tokyo running days

A marathoner / newbie triathlete's training blog.

Tuesday, October 31

Suwako Half.

This is the quote from my post to Namban mailing list.

Last Sunday, three Nambanners ran Suwako Half Marathon. It was a beautiful autumn day at the lake side in Nagano prefecture. Although the temperature was a bit high for this time of the year, there isn't much to complain about the race. Actually, this was the one of the best half marathon I have ever run. The course is flat and very scenic, the weather is cooler than Tokyo, and race organization was excellent!

We should have had a great race, I don't know why we, I mean Shoji-san and I both had such a bad race there.

I was aiming to make sub 90min, but was already breathing miserably hard at the first k! First 5k was the worst struggle to keep up the target pace. Coach Larner, who had done his own 30k race pace run successfully on Friday was there with his sore legs to pace me. I had to try hard, but I just couldn't keep up the pace. My pace was a kind of settled around 4:20 to 4:25/k pace and still struggled all the way to the finish. My time was 1h32m20s. Became 5th in the 40's women category. This is the only bright side of the day. It's sometimes good to become old.

Shoji-san had even worse race than me. He was running with me until 3k mark, I thought he was running easy, easier than me, but he suddenly disappeared right after that. He said he just couldn't run and wanted to stop already at 7k point. But he respectably completed the race with 1h42m09s.

Brett seems to be the only person among us who enjoyed the event. Here is his comment.

I ran 1:30:17. I tried to do my best as a pacer for Mika until near the end when I kind of embarrassingly ran a 2:59 final km, probably faster than the winner's. I thought this was a fantastic event and would make a perfect addition to the annual calendar of major Namban events since it is 3 weeks before Ohtawara, just the right amount of time for a final tune-up / fitness check. I will race it next year.

I agree. It's a great race. I recommend it. But there are two things I would like to complain to the race director. Wrong kilometer marks at several points and 5 boxes of tissue paper is not so attractive for the top 6 prize....

◎This week
Mon: no run due to work
Tue: 1hr fartlek, 12k
Wed: 5k TT + jog, 15k
Thu: 14k easy
Fri: 3k x 1k at 4:10/k pace with 300m recovery+jog, 10k total
Sat: no run due to work
Sun: Suwako Half Marathon + jog, 26.1k

Week total: 77.1k
Month total: 436.9k

Wednesday, October 25


Exactly a year ago, I ran my first sub 20min 5k (19:53). Today, I made second one, 19:58 (3:54 / 3:58 / 4:03 / 4:05 / 3:56), 5sec. off from PB, and it was really barely, but I am still happy. Huge thanks to Motozo for leading me all the way.

BTW, Paddy made another PB today, 19:03! It's his 3rd PB in 5 days, and almost 1 min. faster than last month's 5k TT. 1 min. improvement in one month! Amazing! I should drink more Guiness, too!

Tuesday, October 24

Jog note.


Sunday, October 22

Takashimadaira 20k race.

I ran Takashimadaira 20km road race today. It's a small race held at a suburb of Tokyo. I like this race because it is accessible and can be a great preparation for Tokyo Women's Marathon in November. So since 2004, I do this race every year, this was my 3rd time.

I barely made a "course" PB, by 7 seconds, but I couldn't break the real PB (1:25:26) that I made during a marathon race last March. Quite disappointing.

Jason ran it, too and he became 5th with 1:05:35 (gross). Great time and great result! Since the course consists of 4 laps of 5k loop, I thought he would lap me, but it didn't happen. The guy who won the race made the course record 58:51. Date-kun from Tokai University. You should check him out at Hakone Ekiden!

I checked my 5k splits of all past 3 races, and found an interesting point.

2004 20:50 / 21:31 / 22:22 / 22:11 total 1:26:55(net)
2005 21:07 / 21:28 / 21:42 / 22:04 total 1:26:24(net)
2006 21:13 / 21:33 / 21:44 / 21:45 total 1:26:17(net)

First 5k time and total time are exactly in contrast. What does this fact mean? I became able to run sensibly but haven't made actual progress? Hummm.

As I was so unsatisfied by the result today, I got off the train at Hibiya and ran another 10k at the Palace. Only one month is left, so I thought I should do something.

◎This week
Mon: No run due to work situation
Tue: Morning, 100m/200m on/off, 8k. Evening, build up run at Gosho, 14k
Wed: 12k 4:10/k pace run at the track, ended up with 4:11/k average pace, 20k total
Thu: No run due to work
Fri: 1h fartlek, 12k
Sat: Run for the Cure 5k race and jog, 15k total
Sun: Takashimadaira 20k race and jog, 32k total

Week total: 101k

Thursday, October 19

Not quite successful, but OK.

Again, I did 4:10/km pace run at the track with Stuart, Adam B.and Carol. 12km this time. Rie and Shoji-san joind us later. Maybe I was a bit tired from yesterday's run, it wasn't as good as last week, I slowed down at the 2nd half. (4:03 / 4:09 / 4:07 / 4:09 / 4:12 / 4:10 / 4:12 / 4:13 / 4:13 / 4:16 / 4:16 / 4:08) The average speed was 4:11/km. I should be happy about it.

