|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?