Sunday, February 10, 2013

Akabane half marathon

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I found myself having entered this half marathon. I thought I had promised to either give up running, or at least not to do more than 10km at a time.

Despite rather slow results both at the AGU and Tamagawa races (but both perhaps with the excuses of tough conditions and long courses) I had hopes of getting under 1h30 which is reckoned by various running calculators to be within range of my best 5k and 10k performances. A relaxing week in Hawaii with no bicycle also gave me the opportunity for slightly increased mileage since the start of the year, up to a peak of 50km per week.
Conditions were great as usual for a Japanese winter - I've got a bit sunburnt, despite wearing a hat (for warmth) all the time I wasn't actually running. The course was again along service roads beside a river - but it was a different river from last time (Tokyo has about 10 of them), and the surface was almost fully sealed, with only a couple of short sections of gravel and no speed-sapping grass. It was also basically the right distance, with the regular km markers just gently stretching out ahead of my Garmin. But this only added up to less than 200m over the whole thing, and might have been due to my inability to run straight!

I probably set off a little too fast, and with a very slight tailwind went through 10km in exactly 41 minutes. Unsurprisingly, it turned into a bit of a slog at the end. I didn't completely fall apart though, certainly not as badly as the person flat on his back around the 20km mark anyway! Rather annoyingly, despite using the running chip system we don't seem to have been given true run times (from crossing the start line) but only an official time from the gun. This for me is 1:29:22, but due to a little queueing at the start, my self-timed version is 1:29:01 (officially an exact 1:29:00 now the full results are up). On converting back to shorter distances this is actually a little bit better than I've done before for either 5 or 10k.  Jules, unfortunately, has been suffering from a variety of niggles and distractions (her Achilles' Heel is her Achilles' Heel) which means she hasn't been running much and treated her 10k more as a fun run. Her official 10k time of 55:14 was really 53:53 including a congested first kilometer.

Perhaps fortunately, there are no marathons to enter in the remainder of the winter season. So that saves me from the temptation to do anything silly in the next couple of months.

1 comment:

Francis Turner said...

Congratulations on the race. Any half marathon time under 1:30 is something to be proud of!