Today I ran the Namban Rengo Half Marathon. I had not felt good all week and I was suffering terribly with jet lag. As you can see above, my HRV was going up and down regularly and trending down for the last month. Most nights last week I could not sleep before 3am and my HRV duly dropped to the floor but when I was well rested it went up again, as it should. Fortunately, Sunday morning was one of the up days. Hopefully now it will continue to recover before the Ohtawara marathon in 2 weeks.
On Saturday I had gone to the ASICS store in Harajuku to buy a new pair of Tarthers. I often describe this as my favourite place on earth as it always has shoes in my size, which is not easy in Japan. However, this was not the case this time. I got the 29cm Tarthers as usual but every few months they make a new model and the old model is no longer available. This time the new ones felt a little too tight and the next size, 30cm, were way too big, especially on my right foot. My feet are different sizes with my left foot being bigger. I swore 2 years ago when I bought the ASICS Feather Glide to replace my DS-18 that I would never buy a pair shoes that did not feel right in the shop again but it looks like I did. More on this later.
The day was miserable. The club’s plan was to have a 10km and Half Marathon starting together at 10:30 from FutakoShinchi and then have a BBQ from 12:30 to 3:00. We arrived to set up at 9am and it was already raining and it did not stop for the whole day. It was not too bad for the people running but for the organisers and people manning the turn arounds, it must have been miserable to be standing around in that weather for 2 hours. My hat really goes off to them.
My own race went well although I did start out too fast. I realised that the group I was running with were going at a 4:05/km pace when I had wanted to run at 4:15/km in order to try and break 1:30. I dropped back the pace a little to try and hit my goal but the damage had already been done. Actually, I thought that the group I was with was going to run the 10km so I was rightly surprised when I saw them keep going and run the Half.
The course was 2 loops of a 5km stretch along the Tamagawa with 1.1km tagged on in the middle to bring it up to Half Marathon distance. The measurement was very accurate with 21.2 registering on my Garmin. I pressed my Lap at each marker and as you can see below, I got progressively slower as the race went on with the the last 5km a real slog. The worst part was that I finished with a lot of pain in the toes on my left foot. Something that I have not known for many years when I switched to ASICS. I now have to find out if it is just pain from a new pair of shoes or are they really too small for me and do something before Ohtawara. I wish ASICS would stop doing this and maintain equal sizes between models. Anyway, I was glad to be able to run a half marathon so soon after the Dublin marathon and hopefully I can recover well in the next two weeks.
After the race we all tucked into beers and BBQ and although the food and organisation was great, the weather really put a dampener on things. Much more so than during the race.