The Tokyo marathon was a bit of redemption for me. I finally ran a qualifying time for the Boston marathon which I plan to run in April, 2008. I have had this goal for the last year, a time span that encompasses my last three marathons. Last March I ran the Nagano Olympic Marathon and finished in 3:21:18; a measly 19 seconds away from qualifying. Then last October I ran the Portland marathon with my friend LBG and ran a disheartening, disappointing, crushing 3:50:38. Finally at Tokyo I was able to train sufficiently and in spite of a crucial error in judgement (more on that later) I broke through the barrier. Throughout the marathon I never felt like I was in a good running rhythm. Towards the end I started to slow and was mentally calculating what I needed to do over the last 5-7k's in order to hit a qualifying time. Although I wouldn't admit it to myself, I pretty much knew I would make it this time. When I did finally cross the finish line I didn't feel the huge rush of relief and accomplishment. Maybe I was too tired. Maybe I knew I was going to do it and so wasn't that relieved. Whatever it was, I sit here now, satisfied with qualifying but still knowing a PB is out there for me.
Another note I'd like to make about the Tokyo marathon is the pleasure it was to run in such a major marathon with so many of my friends and compatriots. You see I belong the the Namban Rengo running club. There were 50 or so of us that were lucky enough to get selected to run. With the two long out and backs in the Tokyo course, this made for prime viewing and cheering of passing friends. Also LBG came to Tokyo with his family so he could run. I don't imagine I'll soon have the opportunity to compete in such an event with so many of my colleagues again.