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Running again and toys for motivation

I'm running again.  Still hurting.  My torn hamstring still hurts up near the sit bone.  Can you believe it? I tore them on both sides in the same area.  Also tore one down near the knee.  I am just falling apart.  満身創痍! I am supposed to be working on strengthening my core with a series of exercises that take at least 30 minutes to do, everyday.  I'm not.  I haven't been.  I'm a lazy bum who doesn't have enough will to get it done.  Then last September we took on a little baby boy to take care of.  Ever since them I have been using him as my excuse why I can't work out.

Well, no more! I can get it done.  I signed up for two half marathons and I have one more event in my sights.  The first one is really soon and I won't be able to adequately prepare for it. Regardless, it has a generous cut-off time so I'm sure I can finish it, even if I take walk breaks.  But the fear of crashing and burning and DNFing is enough motivation. I have never not finished a race, though I probably should have quit a few.

I got a new toy last Christmas for myself.  I bought a Garmin 230 running watch.  It is supposed to link to your smartphone so you can get notifications and alerts on your watch.  My wife encouraged me to get it because she says I'm forgetful and it should help. The only problem with that is that my smartphone is too old.  I was able to link it to my tablet, though.  So I can get calendar and non-sms messages sent to my watch.  BUT, for example, the calendar data is not persistent.  If you are not connected to the phone/tablet, the data won't show.  I hope they change this behaviour.  It should keep the last notification/update in memory.  

I DID get it for RUNNING, right?  Yes, of course!  And I AM running with it.  This means I don't use my phone to track my runs anymore, which means I spend less time on social running sites.  Which is a good thing. It actually helps make my life simpler in a way.


Non-Running Report

After tearing a hamstring again I went through a year of rehab before I started running again. I started running again in June.  I ran a half marathon at the end of August and it felt good.  I ran much faster than I thought I could with no complications.  I kept training as best I could.  Things were going well.  Typhoons did much damage to the area and a few of the races I planned on joining were canceled. I kept training and set my sights for a final race the first weekend of November.  I ran the half marathon with a goal of hitting 1:45:00.  I ran 1:48 at the previous half marathon so this seemed like a doable and yet, based off of my training runs, a challenging time.  I ran the race.  I didn't keep track of my pace.  I was too interested in all the crazy people running that I kept missing the km markers.  I wasn't sure how fast I was going.  I felt good and the weather was cool.  I picked up the pace after the halfway aid station.  I didn't stop at the many aid stations with the exception of the halfway station and when I slowed down to grab some chocolates from the Rokkatei Sweets station.  I felt good. With a few kilometers left to the finish I realised it was possible to finish in under 1:40.  I picked up the pace, but not enough.  I finished the race with a time of 1:40 and change.  I was immensely happy with my time.

Fast forward to two weeks ago.  I took a few runs after that but was taking it easy. I had planned on only running three times a week and spending the other days doing strength, balance, agility and karate training.  I had some days at work with no classes.  I skipped lunch and went to the gym.  I did my usual rehab strength routine.  I added some weight to my split squats, a move I usually do without added weights. It was easy.  The next week I had another day without classes.  I did the same thing, but this time used much heavier weights, and added a twist.  It was challenging but I was till able to do the usual number of sets and reps.

THE NEXT DAY, my right hip started hurting.  And it still hurts.

So I'm not running or doing anything.  It was painless for the last three days of nothing so this morning I decided to go to karate tonight. However, during the day, it started hurting again.  WHY? I didn't do anything.   It is frustrating and I feel scared.  I remember what a doctor told me when I went in for my hamstrings.  They did x-ray and MRI scans.  I told me my hip joints were shot.  The cup sections, he said, are jagged and should be causing me much pain. They weren't.   He pressed a thumb into my hip which almost made me jump off the examination table to make his point.  Up until two weeks ago, they had never bothered me.  Now I fear it is these jagged hips that is the problem.  I don't want to get surgery if I don't have to, but I probably will have to.  And I am afraid that if I DO get surgery, that there will be no guarantee that I'll be able to return to running and karate.  I guess the first thing is, to get my arse back to the doctor.  


