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Sunday, November 11, 2007

No Fractures. Given Ointment to Apply for a week

I went to hospital. They did an X-Ray of my tibia. No fractures. I was given an ointment to apply for a week. And I will do exactly that and then resume training on Saturday. I have added a Kilo or so. This is my last week of rest then I resume training. Hopefully, I will be able to restrain myself to start gradually.
I would like to shed off Seven Kgs and be able to run 5Kms in under 20 mins.
That is my target for the next six months. I will also be running 24Kms (60 laps) once every three weeks or so.
Lets do it.
A

Friday, November 9, 2007

Going for Medical Attention Tomorrow

My injury persists so tomorrow I will see a doctor and get it sorted out. I shake when I imagine how I can run when I get injury-free. I have too much psyche bottled up, held at bay by some dubious, unfathomable, unassuagable, gratuitous injury that has no respect for a serious person...
Let me not get started.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Explored a Different Route

I explored a different route yesterday in a run that lasted 1hr 20 mins. What makes the route great is that it has four hilly sections and is therefore quite challenging and good for building stamina.
The problem with the route is that a large part of it has no pavement. So one is constrained for space and has to jostle for it with vehicles. That is risky and is an invitation to be run over especially considering we have maniacs behind the wheels of several vehicles in Nairobi.
So as much as I love the hills, its very unlikely that I will be using that route regularly. Instead, I will seek to lengthen my regular route.
A good thing from my run is that it made my injury worse. Worse because when I walk now, I feel some pain registering. Good because now I can easily gauge whether it is getting better or worse. Good because it will extract from me the right attention an injury deserves. If its not gone by the end of this week I may have to go and see a doctor. It is the only thing standing between me and distance.
My watch broke down so I will be shopping for one. Bloody hell.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Itching Already...

There is a 10Km (or so) track that is hilly that I am itching to explore. My injury has not healed yet but four days without running is invading my sleep with lucid dreams of running. I think I will have to run this weekend. On a new track. Distance and me will be good friends for the next several months.
The exciting thing is the peace and joy of the solitude and the releasing effect of the exertion when I am running. The passing crowds and the cold wind. And the simple but challenging task of lifting one leg and placing it in front of the other, fast. Again, and again. One gets into a machine mode, free from all the worries in the world, shedding off all the stresses, worries and excesses and leaving just the runner and the road in front of him.
Aaaah...to run is to be one with the gods.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Having Fun already...

Well, the marathon is done and I am taking a break. I realize that my writing has suffered very much.
The next thing I have to do is to develop a plan that will balance my writing and my running.
Anyways, I took the photos below at Windsor where we had a party. I am with colleagues. I am no 7.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Finally...2:02:27

I cleared the 23-24Km (according to some estimates) in 2.02 mins. We went through a long route because of confusion amongst the organizers of the race and as a result some 1.5-3 Kms were added to the distance. There were of course the elite runners who numbered around 200 and on our side of the start, there were at least 100 runners who run for a living. There were many experienced runners from over ten countries and of various sizes. I enjoyed the last 8Kms where I passed hundreds of runners. I estimate that we were 6,000 runners in the 21Kms.

At any rate, I am not too proud of my time. Mistake number one was that I forgot to carry along my watch so I had no way of timing myself and knowing when to push harder. This meant I could only use my body as a guide.

Mistake number two is that I adopted a strategy that was too conservative and I ended up completing the race with lots of energy left unused. I held myself back for too long and started too slow. So even as I was overtaking hundreds of people in the middle and end of the race and gaining a lot of satisfaction, I was still not fast enough because I was running among the slow.
I ran a very comfortable race. I never pushed myself and never put any effort except in the last 400m. I let my body pick its pace and I just let it go. I managed to be the best amongst my friends and colleagues and I passed the ones who started very fast, past the 13Km mark, so perhaps my strategy was not so bad. Everyone I passed past the 9Km mark never overtook me again as my pace picked. And I passed almost everyone I saw from the 10Km mark except one lady at the finnish.
Now, whats good is that I managed to complete the race without walking at any time. Secondly, I slashed off 32minutes from my last time. Thirdly, I learnt that I have lots of energy and now my strategy should focus on how to release it efficiently over the 21Kms.
I have already decided to slash off 40minutes from my time and enter the top 400 (I was No. 707 from No. 1369 last year). I am confident that I can do it in 12 months. I have what it takes.

Here is the game plan.

Rest for two-three weeks and let my injury heal and my body recover.

Start by running short distances daily or four times per week.

Reduce occurrence of injury by warming up for longer distances before picking up the pace.

Run 25Kms seven times next year. This is to help increase my glycogen stores so that I can confidently run w/o fear of burning out.

Strive to run 5Kms in under 20minutes and 10Kms in under 40 minutes.

Vary my running route to include Thika Road, which has hills.

Push myself as hard as hell through at least 600Kms in 12 months. But this is long term and I dont believe work gets done in the long term so I will formulate my short term strategy soon enough.
I am the proud recipient of the certificate and medal below.

