I like to think that Coaches Patterson and Donovan, my junior high cross country coaches, would have be proud of me. As I mentioned in this post, it wasn’t until the past eighteen months or so that running became a regular part of my life. Six months ago, running even two miles without pause was beyond me, but during the first weekend of October, I successfully completed the 10K race in the annual Hirosaki Apple Marathon. When I’d originally signed up, I’d flirted with the idea of running the half marathon. While I probably could have done it, I likely would’ve kept up a steady inner monologue of choice expletives, so I’m pretty satisfied with having finished the 10K.
I finished with a time of 57:07, which, while hardly my best or fastest run, is perfectly satisfactory in my book, considering I’d just returned from vacation (during which I ran exactly once) a week and a half beforehand. Out of 395 women runners, I finished 92nd, so I just managed to scrape my way into the top quarter. I had two goals in mind when I ran. First, finish in under an hour. Second, don’t puke. Thankfully, both of those goals were achieved.
And if nothing else, the Apple Marathon was by far my most entertaining run. Some treated it as more of a costume party than a race. There were people dressed up as Kiki (broom included), Rilakumma, and a whole host of other Japanese characters. I can’t imagine that it’d be fun to run a race dressed in a furry, un-ventilated costume, though.
After the race, all of the runners got a giant, Hirosaki-grown apple for their troubles. If ever an apple tasted of victory, it was then. And once I returned to Aomori-shi, I celebrated in the best way I know how. I headed straight to the foreign food store, spent 2500円 on cheese (priorities!), and then stuffed myself full of deliciously carb-heavy pasta and washed it down with a glass of German wine.