Running again

With the doctor's permission I have started running again. Very slowly for the first 4 weeks and only a few times a week. This week, however, my pace picked up and I am none the worse for it.  My leg might be getting a little better.  I really need to, I really need to, I really neeeeed to work harder at strength training and stretching! That is all.

A few pictures from my runs of late.



My marathon training has gotten off to a good start.
Mid March Running in Hokkaido

I have been running around 30 to 40 km a week all winter long and am following a "training plan" on Runkeeper from Runner's Connect.

Running in the winter wasn't very bad this year.  We didn't have that many days colder than -20 C so I didn't need to use my real warm gear much at all.  Often times people ask me if I use special shoes to run with in the winter.  I have tried "screw shoes" and Yak Trax but I have never bought winter running shoes.  This year I only used the Yak Trax a couple of times.  They really are only good for packed snow and don't make a lot of difference on the ice, at least not the one's I have (Yak Trax Pro).  I've seen newer Yak Trax that have studs in the front instead of the wire coils like mine.  They look like they would work better on the ice.  If the snow is fresh but not deep, there is no problem at all running in that.  If the snow is fresh and there is ice underneath, that is a problem because you can't see the ice.  If everything is just ice, don't run!  Most of the time the roads are slick in spots with dry pavement.  I don't want to use screw shoes or Yak Trax on dry pavement.  No, regular running shoes give pretty good traction, even in the winter, plus you learn how to run in the slick conditions.  No quick stops, starts or turns.  Take shorter strides.  Be careful going downhill!

I had a terrible time getting Runkeeper to start and end the training plan when I needed it to, and in the end, I couldn't make it do it.  Now I have a half dozen junked training plans on my page with no way to delete them.  Grrrr.  I have lots of problems with Runkeeper on my smartphone and I am beginning to think it is mostly because of MY smartphone, which is a 2012 Fujitsu Arrows Ace 101f on Softbank.  Since it is so old, I doubt that anyone reading this would be considering getting one, but if you are, don't.  You can't get them from Softbank anymore as they are trying to get rid of 3G phones and 3G data plans.

Oh, when I start typing it is more like dumping a bucket of thoughts out.  They just kind of splash around with no order or coherence.

Back to running, yes I am.  My left hamstring still hurts.  Actually, my left knee hurts, my left hip hurts, my lower abs hurt....   Getting old sucks. The doctor told me both of my hips are jagged and need replaced.  It would seem that the extra training is making the left one hurt now.  It is very tough doing karate with these hips.  My left leg is stronger than it was a year ago, but still no where near as strong or flexible as my right leg.

I signed up for an early summer full marathon, the Chitose JAL International Marathon on June 7. This has been a great motivator and enabler for my training.  Paying the money and having to figure out how to get there and where to stay (I'm camping) has my mind focused on getting the training done.  At the same time, knowing that I'm going to the race, I think, is making my SO be a little more understanding of my training.  She hates that I shower in the mornings because we already bathe at night.  It's an extra cost to her.  More money for water, and gas to heat it, and more money for electricity and water and detergent to wash my running gear.  I try to mitigate the laundry problem as much as I can by washing my gear in the shower and putting it in a bucket when we don't have a full load of laundry ready.  She also doesn't like me getting up early in the morning to run because it wakes her up.  I finally got on the computer and made a "silent" ringtone for my old iPhone, which I use as an alarm clock and for the Wahoo ANT+ heart rate monitor.  That will help a little bit.  But even with a silent, vibrator-only alarm, and even when I try to get out of bed as quietly and gently as possible, she still wakes up.  She doesn't mind if I run at night, and maybe I can do that for the shorter runs, but I hate running at night myself. I like seeing the sun come up in the morning.  At night, it's just dark when you go out and dark when you come back.  Plus, when I run at night, I have less energy than when I run in the morning, even though in the morning I run before eating.

I need to work harder at getting my stretching done and I MUST start doing my rehab again.  There is so much stuff that I need to do just to stay healthy.  I need to be more disciplined.... or creative?


Google Chrome displays Japanese characters with a Chinese font

Use Google Chrome? Ever noticed it not displaying Japanese characters correctly? It happens when the page being viewed doesn't say that it's in Japanese, like in Google search results. If you change your default font to a Japanese font it solves this problem.


