After the weeks of training, the start of my challenge had arrived. The first time in the entire training schedule I felt unwell, and my training had a large set back, so needless to say I arrived into France worried about my lack of mileage before such a gruelling race.
I completely under estimated the size of this marathon. We waiting an hour outside the exhibition centre to collect my race number and load up on complimentary rice as there was so many people doing the same. However, race number collected, rice consumed and I would go to bed full and wondering just how my knee would cope, whether I was fit enough and how much difference 18 miles ( longest run to date ) would be compared with the full 26.
Well it was a struggle make no bones about it. My pace dwindled after half a marathon as my fitness levels felt poor, and after 20 miles my jog turned into a run/walk every other mile. I took full advantage of each fuelling station along the way, but luckily, and much thanks to the thousands on the streets singing and cheering all the way, I finally made it through the finish line after 4 hours 16 minutes.
My knees were very sore, but I did feel fuelled enough. I will take this knowledge into Madrid next week, but will worry about my IT Band Syndrome.
To sum up, running the Paris Marathon was one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. The atmosphere, occasion and the pride of crossing my first ever marathon certainly counter acted the pain of walking down the stairs for the next 48 hours. For anyone considering running a marathon, do it ! You will love it I promise – just make sure you train correctly.
Onto recovery, re fuelling, massage from Gayle Bevan and boarding flights to Spain for this Sunday’s Madrid marathon. Which by all accounts, will be run with super sore knees on a much hillier course, and the small matter of an extra 15 degrees ontop of French weather… Gulp !