April 10, 2012

38, 39, 40...Going Backwards

Week of April 2 ~ 8

Ran: 11/0/9.4/9.6/5/0/10 (Race) - 45km / 28 mi.  3:41

Fairly easy week ending with a 10K race in 40:05. Slow time, but 3rd in my age group (60s) out of 352. However, I should have been running faster than the top two - winner was 38:47. I ran 38:08 on Jan. 9, 39:04 on Feb. 19, and 40:05 on Sunday. Not a happy trend. Time to lose weight.

3:30 — 11k river run with the HS distance girls. Out at about 5:20 up to 5:00/km pace. Back at 4:30 for 1.5, then 4:20. Last 800m easy. Legs felt good, it was a good run.

11:30 — gym workout.
Afternoon — typhoon-strength wind and rain. Decided to rest.

7:30pm track workout. 1000 x 6 in 4:04/05/02/03/07/3:53 (200m jog/walk in 2:30-3:00)
Just trying to run 4:00/km pace. Sore the first one, then felt ok as I warmed up.

3:00 — Fairly easy 4.8km run to and from the track where the kids did a workout of 400m x 8.

11:30 — gym workout
3:00 — easy 5k.


Hitachi Sakura 10K Road Race. Hitachi is a small city 90 minutes by express train north of Tokyo. It's right on the coast. The Hitachi company has lots of factories, etc. there, don't know if the company is named for the city, or vice versa, or they are both named for some dynastic family from 200 years ago, which is probably the case. The "Sakura", meaning cherry blossoms, is because the street in front of the station where the start is, is lined with cherry tress. Unfortunately...no blossoms! They are late this year. Actually, they are full in Tokyo, but just 90 minutes north...not a one.

Anyway, this was a Half, a 10K and a 5K, with about 3,000 people in each one, and a nice, friendly, well-organized event. New club member Steve and I (and his girlfriend Jane visiting from NYC), took the 7:00 train from Ueno, arriving at 8:35 for a 9:05 start. Which, as I said, was conveniently right in front of the station. We jogged just a bit, then lined up right near the front. Due to a weight gain of 2kg/4.5 lbs. after the Tokyo Marathon and lack of hard training, I was just planning to run about 4:00 per k pace, which is how it worked out.
Splits were actually: 4:03/3:50/3:47/3:57/4:04/4:04/3:59/4:06/4:10/4:04 (8 and 9 into wind).

After about 600m, I realized there were two guys just ahead of me who looked to be over 60, one in red and one in blue — the competition! So I tucked in right behind them. The course made a few turns through the town, then went onto a road built out over the ocean! Like a bridge, but not a bridge, just a coast road that they decided to build out over the water. Nice! We ran on that for about 3.5k, then turned back. Red had dropped off at about 3k and I was following Blue. Coming back was into the wind, although it wasn't too strong. On a very windy, rainy day, this would be a terrible course. Then at 6k, Red came back and passed us both. I stayed with him and we dropped Blue, but Red picked it up a bit more and I couldn't stay with him. I kicked a bit at the end, but he was too far ahead.

However, as it turned out, there was one more guy ahead of the three of us! The guy who ran 38:47. Oh, and Blue turned out to be a 72 year old! It seems he's a famous guy, holds several Japan masters records. Good that I beat him, though. He ran about 40:20.
I got a bottle of sake and 6 Amino Vital energy gels for 3rd.

So: the butt and hamstring seem to be improving (massage cushion!) so it's definitely time to lose weight and train harder. Next race is the Sendai Half Marathon on May 13th. (Sendai is up where the tsunami was.)

3rd photo shows the road over the ocean where the course was.


  1. Sounds like a good event Bob. Probably a combo of the slack training and higher weight is worth the 2 minutes. You're still not going too badly - 40:52 would have won you gold in our National Masters T&F Champs.

  2. Bob, Nice work.. I have so much respect for that 38 min 10k you did in January. There is detailed research on weight gain and running performance. I think it is 1kg is 45 seconds over 10k. Triathletes are hit as well with useless muscle weight in arms, back and quads.

  3. Not bad at all Bob, for a heavyweight. As you said yourself your plan was 4 min/km, which you hit on the button.

  4. well done bob. as you say weight gain and a lack of hard training after tokyo not conducive to fast times. congrats on the latest ag place. anyway from a purely selfish perspective - keep piling on the weight, bob, about another 5kg then i might just get to be quicker than you.

  5. Good race, Bob and congrats on the podium finish.