27 December 2015

5000m racing in Japan

Wanted to give you a flavour of running in Japan at the track  on the day of 5000m races.




And here is a video of a Shinkansen going through a station at warp factor 5 !


21 December 2015

2015 Racing Review

Jan 24th I ran the Queensland Open 3000m Champs and was happy with 9;16.

Feb 26th 5000m in 15;54 at the State Open Champs - very close to my goals 15;51 and 15;49 but not quite close enough.
28th Two days later I backed up with a 15;56 at North Lakes parkrun treating it in my mind as a tempo run! 

March 5th QUEENSLAND Open 10,000m Champion 
at 53 years of age! - my 'racing' performance of the year. Run in really hot, really humid, windy conditions 33;43.

April 3rd Sydney Australian Masters Champion M50 10,000m Champion 33;03 
April 5th Sydney Australian Masters Champion M50 5000m 16;05

I noticed a drop off in my performance following Nationals as performances deteriorated and I ended up with a hip injury which I struggled on with for a few months.

24th Noosa 10km Road 4th Overall 34;03

June 14th Launceston 10km Road 33;19 - brewery tour and pub crawl with the HuRTS boys took me months to recover from.
Launie was freezing cold, white long sleeves gloves and beaney

July 5th Gold Coast Half Marathon 73;20 ran with the lead group of women for a few K's then by myself for 10km.
I'm behind John (Barts)

August 16th Gladstone Botanic to Bridge 8km 26;41 2nd overall to Jackson Elliot, $500 first M45.

I took two weeks off running to give the hip issue a chance to resolve itself - I cycled everyday in the interim. The break from running seemed to work but hated getting swooped by maggies.

I turned 54
A racing reunion that took 35 years ! 
Oct 10th QMA State athletics facility;Treesey and me 3000m Mike was the victor in 9;28 with me 9;32
Oct 24th Sandgate parkrun Treesey again victorious 16;25 to my 16;28 
Oct 31st North Lakes parkrun 16;10 a pleasing return to form but then I go and  injure myself gardening!

Nov 16th Tokyo Japan 5000m 16;21 (Mike ran 16;16) if only Andrew Green, Mike Trees and I were in shape we'd have been comfortably run sub 16 minimum (Andy close to 15;00)
Mike and I behind #36 and #35 in a field of 50 runners, with 37 heats!

Nov 23rd Otawara Marathon festival Japan 10km 34;57 6th M40.  Japan is the spiritual home or World distance running.
Another two week break from running but this time I was unable to cross train on the bike - dieting for the first time ever meant the comeback wasn't quite as tough as normal. 
Mid December and I resumed training with the back very slowly getting better.

The motivation is higher than ever for training and  racing in 2016 with some unfinished business at M50 5000 and 10,000m. 
55 years old in September and World Masters Athletics in Perth in October.

20 December 2015

Beer and rice

I took two weeks off running following Japan to try and let the back injury settle down.
My first week back was just steady 5.6km (Roo course) and the following week I managed a week of steady Roo+Lake 10.6km in the Turkish bath like conditions that are a Brisbane Summer.
The back is very gradually getting better, less painkillers required better sleeping.

Japan has been a huge motivating factor for me. M50 Goals (3/5/10/Half) that I had long written off are now back on my radar.
The innocuous injury has given me a warning that over the next 12 months I need to be careful not to make any mistakes as I build up to Perth 26th October 2016.
Perhaps one of the easiest but also the most difficult ways to improve performance is dropping weight. I'm around 63kg and think if I can get to 60kg I will be at peak. I'm worried that increased mileage over 100km a week will lead to injury as it has in my past , so I am actually going to watch my diet for perhaps the first time ever!
I'm cutting beer, soft drinks, chocolate, biscuits,  cake and I'm going to be careful with portion size.
Just as well I gave away the sack of rice and carton of beer that were my prize in the 10km!
Beer and rice ; thank-you but no thank-you

6th M40 34;59

29 November 2015

Tokyo 10km 34:58

Managed to nab the inside lane this time

Cold and wet = gloves and beaney

It was painful

The Japanese Victory blessing I pinned to my Team Victory singlet didn't work

Following on from the track race I was in no condition to run till the following Wednesday when I met up with Mikes club, Namban Rengo ~ Tokyo International Runners Club.
With the track closed for resurfacing , club founder Bob Poulson (Bob's blog ~ http://bobs-training.blogspot.com.au) swapped the session to nextdoor Yoyogi Park.
Unfortunately it bucketed down all evening and we were absolutely drenched. Mike and Andy sat out the session, 2km, 3x1km, 2x500m.
My back continued to give me pain which I described as like a 300lb bear jumping on my back and squeezing! It was really difficult to breath deeply and it achedlike feck!
 I got through the session and headed to the Hachimanyu bath house, another club ritual.
The steaming hot baths eased my back and I was able to enjoy an Indian meal following and a few beers later at the Aldgate an old English style bar in Tokyo.
I did not run again till the following Monday's race north of Tokyo as part of the 28th Otawara Marathon festival.
Another Bullet train journey at 300km an hour!
Conditions were cold and raining, a couple of thousand runners, starting with 800m around a track then a level out and back course.
I started hard and was able to hold Mike for the first 2km.
The town itself puts on this race and makes an immense effort at getting volunteers to help. The organisation was amazing and it seemed like the whole town came out in the rain to cheer us on. I think I got lots of special cheers being a rare Westerner. The gap ahead to Mike got wider and I couldn't hang onto any of the guys passing me. We finished with another lap of the trak. My official chip time was 34:57,  Mike ran 34:05.
Mike was 3rd over 40 and I was 6th over 40, a beautiful inscribed metal medal and certificate along with a carton of Asahi beer (race sponser) and a sac of rice! I kid you not! Mine was alcohol free but Mikes was the proper 5% Asahi we'd been drinking during the week! I gave my beer rice prizes away to Hiroe, a former triathlon prodigy Mike used to coach, who had hosted us during our stay in Otawara.
Quality medal for 6th over 40.

It's hard to put into words how beautiful these trains look and how incredibly fast they travel.

Asahi Super Dry sponsor for 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Otawara 10km

35 years since we last raced together at the 1980 English Schools Cross Country Championship in Newcastle UK.

28 November 2015

Tokyo 5000m 16:21

We planned this race about 12 months ago, Mike lives half in Tokyo half in UK, and in previous years had run some super fast times at these meetings in perfect conditions. Unfortunately our physical condition was disastrous . Andy Green 5km road 15:31 at 52 in May this year and 31:30 10km road was a non starter!
Mike put out his back (disc and nerve related) after running with me in October, and I managed to injure my own back (ribs) the week before going to Tokyo.
I thought I'd be fine as I was able to run steady post injury but following on from a tempo run around the Imperial Palace in Tokyo the Wednesday prior (36:00 10km) [ 2nd overall on the one lap 5km loop Strava segment!! ] I was in a shocking state, back ache pain and spasm.
I was unable to run the next day and started downing the anti inflammatory drugs like they were smarties.
Not suprisingly I had to cancel my original intention of running a 10,000m the day before!
Race day dawned and early on, the conditions were perfect, about 15oC and overcast for Jack's (Andrew's 23 year old son) race, but the clouds had cleared and the temperature had climbed to 20oC with the humidity had up to Brisbane levels by race start!
We were allocated the 2nd row of the outside bend!
I got off to a shocking start, unable to get off lane two or three for two laps I drifted to the very back of the field before I was able to hug the inside curb.
I settled down and slowly started to move through some of the others. My back was sore and mentally I was struggling. Mike had  gotten off to a flyer, hugging the inside lane and running in a nice group at some stages.
Mike #47 me #46
I caught Alexander Holm Viborg, a Danish research student studying 'sugar' at Uni in Tokyo (runs for Mikes Namban Rengo Tokyo running Club). I managed to pass him but he clung onto me.
I worked hard to pass a few more guys but the effort to get off the race line and around was immense. I could see Mike up ahead coming back to me and at one point he was the next guy ahead of me albeit with a 50m gap!
Alex and a couple of the other students out kicked me but I gave it everything.
Post race Andrew told me I was the biggest guy in the race ~ height and weight !
When the Uni students had finished their respective races they went up to their coaches and bowed their heads reverentially whilst the coaches appeared to bollocks their charges, when this was finished the kids bowed again.
Deep respect.

Japan is truly the home of distance running ~ you gotta go and just experience it.

Andrew Green said I was the biggest guy in the field (that's a first) height and weight

My prayers to the Shinto gods of the track went unanswered!

This one was posed! Tucked in vests/singlets or you could be disqualified!

37x50x5000 made for the biggest field in a track race I can ever remember running in (ours was race 13 with seed time 15:30 ! )

Little wonder I got a shocking start

Mike got off to a flier and nabbed an inside lane position

Great support all around the track and the effort these kids put in was phenomenal (at finish coach bow berate respect)

Mike had his own injuries leading up to this race but his focus and professionalism have inspired me for 2016

I'm going to run with one of those headbands ~ super cool

No Mike I'm not quite that far behind you! I started to catch him and at one point he was the next runner ahead of me on the track but he still managed his standard 5 second win😕

My back and the effort making me run hunched

the races are organised by the university students for the university students, entry cost ispeanuts money is saved by hand painting our own numbers/bibs

Mike cropped this shot to give me future motivation

It was such an amazing experience even though our goals went well wide.
The universal language I'm giving it everything and so was he.

Alex , me Mike, Andrew and Jack

11 November 2015

Life in Tokyo

After last week's parkrun I managed to hurt my back whilst gardening would you believe?
Either mowing the lawn or digging out cycads pups, probably the latter! Had a couple of tortuous visits to the Chiropractor to see if some manipulation would put it right but unfortunately I'm still suffering and only able to run with frequent doses of anti inflammatory drugs. I only felt capable of steady running but at least managed to get one long run in.
So the big meet up with Mike Trees and Andy Green sees Andy crocked by his Achilles, Mike crocked with his back and me in jeopardy with my back! The joys of Masters athletics!
Mike has been able to swim daily and is renowned for his cross training ability where as poor Andy has been heavily hampered by his injury so the prospects for all three of us lining up and completing a race are slim!
I had planned to run 10000m track on Saturday and 5000m on Sunday as well as 10km road race the following weekend but now may limit myself to just the 5000m and 10km road race.
The reason for wanting to do both track races was purely the prospect of racing in low temps low humidity meeting with graded races 30 heats of the 10000 with 50 runners all cruising around in your graded time ~ I entered 33:00. But with my back the way it is and Mike and Andy only entered in the 5000 I'm probably going to scrap the 10. I may need all I have to give Mike a race even with his limited training.
There are something like 30 heats of the 5000m with 50 guys entered for what was originally hoping for a sub 16. Now with limited interval training and a bad back I will be just glad to beat Mike and Andy!
Forecast for Sunday is looking like heavy rain so hope that doesn't impact too much.
I always loved the Japan song Life in Tokyo so looking forward to seeing some in a few hours time!
The English Schools Cross Country Championships .The last time the three of us raced together was 1980 

02 November 2015

North Lakes parkrun 1st 16;10

Conditions were warm and humid but at least it was benign.
I left the house at 6.30am ran 2km warm up to the start line, did a few strides.
I hit the start hard and felt rough after the first KM but pushed on, through the first lap in 5;22. Started overtaking people at 1.5 laps. Concentrated hard on trying to get the best racing line with the least chance of running into the back of unsuspecting lapped runner moving off line as they hear me approach. Judge it pretty well but there were quite a few very close shaves.
Through the second lap in 10;51 and thought I'd be doing well to close out in 16;20.
Continued to push hard as the conditions started to bite. Backed off a couple of times when the gaps where just not opening up to go past on the final lap but was very happy to cross the line in 16;10 which is worth 94.23% age grading my 3rd best AG on this course and my 5th fastest time.
Steady long 19.7km recovery run yesterday (4;17kms) and another easy run today (roo+lake), long intervals on Tuesday if my hammies are feeling Ok (felt slightly strained yesterday).
I didn't push myself at all, just took it easy!

30 October 2015

Sandgate parkrun 2nd 16;29

Catch up report.
Last Thursday our plans to race the Cool Night Classic corporate 5.6km Race in the city got rained off! Well more stormed off with the event 'start finish' area looking smashed up by the storm when we arrived, so just an easy 8km around the course and Botanical gardens and some beers at the Public Service Club followed by Irish Murphy's in George St.
On Friday, Mike joined me for his first actual running of Roo+Lake, so I smashed out a 41 minute (3;50 KM ave) run and managed to gap Mike by a minute - or was he sandbagging for Sandgate?
At Sandgate if its windy its tough going. I flew for the first K but was caught by Peter Run and a little later by Mike. I was labouring and Mike went past easy enough. At the turnaround Mike said he got there in 7;48 about 6 seconds up on me. As we turned we immediately felt buffeted by the wind and it was pretty tough going. I worked hard and began to catch Mike and Peter who had been running together. Peter dropped off and I went past and further began to draw Mike in. At the finish we were given a 3 second gap but it was 1 second on our watches. I had the token kudos of out age grading him due to my extra year. 
On Sunday Mike and I headed up to Woorim on Bribie Island for an hours run along the beach. I had wanted to take Mike on a Trail run but with a 1500 scheduled for Wednesday, time was not available.
Monday we smashed out another Roo+Lake, this time Mike kept with me. The run was also notable for a snake which we didn't notice till we'd run over the top of it!. 
Mike had previously ridden around on my mountain bike and we'd come across a giant monitor lizard (3 ft long) heading up a tree!
Tuesday morning unfortunately Mike's back had gone into spasm so the race on Wednesday was off. He was in big trouble with a 9 hour flight to Tokyo on Thursday leaving him bed ridden Friday. We are going to be lucky to get all 3 old boys to the start line in Tokyo in two weeks time as Andy Green has had terrible luck with his achilles preventing him from doing meaningful training for the last couple of months.
I'm going to concentrate on dropping 1 or 2kg now Mike has left and I can stop drinking beer!
Not the Cool Night Classic Race but a nice way to console ourselves

Sandgate parkrun - hardwork battling back into the wind

post parkrun coffee at Redcliffe
Sandgate 24/10/2015 Results

Australian parkruns 24/10/2015 Age Grading Results, Mike would have been 3rd but they only list top performance for each parkrun