Week 8; Day 4: A partial tear on Achilles Tendon

Yesterday when working out at Oda field, I felt a little uncomfortable on my right Achilles Tendon. This morning the tendon is kind of swollen and the pain keeps coming and going.  I guess the tendon is partially torn.

 

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Image via Wikipedia

That’s bad, but still better than a fully torn Achilles Tendon. I have to take a bit of training break to allow for a quick recovery. Will keep you posted once the training resume.

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Week 8; Day 3: Oda Field( 22k Total)

After the half Marathon last Sunday, my legs have been sore. So I didn’t run on Monday and Tuesday. Today (a Wednesday), I went to Oda Field to do some intervals with Namban Rengo guys.

Although the first plan was to do intervals, I doubted if my muscles can survive speed just after the half marathon. So when I got to Oda, I decided to do a normal long training.

I arrived at Oda field at about 17:45, then changed. When I got on the field, it was about 6pm. I wanted to do a really long track run before the Namban guys arrived at about 7pm. I could manage doing 40 laps before they arrived.

When the group arrived my muscles were quite tense, so I decided to join group B as the interval time in group B is not so ambitious and good for my sore muscles.

The interval training today was  six  1k or 1000 metres lap with a 200 m jog.

I don’t remember what was the intervals goal time, but I remember following the time keeper for the first 1000k and it felt very slow. So I decided to follow the fast runners in group B who seem to be ahead of the time keeper.

Luckily one of the fast guys on B team was actually an A team guy. It worked so well for me coz we could really push each other.

I think the B team time is supposed to be over 4 minutes per  1000 metres but we averaged about 3:50 and the last interval lap…I am not sure but I bet it was in the 3:20s or 3:30s as my partner put the hammer down from the start and I was really finding it hard to catch up, and when I kicked it was all I have. I was like, if he has anything left, then he will get the last one, but luckily I got it.

Yokohama Half Marathon results

Before talking of the results, I would like to say that the Yokohama half Marathon course is really good and the weather was great lats Sunday. One thing is the course is not 100% flat as many claim. There are small hills mainly going on bridges and getting on some kind of a fly over. Also towards the end there is a bit of an ascent. Anyway, the ascents are not so tough to affect someone training.

Yesterday I checked the Runnet website for the results and  it was a bit surprising  to see that I was in the top 200. The results were as follows:

Gross time 1:30:36

Net time 1:30:12

For those who don’t understand the difference. Runners normally focus on net time. Net time is the running time minus the wasted time taken before crossing the starting line. So my actual time is 1:30:12

Yokohama Marathon gave only two splits unfortunately. That is the 10k split and the final split. My splits time were as follows:

10k 42:57 and the last part 47:15

There were two kinds of ranking but I can’t tell you exactly what they mean. My first ranking was 179 out of 2298. I guess these were the general half marathon participants.

My second ranking was 294 out of 2823. I guess this includes all half marathon runners (Elite and General).

Anyway, the outcome was great!

Week 7; Day 7: Yokohama Half Marathon Race(My second half Marathon)

This comes a bit late.

The Half Marathon course was really great. I lined up with the masses behind the banner saying 1hr 15 to 1hr 30 minutes guys. I was about 20 metres from the board and about 100 or so metres from the starting line.

As the gun went it took a few seconds before starting a crawling jog. I wasn’t in the mood to rush things so I just followed the masses at a crawling pace. I passed the first Km mark in 4hrs 40 minutes and 5km mark in about 22 minutes.

Things got a bit interesting after the 6 k mark as the crowd started stringing out.

I tried to focus on myself to avoid following others pace, but it was difficult. A number of times I found myself competing with some guys. I reached 7k in 30 minutes which was 5 minutes better than my first Half Marathon in 2008 (Setagaya Half Marathon).

When I glanced at my watch at 10k it was about 42 minutes 50 seconds, which was quite good.

To make things short, I crossed the line at 1hr 30 minutes and 30 something seconds. I don’t know why I couldn’t go under 1 hr 30 minutes as I passed the 20km mark at about 1hr 25 minutes.

Anyway, I was hoping to run somewhere between 1hr 30 and 1 hr 35 min. So 1 hr 30 is satisfactory.

