Now back on the Sunshine Coast, reflecting on my two weeks in Japan, I am swamped with feelings of accomplishment, amazement, motivation and anticipation…
The first four days in Nagoya were quite uneventful, going on short runs, resting and carbo-loading, while getting used to the freezing weather conditions! Site-seeing was restricted to what ground I could cover on my training runs, and being a coeliac, I had to be careful with my nutrition and save the trial of amazing Japanese cuisine for post-race.
Initially I found the cold really difficult to train in, which made me slightly worried about how I’d go come race day. The week was colder than predicted, reaching only about 2-6 degrees most of the time.
But, when race morning finally arrived, I felt fresh, was able to warm up in my track suit and strip down on the start line shortly before the gun. It was definitely gloves and arm-warmer weather, and the temperature only reached a maximum of 5 degrees during the race. The first 10km I felt like I was flying along, setting a great pace and then we were hit by a head wind at 12km that seemed to stay right until the finish.
I was able to take on a couple of Shotz gels and some Shotz electrolytes, but not before dropping my first two bottles and a gel! Luckily, I had prepared spares and given the warm climate I’m use to, I didn’t need to take on much fluid. There are always things to learn in racing, and being only my second marathon I definitely learned few things along the way. I’m already excited for my next one!
When speaking with other elite runners, I soon realized that everyone found the conditions tough, most athletes running a few minutes slower than they’d hoped, and a PB was very rare. I suddenly felt even more pleased with my effort.
My goal was to run under 2 hours 40 minutes, so I was really happy to run a 2:38 marathon. This was more than 3 minutes quicker than my Melbourne Marathon time that was only 5 months ago. I know I can run another big PB in my next race, and I am crossing my fingers that I’ll be given the opportunity to do so at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.