I ran Kasumi Geopark Full Marathon for the 4th time. As always, the route of this marathon was very scenic (as you can see in the attached video down below).
But apart from that, this race was a special one for me.
Just three days before the race, Yoshio Koide, who is very well-known for having coached two female marathon Olympics medalists (Yuko Arimori, who won Silver at Barcelona and Bronze at Atlanta; Naoko Takahashi, who won Gold at Sydney), passed away at age 80. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201904250034.html
He was my "fantasy mentor". I was, and still is, an admirer of Koide sensei. I read his book, "30キロ過ぎで一番速く走るマラソン" (Marathon method by which you run fastest past 30k), which totally changed my running style. I have never managed to break my personal best by adopting this method, but it doesn't matter a bit. My PB was achieved 7 years ago when I was 45 (I started running the race when I was 43), and I'm 51 now. I won't be able to break my PB in the future because I'm getting older! And even if I should be able to do so, what's the point, when there are tons fo people who ran faster than me anyways?
What's important for me is to just have fun in the race. And this can be achieved by "running fastest past 30k". By doing this, you can outrun many runners past 30k, and that's fun!
So since I read the book, my goal was always to run slowly in the first half and run faster in the second half; when it comes to the full marathon, my goal was to save energy for the last 12k.
Now, my fantasy mentor passed away three days before the race, and the race was the last full marathon of the season. Since I had only run 80k for the last 30 days, I thought I would not be able to run fast. So my goal today was to simply break 4h, by, of course, adhering to Koide sensei's method, i.e. by saving energy in the first 30k and running faster in the last 12k.
But unexpectedly, my physical condition turned out to be excellent. And I could finish today's race in 3h48m11s, which was my best record this season. I ran the first 10k at the pace of 5m28s/km, the 2nd 10k at the pace of 5m27s, the 3rd 10k at the pace of 5m32s, AND the last 12k at the pace of 5m11s.