tokyo running days

A marathoner / newbie triathlete's training blog.

Friday, November 23

Race report: Tokyo International Women's Marathon

There is always next one. The words are usually encouraging when you hear them after a bad race. However, they came up to my mind when I was passing 15km point.

There was no negative symptom before the race. The training went well and having marked PB's at 5k, 10k and 20k, I felt confident for a new marathon PB. My tapering went as I planned and I ate very carefully before the race to avoid stomach problem.

My plan was starting out with 4:30/km pace till 10km, then change into 4:24/k pace to the finish line, expecting to have 3h05m - 3h07m new PB.
I admit I started a bit faster (22:05 for the first 5k), but considering the long downhill, it wasn't that stupid pace. When I reached 10k point where I was supposed to change to the next gear, I realised the pace doesn't feel easy at all to me. I tried to keep the pace but I just couldn't. The feeling is somehow familiar to me. Yeah, I remember, it was just like my first Tokyo Women's in 2004! The nightmare race I slowed down to 7min/k pace and swept by the bus at 34k point. Oh, no...By the time I reached Shinagawa, I started to think "Today doesn't seem my day. Perhaps I should give up my target time".

Until the halfway point, I still tried to keep decent pace (10sec per k slower than planned pace, though), but after the turnaround point, with no motivation, no concentration, no guts, no patience, I got slower and slower. When my left calf got cramp and stopped me several times around 35k, the idea of pulling out started to look tempting. But this could be the last Tokyo Women's Marathon, this could be the last chance to experience the stadium finish, I couldn't miss it!!!

With a slight fear for the sweep car, I kept running, no, jogging. Before the notorious long hill, my calf got cramp again, but I tried to ignore and kept jogging. I saw Namban cheering squad at the end of the hill. I felt embarrassed and was disappointed about myself to have shown such miserable run to my team mates.

At 40k point, I tried a harder and sped up a bit, running side by side with other runners. When I reached the stadium, I felt better and passed some people to the finish line.

My time was 3h21m54s. Almost 12minute off from my PB. Disappointed, but not shocked. Just puzzled. The experience taught me the mystery side of a marathon.

Thanks for all who came to cheer us at the roadside, and huge otsukaresama to all girls who ran the race.

5k 22:05
10k 22:17 / 44:22
15k 22:17 / 1:06:39
20k 22:51 / 1:29:30
half 1:34:36
25k 23:02 / 1:52:32
30k 24:16 / 2:16:48
35k 26:55 / 2:43:43
40k 27:34 / 3:11:17
42.2k 10:37 / 3:21:54

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At November 23, 2007, Blogger MilesandMiles said...

Hey Mika, I was so sorry to hear the race didnt go as planned ! but look at the bright side you have improved significantly over shorter distance so it's only a matter of time before you convert these short PBs into a new marathon best... Coach Arnaud recommands getting drunk at the Bonenkai then blast the Tokyo marathon!

At November 25, 2007, Blogger mika t. said...

Thanks, Arnaud. C'est la vie, c'est le marathon, isn't it?

I will follow Coach Arnaud's recommendation then!

At November 28, 2007, Blogger Pete said...

Congratulations on completing another quality marathon. Thanks for your race report, too. I really like your reference to "the mystery side of the marathon".

I hope that you celebrate all your 2007 accomplishments at the bonnenkai, wish I could be there.



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