Monday, November 24, 2008

Ohh Ohtwara, 21.1k unofficial marathon

We were worried about the cold windy weather, but ironically the sun blazed and the mercury rose to unseasonably warm Ohtawara weather. I was slightly overdressed in long sleeves and running tights, and began to sweat right away, but knew we would cool down later. The goal was to run a 1:35 or so, which I felt was conservative yet ambitious enough given my lack of training since September. I ran almost the same 5k with Colin and Phil as last year, feeling pangs of nostalgia and dejavu. It all felt pretty comfortable with an easy 22:34 first 5K, just over our goal pace of 22:30. Phil and I continued and picked up the pace to about 22 for the 2nd 5K. I was saving my energy for the 10-15k, which I figured would be the hardest psychologically to get through, given my hamstring and lower back injuries. There was a dull pain in my lower back and tightness in the hamstring, but it was just the normal noises and I pressed on. At the halfway point of the half (10.5k), I started to get into the “Motozo zone”, and felt more comfortable with a below target pace. We were now passing a lot of runners, many who had whizzed by us at the first 5K, which felt satisfying. It also got shadier and cooled down a bit, which was fine for me in my tights. At 15K or so, we made the turn back to the start point and I noticed that Phil was not on my tail anymore, but I still had some gas in the tank. At about 18k I started to tighten up as the lack of training was now taking its toll. Colin and Terry, running full marathons, caught up to me at 19k. Slightly ashamed, I sped up and finished the final 1K at just over 4 minute pace. At the halfway point, I pulled over to the amazement of many runners. One guy yelled “gambatte yo”, and seemed to think “what a baka gaijin” for pulling out halfway through. When Colin and Terry came by, I started running again with them and contemplated going around 1 more loop for about 10 seconds, but my legs were toast and I bowed out after 500 meters, wishing them luck, and not envying their task at hand at all.

5k Splits were:
4:35 (1.1K)
Total: 1:34:27 (21.1k),

exactly the pace of my 3:08:50 marathon PB.

Omedeto to all the nanbanners!

Some of the highlights below:

Joachim 2:52? after an ultra-marathon last month!
Paddy 2:55 PB, Runner Gaga!
Yuri 2nd place in 10K (37 minutes),
Colin, gutsy 3:11 run,
Jun, 3:16, nice job on limited training
Ed Clease, 36:44, and PB on the Karaoke stage!

Christian, 34:10 pb
Hitomi, 51 pb
Tomoko (智子) 49 pb
LengLeng. 44.29
Arnoud, 1.27.15
Megumi 1:44:22, warukunai for the lack of long runs...

Yuka, 1:47:00 half 由香 dekimashita!

And the best performances off the road of course go to Chiba san and Gareth for organizing the event. For me, the atmosphere and good cheer after the race were the best parts this time around, my 5st Ohtawara trip in the past 7 years. (2 marathons, 2 halves, and one 10k).

Go here for photos of some Nanbanners running in Ohtawara last year:

And Morten, my nephew, celebrated his 0st birthday, tipping the scales at over 8 pounds (3.8 kilos). Happy happy birthday Morty!

No comments: