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December 2010 in Tokyo: running at the top

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Wednesday December 1st, Track and Field: recovery run after Tsukuba Marathon. 5K very slow, on the outer lane, in December cold evening at Oda fields. Dinner at Raj Mahal with the team.

Sunday 5: 15K to start Tokyo Marathon preparation. Great day, sunny, no wind, a bit cold. I run at the same time as Run for Hope but I didn’t see any of their runners. Perfect asynchronicity. 4K bike for errands on Saturday.

Saturday and Sunday: Nittai Dai Gakku time trials: I went twice to the campus of Nittai University near Aobadai Station in Kawasaki city. Great stadium, very good track. A lot of races, men and women, 3,000 and 10,000 on Saturdays and 5,000 meters on Sundays. I took about 1000 pictures and learned a lot on speed, focus and light issues as the last race started on Sunday at 19:45. I forwarded some to JNR.

The article for Saturday races.

The article for Sunday races.

Monday 6th: swimming pool, 40′ walking slowly in the water, low impact exercise. I met another Tsukuba marathon runner at the office. He’s working on the trading floor. He recognized me during the race. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice him. I was focused on finding my Namban teammates. Zannen.

Tuesday night, after work, I went to the gym for a 6.5K run. I walk to the gym, a couple of blocks from the new office, then change to running gear, then run to Imperial Palace for one loop in the dark. I like week days as I’m not the slowest runner ;-). Temperature in low 10s, with a northern wind that announces winter.

Thursday: 40 minutes walk in the pool to exercise without too much impact.
Friday morning, at 6:40, let’s go for a little run. Low temperature, some wind, few runners, the rising sun, great views of Shinjuku and of the prince palace in Akasaka. I went through the usual Iidabashi, Ichigaya, Yotsuya, the hotels and back on the path at the top of the old fortifications. 6.5K. 50 minutes of pure happiness.

Saturday December 11: Week End Long Slow Distance Run. Leaving late at 9:00. 15K very slow, two rounds around Imperial Palace, walking the hill, drinking twice. I had negative split, 37’30 and then 36’00. Overall 1:50′, 3 minutes faster than last week. Way to go… Fantastic blue sky, great sunshine, with northern winds waking up in the last 30 minutes. Bike, 4K, errands.

Sunday Dec 12: Takao san, in Western Tokyo. 5K with friends. +600 meters elevation. Great day out there. I love winter in Japan.
Monday Dec 13: Swim 500 m at lunch time.
Tuesday Dec 14: I missed the daily 6.5K. Too busy and too lazy.
Wednesday Dec 15: I went to my club after work, in Chiyoda ku. I then ran 2 times Imperial Palace to prepare for Saturday tempo race time trial. I ran in 35’34 and 35’04. Saturday goal will be 35’00” without a watch. 11.5 K in a freezing northern wind.
Thursday: Swimmmm, 275 meters. 11 x 25 ! Another 150 meters for the 25K mark !

Friday Dec 17th: Swimmmmmm, 500 meters. Et hop, just passed the 25K mark for the year. Now, I need 35.5 K of running to breach 1000 K. That should be fine as tomorrow, I’ll have a 15K including a 5K pace run around Imperial Palace and Sunday, I have a 16K race. So, by Tuesday, we should be there. My biking is going nowhere so far, but I’ll pass 150K tomorrow. Way to go !!!

Saturday Dec 18th: 4K bike 😉 I feel I’ll do more bike in January 2011 than in all 2010. Now the run, 5K around Imperial Palace at 35m/5K pace. We ran without a watch and I think I went 1-2 minutes too fast. I ran back home. Total 10K for the day.

Sunday Dec 19th: The day after the Namban Rengo’s Bonnenkai: the word bonnenkai means the party to forget the previous year. A lot of fun at the British Embassy. Best performers and best improvement (men and female) have been celebrated. My 45″ improvement at 5K is low compare to some 4 minutes + improvement. But my 45 minutes PB at 50K is off the chart. No ultra, please, we’re Namban 🙂 I left early after over eating a little bit, but sticking to Oolong tea all along.

So off to Oi Keiba Jo at 8:00, next to Haneda airport in Tokyo bay for the Ota-ku 10 miles. 7.5 degres, 57% humidity, clouds. Winds from the north. Race starts at 10:00, very well organized, 5 loops around the stadiums. I applied my new method, 9 minutes run, 1 minute walk. It’s working well. I finished in 1:42’16”, in 498th position. 12 minutes quicker than my race plan. And 45 minutes after the winners. I received support and cheers from officials and from friends from Namban: thank you very much to go the extra mile to support your friends. The pace was 6’32″50 per kilometer. Surprising since all my training is done at more than 7’30” with no speed work. May be the soft hill work is paying.

Another 9.5K for a nice round 1000K this year… and 12 days should be enough.

Tuesday 21st: 6,5K at 6:30, just before sun rise, from Iidabashi to Akasaka and back, following the moat, then the fortifications. Great view, clear and nice crisp morning. I had a lot of layers (5) and I was OK. My iPod almost froze as it was pretty cold. Another 3K and we’re done with our new and lower goal/expectations.

Wednesday 22nd: 10K at 6:30. Cloudy, and large poodles on the ground after a night of rain in Tokyo. I ran from Iidabashi to Ichigaya, Yotsuya, around the Prince Palace (Versailles look-alike) till Aoyama (blue mountain) 1-chome, then down to Pierre Pringent’s restaurant Chez Pierre near Nogizaka station. I checked the Xmas menus and animations, the reopening day (Jan 7th, evening), then I came back to see the Sanno clinic where the two kids are borne, then head back home through the usual return route, Aoyama, Akasaka, Yotsuya and the fortifications. 10K, no wind, high humidity. +4K bike errands.

Friday 24th: Small run in the cold, up to Erquy Cape, 6K. Very windy, 3 degrees, must be sub-zero.
Sunday 26th: Small long slow run, 1:03′ around Erquy Cape. Sub zero temps, wind from south, nice sun. Water froze in moats along the roads. I ran on the trails first behind my house then in the forest, finally on the Cape itself. Glorious. 8K. I saw one runner, a couple of guys walking their dogs and a couple with a small kid. And a lot of frozen landscape. I’m too new here to see any wild life yet. Or I run too late in the morning.
Monday and Tuesday: Walking down to the city for errands: 2x4K.
Tuesday 28th: Short run in the afternoon, a lot of tourists everywhere. They come in by car, walk 200-500 meters and head back to the car. Weather improved and temperature reached 10 degrees. Down to “Le Guen” camping then east to Le Cap d’Erquy, then back home. 6.5K.
Wednesday 29th: Another short run in the morning. Cloudy, 8 degrees, good running conditions. 6.5K. One runner, some walkers. I saw ski marks and poles marks on the ground. A lost cross-country skier in Northern Brittany?

Swim: Month: 1275 m, Year: 25350 m
Run: Month: 142 K, Year: 1042 K
Vélo: Month 16 K, year: 156 K

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