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.