David S.

David S.

Alumni
Lead Developer
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21K: kinda disappointing, but I did it anyway! 
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Yours truly, ready for the run, joined by my running friend for the day on the left, and my girlfriend Yuko on the right, only for the picture.

It took me a whole week to finally get to write this post, sorry about that...

So, as I was writing in my previous post, Sunday 14th, day 42 (last) of my Kenzai Run 2 program, I joined a running "event" for my 21K run. The event was not a race, but I was hoping I could get to run at the pace I wanted, and to extend the scheduled 20K to the targeted 21... It didn't go as well as I expected.

First of all, only two participants showed up at the event, and that's including myself! The organizer, on a bike, showed us the way, and we followed running. As it was a "touristic run", we made a lot of stops, to get explanations about landmarks, the story of Tokyo... Before the run, my target was to race for a goal time, but as soon as I realized I was going to be pulled back (we're only two runners in an open environment, we have a map, but I don't feel like leaving them behind), I switched my goal to finishing the race happy about myself.

More than two hours after the start, our host ended the run and left us. Realizing I only had run 15K, I decided to complete my run, even though my time would be bad, and I could find many other reasons to stop there.
I pushed through, lowered my pace (around 5:30min/km, compared to the 7:30 so far), and finally completed 21 kilometers in about 2 hours and a half (that's excluding the longest breaks we took, that I did not want to include in the final time). I was very hot and sweaty, my legs were weak, but I finished the way I wanted: strong, and kind of happy about my performance!!

Regarding preparation: I felt very well prepared: I had my hydration belt, in which I had also packed some Calorie Mate (no idea how good that is, but that served well!), my clothing worked perfectly, did not fail, and apart from a small stitch at the beginning, I was able to run strong and confident that I could end! One thing I'll need better preparation for next time I run a long distance in the summer will be sunblock: I wore for the first time during that run a thin T-shirt that does not cover the shoulders, and I ended up sunburnt!

In conclusion, this run was a mixed bag of fun and disappointment: while it would have made a perfect training run one week before, entertaining, teaching me historic stuff about the city I live in, it left me unsatisfied, as the final run of my KR2 program, that I was expecting to run as a race...

Kenzai Run 2 was a great experience overall, that I feel I followed more assiduously than KR1, and I loved the results! I took a week-long break last week, and now will go back to training, as my next step will be a marathon end of November!


Big day coming fast!
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Tomorrow's the big day! How's everyone feeling?

I subscribed to a "training/touristic" event for tomorrow, that will have runners run across Tokyo through some popular landmarks, for a 20K run. I'm planning to run it as a (non important) race, and will also try to find a way to extend it to the full 21K.

I've taken some time this week to prepare for this. I bought stuff that I felt would make my long runs more comfortable, and made sure to try them before D-day:


  • compression underwear short pants: not a fun topic, but it will help limit groin/thigh chafing (a recurring problem I have during long runs, as I sweat a lot and have big thighs)

  • vaseline: another way to prevent chafing

  • hydration belt + bottle: I was skeptical, but two runs with them convinced me it's a comfortable way to carry some water!

  • a new cap

  • running socks: I'm a bit worried about wearing them for the first time tomorrow, but they'll probably be better than my thick basketball socks!

  • light colored, thin shirt: the best in this hot summer!


Now for the things I already have:

  • nipple guards: did I talk about chafing yet?

  • running shoes: my old customized Lunarglide (pictured here)

And what I forgot: I failed to find my preferred sports towel earlier this week, and thought it was the right time to buy a new one, but I forgot! Will have to use something else...

Today I had a restful day, already had dinner, and am planning to sleep early (run starts at 9 tomorrow morning).

Wish you all a great weekend and an awesome run!


16 days in the dark...

(Only from a Kenzai community perspective!)

I haven't blogged for a while, but I'm still following the program!
I haven't missed a workout so far, and am trying to stick to my diet (with a few missteps though), and running is still fun.

My indulgence a week ago consisted of a burger and ice cream (at Shake Shack, the ice cream was awesome!). But then, yesterday, I had a second indulgence to celebrate our first "anniversary" with Yuko. Went to a restaurant called "New York Grill", at the top of Park Hyatt hotel in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The appetizer and dessert buffet was awesome! Most appetizers and the main dish were diet compliant, but some appetizers (ham, cheese...), and the desserts were not, but sooo tasty!

Last pace run last Saturday went quite well, as I managed to run only 3 seconds above my target pace (which was 5:08min/km) for 7km. This wasn't very uniform, as I had to deal with elevation... A few days before, I didn't find a track to run the interval run, but RunKeeper helped me to run those 800m intervals, and I ended up running them at an average below 4:15min/km. I felt very satisfied!

Two weeks to go now, I can't wait to see how the long run will go. I wish you all a good week!


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Hearing this cue a few times in a row really motivated me to keep it up until the end of my run!

Runkeeper is very useful: I set up a "target pace" workout, and then audio cues included a "you are right on/ahead/behind your target pace by N seconds".

