Sunday, January 8, 2012

8 Marathons in 8 Weeks? Am I CRAZY??

My first week of “real” running in 2012 came to an end yesterday and I was pretty happy with it. I ran/walked 69km and had a great time doing it. I also spent some time doing exercises to help strengthen both my hips and glutes. I was reading in Runner’s World magazine that one reason I may have trouble with my right knee after marathons is because my hips and glutes may be weak.

While running, I put a lot of thought into what I might do this year to get people out there interested in my fundraising efforts. Save the Children Japan is still doing a lot of very important work in the Tohoku region of Japan and the kids there certainly need assistance. Sadly, for many outside of Japan, and maybe even some people in Japan, the earthquake/tsunami of last year is nothing more than a forgotten memory.

The only thing I have heard on Canadian news recently about Japan is with regards to the large debris field from the March 11th tsunami heading towards the west Coasts of Canada and the United States. For the most part though, those stories aren’t about Japan, but the impact the debris will have on Canada.

Now, back to my ideas for raising funds for Save the Children. Just running a marathon isn’t really big enough I think. Running a marathon is a huge deal in many ways, but to get people’s attention and encourage them to donate I want to do something more. I didn’t want to go the same route as last year and run 60, 70 or 80km all at one time. I did think about running multiple marathons though. I randomly thought that 8 marathons in 8 weeks sounded like an impressive feat and that is what I may try to do.

When I say I will run 8 marathons in 8 weeks, that doesn’t entail me traveling around Japan and running in various official marathons. I simply don't have the funds to pull something like that off and to be honest, if I were running in an official race I would probably push myself too hard. I’m a competitive person and would probably try to set new tie goals for myself.

The idea of running 8 home made marathons such as he ultra I did last year seemed more doable. I would go out on a Saturday or Sunday morning depending on my work schedule and do a 42km (26.2 mile) long run essentially. Using my Runmeter running app on my iPhone, people could track and follow my progress. It would also hold me accountable. People would know that I was indeed running the marathons I said I would. Also, I wouldn’t push myself to run fast. I would take it slow and easy since I would have to run that far every week for almost two months.

The only thing I worry about is my body. That is why I have begun exercises to strengthen my hips. I have in the past had issues with my right knee and I worry that maybe I would get one or more marathons completed and my knee would keep me from finishing my overall goal.

I suppose the best thing to do would be to get rid of negative thoughts like that and just go for it! If I train smart, rest well and take care of myself to ensure a good recovery, I think 8 marathons in 8 weeks is very doable.

More details to come on this in the coming days and weeks.

Interview With a New Runner: Reynoldsair

As part of a new series on my running You Tube channel "RunCauseItsFun", I plan to interview various runners. In my first interview I talked to Jonathan Reynolds. He is known on You Tube as "reynoldsair" and is relatively new to running. He began in July of 2011 and really took to it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Running: Not just for athletes

On my new running channel on You Tube, I posted a video yesterday about how you don't have to be athletic to start running. In fact, most people are anything but athletic when they start. People tend to start running in order to get into shape.

In this video I share a little about how I went from being a 2 pack a day smoker to a runner.

Remember, you can make a donation to Save the Children Japan through Running to Help Japan.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Korean Running Medals

This video is from my new running specific You Tube channel called "Run Cause It's Fun."

Kobe Marathon 2011 神戸マラソン2011

Tonight I downloaded some thumbnail pictures that were taken of me while I ran the Kobe Marathon On November 20th, 2011. It was one of 3 major running events for me in 2011. Kobe Marathon meant a lot to me because it was the first time the race had been held and the course was made up of many areas where I normally train. Simply put, it was on my turf!

Enjoy the pictures!

Tonight I was also doing a lot of research to find out which races I will take on this year. I came across a 70km race in Osaka in May that looks very promising! We'll have to see. My Japanese isn't very strong and since the website is only in Japanese, I will have to get my wife to take a look at it.

Remember, the Running to Help Japan fundraiser page is LIVE and you can donate at any time. Every dollar helps!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Running has begun

Hey there folks! It has been a long time since I have posted in this space and I am finally back. Not only am I back, but the "Running to Help Japan" project has begun again. In 2011 we raised almost $4000.00 for Save the Children Japan and their efforts in helping the youngest victims of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. In 2012 I plan a series of running events to raise more funds for Save the Children and their ongoing work in Tohoku.

In 2011 I ran a home made 60km ultra marathon as well as the Osaka and Kobe Marathons to help raise funds for Save the Children Japan.

What are Save the Children doing in Japan today?

Save the Children is focusing on 3 major areas:

1. Child Protection

2. Education

3. Child Friendly Communities

1. Child protection

· Save the Children is helping children with their psychological and social recovery by setting up playgrounds, parks and indoor play facilities throughout the effected areas.

· They are working with local organizations and governemtn and have created day care and after school programs for students.

· Where necessary, Save the Children has helped renovate and even build new community centers where people to go.

· They are supporting 115 day care centers called Gakudo and supplying many school meals.

· They are creating “play zones” where children can be with friends and feel comfortable.

2. Education

· Supporting schools by contributing musical instruments, school lunches, learning materials and stationary and transportation so children can take part in after school activities.

