Saturday, April 30, 2011

Running to Help Japan and Runmeter

A few days ago, my friend Steve tweeted to the company that makes the iPhone running app "Runmeter." He told them about what I am doing and that they should gift me the app as a way of supporting me and Running to Help Japan. The kind folks at Runmeter did just that Last night I installed the runnnig app on my phone and I used it fir this mornings run! I still have a lot to learn about the functionality of the app, but so far, so good! I really like it. It has a lot of options my previous running app didn't have. I like the fact that it will tweet my location and maps to people as I run. i also like the fact that if people send me tweets on Twitter or messages on Facebook while I run, a voice reads them to me! Great motivation.

here is the Runmeter display showing the stats on my run today. Actually, I would have run this about 5 minutes faster, but I stopped to fumble with the app and figure things out. There is a function that stops it from recording when I am not in motion (great if you are stopped at a traffic light), but I didn't know how to turn it on until half way through the run!

Thanks to the fine folks at Runmeter for supporting me in my run. I appreciate you sending me this very cool app and will use it during my June ultra run for Save the Children. i will also use it during the Osaka Marathon and some other runnning events this year!

Here is the map data from the run I did this morning in Kobe.

Make a donation to "Running to Help Japan" by clicking the button below:

Friday, April 29, 2011

Great News and Project Biwa

It's a cloudy day here in Kobe and I'm expecting rain any time now. My legs feel great this morning even though I did my long run yesterday. I thought they would hurt more, but to be honest, I could easily run today. I won't though. I am forcing myself to take a day off from running. I realize that I physically could run, but overall, I'll benefit from a day off. A day to heal will make me just that much faster and stronger.

I heard some great news today from a few different sources. First, thanks to the help of my friend Steve Miller, aka, qiranger on You Tube, i have my first little sponsorship by a company. It is small, but I think it's going to be very cool and useful on my running journey this year. I will tell you more in tomorrow's blog post (I wanna test it out first).

Second, while chatting with my parents in Canada this morning I found out that my family, including extended family, collected funds for Running to Help Japan. They will donate a nice chunk of change to the Running to Help Japan project. I was amazed and so happy. A lot of children in northern Japan will benefit from so much generosity.

I made a video yesterday while on my long run. In this video I also mention another charity event going on in Japan. My online friend Dimitri is doing something called Project Biwa. He will cycle around Japan's largest lake, Lake Biwa during the last weekend of May and document it through photos. he is doing this to attract tourists back to Japan and raise funds as well to help in the relief efforts after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Check out my most recent Running to Help Japan video blog:

Click below to sponsor Running to Help Japan and Save the Children Japan:

35km day and a great video

It's Friday and in Japan it is a holiday. Showa Day is the beginning of the week long holiday for me. I kicked it off with a 31km long run in the morning. I then walked about 4 km with my wife and sone. For a portion of that walk I had my 9kg whipper-snapper strapped to the front of me in his baby carrier. That was the final "wipe out" for my quads after the run.

Thankfully tomorrow is a rest day for my legs. No running at all. I want to run, but I realize I need to rest.

Today, an awesome You Tube video blogger, Victor, aka. Gimmeabreakman/Gimmeaflakeman made a shout out video for the Running to Help Japan project. THANK YOU Victor! I appreciate the publicity.

My friend Danielle also made a spiffy banner for the top of this blog! Thanks to you as well Danielle!

You can sponsor my run here. Every penny goes to Save the Children Japan!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cloudy Wednesday and a 12k

Golden Week is almost upon us. I work tomorrow and then have more than a week off from school. There are many wonderful things about living in Japan and one of the greatest is the abundance of holidays.

This morning I ran a quick 12k (quasi-tempo?) and shot a little video blog. Tomorrow (Thursday in Japan) I plan to run 10-12k and then n Friday morning a long run. I'm thinking 35-40k. I just have to make sure I get enough nutrition before I leave for the run. I'm shooting for another 70+km week.

Everyday I can go for a run in Japan is a blessing. there are always so many amazing things to see. Check out this amazing pond.