Help! I can't lock my phone! 助けて!スマホをロック出来ない!

Have you ever had this happen to you before?  Are you in this predicament?

I set up a lock pattern for my Android 4.1 phone and then turned it off because I didn't think I needed it.  Then, at a later date, I thought I'd lock the phone because we were going out.  I couldn't lock the phone because I had forgotten the lock screen pattern!

There is a simple solution if you have your Google account connected to your phone.  You can use Google's Android Device Mangager.

Using a web browser, navigate to android.com/devicemanager. Simply searching Google for Android Device Manager should be sufficient to get you the link without having to tap in the address.

You should see a map with a few options.  When I used it it showed three; Ring, Lock, and Erase.

If your phone is on and has an Internet connection, via WiFi or over your cellular network for example, and if Google can connect to your phone, you can use the Lock option to reset your lock code or password and lock your phone with a new lock screen.








  1. アンドロイドのスマートフォン(タブレットなどでも同じでしょう)であること
  2. Googleアカウントがそのデバイスに登録してあること
  3. デバイスがインタネットに繋いであること


Androidデバイスマネージャはこちらですー> android.com/devicemanager


Timex Ironman Triathlon Shock

前に使っていたタイメックスのバンドが切れて、やっと新しいウォッチを手に入れました。サンタさんからのプレゼントでした。まだレースペーストレーニング はしないけど、するようになったら役に立つでしょう。
Yes, I know, Christmas is over. But I was without a computer for the last month so I am posting this now. I didn't get a lot for Christmas, which is fine since I'm 35 now but my kids did get plenty of new toys and children's educational DVDs from my parents and their aunts and uncles and great grandmothers. As for my wife and I, we both got pretty much what we asked for. What other time of year can you expect that someone will buy you something that you want?

The band of my previous Timex Ironman watch, which I just loved, broke after over two years of use. Timex does not sell replacement watch bands. So I put this watch you see here on my wishlist for Christmas and, look what Santa brought me! A new one! Yeah! Of course, this isn't the same watch as my old one, which was much cooler, but I can replace the band on THIS watch with a band from Voguestrap. However, for the life of me, I could not find a replacement watch band for my old Ironman.  Vogestrap's watch bands are also available at Target and Walmart in the US, so if you have one of those stores nearby buying one there could save you a bit on shipping. However, when you order one directy from Voguestrap they come with a special tool for replacing the watchbands.  Also, the watchbands for the Timex Ironman watches are more expensive than the one's for the Casio sports watches but the one's for the Casio watches also fit the Timex Ironman watches and look fine.  I got a Casio replacement band at Walmart first to use instead of the velcro watch band that came with it and it looks like it is the band the watch is supposed to have.  Later I found a watchband at Target for my watch and it was 5 or 6 dollars more but I bought it too.  So now I have three watchbands for this watch should one break and I will dutifully keep them out of the sun in hopes that they will still be good when I need them.

Note:This watch takes an 18mm watch band. 

Update: I found the Casio replacement band on the Voguestrap website too.  The band I bought that was sold for my watch broke when I was trying to put it on and have been using the Casio band ever since.  It has been almost a year since I got the band and now the rubber in the band is starting to get stiff.  I can tell that it doesn't have much life left in it so now it is time to think about getting a new strap, or a new watch.  

My new watch is a Timex Ironman* Shock 30-Lap Full and it came with a Fast Wrap Velcro Strap.  With the other one, I could not find a replacement band for it. So, I carefully put watches on my wish list that I knew I could get replacement bands for. It is not the color I wanted but beggars can't be choosers and I will cherish it and my extra watch bands for as long as they will "take a licking and keep on ticking"!

It is water resistant up to 200 meters, shock resistant, has a timer and a chronograph with a 30 lap memory. It also has two time zones. Just a few less functions than my old one. It is also slight less bulky and a lot less cool. But one of the things I like about this one is that it reminds me of the original Timex Ironman watch, the one that I really wanted as a kid. It just looked so cool back then. Now, I know there are a lot of more advanced watches out there from other brands, watches that have GPS and heart monitors and watches that can store many runs and as many laps as you want, but I'm a simple runner and this watch meets all my needs.

My new watch
Timex Ironman* Shock 30-Lap Full

My old watch