Now excuse me while I enjoy my two weeks rest.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Did my Last Run 14Kms

My leg behaved quite well in my last run and I managed to pull off 14Kms before the darkness took over. I was with a slow colleague and to encourage him I ran slowly with him for 4Kms before I broke off from him. So I treated the first 4Kms as warm up. I was quite strong and my leg did not give me too much trouble yesterday. I finnished by backpedaling for 800m and worked on my crunches and arms. Yesterday the trainers I bought two weeks ago did not feel tight so I think that was also good: I "broke" into my trainers.
I think yesterday's session also marked a turning point for me because it showed me I should increase my warm-up distance. I warmed up for 4Kms because of the injury I had yet Paul Tergat routinely warms up for 4-7Kms during his runs.
During Last years Nairobi Marathon, I saw the Kalenjins (thats how we call people from the rift valley who are the gods of long distance running) warm up to a sweat and I was shocked because I was saving the little energy I had yet, to me, they were literally burning it away before the race! When the bell rang, they sprinted from the starting point and I never saw them again. Next year I hope I will have reached that level of fitness - enough to know my glycogen stores wont be depleted by a warm-up of a few Kilometers.
Anyways, my leg is better. And I will be giving it a regimen of massage and bandaging for the next three days and I am confident that by Sunday, I will be ready to do war. My knees are weak but I am strong and will be stronger in three days. I will probably tie some band around my knees on D-day to give it support. I am ready for war fellaz. I am looking at 1hr 40 mins thereabouts. I will run the bloody guts out of me if it kills me. So goddamn help me God.
Did I say God? I shouldnt have.

Took Stairs (20 floors) preparing for last run

My leg has improved. I worked on my lower abs in the morning and took the stairs to 20th floor (my office) - instead of the lift.
Today I intend to take my last run. I am hoping I will get some 1hr 20 minutes and do at least 14Kms. That would be great.
Then I will devote the next 3 days to stretching (to ensure I will get a full range of motion on dday) and massaging my injured leg.
You better wish me luck fellaz because I have a war coming up ahead.
Regards,
Jacob

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Walked 9Kms. Still taking it easy

I walked some 9Kms yesterday, including walking home some 7Kms. The leg is much better than last week. I massaged it using Deep Heat and bandaged it to keep down the inflammation. As far as I can see, its not so bad even though there is some pain.
The lesson I learnt from last week is to keep away from hard surfaces unless I have some cushion, like shoes, or a carpet.
Tomorrow, I would like to run some 10Kms on the grass at a relatively slow speed then rest and wait for DDay. With a three-day massage-and-bandage regimen, I should be fine by Sunday.
One thing I realized from my run on Sunday is that when you are fit, you are fit. Nobody can take that away from you. Because even though I was nursing an injury, several runners came and ran and left exhausted while I ran on.
Lets hope I can get some 90 minutes on the grass tomorrow...
Cheers

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Did 12Kms. I think I will make it

I walked for two Kms then jogged for 12Kms on the grass. It went pretty well and did not turn out to be as bad as I expected. It was easy but my legs did not feel that strong. I am considering doing another 10-12Kms on Wednesday then resting for three days. I think the moral of the story may be that an injury is as bad as how you take it. At any rate, I will be massaging the leg and bandaging it to keep off inflammation.
Lets see how it goes. Wish me luck.

Damn...

I gave my feet a rest period for the last seven days. I have however been cross-training; squats, crunches, press-ups, and so on. Yesterday, I did jump on the spot and ran around in my room a little.
I am sad to report that the pain and the injury persist to date. I will go to the field today and run slowly and see how it goes but as I type this, doubts have started creeping regarding whether or not I will participate in the Nairobi Marathon in seven days. It saddens me but I am not too worried since this was not about an event. I want to maintain a certain weight and a certain physical condition. This is a lifestyle even though I use events as markers and motivators. I want to be an athlete and even if I dont run on Sunday, I will simply set a new target for my athletic accomplishments. I am thinking of aiming to clear the next year's half marathon in 1hr 20 mins. So far, I have managed 1hr 43 minutes[with injuries and shit] this year but I think I can manage 1hr 20 minutes.
The good thing about this injury is that it will give me a reason to lazy around for a couple of weeks - say three weeks and I will look forward to running in the absence of pain and starting from scratch again, with renewed passion, plenty of experience and a better conditioned body.
I wanted to run for the next four days then rest from Thursday to Saturday. If todays trial proves that the injury is still here, I will stop all running and jumping activities and will spend the next six days stretching, doing crunches, calf raises, press-ups, massaging and bandaging my feet (to keep off any inflammation) and walking. Then perhaps, by Saturday, I will have healed. If so, I will still run.
Damn.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Walked Home

Yesterday I decided to forfeit the matatu's and walk home instead. Seven Kilometers. It took me 1.5 hours. My legs are better. Today I worked out in the morning for 40 minutes. Squats, preacher curls, calf raises and crunches.
I still pain in my right leg when I am going down the stairs but I am thinking of taking a slow jog in the morning tomorrow and see how it goes.
Because I was not wearing skin-tights, my pants did a number between my legs with the help of my trousers. It was dusty and the excercise was made a mess by hasty drivers who drove on the pedestrian's lane. I should probably walk some ten kilometers next weekend if my leg will still not have healed.
Tomorrow I am traveling again. The whole day. By road.
A

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Taking it easy and preparing to taper off

Yesterday I relaxed. Today I am contemplating taking an 8Km walk to help my injury heal and somehow introduce my legs to excercise smoothly.
If I get better, I will probably run for four days next week then wait for the big day - three days of rest. I will keep you updated. Meanwhile, my right leg is speaking in tongues and its telling me who the F do I think I am to push her like that. And I am saying, "I am sorry but I need you mate. Dont die on me now..." And the dialogue continues.

21Kms - My Energy is Back Plus an Injury

I did 21Kms yesterday. 1hr 43minutes. I was strong and could have gone further but it was dark. I cleared the first 12Kms in under 1 hour; approx 58minutes.
I seem to have developed an injury in my right leg. Its not so bad. I cant massage it because it appears to be somewhere deep in the bones/nerves. I may walk some eight Kms tomorrow and review how I am doing by Tuesday.
Otherwise, I am on course. In my view the 1hr 30 minutes target is still in my sights and is achievable in two weeks.
Cheers.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

10Kms on Tuesday and 5Kms yesterday

I am getting very busy at work. Anyways, as above. I am on a break today and will be doing 21Kms tomorrow. I have a nagging pain on my left foot - similar to a splintered shin but not standing in the way of my running. But pain nonetheless.
I did the 10Kms in 50mins. My energy is coming baaack! I peaked at around the 8Kms mark.
I am in love. I got a pair of asic trainers that are great!
Two weeks to go!

