Saturday, May 26, 2007

F@#K me! A PB!!

Well , there I was thinking that maybe all my PBs were behind me. After a nice couple of weeks of solid but not over the top training, I was starting to feel like maybe I was coming into some reasonable condition. The set of 1200s the other night was certainly encouraging. I also decided to not back off too much this week. I ran 10k home from work on Thursday night and 8k easy back to work on Friday morning.

So today was the company ekiden around the palace, regarded as 4.96 km by purists, but called 5 km by most people. I was hoping to go sub 18:10, and in my wildest dreams, maybe sneak under 18:00.

I ran the first leg and wasn't sure whether other teams would also put their faster guys first, which is in fact the conventional tactic in ekidens. We got off to a fast start and after a couple hundred meters I soon settled into third place. Stayed like this for the first couple of km until the uphill from Takebashi when the 2nd place guy immediately ran out of steam. First place was a good 10 or 15 seconds further ahead (yes, Mr bloody Nakagawa!).

But somebody else was on my tail all the way up the hill. I could hear his number card flapping in the wind. He stayed there across the flat in front of the British Embassy. I worked pretty hard through this section and this guy probably benefited from some drafting. But if I'd backed off to dice with him, it would have meant giving up all hope of chasing down first place, so I pressed on. Around Hanzomon the third place guy made his move and went ahead and opened a 4 or 5 second gap. Try as I might, I could not pull him back in. Maybe I was mentally weak here and hoped he would fade rather than attack to my absolute physical limit.

Mr Nakagawa was unthreatened up front. And that's how we finished. I was spent at the end and didn't really feel that there was much more I could have done. My time was a quite unbelievable 17:47. Considering it was a 20 second course PB over last year's race I am actually extremely happy with the result. Have to be. But running such a narrow third in a competitive race took some of the edge off my euphoria, but overall made it a far more enjoyable experience.

It was hot too, about 24 degrees and a stiff little wind in our face at the top of the course. Actually, on any objective analysis, there is no getting away from the fact that this was my best 5k run ever.

Our finishing order also ended up being the placings in the individual times contest, so I brought home 7000 yen worth of shopping coupons for the wife and kids. Not something to sneeze at. Or so you'd think, but in fact my right nostril has been irritated and dripping and making me sneeze ever since the race.

Celebrated over a couple of beers at a German festival in Hibiya park. They tasted GOOD!


oldsprinter said...

Nice run! 17.47! That's a sub 17 on the track this Thursday.

Pete said...


Great job! Congratulations, that's a fantastic result on a tough course on a tough day. Well done!


Ewen said...

As a purist, I'll give you 17:56 for 5k ;) Bloody good, and not much off your 5k track PB. I'd agree it's your best yet. Who needs marathon training to run well?

I'll toast your success with a Fat Tyre this evening!

Scott said...

As Pete above,

If people don't know this course it has a few long hills. It's narrow and bumpy in places, a bit like my noggin.

That 17:47 is a great run there. Well done I'm seriously stoked for you.

As for Nakagawa san a not so enthusiastic おめでとう

2P said...

Nice PB and podium finish Steve - well done mate - good to see there is life in the old dog yet ;-)

Robert Song said...

Sounds like a great run. Well done.

I have got to disagree with Ewen. I imagine it is all that marathon training you did earlier this year, that has given you the base to put in a performance like this.

Tesso said...

Holy crap!!! What a great run Steve. So good I'll even forgive you for (almost) swearing.

Huuuuuge congrats :-)

Eric said...

Congratulations on a well-run race and an excellent time! All tht marathon training is paying off.


Christian said...

just following the previous comments, that was great, お目出度うございます。 and I also believe that it has something to do with the intensive marathon training... you definitely benefit from that. well done, see you Thursday on the track!

mika t. said...

Well done Steve! I know how hot the day was.

mpluss said...

Well done that is great news. You must feel good about it.


MilesandMiles said...

Thats an unbelievable time... it s gotta be worth a 17:30 on track in cooler weather!!! i ran an 18:0X split in a 5.6 k race recently and would love to convert that into a proper 5k time if i can catch a Namban 5k sometime soon! Also encouraging that, at our level, you can still PB in your 40s :) Congrats. Arnaud