Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tokyo Marathon 2012 Pre-race

I'll be leaving for Tokyo tomorrow night for the marathon this Sunday. I've been training for this, my fourth consecutive Tokyo Marathon, since August.

The weather is shaping up to be potentially good, so long as Saturday's rain stays on Saturday. The temperatures are predicted to be between 0°C and 8°C(46°F), so probably in the 2°C(35°F) range at the start, maybe 5-8°C(41-48°F) at the end. That's pretty chilly, but it's easier to strip off layers than to try to not get hot. I have a junk pair of pants and a couple of throwaway shirts to wear during the hour of standing at the start line, but I still expect to be shivering badly by the time the gun goes at 9:10am.

I will likely wear tights (instead of shorts) and my usual t-shirt along with one or two sets of arm warmers. Maybe I will pick up a hat at a 100 yen store on Saturday, too. The hat and the outer layer of arm warmers (also acquired from the 100 yen store) will probably be discarded to a fangirl along the way as I warm up.

[wondering how many things I've forgotten...]

My goal again this year is 3:10. The usual problem for me is not the first 7/8 of the race, but the last 5-7km. I have attempted to mitigate that this year by upping my three long runs from 32k, 32k, and 32k to 37k, 41k, and 32k (which followed a race pace 21k the previous afternoon). But I'm not optimistic that those lengthened runs will solve my 37k crash. Instead, my goal, as usual, is to try and run well in the first 37k to bank enough time that when I'm fighting the death throes at the end I'll slip by the finish line under my goal.

Here were my splits from last year (3:10 pace in parentheses):

5k: 22:25 (22:30)
10k: 44:19 (45.00)
15k: 1:06.21 (1:07.30)
20k: 1:28.36 (1:30.00)
half: 1:33.29 (1:35.00)
25k: 1:50.57 (1:52.30)
30k: 2:13.40 (2:15.00)
35k: 2:36.42 (2:37.30)
40k: 3:00.32 (3:00.00)
42.195k: 3:12.18 (3:09.55)

You will be able to follow along online again this year with live 5k updates. Go to this site <PC  Mobile> and enter in my bib number <22997>. Remember to subtract out the time it takes to cross the start line (1-1:30, but it might be listed on the update page) to calculate my 'actual' times. The splits above have been adjusted. Clearly I am hoping to be a bit below those splits this year, though if through magic I find myself feeling less destroyed at 37k, I would be able to pull it off with those times. The key is that I must be [well] under 2:15 at 30k and 2:37.30 at 35k.

I suppose I better make a prediction. My training year has gone well, but I don't think it's been necessarily strong and if my only evidence to support a strong ending to the marathon is those three longer runs, then I would say I don't think that is enough. I expect I will suffer hard in the last 5k, not because I'm lacking any training, but because I seem to do it every year and I haven't yet figured out why. So I'm going to guess right in the middle of the range I expect to finish in and say 3:12.30. I would be surprised if I came in higher than 3:15 or lower than 3:10.

1 comment:

Dad said...

Good luck and don't hurt yourself I might need you to pack for me this year!