Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Fractured Rib, Holy Crap!

My family and I had a great time in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture over the long weekend with a bunch of close friends.  On Sunday we made a long trek to Lake Inawashiro in Fukushima for a fun day of jet skiing.

To cut a long story short three of us took a tumble from a banana boat after which I felt a little winded, but was much more annoyed that the force of the fall had taken my watch from my wrist to the murky depths of the lake.

I had a run planned for Monday evening after we arrived home, to run off Saturday nights BBQ and beers, but breathing deeply caused me some mild discomfort so I postponed.

On Tuesday morning I considered it wise to visit my "major injures doctor".  My "major injuries doctor" is a different doctor than my "cold and flu doctor".  I visit him roughly once a year and he greets me with a big smile and a "what have you done to yourself this time" each time I walk in the door.  My major injuries doctor plays fast and loose with the x-rays which is exactly why I chose him.

The moment I mentioned the term "jet ski" he was already chuckling to himself and warming up the x-ray machine.  As expected the x-ray revealed a fractured rib, only a small fracture, but painful nonetheless.  He prescribed pain killers and wrapped me up in an elastic corset to restrict the bone from moving about too much.

So at this stage I think I'll be skipping the 10K Run For Vision on October 10th.  My doctor told me to expect roughly 4 weeks of discomfort and the Run For Vision is only 3 weeks away.

I have the Toda Half Marathon on November 21, so if I'm back up and running in 4 weeks I'll have exactly 1 month to prepare for that.  Not enough time to prepare for a stellar performance, but surely enough to prepare for simply reaching the finish line.

My dilemma at the moment is how to maintain whatever little fitness I had now that I can't run, cycle, swim, do weights, or anything at all?  My current plan is to walk roughly 5km each evening, its not going to salvage much fitness, but it will keep my motivation up as I'll feel like I'm at least doing something.

Any cross training tips for someone with a fractured rib would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Running the Zenpukuji River

You probably imagine that a city like Tokyo must stink when it comes to locations for running, and depending on where you live, you may actually be right.  Luckily for me I'm blessed with choice when it comes to running close to home.

My most often traveled route is along the banks of the Zenpukuji River.  Like most rivers in Tokyo, its better described as a concrete channel, but it is buffered from the residential areas it runs through by parks, playgrounds and sports fields on either side.  In spring almost the entire length of the river is in bloom with cherry blossoms, and drunk revelers make for interesting times during the hanami season.

In the mornings you'll find many other runners and walkers taking advantage of this great location but it never becomes too crowded.  In addition to this you'll find musicians practicing their instruments, groups of elderly performing calisthenics, and birdwatchers trying to take snaps of the local King Fisher population.

In the evenings, when I do most of my running, the paths that runs parallel to the river are well lit, and the parks always feel safe.  While there are other night time runners around, for the most part you'll be running alone.

If you continue far enough in a general westerly direction you'll intersect Kampachi Doori, after which the parks disappear and the scenery becomes a little more residential.  Don't let this discourage you as just a few kilometers ahead the path terminates at Zenpukuji Kouen.  Named after a temple which existed there in the past, almost half of the parkland is occupied by 2 large ponds populated by wild birds, ducks and King Fishers.

Aside from the main path running along the river there are enough side trails to provide a little variation to your route if you should find yourself running there almost daily.

Both vending machines, and toilet facilities are in plentiful supply along the river and you'll find a Mini Stop convenience store close to wear the path crosses Itsukaichi Doori.

Yokohama Marathon Sold Out, Holy Crap!

Entries in the Yokohama Marathon sold out in just 4 hours, holy crap! 

It was on my race calendar for 2010 but now I'll have to give it a miss.  I'm not too bummed as its just two weeks after I run the half marathon in Toda, but it is an event I'd like to participate in sometime in the future.

Friday, 10 September 2010

My Joan is Broken

Recently a the end of each run with my Nike+ iPod I get a congratulatory message from Joan Benoit Samuelson something along the lines of "Congratulations, you've just covered another 500km".

Even after the shortest of runs, "Congratulations, you've just covered another 500km".  Huh?!?

Somehow I don't think Joan has a firm grip on the metric system …