When I read Malia's message telling me to run my next 6K at 5:08 pace, I didn't believe I could... Turns out I can, if I put all my heart in it. Today finally felt like I'm not jogging anymore, I'm running!

Oh and by the way, this was my fastest 5~7K ever!


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Runkeeper link

Alright, I know this is not an awesome time, in the absolute, but it's my time, and I'm pretty happy about it, as a starting point!

It's equivalent to 4:17 min/km during 1.609km.

Finding a place where I can run 1 mile with no interruption, no risk and no big change in elevation was a bit of a challenge. I ended up running along a canal: no red lights, but a lot of bridges and crossing at which I had to remain careful.

Today's day 11, we just passed the first quarter, no workout missed! I'm curious to see what time I'll achieve in the second time trial...


First week: done!
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Hello team Baikal, I hope everyone's enjoyed this first week as much as I did. :)
I locked the diet in, did my 7 workouts, and feel ready for my second week.

This Sunday long run felt hard, but after finishing, stretching, and taking a nice shower, it feels great!
I ran the same course as my Kenzai Run final run, 4 weeks ago (less the last kilometer), at a slower pace, but the weather difference is huge! I'm gonna have to schedule better and run earlier in the morning (or late at night, ugh...). I ran around a park that's surrounding an Olympic stadium, the park has cycling/running/walking lanes, and a lot of shade trees, making this part of the run very enjoyable.

I'm thinking about a late goodbye to one of my preferred foods today, we'll see what present itself when I'm out looking for lunch!


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Second breath! 

My last day 13K run was in the image of my whole participation to the Kenzai Run program: I started slowly but steadily, got in an uncomfortable place, then found my second breath, and finished strong!

As it happened on Kenzai Body 2, I had a really hard time dialing it in to do a very strict program, end-to-end. It feels like I'm not finding the motivation, or the dedication, to do it at my fullest, the way I remember doing Kenzai Body (and more than just a memory, it's facts: almost no unplanned indulgence, and only 1 or 2 workouts missed).

I still did my best to do most of my workouts, especially the runs, and to have a diet somehow on point. I end with mitigated results: I'm very happy I did the program, the finish 13K was almost painless (apart from that trough in the middle), and I learned a lot of valuable info regarding running, good form, etc. but at the same time, I know that I could have done a lot better, that I could have leaned up more, that I could have shaved many seconds to my final time. I know that I'm not back yet to the condition I was when training for a marathon (that I successfully ran and finished!), 1.5 years ago.

To keep focused, and try to put more motivation into strictness, I'm looking into relatively short races (~10K) for a very near future (ideally before end of July), and thinking about subscribing to this year's Fuji-san Marathon, the one that I finished 1.5 years ago.

Good job to all people finishing the program with me, sorry I've not been really present on the blogs, not as much as I wished I would...


Headphones (challenge 3)

I'm a "running with headphones" guy. For a long time, it was only music, with very tunes that I enjoyed a lot and helped me enjoy the run. Then I discovered podcasts (late), and switched completely to podcasts, enjoying the intellectual/knowledge "workout" it provided, in the same amount of time.
I started with a panel of podcasts targeted in learning stuff, that I could use at work, or that I could be interested to. I narrowed to the ones I liked most (and they're all related, more or less closely, to programming), when I realised I couldn't listen to everything. (English being a second language, it's really difficult for me to listen to English podcasts while I'm doing another intellectual task, reducing the time when I'm in a good situation to listen).
Here's a small list of what I've listened to, or am listening to:

- the Ruby on Rails podcast: probably my favourite, as Ruby on Rails is the technology I'm using at work every day, and it taught me many things that I was able to apply on the Kenzai.me website
- StarTalk Radio: the Universe is fascinating. There's so much we still have to learn, and so much that we already know, as a civilisation, but that most people are not interested in / willing to spend time hearing about. And Neil De Grasse Tyson is, in my opinion, a great host. That podcast brought a smile to my face during a run multiple times. I'm not listening to it at the moment because of priorities, but it's an awesome show.
- Terrifying Robot Dog: a podcast on how technology is changing the way we interact with the world. I'm a new/next technologies addict, and hearing about all those new things, dreaming about the next, thinking about the things I could program that would change my (and other people's?) life is a very enjoyable exercise. I had the idea to develop the application RemindMe for Pebble (a smartwatch) while listening to this show.
- Les Démons du Midi: the only musical podcast I'm still listening to. Two French guys prepare a monthly selection of video games musics, ranging from 30-year old games' chip tunes to recent symphonies. Not everybody would enjoy, but if you like video games as I do, and enjoy listening to their soundtracks, you'll love it! (But it's in French.)

A very geeky playlist, I'll agree! I hope some people will discover something of interest anyway.

