Blog #55

Alright, it’s been a while. Suppose I should get on this blog. Here we go!

So I went to Japan last week. That place is awesome, but geeze louise, it is far away! I am not a huge fan of travelling to begin with, and man the flight over there was pretty friggen terrible. The Toronto-Vancouver part was fine. But then we had a quick little12hr jaunt over the Pacific. It was only supposed to be like 10-11hrs, but we hit some weather or something coming into Tokyo and we got put in this holding pattern. We kept circling the city until it was cool to land. Usually that wouldn’t be a big deal, but we were circling around in the worst turbulence I have ever experienced. That plane was being tossed around like a son of a bitch. It just kept jerking and dipping and shaking and all that jazz, our plane basically had a violent seizure for like an hour. As the plane was bouncing around I was getting progressively sicker and sicker, I tried my hardest to hold it all in. I just kept telling myself that we would be on the ground soon and things would be fine. I think there was quite a few people going through the same thing as me, because when the captain came on and told us we’d be circling for another 30min all hell broke loose. And that hell came in the form of massive amounts of puke. That message broke our spirit and people just started to throw the eff up! It was chaos, disgusting vomit filled chaos! It was reminiscent of right around shot number 85 of the century club back in University, as soon as the first person blew it was go time man, puke everywhere. I really feel for the poor bastards that had to clean up that plane. Good god, that would have sucked so bad! 
So that part was rough, everything else was awesome though. That was probably the most fun I have had on a national team trip. We had a great group of folks on the team. It was really cool having the River crew there with Milne, Moults and Snider. But everyone else was awesome also. Shout out to my girls Merchant, Woodak-Fraser, Vaughn-Beasly and Pidrehghehgsky. Maybe a few spelling mistakes in those names but whatever, you know who you are.  Good stuff. Also shout out to rookie-bitch Terrance, quiet kid but a good dude. Wanna welcome PT Ron O’hare to the speed river family also. He was there in Japan to take care of us physically, but he also kinda messed with us mentally by smashing us all in ping pong and making us feel like losers before the race even started, seriously that guy beat the shit outta all of us. Complete ping pong domination by the Ron. And also thanks to Thelma, that lady is a firecracker, so much positive energy from such a small being. Oh yeah, also wanna thank my new Japanese friend Hana, she was my personal minion before the race. Every athlete was assigned a small Japanese child that followed us around everywhere and made sure we were good to go. It was awkward at first as she was a 12yr old Japanese girl who spoke no english and the only words I new in Japanese were “hello” and “thank you”. But then we bonded over her love of 80’s rock music and smart phones. She also gave me a bunch of chocolate covered almonds which I was afraid to turn down in fears of offending her. Not the best thing to eat 20min before the race, they were delicious though.
Alright lets talk about the race. Race was good, team did okay and I think everyone had fun. My individual leg was decent. Coming in I was kinda fit but I really had no expectations, the plan was pretty much just run hard. I didn’t run particularly fast but I ran pretty hard and it hurt pretty good. I did a nice little FFTF type style. The American team got the sash 12seconds ahead of me so I spent the 1st part of the race trying to run that guy down. I finally got him around 5km which I passed in 14:30. It hurt, I’m kinda sad that a 14:30 put so much crap in my legs, but man it really did. So then I basically just raced the Yank and ended up out kicking him at the end. I was pumped about that because I haven’t outkicked anyone for like 4years. My leg was 29:47 (do the math…yeah huge positive split!)
I did get my heart broken a little bit out there though. Do you know those vibram shoes? you know the ones that look like gloves for your feet. The minimalist shoes that are all the craze right now. Yeah, I can’t stand those shoes man. I hate em’, so ugly and it seems like everyone who wears em’ can’t stop talking about how awesome their shoes are, and how natural they make running feel and blah, blah, blah. Minimalist stuff is quite the craze right now. All this talk about how we have evolved to walk and run in our bare feet and how shoes are the enemy and so forth and so on. Sure, fair enough, maybe the human species has evolved that way. But if you as an individual have literally been wearing shoes your whole entire life and than all of a sudden you start doing the barefoot thing you’re gonna mess with your own unique bio mechanical patterns. If you put in any sort of  decent volume you need real shoes with real support or you’re gonna break your self.
*note, I have no actual science or evidence to support this rant. It just my personal opinion on the lameness of vibrams and minimalism as a whole. 
So yeah,  I had come to the conclusion that the Vibrams were kinda just a gimmick and no real runners would wear them. Well shit man, in that race I got absolutely stomped by a dude wearing Vibrams! Some Aussie rocking Vibrams man, he kicked my ass. They got the sash 5seconds up on us and I figured I’d just hammer him. But he just torched that thing and absolutely destroyed me. Score one for the Vibrams, I’m confused by it. Maybe I’ll start putting in some miles in my NB Minimalist shoes. They are quite comfortable after all.
After the race there was an awesome banquet in which the Aussies won quite convincingly. Most of team Canada ran nats XC on the weekend so our party squad was depleted. Aussies and Kiwis are great people, I really got get down there are party with them. Do you another country that is awesome? Romania. The Romanian team was hilarious, they are my boys. I’m gonna facebook friend those crazy dudes.
We went to Tokyo the next day before we came home, and due to some communication errors ended up drinking a bit more sake than planned, we tried to order 4shots but ended up with 1litre, it ended up being awesome though, It was kinda trippy walking around that city with a fairly substantial buzz. Two things that really stood out were that people in Tokyo dress amazingly well and Japanese women are beautiful. Seriously, those ladies man, wow! Awesome. (Coolis, you’re still top notch!) Tokyo is rad. I sure hope to go back some time.
Okay Friends, I’ll talk to ya’ll later. You Rock.