· 1500 scholarships have been created for children whose parents lost their livelihood (especially in fishing industry).

· Save the Children has set up an innovative E-Learning program where primary and middle school students are mentored and taught by university students. Univeristy students in Tokyo mentor and help these younger students in Miyagi and Iwate prepare for classes they will take in high school.

3. Child Friendly communites

· They are setting up clubs and events throughout the effected region where children can express themselves and share their feelings during the rebuilding process.

· STC have been building children’s centers, buildings that host many children’s clubs. Children will use these community hubs as a platform to make their voce heard and host community events.

· STC is working on advocacy. They are working to promote children’s rights on a local and national level.

· Save the Children will set up a research facility in Sendai to serve as a hub of global knowledge on the role of children and affected communities in disaster-risk reduction and emergency response planning. The institute will commission original research, will establish a worldwide network of experts, and will use the Internet to disseminate its knowledge base.

In 2011 I ran a 60km ultra marathon as well as the Osaka and Kobe Marathons to raise funds. In 2012 I will run more marathons and do something REALLY BIG to raise awareness! Maybe a home made 80km run or maybe....maybe a 100km run.

You can DONATE to Running to Help Japan! Any amount helps.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Looking Back at 60km for the Kids

Last Saturday I ran 60 km (37.5 miles) to raise money for Save the Children Japan and their efforts to help the kids affected by the March 11th, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

It was a rough run. It was 18 km longer than any run I had done before. it was also in much hotter conditions than I had ever run before. Did I almost quit? No I didn't, but there were many moments along the route that I wish I didn't have to run. There were many times that I wish I had been somewhere else. the distance was long, but the heat is what made things so miserable. It was about 30C by 8:00am and he humidity was very high.

Luckily, my recovery was very fast and within a few days, I was back out on the road and running again.

Here are some maps of my 3 lap route around Port Island and the Harborland area in Kobe, Japan:

Here is a video blog I made while running. The original plan was to take a lot more footage, but it became such a painful and difficult run that shooting with my camera became the last thing on my mind. i had to focus completely on just getting the run done!

For anyone interested, I'm adding all of the running data collected by my Runmeter iPhone ap. That's how I tracked this homemade ultra marathon!

"Running to Help Japan 60km" Splits

Kilometer 01 - Average 6:41 /km
Kilometer 02 - Average 6:14 /km
Kilometer 03 - Average 6:01 /km
Kilometer 04 - Average 6:20 /km
Kilometer 05 - Average 6:22 /km
Kilometer 06 - Average 6:12 /km
Kilometer 07 - Average 7:15 /km
Kilometer 08 - Average 6:23 /km
Kilometer 09 - Average 5:45 /km
Kilometer 10 - Average 6:37 /km
Kilometer 11 - Average 6:15 /km
Kilometer 12 - Average 6:27 /km
Kilometer 13 - Average 6:25 /km
Kilometer 14 - Average 5:23 /km
Kilometer 15 - Average 5:51 /km
Kilometer 16 - Average 6:17 /km
Kilometer 17 - Average 6:25 /km
Kilometer 18 - Average 6:02 /km
Kilometer 19 - Average 5:58 /km
Kilometer 20 - Average 7:31 /km
Kilometer 21 - Average 6:36 /km
Kilometer 22 - Average 6:07 /km
Kilometer 23 - Average 8:19 /km
Kilometer 24 - Average 6:56 /km
Kilometer 25 - Average 7:10 /km
Kilometer 26 - Average 6:48 /km
Kilometer 27 - Average 7:39 /km
Kilometer 28 - Average 5:46 /km
Kilometer 29 - Average 6:05 /km
Kilometer 30 - Average 6:19 /km
Kilometer 31 - Average 5:48 /km
Kilometer 32 - Average 6:37 /km
Kilometer 33 - Average 5:15 /km
Kilometer 34 - Average 8:24 /km
Kilometer 35 - Average 6:06 /km
Kilometer 36 - Average 6:46 /km
Kilometer 37 - Average 5:34 /km
Kilometer 38 - Average 6:15 /km
Kilometer 39 - Average 6:10 /km
Kilometer 40 - Average 6:21 /km
Kilometer 41 - Average 7:19 /km
Kilometer 42 - Average 6:13 /km
Kilometer 43 - Average 10:46 /km
Kilometer 44 - Average 6:45 /km
Kilometer 45 - Average 6:19 /km
Kilometer 46 - Average 7:54 /km
Kilometer 47 - Average 7:04 /km
Kilometer 48 - Average 5:53 /km
Kilometer 49 - Average 10:25 /km
Kilometer 50 - Average 6:20 /km
Kilometer 51 - Average 7:49 /km
Kilometer 52 - Average 6:18 /km
Kilometer 53 - Average 6:49 /km
Kilometer 54 - Average 5:29 /km
Kilometer 55 - Average 6:13 /km
Kilometer 56 - Average 7:09 /km
Kilometer 57 - Average 5:43 /km
Kilometer 58 - Average 7:45 /km
Kilometer 59 - Average 6:49 /km
Kilometer 60 - Average 6:04 /km

Next stop, Osaka Marathon....then Kobe Marathon!