||• Tokyo known as the largest,
most crowded metropolis in the world
with an estimated 13 million people,
has been my residence for the last 15 years.
I lived in Sasazuka; Shibuya Ward,
all those years,having a classic enjoyable life simply because I love Japan
Tokyo being an amazing place to live
24/7, 365 days a year
Areas like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Dogenzaka,
Omotesendo, Roppongi to name only a few,
the town never slows down, simply never stops
full of opportunities as long as you keep yourself openly ready.During a hot Sunday afternoon of summer 2006
I was off guard, unconscious of the enormity of the situation
when I smiled at my wife unaware that life can change so dramatically, so quickly with a simple
“ Of course; I Do ”.
That very same day, few hours and a mouse-click later,
she had registered me to be part of the first ever Open Public Tokyo Marathon held in Feb 2007.
Tokyo Marathon 2007 was not only for the Elite nor Club member runners anymore but open to the regular guy:
The salary man, The Louis Vuitton bags addicted office lady, the Otaku, the bar hostesses or Me !
but first, I had to be selected through a Lottery system and by mid October picked I was ! …
Was I damned ?
Entry fee is a flat 12000¥ for foreigners,
10000¥ for Japaneses.So tell me what you would have done …
I had only 2 options left
1) Ignore it, pretend I didn’t receive that Email.
2) Acknowledge it, pay the Online Fee thru Credit card System.
Going through registration of course made a lot of sense.How many times was I going to have the opportunity to run that race in my Life !
How many times had I ever been able to win a lottery in my Life !
Simply Never Ever !
I called my wife and over the phone officially told her … I have been SELECTED !
But wait ; How do you train for a marathon ?
I mean get started … seriously … religiously.
I had run a few 10 k when I was in my early 20
and a couple of half marathons in 1 ; 29 mn.
But a M-A-R-A-T-H-O-N.
we’re talking 42km 195 or 26.2 Miles !
I tell you what .
I hate Programs, Schedules, Workout Plans
It has to be a fun practice or forget it !
You tell me .. WHEN !
You tell me .. WHERE !
I’ll deal with … The HOW !
No Track, No Speed-work,
No Interval run, No Hill reps …
None of that at all.
Just listening to my Body during my preparation …
It had worked more than fine before, it will again …
I have done my share of Chrono-Addict Running in the past
So I did just that; went out with my IPod on and enjoyed it most days of the week.
Sure; let’s not Forget
I have in Japan practiced Judo 6 day a week for 4 years ~ 25 years in total ~
Physically the base foundation is there,
just 18 kg overweight
As for Walking, Jogging, Running
I have only one trick up into my sleeve and it’s very simple :
JUST GO STRAIGHT AHEAD OF YOU
Starting with 10 mn then 30 mn or 1 h
no matter how long but go slow …
~ UNTIL YOU GET TIRED ~
and when you are tired jogging …
you have no choice left then simply Walking back Home.
I never ever went running in circle the same pathetic loop because I would have stopped,
not physically but Mentally !
I have read magazines, browsed the Web ,
and got info out of curiosity
But what’s how I had planned no matter what my personal Stuff. Period !
Sunday February 18th 2007 …
Some 38 000 chosen “Aliens” and Japanese were all together at the start line in front of the Shinjuku City Hall
I was there, a couple of hundred meters away from the start line, ready,
prepared and … a lot slimmer …
I had lost 14 Kg in 6 months just for this event,
a lot of weight the last 3 months down from 78 to 64 Kg.
I had completely changed my diet …
I kept eating anything I wanted but in a different way and added 3 natural little things
that even helped me to reduce Cholesterol back to normal without any drug …
1: Goji …
2: 99% Dark Chocolate
3: Garlic powder over Celery Branches
I have also completely stopped drinking …
No wine No beer, That was OK but …
No Japanese Sake was hard for me !
Sunday February 18th 2007
there I was .. tensed because it was my first experience;
and like any first time,
you won’t stop asking yourself questions until the big “BANG”;
I was Freezing to death
because of the Incredible Cold Icy Rain. 5º.
We had no rain at all during Winter …
You could not have wished for better,
ideal days to go out running for months.
But things changed quite dramatically on Saturday, the day before D day …
The weather forecast dropped a bombshell upon Tokyo ….
No worries! They are always wrong.
The Sky turned ugly, the Temperature dropped and Rain poured all night.
No intention of a bit of clemency or understanding ! It was pouring rain.
The Rest is History …
with 38 000 White “Tokyo Metro” Plastic Bags running the Streets of Tokyo.
An hallucinating experience
4h 51’52″ of pure delirium later
I passed the finishing line of my very First Marathon during which I had been Smiling, Blaming everyone,
Laughing, Whining but more than anything Happy
Being emotionally stressed, Flying high psychologically, Experiencing my first Endorphin Kick
just to fall physically down later hitting The Wall even swearing at that old lady whom was wearing her Honolulu 2005 Cap
and nonchalantly passed me at Km 38.
Nonetheless it was very important for me to take Pictures of those unbelievable moments which never came to an end.
The rain had stopped …
but wet were my cheeks … I was crying !
I had experienced in One Single Morning all kinds of feelings, that someone might only experience in a week,
a month or may be never will.
Emotions that can undeniably change the course of our Lives !
• Note : As always 5 out of 5 Toes
I highly recommend it.
A perfect course for beginners completely flat, extremely well organized .
going through some of the best Tokyo areas. streets and wards .
The City is amazing …
You might read that finishing line is a bit far and that transportation back to Shinjuku are scarce …
but that’s pure lack of -Information- …
Oh …! Last but not least : The Food …
Duh !? Do I really need to introduce Japanese Food to You !?