Please take the time to donate to Running to Help Japan. All proceeds go to Save the Children Japan. This project will not end at my ultra marathon. I'm running the Osaka Marathon later this year and there are some other projects planned! every $5 or $10 helps!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Osaka Marathon Here I Come

Alright, I mentioned in previous posts and videos that my 60k ultra run in June would just be the start of things for my Running to Help Japan project. Today I found out another running and fundraising goal for 2011. I was able to get a slot in the 2011 Osaka Marathon. Much like Tokyo Marathon, Osaka Marathon had a lottery system set up. Far more people are interested in running the race than there are spots so you apply and then are selected. I found out this evening that I am in! On October 30th I will try to run somewhere in the 3:45range. I will also try to raise a lot more money for Save the Children Japan!

Their slogan may sound weird, but I am very excited to be running in the 1st ever Osaka Marathon this October!

I would like to than my good friend Edward over at the Japan Talk podcast for again, shouting out the Running to Help Japan project. With his support and help, I have definitely been able to raise more funds to help the kids in the devastated areas of Japan. I also want to thank everyone who has sponsored me so far!

As for running, today was a much needed day off for my legs and I am VERY eager to get back soon the road early tomorrow morning. This is a four-day workweek for me since the Golden Week holiday in Japan begins Friday. I plan to run a 35-40k long run this Friday if all goes well.

I have also discovered something rather awesome that has been making running more enjoyable lately. I am a huge fan of listening to podcasts while running and I subscribed to the 3 Non Joggers podcast recently. It's about running and a lot of other stuff. Most importantly, it is funny as hell and very entertaining! I highly recommend listening to the 3 Non Joggers if you are in any way interested in running!

Here is a nice story about some generous strangers helping people in evacuation centers in Japan.

You can of course sponsor me and my Running to Help Japan project by clicking on the button below. Funds go directly to Save the Children's disaster response here in Japan.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Back to Back Long Run Week

As far as running goes, this was a great week. I had a minor hiccup with a bit of a cold forcing me to take Friday off from running, but aside from that, it was solid. I logged 74k this week and ran back to back long runs. You can see my week's running data below. This information is posted on my Daily Mile page.

Here is a blog I shot this morning while on my long run:

The physical aspect of preparing for my charity "homemade" ultra marathon is going along well. I need to work more now on getting folks to take notice of what I am doing. I am going to try to flog my story to more news outlets (smaller ones in areas I lived and worked in Canada) and hopefully some others will write something!

Here is the sunrise in Kobe. I took this shot early Thursday morning while running along the waterfront.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lots of Help From Friends

The week has been off to an amazing start! As I'm writing this post, Running to Help Japan has raised $1,662.00. I raised my overall goal to $5000 and I'm confident we can hit that amount for sure! Thank you so much to everyone for donating and spreading the word about my little charity event. To be very honest, when I committed myself to this project I would have ben happy with raising a few hundred dollars, but the response has ben overwhelming.

You can se my route for this morning's 12k-ish run. I ran a hair under 12k in 59 minutes. It was a great fun for sure. I recorded this data with the RunKeeper iPhone app. That7s the one I will be using to record my big run in June. I record every training run I do using it. It is a great way to create a database of maps and running routes in Kobe.

I wanted to show you guys a recent video by the two Canadian You Tubers. FindMeInKurume is based in Kurume, Japan and ozzy78 is in Canada. They made an AMAZING video to promote my Running to Help Japan project!

I was also mentioned on the most recent episode of the AMAZING Japan Talk Podcast! A special thanks to Edward Chimura for helping me out. You can listen to the episode here.

I also shot a couple of video blogs thanking some people who have helped promote my run to raise money for Save the Children Japan and their important work in northern Japan.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Amazing results and Boston Marathon

Words cannot express how amazed I am by the kindness of so many people all around the world who have been contributing to my Running to Help Japan project. I am humbled and I have to say "Thank You" to everyone!

I'm sure the article that was published in my "hometown" newspaper in Canada, the Cape Breton Post sure helped a lot. I plan to approach some other newspapers as well to see if they would be interested in sharing my story and hopefully attract more sponsors.

