogging is part of the third wave of the revolution of human relations.(Classic rant uses the word "supposition" and goes on to sermonize.) Nobody should underestimate the power of people of like minds coming together over great distances. Virtual or not these relationships are every bit as real as the face to face ones we have in say our workplace and deserve similar courtesies.

Our "Spark Driver" understood. While I of course wanted him to keep on writing, he did have the good manners to say he was, "pulling the plug" so long and goodbye. Well he didn't leave us hanging wondering what happen to him.

This rant has ended like all rants do with the writer coming off as slightly crazed and more than slightly needy. But I really just want you to know that I appreciate you all and the opportunity we have here.

Don't worry I'm back to making lame jokes and writing about running tomorrow. Don't let me scare you off ;)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

1:30:18



Another day another T-shirt. Had a good half marathon today. A slow start as there was a fair crowd doing this marathon I reckon I lost 5 minutes in the first 10 kms because of the crowd and getting warmed up, it was 4 degrees and blowing some, but me second half was a pissa. Sure I ran close to under 40 mins for the second 10kms.

I got Freddy in my head 3 kms from home and ran my best finish for a half marathon I've ever done. I didn't hardly see any of the K markers nor was I taking splits just running how I felt and I felt good and better with every km after the 10K mark.

I need to lose some weight again and start with some upper body exercises but I can see no reason I can't chip away at my times this year. This and bit more consistency so as the song says "Don't stop me now!"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cruel



My song of the week is dedicated to "Bay" the blogger who has just returned from Laos. The songs title "cruel" refers to the fact that I didn't have a holiday over Xmas New Year and think it's "cruel" that I didn't ;) especially to that part of the world, as it's my favorite.

As for the song I've just been getting into "Calexico"'s music. This song will get into your head give it 3 or 4 listens, great stuff.

Running is not going too well this week missed a couple of sessions due to not waking up early enough and being too tired after work. Anyway I have a half marathon this weekend, Sunday, and I don't want to be tired for that ;)Well this race should give me a good indication of where I'm at and I'll go from there.

Have a good rest of the week.

Friday, January 11, 2008

So far so good

Hope everyone is doing well. My first post of '08 and so far so good. I will start training in earnest from Sunday as it marks 12 weeks until the Canberra marathon. If all goes well I be there and I'm very much looking forward to meeting "all and sundry". Sundry, for those that don't know, is a blogger mate of mine from Kiama ;)

Anyway I'll be posting regularly about my build up for this and hope to get your feedback.

For now I'm going to upload a clip of "an educator." This guy is terrific and everything that I'd like to be as a teacher. I don't usually talk about teaching/learning on this blog but he is so on it with his analysis and funny to boot so I thought you'd like to see it.