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Running in January 2011

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January 1st: After driving the kids to Rennes, their first stage to return to Middlebury, we had lunch on the Place de la Gare but it was so cold we didn’t stay very long in Rennes. We’ll be back in above zero temperatures.

New Year resolutions: Try 1000 miles running, 50K swimming, 1000K bike.

This will be major step compared to 2010. In 2010, I ran 1x5K (Namban Bonenkai), 1x10K (Saiko eco marathon), 1×10 miles (Ota ku), 2x marathons (Tokyo 4/4 and 2nd Tsukuba), 1x50K (Hino), and a Do Not Finish (DNF) at 70K (abandon at 52K, Saiko Lake). I plan to run again Shibuya Ekiden in January, Tokyo Marathon in February (5th participation on 5th events), 70K in Saiko lake in April, 50K in Hino city in May, then may be Obuse (1/2 marathon), then looking for September 50 or 100K event in Niigata ken, and may be another Tsukuba marathon, Ota ku 10 miles. I would like to do Okutama ekiden for fun and may be Tama ekiden. Great and ambitious program.

The run: I ran 1000K in 2010, so 1000 miles is a 60% increase. I didn’t run much from May to October so I think I can do it. And the first three months should give me a good start. 4.41K per day.

The swim: I swam 25K in 2010, so 50K is a +100% goal for 2011. Ambitious, but it can be viewed as only 1K per week. So, perfectly feasible. And I plan to learn how to crawl, in order to swim faster. This is 137 meters per day.

And for the bike’s goal, 1000K is a x6.4 (+640%) increase. That a major change! I’ve a great and light bike. And Tokyo is really bicycle friendly city and the river banks are great place to enjoy a nice afternoon. One of my ultimate goal is to be an Ironman. I’ve to start practicing seriously in 2011 and to register to some easy short distance triathlon races.

January 2nd: Packing up to prepare our return to Tokyo. 5K walk. Start of the year slowly. I read the tweets of JRN and reports on Hakone Ekiden. I missed it this year but I want to be there next year. I also think that it must be cool to try to run the last stage of Day 1, 900m up, 23.4K+ long.

Travel, sickness, jet lag and I’m back home in Tokyo. Not really ready to run but on the recovery path.

Friday 7th: 6K slow walking. Low blood pressure, light head, cold.
Saturday 8th: 5K walking to Ginza, then visit of the Idemitsu museum, for an exposition on Kōetsu, Sōtatsu and Kōrin, Rimpa artists at the end of Momoyama period.

Sunday 9th: First 10K training session of the year around Imperial Palace. No watch, no pressure, just for fun. Very nice weather, almost no wind. Some ice on the northern moat.

Monday: Visit of Suntory Museum in MidTown Roppongi Building: exposition on Meissen porcelain factory, its history, production and artists. Fascinating: from the search to replicate the chemistry, then the efforts to copy the models before developing an original artistic sensitivity. 7K walk from Iidabashi to Azabu Juban.

Tuesday 11th: In the morning, 20K at very slow pace, 3 turns around Imperial Palace. Cold and windy. Very few runners. I’ve been lapped two times by a short skinny female runner. I enjoyed running in the clear morning. In the afternoon, I went to the gym and I did 500m at the swimming pool.

Thursday 13th: 8K in Nikko moutains. I took a lot of pictures. We went to off-the-run places, very quiet temples and isolated cascades in the woods. I’ll do a separate post with pictures.

Friday: Swimming and Bike. I went to the pool by bicycle today. A lot of foot traffic on the sidewalks during the week days ! To go, I followed the Kanda river and the elevated highway. Not really romantic. I came back straight via Imperial Palace and Kudan. 7K for the bike. I swam the longuest distance so far ever for me. 1500 meters. In two parts, 1100 then 400. No problems.

Saturday 15th: Walk to Nihonbashi then Kyobashi and Ginza. 5K.

Sunday 16th: The Shibuya Ekiden, first race of the year: a 4 x 2.900 Km race. I’ve the 100-4 bib, 4th runner of the 100th team. Departure at 8:20. I woke up at 6:00, had a good breakfast, then drove by bike to Yoyogi Koen, in 45 minutes, for about 7.5K ride. The team was there and we quickly set up everything: front and back bibs, blue tasushi for the first runner, red for the last. We went to get the team checked by officials before the race. Everything was OK.

First runner Dan ran with 5 fingers, then Chiba san ran the second leg, then Yamada san ran the third leg. I took the tasushi and went for broke. I got the support from Yamada san and from other Namban runners and even from officials. I’ve lost lot of time for the team. But I tried to finish hard. I’ll check the results on internet.

After the race, I came back home by bike ;-), another 7.5K ride. I went to Sangubashi to see horses then came back throught Sendagaya and Yotsuya.

Monday 17th: 6.5K from the house to the hotels in Akasaka and back on top of the fortifications. A lot of homeless people waiting for a popular soup. At Ichigaya, a homeless asked me for directions. He was looking for the popular soup in Yotsuya. Almost there, just up the hill.

Tuesday 18th: Went ot the swimming pool just to find out it is closed for a week ! 2.5K walk.

Wednesday 19th: Great and nice cold weather. I went long, 20K run in the morning, 7K walk in the afternoon with a friend. In the morning, I went ot the Imperial Palace to do three loops, walking the hills, drinking regularly at the fountains, and clocking 36,37 and 38 minutes for each 5K. Yes, i know, this slow, but this is the goal of the long slow distance, losing weight and gaining some endurance. In the afternoon, Hibiya to Jimbocho, some old bookstores then back home.

A week of ski in the end of January. A lot of fresh snow, ski in the morning, long walk in the forests in the afternoon, onsen in the evening. Then French dinner at the hotel. A different menu every evening. Really great stay at the petit hotel in Zao.

Monday 31st: 1000m at the pool. Good to recover from the ski and the food. Plus bike commute 8K

Run & Walk: 97 K (on 11th, ahead of pace 11×4.41 = 48.5K)
Swim: 3000m (1000m behind schedule after 11 days, 137mx11 = 1506m, almost on schedule on day 14)
Bike: 30K

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