Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Niigata Half Marathon
Last Sunday marked my biggest and longest race in Japan, the Niigata Half Marathon. I signed up for this race only 2 weeks after I got to Japan, so I was really excited to finally see it come around. However, I was not happy when an odd pain in my right foot that had me limping came around just 3 days before the race. Despite my best efforts to alleviate this mysterious ache, it persisted right up to race day. Although the pain had gotten steadily more bearable it was still noticeable when I walked. After a 20 minute warm-up jog I surmised that racing was not going to hurt it any worse. However, in convincing myself of that statement, I had to remember the subtleties contained in its meaning: Not hurting it any worse did not mean it was not going to hurt. I could only smile and say, “No one ever said 13 miles was going to be painless.” I was quite strong for the first half of the race, but as my body began to wear from the effort it became harder for my mind to overcome the pain in my foot. My pace dropped precipitously over the last 5 kilometers. I finished in a time of 1.30.23, a full 10 minutes off my goal, but I was proud of my effort considering that I had contemplated not even running the race only hours before starting it. I will be taking place in a 2 distance relay events this month, so I should be able to supply my wonderful readers with more running stories very soon. Hopefully they will not include prefaces about hobbling.