93 Days to Go

Tomorrow I’m going to do my first race for 18 months. It is the Run For the Cure in Tokyo and it is 10 km.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Eryn Vorn

Now, here is the thing.  I’ve upgraded my RunKeeper to the elite for a bargain basic price of $20 for a year.  One of the perks of this upgrade is that people can follow my race live!  I don’t actually know what this means you can see so I kind of want someone to log on and view it while I’m running and then tell me what they could see.

So here are the details.

Watch Race Live

My goal is to run the race under 1 hour.  Yesterday I did 8km in 45 minutes so I’m hoping that I can do it!  Wish me luck!  🙂


97 Days to Go

What a week!

YIS Cross Country

Last year I ran with some students in the school’s cross country event and it nearly killed me.  This year, after all the training I have done, I was expecting a much easier run.  I was wrong.

I have been training exclusively along the waterfront which is of course flat.  The cross country course has small but significant hills and the first one is right at the beginning.  It killed me.

Zombies, Run!

This is my new favourite app for running!  It really distracts you from the boredom of running a bit and it syncs beautifully with my RunKeeper so I still get all my running stats!

So far, none of the zombies have caught me!

108 Days to Go

As you know, I’ve been having some trouble with my calves becoming very tight during my runs.  After doing some research, I discovered that stretching regularly is key to solving this problem.  As such, I decided tonight, to start doing yoga every day to help with that.

I’ve never done yoga before.

I google searched (the font of all knowledge) “yoga for runners”.

I found a bunch of yoga videos for free on YouTube.

I got 2 minutes into my first choice before I stopped.  It only had static pictures.  I had no idea how to get from one pose to another.

I got 5 minutes into my second choice before I stopped.

Yoga, as it turns out, is not just stretching but also balance.  It turns out that attempting your first session of yoga after 3 (albeit small) glasses of red wine and two (again small) bottles of sake, is not easy.  In fact, it is down right dangerous!  Instead, I’m off to do a much easier task like planning a lesson on the hybridisation of carbon.  At least for that I can sit down!

PS  Why do all commentators on yoga videos sound like they’re stoned?  Surely that wouldn’t help with your balance either!

111 Days to Go

Today is Sunday and Sunday equals distance!  Today I ran 13 kms.  This is the longest I’ve run so far this year.  You can check out my stats below or click on the picture to go to my RunKeeper page.

Now that the distance is increasing, my tight calves are becoming more of a hindrance, so I started doing some research into the problem.  It turns out that the problem could probably be solved by wearing good shoes and stretching a lot.  Not just before and after the run, but several times during the day.  I came across a lot of very dodgy looking videos on how to do this.  Here is a small selection.


I don’t know why, but all the videos seem to be made with the same poor quality camera work and be presented by Australians who are clearly winging it script-wise.  Despite this, for the last few days I’ve been stretching my calves at every opportunity in preparation for today’s run.

As for the shoes, I bought a new pair yesterday.  Unfortunately, although I bought the shoes in a sports store and I had successfully communicated to the salesman who didn’t speak English, that I wanted running shoes, he never put me on one of those machines that look at how your foot is when running.  To his credit, he did manage to find a pair to fit my gigantic western feet and give me a ¥4000 (~AUD $40) discount.

So when I ran today, my calves were much improved but my feet are now the problem.  Both my feet went to sleep and my right foot felt like there was a marble pushing on the ball of my foot.  When I finished the run, I removed my shoe and checked, but there was no such marble inside.

And finally, my underarm chafe is just getting worse!  Today I got new iPhone band chafe on one arm and t-shirt rubbing chafe on the other.  It won’t be long before I will need to start bandaging my arms before running.

On the upside though, apart from discomfort in my feet and arms, I didn’t feel tired really at all during the run.  I never got out of breath as I kept running at a comfortable pace and although the distance is a long way short of the 21 kms I will eventually need to do, I am beginning to feel quietly confident that I may be getting a train home on race day and not an ambulance.

116 Days to Go

New Land Speed Record Set in Yokohama

A new land speed record has been set today at 6:30am JST in the sleepy, seaside village of Yokohama in Japan.  The 30 minute/5 km barrier has finally been smashed by Merilyn Winslade driving the new model MLW-2013.  Over the 5.26 km course,  an average pace of 5 minutes and 33 seconds per kilometer was achieved.  A blistering pace of 5 minutes and 21 seconds for the fourth kilometer was recorded however this was on a slight downhill slope which may render the record invalid.  The total time for the course was 29 minutes and 13 seconds.  No previous models of the MLW have been able to achieve these lightening-like speeds with the previous best attempt being more than 32 minutes for 5 km.

The owner and designer of the new model MLW claims that a 7kg lighter frame combined with a stronger body and more flexible joints, all key features in the new design, were instrumental in today’s record breaking achievement.  A last minute polishing of the exterior from the nose down during yesterday’s public holiday, also helped to improve the aerodynamic capabilities of the vehicle and lead to a decrease in air resistance with a new smooth skin exterior.

The next test for the new MLW is in a couple of weeks when its ability to sustain these speeds over a 10 km track will be attempted.  This race will be broadcast live via RunKeeper.com and details of the schedule will be published on this site in the lead up to the November 30th attempt.

View from the “ArmBand Cam” on the MLW during today’s record breaking attempt.

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Éole Wind