Monday, February 28, 2011

Guts and spirit!

Tokyo 2011

You may already be aware of Mr. Yuki Kawauchi's amazing run coming in 3rd in yesterdays Tokyo Marathon. Brett Larner writes about it in detail on his blog "Japan Running News" But here I'd like to relate it to my/our struggle as we go about preparations for various races.

Yuki Kawauchi is, for mine, a real inspiration showing talent determination and spirit.

Below taken from Brett larner's, great, site.

Kawauchi's marathon progression:

2:19:26 - 20th, Beppu-Oita, 2/1/09
2:18:18 - 19th, Tokyo, 3/22/09
2:17:33 - 13th, Fukuoka, 12/6/09
2:12:36 - 4th, Tokyo, 2/28/10
2:17:54 - 10th, Fukuoka, 12/5/10
2:08:37 - 3rd, Tokyo, 2/27/11

That is amazing and should give us all great hope!

He has done what he did yesterday in a way that the lazy would say is impossible, and many would say is improbable. Firstly, he did not take up offers from sports schools and corporations and took a "normal" path to get a full time job, in the local government, on his academic merits. He now does his own coaching, writes his own running schedules and trains when he can while working a 9hr a day job. How many sub 2:10 runners in our countries would take and remain on that route? People that know him are saying they can't imagine him driving the new BMW that he won yesterday, and he probably went (jogged) to work today, just like everyone else.

He ran 6:52 for the final 2.195 km yesterday, the fastest overall, this was another sign of his guts and determination. Truly inspired!

While I'm really interested in training methodology and lap up anything that I think will help me to run faster, this man shows us what we all know deep down is the key to better running, although we sometimes lose sight of it.

It's about guts, talent, determination and passion and anything else is really nothing more than spectacle cleaning!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just Can't Get Enough!

8 weeks now until the running of my goal race in Nagano, April 17th, and yesterday I got out the DVD that was taken and kindly given to me by the organisers the last time I ran there. It was taken of me running at each 10K point and the finish of the 2007 Nagano Marathon.

The first thing I noticed was just how much heavier I was. Although my time wasn't bad, 3:20:56, I look like a Clydesdale and was badly foot striking at all stages except for the "sprint" finish.

Also I noticed how fit all the people running at my pace looked compared to me. I take this as I sign of some talent but really at that time I thought I was just as fit or fit enough. Interesting how time will change ones perspective on these things.

Anyway I figure if I could do 3:20: there in 2007 in that shape then it is possible to do much, much better now in 2011. But while this looks more than possible, I need to still get into better shape weight and body fat percentage wise before I can be confident of a PB there in April.

Yesterday I was also looking at the bios of some the elites that will be running in Tokyo this weekend and noticed that all of them, of around the same height, were 5 to 10 kgs lighter than me! Now I don't seriously think I could get down to their level with regards to weight, body percent ratios but I want to get down to 57kgs from my now 62kgs and reduce my BF% to under 10 from my now 15.3% (Can this be done safely in 8 weeks?).

I know I have weight to lose, I can grab a good handful of belly fat now and I still resemble a bit of a pregnant pup naked, in profile. Although I'm keen to fix this I'm going to have to watch that my increased mileage and reduced diet doesn't result in poorer training performance and increased risk of injury. Still, all the same, something has to be done!

I know that there are those that will say that if you train "right" the weight issue will take care of itself. Yet, it has always remained a problem for me and it is clear that unless I can get somewhere near to the elites on these measures I won't get anywhere near them on the measure that counts to me now, ie race times.

This time I'm not going to make the mistake of thinking that better training is all it takes to run better. I'm running very well at the moment, and believe I could run PBs but not if I continue to drink without limits on weekends and eat like every meal is my last! This is hard as, I believe, the thing that makes me/us good at running is our obsessive natures but it can also be the cause of our destruction when it comes to calorie control.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back in the medals!

8 degrees and cloudy

Did my hilly half this morning but as is the pattern with this marathon always something bad happens when I run it. The last two times at this time a person died on each occasion and this time although I could avoid any major drama I did stub my toe the day before.

Now this was no ordinary stubbed toe, it actually gave me a headache! Just after I did it I let go with a spray of cuss words. These had my wife and kids increasing their vocabularies. In fact I even learnt some things and surprised myself with what was coming out of my mouth! By the way, what the hell is a "Chicken Faggot!"?

