Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I was bummed that when we made it to the fish market in Tokyo we found that it was closed for the day. We still aren't sure why. My highlight of the day was going to the busiest pedestrian intersection of the world and to the highest grossing starbucks in the world. We had a blast running out into the middle of the intersection when it was the all pedestrian time and having the other person take a picture. It was like where's Waldo Jeff and Christina style : ) (Can you find Jeff?? I put an arrow pointing down to his head : )
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
We spent the morning exploring some gardens and a shrine:
Monday, November 26, 2012
took the train to Kyoto. Checked in at our guest house...and started exploring the land of shrines and temples...a picture says a thousand words (you can click on pics to make them bigger)
Sunday, November 25, 2012
I had my usual breakfast (oats with honey and peanut butter) and coffee (1/2 of a Starbucks via- I’ve learned that I like coffee the morning before but not a lot) at 6AM. We left for the race at 6:45. Dropped bottles off and went to this waiting area (it was in someone’s historical house- very cool). At 8 I had my stinger waffle. The whole time I sipped on roctane (liquid calories are the way to go before a marathon- top off your fuel without worrying about digestion). My warm up got strewed up because I ran for 10 minutes in a little area and then was called in for roll call and then escorted to another building where we stood waiting to be called to the line. I’m not sure what the building was but it was an old historical building- really neat. However, when we were called to the line we were told to stay on our spots so instead of strides or anything I was stuck standing on a dot. Oh well. They made announcements to the crowds. When they called your name you were supposed to wave and bow. I listened very closely and thought I hear CU-RA-FO-DO (how they said Crawford)..there was a long silence and then I realized it was me so I waved and bowed and everyone cheered. I felt like I was in a movie and on a different planet. It was such a cool experience. The first 5k of the race was weird- I was trying to find my pace- everyone was flying past me but my watch said 6:08 when I looked down so I didn’t want to speed up. I missed my first water bottle at the 5k. My eyes were scanning the table but I just missed it. The guy by me saw me miss it and offered his bottle. I took a sip and it was pineapple juice- ick. That was super nice of him though. I continued on this time with the only focus of getting my bottle at the next 10k. I successfully snagged my second bottle. I took a sip and then the guy that gave me a sip of his juice said something in Japanese and put his hand out for my bottle. OH NO! I didn’t want to share because I had only put 6 oz in each bottle. I handed it to him at which point he drank some and handed it behind him to another guy. I turned around to see my bottle thrown to the side: (. I also noticed I was leading a pack of 8 Asian men. I determined that the next bottle stop I would try to explain that I needed all the drink. I also realized I was running into a head wind. However, whenever I tucked behind someone I felt like we slowed down and my stride was being stifled. At the next water station when the guys asked for it I pointed to how little there was in the bottle. They didn’t look happy and I felt mean but I drank my whole bottle. As I write this I realize that this is silly but I really felt bad and my thoughts were so preoccupied with this bottle dilemma! I soon got a little distance from the guys and I started to relax and enjoy the sites and cheering. I felt good. I started to get excited. None of my splits had been over 6:18 so I think I’m going to PR. I come to a clock and realize that it’s the half- wow already the half? I see 1:22:30 something- what? How can that be? I’m alittle disappointed because based on my splits it should have been faster. I speed up alittle trying to not surge and just go alittle faster. I feel fantastic- even better and more relaxed at the faster pace! Wow- this is weird. I get to the 20 miles. Only a 10k left. I debate if I should speed up or not. I determine no because I could still bonk. At Chicago I felt great until 4 to go and then died and same w at the trials. At 4 to go I do speed up. Then they start to mark 5k, 4k, 3k 2k, 1k to go. There is a massive hill at 5k to go- it wasn’t bad though but going down the hill without putting on the breaks was tough. When I get to the 3k the k’s seem to take longer than before. When I see the finish I know it’s a PR and I’m pumped! I am met with cheers and excitement. I feel euphoric for about 5 minutes. Then as I’m watching people finish around me with stiff wobbling legs it hits me that I could have gone faster and that reality gives me a sick feeling inside. You never want to waste an opportunity and maybe I won’t have a good day like this ever again. I put it aside though and live in the moment. This was awesome. I feel so grateful for the opportunity to travel across the world to do what I love so much- RUN! I hope that I was a good ambassador of Chicago and the US in our sister city Osaka so far away. No matter the distance, one thing is for sure. As I watch people finish, we have something in common. We all share that feeling of crossing a finish line.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Surprisingly Jeff and I didn’t wake up until 8:30AM wowser- that was a good night of sleep. J and I ran in the park in the morning- 4 miles +8 by 30 second pick ups. I’m getting nervous- I feel so out of breath on my strides and I also had a sore throat. Have my normal breakfast in the hotel and then head to meet our ride for packet pick up at 11AM. Go to packet pick up then straight to course preview on the bus. The bus ride was torcher- 3 hours of information overload being translated from Japanese to English by a translator telling me which side of the street to run on and all these little details. I am also freaking out a bit because I’m super hungry and it’s 3PM and I haven’t had lunch. Got back from the race preview at 5PM and got dressed up and ready for pick up for the welcome banquet 5:30- quick turn around. The banquet was sweet but it was standing tables and a lot of meet and greet. There was a lot of food but every time I took a bite I was getting pulled away to meet the major or director or some famous person I didn’t know and when I came back my plate would be gone…however I did get 6 rolls because those were not taken away : ). I got back to the hotel feeling a bit defeated. That was an awesome night and opportunity but I had done everything wrong from a marathon preparation point of view. I gathered my things together and went to bed. I had no problem falling asleep but then woke up at 2AM at which point I could not fall asleep. I wasn’t super nervous- I just couldn’t sleep.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
My first day in Japan I went to the Aquarium. It seemed like a good thing to do to test out my skills with getting around and yet not do anything too risky before the marathon. I walked over to the subway to be faced with this machine!
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Recently I have realized that the thoughts that go through my head are very unique to a marathoner : ) For example, today I cut my finger at work and the first thing that came to my head was "oh no! I'm losing blood- this is the opposite of doping! That can't be good!." Then the other night I woke up to in the night having to go to the bathroom and thought "this is great! I'm hydrated!." Anyway...I guess I'm ready for this marathon : )
Saturday, November 17, 2012
I head to Osaka Japan in a couple days. Packing my suitcase has gotten me super excited!
Saturday, November 10, 2012
I ran a cross country race today! I hadn’t run cross for almost a year. I LOVE cross country : ) Unfortunately I had a workout 2 by 25 minutes…no problem- I just jumped into the men’s race for a second repeat. I was sixth in the women’s race and our team was 4th. It was a competitive race. You also had to hurdle over hay bales and run up some VERY steep hills…as you can see I am not so good at hurdles : ) At the pic at the start I'm the gal with the orange spikes.