Reviews & info on some beers, bars & pubs in Japan (mainly Tokyo/Yokohama area) - with an extra large serving of nonsensical jibbbbah jabbah thrown in:

Monday, 16 February 2009

What time is it? Why, it's TIME FOR A BEER! - The best training.

It's beer o' clock and I'm thirsty.
Mmmmurphy's Irish stout - it's what it's all about.
Good stuff. Smooth, dark, velvety, creamy, malty, lovely. 7/10. Only 390yen at Yamaya supermarkets.

To hell with my good night's sleep, in anticipation of tomorrow's 20km stumble/stagger, chasing after junior and senior high school athletes, whilst occasionally checking that I can still feel my legs and my broken spine hasn't exploded from the constant jarring impacts from the tarmac.
Yes, it's the Japanese high school's annual 'Marathon day'.
Marathon in the sense of 4km for junior high school students and 6 for seniors.
I usually run all the races. 4, 4, 6 & 6 km.
They are staggered, so by the time I've finished one, the other has already started. I'm constantly playing 'catch up' with the little buggers.
Needless to say, I'm not getting any medals, by the time I finish.
I don't race, I run. I love it. Just like swimming in raw sewage.

The thing is, just 2 weeks ago, my poor back gave out.
I was in agony for about 10 days. I started to get better, but had a minor relapse at a wine convention (ended up losing my memory, my digital camera, belt, sweater and underpants). Woke up the next morning with no memory and wounds on my back and left leg that still haven't healed. I don't know where I went or how I got home. Scary stuff.
Anyway, I can more or less stand up in the mornings without the aid of artificial aids (whoah, don't go there, son). I'm walking up straight and can more or less maintain a slow jog for about 100m. I'll see how many km I can do tomorrow. I reckon once the joy of the run gets in my system, I'll be off like a mad dog.
If I do get tired, I can always employ the strategy I used last year:

It didn't work then and I doubt if it will work this year, either. Still, it was interesting to try and I enjoyed the looks I got as I ran round the 4km course - in reverse.
Anything to break up the monotony of a forced run for the poor kids who have no choice and no chance of putting in a good time. A thankless hurculean task they are set by their taskmasters, 'for their own good'.
So, whilst the other teachers are talking amongst themselves, unaware and uncaring of the struggle most kids are undertaking or stewarding the run with blank expressionless faces or even dressed up in their tight spandex, reliving their unsuccessful youth and racing the faster students (getting off on their ability to run faster than a kid with 20% bodyfat and asthma), I'm trudging my way round the course with the slow kids, joking and chatting and trying to get them to appreciate their surroundings and getting them to relax and actually run and enjoy it.
For me, the measure of how good a class is or how healthy the school students are is not how fast the best students can run 6km in. No, sir. Rather, I think it's the time the slowest students come in. That's where I am. That's where I'm needed. The fast kids don't care about anything but being No.1.Anything else simply isn't good enough. It's quite sad. Most kids are setting themselves up for dissapointment from the off.
I like to run with the other kids, the real kids, overtaking them and eventually perhaps catching them up again on the next lap round. Constantly encouraging and joking and getting them to breathe correctly and relax and not try to sprint uphill and just relax and fly downhill. It's amazing the effort that some kids can suddenly put in, if only someone cares enough to encourage them. I have so many great memories of slowly running with kids, be they overweight or injured or just plain unfit. Just staying with them and making their run more bearable by talking and encouraging and accompanying them I believe makes all the difference.
No one left behind.

I make sure the last person in every race is one silly Welshman, not a poor unfit sad young boy or girl. For me, it's far more important to be last, not first.
I enjoy those races much, much more.

Jeez, I'm waffling.
I think I may be s-o-b-e-r-i-n-g up. Sh*t.

Well, it's 1am. Gotta get at least 5 hrs sleep in before I do the 20km.

Maybe I should get another beer?
Would it help or hinder my progess, tomorrow morning?
According to this article, it won't help at all.
Bloody diet channel.What do they know?
Some people justify alcohol consumption the night before an athletic event or training session by calling it a part of their carb-loading routine. Of course most people are saying this in jest, but some people actually believe it. However, the truth is that drinking alcohol can really hurt your athletic performance. It dehydrates you and interferes with normal blood sugar control. If you become dehydrated or hypoglycemic during an event, you are not likely to perform well. You might not even be able to finish. Although beer does contain some carbohydrates, it is a very poor source. Two-thirds of the calories in beer come from alcohol.
If you do drink beer while you are training, make sure to drink plenty of water. Eliminate alcohol altogether in the days leading up to a race, as well as before very long runs. Beer undermines your efforts to hydrate adequately.
Sod that.
I'm getting another beer.
Who wants to live forever?
Well, I wouldn't mind.
Perhaps the question should be - who want's to live forever, sober?
Eh? Ay! Do you?
Well, do you?
Nah, didn't think so.

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