When I first received an email to let me know I’d got into the Tokyo marathon I was overjoyed. It would tick another marathon major, and I’d get to visit a country that had long been on my bucket list, oh and run a marathon!! I was thrilled, and felt extremely lucky as a number of other friends hadn’t been so lucky in the ballot.
After Chicago my plan was still to run the Tokyo marathon in February, and just run for fun but for a number of reasons I won’t be running my next 26.2 miles in Asia.
Firstly I’m mentally not ready to run another marathon in less than 4 months time. I would have to have started training almost immediately on returning and my head is not in that space right now.
My knee (and weirdly my foot) isn’t feeling one hundred per cent OK, I think I need to address the issues there rather than continuing to foam roll/cross my fingers and hope for the best. I’ll want to run fast in Japan after missing my goal a few weeks ago and I don’t think I’m capable of pushing physically (or mentally) for another 3.35 attempt so soon after Chicago.
I’ve been lucky enough to have Tom and my family supporting me at each of the marathons I’ve run, due to the timing of this year’s Tokyo marathon, none of them would be able to join me on the trip. For me, having them there is such a confidence boost, and I don’t want to have to run it without them, plus Tom’s really keen for a trip to Japan so I’d feel mean going without him. Although I’d probably know a few people out there, or make friends on the trip, going alone isn’t my idea of fun and cost wise, travelling alone would be so much higher.
Unfortunately you can’t defer your Tokyo marathon entries (which I actually think is a little irresponsible from the organisers as I would imagine it leads to more illegal swaps and runners racing when they’re injured) so I will probably enter the ballot again next year or sign up to run with 2.09 events (I ran the NYC marathon with them in 2013, and my step-dad ran Chicago with them!) Sadly this is a more expensive option but at least it means guaranteed entry!
In the meantime, I am focusing on running for fun, getting my fitness back through HIIT style classes, and thinking about whether I might be able to sneak a spot in the London Marathon to run for pure enjoyment around my home city! I’d also love to try to race a half marathon if my knee feels like it, I have some serious time to knock off!
Have you ever signed up for a race then had to pull out? What do you think about races that won’t let you defer entry?