Always Tense Without Realizing

Long before I slipped a disc in my lower back for the first time, I went dancing at Bugatti’s nightclub. I was a spotty, lanky teenager thrust into a world of drunken partying that I wasn’t ready for. After a couple of pints of “snakebite and black”, a popular drink at the time made of cider, lager and blackcurrant cordial, I plucked up the courage to follow my friends onto the dance floor. But just […]

Five years later…

Hello people on the internet! It’s been over five years since I last posted on this blog, but I’d like to revive it with thoughts from my new areas of interest: yoga, mindfulness, meditation, minimalism and chronic pain. Before any of that, though, let me quickly explain my absence: I was very much into trail running and taking part in various ultramarathons and orienteering events when my body started to resist. Knee pain, back pain, […]

Report: OSJ Ontake Ultra Trail 100K

Last weekend I took part in my first 100km race, the OSJ Ontake Ultra Trail. It came a bit too soon after the Utsukushigahara 80K, and I wasn’t particularly up for it, especially as it started on the stroke of midnight when I’d usually be fast asleep in bed! I opted to start at the very back of the 1,000 runners, intending to follow a very conservative race plan that totally lacked ambition, but would […]

Report: Utsukushigahara 80K, 2014

This weekend I went up to Nagano prefecture to take part in the Utsukushigahara 80K trail race. This is the same race I DNF’d last year, except this time they increased the distance by 10K and added only one hour to the course time limit! (Course map and elevation chart) The top runners on the final climb – photo from Utsukushigahara Trail Run’s official Facebook page. Before the race I drove up on Friday in […]

Preview: Utsukushigahara, My Revenge!

This week I’ll head back up to Nagano prefecture for a second crack at the Utsukushigahara trail race. There are a couple of differences this year. Firstly, the race has been moved from the end of August to early July, which should make things a touch cooler. Secondly, for the sake of calling it a “50-miler”, they’ve extended the course by 10K, but with only an hour tacked on to the allowed time limit. That […]

First Solo KA50K

The only time prior to yesterday that I attempted the Kakamigahara Alps 50K trail run course by myself was in October. On that occasion I DNF’d at 44km after 11 and a half hours. Since then I’ve done it twice with a group, finishing both times in about 13 hours, but failing to meet the course time limit of 12 hours. And so yesterday I set off by myself with a 12hr target to beat. […]

Open Letter to Keith: Your First Trail Race

Hey Keith, so great to hear you’ve signed up for your first trail race. I thought I’d share some experiences from my first race so that you can avoid the mistakes I made. Last August, I took part in the “Utsukushigahara Trail Run & Walk”, a 70km trail race in Nagano. A few months earlier, I ran the Kakegawa Marathon and unnecessarily injured myself to the point where I only managed two hikes and two […]

2014 Training Progress Update #1

I’ve been trying hard this year to avoid posting boasting about my training on social media, instead leaving my workouts where they belong, on RunKeeper and Strava. But please let me indulge myself a little on my blog. 🙂 Three big races I have some big goals this year and am doing some big runs to prepare for them. The three big races I’ve set my sights on are: 1. June 14th: “Mt. Asama to […]