Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Japan Fun Runners Marathon

The last race I ran was a spur of the moment type run again. I run with several running groups here in Thailand, but the one I associate myself with the most is Bangkok Runners. It's a social running group but I don't get out to many of the social events, just a run or two per month with them. I've also ran with Banana Running. One of the members of Bangkok Runners, K-san, sent us an invitation to run a marathon with the Japan Fun Runners, another Bangkok-based group. I got this invitation on Friday and committed to the Sunday morning run on Saturday. A little goofy but I had an itch that needed to be scratched ;)

Considering that I'm Japanese/American, I didn't feel too out of place running with the Japan Fun Runners. I'd seen many of them at other races, just never talked too them (most of them were always ahead of me). This was similar because I got to Lumpini Park about 6 minutes early for the start but spent 5 minutes in the bathroom taking care of the spicy soup I'd eaten the day before. This was perhaps the marathon that I've been least prepared for as far as training and nutrition. It showed or at least I felt it a lot more.

The race course was a little over marathon distance at 42.5 kilometers. I finished the whole race in 4:00:42  and actually stopped my watch at 3:58:24 when I passed 42.195 kilometers, marathon distance. Most of the runners were participating in a relay, so after the first 21 kilometers the fresher team runners started to pass me. A little discouraging but they were clearly marked with colored sashes. Every time they passed me or I passed the start/finish line (ran a 2.5km loop) they would yell words of encouragement, in Japanese. It was nice.

There were actually only four of us goofy enough to run the full marathon. Three of us finished. I was almost a DNF as I got a little dizzy around 30km. I stopped at my cooler and had a Pocari Sweat (electrolyte drink similar to Gatorade) and saw the disappointed faces of the small Japanese cheering contingent who thought I had quit. But as much as I wanted to quit, I couldn't let the excuses that had been filling my head for the past ten minutes keep me from finishing. I chugged along with "not dying" and finishing around 4 hours filling my mind.

Minus the part where I had to overcome the strong need to have the discomfort end (quit the race), it was fun and it scratched that itch. Next time though, I'll choose a marathon off in the distance so I'll have plenty of time to prepare my body for that type of effort.

1 comment:

mardenheyjude said...

Nice to see you back to running. It certainly takes a lot more out of you when you run a marathon in the spur of the moment. You made great time. Love always, Auntie

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