Anyway it didn't really hurt my run but it didn't help. Still, all up I was very pleased with this half. A course record for me. Five minutes faster than I've ever run this course before so I think that my 1:19:50 could easily be a PB if I actually ran this on the flat. ;)

2nd in my age group 40~50 years old and 12th overall.

出場種目 ハーフ男子40才代の部
距離 21.0975 km
タイム(グロス) 1:19:50
タイム(ネット) 1:19:45
種目別順位 2/189
総合順位 12/914

Back on the podium with more medals and back to running fast. Now for some PBs!

yesterday early on a cold morning, my youngest son closed the door just as I was walking out behind him while fighting with the wife! She reckoned it was my punishment. I said to the heavens "Don't you think this marriage is punishment enough!"

Still waiting for a piano to fall on me.

Going to have to put up another shelf soon. But you never know I think I'll wait a bit. Nothing worst that a bare 2nd shelf!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Is it just me or is it hot in here?

How is everyone? Well I hope. Now enough of you let's talk about me ;)

Things are good here. Yesterday went to the gym to run on the treadmill. Did 10 x 1K runs at various speeds just concentrating on getting up on my toes for the faster ones.

Also at the gym I did an "In-Body" check just so I can know where I am 8 weeks out from my marathon. I will do another one of these a week out and try to see if I can't get these numbers down. Now 62.2kgs and 15.3% Body Fat.

The photo is of me last month running the Osaka New Year 10K. Except for the tightness of the upper body I reckon my form is looking pretty good. By the time that guy I'm passing could focus his eyes, I was gone ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Registration Open!

The early bird.....

Just a reminder that registration opens for the 1st Osaka Marathon from 10:00am Tuesday the 15th of February. Go to the "Latest News" section of the "Samurai Running" website. Copy and paste below link.

Osaka is an experience! See video or better still come on over!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's snow good

Our area gets a rare snow storm.

It snowed last night but did get a run in as it wasn't icy in fact it was fun to run in it. Even though I couldn't run the 5KTT that was planned I was happy enough just to run as I'd missed a couple of days this week already. Missed one on Monday cause I was shafted after my Sunday long run and one on Thursday cause I went hiking with some friends from work and came home late, and drunk ;)

Still feeling fit but not losing weight as this winter "comfort food" is hard to say no to and frankly not running enough kms. Anyway I still have 8 weeks before my goal marathon to fix this.

At the moment I'm particularly worried about getting the FLU. My eldest boy has had it for the past 8 days and the younger one is now asleep on the sofa running a high temperature so that's snow good :(

Some photos from today.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The "secret" of training

Words of wisdom.

Toshihiko Seko's coach, Kyoshi Nakamura, likened correct training to the steady fall of raindrops which slowly forges a hole in a rock. Some days the rain falls harder and some days it doesn't fall at all, but the process cannot be HURRIED. There is the "secret" of training.

Be water my friends!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Kawachinagano Half


My next race is in about two weeks time (The Kawachinagano Half Marathon). This is a local race for me, 20 minutes from home, and a special one as I was a member of the "Kawachinagano Running Club" and I'm very fond of the locals here who haved treated me so kindly over the years.

See 2009 post for some background

I've run this half twice before in 2008 (1:35:20) and in 2009 (1:24:35). I was all set to run the 2010 one, trained up and fit, when the week before my Father died and I went back to Australia.

Now barring any major dramas, I'll do it again. While I should get a course record it won't be easy to PB (look at course elevation map above). This is a pretty tough race. Yet I do like to run it and if I can get it right, pace and good weather, it will be a good race!

I'd like to get your feedback about running such a race. How should I approach it if I want to PB it? And, please, I'd like any advice you have on running hilly half marathons or preparing for them.

I'm in PB shape cause if I take the net time on my last half a week ago I ran 1:18.55 into the wind so I reckon if the kawachinagano course was flat and windless, in the shape I'm in, I could run it somewhere in 1:16~1:17 range.

But I have to take into account the up down aspect of this course and get this just right. Still, the more I think about it the more I think it may be possible. After all if I can make it up in reasonable shape I will fly down the hills on my way home and a PB could be on the cards.

Last year the first 3 came in between the 1:11:20 to the 1:13:30 range so in theory a PB is possible for me here!

What do you all reckon?

Jogging up the actual course.