Monday, November 27, 2017

Osaka Marathon, "Making a rainbow together" 少し物足りない感じ

Osaka marathon is done and disgusted/dusted. I managed to break 3 and 1/2 hours but probably missed a Boston marathon qualifying time. It was awesome to run with Nanbanners and the support from Makiko/Keren was wonderful.


Nanban tally:

David Abbott: 2:54
Steve 3:03
Mark 3:10
David Motozo: 3:29
Faith 3:33
Daniele 3:48
Yuko 3:56

The race itself was bittersweet. It never really goes the way you want it to go. I felt I did everything I could to get close to my goal...except for one thing...I slept through my alarm clock and the wake-up call from Meg....oops.

I was supposed to meet my comrades at the baggage area at 7 am. I woke up at 7:10. Hmmm, that's funny, the sun is shining through my window and it is supposed to be 5:30 am. Holy sheet! No time for breakfast, out the door in 7 minutes, a sprint to the train station, wolf down a rice ball on the train, arrived at 8 am on the dot, which was the baggage cut off. Than another frantic jog to find a toilet before the 8:40 am line-up cut-off. Made it with a few minutes to spare. Insert sigh of relief here...

I found Mark in A-block. We shivered for 20 minutes, contrasting the big differences in triathlon versus marathon starts. The weather was actually pretty fine, just a bit cold at the start waiting for the festivities to begin.

The gun shot send us off at 9 am sharp. My strategy was to run 4:50 pace for the first 25k or so, than pick up the pace if I still had the fuel in the tank. I figured this would get me comfortably under 3 hours, 25 minutes, good enough for Boston qualification. The first 10k was easy as it should be. Only 1 problem....

I had to go pee pee after 5k, so was searching for a close toilet from 5-10k. Found it at 10k and lost about 1 minute marking my territory. That put me back to 49:30 after 10k. A lot of work to do to get back on pace. I tried to slowly raise the speed....

The crowd support and Makiko/Keren helped. Big thumbs up.

I was slowly making progress, came in at the halfway point around 1:43. However, the 3:30 pace group caught up to me at around the halfway point. How could this be? I thought I was 2-3 minutes ahead of 3:30 marathon pace. I took my second gel (200 calories) at 21k and grit my teeth. I had some good splits from 21-34k, averaging about 4:47 pace. I took my 3rd and last gel at 30k.

At 34k, I prepared myself mentally for the final 8k, which I knew would be tough. I had done 35k as my longest real training run, excluding the 50k birthday run at a very slow pace. I knew my legs were going to tighten up around 35k. It was just a question of how much...

We hit a big hill at 36k. That did it. I had seen it in the guide book but it looked more daunting with tired legs. My speed slowed to what felt like a crawl. Like walking up stairs when you are winded.

Finally made it to the top, but the damage was done. 5:18 pace on that 37k split. The next downhill I got under 5 minute pace but that proved to be the last fast one. My legs were seizing up. It was a big struggle just to maintain 5:15 pace for the last excruciating 3k. I managed to get under 3:30 by a smidgen, listening to the 3:30 pacer countdown as I ran hard for the line (the pace group must have started before me).

 Big Kudos to Mark, Steve, Yuko, Faith, Danielle, and the star of the day, David Abbott! Man those craft brews tasted fine.

I didn't make up that title about the rainbow, by the way. It's the slogan for the Osaka marathon. Pretty catchy, ey?

No comments: