Saturday, February 24, 2007

Tokyo Splits

I said I'd post my splits. While I don't really have a lot of enthusiasm for the task, here they are:
0-5k 0:22:52 0:04:34
5k-10k 0:20:42 0:04:08
10k-15k 0:20:50 0:04:10
15k-20k 0:21:12 0:04:14
20k-25k 0:21:51 0:04:22
25k-30k 0:23:14 0:04:39
30k-35k 0:22:39 0:04:32
35k-40k 0:23:37 0:04:43
40k-42k 0:11:03 0:05:01

I guess they tell their own story pretty well. Lost about 2 minutes in the first 5k, and all of that in the first 2k. If I was going to have a good day though, that 15-20k split should have stayed down around 4:10 or 4:11 pace, and I should have stayed fairly comfortable up to at least 25k. The set-in of discomfort in my legs around 18k was the sign that the gamble wasn't going to pay off. The slower 25-30k split was due to a 1-minute toi-toi break. That is now my third marathon in a row where this has happened after getting through the first three unscathed. And then things get a bit ugly over the last 12 km. I think at least a small part of the drift over the final 12 km was due to some mental capitulation once I knew that even a really ball and leg busting exertion would only get me a couple more seconds per km...nowhere near enough to salvage the torpedoed goals.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What I wore...

Ewen just asked what I wore. That was adifficult decision that took some agonizing. In the lead up I'd been planning to try and stick with shorts and my Namban singlet and Cool Running cap. But the weather meant that the singlet alone would be pure folly. I probably needed something a bit more technical, but just used my old faithfull Climacool grey long sleeve top. Gloves of course (thanks Jim!) and...NOT the CR cap. That was another victim of the weather. The peak of the CR cap has become rather floppy and I didn't like it's chances of standing up to the rain. That grey one is an old favourite but the back adjuster strap had broken. My poor wife was pressed into helping me get it operational about ten minutes before I had to leave the house. All in all, I wasn't especially cold once I was moving and I find it hard to see any major changes I'd make to this. So I don't think we have our culprit there. I do wonder though how much toll it took being cold and wet for half an hour before the start.


I came 697th out of 25,000 .... not bad I suppose. (Actually, 697th out of the men, so that's a bit less impressive).

Here is a link to nice little video montage of the 2007 Tokyo Marathon. Near the top of the page are three links to the video.  The wma one started but then produced an error for me. I got the Quicktime one to work. It definitely gives you a great sense of the scale of the event.

I'm going to post my splits and a few thoughts on my race in the next day or two. I have been very busy at work this week.

I really

Monday, February 19, 2007

What does 30,000 runners look like?

Something like this perhaps? And here is a link to the fairly ordinary article that it comes from.

And for a report on the racing that occurred up at the pointy end, here is a decent report from the Daily Yomiuri.

There were many reports on TV last night and this morning. I even caught a vox pop interview on NHK this morning with one of our Namban ladies, my good friend Carol. Carol will be heading off to live in Brisbane at the end of this month! [sniff]

A terrific day out...

Except for the rain. And the cold. And my performance.

I just got towards the end of a fantastic account of the day and my race, composing in Blogger, and somehow I bumped some key or other, maybe the backspace, and poof, it just disappeared.

To try to summarize: It was a fantastic event. Big crowds, wonderful crowds. Despite the rain. The constant, miserable, cold rain. Enthusiastic cheerleaders and taiko drummers. Good organization for such a huge number of runners under *very* trying conditions. A great course that looped back on itself so you could look for and cheer for you mates. And supporters in the crowd could move from vantage point to vantage point to cheer not once but two or three times. (Thank you Ms Minegishi, Satohi, Takako, Mami, Anna, Yukari, Shoji, Yoshiko, Taizo, Peter, Mrs AZ, Uchida-san -- among others)

I got off to a slowish start with the congestion, but soon settled into 4:07 pace. This was very comfortable down the hill, and then on the flat I came back to 4:10/4:11 pace. Exactly to plan. Unfortunately my legs were just not up to the plan. At around 18 km I felt the first signs that things were not quite right. By 25 km I was starting to hurt and fade. By 30 km I was well off pace, maybe 4:20s by that stage, which then ever gradually just kept fading to the point where I must have recorded a couple of 5:00 kilometers late in the race. My final gross time: 3:08. If I count the net time, the best I can say is that it probably wasn't a PW. I'm a bit disappointed, but not gutted. Shrug the shoulders. These things happen. Move on and try to get it right next time. Better training, better race conditions. I really appreciate all the support from all my blogger friends, plus various family and other friends who contaced me by email and phone. Thank you, and sorry I coudn't fulfill the anticipations that I created for you. I think I had better be a little more circumspect about my chances from now on.

Young Adam had an even worse fade than me, but managed to finish about a minute ahead of me. Somebody told me he was running sub 20-minute 5ks for the first ten or fifteen km. His splits will make for interesting reading. A 3:06 is still a very respectable debut (hey, that's what mine was!) and he will no doubt learn from the experience. I wonder if I will learn from mine?

I met Scott, and that was great. Gave him a punch in the guts for Tesso and Clairie. He came to the sento with us and dinner at our after-race party in Shibuya before scarpering back to Osaka. I'll let him give his own account of the race, but I'll just say that his, like mine, was a common story of the day: somewhat short of expectaions. It is just a bit hard to race to your potential when you are soaked to the skin and shivering.

On a final positive note, it was great to see some nice PBs and debut marathons recorded from our club; jewels among the chaff. Jay, Mary, Rie recorded big PBs, while Jayne, Adam, Yuka, Chris (sub 3!), Luke, Granne, Katakura-san--and possibly others I can't recall, please forgive me--had big first time outings.

In conclusion, the repeated reoprts on TV about the big day make it clear to me that the event itself outweighed any individual performances. Simply stunning, and I amjust glad to be able to say thatI was a part of it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sunday's weather forecast

This is the forecast for Sunday folks. Just ya regular Japanese weather forecast. Non polyglots, stay with it to the end for the English edition.

4 x 1 km

Got out of bed at 6 this morning and ran a total of 7.7 km, of which most was pretty easy, but also four lots of 1-km repeats at race pace on the same stretch of road where I did eight of them last Saturday. The pace was not actually very consistent, but that's OK, they were there or abouts. Near the end of the last one I encountered an old woman who'd just fallen off her bicycle. Silly old cow almost made me lose my stride. No, just kidding, I helped her up with the bike and made sure she was OK. A thousand sumimasens later I was able to finish the last 150 m of the rep.

So I think I might be about done and dusted. Thanks for all the good wishes folks. One of us will try to get on a computer or mobile phone with email in the afternoon to post the results. I will be sure to give Scott a punch in the guts for you, ladies. I'll probably wait until after the marathon if that's OK.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

42.195 km in 5 minutes and 49 seconds

A friend brought this to my attention. I'm not sure if you really want to watch, but...

Race pace repeats

Last night we went through our normal Wednesdy night ritual of meeting at the sento and going out for a run. However it was all very abbreviated and we were back in the sento by 8:00.

There were three easy km of running up to the track and back to the sento, plus the jog recoveries between repeats. And then there were the six times one-km repeats. Matthias was back in town from Cologne for the marathon. He joined me in the repeats from the start, though they were a bit faster than his race pace. And then some others, Motozo, Jay, and Anthony tagged on part-way through.

It was pouring with rain. Very light and drizzly when we left the sento, but as we started the repeats, it really started coming down. Everybody else seemed to be just pacing off me and some of them were chatting. I was a bit distracted and getting twitchy, but then decided that, no, no it was all good. Good practice for concentrating on my own pace through the distractions of other runners and rain and cold. The others could do whatever they wanted; I was going to run my pace. My target pace was 4:10. The repeats were: 4:10.4, 4:14.3, 4:11.1, 4:09.2, 4:13.0, 4:09.3. The 4:14 and 4:13 are a little bit off, but otherwise pretty much on the button. I was chuffed with that frst one! As I got into the repeats I was checking the 200 m/400 m splits less and less frequently. For the last two I don't think I checked my watch once, or maybe just at the 400-m split.

I thought my heart rate was a little bit higher than it has been in recent runs, being at about 148 or 149 at the end of the first couple of repeats and 150 or 151 for the last couple. I think in some recent runs I have been going in the low 140s at that pace, but maybe my mind is playing tricks on me -- not properly comparing apples with apples. Anyway, I suppose there is a minor drop in fitness through the taper. Some reports say there isn't. But as Mr 2P says, fresh legs will carry
you a lot further than tired legs. And definitely my legs are freshening up a lot. Even some of the old niggles are fading to grey.

I feel ready for this.


