I wished a typhoon would come and the race would be canceled. I was terrified, I had never run more than 30 km and know I was for the first time in Japan trying to face the constraints we set to ourselves. My resistance was so great that I made a hotel reservation for the wrong night, for the night after and not before the race.
Kindly, Norbert hosted me and my sister through Couch Surfing. He took us to Marugame ramen the night before the race, so those were my pre-race carbs. My sister stood beside me in the morning when the fear would cloud my mind and would not let me find my way among changing room and wardrobes. I wanted to smile, the sky was gray and cloudy, I had to wear my winter jacket in that cold. Other runners were wearing plastic coats they could throw away in the middle of the course. I gave my sister the jacket while waiting already by the departing line.
As learned from the literature, I divided the race into smaller psychological chunks. First 5 km was warm up before they were done I had to stop to release my fear. Up to 10 is our speed distance, no problem. Took the first sports gel. Japanese kids set up shows in the way.Then up to 21, half marathon I have raced and trained many times. Then I had to go up the bridge by the ocean. They say that while going uphill you can tell the runners apart. All fine to 26, next sports gel, fortunately mojito flavored. It was raining all along. Japanse shouting motivation, a Mr, replying thanks to each one. I stayed beside him to feel less lonely among endless fields. 30, that was the greatest distance I had ever run in my life, and the only time I had attempted it I threw up right after and felt destroyed. This time my pace was good and I didn’t feel any problem in my stomach. I had not drunk any water in 30 km of the race.
I took a long playlist including songs suggested by the dearest people in my life, so when their songs would come on I would think of them to keep courage. At 36 I felt fine and realize I would make it, from then on I started to run with a smile on my face. At 38 I started losing speed, I had to go back to my pace but those 2km were the hardest. At 40 I remembered my mom would have traveled all the way from Mexico to be with me, I had not seen her, but I knew she was in Toyama already, I just wanted to run to her arms and thank her for this life, despite all the pain. I had no more gel, so I took a peace of some chewy green algae they were offering. No water. I saw many runners left behind by the race course with cramps. I came to the finishing line with a full heart.
I got my certificate, my medal, and my towel, it seems its a Japanse thing to give towels and my wet body appreciated it.
Excitement blocked the exhaustion until I got to the changing room and could barely move. I dragged my self to our hotel room with my sister. Showed and slept in a fever for a few hours. My brother came too, I could walk and get some noodles in ice. Completely worth it. Thanks, Japan, running, life.
Thanks to Elix for daring me to run a full marathon, for gifting me the running shorts I train in and ran in Toyama with, a partner in running, feminism and life.