During the early weeks of Couch-to-5K, I liked to add some variety to my runs by picking a different route each week. For simplicity, I usually run straight from my home in East Oxford -- not needing to drive anywhere reduced the inertial overhead and makes me more likely to get out the door and running!
For Week 1, I left home and headed South; for Week 2, I went East; for Week 3, I went North; and for Week 4, I went West.
Later on, when I had reached 5K, I combined bits from three of these routes (North, East, and South) to make one contiguous 5km run for myself. These days, as my runs have crept up past 9km, I am combining all four routes _and_ extending them a bit... but I'm still running out of places to run! Truth be told, Oxford does have quite a bit more runnable space. However, to reach it, I must pass the dreaded Headington Hill. I don't feel ready for a serious hill run right now, which leaves me confined to the Eastern part of the city if I am starting from home.
That said, one does like a little variety every now and then. So, after doing the first seven runs of Bridge-to-10K in Oxford, I decided to do today's run in Japan.
Okay, okay. Taking in some different running scenery might not be the only reason that I am on this side of the world. Nonetheless, it certainly does shake things up a little! I landed in Tokyo this morning and made my way to a village called Tokai, where I will be staying until the 28th. After settling into my room, I put on my running gear and headed out for Week 3 Run 2 -- the first of six runs that will be done from here.
This isn't completely unfamiliar territory, actually. Back in September, I did Weeks 5 and 6 of Couch-to-5K here as well. In a way, that really highlights my progress -- when I last arrived here, my first run was three intervals of 5 minutes each; now my first run was three intervals of 17 minutes each. More running by a factor of about 3.5 -- not bad!
Being much less familiar with the local roads, I didn't have a pre-planned route. I just got out there and ran until Samantha told me to stop. As such, I can't really find my stats for today's run. In a way, that is a good thing, though -- it meant that I just ran at a comfortable pace, without the pressure to always speed up! Even so, I may want to get a good GPS app going on my phone to track future runs. Otherwise, I will have no stats at all until I get back to Oxford on the 31st.
Meanwhile, I am still in shock at having run over 9km in my first Week 3 run! Yes, it was in three segments, with a one minute walk between each. Even so, it makes a continuous 10km run seem like an achievable goal! Huzzah!
Next run -- the last of Week 3 -- is scheduled for Saturday. Happy running, everyone!!
(P.S. Apologies for being lax about replying to comments recently. As you may gather, I've been a tad busy. Will try to get to them soon, 'cuz you guys is da best! )