Getting’ the Heck out of My Comfort Zone
By Eloise Wellings
I've arrived safely and happily in Japan. I had 5 hours of transit in Haneda airport (just outside Tokyo) where I read, slept, and ate my weight in edamame.
I'm missing our little Indi girl so much already. Things got a bit desperate whilst in transit when I found one of her T-shirts in the bottom of my handbag and, when no one was looking - put my hoodie on for some privacy and sniffed her lil' tshirt a while. She helped me back my bags yesterday, putting in various items like the air conditioner remote and assorted clothing including her daddy's undies. Lucky - things could of got really weird in transit had I not used my pincers to put those back on the dirty pile when she wasn't looking.
It's 3 degrees here so I'm pleased I brought my (own) thermal underwear and was just about in heaven when I arrived at the hotel, sat down on the toilet seat and found it to be heated "Who thinks of this!" I exclaimed out loud! Total genius. Not sure I'm quite ready for the rest of the capabilities of said toilet.
The race is Sunday at 1035am, with 10,000 people entered so I'm hoping for a top ten thousand. There's a really good field of Japanese runners and a Lithuanian runner who has run a decent half marathon time so it should be a good race. Tomorrow I'm visiting a local elementary school with a couple of other athletes, no doubt this will be super cute. Saturday is press conference and then Sunday is game time.
I've not been this nervous about a race for a while. It's not crippling, but it's there and it's mildly humouring. It's so like me because I'm so comfortable with the familiar and because this is the big debut, the event and the pain and the feeling of the distance is an unknown. But this is exactly why I'm doing it! A new challenge, gettin' the heck out of my comfort zone.
I won I won!
After 21.1k on the roads I've pulled up not too foul thanks for asking. When I say "not too foul", I mean I'm walking like I was when I was in labour with Indi- wide stance, slight waddle, slow and ginger, mild food baby from buffet breakfast. But no contractions. Yet. Praise The Lord.
A quick summary of the race is that the gun went off and I put one foot in front of the other as fast as I could for an inordinate amount of time. I was hustled about in the tight pack of Japanese runners and one Lithuanian who all have PB's of around 69-71 mins for the half. There was about 10 of us tightly bunched for the first half of the race) we went through 10k in 32.39 and 5-10k was 16:00.)
At the half way point I was feeling great and decided I needed to make a move to shake things up a bit, I got a gap of about 100m and pretty much stayed that way the rest of the race. There was a strong head wind coming back so the last 5k or so was the longest of my life and I was delighted to spot the stadium in the distance where we would run the last 200m on the track to the finish line.
Post race was pretty chaotic, a few translated interviews, a drug test and an attempt at a cool down.
Getting back to the hotel, I was pretty cold so I spent some time on the heated toilet seat - read a book, sipped at green tea, slurped some udon noodle, wrote some postcards, that sort of thing. Very soothing, like a slow burning wood fire!
The organisers were kind to take us out for a traditional Japanese dinner where we ate our weight in sushi and fried chicken.
Getting back to the hotel I face timed Jono, had some larfs, blew some kisses and then had my own little karaoke party in my room what with the myriad of karaoke channels. Love me a bit of Lionel Richie.
More than pumped about getting on a plane home now - got Indi's shirt primed for some sniffing.