I have been thinking about it and with so many amazing running activities planned for the rest of the year for my Running to Help japan project, why stop at my current sponsorship goal. I think it would great to raise the goal to $5000.00! that would go even further in helping so many children in Northern Japan.

Tonight I ran a 7k temp run (faster than normal running speed). I would have run longer, but my schedule didn't allow it. Tomorrow will be my one off day for the week. My overall goal for this week will be 75-80km.

The 115th Boston Marathon will begin in a few minutes and I am more than a little disappointed. I was really looking forward to watching it online here in Japan, but cannot. It won't be shown outside of New England. The Boston Marathon is the "Holy Grail" of marathons. It is a goal that amateur runners seek to achieve. To qualify to run in Boston (often known among runners as getting a BQ) is a tough goal. Myself, at 35 years of age, would have to enter a qualifying race and finish at 3 hours and 15 minutes or less! Someday....maybe! I can dare to dream!

You can sponsor my Running to Help Japan project and Save the Children's relief efforts for the children of Japan by clicking the button below:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Running to Help Japan in Cape Breton Post

I was happy to see when I got up this morning that my Running to Japan project had been written about in the Cape Breton Post. The CB Post is a local newspaper in Nova Scotia, Canada. It's the paper that I grew up reading and it is nice that people back home can see what I am doing here in Japan to try to help those less fortunate than me.

I hope that this story might drum up some more donations and support for my project. I plan to extend this project to more than just my 60k run in June. Hopefully throughout the year and beyond I can raise a lot more. If things go well, I will raise my fundraising goal.

My story in the Cape Breton Post.

This week was good as far as training went. I finished the week at 62km and I'm aiming for about 70km next week. my first long run went well today. next week I am aiming for 25-30km for my Sunday morning run. I'll try to get out the door earlier than today though.

Tomorrow will be the running of the Boston Marathon. It starts at 9:00am Boston time which is 10:00pm Japan Standard Time. I'm planning to watch it streaming over the internet. I will go for a short run tomorrow evening and then settle in to watch it in my computer room! Running the Boston Marathon is a goal I hope to achieve some day.

Running for Japan: Kilometers Building

Another week is done and my training is coming along better than I expected. My knee injury seems to be behind me (I hope....fingers crossed) and my blister issues seem to be working themselves out.

I actually just finished an interview with a newspaper in Canada before I wrote this blog post. When the story is out, i will of course share it with all of you awesome folks.

I am now officially at 34% of my fundraising goal. I am of course really excited about that. Now of course, my Running to Help Japan project isn't just a one time shot. I plan to run many races to raise money. I probably will raise my total fundraising goal.

In other running news, the 1st Kobe Marathon just opened for registration yesterday. I'll be running it for sure!!! (if I get a spot)

here I am last Sunday, post long-run with my future little adventure racer!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Videos of encouragement: Running to Help Japan

Some great You Tube video bloggers in Japan and in Canada have made some wonderful videos spreading the word about my run. Thank you for such great videos of support for my Run to help Japan!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Running for Japan: Things coming together

It was a busy week last week. Between it being the first week of the new school year at work and trying to get in my km's, I was tired to say the least. While preparing for my Run to Help Japan, I have had to wake up at 4:30 am in order to get the running in. I simply have very little time at the end of the day. I come home from work and spend time with my wife and nine-month old son. Once he goes to sleep I have a little time for a run, but I prefer doing it at the beginning of the day.

Last week I logged 51km and had to contend with a lot of blisters. Basically, my feet are soft and need to be toughened up! My knee is no longer causing me any concern.

I have realized this week that I really need to start planning more for the big day. Last Friday I ran a 10k early in the morning and was surprised by how warm it was. I finished my run at 6:00 am and it was already 15C. I can imagine it will be MUCH hotter in mid-June. I will have to seriously think about my hydration and maybe even buy one of those running hats with the desert flaps in the back!

This week I read an incredible tale of a Canadian English teacher named Michael Luzia, who was living on a small island in northern Japan. He survived the earthquake and tsunami, but half of the population of the town he lived in was wiped out! You can read his story here.

