Did I tell you when I was supposed to run 5k?

It wasn’t a race coming up or anything smallish like that. This was all about me actually DOING something. I have details of this time in the very old posts (like in the five first posts ever) – but here’s the story again.

Until midsummer 2014 I had never run. Never. In school, at PE, you had to run 60m and 100m and 400m and even 2km – but I never ever did. I faked accidents or injuries or just flat out told the teacher I wouldn’t do it. I don’t run. I have run for the bus or train and even a flight (London Stanstedt – I missed it – Ryan air’s fault not mine) but not for the purpose of someone timing me or shouting nasty comments about “earthquakes”, “elephants”, “rhinos” and so on.

But midsummer 2014 it changed. Someone told me it’d be quicker getting my steps done (by this time I aimed for 20,000 steps/day) if I ran rather than walking. I ran 30 seconds without dying that week. Later I ran 3 min 34 sec without stopping. That’s what Nickelback’s “Burn it to the ground” does to you. It was a PB of gigantic proportions. I used one of the 0-5k-apps that allows you to focus on the time rather than the distance; walk/run, walk/run…

In august I was going to Tokyo. I love Tokyo and it timed very well with my final FIVE KILOMETERS without WALKING aka RUNNING FIVE KILOMETERS.

I made myself a promise – I’d run my first ever 5 km in the Odaiba area (Tokyo Bay). I was psyched but yet totally unaware of exactly HOW hot it is in Tokyo in August. Or rather, how humid it is when it’s hot in Tokyo. I lost my breath walking… I started sweating the second I opened a door leading outside. I drank gallons of water but it was unbearable. The morning my company was going to the Tsukiji fish market  I decided to run. I was up before 5am but it was already too hot to run outdoors so I went to the local gym, a Gold’s Gym (I only knew about this brand because I read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography). I had to sign in. A lengthy process. I had to tick boxes saying “I don’t use drugs” and “I am not a criminal offender” but also “I have no tattoos”.

Now, Japan is very restrictive when it comes to tattoos. You’re not allowed to be in public baths (onsen) and you should cover your tattoos at any time when you are in public. In the old days only the Yakuza (the mafia) had tattoos. I have a tattoo. Nothing threatening or weird in any way. Actually it’s kinda a tribute to Japan even… It’s a Hello Kitty. I showed it to the lady in the reception, the one that had been drowning me in papers and questions. My tattoo was a problem. I had to hide it. “I just want to run five kilometers on a treadmill. My Kitty is not a threat. Please, please, please…” I ended up taking down my pony tail, letting the hair cover my neck. I got inside!!

It was close to 30C in the gym and I almost fainted. I quit at 3 kilometers. It was so hopelessly difficult with the heat. I paid something like 20 US dollars to run 3 km… also a first…
One week later I ran 5 km at home. Not without sweat, but with much more ease than I thought was possible. A week later I ran 10 km…

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