Today I finished the 10th week of my 17 week training program and I thought I would take stock of where I was. I have run 700km but only 3 runs over 34km, one in July, one in August and one in September. Also due to the heat and getting sick a couple of weeks back I have not been able to do as much intensive workouts as I would have liked. On the plus side, the weather has started to cool down and I have 7 weeks to get in some quality workouts so all is not lost.
Travel Day – no running
I left Singapore on the night flight to Tokyo and as a result I did not manage to get any running done. Still after running the previous three days I was glad of the rest.
I woke on the plane as it was landing in Haneda so I was not able to take my HRV or RHR. I had hoped to get in a run after wok but with the lack of sleep I was just not up to it and decided to take a rest and give it a good bash on Wednesday.
Namban Intervals 6 x 1000m
With a rest day behind me and my HRV in the eighties, ithlete Pro was telling me that I was ready for an intensive workout and intervals. Unfortunately the weather in Tokyo returned to being hot and humid and I was duly affected. I started off with a 4km gentle warm up in Yoyogi Park before heading over to Oda Field for the intervals. Jay was a little late so I led our group. That just entails calling out the time to start each interval but I always find that leading gives me a bit of a boost. Today, this was not the case. Although I did OK in the first interval, I quickly got slower after that and found it quite a slog and I was delighted to finish it with my times at 3:40, 3:48, 3:50, 3:54, 3:52 and 3:54.
Afterwards, Harrisson led us in some strength workout and proved to me again that I really have no balance. It was not as physically tough as the abdominal exercises that Bob normally does, but I found the coordination and the balance very difficult to master. That might be the reason that I have this continuous pain in my shoulder when I run for over 1 hour.
I was not feeling too bad after the Wednesday intervals but I needed to take a rest day as I had an appointment on Thursday night and I knew that I would need a big weekend to get back on track.
12.4km Evening Run
I got home from work around 8:15pm and was out the door again in 15 mins for only my second run of the week. I headed down to Marukobashi, a route that I have run 103 times since April 2012 according to Strava. Of late I have been setting my watch to run by MAF, but this this I did not and just ran to feel. I started off running at 5:20 pace and finished at 5:05 pace and I was glad to be back in training.
17km run with 25 mins at Tempo avg 4:16/km
This was the same run that I did mid-August. My plan was to get up early and do it before it got too hot but I was just not up to it. I took a decent lie in and finally headed out the door at 2:45pm. It was hot enough at 29 degrees and I wondered if I would be able to do the tempo part of the run properly. In August I ran at 4:16 pace for 20 mins and I was hoping to improve on that. Eventually I managed 25 mins but it took a lot of effort. The ultimate goal is to run at between 4:06 and 4:16 pace for 40 mins before I start to taper. This run was tough. I managed to struggle through it and limped my way home.
34km FFLR with 25 mins at avg 4:38/km
This is also the same run that I did mid August and again I started later than I expected. I had set my clock for 5am but could not drag myself out of the scratcher for love nor money. I finally managed to get up sometime after six and get out the door around 7:20am after my oatmeal and smoothie. This might be a good time to mention that 2 weeks ago we bough a Dunnetts Professional Blender. I have been using a Huron Juicer for the last couple of years but it takes a lot of time to prepare the fruit and vegetables and a hell of a lot of time to clean the damn thing. The blender is amazing. You really can blend and clean in 5 mins, although it is a little noisy. However, note to self: next time you blend an avocado add some water so you won’t need a spoon.
Anyway, I headed out at a snail’s pace knowing that I had 34km ahead of me and that I needed to do at least part of it at something approaching marathon pace if I was to make it really matter. My legs were sore from Saturday and I found it hard to get moving. I struggled up through Futakotamagawa and along the Tamagawa river and was wondering if I really had it in me. My doubts were further enforced when I saw the three Namban ladies flying the other direction. I was dead impressed at the pace they were running at and it really made me feel that I needed to do something more. The positive thing was that the day was a to cooler at only 24 degrees and I made it to 15km without stooping at a drinks vending machine.
Finally I made back over to the Kawasaki side of the river and started thinking about the fast finish. As I said last month, there are a lot of traffic lights in the final 3km of my run so I start my fast finish at 24km and try to run for as long as I can at a heat adjusted Marathon Pace of between 4:25 and 4:40/km. At 24km I pushed the lap button on my Garmin and tried my best to get into the “Desired Zone”. It took a while but finally I settled at 4:39 pace and managed to hold it for a while before moving up to 4:38 and finally finishing at 4:37. It was tough but the 25 mins run was 5 mins faster than August and something to be positive about. I then crawled home for the last 4 km with an increasingly sore shoulder but happy that I had done what I had come to do. The goal is to gradually increase the time that I run at marathon pace and hopefully by the start of October it will be up to one hour.
The day was completed with a trip to Ikea in Yokohama to replace our pillows and bed covers in my new T-Shirt, a present from Ireland from daughter #1, and some gentle humiliation by daughter #2.
Me “I can’t hear any guitar practice”
Her “Yes, that would because I am not playing”
Well, at least the road does not answer back.