I never thought I could be at the starting line of the Tokyo Marathon 2012 after getting a cold with strong fever bouts from Thursday night, barely 3 days away. On Friday night the fever was so strong that left me feeling so sick on Saturday morning and could only manage to get out of bed at about 1pm. I was therefore sure if I get another fever bout on Saturday night, I couldn’t make it on Sunday.
Luck was on my side as far as fever was concerned, as on Saturday night there was no fever except for a bit of headache and Nausea. I kept psyching myself up for the race, preparing my stuff. The preparation included things like pinning the tag on my running gear, attaching the chip to my shoe, setting up the fluids that I needed and so on. I didn’t want to entertain the thought that I couldn’t run despite feeling sick.
On the Big day I woke up at 5:30 after about 6 hours sleep. I went to the convenience store and got two onigiris with some tea. I like Onigiris and Jasmine tea during races. They are comfortable on my stomach. When I got to the running area, most of the areas were quite crowded. Long queues at public toilets. I avoided such crowded places and entered one of the expensive hotel buildings in the vicinity. Many runners don’t go to such places. I found vacant toilets at 53 floor, relieved myself and changed. From the building I just headed to the luggage truck and deposited my stuff.
This time I was put in Block D. I was supposed to be in block A, but my Rikuren Association membership expired at the beginning of this year. During the application it was alright I believe, so technically, I lost the special status. That was really annoying, but good I got the chance.
I entered the running area few minutes before the gates closed and fortunately there were very few people manning the gates, so no one was telling me where to go. When I looked around I saw the B block runners just infront of me, I skipped the barrier and melted in the B group: a great relief! Soon I met a Namban guy and we started a bit of chit-chat, then another Namban guy who had the chance to run 6 consecutive Tokyo Marathons joined us, then he pushed a bit ahead of us as he was shooting for a sub 3hrs.
I was still coughing and feeling sick before the gun, so I opted to go conservatively. I had my cellphone with me, watching the leaders as I ran the first 7 kilometres, before my battery went dead. This time I wasn’t in a rush, I learnt from my past mistake. I took enough time at water points, stopping literally in some occasions to make sure I drunk. Also I had my own energy drink in my runner’s pocket. I planned to take one at about 15km, another one at 25km area, and the last one at over 35km point.
Everything went well, I didn’t feel hungry at 25km point like in my previous race, nor did I feel any calf muscles pain. I was well fueled so I didn’t pick any Bananas on the offing. However, when approaching 37km mark I started getting blurred vision, when I look ahead I couldn’t focus on anyone infront of me. So I opted to look up at buildings to get my focus back. At 37km point I took my last energy drink, but the blurry vision continued so I opted to go slow. At this point I could imagine how Yuki Kawauchi feels before collapsing. I knew for sure if I push I might collapse, but that was mainly due to the cold that I had and the medications that I took before the race I guess.
In addition, if we look back, I only had a 30.8 km longest run, I was sure the pain might start after 35km point. Find the splits below:
Split （Net Time）