Monday, October 8, 2007

9Kms on the Road

This morning. At dawn. 9Kms. 45 Minutes. My energy is gone because I had to strain. It was not an easy run. I feel pretty banged up right now but its a familiar feeling.
I will probably take a break.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Did 12Kms On Saturday

I did 12Kms yesterday in 1 hr flat. I did it on the track. Each 400m lap took between 1min 40 secs and 2 mins. Most of the pressure was on my knees. I did not feel particularly strong but I was consistent throughout the 30 laps.
That makes the number of Kms I have covered last week - 50Kms. 21 on grass and 21 on the track and 9 on the tarmac.
Not bad. I will give my knees today and tomorrow a break and Tuesday I will be back with a bang of sorts. I intend to run on Tuesday and Thursday then do 21Kms on Saturday or Sunday. That will leave me with one week to taper off to the marathon. I want to see if I can achieve 1min 45 seconds per lap for 12Kms.
So far so good.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Back Home - 9Kms on the Road

It was great to be up at 5am on the road. The air was crisp and fresh as an apple.
As I warmed up in the first kilometer, I savored the feeling of solitude, the peace, the stable feel of the tarmac under my feet and the low traffic - both human and vehicular. No smoke, no dust. Just fresh air and a few early morning people and street lights.
It felt like I was back home after a long time. Recall that I have been running on the track for the past two months. It afforded me an opportunity to compare the two locations

Running on track has the following advantages:
1. You can run on the grass (the inner track) - this was the greatest advantage I got from this since it enabled me to recover from my splintered shins injury. The grass reduces the impact the legs suffer when running on a hard surface.
2. You can measure your progress (speed) more accurately since a lap is 400m.
3. There is company - mostly overweight people plodding along slowly so it makes you feel good about yourself. Plus you meet better people than yourself and you realize how slow you are so you cannot get smug or complacent.
4. There is daylight so the risk of incurring an injury becuse you dived into a manhole or pothole is eliminated.
5. The field affords you a chance to do other excercises like backpedaling, pressups, chinups (on the goalposts) and so on, which are not possible on the road.
6. You can organize to place water at strategic positions so you can do long runs without worrying about water supply.

Disadvantages of running on the Track.
1. Its a flat surface so if you find yourself on a hill, you may find the exertion excessive.
2. I think the bends slow you down. I have never proven it - just a thought.
3. It is found to be boring by some - like when you are doing 50 laps (close to two hours for amateurs like myself) seeing the same scenery can be boring. I didnt find it boring; I love running too much. Its just something I hear some people say. They should probably try treadmills to get the true meaning of "boring".

Advantages of running on the Road.
1. The grip of the tarmac is ecstatic.
2. The changing scenery makes the run a different experience at each distance.
3. The electricity poles, shops, buildings and petrol stations that flash past are a great motivator because they remind you that you are covering ground.
4. Its a new experience each time.
5. Its great when you are strong. I remind myself to Just keep going after I have reached the turning points.
6. There will be hills so you learn to deal with uneven surfaces and inclines.


Disadvantages

1. The hard surface is not good for your joints or muscles. Ask me. I know.
2. If you are running at dawn, you better be having streetlights because you may end up stepping in a pothole and getting injured.
3. Know your neighbourhood. Although its rare, some muggers target overweight people whom they relieve of their nice running shoes. Overweight people are typically affluent so are likely to be sporting some great runners (as Americans call runnung shoes).

Anyways, I did 9Kms in 45 minutes. There is pain in my feet and joints but I am not too worried since they are not shin splints. I was strong all the way. I need to look for New Edition's song Oh yeah - It Feels So good to Be Back.
Cheers.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Did 8Kms. Banged up and Gaining Weight?

Yep. I did 8Kms in 40mins. Darkness crept in so fast and I had to stop. I was shocked to find that I had gained 3Kgs! Yet I have spent the last few weeks taking my clothes to the tailor (trousers mostly) to reduce the waist from 37 to 36 and now from 36 to 35 so that they can fit. In the mirror, my abs are popping out and on the field, I am much faster. I can now run 13Kms in 1 hour. How come I am heavier? Is that bone density going up?
Anyways, I felt pretty banged up after the run. I dont know whats up with my body but its not getting any respite in the next 20days. I will push it then rest for five days to the big day. I cannot entertain the luxury of taking a break now so it will just have to get used to getting banged up. I just want to ensure I avoid an injury.
Fuck the weight gain. The scale was probably faulty. I am faster (but not stronger) and my abs have popped out. And I have a goal to attain: 21Kms in 1.5 hours. It breaks down to 7Kms in 30 minutes. I managed 7Kms in 32 minutes on Sunday. Yesterday I was taking it easy. It was actually supposed to be a slow recovery run. But I see every time I am on the field as an opportunity! So I pushed on. I feel banged up right now. Damn.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Did 21Kms

I managed 21Kms in 1hr 45mins yesterday. I felt pretty banged up after the run but it was a good run. My pace was fairly fast and I managed the first 7Kms in 31minutes so I am close to my target of 7Kms in 30 mins.
My lower leg injuries are gone and I am pretty strong though I got tired and really slowed down after 14Kms. I need to look into that.
I want to focus on increasing my speed these next two weeks and on being stronger. So weight training will come in.
Lets see how it goes. I should be going for some 12Kms Tomorrow. Today I am off. I am so hungry and I am afraid I may be transforming to a glutton. I just ordered two chapatis, an egg and a maize cob.
Now, excuse me while I eat.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Still On a Break

