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  • Two Weeks and Counting

    Posted on February 16th, 2013 Michele Sun No comments

    Who would have thought that journey to Tokyo Marathon requires hundred hours of training, thousand miles of traveling plus countless hours of  losing sleep and crying one’s heart out?

    A bit frustrated after the last 20ml long run on  Sat, Feb 9th,  so I started asking opinions and inputs from other runners. Not that I can change my performance at this moment – 2 weeks before the race, but I do wish to correct what I have done wrong since Dec,  and hopefully avoid the same hurdle(s) for next major race. Got some very valuable feedback from Jim  which I definitely should pay attention to in the future.

    This is the first time I have heard of “Periodization of training”  and I looked it up on Wikipedia; so the principal is to understand that we can’t win them all — pick a few key events, run others in support of that, have big and little cycles so that the key events occur at the crest of training waves. They cannot all be Key Events. You cannot get a PR at every one, and you cannot train as if each one will be your fastest outing. And sometimes life just gets in the way, whether its work, relationships, family, illness, any of these can force you to change your plan. So in my case, I am dealing with personal issue that’s breaking me down.

    I have described the changes took place in this training season as curve ball, but over the weekend I got hit by a wild pitch which I did not see it coming, totally surprised!! San Francisco was so beautiful and sunny, but I felt cold, wounded, bruised, and hurt very badly. The event unfold slowly from Sat night and continued on, and at first I was pretty numb and just accepted the fact as it is. Monday night I had a per-committed dinner to attend, and during the middle of the dinner I was in so much pain that I had to walk to a corner and curled myself to ball-shape on the floor and hugged my knees to cry.   It’s causing so much pain that I needed to vocalize it —   “I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t see myself going to Tokyo and sitting in the hotel room driving myself crazy.” The last thing I wanted to do is running this race again and thinking about why I got totally stonewalled by my very dearest friend. My friend was shocked to see me like this and she took me into her arms and gently touched my hair and just let me crying my heart out…Posttraumatic stress disorder!!

    That night I was so exhausted emotionally and physically, so I fell asleep fast…

    Tuesday Feb 12, waking up around 4am and I stared into the darkness thinking,  “Michele, you can go to Tokyo by yourself with the mindset of you will reset everything during this trip. You will see the similar scenery but you will treat it as a new journey. Go to the Start and finish the Marathon strong, then you will come back as a new person. If you can beat this and come back from the bottom, you will  be so proud of yourself and you will be fixed!” I half preached half hypnotized myself over and over again, and at 5:50am I found myself was out of the door promptly for my weekday morning run. It was cold and dark as last few weeks, but I was infused with new energy. I focused on my running and completely lost track of time till I saw the horizon ahead of me was so bright, then I realized that I have ran past my usual turn around point. I rushed back home and hopped into hot shower preparing for my new day — my turn to host company-wide  meeting today!  This was going to be a very busy week with crazy workload, and I welcome every bits of distraction.

    I have received my GU race shirt, two visors and boatload of GU products – GU Gel, GU Chomps, GU Brew, Recovery Brew and my favorite Roctane…etc, though I am not obliged to wear the shirt at Tokyo Marathon, but I think it will be pretty remarkable to have Tokyo Marathon as my debut GU marathon race. The black color is not going to stand out like the CTR New Year’s One Day finisher shirt, but with the lime green first layer from Venkat should still work. The weather in Tokyo is expected to be at low 30’s, and hope it won’t rain or snow. Since I need to have new profile picture taken,  Christophe  is going to do so before I take off on Sat. He would even run my last taper run at my snail pace with me, which he probably can run, cook, dance, write letters on his phone, drink tea…all at the same time 🙂

    GU sponsored products

    After that PTSD on Tue night, I finally released all the frustrations that have been built-up inside of me, and I wonder how I could stay so unhealthy for so long?!  I don’t think I have picked wrong friend, but still shocking to realize how little our friendship means. When I saw Josh that evening he asked me how life was, and I said “it sucked”. He gave me a little squeeze  and said “hope life treats you better” when he walked me to my car, and for that little squeeze I choked up a little bit! I am a very simple person and I care about people in my life… so why it sucked so much?

    Thur Feb 14th, ran another 5 1/2 miles in the morning and saw spring would be coming back to Bay Area pretty soon; can’t wait to go back to trail runs. After work I met with a group of friends and we went out to watch Django Unchained on this Valentine’s Day evening, some super bromance we share together! Since it’s a Tarantino movie, I had to point out that I am going to that Gonpachi restaurant in Ronppongi to check out the Kill Bill fighting scene 🙂

    Friday is last day at work, and I started to visualize the trip! I looked up how to get to hotel from the Haneda airport, and figured shuttle bus will be easier but it runs every 90 minutes so can be tricky to time it right. I decided that I will take the monorail or train to Shinagawa, then transfer to JR line and go to Shinjuku. The hotel will be within minutes of walk from train station, and also I can walk to the Start on race day. Finally the Marathon is getting real, and I am looking forward to it. Everyone knows that I hate packing, and I always wait and wait till the very last minute. As I was getting my passport, I found the JR pass and train tickets from last year! What a great and precious memory, so will it be ever possible to reset?


    Sat morning I met up with Christophe at 8:00am in Willow Glen, and we found there was a nice cherry blossom right by the creek trail. He asked me what kind of imagine I like to have and I said “a runner” 🙂 We had couple still shots and running shots, and mission accomplished.  We started my last taper run toward the Campbell Park, and he made sure I had the pace I wanted which I am very grateful of his sacrificing his time and training. We came upon some runners that  I know (and some I don’t), but people called out my name. Christophe joked that “you are famous.” Weather was nice and it actually got warm pretty fast, I did not carry any hydration belt or backpack with me, so I was a little huffing and puffing. We talked about work stuffs a bit, and he told me that he was glad that I am going ahead to run the race. “Should not let anyone manage your life.” and I thank his words of wisdom.

    GU Profile Picture

    After the run I was wondering if Fernando and Venkat was still at the Campbell Park, or they took off already. I drove by the Park and decided to make a quick stop. To my surprise so many friends were standing there and waiting. Wow!!! We posed for a group GU photo 🙂
    After a quick shower, I went to meet them in Mt View for my send-off. We had great burger and tasty beer at the Steak Out and I looked across street saw the place where I hosted the send-off for Max last April. I got a very cute kimono origami from Kiyoko and I promised to bring it with me to Tokyo. This will be my lucky charm!!  To have genuine friendship, of course I am lucky!!

    Packing actually isn’t too bad, since the most important items are my running stuffs. I packed my shirts, sports bra, tight, short,toe-socks, compression sleeve, gloves, two pairs of running shoes and one jacket, then added KT tape, Body Glide, and the race packet.  They took up half of my suitcase space, then I threw in two jeans and couple t-shirts. Job done!! Now I am ready to log off and head to the airport, and go run a marathon!!

    I will do everything humanly possible to “Enjoy the Marathon” and make it fun!! Expect my next blog entry from Tokyo 🙂

    Gambatte Michele!!








    1 responses to “Two Weeks and Counting” RSS icon

    • Great that you now focused on the possibilities that a “reset” affords. I am in this marathon for a “reset” goal and can feel some of the anxity you have expressed. Good onya (as the aussies say)”. Good luck next week and see you(with the other 36,000 in three days at the Expo,

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