4 days to Tokyo Marathon 2017

Here we go…

After 18 weeks of solid training, 3 pretty solid races (5k, 10k, half-marathon), umpteen training sessions including long runs of 20+ miles, temp runs, intervals, fartleks, strides, etc. etc. I am on the flight from LAX to Narita. The Phoenix-LAX flight was delayed giving me a slight scare that I will miss my connection but fortunately we got to LA with time to spare.

My race plan is almost final. The basic strategy is the same as the Berlin Marathon and the London Marathon. I want to start out with a controlled heart-rate for the first 4 miles and then let it flirt into level 2 for the next 9 miles (until the half-way mark). After that, if I have enough left in me, I will pick up the pace to let my heart-rate drift into level 3 and hopefully finish strong. I’m quite sure I will know in the first 5 miles what kind of day I am having. The crucial point will inevitably come at around mile 20! If I can run the race in the low 3:40s, I will be happy. If I am somehow able to get into the 3:30s, I will be ecstatic. I have zero chance of going sub 3:30. I’m just not as fast as I used to be.

As for nutrition, I am planning to carry 6 salt pills (swallow 2 every hour), Gatorade Endurance gels, honey waffles and Soleil bars. I haven’t decided when exactly I will consume these but I want to take in around 150 calories every 45 minutes.

Fortunately, the weather will be nice and cool (a bit too cool at around 40 degrees at race-time), but should warm up nicely into the low 50s. Winds are expected to be light but slightly against the runners. If winds pick up, I know how to draft!

Planning the first 2 days in Tokyo (including packet pickup)

The race is on Sunday. I land in Tokyo on Thursday evening. By the time we get to the hotel, it will be dinner-time. On Friday (tomorrow), I expect to visit Tsukiji (the largest fish market in the world) and then head over to the Expo to pick up my bib. I’m sure I will pick up a few official Tokyo Marathon souvenirs (t-shirts, etc.) before taking the train to the starting line (Shinjuku).

We still have 3 hours left on the flight. I’m going to read a little about the birds in Japan. Since it is winter, we don’t expect to see much but it would be nice to catch a few wading birds and ducks in the gardens and ponds of Tokyo. We also have a tentative plan of visiting the Snow Monkeys the day after the race. It will be a hectic day but a lot of it will be spent sitting in the Bullet Train to Nagano from Tokyo.

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