Running. I've been running. I took a full six days off after the 30k trail race, but then came out and ran pretty easy the next week, reaching a tad over 70 km. I certainly wasn't fully recovered the first few runs, but by last weekend, after two weeks of recovery, felt pretty good and ended up on Sunday running around the trails of Kamakura with Satohi before a BBQ at friends'. I really enjoyed the Kamakura hills because there was not so much walking. Not like the western Tokyo trails, where the hills are up, up, up, and down, down, down. But when the hills are relatively short and technical (read complicated by roots, rocks and erosion), such as at Kamakura, you can attack and use momentum to pick out interesting ways of navigating the terrain. I like that.
This week is Golden Week--three consecutive national holidays from Mon-Wed--and with added rest I've felt my speed coming back naturally, and steady aerobic runs are dipping down under 4:30/km. In fact yesterday I spent 4 km of a 13 km run at below 4:20/km and averaged 4:28/km...not bad.
I'm also throwing in a little bit of speed work here and there. Last Saturday I did two 1.6 km intervals midway through a 14-km run. The first was right on 6:00 min, but it felt forced and labored. The second I tried relaxing into it and ended up running a couple of seconds slower, but it felt more like the right pace.
Today I was going to run in the park in the afternoon with Colin, but the rain set in for several hours, and Colin couldn't make it anyway. I was very frustrated as I really wanted to run, but just couldn't bring myself to head out into what was pretty heavy rain. I waited and waited and was about to give up and pour a beer around 5:45 when I noticed the rain had eased right off. So I made sure dinner was under control and squared things up with the good woman before heading out. I ran up to Oda field (5.5 km) at 4:45/km. There I decided to do the first of what will be a series of monthly 3-km time trials. Did that at a pretty hard effort with rather pedestrian (but not surprising) splits of 3:52, 3:52, and 3:54 ... I was pushing that last km too, so the loss of 2 s really shows I was near the limit. Good. This will stand as a good benchmark of where I am at here at the beginning of May.