Good morning from hot and humid Tokyo. I have just started into my second week of self-isolation here having already spent 3 days in mandatory hotel quarantine on my return to Japan, before being allowed out to isolate at home. The Japanese government have cracked down hard on people entering the country, with a maximum of 2000 (total of native Japanese and foreigners) a day allowed in, and then only after many documents have been filled out and various hoops jumped through. They are also pretty hot on making sure you follow the “oath” that you must sign promising to abide by the rules, with a daily mix of human calls, video calls, AI calls, health check-ins and locater pings keeping a benevolent big brother watchful eye on us. All of which is quite ironic when you think that there are thousands of athletes, coaches and officials staying just down the road for the Olympics, but let’s not get into that here.
I must admit its been good to have the Olympics on the TV during the day here, it’s given me something to do while locked up inside. But I can’t help thinking it’s such a shame that whole spectacular has had to be played out in a pandemic, and I feel so sorry for all the athletes who worked so hard to get here, as well as the local population who will be unable to get the full Olympic experience. However the excitement somehow has still percolated through, and this morning I watched what must be the most exciting event of the games so far, the Mixed Triathlon Relay. It’s a totally new (at least to me) racing format, which kept the intensity throughout and had me stuck to the TV screen from start to finish. I can see similar events really taking off both at an elite and at club level which is a definite winner for all, especially as the format seems to lend itself to being so inclusive.
Anyway, a bit about where I am at in terms of racing and training. I decided the new September date for IM Vitoria wasn’t going to work for me, and instead have signed up for Ironman Cozumel in November!! I am super excited about this and really happy at the prospect to race again with club mates, and although I am unlikely to have too much chance to train together, the banter and smack talk has already started on the group chat. All this serves as motivation to get out and train, especially as it would appear that most are very much faster than me and/or much further down the training road than I am. I need to bring my A game to keep up, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
While I pretty much screwed up my last month in Europe training wise, I didn’t drop back down to the levels I was during late winter/early spring when I initially started training for (the now postponed) Vitoria Ironman. I have 17 weeks left to race day, and believe that should be enough to at least get me over the finish line in Mexico. It’s a real adventure to be going there, and I am determined to get fit enough to enjoy the whole thing, so even if hot, humid and overcrowded Tokyo is not the training paradise that can be found in Europe, ultimately I may be much better off being around team mates and taking advantage of both the group trainings and the inspiration of seeing what individuals are achieving week in and week out.
And I can’t wait to finish the quarantine and get started!!