Thursday, November 03, 2011

Shonan International Marathon

It being Culture Day today, the high culture of road racing came to the Shonan Coast (that's where we live). We had spotted this event when we came back from Boulder earlier this year, and entered in an a rather out-of-character fit of enthusiasm. Only the 10km version of course, we aren't too enthusiastic. There was also a marathon (with a much larger entry of about 18,000 versus our 5,000) and an "elite" half-marathon.

So the day came along, and we went and did it. This time we cheated by "training" for the race, at least to the extent that one run a week counts as training (that's on top of our daily bike ride to work, of course). There's a nice pavement along the coast in Kamakura which is popular with weekend joggers, but even at 8am the summer heat often made it a bit of a trial, to say the least.

It has cooled down now, though in fact this morning was still close to 20C - any more could have been uncomfortable for me. As it was, conditions seemed near perfect, and I was pleased to go round in about 42:40 which is 8 mins quicker than I was in Boulder and narrowly achieved my target of beating my age. Jules was also significantly quicker and achieved her sub-55 mins goal.

(Results now up: 42:44 [42:34 net] time for me, 74th place! jules was 57:06 [54:49 net], 232nd - these both out of fields of over 2000!)

I think I must have got the pacing just about right - though it's hard to be sure, as the first few km markers were ridiculously poorly placed. I cruised through 2km in about 7 mins which was almost 2 mins ahead of my planned schedule - brief fantasies that a week at altitude in Denver had miraculously transformed my fitness were dispelled when a later "km" took about 6 minutes.

Worryingly, I rather enjoyed it...though jules says I shouldn't admit to this as we are officially retiring.


andrewt said...

Thats an extraordinary improvement - even with daily cycling thats a very long way from fully trained - surely you go well sub-40 - although that would definitely be less enjoyable.

William M. Connolley said...

I've yet to get sub-45, so I'm jealous. OTOH my marathon pace is better than yours :-)

James Annan said...

Not much chance of me ever being "fully trained", I'm happy to say :-)

James Annan said...

Belette, well I'm not going to go for a 3h jog just to prove you wrong :-)

(or even 3:57:24)

andrewt said...

Gradually replacing some cycling commutes each week with running commutes would probably get you sub-40 without much investment in time or pain

James Annan said...

It did cross our minds but a hilly 13.5km each way (or even just one way) seems a bit excessive. Might give it a go one day though. TBH even the limited running we did has resulted in some niggling aches and injuries, cycling really feels like a much less damaging activity.

jules said...

James has already done "fully trained" once his life. Twenty years later, his face still lights up when you tell him he doesn't have to go out and train in the morning, so I think there is little chance of him being so foolish a second time.

andrewt said...

Cycling is definitely easier on the legs and you are constantly wonder if some ache or pain is a temporary niggle or some incipient injury. But there a longitudinal studies of men into their 70s showing running is good for your legs assuming no preexisting injury.

A hilly 13.5 k is a great training run. Unless you are running quite a bit, the return journey might not be much fun - but you should think about trying one way in pleasant conditions.

Great marathon photos BTW