Because I was breathing so hard, and perhaps looked desparate and miserable at the end, everyone who was doing another interval training cheered me when they passed me. Thank you so much.

Sunday, October 15

Sweet spot of heart rate.

I don't use heart rate monitor, so I can't tell specific number, but there must be a sweet spot of heart rate when you run. For me, I have just discovered that I feel really good and confortable when I run faster than aerobic but slower than tempo pace, feel much better than just jogging.

This week when I have to do aerobic recovery jogs, I actually did this "sweet spot" pace. Still slower than my target marathon pace, unfortunately.

Today I went to the Palace to do a long run while everyone else was doing Tour de Yamanote. Since I had to miss this festive event of the club, I felt I have to make my long run meaningful. The coach Brett ran with me.

After the 4.5k jog to Chidorigafuchi park, we started the pace run. The planned pace was 4:45/k but I actually ran 4:36 to 4:30 pace for 4 laps and 3 quaters which I'm really happy about. At Hirakawa mon, we got off the Palace course and headed to the National Stadium. This was the whole point of today's training, running the real course of Tokyo Women's last hilly part with tired legs. It was actually hard, and I slowed down a lot, but did the best I could do anyway. Including a very slow jog back home, I ran aproximately 38k today. Worn out, but happy.

◎This week's training (9-16 Oct.)
Mon: Instead of running, did 12 hour drinking marathon at Mami & Gary's wedding parties. Fun!!!
Tue: 15k very slow
Wed: 10k at 4:10 pace and jog, 17.4k total.
Thu: 19.5k slow.
Fri: 2min fast 1min slow x 5 fartlek at Gosho, 10.4k total.
Sat: 16k at "sweet spot" pace.
Sun: Long run at the Palace with 4:36 to 4:30 pace, then running to the National Stadium. 38k total.

Week total: 116.3km

Wednesday, October 11

Unexpected 10k PB.

I am a simple person. I have been so unconfident about myself for a long time since every time I try a pace run, I failed or barely made it, and have been thinking that maybe this pace setting is wrong for me. Until today.

Today, I decided to do a 10k pace run at the track with 4:10 to 4:15 per k pace. Stuart ran with me and thanks to him, I could manage 4:10 pace all the way and we even speeded up a bit at the last 3k. (4:01 / 4:10 / 4:07 / 4:09 / 4:10 / 4:09 / 4:10 / 4:07 / 4:07 / 3:59)
As a result of this, I made a 10k PB, 41:14. So unexpected. Well, my previous PB was made 2 years ago and since then I have never done serious 10k race. Even so, I am happy, and now gained confidence again. I told you I am simple. What made me confident is the fact that I felt the pace was manageable all the way. Of course I had to try hard, but not like going all out.

So I decided to stick to the original plan and try hard to make the target.

Stuart, do you want to do 12k with me next week?

Tuesday, October 10

Tokyo, Tokyo and London.

In these couple of days, it turned out that I am going to run three marathons in this 2006-2007 season. Tokyo Women's in November, Tokyo Marathon in February and London Marathon in April.

Last winter, when I did three marathons in a row (tokyo, osaka and nagoya), my whole 6 months were dominated by marathon training and I swore myself that I would never ever do three marathons in one winter. It's just too boring way to spend whole winter...

BUT, each of the three races this time seems to have a good enough reason to do.

- Tokyo Women's: My main race. Great honour to run with other elite woman marathoners. Got to do it.

- Tokyo Marathon: Won the lottery, and it's the very first one. Got to do it.

- London Marathon: The last chance to stay in Geraldine's place in Kensington. Undeniable. Got to do it.

As a result, I will be spending whole 10 months for marathon training from June to April. Mmmmm.....I want to go skiing at least once this winter....

◎Training log, 2 - 8 Oct.
Mon: 13x100m on/off, 8.2km
Tue: easy 14km
Wed: 1000mx6 at the track, 8km
Thu: easy 17km
Fri: 45min fartlek, 9km
Sat: 15k pace run (thanks to Rie and Motozo) + jog, 28km
Sun: aerobic 20km

Week total: 104.2km

Sunday, October 1

30k at Yoyogi park.

Since I failed the registration to Global Festa charity run 20k at the Palace (I was late for payment deadline), I decided to run 30km at Yoyogi park this morning. To do a long run, I really need company, otherwise I get bored and slow down a lot.

At Yoyogi park this morning, there weren't many people but I had a good company (thanks, Adam Y.) till 6th lap and could run 11 laps with decent aerobic pace.

I was a bit worry about my achilles since I had some pain last evening when I was doing fartlek, but somehow today I didn't have big problem. Felt relieved.

◎This week's training (25 Sep. to 1 Oct
Mon: 1h fartlek at Gosho 14.5k
Tue: Aerobic 14k
Wed: 5k TT at the track, dissapointing 20'21, 11.5km total
Thu: 1h fartlek at Gosho 12k
Fri: Aerobic 12k
Sat: 1h30m fartlek at Kokyo, 16k
Sun: Long run at Yoyogi park, 31k

Week total: 111km
Month total: 429.1km