Lots to talk about this week, so let’s jump in with the big stuff first.
JTU Membership and Imizu Triathlon
Last year I did the Ebie Triathlon in Toyama prefecture and had such a great time that I wanted to do it again. This time around, I wanted to step up from the beginner’s “Challenge” race to the Olympic-distance “Standard”, but that required registering with the JTU (Japan Triathlon Union). I managed to do that online and then signed up for one of the 450 spots available in the race. Interestingly, they’ve renamed the triathlon from “Ebie” to “Imizu” which is the city in which it’s held. I guess that means the race won’t just be around the Ebie marine park, but will cover more of the city, maybe including the new suspension bridge they were building last year. That would be cool.
Now this is really exciting. There used to be a full, official Ironman event in Japan, but it was moved to Korea, I think because of Mad Cow’s disease here, or was it Foot and Mouth? Anyway, until this year, there has only been a half-Ironman in Japan. It’s by the Chubu International Airport in Tokoname, just south of Nagoya. I know that area and it doesn’t appeal to me at all, especially for the 42,000 yen asking price.
Hokkaido, on the other hand, is somewhere I have never been and would dearly love to visit. Mami, my wife, would love to go there, too, so I’m tentatively penciling in Ironman Hokkaido in August 2014 as the goal for this whole “Long Countdown” journey. I’d love to say “I WILL DO IT!”, but the 2013 event sold out in three days so there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to get in next year, no matter how much I want to. But, I’ll give it a go! Entry looks likely to open in February 2014.
300km in 7 days Challenge
Chris (@Cicirunner) challenged me to run, bike, swim, hike or walk 300km in one week when I get 300 subscribers on my YouTube channel. I foolishly agreed, but then it isn’t something I should shy away from because when I do a full Ironman, I’ll have to do 226km in a single day! Doing 300km in seven days will be a good test. I’ll have to plan it out carefully so you can expect another blog post on that nearer the time. I’m at 259 subscribers as I type this.
This Sunday is the 1st Kakamigahara half-marathon. Until now they’ve only gone up to 10K, but this year they’ve extended it over a new bridge which we get to run on before it’s even opened to cars! I’ve been thinking about my race strategy and think it’ll be wise to attempt a negative split – something I haven’t done in my last three races. Because of the heat (it’s an afternoon start!) I’ll start off at around 4:30/km pace and try to step it up 5 seconds every 4 kilometers. That should get me to the finish very close to 1:30, if I can follow the plan strictly and last the distance.
Injury-wise, I’m okay except for what feels like bruising on the ball of my right foot. It could prove a problem on Sunday, but I’ll probably just run through the pain and worry about it afterwards.
A Week in Training
With so many races in February and March, it’s hard to get any kind of routine going, so I’ve just been trying to do something active everyday. I felt good enough after last Sunday’s 10K race in Seki to go for a 3.6km walk on Monday. On Tuesday I hiked up Mt. Gongen (2.6km, ~250m ascent) followed by a fantastic 2,000m in the pool. On Wednesday, I went on a 70km round-trip bike ride with a friend to Gujo Castle. The return trip was in the rain! I ran a slow 11km on Thursday with a big hill climb at the end, and cycled 32km to the Mt. Kinka Driveway on Friday (pictured above). I’ve skipped swimming this evening and will take Saturday off before Sunday’s race.