|Exchange during Chiba Ekiden.|
I can't believe that in 15 hrs I'll be on a plane to Tokyo, Japan. Really? Me? An energetic mom of three going on a 13 hr flight? This is really going to be something. I'm not much of a movie watcher or reader so I have no idea how the time is going to pass! At least I know the flight to Amsterdam in April was much easier than I had anticipated. But then again, I flew through the night and slept most of the time. Our flight to Tokyo is smack-dab in the middle of the day! Yikes. The strangest thing will be coming back because with the time change and length of flight, we arrive in Toronto around the same time we departed Tokyo, like time standing still! It will be in the afternoon in Toronto but feel like midnight. Hard to wrap my head around it but I figure that I've had enough sleepless nights with the kids (and dog) that I'll survive. Jonathan is going to pick us up so I'm sure we'll stop for a Starbucks coffee on the way home. That should keep me going until bed, especially since I've decreased my coffee consumption to fairly minimal amounts (the last few days) and won't likely drink too much over there!
My bags are packed but I have this strange feeling that I'm forgetting something. It seems it should be more difficult to pack for this trip than any other, considering where I'm going and the time I'll be gone. Oh well. I guess it was easier than other races because: 1) I'm only packing for myself (no kids' lunches, backpacks, suitcases) and 2) It's not a marathon so no need for bagels, gels, and such.
I look forward to the team atmosphere with this race. It will be a change from the marathon, which is so individually focused, and take me back to the days of highschool cross country and university hockey. I especially look forward to the post race banquet with all of the other countries (around 15 or so). The Japanese people really treat athletes with a high level of respect, I'm told. I can't wait to really experience the culture of Japan. My sister in law, Aimee and friend, Matt have really got me excited as they were able to tell me about their experiences. I've done a bit of research on the "onsen", shoe etiquette, bowing, and cuisine. Wow! It will certainly be like nothing I've ever experienced! Can't wait!
Canadian Running has a nice write up about the Chiba Ekiden (click here), which is an extremely competitive and popular race. It is composed of of six legs, 5K, 5K, 10K, 5K, 10K and 7.195K, which add up to equal the distance of a single marathon. Together, we'll go for a fast cumulative marathon time. Last year’s Cdn team was 10th in 2:13.The race alternates between men and women. I'll either do a 5K or 7.2 K. After we get there, talk about how we're feeling, do a bit of easy running, and meet as a team, we'll decide who is doing which leg. Here's a link to the race. Our Canadian team includes: 2012 Olympians Reid Coolsaet and Alex Genest, as well as Geoff Martinson, Rob Watson, Lanni Marchant, Tara Korir and Rachel Hannah. The two coaches are Jon Brown and Rick Mannen, and the physiotherapist is Ron O'Hare.
Speaking of Reid, you'll have to take a look at his blog. Like my husband, he too is taking part in Movember. Gotta give credit to these two and the many other men participating in such a worthy cause, which is to raise funds and awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer and male mental health initiatives. Go here to support my husband, Jonathan. Or here, to support Reid. Right now Reid is at $215 and Jonathan is at $25. If, upon my return, Jonathan is at $215 or higher, I will give $215.
Well, it's time for bed. I'll get up early tomorrow to go for a little run before showering, eating breakfast and heading out. It'll be a busy household as I'll be leaving at the same time the boys go to school. But grammy is here so it should be fairly smooth.
Looking forward to writing about my experience upon my return. Thanks for your encouraging messages and prayers, folks!