Thursday, May 25, 2017

5 K Run

I ran 5 K tonight.
I wanted to run at least 10 K,
but soon after I started running,
I realized that my condition wasn't so good.
It took me 13 minutes and a half to lap the usual 2.5 K loop.
Normally I can easily cover it under 13 minutes.
I tried to pick up the speed in the second lap,
but the time was 12:57.64--barely under 13 minutes.
I decided to stop after the second lap,
walked back home from the finish,
and had a light meal to recharge my body's batteries.

I may need a good rest this weekend.
Something is off.
I felt a bit dizzy while running, feeling as if I was walking in a cloud.
I had a similar feeling on and off while teaching over the last two or three days.
Or the first symptom goes back to the end of last week,
where my left vision was crooked, with a residual image remaining in the left vision for quite a while.
Then the new week started, and I felt a momentary loss of the sense of balance immediately after I woke up, and also while teaching.
There is no pain.
There is no sick feeling.
I hope I am just tired, because there are zillions of reasons
that I should be tired, teaching the lessons
that used to be covered by a former co-worker of mine
who left the company recently.

I am going to rest for a few days, skipping cardio and muscle training altogether
so that I can give my mindbody time for recovery.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Morning Run

I went for a training run this morning.
I ran 1:19:21 to cover a little less than 12 K,
and did some forearm and core training in the park
that is located at the halfway point.
The course includes a trail along the Hanamigawa River.
It's mostly a mixture of firm dirt and gravel,
and easier on my knees than running on concrete.
Also the trail is mostly in the shade,
so I was able to avoid the strong sun of early summer.
It's mostly flat, but there's some variation in undulation here and there.
I ran in minimalist split-toe shoes MUTEKI.
Running on gravel in minimalist shoes isn't easy.
You need extra care to minimize landing shock.
So it's good for checking your form.
If you hop too much, or your strides are too wide, it hurts.
It shows it to you if your form is off.
I might want to do it more often.
That I can avoid the sun during summer is a big merit.
I saw quite a few walkers and cyclists along the way.
Most looked retired. Some looked like workers on their way to work.
I exchanged Good morning with one of them.
The majority weren't so sociable.
I took a quick shower, had a grapefruit, and made myself some miso soup
with spinach, hijiki seaweed, egg, nameko mushrooms in it.
I also had nuts and raisins.
Once I had a light breakfast, my energy is back.
I might get out again to burn some more calories,
doing high intensity cardio.
For today's running route, click below:
The breakdown is as follows:
5.9 K: 36:07.46
Forearm & Core Training: 10:53.34
5.9 K: 32:21.02
Total 11:8 K: 1:19:21

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mental Half Marathon: The TOEIC LR Test

I ran a mental half marathon today.
It's called the TOEIC LR Test.
For many business people in Japan it's simply known as TOEIC.
It's made up of two sections: listening and reading.
There are 100 questions in each section.
The test lasts across the span of roughly two hours.

In the listening section you mark your answers
as you listen to a recording for 45 to 46 minutes depending on the text form.
In the reading section it's up to each test-taker
how they use the testing time of 75 minutes.

In the past I would finish the reading section
with nearly ten minutes, or sometimes more,
remaining. Not to mean that my reading is fast and accurate,
but simply it was possible.

In May of last year, however, the test format was slightly changed.
It's a great improvement, in my opinion.
You are now required to read most passages more thoroughly, fast,
and accurately in order to answer questions in the long-passage part: Part 7.
I love the change as it makes it hard for cheaters
to score well who try to score more by test-taking techniques irrelevant to real-life reading skills than by their real-life reading ability.

Anyhow, in the past two tests in the new format,
I didn't have much time left.
But today I finished the reading section
with a good 5 minutes remaining.
No cheating whatsoever in that I simply read all the passages
from top to bottom, and answer the questions after that,
except on several occasions I checked only the first question,
hoping that it would allow me to navigate my reading smoothly.
But I soon realized that it wasn't so.
Going back and forth between a passage and questions
was distracting. So I did the entire triple passages by first reading all of the passage, and then next answering the questions. It worked like a charm for me.
Next week when I meet my students in class, I would like to share with them this experience of mine.

All in all, it was a great experience. I feel my reading is significantly much faster than before. But at the same time the test allowed me to realize my weaknesses also. Vocabulary and fluency in spoken English are some of them. In my profession, which is teaching, I'm not so much required to speak fast and fluent.
In fact, it is exactly the opposite that is needed: to enunciate clearly and speak slowly enough so that my students can understand my instructions. But I can make this an excuse for my inability to improve on fluency. I will try to come with with a solution.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

10 K Run

I lapped a 2.5 K loop four times to cover 10 K today.
I cruised along the course three laps at a very comfortable pace
to check my running form.
I then stopped by home to take a pee break before the 4th lap for about two minutes.
Then after that I cranked up the pace for one last lap to finish.

Today's result:
1st 2.5 K: 13:14.56
2nd 2.5 K: 13:29.68
3rd 2.5 K: 12.58.87
Break: 2:19.60
4th 2.5 K: 10:35.70
Total 10 K: 52:38.41

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5 K Run

I ran because I wanted to.
It was 1:00 a.m. when I left home.
The streets were deserted, I had them all to myself.
The air was nice and cool.
My legs were just a little bit tense from interval training
on the previous night,
but that didn't bother me
as the distance wasn't so long,
and I finished at 5 K.
I ran the first 2.5 K in 11:19.75,
and the next in 11:25.17
to cover a total of 5 K in 22:44.92.
It was a good quick run.
I felt like a new man when I took a shower after the training.
I'll give myself a rest as far as running.
I may do some core training
as my right wrist is still slightly in pain,
and that stops me doing most of the upper body exercises I like to do.

Monday, May 15, 2017

5 K Run + Intervals

I ran 5 K at a comfortable pace, and then after that did some intervals.
The first 5 K was run in 26 minutes.
I rested for about four minutes, and then started the intervals.
Tonight I ran 650 M fast, rested for one minute, and repeated it four more times
to cover altogether 3.25 K.

5 K: 26:10.98
Rest: 4.00.00
1st 650 M: 2.29.47
Rest: 0.59.95
2nd 650 M: 2.28.82
Rest: 1.00.30
3rd 650 M: 2.26.82
Rest: 1.00.45
2nd 650 M: 2.29.28
Rest: 1.00.44
3rd 650 M: 2.45.11

Though I felt refreshed after today's training,
I haven't run beyond 12.5 K ever since I ran the Sakura Marathon.
I kind of miss running a very long distance slowly.
I might want to do it sometime this week.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

5 K Run

I ran 5 K after coming home from work.
I aimed at running 12.5 K first and doing some intervals,
but after running 5 K I felt more tired than warmed up to go farther,
so I stopped.
The low energy level was probably due to
upper body exercise I did last night.
Much of my energy was probably allocated
to recovery from the after-burn resulting from it.
I will give myself a rest for now,
and try again tomorrow night.
Hopefully, I will be strong enough to run more then.

The result is as follows:
1st 2.5 K: 12:49.14
2nd 2.5 K :12.56.15
Total 5 K: 25:45.29