Monday, March 12, 2007

Cat's Out of the Bag

First up, thank you to all who commented on my last post. There was some interesting discussion and I really appreciated the fact that a few genuine gurus dropped by to provide some sound advice, some of which I have even been taking ;-)

The thing I have hinted at but haven't been able to say up until now is that I am running another marathon next weekend. I don't really expect to do especially well, but after giving it some thought, am not going to jog along like some kind of training run either (but more on that later in the week). The marathon is called the Arakawa Marathon and prior to this year's Tokyo Marathon was the closest thing to a mass-participation marathon in our city. The course is an out and back on a narrow asphalt pedestrian/cycling road that runs for many miles inside the levees of the Arakawa (kawa = river in Japanese) just on the northern outskirts of Tokyo, only 15-20 minutes or so by express train from downtown.

The reason I was keeping it close to my chest was to surprise Satohi, who I have been coaching for the past year. She missed out on the lottery for Tokyo Marathon and so chose this one to avenge her disappointing DNF at Tokyo Women's International Marathon last November. Alas, she is now having a few injury threats and her last few weeks of training haven't gone as well as we would like. She hasn't quite reached the peak of preparedness we were aiming for, and she is still a bit concerned about a niggling ankle/ITB-like pain. Yesterday she attempted 20 km with the second 10 km working towards race pace, and finished OK, but with the ankle hurting some. So she was feeling a bit down in the dumps and her motivation was flagging. She is also planning to run Boston Marathon just a month after Arakawa, but only slowly for the experience. But still, she faces a difficult decision about what to do about Arakawa. Pull out? Back right away from her original target race pace and just try to finish? Go for it and see what happens risking another DNF? I am not really sure what to advise her as it is her decision and her ankle, and I am no doctor, but I do believe she retains a lot of her marathon fitness. All I can do is discuss the implications and possibilities of each possible decision with her. And I realized yesterday that under these circumstances it was rather selfish and unfair of me to keep sitting on my little secret. She needs to know all relevant data in making her own decision. After I told her yesterday her spirits seemed to take a bit of a lift and I think she is ready to give it a shot.

So, just six training days until Arakawa Marathon :-) !


zihuatanejo said...

What the hell are you doing???


Tesso said...

Crazy man!!! I think all that cold weather is snap freezing your brain cells. Having said that good luck with it all.

I once did two marathons just four weeks apart. In the second one I ran about a minute quicker, for the first time ever I didn't hit the wall, I negative split it, my last km was my fastest km, and I crossed the line thinking "is that all there is?"

So, you never know :-)

Ingo said...

Cool stuff Steve! I once tried that as well. 4 weeks after I set my marathon PB I ran another one. I did this because I thought weather conditions were not ideal in the first one and I felt I'd have some room left if it was warmer during the second. The HM split in the second marathon was better than the one in the first. But then I experienced my biggest ever wipeout - losing about 25 min on the second half. Good luck!