And this week was going so well.
After a rest day on Monday I got home a little late on Tuesday but I still got out and ran for the scheduled 105 minutes and covered over 19km. It was not particularly hard but it was good to get out and do a medium run in mid-week. Wednesday was the Namban Rengo monthly 5km time trial. I thought about doing it but I had a 11km tempo run the following day and I knew that I would not be up for it if I ran a hard 5km and there was no point in doing an easy 5km. Therefore I went out for the scheduled 65 minute run and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thursday was the big day, the 11km tempo run. 3 weeks previous I had done the 8km tempo run at 4:12 average pace but one km had been over the 4:10 ~ 4:20 window that McMillan had prescribed. This time I was determined to run all the 1km segments under 4:20, particularly the fourth one that I had missed last time. It was tough but it went well. I had to play mind games with myself and count off each segment as if it was an achievement in itself. However, by the end I was in good shape and finished well with an average pace of 4:13 min/km.
Friday was a rest day. I thought of going out for a run to try and bring my 282km up to 300km but I was feeling the strain from the tempo run and felt that I could do with a rest.
Saturday, it all went wrong. Truth be told, it all started the previous Saturday. I had been using my ASICS Gel Feather Glide for my trail running but I had not been happy with them. I had bought them in September 2013 for that year’s ill fated Ohtawara Marathon attempt. Although 29 cm, the same size as my ASICS Tarthers, they were too small. I knew that in the shop when I bought them but I convinced myself that they would be alright. They were not. I am not saying that they led to the disastrous result but they became a constant reminder of it. After the race I did not wear them for another 8 months even though I only had a few hundred km run in them. Around June of this year I started running the Yokohama trail regularly in my Tarthers but I found that they did not have sufficient grip so I switched to the Feather Glides. They were better over the terrain but I was still bothered by the small size. So, as I planned my post marathon schedule, I decided to run as much trail as possible. Winter in Tokyo and Yokohama is cold and dry so the trails would be hard and fun. I decided to go out and and buy a pair of trail shoes. The problem I faced was that I buy a new pair of shoes every 6 months and the rule is that I have to get rid of a pair when I buy a pair. It is fair but I was not yet ready to get rid of the Feather Gildes which hard hardly been worn so I decided to sneak the new shoes into the house and hide them in my sports bag. It was a plan that could not go wrong.
On Saturday morning we were back down in Yokohama for a friendly soccer game. I was pleased with the running that I had down so far this week and was thinking that if I ran 14km on Saturday and did the 38km long run on Sunday I would have a 100km week. As the meeting time was 8:10 we had to leave the house at 7:15 and it was raining heavy. I was so worried about it that I rang back home to see if there was any mail to say that the game was cancelled. It was not so persevered down the rain and wind swept Daisan Keihin, Yokohama Shindo and Yokohama Yokosuka road. When we got to Noshichiri the rain had stopped and there was a hint of sun.
The run itself started well. I took the CR on the segment that I was planning and headed off into the trail. Compared to previous weeks the trail was empty, except for all the grey squirrels which kept running out in front of me. Normally I can only hear them in the trees but today they were everywhere. Almost as if they were taking over. As I had time and the place was empty, I decided to explore the trails I had not run and headed over to the Kanazawa Zoo. It was fun running over the motorway and I will explore further in weeks to come, after the marathon. It looked like I could run one big loop and get back to the soccer ground from a different route but as I was closing in on the finish I found that the trail was blocked again and I had to turn back. I was not too disappointed as I looked forward to increasing my mileage and I headed back and started to think about the week just gone and the week ahead. As with other times on the trail, when I let my thoughts wander that is when misfortune can befall me and before I knew it I was face down in the trail. I had tripped on a tree root, almost recovered, tripped again and went down hard. Such was the speed of all of this I could not get my hands up to protect me and my left hand was pinned under my chest while the left side of my face went into the dirt.
At first it didn’t hurt. I was more shocked than anything. Then I noticed how my hand was already swollen. Still I had no pain in my side so after walking for a couple of minutes I started to jog again. Most of the technical part of the trail was over so I jogged the 2km down to the main road and then walked back to the car. After I got back home I started to feel more pain in my side and suspected that I had cracked my ribs. I had done this twice before playing futsal and I know that the real test is getting out of bed in the morning. The wife was not prepared to wait until the next day and packed me off to the local hospital for X-Rays on my chest and hand. The doctor said that it looked like nothing was broken or cracked but that sometimes these things do not show up on an X-Ray (seriously?) and if it was still sore in a week to come back. At the moment it is sore when I cough or sneeze or when I get up from lying down so I will not be doing any 100km this week and hoping that I will be better to run again before the marathon on Nov 23rd.
Sunday morning I was able to sit straight in the bed, although it did hurt a bit. This allowed me to believe the doctor that nothing was broken. Hopefully he will be right about only needing one week’s recovery as well.