Nov 2011


COMMENTS 12 Comments

12 Responses to “Blog #55”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Stop stalling & make a move on Coolis already!

  2. Rob Watson says:

    gotta run faster first, I need her to have speed goggles in order to have any chance!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations on an excellent run in Japan. And arigatou for this blog.

    Hey– can I ask you if you've read Running with the Buffaloes A Season Inside with Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher and The University of Colorado Men's Cross Country Team? I'm reading it now and enjoying. When you were in Colorado did you meet any of those guys?


  4. Pretty colourful post, it was a fun read!
    I remember not being able to land on an Ekiden trip about ten years ago. The pilot tried three times and we finally took off for another city and had to bus back the following day. Yeah, travel's tough but the teams are fun. Perfect description of Thelma!

  5. Rob Watson says:

    Hey Bob, thanks man. I have read RWTB. Those guys were a few years before my time. But a bunch of them were around the Boulder scene still when I was there. Don't really know any of them very well, but from brief interactions the CU people are very good folks. Fort Collins and CSU is better though, go Rams!
    Thanks Nancy, geez, that trip sounds worse than ours. After 11hrs in the air you just wanna be done with it! Brutal! And Thelma is certainly one of a kind eh?


  6. Pops says:

    I second brother Pete's thought … partier or elite runner??? 2:12 ?? Maybe something quicker…?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I really like reading your Pops' comments. He cuts to the point. Ultra wise. I tune in this blog and follow the twitter; it takes a brave fella to live with your openess, especially when your family's giving ya 'the-what-for'. You're a class act with a good sense of fun. You'll do alright. Keep kickin' it. See ya at church this morning. PR

  8. Anonymous says:

    I hate to be perceived as a negative influence, but I think it is healthy that you are partying it up right now. It is the perfect time to kick back and give your mind and body a break. You worked hard in your buildup to Scotia and will be back in the marathon grind soon. Living like a monk all the time is not going to rejuvinate a person. Depends on who you are, but I think you fall into that category ;).

  9. Anonymous says:

    So what marathon is next young dude?
    Go git it!!

  10. Rob Watson says:

    Dad, seriously? Don't be lame man. 2 things here. You more that anyone in this world should understand my commitment to this sport, please don't question that. And after a 2:16 and a DNF I think 2:12-1:13 would be pretty friggen solid!
    Thanks for the support folks, My downtime has been very, very fun and refreshing. It was exactly what I needed. Time to get back at it soon. Not exactly sure when or where, but probably April in Europe somewhere.

  11. Pops says:

    Son … you handle my negativity very well… my apologies… just call me your over enthusiasic supporter…

  12. Rob Watson says:

    Dad, I know you're my biggest supporter. You had your plane ticket to Oregon before even I did when I raced Pre in 09'! It's all good. Love ya.

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