No, Sunday!! 9:10 am Sunday February 18.

Sorry, maybe that first counter was confusing you. I deleted it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

For the benefit of Clairie the Running Fairy

The start time is 9:10 am EJT

9:10 am EJT = 10:10 AEST (Qld?) = 11:10 AEST +1:00 (NSW, Vic daylight savings time).

Actually, it has been rumoured that during the race there will be a way on the Japanese web site to input a person's name or number and get updates on their progress every 5 km. If I get a more detailed "How to", I will try to post it.

To keep you amused in the meantime, here is the course.

See those little hills at the end in the profile? They are bridges associated with the dreary reclaimed harbour land. I hate them. I loathe them. I am going to kill those bastards. I am going to destroy them. They will crumble beneath my size 28.5 cm Asics Gelfeathers. Mere pimples on the backside of a stoat. That's all they are.

That's all for now. As you were.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nothing to see here people

I didn't run today. Sadly, it came very easily to me.

I ran yesterday, but not very much. I also had a 500-yen massage. It was good.

I am eating a lot, growing sleek and fat like a laboratory rat.

I cut my toenails on Saturday, so at least that is done.

I think I will run a few laps around a track tomorrow night. Hmmm...that sounds nice...

I wonder what I can wear to keep warm after I hand in my bag?

I wonder if I can cope with the low mileage in my log for this week?

Tapering is kind of fun, but not.

Roll on Sunday, Sunday roll on.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sunday Taper Run & Other Musings

So the object of the taper is to remove residual fatigue by race day without losing fitness. Removing fatigue is easy enough. Just stop running. But I don't think that is such a good idea because then your fitness slides. I also think that inducing very mild levels of fatigue promotes the body to undergo recovery processes...whatever that may mean. And practising race pace is Good. With these thoughts in mind, I decided that the last Sunday should be about 20 km with a mix of easy running and up to race pace, but nothing harder, and not too much of the race pace.

It turned out that my friend Colin had a plan for himself that closely matched what I wanted to do. So we ran two 2.5-km laps at pretty easy pace. I then changed to my brand new Asics Gelfeathers, purchased Saturday as a birthday present. I thought they and my feet probably should try to get to know each other a little before being forced to spend 42.195 km together next Sunday.

We switched from the off-road loop to the paved 1.94-km loop, then ran two loops at 4:40/km, two at 4:30/km, two at 4:15/km and one last one at 4:12/km. The pace was aerobically comfortable for me the whole way. My breathing was never very hard, though my heart rate was touching on 150 in the final two laps. Towards the end my legs were developing a few hot spots, but nothing too serious. Through the rest of the day I felt reasonably fresh as though I hadn't done anything much. Not like the fatigue you feel after a usual long run. So I do think that run trod a good line between a mild stimulus and not adding anything to the general fatigue level.

The new shoes were beautiful. Not even a hint of any rubbing or pressure that might lead to problems. I also wore a new pair of five-"fingered" socks, and they were great. This will be my marathon kit. When we were buying the shoes my wife said to the bloke in the running shop that I was there to buy some shoes for the marathon next week and did he have any recommendations. The patronizing bastard laughed and said you don't go buying new shoes now or you'll get blisters and other problems. Those shoes (pointing to the retired 2110s I was wearing) will do fine. I suppose I just didn't look much like a runner to him as I was wearing jeans and a down jacket over a flannel shirt. See, to be a serious athlete in Japan, you have to be wearing technical clothes festooned with logos. Gotta look the part. So anyway, I got a bit indignant and started to use the best Japanese I could muster to tell him that my present lightweight shoes, some Adidas Adizeros were just a little tight and also felt a bit hard on the footstrike, and that Asics shoes usually don't give me any problems, and that I had Gelfeathers in the past when I ran a 2:55 marathon, so I was thinking of using them again. Mr Smartypants stopped patronizing me after that and I only had to try the one pair of shoes to make the right decision.

Thanks for the encouraging words to my post of two posts back. Yes Ewen, controlled agression. I'm thinking an 87 minute half split, which will require some restraint because the first 5 km has a steady downhill gradient with a net fall of 40 m (so a tad under 1%). After that it is essentially flat. There are a few short sharp hills associated with bridges over the last few km, so their effect on pace will simply depend on how strong (or shattered) I am at that stage. But I'd like to think I'll be gritting my teeth and enduring some pain to maintain a pretty strong pace.

