Mon (Coming of Age Day): Ushiku 10K
This is actually a nice 10K/5K race, if you want to go out to Ushiku in Ibaraki (about 1 hour from Ueno and then a 15 min. bus ride). My wife's cousins live there, so I don't have to deal with the bus ride, or with traveling all the way out there in the morning, since we go the day before.
One interesting aspect of the race is that Komori Corporation is in Ushiku. They sponsor one of the top running teams (8th in the New Year Ekiden), so they send 6 or 8 runners to the race each year. They don't count in the standings, but since the course has three loop-backs, it is fun to see how far ahead they get. Way, way far ahead! Despite the fact that there are some pretty good open and high school runners in the race.
I planned to run it as a good workout, which is what I did. Time was 40:23, splits were:
I was cruising going out and picked it up a bit (23 seconds) coming back, which is what I wanted to do. Still got 5th in my age group (out of 248). I really didn't care what place I was, as long as I was in the top 6 to get on the podium at the awards ceremony. Which I knew would be no problem. I actually thought I was 3rd the whole race, never did see those other two guys.
Oh yeah, a famous triathlete was also a guest runner, Kiyomi Niwata, who has represented Japan in the last three Olympics! She's cool!
Weather: 10°?, sunny, perfect for a race, slightly windy (which was good, because Ushiku can be VERY windy).
Wt: ? (I kind of felt a bit heavy)
Shoes: 300g (marathon shoes)
Breakfast: Small bowl of oatmeal, Weider protein gel (which is mostly carbs). Had a big dinner the night before.