I am in Mombasa. I have been working out in my hotel room in the mornings. Squats, abs, calf-raises, pressups and kicks. I will be running on Sunday and will let you know how it goes.
Its a humid place here (its next to Indian Ocean) so I work out just in my pants and sweat pours pretty freely. What I am doing is giving my legs a chance to heal as I keep them away from the pounding that comes with running. I am also filling my glycogen stores which I will empty on Sunday. I am looking forward to Sunday because each passing day I feel like I am adding weight!
Cheers fellaz.
A

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Did 13Kms in 1hr 2 mins - Taking a Break from the road/track

I struggled with some strange injury in my foot which I shook off during the first kilometer on Saturday. I then ran 13Kms. What was encouraging was that I ran the last two Kms in under eight minutes. I may be traveling this week and have decided to use it as a break and work on stretching my thigh muscles and strengthening my quads and hamstrings and calves. I also want to watch my diet, which I blew yesterday.
My plan is to work on kicks (which seem to target the same muscles that work when am running), squats (if my knees co-operate), jumps for my calves, and abdominals. If I travel, I will be visiting a humid town and I will work hard to cut some weight. The good thing is that I will be able to push my workout period to one hour instead of 45minutes. If things go well, I should do some 23 Kms on 30th or 1st September. That will leave me with one more long run before my marathon.
Cheers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Did 12Kms. Still Going Strong

I managed 12Kms yesterday in 58 mins. This is an improvement. With this increase in speed though, my legs seem to suffer. I backpedaled for 800 meters and the shin splints still seem to be at bay. I am definitely stronger and faster and I am able to keep at a certain speed for longer.
I will try my best and have a recovery run on saturday (tomorrow). Even though every time I go to run, I feel like its an opportunity I should not squander jogging slowly. But I think I need the recovery run.
Cheers. I will try and slow down next week so that I can go for a 24Km run on 29th or 30th.
I need to weigh myself. I have cut out sugars in the morning and reduced carbs during lunch whilst increasing protein and vitamin intake to help my wounds heal and my muscles develop. Lets see how it goes. I want to be strong, lean and fast. Resistance training, diet and speed.
Cheers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Did 10Kms. I am Improving!

After walking for around 1.5Kms yesterday and stretching, I felt pretty good. Strong and injury free. No shin splints, no knee problems. So I said why not? And I started fast and kept at it. I managed to clear the first 5Kms in 23mins. Thats a 3 minutes improvement! And I managed to clear the 10K in 46mins and some seconds. This is great! I have improved!. Plus, my shin-splints are gone! I feel great. I feel that I can manage 5K in under 20 mins if I try hard enough and I am aiming at exactly that. I will try again tomorrow and see if I can do 12K under 50minutes or 10K under 40 minutes. I think I can do it. I am so excited and happy as hell.
This is greeeat! This next four weeks I will push this body hard. This is war. And on 29th Sept I will do 23Kms because I have come to believe that these long runs help improve one's speed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Did 21Kms on Saturday

I did 21Kms on Saturday and rested yesterday. I had an easy, fun run and took about 1hour 50 mins. I did not carry a watch so concentrated on covering the distance and feeling how my body was handling the task. My shin splints are almost completely healed. I however have some pain down towards my foot that I will be monitoring. My knees are not that strong.

Today I decided to change my breakfast and for the next four weeks, my breakfast will be two biscuits of Weetabix and 250ml of milk.
I also want to cut down on my lunch because I tend to eat quite a lot during lunch.
This morning, I threw kicks for 17 minutes (hamstrings). After I was fully warmed up and sweating, I embarked on countless calf-raises and curls. Then I did 200 crunches (100+20X5). I also walked some two Kilometers.

I will be doing some 12Kms or so tomorrow.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Strengthening Excercises and Some Cardio

I worked out for 30 minutes today. Threw kicks for 15 minutes, did vertical jumps, a few preacher curls and lower abs excercises. My aim is to keep my metabolic rate (to help me with weight loss) and to increase my core strength and develop stronger leg muscles.
I feel quite strong after taking it easy for three days and I am thinking I should be pretty strong tomorrow. My shin splints are just about over but there is some slight pain in the inner side of my right leg. Its as if the shin splints have migrated down because it is down, close to the foot. Its not a problem. I realized that the shoes I have been wearing may have been causing some problem with my foot because they were not well-fitting and I have taken up an old pair.
The politics in my country is really fucked up right now and I hope we will get a new breed of politicians after the elections. Corruption is rampant and thugs are passing legislation to easen looting and creating laws that protect their loot. Its so damn annoying, I can feel cortisol flowing in me.
Cheers

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Giving the Joints a Break and Gearing Up for Long Run

Today, like tomorrow, I worked out indoors. First, because it rained quite heavily yesterday and I am sure the track is a mess today - damn, its still raining now. Secondly, because I plan to do 21Kms on Saturday so I might as well give my body, especially my joints and leg muscles (calves and shins) a break and let some healing take place and chase the soreness. And third, the extreme fatigue I felt after the 11Kms run on Saturday was a red flag and may mean I need to slow down somewhat because my energy levels are low so I need to reload and fire big tyme on Saturday. Plus, my joints need to heal and be well-oiled for the 21Kms on Saturday.
Yeah. So I used weights to develop my core strength. Abs, Arms, back and quads.
I shall do something similar tomorrow.
In my conversation with a friend today, I just got an insight I could learn from myself since I am such a slut for distance: It is better to run 5 Kms today and be able to run again tomorrow, than run 20Kms today and be nursing injuries for the next week.
Cheers

