Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A bit of running, the partner race, and our year-end party

It's time I updated. Life seems to be getting the better of me lately and the days between posts seem to mount.

I didn't do anything very exciting late last week. Just a steady 10-km on Thursday night to run home, similar return journey to work the next day. I regarded it as still a marathon recovery week, but getting towards the end of that.

On Saturday it was the Namban Rengo bonenkai (year-end party). I got the job of organising a pre-party race. The format was a partner race. Each person had to have a nominated time (not necessarily a flat-out time, anything would do) and attempt to run as close to that as possible, but without wearing a watch. The partner with the faster nominated time would start after the one with the slower time by an amount equal to the difference in their nominated times. So all the slower time runners started together and then the faster one started afterwards as the necessary time difference elapsed. In theory, if they ran to their nominated paces, the faster partner would catch the slower one just before the finish. And to make it interesting, the two partners had to finish together, so if one person screwed up their pace, it could affect both partners.

Anyway, on the day the weather was pretty bad. Very cold and light drizzly rain. We wavered between cancelling or not, but eventually went ahead despite losing a few wumps (that's "wimp" in Kiwi, eh Jason?). It really was cold, damp, and gloomy. This photo from Rie's blog would give you some idea (though Brett was the only one mad enough to wear shorts -- he is Canadian after all). Unbelievably there were some people doing a 24-hour race on the course we were running on! I was glad to be us and not them.

The winner of our little event was our club captain, Bob, and his partner (for the day) Ken. Actually they were the only pair to both have the same target time. Ideally that shouldn't happen, but it was so damn cold that when the random draw threw up that matchup, we weren't going to muck around trying to fix it. They nominated 5:00/km (for the 6.6 km distance) and finished within six seconds of their nominated time, that's a deviation of just 1 sec/km. Pretty darn good. I nominated 4 min/km (to provide a reasonable approximation of a tempo run) and my partner was 4:30. I caught him about half way through the last lap (it was five laps of a 1.33-km loop) and we ran the rest at about my pace. We ended up being 3 seconds per km out which put us in third place (out of eight teams). I'm not even sure if we were fast or slow, but I was happy enough with the result.

The party went very well. "A blast" would not be an unfair description. There were about 60 people and we held it in a large private apartment and ordered pizza, sushi and copious Yona Yona (beer) and wine etc...

Despite getting fairly happy at the party and home at about 1:15 am, I still managed to get out for a long run the next day, though not until 11:00, clocking up 23 km in just on 2 hours.

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