Scott, my self-esteem on the fathering front took a nudge upwards over the weekend when I fought off tiredness to eventually find a way to get videos from YouTube to Kohta's PSP. He'd been bugging me for a few days about it. Once it was cracked he was very happy, and I surprised him by loading this up as the first offering. Being 14 and a Harry Potter fanboy, he was pretty tickled. When I said I was a lousy dad, I suppose I was just trying to reflect the feeling we have that no matter how much we do with and for our kids, it never seems to be enough. And I know that with running and longish work hours, I spend much less time with them than I should or that I imagine I would if we lived in Australia...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A group running blog

For the information of my non-Namban readers, my friend Gareth started a group blog for the use of all the Namban Rengo runners (all 52 of them) to use as we approach Tokyo. He publicized the login and p/word to our mailing list. Though if that's how people post they have to be sure to sign their name to posts. Those with blogger accounts (like moi) could, however, set themselves up as contributers, so our posts (and of course comments) show up with our blogger identity. It hasn't quite taken off like wildfire, but is an interesting experiment and has certainly had a reasonable amount of activity. If you have time to kill or enjoy distractions, you may wish to have a browse of...Tokyo and Beyond.

Maybe some time you too will feel the need for a group blog.

Happy 44th to me!

I'm getting old! Running out of time to run any more sub-threes!

After the good run on Wednesday night I took a day off on Thursday. Then life got in the way of plans for a Friday run. First up I had to teach a workshop (English Business Letters) at 1:00 on Friday afternoon and was still preparing the bloody thing right up until 12:45, including a late night and an early start working on it. Once the thing was finished and the stress released I was dead keen for a run, but my littlest son Chiaki had received his results for a test to enter a selective public junior high school and...brrrt, had failed. So I was expected (not by him) to rush home and console him. I resisted at first, but felt like an absloute deadshit of a father (I mean I am anyway, but this just made me feel it for once). And the truth was, my legs felt weary from standing all afternoon teaching. So I traipsed home and gave Chiaki a hug and had my dinner and just shrugged off the run. It's the taper after all.

Mika talked recently about a good way to approach the taper. In fact I did something a bit like this before Ohtawara 2004 and 2005, but her approach is more structured. She suggested getting out and running 1-km repeats at your marathon pace with a 200 m jog recovery. You then progressively reduce the number of repeats each day closer to the big day. So today I got out and did a slowish warm up for a couple of km, then set off on a 1-km (turned out to be 1.1 km) stretch of back road that has very few intersections. I still had to dodge the odd daredevil taxi driver and a removalist truck that decided to overtake me and then immediately pull up, cutting off the left half of the road forcing me to run around him on the right within inches of cars coming the other way. The interesting thing about this stretch of road is that it has a gradual gentle grade, so for the first repeat I was all uphill and for the return, all downill. Repeat four times. So the pace was not especially consistent:
4:13, 4:12 || 4:05, 4:03 || 4:11, 4:04 || 4:11, 4:09.
up, down || etc

I did a walking/standing recovery rather than jog and just waited until my heart rate was about 85. A couple of minutes at most.

So I know Ewen is right, I do have to be careful of going too fast. But if my legs and back and energy levels all feel good, I think I'll go for a fairly aggressive pace anyway... and just see what happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! At the moment though, not all those things are in place.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Last Big Wednesday

Adam and I have been running these upper aerobic runs of 20 odd km with 14 or so at upper aerobic pace. Last night, with only 11 days to the marathon we could be excused for doing something different. But this is the run that I think has been absolutely pivotal in the training stimulus I've received over the past four weeks. So if it ain't broke...but we did chop off some distance. With warm up and cool down we ran 17.5 km in 1 hour 20. My average heart rate was 136 (73%) and maximum 158 (85%).

******** Lap (1.9 km) paces (min/km) ***********
This: 4:18, 4:09, 4:01, 4:02, 4:02
2WA: 4:14, 4:15, 4:16, 4:16, 4:17, 4:17, 4:16, 4:12, 3:57*
3WA: 4:29, 4:24, 4:21, 4:20, 4:19, 4:14, 4:09, 4:05
4WA: 4:23, 4:21, 4:20, 4:20, 4:16, 4:14, 4:12, 4:12
(WA = weeks ago)

The incredible thing was that we were still quite comfortable at those low 4:00/km paces. We were still chatting at the end of lap 2, though it was getting harder. We knuckled down a bit for the next few. But the very instructive thing is my heart rate. Note above that my maximum for the whole run was only 158. Not so long ago, this pace would have been a lactic threshold run for me, that is, a heart rate of 160 to 165. Last night, even running up a slight incline at close to 4:00/km, it never got above 158. And most of the time it was down in the low 150s. Hard but comfortable territory.

The problem for the marathon though is that although my cardiovascular system has responded so well, I am not convinced that I have the leg endurance to maintain a particularly aggressive pace. So I can't get over-excited about these numbers. All I know is that gives me the confidence to really go out after a sub three hour marathon -- 4:15 pace should feel like stroll in the park. But only time will tell. I wish the marathon was this weekend!

And again, a tip of the hat to Adam. He is looking so strong. He ran a 35-km long run last Saturday at not much slower than 3-hour pace, and says he pulled up without any real leg soreness to speak of. I think he might be one out of the box and I am probably more excited for his chances of going sub 3 on debut than I am for my own race.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Couldn't Keep it Up

My heart rate that is.

I have to dash for a Shinkansen now, but just very quickly wanted to blog that my heart rate test run just keeps getting more unbelievable each week. This morning I had to really reall work to get my heart rate up. The heart rate test lap was an incredible 8:44.. .Sorry will update later with the comparisons from previous weeks, but I thought last week was fast, this is getting towards 4:05/km pace.

14 km in 1:04:56

Finished hard at a heart rateof 153. It took exactly 54 seconds for my heart rate to fall to 90 when I stopped.

I'm feeling pretty upbeat just now.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

35 km and a Japanese icon

Well, I did my planned 32 km run. The running pod reckons it was 34.8 km, but we all know that I would never break my word and run more than I planned, so it must have really been only 32 km ;-) . Running time: 2:51
Average pace: 4:54
Average heart rate 134

It was a pretty good run. I left home just before 8 am. It was a glorious sunny cool day of about 4 or 5 degrees. I made a beeline for Tama river (7.2 km @ 5:10/km). Then ran down river for 10.3 km @ 5:00/km. As I turned to head back up river there in front of me was Mt Fuji standing proud over the skyline. I'd never seen her quite so clearly and large from Tokyo. She was a feature of the view to my left or straight ahead for the 10.3 km back up river (@4:47/km avg). Notice I'd picked up the pace a bit there and the run was unfolding as I'd planned and I was feeling good. Then I turned for home for the final 7.2 km. I really worked hard at this and in long stretches had my pace down around the 4:15/km. There are a few uphills and other slow bits, so the final average pace for that section was only 4:36/km, but I was still happy with the strong finish.

I rewarded myself with a smoothy with a banana, two eggs, and small tub of ice cream. Yum.

So that's it. Final long run in the bag and nothing left now but to taper and start freshening up. Which means I'm off for a 7.5 km recovery this morning.

Footnote to Ewen: I actually like all my aunts as well, but was grasping at straws for a suitable metaphor.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Perserverance pays off

Waking up at 5:15 am, stumbling around sleepily, pulling on tights, strapping on the heart rate monitor, donning T-shirt and long sleeve layers, changing the battery in the footpod, doing battle with the shoes, lurching into the elevator, clicking the watch to start, off and running into the dark, cold morning.

Sometimes I embrace this routine like a reunion with an old friend--warmly, welcoming, breathing in each other's very being. Occasionally, when sleep is short and future goals hazy, I dread it like the approach of a cloyingly musty old aunt -- how do I get out of this? You can't! Just grit your teeth and give her a hug. Ugh!

This morning it was a feeling somewhere in between. I am driven by the thought of Tokyo Marathon just over two weeks away, but I am also getting tired and slightly leg-weary from some recent hard workouts and have a building trepidation of overdoing things too close to the marathon. Late yesterday I learn that we have a work function tonight. If I am to run today it is this morning or lunchtime. Lunchtime offers too little time, involves lugging gear to work, and runs the risk of being scuttled by the demands of work. So I choose morning, and thus, with the familiar "pip pip peep" of my Polar alarm at 5:15, the routine swings into action.

Today it was time for some speed. I was tossing up between four progressive paced post office loops (3.3 km per loop) or four 1600-m repeats at Komazawa Park. For reasons I can't well explain, I chose the 1600s. Last time I attempted this workout I pulled up very sore in my left knee. But I have had my Three Good Weeks since then. I still experience some pain in that old left leg, but it is higher in the thigh and and towards the groin...and quite bearable. The knee has actually been very settled.

I run the 4 km to the park and immediately have to have a toilet break. Good. Better than halfway through the repeats. I continue up to the start line in Komazawa Park and click the split button and I'm off. I'm running pretty hard and it feels fairly fast, but not flat out. It shouldn't need to be as it is only the first repeat. I do not look at my watch and try to run by feel. In the last 500 m I am working hard and breathing hard. This should be a reasonably fast effort I think. At least below 6:10.

I click my watch and am dismayed to see a time of 6:23. What!! I've been running so well lately. Fast, strong. Is it only my endurance system I've trained? Has my VO2 and leg speed gone completely? Do I pull out of this workout now and just go into the marathon on aerobic workouts alone? Finally I decide that, no, whatever happens I am not going to quit. I will finish this workout come hell or high water.

The next repeat I grit my teeth and try to push harder. Surely I have more to give than 6:23!! It gets tough over the last 400 m, which is slightly uphill, and finally I am encouraged to see a more respectable 6:07 on the watch. I have done my best here and don't expect to see any more improvement, so despite hoping that they'd all be under 6:05, at least this is getting closer to the territory I want to be in.

I jog back to the start and push hard in the third repeat. I am more warmed up now, my body more familiar with the hard effort. I focus more on my stride and foot strike, looking for ways to squeeze more out. It's been a long time since I've done intervals. Maybe I am just out of practice. And though I suffer again over those last 600 m, I'm even happier to see a flat 6:00 on the watch. Well, that's more like it. The cobwebs are clearing.

On the last repeat, with great prescience I say to myself, hey, this is the last repeat! and somehow, when I search inside, I find there is actually a little more to give. Oh, it hurts though. That rotten uphill over the last 600 m never gets any easier. But I push it right to the end, scaring the other denizens of the dawn, the old ladies and small dogs, with my hard breathing. Final rep: 5:56! Finally I can feel something approaching satisfaction!

This was not a perfect workout. In some respects it was even a bit ugly having such a wide spread of numbers, but at least there was a steady improvement with each rep. The temperature was only 3 degrees today, so I guess that simply getting warmed up was one of the problems. Ultimately though, I was most pleased with the fact that I simply stuck with it after the bad start and completed what I set out to do. I am sure it blew out some cobwebs. Running the 4 km home I was doing about 4:30 pace and it just felt like a stroll, my heart rate was barely getting over 135 (72%) and my cadence was easy.

When I got home, I quickly did some stretches and a few core exercises as it was after 7:00 and there was no time to linger. But as I picked up my heart rate monitor off the ground and walked slowly towards the front door, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief to have this run under my belt. Nothing could take it away from me now. Neither work, nor the mental contortions of mind versus will. And a feeling of satisfaction and warmth spread through my body. Except for my painfully frozen fingers.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Running out of time

The upper aerobic run in Yoyogi Park last night went pretty well. It was much more even paced than the previous two, just upping the pace a little on the penultimate lap and then throwing in a hard last lap. I ran with Adam again and we did one more lap than on the previous occasions. The hard aerobic segment was 17.1 km and with warm up and cool down the whole run was about 22.5 km in 1:45:11 with an average heart rate of 143 (77%). At times my legs (especially the left, and especially in the last 5 km) felt like they were being taxed, but generally it wasn't hard to hold the pace. I think these are the runs that have been giving me the strongest training stimulus over the past three or four weeks. These are the gift of the Running Fairy.

********* Lap (1.9 km) paces (min/km) ***********
This: 4:14, 4:15, 4:16, 4:16, 4:17, 4:17, 4:16, 4:12, 3:57*
2WA: 4:29, 4:24, 4:21, 4:20, 4:19, 4:14, 4:09, 4:05
3WA: 4:23, 4:21, 4:20, 4:20, 4:16, 4:14, 4:12, 4:12
(WA = weeks ago)
*At the start of this lap I told Adam, "Off you go, see how much you can beat me by!" He beat my about 20 seconds the ungrateful sod ;-) He is going to have great debut marathon.

There were some conflicting comments to the recent pondering on my part about how to do my last long run. I think I will do it on Saturday. About 30 to 32 km at progressive pace. That is, slow for the first 10k, moderate for the second 10k, then lift towards marathon pace over the last 10k.