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Did 11 Kms

I did 11Kms yesterday - it took me about an hour. I felt pretty banged up after the workout. Very damn tired. I feel okay today but I am suprised I felt so tired after warming down. After the run I felt okay and did more than twenty pressups and crunches. Wow. At any rate, I decided to take it easy and enjoy myself instead of pushing hard and fast. Tomorrow, for the first time, I will try and have a recovery run - some easy 8Kms or so. Because I would like to try 21 Kms on Saturday.
Cheers

Monday, September 10, 2007

I got the Route map and will register today


[Please click on the image to magnify]
I got the route map for the marathon. I am suprised we will use the same track as last year but its all good. There is only one hill - make it two since we double back in the 21Kms. The registration fee was increased by 700/= and is 1000/= this year.
Great.
My plan is to 'peak' my training the next four weeks then taper off. The last week I will just be eating and sleeping. I cant wait.
My MBA project proposal was accepted for presentation so I will be doing some runaround today to pay fees and get some signatures and hopefully can defend it on Monday next week.
The problem on my foot has abated. I am suspecting I will be walking for some three Kilometers today and will run for 12Kms in the evening. I need to ensure my voter registration is in order because there is an important election I will be participating in in a couple of months.
Laters

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Cross-Training and Building Confidence

I am off the track today so I engaged myself in some resistance training. I did calf raises with weights, preacher curls, half squats (carefully ensuring I dont upset the left knee) and crunches.
There was some pain on my right foot but I think it will pass within eight hours. Am getting psyched for the marathon and my focus this week is to do my 12Km run on Tuesday and Thursday and then 21Km on Saturday. If I manage that, my week will have been successful. My weight seems to be sticking at around 80Kgs. I would like to hit 78Kgs. Some people are complaining that I have lost too much while some say I look overweight.
Oh, by the way, I will go and register for the marathon today. I will post the map and everything as soon as I have it.
Cheers.

Another 12Km and Phone gets stolen



After I had struggled through my finnishing kick after 12Kms - it took 1hr and 3mins, and backpedaling for 400m, when I approached my bag, the first thing I noticed was that my water bottle was lying outside the bag and an unfinnished Sudoku puzzle I was filling was also lying next to it.
I didnt need to be told, or even to check: my phone was stolen. And my keys too. Why would any idiot steal my keys for Pete's sake?
Anyways, the phone was a bulky Nokia 6600 (see image)that I didnt particulaly appreciate due to its bulk. Plus, I'd like to see how it will feel like to stay off the radar for a while and its a great opportunity to get a nifty phone next time I get some money. Not right now. I also need to buy a jacket plus another sweatshirt and possibly another pair of running shoes. But where is the money?
Oh, by the way, I had already recruited four guys into marathon training. Three have already dropped out due to various pains.
But I am on. I promised myself and will see myself through this. I have rested today. Tomorrow, I will cross-train with weights, being careful to avoid upsetting my left knee, which seems to be steadily getting better. Plus, I will see my supervisor tomorrow evening and have a class on Wednesday so Tuesday and Thursday I should cover 12Km each.
Cheers

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Started my Regimen with 12 Km

As planned, I started by doing 12 Kms yesterday. It took me an hour. My aim is to attempt to do it in 50 mins. I am resting today and will have another go at it on Saturday. I havent been doing much writing of late though I have been reading a lot. Right now I am reading section two of The Great Debate - which is between Alvin Plantiga and Paul Draper alongside Niels Lemche's A Prelude to Israel's Past.
Its quite interesting. I keep getting this feeling - some idea is building up and I may embark on a major work soon but I first must review E.P. Sander's Jesus and Judaism before the year end aand I must also complete my MBA project ASAP.
Cheers

My seven-week program

After deciding to ditch speed runs this year (to avoid injuries), I did a few squats and calf raises this morning to test my system. My knee is much better. There is some pain in my shins but not shin splints. Feels more like a raw, stretched nerve.
I am nonetheless starting my new regimen today: run a minimum of three times a week, a minimum of 36 Kms per week. I will be doing 12Kms every session and using that to monitor my speed. Right now I do 12Km in an hour. If I can manage to do it in less than 50mins, that would be superb. Then I will be doing 21Kms every fortnight. That means I will do 21Kms on 15th, on 29th, on 13th October and on 20th October. With the 29th or 13th on tarmac. Then I taper off with a recovery run on 23rd and rest until the day - 28th October.
I want to take it easy and keep away from injuries. I want to work on my strength, stamina, comfort and confidence. I have a great feeling about it and think it will pan out quite well. Wish me luck.
Cheers.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Did Speed Runs

I did some fartleks yesterday. I did not measure the distance. As someone once said, most injuries are incurred during speed training. I didnt get an injury but felt quite torn. But it feels like I was engaged in dangerous activity even though it did not drain me. You know what? F**k speed runs. I will just run my distance and try to improve gradually. I take a break today and will run on Thursday
Cheers

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Break Plus Indoor Excercises

I took a break yesterday. I had a party at my place and ate the wrong foods and in wrong quantities. Today I did squats, calf raises and crunches. Something snapped in my knee and I terminated the squats and dropped the weights.
I have the knee secured in a bandage but its not worrying. Tomorrow I shall do speed runs.
My country was number two in the World Athletic Champions in Osaka so we are pretty proud and shit.
Cheers

Did 21 Kms

I was supposed to do a speed run but I read somewhere that long runs also help one improve their speed. Plus, I wanted to discover my wall. It appears that as things stand, my wall is beyond 21Kms. Last year, my wall lied around the 12Kms mark.
For the uninitiated, the wall refers to the point when your glycogen is all used up and the body then has to burn fat to generate more energy. This has to be done aerobically with Oxygen and once a runner hits the wall, they experience extreme fatigue.
So anyway, I completed 21Kms in 1hr 46 Minutes. I have realized that long distances train one to deal with pain. At one time, my right knee had issues, I moved the workload to the left leg and 300m later, the problem was gone and I resumed the balance. At one point, I had some pain in my right hip. Same solution. Gone. I think it has something to do with my being right-handed and I may be overworking my right leg making it provide the drag. But I am watching it.
I have discovered that I am a glutton for distance and need to run shorter distances so that I can concentrate on working on my speed. I feel great though. Today I am on a break. I resume tomorrow. Seven weeks to go then I taper off just before the big day.