Today for my long run I had two phases.
I was not alone running, so I didn't use my headphones. We didn't talk either, more focused on the run, but it was for me an opportunity to listen the world around me. I didn't really enjoy it, but it didn't feel like a chore either ; I just ran.
Second part, alone, I put my headphones in, to listen to some podcasts, and well, as for the usual run, I learned interesting stuff. I cut the sound for a couple minutes while I was running through a park, encountered a group of people drumming, and thought I'd enjoy the free beats.

Conclusion: I'm still a "running with headphones" guy, but sometimes running to the ambient sound of the city/nature feels okay.


Hello everyone,

Last week after returning from an Francisco, I was hit by a wave of fatigue and demotivation, that had a bad impact on my following Kenzai Run.
Got almost no workout done in two weeks, and half-assed my diet, while trying to get a lot more sleep...

This is a huge drawback (especially in a 6-week program), but I'm starting to try and catch up, getting my runs done and tightening the diet again.

Thanks to all the team of trainers and trainees for keeping the community active, especially Malia for checking on me!


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I took this picture at the top of the Lyon Street steps, after ascending them. That was fun, but intense! Here's a link to my 8K Sunday run. (A few more pictures are there.)

I flew to San Francisco a week ago, in order to meet the Kenzai team for sort of a summit, and have been busy since then. I've been able to do all my runs so far, missed one strength workout, and completely fell off my diet... (So much tasty food!)

I'm kinda looking forward to getting back home and following the second half of Kenzai Run more strictly, but I'm enjoying my time here, it's great!


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Luckily, these were just an old pair I was using for strength training on the balcony and not my good pair of running shoes, but still a bummer... :(


Regrets...
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I wish I had run this morning...
It is now 10:30pm, raining, and I'm about to step out the door to get my 30 minutes in.
Wish me luck!

Edit: done (and uploaded a screenshot of the run)!


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This end of Golden Week (from Thursday), I'm spending a short vacation in the Izu peninsula, in Shimoda (Shizuoka prefecture).
Conditions are not ideal (beach and hills), but I got my first technical run in yesterday, and my 5K today. Feels good to be running again!


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Looking back quickly (KB2: done!) 
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How workouts (and diet!) changed my body in 3 months, once again. (Day 90 workout pictured.)

I failed to write my blog post on Sunday a week ago, as I had promised ; this is becoming a habit...

Then the week started, still had that bad bug to fix, I'm out of the program by now, and let that graduation post slide a couple more days...
This is finally 10 days late that I'll bring closure to this program with a short post.

What will I remember of Kenzai Body 2? The experience was really different than the one I had on KB1 nearly 3 years ago. The first time excitation has worn off, work has been a lot busier, overall it was a bigger challenge integrating into my life. As a consequence, my participation level was noticeably lower: I missed more workouts, strayed away from my diet more easily, blogged less... Looking back at how it went, I feel like KB2 yielded decent results.

A few numbers:

Lesson learned: I should try not to drift for too long periods of time, and keep a constant eye on my health and fitness. But fitting a strict program in a busy life is a lot more difficult than I previously thought.

I'll end this boring post with big thanks to the whole trainer team, to my teammates, and to all the people who supported me during these past three months (Yuko particularly, thank you for your daily efforts!).

I'll see you back soon on Kenzai Run!


Derailed ending
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My last week on Kenzai Body 2 started last Monday (as related here), and the first 4 days were as strong as I wanted: did my workouts in the morning before work, went to work by bike when allowed, followed diet, improved my push-up count every day (now at 60!), but Friday put a stop to the streak.

I didn't have the motivation to do my workout in the morning (late night at the Tokyo Rails Meetup, tiredness), and was planning to do it when I'd get back home in the evening, but life, nay, work, happened! I got out of the office an hour or two later than I expected, had had news of a breaking bug on our newly released Kenzai Android application that prevented trainees to properly log in the app. As soon as I got home after having dinner out with my lady – a wise choice, as it allowed us some quality time, good food (salad and steak: works for me!), and saved us some time – instead of doing the workout that I was planning to, I attempted to fix that bug. Which didn't go well as, unable to spot the issue, I basically spent the whole night trying to fix it, came up with a fix early morning, to discover it broke something worse on the website and that I had to roll it back.

On that Saturday, I had a 4-hour basketball session with my Suginami Apes (that's the team's name) friends, that I didn't want to cancel. Instead of crashing at 5am, I first prepared breakfast, slept 30 minutes before waking up, eating with Yuko and sending her out for the weekend. Played basketball 11:00 to 15:00, had an awesome moment, although I felt sleepy at times! It also made for great cardio session. Before going home, there was other stuff I wanted to do, and I ended up walking a lot then got home around 10pm, exhausted. Second day in a row I was not able to do my workout.

Today is supposed to be the last day of my already extended KB2 program, and I don't feel like delaying it even more. After a good night of sleep, I feel a lot better. I'll do my day 90 workout after the rain (the sun is starting to show), write my final blog post, upload my final picture, lean back and feel the bliss of reaching the end of the bumpy road that was this last 94 day period!


End of Week 5

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