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We did it .. Tokyo Marathon 2015!

Wow.. It feels awesome to have completed the Tokyo Marathon 2015 on the 22nd of Feb, and to have completed it well!

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But preparing for the Tokyo Marathon 2015, had not been without sweat and tears. Here’s tips on how I trained.

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But in the end, all those 5am LSDs were worth it!

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One week out from the Tokyo Marathon, I did my 21K taper run in Osaka.

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5 days to marathon day, I did some interval sprints at the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

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3 days out from Tokyo Marathon, I did a 5K warm up run around Lake Kawaguchiko and the gorgeous Mt Fuji.. it took a while to get used to the cold, but by the week end , it was fine.

 

We arrive in Tokyo on the 21st – the day before the Marathon. We immediately head out to Tokyo Big Sight for the collection of our running bibs.

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Hopping on the Rinkai line, we took the JR train ride to Tokyo Big Sight – approx. 7-minute walk from Kokusai-Tenjijo Station where you alight.. 

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Spot moi! 

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Collected my bib with no problem whatsoever..

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Being the last day and all, it was actually less crowded..

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Or at least that’s what I thought, until I entered the expo!

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T-shirt collection by size.. trust the Japanese to be all very systematic and efficient;)

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The expo was crazy!!

Apparently 36,000 runners.. so you can’t imagine the crowd!

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And I actually found my name, in a sea of names, in a pictorial of the marathoners, running thru the streets of Tokyo.. how epic is that?!

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Couldn’t wait to be a part of history

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How thoughtful.. Asahi Dry Zero was given out to all participants.. zero meaning no alcohol content. Still, it tasted malty and pretty decent!

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some good at posing..

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and some were good at reading mags upside down..

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Sports shopping mecca.. Packed like sardines.. in preparation for tomorrow!

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there were even more costumes to spot, on the next day, believe me.. the Japs are totally 100% into their costumes. Some say, the best in the world..

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Join a run today!

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Keep on running.. don’t stop.. 

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shoe shopping frenzy

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blow job

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Kinesio taping my feet.. since they were so kind to offer, I wasn’t about to decline:)

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Hydrate so you don’t run till you’re all skin and bones:P

I really liked this next one Mag-On , Magnesium salts – they were grainy and tasted fabulous thanks to the Grapefruit flavouring. You just needed to knock it back with water. Mg is the 4th most abundant mineral in the human body, and runners need magnesium even more than the average person.

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Lack of it means leg cramps and muscle spasms. Your body needs magnesium for more than 300 biochemical reactions. Some functions of magnesium include maintaining nerve function, keeping bones strong, keeping your immune system healthy and maintaining a normal blood pressure. Of particular importance to runners is magnesium’s affect on muscle function. The mineral affects processes such as electrolyte balance, oxygen uptake and energy production, which are all involved in muscle function.

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a myriad of brands for running gels, salts, energy bars and running paraphernalia .. the mind boggles.. 

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I’d be there in a heartbeat.. looking for sponsors! LOL

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most funky compression pants on earth.. but they come at a premium price..

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so tempted to buy them!

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freaking long queue to pay, but at least the lines moved quickly

Then all of a sudden, I realised that I had forgotten my GLIDE – the stuff you put on to avoid chaffing (from friction between your skin and running gear). I was kicking myself for forgetting it since we had tons at home. Then as I looked around for it at the expo, the weird realization was that there seemed to be none to be found! Did the Japanese not suffer from this phenomenon.. or were they impervious to chaffing?

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Anyway, after looking high and low, and taking out the English-Japanese translator, and asking a many folks who were working at the expo, we finally found ONE of TWO! OMG.. in the whole expo only 2 types of lubricant! Anyway, it turned out to be good enough to do the job on the big day, but not as good as Glide. Glide still provides more lubrication than this brand, Athlete Guard by Asics.

Then it was time to go home.. and rest. For my big day would arrive in less than 12 hours!

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The race would start at 9am. A nice and Godly hour since it’s nice and cold in Japan (5°C) and you don’t need to wake at the crack of dawn. We hopped on the train and got to Shinjuku station by 7:45am, joined by tons of other runners, walking to their respective starting gates.

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Moi, all excited but shocked by the enormous number of runners!

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super clean streets through out the race. A big hats off to the Japanese for being so incredibly efficient

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security was tight too – it took almost an hour to clear security at the finish line, for those who went to Tokyo Big Sight to catch the grand finale, of runners crossing the finishing line.

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Spot the Ninja!

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The lovely supporters .. they cheered for us till the bitter end! 

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“What’s the time Mr. Wolf?” Good person to ask, if you are chasing a Sub 5 !

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The queues for the loo were phenomenal. I held mine in till the end.. I’m still not sure how I did it, till today:P

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Big smiles on all runners. What a lovely atmosphere. I’d never seen anything like it

I ran my first 21K at a faster but comfortable pace, and then eased into my run from the 22nd KM till the 35th KM. Then I started to pick up the momentum again. With so many supporters giving the runners food and drinks (pancakes, chocolates, plums, sweets etc) we didn’t even need the food organized by the hosts (bananas etc), but I ate it all, anyway:P

When I saw the last 4KM ahead of me, I just told myself “just like we practiced – nothing to it”. Only 4KM! Two rounds of the park and you’re done!

Well that, and the thundering sound of supporters in my ears, the dancers, the flags and the drums, I just picked up my feet and ran as fast as I could, towards the finish line.

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she did it!

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he did it!

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the super mario brothers did it!

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they did it!

And I sure as hell did it!!

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In the end, I ran my best at this race. Runners called it, PB, or Personal Best.

Clocking 5 hrs or so, for previous full marathons, this one turned out to be a surprise. For this Tokyo Marathon, I clocked 4:54 for 42.9KM! It was definitely a personal best, of Sub 5, and one I am proud of.

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What an amazing race! The God sent weather, the awesome backdrop of Tokyo City, the Feverish anticipation of every single Runner, and finally the astounding Climax of a People who were behind the Runners, 100% of the way – I’ve never seen anything like it! The last 195 meters were epic – the sound of the drums, the flags going crazy.. it’s the like unified chant and pulse of the supporters lifted you off your feet, past the final few yards of your life. Thank you, Tokyo for making this the best marathon I have run to date.

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Then it was time to soak those weary feet and get that hard earn massage before returning home to enjoy our achievements for the day!

One of the best, most well organized marathons I have run to date. But then again I have not run many so… it remains to be seen, but right now, all I can say is that Tokyo, would be the one to top!

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5 Responses to We did it .. Tokyo Marathon 2015!

  1. Jamie March 3, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    Love the pictorial recap! Congrats again!

    • ciki March 6, 2015 at 8:19 am #

      Awww.. thank you Jamie!:) It was a great event.. words can’t even do it justice la! 🙂

  2. Macky March 4, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

    A big congratulations on your Tokyo Marathon experience. Lovely photos.

    • ciki March 6, 2015 at 8:18 am #

      Thanks Macky! The feeling of elation after completing it.. was like nothing on earth! 🙂

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