Cheers.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Indoor Workouts

Ideally, I shouldave gone for a recovery run today but the hustle of carrying my bag to work so that I can go and run in the evening was daunting. So I worked indoors, did half squats to strengthen my knees, did calf raises with weights, bicep curls and my abs. I am working on improving my core strength. I will be looking for a hill so that I can start hill runs and want to start covering longer distances regularly and doing interval runs. My understanding is that all these will improve my speed. The long runs will deplete my glycogen and stimulate fat burning. The intensity of the speed runs will expand my blood volume to a greater extent than slower running and the increased blood volume will ensure both better fuel and oxygen delivery to my muscles during the marathon and a superior supply of blood to the skin for cooling - and also reduces the risk of dehydration. I read somewhere that "intense running makes marathon pace feel much easier by comparison (while slow running makes marathon speed feel comparatively harder), a not inconsequential factor when one is faced with the daunting task of running more than 26 miles at a particular pace"
There is some good advice regarding Marathon Training Schedule on the net. Just what I need now with eight weeks to go.
Cheers

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Did 20 Kms. Yipee!

Yeah, for the first time in my life, I ran through 20Kms. It took me an hour and 40 minutes. I was averaging 5Mins per Kilometer and adopted a fairly relaxed pace (instead of the pounding, rushing, struggling pace I tried with the 5Kms). At the 12th Km mark, I had consumed an hour but I got more comfortable at the 14th Km and must have speeded up or something. At any rate, I was very happy with my performance and I have no major pains. Left knee still has some dull pain (which I am not too worried about - it reared its ugly head at the 12th Km Mark) otherwise just the expected soreness. This is good. It actually means I can manage 21Kms in 1.5 hours if I try harder. Which I intend to do. I will be working on speed and will be running 21Kms every other saturday (fortnightly). Now, I need to read up on how to improve my speed. I celebrated by drinking 1/2 a litre of Yoghurt and Orange juice. Now, how about that for a celebratory drink? Huh?
I am off the track today and tomorrow.
Cheers

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Did 13 Kms

I wanted to do 12Kms but was feeling quite strong so I decided to do 13Kms yesterday. It seems my splintered shins are no longer my major worry. Now I have a nagging pain on my left knee but it only pains when I squat or substantially bend my knee.
Otherwise I am feeling pretty cool and I am planning to attempt 18Kms tomorrow. WIsh me luck. Oh, by the way, my timing doesnt look good at all because It took me 1 Hr 9 minutes to do the 13Kms.
Cheers

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Start with 5Km Run

I decided to venture back on the track and decided to see how fast I can cover 5Kms. I did it in 26 minutes but I am sure I have been faster. Recall that in the Osaka athletics meet yesterday, the leading pack did the first 5Kms in 16Minutes. No matter. I then did some fartleks and took a break. I may run again today but I am not particularly keen on it since I dont want to push myself too hard.
Cheers

Saturday, August 25, 2007

We Won the Marathon in the Osaka International Athletics Championship

Yep, Luke Kibet did it in Osaka at 2hrs 15 Minutes! Great.
Today my legs feel 98% okay so I will go out there and have a run. I intend to take a 400m warm up jog, stretch aplenty and attempt to do 5Kms under 20 minutes. Wish me luck and no injury.
I also watched a video on the law of attraction. I am a skeptic but will give it a chance even though it is new-agey and shit. Plus, its sorta uplifting and I think the idea behind placebo and prayers, though not sound, comfort and help people go through difficult times. Sometimes with positive results. So I am gonna feel good and attract what I want - like finnishing 21 Kms in under 1.5 hours.
A

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Still On Break

I travelled upcountry and even had a half a litre of soda (what a cheap cheat!) and a little chocolate - maybe ten grams of it - that I had bought my nieces.
Anyways, my right leg is now fine but the left one seems to have some issues. Perhaps not very serious issues but some issues nonetheless. I will be watching it for the next twelve hours. If Its fine tomorrow, I want to start light and work my way up. Maybe start with 5Kms tomorrow, Ten on Saturday, Fifteen on Sunday. Two day Break. Eighteen on Wednesday... Lets see how it goes.
Meanwhile today I was at war. Worked on my calves, abs (300 crunches) arms (preacher curls) triceps and hamstrings (hundreds of kicks).
Oh, by the way, I watched Shooter (Mark Wahlberg), Waist Deep (tyrese Gibson) and I am struggling through 24.
Shooter was the best I have watched in the last four days. Danny Glover played real cold and evil and when he and the senator are finally executed by the protagonist, the "good-riddance" feeling was quite good.


