Sunday, May 15, 2016
Today is one of those incandescently beautiful spring days that reminds you why you live in New England. The apple trees and lilacs are in bloom; it's cool and sunny, with a pleasant breeze. The Great Bear is a local race, so I could walk over in the morning, enjoying the fine weather.
I got back from Japan with just my residual fitness, but since then I've gotten a good 5 weeks of training in, with two solid track workouts. I haven't really been racing enough to know what to expect from my body; everything felt good, although I didn't feel very aerobically strong. I didn't line up at the start with a particular time goal, just a desire to put in consistent effort and finish strong. Since the track is near the race finish, I had practiced the final kick, concentrating on my desire to not fall apart over the last quarter mile.
I went through the 1st mile in 5:21, starting in 5th, then falling to 6th. I was pretty isolated--not quite fast enough to run with the lead group, but still well ahead of the main pack. I hit the 2nd mile in 11:00 and looked back to see I was being chased down by a group of 4 runners.
In the third mile, uphill with the wind against us, I started to labor. 20 years racing hasn't cured me of starting, um, "ambitiously", I guess. Two of the runners from that chase pack had slipped ahead of me by the time we made the penultimate turn.
All too predictable. Much like last year. Except, I felt oddly unresigned to letting them slip away. I was aerobically maxed, but there was still a lot of spring in my legs, and I found myself accelerating. I got the lanky BAA guy by the final turn. Then in the final kick, caught and passed the compact black-haired dude in raybans. Finished gasping up a lung, in 6th place overall.
I've missed 5ks!
17:35, 6th place overall, 2nd AG.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Friday, March 18, 2016
I'm writing from the spaceship-like confines of my capsule in the hotel 9 hours at narita. I was right that I wouldn't have the gumption to negotiate mass transit after my int'l flight--wrong that the airport hotel would be a completely simple alternative. (It's in a different terminal; I wandered for a while, lost in mazy underground concourses, before mustering the courage to ask an omawarisan to straighten me out)
In some ways it's been all pretty quotidian so far--customs line, terminal shuttle, and then this hotel--which you could almost imagine in a US airport, if Americans were habitually so tidy and quiet.
But then the PA announcements in Japanese, the 日本人 everywhere, conversations almost understandable, but still ultimately mysterious. I found myself staring at the stop button in the shuttle; in glowing letters it said
, like that--and felt a quiet thrill. I'm really here! Japan!