Happy Global Running Day!

I remember when they called it National Running day.  While it was a work day, and a long one at that, I still wanted to get in at least a few miles.  Getting some In N Out for dinner helped spur me to get off my butt and run.  I wound up getting 3 miles on the treadmill.  It was also a good night since the Warriors beat the Cavs in Game 3 of the Finals.

I’ve not been doing a ton of running since the Big Sur Marathon.  I’ve still had weird foot pain/soreness after I run.  Sometimes it is sore even after just a long day on my feet.  I’m just too stubborn to call a doc and schedule to be seen.  Ah well, we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s a pic of me from the Austin Half Marathon many moons ago.

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-StewsCat

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Tokyo last day and Day 1 Kyoto (Japan 2017)

Tokyo last day and Day 1 Kyoto (Japan 2017)

I lost my original post for these days.  Oh well, I’ll just re-start it and not try to re-create the old one that I had made.

So it was our last day in Tokyo and at the awesome Park Hyatt.  Before leaving Tokyo I wanted to try to get at least one run in while in Japan.  I decided to head up to the fitness center in the Park Hyatt.  This is located up on the 47th floor.  If you’ve seen the movie Lost in Translation, there is a scene where the main characters are swimming in this pool.  I didn’t get any pictures because you’re not supposed to take pictures in the gym area.  To actually get up to the fitness center you have to go through their spa (and actually tell them you’re a guest to get up there).  They have a row of treadmills that face outward towards their floor-to-ceiling windows.  You have this great overlook of the city and being so high up you get a bird’s eye view.  It was a nice way to wake up for the day.

After sadly leaving the wonderful confines of the Park Hyatt, we made our way back to Tokyo Station by way of Shinjuku station for the ride over to Kyoto.  Prior to taking the bullet train (Shinkansen), we needed some lunch.  Within the underground mall area of Tokyo Station is Ramen Street.  This was our first experience with ordering from a vending machine.  So you walk up to a vending machine and can choose the type of Ramen you want (as well as any extras such as extra noodle, meat, other things), put money in the machine and then it spits out a ticket.  You give the ticket to the attendant and wait in the line outside the restaurant.  Once there is an open seat, they take you to it and then your food shows up.  This place also had a paper bib for you to wear in case of splatter from the ramen.  It was very tasty.

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Continue reading “Tokyo last day and Day 1 Kyoto (Japan 2017)”

2017 Big Sur International Marathon Race Recap

2017 Big Sur International Marathon Race Recap

I did it!  Successfully (mostly) completed my fourth full marathon.  I am currently recovering from a hard effort.  I’ll have a separate post about our time in Carmel that is unrelated to the actual marathon itself.

Let’s start with the race expo.  We drove down from Sac on Friday late morning and went straight to the Portola Hotel, where the race expo was being held.  We had the dog with us so I didn’t get to explore the expo too much on Friday but went back Saturday morning to get a better idea.  I had read on other blogs that the expo is typically fairly small for a major marathon and they were correct.  Packet pickup was very smooth.  The organizers were great in sending out emails prior to the weekend letting me know my bib number since that was what you needed to get your bib.  Because there is only one way to get to the race start, I also had to pick up a bus ticket (free) from my pickup location (which was in the heart of Carmel).  There were about 4-5 different areas of pickup for the full marathon.  After grabbing my bib and bus ticket, I got my shirt and gear check bag and the helpful volunteer put everything into the bag for me.  The following morning I walked through the expo.  There were a few of the usual booths for various races as well as a few gear booths selling everything from gels to water bottles to clothes.  The largest merchandise area belonged to Asics, who is one of the big sponsors.  Overall it was a nice little expo area but nothing to write home about.  I did find my name on the Big Sur poster that is comprised of every runner.

I had all intentions of a breakout run on Saturday morning but that fell threw just because I was doing enough walking around with the wife.  The day before the race, we did drive down Highway 1 to Big Sur because my wife had never been.  Essentially we drove the course backwards on our way down and then in the proper direction on our return trip back to Carmel.  The drive really showed me just how non-flat the course actually is.  When you look at the elevation chart of the race, you go “okay, there are a few major hills and few minor ones,” but when you’re actually driving the course you realize the entire thing is essentially either “up” or “down.”  There aren’t actually many flat spots to the course.