 

Running Shoes

There many running shoes out there, and most runners claim that they know what is good based on their experiences. However, no matter who advise you about shoes, getting your right fit is a soul searching experience.

In my case when I started running in preparation for my first 5k race in 2008, I didn’t know much about running shoes. I remember running in New Balance sneakers, and soccer attire. I never thought I needed to spend a lot on running gear.

This notion changed when I first went to a group workout with a group called Namban Rengo. I learned a lot about running gear from this group. Since then I owned a number of running shoes and would like to talk about what I am using now and what works for me.

So far the best running shoes I have ever owned is Nike  ZM Speed cage, the earliest version I guess.

These shoes are just a perfect fit for me. They are wide enough, almost like runners flat but with a decent Dyuraron cushioning. The sole is rubber with BRS 1000(meaning: The BRS 1000 Outsole is the Nike brand rubber constructed with a high content of carbon making it durable and able to provide additional traction for the wearer).

I have used this pair of shoes since 2009, and I don’t want to part with them. I tried to find a similar pair in the market, but Nike stopped making the earlier version with clothing. The new version Speed cage 3 is made of plastic covering instead of clothing. I tried them on, but as I bend my toes in the forward movement, the foot get pinched by the folding plastic.

This is ZM speed cage 3.  Don’t be fooled by it’s colorful looks, it’s all plastic meshed.

After failing to get the earlier ZM speed cage , I tried my luck with Nike ZM speed lite.

Speed Lite looks good, and the LT cushioning makes them so comfortable, but there is lack of strong foot support leading to a lot of injuries over prolonged use. I remember getting Plantar fasciitis with these shoes that kept recurring every time I use them on my way to recovery. However when I stopped using them and switched back to my favorite speed cage, I got rid of the problem.

On the track and grass, I like using cross country spikes from Asics, called Effort. They are really good for speed work, but they make my heel a little sore due to friction as I can hardly use the heal step when using spikes. Anyway, that’s due to my lack of regular spike use.

In my hunt to find a pair of shoes to replace my favorite ZM speed cage earlier version, I looked at Adi Zero from Adidas, but the wide versions colors were so boring, so I went to check out FAAS from Puma.

The good thing about FAAS, they are so colorful and come in different sole cushioning varieties. The bad thing is they have no wide versions, but the material used is quite elastic and can easily expand with time. After trying various categories, I picked up FAAS 300. I was actually interested in FAAS 200, but not yet available in Japan.

 

I haven’t broke into this pair yet, so I am not sure if they would really replace the ZM speed cage. I will start training with them after my half Marathon in the hope that I can use them for Tokyo Marathon.

Week 7; Day 4: Gym and outdoors

The morning rain made me opt for the gym. The original plan was to do a 15k outdoors, but training is all about flexibility.

In the gym I did a random  ladder of 12.1, 13.1, 15.1 and 16.1. 13.1 km/h took the lion share, followed by 12.1 and 15.1. Anyway the training was good and I could do 6.33km in 30 minutes. Then I realized the rain had stopped, it was a bit annoying to see that happen after I paid for the gym.

Nevertheless, nothing was lost. I signed out of the gym and did a 10k to simulate my half marathon pace. I think the race pack I received this morning made me too excited leading to a 42 minute 10k. The bad news is I felt a little pain on my left calf towards the end. Probably it’s due to excitement or cold outside, but I am a bit concerned getting that two days before the half. Hopefully I will be ok by then.

In total I did 16km today.

Yokohama Half Marathon

Bingo!

I got the Yokohama race pack this morning for a special price of ¥3,000 instead of ¥5,000. Thanks Gemma for setting this up!

I had a chance to look at the Yokohama marathon website (http://www.yokohamamarathon.jp/access.html), and it says the course is quite flat – good news. The race starts from Yamashita park (山下公園) on Sunday morning and end at the Yamashita park’s ship(山下ふ山下ふ頭).

The first 6 kilometres the course takes runners to the lonely Yokohama dockyard, a good way to kill time counting containers. One interesting spot to check out here might be the Yokohama Symbol tower which marks the turning point towards the 7 km mark.

Just after the 10km mark, the course go through Kamomemachi before making a U- turn at 12.7km point which serves as a wheel chair finishing point. The course the more or lesson trace itself back to the the big ship at Yamashita park.

Wish me luck!