October 10, 2018

And a Photo

Me with the second place medal. No prizes! Just a medal... :(

10K Race — Hot, Slow, 2nd Place

Hello to all my 100s of followers. Or perhaps there's only about 3 left. Anyway, I'm still hard at it.

After pretty good and consistent training in August (through brutal heat) and September, I managed a 20:35 5,000m time trial at the end of September. It was run in the rain, but at least it was a bit cooler. Still not satisfied with that, but it was an improvement.

Was doing mainly long and slow runs in July and August, but added tempo runs in September, 6 or 8k, including several with the HS cross-country team's varsity girls, so they were good efforts.

That was in preparation for the Nagareyama 10K on October 7th, a good race in Chiba pref. about 30 minutes east of Tokyo, that I run each year. Two years ago it was raining and cool, last year it was quite warm, but this year, unfortunately, it was extremely hot! 31C at 9:30 race start, which meant about 34C (93F) in the sun, and there was no shade. I like heat, but this was way too much.

So...after 3k I slowed down, as did most other people. Last year I won my age group (70s, although of course I still think of myself as being 45), but this year a fast guy showed up, who also slowed down, but had been planning to run under 40:00. He finished in 42:40, while I was back at 45:07. I felt like I was crawling along, especially up the hills, of which there were several, which were much harder than I remembered, due to the heat. It was a long, hot, hard day. People kept passing me and I tried to stay with them, but unsuccessfully. Very frustrating.

Anyway, 2nd out of 174 in the age group, 258th out of about 4,800 men.

Next up is a half marathon on Nov. 18th, my other favorite race. I'd like to run 1:35, but am doubtful, haven't been doing enough (well, any) long runs at a good pace. Hopefully I'll be able to start good training again on Saturday, so that would give me four weeks.

Beyond that, I think I need to get back to working harder in training, not just "long" easy runs. I used to do two hard workouts and one long run, 20k at a good pace, each week, with three easy days and one rest day. If I add another rest day, maybe I can start doing that again, being very careful not to overdo it. I'm just not capable of doing sustained efforts at speed anymore, even for 5k, and the solution to that problem is, work harder.
Of course, I've lost a lot of muscle mass over the last 20 and especially 10 years, but, hey, there are other 70 year olds (the above guy and two I've read of in the US) running under 40:00 for 10k, so why can't I?
It's important to set goals and work toward them. Even if you don't reach them, at least you gave it your best shot. As I'm sure you'll all agree.