In Waist Deep, Meagan Good does a very good job and the last scene where they reunite actually drew tears to my eyes (but dont tell anyone)


Cheers
A

Monday, August 20, 2007

On a Break from the Track - Leg Issues

My legs still have some pain just below the calf and my splintered shins too. I have put them under a regimen of massage and stretching and no running. I will give them another four days. If that does not do it, I will have to see a Physiotherapist.
In the meantime, I am doing other excercises, which as you know, are countless.
Cheers

Saturday, August 18, 2007

5Kms then Rain

I did 5Kms yesterday then it started pouring and I had to quit - ending the session with some speed-runs. I was actually glad it started pouring because my legs were crying for break. I have decided to massage them and give myself a two-day break. I got rained on and with the sweat and cold wind, I feared I was going down with a cold and went to bed in a rather feverish state but thankfully, I feel fine today.
I will be teaching VB.Net today. Its a new class and it should be fun. Tomorrow I will stretch and relax. If I am okay, I will be attempting 18Kms on Monday.
Cheers

Thursday, August 16, 2007

16Kms on the grass

Yeah, I managed 42 laps (16Kms) yesterday. It took me 1hr and 30 Minutes. Now, that is not very good because my goal is to do 21Kms in 1hr 35minutes. So I have a long way to go. At any rate, I am glad my body managed it. At the 15th Km, even my usually comfortable shoes turned against me and started brusing my big toe. And my knees started generating some pain...I changed strides and started kicking the air to stretch them fully before stepping forward - that somewhat abated the pain. I drank water at the 12th Km Mark. I am thinking of doing 45 laps on Saturday...Will my body be able to take it? I dont know. What I know is that I have to keep pushing and approaching the next level. Always fighting...
Today I took it easy and did squats, crunches, worked my triceps and calves.
My body still feels banged up from yesterday's run.
If you dont have, it is because you dont act.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Worked indoors

I just took it easy today. Did squatups, calf raises, crunches and curls. After all I am on leave!
I feel great so I am thinking instead of doing 8Kms on the tarmac tomorrow, I do 16Kms on the grass tomorrow and try improving my time! Lets see how it goes.
Today I got three books and I am excited as hell: E.P Sanders Jesus and Judaism, Daniel Harrington's Interpreting the New Testament (am already on chapter three!) and Edgar V. McKnight and Elizabeth Struthers Malbon's The New Literary Criticism and the New Testament!
Add 24 from Season 1-6 and other movies and I am loaded!
This is life!
Cheers

Monday, August 13, 2007

14Kms on the grass

I realized that the problem(injury) I had last Friday is known as Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The Ober's test confirmed it so I embarked on taking care it tout de suite because I had sceduled to run on Sunday. So I stretched severally throughout Friday and Saturday.
Come Sunday, it had all but gone. I did 14Kms on the grass in 1hr 10 minutes without ant problem from it. I was feeling quite strong and could have managed 40laps (and not the 37 that I did) but for the darkness. The pitch did not have floodlights.
My shins didnt feel as uncomfortable as last week and I am thinking I am well on my way to recovery. I am however still massaging and compressing them.
Next Sunday, I will try doing 16Kms and I am aiming at doing it in under 1hr 15 minutes. This week I plan to do 8Kms on Wednesday and Friday. I also want to increase strength excercises in my routine. I will be going on a 12 day leave. I intend to watch 24 - from Season 1 to 6 and see exactly who this Jack Bauer character is and what drives him. I will however try to keep thus blog updated.
Cheers.

Friday, August 10, 2007

7Kms Plus Weird Pain

So its 5.30 am. It is dark and I am relying on streetlights (which are thankfully working today!) to see where I am stepping. I have since met only one other runner and I am at the third Km Mark and I start feeling pain around the back of my knee...I am thinking WTF is that? I haven't stepped in a hole, I stretched, I...
More pain!Ouch! WTF is this?...I slow down to a limp.
Ouch!
I start limping thinking WTF!?Its not a calf injury. My knees are okay, my shins are okay...Ouch!So I slow down and start doing frantic frog jumps. Trying to shake off the pain. Nothing doing. I try pumping my knees towards my stomach. Nothing. The pain is here right now. Damn. I limp forward. I am thinking WTF!? Today?
Ouch! the pain is too much!I sober up and say, okay, okay, okay...I am fucked. Let's go back home Jack.
You know you should stop when you are injured, otherwise, you will make it worse. So I turn back and start limping and I am regretting for not having carried any money to get a cab or a matatu so I have to limp back 3Kms back home?...I will be late for work! After limping for 100 Metres, I decice I didn't get up at 5 to limp back home like a pussy. I turn back and say I will do my 7 Mks and the injury can kiss my ass. I have the rest of my life to deal with the injury but I have only 20 minutes to do what I got up early to do. So I hobble forward, gritting my teeth and saying fuck, fuck, fuck...I manage another kilometre of grinding pain then I turn back. The pain is not abating. What is all this? All the while I am thinking: what if its a ligament and I am damaging it further? What if its a nerve and I am tearing it? I hobble on. Determined to accomplish my mission.After two kilometres, the pain reduces and I manage a 100 metres dash at the 7th Kilometre mark.Six hours later, after showering and stuff, it doesnt feel like I have an injury but tomorrow I will be on a break. The Marathon date has been announced - it is 28th October. Here we come.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Indoor Workout

I did squats, crunches and threw kicks (this works the hamstrings). My legs actually felt good yesterday and as I was massaging them, there wasn't any soreness so I am considering doing a 8Km tomorrow. I have them under pressure today and will examine em at night.
I have this feeling that the splintered shin problem has decided to leave me alone...

Did 5Kms Today

My legs werent feeling that great so I did an easy 5Kms today and some crunches. I will let them rest for two days and run again on Sunday. I have been eating quite a lot these last two days so I need to watch that. The celebration over my weight loss is over and I should get back to serious work. I will also consider seeing a Physiotherapist over my shins.
I wasted the whole damn day in a meeting!
Cheers

Monday, August 6, 2007

I Want to Learn

Today I was up at 4.40 am. My shins are still on a break so I did press-ups, lateral squats and leg raises. I wanted it to be a no-sugar day so I started breakfast with Weetabix, roasted groundnuts and hot milk. But I was unprepared. By 9am the office was teeming with tea and snacks and I was yearning for some. So I gave up and had tea and a chapati. I need to read up on maintaining/controlling my blood sugar level and how it impacts on weight loss/gain.

