Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Breaking personal rules rarely ends well.

After a good 13km run in cooler weather on Friday night I was feeling fit, and eager to get in another run on Sunday.

Due to general laziness I didn't get up to run on Sunday morning, and due to a planned evening of karaoke with my daughters and their friends, I didn't like my chances of getting out for a run in the evening, especially after the few beers I would require in order to muster up the courage to sing.

So I did something I very, very rarely do, a mid-day run.

I have a personal rule that I don't let my hobbies of running and cycling get in the way of time with my family.  Fathers have too little time with their children as it is, and I want to make the most of every moment I can get.  As a result I run in the evenings after they've gone to bed and during marathon training I'll do my long runs early on Sunday mornings and be back before they're awake.

But Sunday afternoon while my eldest was doing her homework, and my youngest quietly playing by herself I decided I'd have time to get in one of my regular 7km routes.

The mid day heat and humidity helped to reduce my run from 7 to 5km.  But I believe a bigger factor in cutting my run short was a feeling of guilt that I was selfishly indulging myself while my daughters were waiting for me back at home, so after 5km I headed home ASAP.

Indeed, when I returned I was greeted by the two smiling faces of my daughters who couldn't wait for me to shower so we could begin some new activities together.

Never again shall I break my rule.  There is plenty of time for running in the evenings once my daughters have gone to bed.

Monday, 12 July 2010

A Milestone Reached

According to the Nike+ site I've run 1,009 kilometers since purchasing the Nike + iPod Sport Kit in September.  OK, that's only 100km per month, but for someone who only started running in August, I'm pretty proud.

I crossed the 1,000km barrier with a 13km run on Friday night.  After work I cycled home in a terrible rain storm, took a shower, ate dinner and settled in for the night as the rain didn't look like stopping any time soon.

By 9:30, after the girls had gone to bed, I was ready for a night in front of the TV but noticed two things.  One the rain had stopped, two, we didn't have any bread for the following days breakfast.

The supermarket is only 700m away, but I figured if I was going to the trouble of  leaving the house, I might as well gear up and put in a run.  I have a selection of runs, of varying distances, that begin at my building and finish up at the supermarket as doing a little shopping after a run has almost become part of the standard routine.

I chose a 7km route along the Zenpukuji River and got running.  After the rain storm the water level in the river was the highest I've ever seen it, and vast portions of Wadabori Park were under water.  A number of times I had to divert from my regular course as it was blocked by water. 

On the upside, the rain had bought the temperature right down making this the most comfortable run in weeks, so comfortable in fact that somewhere along my run  I decided to switch to my 10km route instead.  The 10km route takes me along the Zenpukuji River to where it meets Kampachi Doori.  Then I run South down Kampachi to Takaido where it meets the Kandagawa River, the follow the river for a few of kilometers before heading home.

By the time I reached the supermarket I had completed just over 13km.  It felt good to have put in such a long run on the spur of the moment, as the recent heat and humidity have made even the shortest runs sheer torture.  It gave me a terrific boost in confidence to know my recent under performance can be attributed to the ridiculous humidity rather than a lack of effort on my part.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

13th Run For Vision, Tokyo

Last week my friend and running partner asked if I'd be interested in running the 13th Run For Vision race on October 10.
The Run for Vision 10km course takes compeditors on two loops around the Imperial Palace Gardens in downtown Tokyo, a very popular training spot for urban runners.  My friend had many convincing reasons as to why we should do this run including:
  • Its an iconic Tokyo run.
  • One day we may no longer live in Japan and it'd be cool race to have done.
  • Its a Run for Vision run, so the money is for an eyesight charity, his favorite kind.

All very good arguments, but he finally won me over with:
  • Apparently there's a free t-shirt, bananas, and drinks etc.

T-shirts, bananas and drinks, what other motivation does a runner need?  I registered online that very evening.

Due to the incredible popularity of running in Japan over the past couple of years it has become necessary to secure your place in a race many months in advance.  Entry to most races can be done via the RUNNET site, and some of the more popular races can fill up within hours of entries opening.  As Japan's running boom is being led by young ladies it is often the women's events that sell out long before the men's.

So while the race season has yet to start in Japan, now would be a good time to plan out next seasons race calendar.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Oh, the humidity!

The person who wrote "Its not the heat that kills you, its the humidity" must have been writing from Tokyo, in June, after a run.

Recently even after runs of modest  distance I return home looking as if I've just finished the swim leg of a triathlon.  My fast drying running gear is unable to cope and clings to my body from neck to waist, front and back.  I literally have to wring it out by hand before dropping it in the washing machine.

I remember training for the Tokyo Marathon over winter, in the snow, thinking "Who in their right mind organizes a marathon for February knowing full well runners must train through the coldest months of the year?" Oh, how I wish for a blizzard right now!

To make matters worse I trained for the marathon with a pair of CW-X three quarter length tights which provided excellent knee support, but recently have abandoned them due to the heat and as a result I've started feeling a little pain in my left knee.  I think I'll run with them tonight as I can't imagine they'll make me substantially hotter than I have been the past few runs.

As an Australian, I've always been a beach goer, and summer lover, but since taking up running I can't wait for autumn and the start of the running season!