Elevation

The drive is when I really did start to worry about my race and my training.  I knew that my trip to Japan as well as my illness didn’t hep matters but I wasn’t that worried about it.  After driving the course, I started to wonder a bit.  I had an “A” and “B” goal for this race.  The “A” goal was to PR the race, which I know is a challenge given the above regarding elevation changes.  My “B” goal was to finish under the 6 hour course time limit, which given that I was overall physically okay I figured I should be able to do.  Honestly I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt but knew that I had signed up, gotten in the lottery, and trained for it so I might as well give it a shot.  Outwardly of course I didn’t reveal my concerns to my wife. Continue reading “2017 Big Sur International Marathon Race Recap”

Marathon Training Week 15 & 16

A bit late but I figured I should get my 2nd to last week of training in before the actual Big Sur Marathon.

I was pretty much recovered from my GI illness and was able to get some okay runs in.  I know that I’m supposed to be tapering so I didn’t really push myself too hard but I wanted to at least get some decent mileage in.  I also tried to hold back a little in terms of pushing the speed (not that I’m fast to begin with).

Tuesday – 3.75 miles

Thursday – 4.25 miles

Friday – 6.25 miles (treadmill)

Saturday -3.5 miles

Sunday – rest

Total – 17.75 miles

Week 16

Tuesday – 3.5 miles

I’ve been experiencing some tenderness in my left distal calf.  It doesn’t seem to bother much after I get about 0.5 mile into my run but I can feel it when I am done with my run.  I’ve only done one run in week 16 because I don’t want to exacerbate my calf.  I will probably do a very short shakeout run on Saturday before the race.

I’m still working on my Japan posts but here’s a sneak peek:

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-StewsCat

Marathon Training Week 12, 13, 14

Hello!

It’s been awhile since my last post and that is because I’ve been on vacation.  My wife and I had planned a trip to Japan during Cherry Blossom season and so we traveled halfway around the world and visited the beautiful country for a few weeks.  I realized after booking the trip that the timing of the trip would interfere with my training for the Big Sur Marathon, but it’s Japan!  I had also read an article on Runner’s World about how a marathoner stopped being so stringent and strict about sticking to the training plan especially when on vacation.  They went on to say that their overall race times didn’t suffer and they were less stressed because they didn’t constantly worry about missing certain workouts.

Of course I had good intentions of doing some runs while on my trip to Japan.  I packed a few sets of running clothes and also planned on doing some laundry while over there.  Just prior to leaving, I managed to get in a very short run during week 12.  This turned out to my only run of week 12.

3/28 – 2 miles

Once we arrived in Japan, we did the normal touristy thing and did a TON of walking.  My wife’s phone provided us with an indication that we were walking anywhere from 5-10 miles per day.  A lot of this involved going up and down stairs so I count that as my workouts of the day.  I still did want to at least get some actual running in and managed to get a treadmill run done at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.  The neat thing about the gym/pool at the hotel is that it is located on the 47th floor.  If you’ve seen the movie Lost in Translation, you’ll know the pool.  The treadmills sit on one side of the building with full-length windows overlooking the city.  It’s a fantastic view.  Here’s a link to some views (pictures are not allowed in the gym): pictures.

4/4 – 4.25 miles

I figured that I’d get in a few runs (maybe 2) in Kyoto and call it a day for runs on vacation.  Of course the night before my first planned in Kyoto, I woke up at midnight with chills, fever, and diarrhea.  This went on to afflict me the rest of the trip and so now running was to be had.  I barely ate anything for 2 days while sick and was overall sick.  We returned to the States this past week and after getting on some medications I’m doing better, though not 100%.  While at work, my co-worker pointed out that I only have 2 more weeks until the Big Sur Marathon.  I know that I’m in my taper but since I barely have done any running for for almost 2 weeks I decided to jump back into it.

Thursday – 4 miles

Saturday – 6 miles

Sunday – 4.44 miles

Total – 14.44 miles

While not an ideal total for 2 weeks from race day, I’ll accept it.  Like I said, I’m still not 100% and my GI is still having some re-structuring issues.  Hopefully it irons itself out over this next week.  Overall I’m still happy with where I am and still look forward to the race.  I’m not dreading it yet.

Happy Easter!

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-StewsCat