This is an incredible video taken by two journalists who drove their care into the Fukushima exclusion zone around the Fukushima-Daichi Nuclear Plant. They have a geiger counter on the dashboard. It often goes haywire during their trip. It is very eerie seeing what they see. They actually go as close as 1.5 kilometers away from the plant!

I also want to give an incredible THANK YOU for everyone who has sponsored me so far! To this point, I've raised more than $600.00 for Save the Children's Japan Relief Fund.

Remember, you can sponsor me on my 60k run for Japan anytime. Any amount helps!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pre-Dawn Running to Help Japan

I'm officially back to work which means, with family and work obligations, the only time I can train for my Running to Help Japan Ultra Marathon is before work. I commute to work everyday and normally (pre-running) woke up at 6:00am. Now, I have to wake up at 4:30am in order to get the necessary kilometers in! I'm of course not complaining about this at all. Runners across the world do this sort of thing on a regular basis.

Today I ran downtown to Meriken Koen in Kobe, along the waterfront. it was a stunning morning. My knee injury seems to be behind me and now I'm just battling blisters (I minor inconvenience compared to the knee thing).

last week I ran 48km and this week I'm hoping to run about 58km.

To be honest, knowing that I am running this to raise money for the people in northern Japan who are so in need of ALL of our help, makes it pretty damn easy to get out of bed in the morning and run!

Here is a video blog of today's run (training for Running to Help Japan):

Misplaced trust: 30-foot tsunami wall didn't save Japanese village

Defiant Japanese boat captain rode out tsunami

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Running Week in Review

Of course, if you are reading this blog post you probably know that I am currently training to run a 60km ultra marathon in order to raise funds for Save the Children's Disaster Relief Fund.

Here is my week in running in review. Over the following weeks my mileage will increase:

This image is from my training log over on Daily Mile.

Running to Help Japan Training Continues and Black Water

Today was a day filled with a picnic, a sick son and a run. I went to the Hanami party like I mentioned yesterday, but didn't drink since I wanted to get a training run in afterwards. I initially planned to run this morning, but my son woke up around the same time as me and was feeling miserable with a cold. I decided it was better to hang out with him in the morning and run later on.

I had a decent run downtown and by some of the waterfront in Kobe. It was a slow pace, but my knee felt stronger than any other run in the previous two weeks.

You can see a map of my run this evening (recorded with Runkeeper, the app I will use to document my 60k run in a few months):

The game plan for tomorrow is an early rise and 10-11k before breakfast. I also plan to go to sleep earlier than normal tonight. The more I sleep, the faster my knee heals!

I wanted to share a great song with you all today. this was written and performed by a Canadian musician who lives in Nagoya, Japan. Check it out and share it:

You can sponsor me when I run my 60k ultrarun to Help Japan:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Plans for the Weekend and training thoughts

It is Hanami (cherry blossom party) time here in Japan and I realize that there are so many that have very little to celebrate. That may be the case, but as many have argued, for those who are not affected by the recent disaster and far away from it, there is no point hiding inside. We need to live life and in a time when the Japanese economy is in trouble, we need to get outside and spend money! That's one way to help the economy.

That being said, of course, people in many parts of Japan will be getting outside this weekend for many of the nation's first hanami parties (basically picnics and bbq's outside....anywhere people can find cheery trees!).

I plan to head to my first hanami party of the season tomorrow afternoon with my family and several other families. It should be an interesting time. I will be the only non-Japanese person there and my Japanese language skills are not very strong. Tomorrow will be a good linguistic workout for me!

As for running workouts, I plan to get up early and run 8km in the morning. My knee is still being difficult! I am feeling some anxiety about that , but I am also confident that I can deal with it (running slowly, using my new shoes and ice afterwards). I'm then planning a 10k run on Sunday morning. Hopefully by next week I can begin to train harder.

I worry that I may have to move the date of my 60k run further ahead in June which means dealing with the intense heat of Japanese summer. If that is the case, I will just have to start my run earlier in the morning. That may mean a 4:00am start as opposed to the 5-5:30am start I was originally anticipating!

My overall goal for the next week, kilometer-wise, if my knee permits, will be about 50km. Ideally, by the end of May, I'd like to be pushing 90km a week or more (knee permitting)!