I have a couple of Christians at the office who are re-examining their beliefs and gaining new perspectives. Today, I lent one of them my copy of Michael Shermer's Why People Believe in Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time. I hope he learns something new. Yesterday, he asked a question on Acts and I was informing him that it was written by more than two hands because it has different accounts of Paul's conversion among other things. He had a question regarding the shift from third person to first person plural and I presented him with Vernon Robbin's By Land and By Sea: The We-Passages and Ancient Sea Voyages and invited him to read it alongside my old post Is the Sea Voyage Genre Theory Shipwrecked?. Last week, we discussed Theodore M Drange's Incompatible-Properties Arguments: A Survey and I could see cognitive dissonance written all over his face. Lets hope his journey is not painful or barren. Letting go of the guardrails we have always leaned on our entire lives and learning to stand on our own, without the warm, assuring belief that we are loved and cared for by a supernatural being can be very difficult.
I just stuck I Want To Learn near my monitor. Recall that Fox Mulder had I Want to Believe at his desk in X-Files. I am currently learning Kikuyu and reading Richard Dawkins' - The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design he does a great job of explaining how complex organs evolve from simple ones through cumulative changes and natural selection.

12 Kms on the Grass

I did 12Kms on a field yesterday. I still have pain in my shins though but I was able to time myself better. I did it (30laps X 400m) in 1 Hour sharp. I was hoping for 50 Minutes but I guess am still slow. I need to work on my speed.
At this rate (the pain), I may have to push my next run to wednesday, then Friday. Tomorrow, I will have to content myself with other excercises as I give my shins a break.


Oh, by the way, I watched DieHard4 and Transformers. The former was great. The latter sucked and was contradictory. How could the megatrons, who were an older species, who were more advanced that humans, have one of them wishing to remain on Earth and be a pet to a human? And the idea of a robot that is a nigger was not exactly appealing.

I loved the scene in DieHard4 where Willis (John McClane) meets this computer geek (the Warlock) in some room surrounded by computers. The Warlock is sitting with a keyboard on his lap, drowned by PCs. He turns round and sees his friend matt Farrell and Willis walking in. He looks at Matt and laments over the infernal desecration.

The Warlock: How could you bring him into my Command Center?!!!!
John McLane (laughs sarcastically): Its a Basement!
The Warlock (angrily): It's a Command Center! Who is this man?

That gave me a laugh.
Cheers.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Twisted Ankle is Okay

I did a slow 6Kms today. The streetlights were okay. My ankle was okay but my splintered shins gave me hell. So I will give them a two day rest and on Sunday I will run on grass to give them a break from the hard tarmac.
A

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Injury

I ran 8.5kms today - between 5.19 and 6.05am. The street lights werent working in a 4Kms stretch. I ended up twisting my ankle. I can walk but thers is a nagging pain somewhere deep in the bones. I hope I will be fine tomorrow. Yesterday, I confirmed that I had lost 14 Kgs between May and June 30th. So I now weigh 78Kgs. My BMI is 23 and so I am no longer overweight.
I was asked by someone what My secret was. This is what I posted:
1. Cut back on the quantities you eat at night especially. Gradually.
2. Cut back the quantities of what you eat generally. Again gradually. Especially carbohydrates.
3. Cut out processed foods with no fibre - like pancakes, white bread, doughnuts and so on and replace them with carbs with fibre like boiled maize, nuts, potatoes and so on. These will take longer to digest, will therefore stay in your stomach longer, make you feel full longer and as a result you will eat less.
4. Cut back on sugar. Use honey as a sweetener if you have to. Sodas and other sugary drinks are out. No negotiation. If you have to take a sweet drink, take fresh juice.
5. Cut down carb intake while equivalently increasing protein and fruits intake. You already have fat to burn plus you need more muscle (muscles are fat-burning machines) so you need proteins to help build them. Let your body learn to burn fat to generate its blood sugar.
6. Eat less food more frequently like have five small meals per day rather than three huge ones. This will increase your metabolic rate by encouraging fat-burning.
7. Watch your excercise routine. Increase speed, repetitions, duration (watch the limits) or weights every week. Always IMPROVE something about your excercise routine. I did 130 crunches at a go today while in May I couldnt do more than 50.ALWAYS remember that there is a next level for you to reach. Strive to reach it.
8. Set yourself small goals per short durations like weekly or daily. The real work gets done in the short term not in the long term.
9. Every day is an opportunity to move forward with your goals. Dont go back to sleep, the morning breeze has something to tell you every day.
10. Avoid eating a full plate. But if you have been served a full plate, dont be shy to leave your plate full. Its not a waste. Remember, that even if you eat it, you will still have to shit it out (some of it anyways) so you dont exactly save anything by eating more.
11. Work not more than three body parts per day. Use weights to save time. For example, instead of doing 100 crunches, hold 15Kg weights behind your neck and do 30. These also help with squats, calf raises etc.
12. Rest at least one day out of seven days and dont rest for more than three days per week. Unless you have an injury. Each workout should take between 40 mins and 90 mins.
13. Include running in your routine. Keep going. Just keep going.

My next goals are to be able to run 5Kms under 20 minutes and to have a chiseled body.

Welcome to My Blog

Hello,
I am Jacob Aliet. A Kenyan. An avid reader and an aspiring writer and scriptwriter. I harbour no beliefs in the supernatural and my interests are in Archaeology (especially Ancient Near East), Metaphysical Naturalism, Literary Theory, Writing, Philosophy of mind, the human condition, Science and Skepticism, Philosophy, Biblical Criticism and History and running. Yes, running, particularly marathon training.
So this blog will cover all those fields.
Feel free to post your comments and enjoy!
Jack