January 12, 2012

Thailand Vacation, 10k Race

Dec. 26 ~ Jan 9

Monday
Traveled to Bangkok yesterday with the wife, and started right in on gaining weight with a big Christmas dinner with my daughter and her husband. Today was spent doing a lot of walking, shopping and eating.

Tuesday
Traveled to Koh Kood, a "new resort" island that is still largely unspoiled. The trip entailed a one-hour flight south to Trat, a one-hour taxi ride to the port, and a one-hour high-speed boat ride to the island. Talk about getting away from it all! We stayed at the Koh Kood Resort, which was great. Small cottages, not many guests (mostly Europeans), friendly staff, and nothing to do but eat, drink, swim, get a massage and lie in the sun. What more do you need? Well, a bit of running, which I managed to do. Out the back of the resort 1km on a dusty road, then 6k out, 6k back on the "main" road, which was VERY hilly. Temperature around 28C/82F, so this was a good workout.

Wednesday
8.7k at 7:15 in the morning, then 12.6k at 3:15, with a snorkeling trip to another island in between. Ran to the island's waterfall, which although ostensibly THE local attraction, requires a 1km trek up a very rocky road - even scooters can't handle that road. And the waterfall is not real high, although you can stand under it.

Thursday
15k in 1:21:25 - out 46:50, then worked hard to come back the last 6.7k in 34:35 - 5:06 per k, not bad considering the heat and big, long hills.
Pina coladas, beautiful sunset...actually, I wish I was still there.

Friday
Trip back from Koh Kood.

Saturday
Legs still tired from those hills, but no time to run anyway. Excursion to see the Emerald Buddha.

Sunday
Run from daughter's apartment 2.6k (main road with a fairly smooth, for Bangkok, uncrowded sidewalk) to Lumpini Park in central Bangkok. The park has a 2.543k loop, marked every 100m. Very nice park with a large lake, lots of people jogging, walking, sitting, playing, eating...a real nice park to run in. Total 11.6k.

Monday Jan. 2
4:00 - 13.2k. To and from the park, with 3 loops in 13:08/12:56/12:22 @ 5:07/5:05/4:50. Legs felt heavy and hamstrings a bit sore. Not too hot, though, about 26C/79F.

Tuesday
4:00 - 20.7k. To and from the park, with 6 loops in 13:52/34/12:40/41/10:59/52 @5:27/22/5:00/00/4:20/16. Planned to run 3rd and 4th in 5:00 and 5th and 6th "all out", and did that. Legs not sore, but did not feel great due to general tiredness and added weight (needless to say, I am eating a lot).

Wednesday
Tour of the Jim Thompson house/museum. He was the American guy who revived the Thai silk industry after WWII, and lived in a large, lovely house with much art and antiques. It has a nice restaurant, too. Check it out if you travel to Bangkok.
3:00 - 8.1k easy run to the park, one loop and back. Legs tired and sore.

Thursday
Trip back to Tokyo.

Friday
11:30 - machines and core at the gym. Back to the usual routine in cold Tokyo.
3:30 - 10k in 53:48. 27:34/26:14. Felt so-so. Legs sore here and there.
Weather: 9C/48F, 30%, sunny
Weight: 61.6kg - not so bad....

Saturday
3:30 - 10k in 53:06. 27:15/25:50. Felt ok.

Sunday
12:00 - 6k in 33:48. Easy run @5:38/k. Left leg still a bit sore on the side.

Monday
9:15 - Ushiku City Marathon (10K).

Ushiku is in Ibaragi pref., about two hours from my home and is where my wife's cousins live (stayed with them Sunday night). It’s a bit famous for wine and a bit famous for a big Buddha. Actually, the Buddha is huge, about the size of a 10-story building — it should be more famous than it is.
Ushiku is also the home of Komori Corporation, which has a running team that is pretty good. Their captain, Akiba, is well known (12th in last year’s Tokyo Marathon), and they have two good Kenyans. Akiba and a Kenyan and 8 other Komori runners ran in the race, so it was fun to see them gliding swiftly along (the 10k had two 180 degree turns).
Anyway, despite not doing great training the last 3 weeks, I felt pretty good and ran well. In fact, I ran a 38:08, which is fairly good for me these days and in fact was 2 seconds faster than last February’s Ome 10K, where I felt real good. So I guess I’m in better shape than I thought.
The 38:08 got me 5th in my age group out of 260 men, and 106th out of 1,977 men overall.
Surprisingly, this was a pretty high level race. I was also 5th in that Ome race, which is known as a top-level masters race. And 4 years ago in Ushiku, with a 38:05, I was 1st, which I guess means the quality level of Japanese age groups is going steadily up. All of the other age groups also had fairly impressive times.


5 comments:

  1. 38:08 is a blistering pace Bob. Well done, the extra weight does not appear to have affected you - unless you could have run a 17:xx. 38:08 would be a PB for me.

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  2. congrats on a great 10k time. i have been to trat, but went instead to koh chang (also hilly). this is a very nice part of thailand. in bkk i usually run in chatuchak park because i stay nearby and i like its 3km loop. i also run in benjasiri park on sukhumvit. all the parks in bkk are well used. glad u enjoyed the trip

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  3. We went to Chatachak, but for the weekend market, which has to be one of the largest markets in the world. A maze-like sprawl of stalls so extensive it numbs the senses. Anything you want, they got.

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  4. You had a good holiday Bob. Looks beautiful.

    Nice going with the 10k. Agree with Grellan re the pace - very fast indeed. You *are* in good shape! Amazingly competitive race. 38:08 would win any 60+ A/G for a race in Canberra.

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