October 10, 2017

5K Time Trial, Ekiden, 10K Victory

Weeks of Sept. 25 ~ Oct. 8

These two weeks were marked by three running events. The rest of the time was regular training with a few extra rest days.

Monday easy, Tuesday rest, then Wednesday evening was a 5,000m time trial. My legs are never really fresh for these things, even with a rest on Tuesday, but they're basically training runs.
It was 25C and 65%, so not ideal conditions. Weight was 60kg, which is ok, but lower would be better.
In any case, the time was 20:22, with splits of 4:02/08/06/08/3:58.
I felt fairly good, and didn't go above 4:08/k, which was good. Was alone at 2k, but then friend Paddy went past, so stayed with him. Caught him and passed him with 800m to go, but he outkicked me.

Thursday was easy with the x-country kids in pouring rain, then a rest day on Friday.

Saturday I participated in a charity ekiden at the Odaiba area on Tokyo Bay. A fun event for the Special Olympics, Teams of 2 to 10 people, who run 1.2k loops for 3 hours. We had one fast team of six guys and two male/female teams of nine runners. The A team guys ran 7 or 8 times and the other people ran 4 times. Everyone cheers like mad, so you have to run hard! Also, there is an electronic board showing the team standings in real time (updated each time a team's chip crosses the changeover mat), so that also adds incentive. Our A team won - they were all fast, but actually, it's not a high level ekiden. The second team was 14th and my team was 29th, out of 190 teams, so a good day. An interval workout, actually, although 40 minutes between the intervals.

Sunday was a 90-minute run at a good pace, legs surprisingly felt quite good.

Monday I ran 5.5k to and from school, with a hilly 4 x 800m at a decent pace with the JV girls.

Tuesday regular rest day.
Wednesday 1000m x 6 where I cruised the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th in about 4:15 and ran the 2nd in 3:52 and 6th in 3:49. Felt good on the two faster ones, not killing myself.

Thursday was a high school x-country meet where I ran 4k, about half up and down hills.
The kids ran 5k, on a tough course that included one hill of about 300m and another of 600m. Running uphill for 600m in the middle of a 5k race is not ideal. Our top five girls ran from 20:07 to 20:35, a dominating performance. And four of them are freshmen! (1st yr of 4-yr hs). Our top two boys were 17:07 and 17:21.

Friday and Saturday rest days.
Sunday was the first of my two fall races, a 10K that I run each year. Again, conditions were not ideal. The announced temp and humidity were 23C and 75%, but once on the course in the sun it was probably 26C (79F).
I won the 70s age group in 42:05, with three guys within a minute behind me (151 in AG). The kilo splits were off, but 5k splits, which I think were accurate, were 20:41 and 21:24. I felt good and ran smoothly the whole way. Was tired the last 3k, but maintained the pace and had a decent kick. Even though it's a big race, I was alone for much of it. Tried to stay with runners passing me, generally unsuccessfully.
2 minutes slower than last year, which is a bit shocking, but that seems to be where I am these days. Maybe cooler weather will cut down the times.
The other fall race is a Half on Nov. 19, which may be very tough.
By the way, the US Masters 5K championship was two weeks ago in upstate NY, so probably good weather. Winning time for my age group was 20:56. See my time above for the first 5K of the race....