Last October I decided it was nigh on time that Edel and I got away for a weekend so I asked her would she fancy a trip to Paris in the Spring.
She readily agreed so I booked flights and ‘accidentally’ entered us both for the Paris Marathon on 3rd April at the same time…
Within a few weeks the dreadful terrorist attacks happened in Paris and we were wondering about our decision but we said we’d follow our Coached training plans and see what developed.
Long story short training went well into Spring and in February we both stalled. Work got on top of us, big stresses surrounding rebranding and a drastic impact roadworks were having on trade didn’t help. So we effectively didn’t train at all for 8 weeks leading into April and longest run was 12k!!
We were still going away though!!
Kids stayed with Granny & Grandad and we were on a flight to Paris! Train into the city and we were in our AirBnB sourced bijou apartment in no time.
Saturday we rented city bikes, plotted a route and made our way to the expo where like children in a sweet shop we browsed for several hours before jumping back on our velo and cruising a la maison.
Sunday bright and early down for the RER to the starting area at Champs Elessay. Oh yeah we decided to give it a bash!! 🙂
Unbelievable being among 57,000 runners (most who had trained!) in a start area and even more astonishing to learn that 35% or 21,000 people registered were 1st time marathoners!! Amazing!
Anyway Edel planned to get half way if she could and call it a day. My plan was run as comfortably as possible for as long as possible and go from there. I’d no watch so was using a phone tucked away with Strava and a HRM to record. I’d no access to splits so running entirely on feel.
Off we went and running together for the first 6 or 7 kn until Edel told me to carry on without her and to stop looking around for her.
Turned out those 1st kms were all steady in the 6:00m/km range and when off the leash I stretched to 5:30’s.
The run through the city was fantastic. We headed out east through the park before winding back into the city and dropping down onto the Seine banks. Along Quay d’Orssay I was half expecting James Bond and a tank to burst out of the building and then a somber moment as we ran through the tunnel where Lady Diana was killed.
Back in the sunshine and past the Louve and Eiffel tower before the parks at Roland Garras.
Now I was walking at this stage. I got to 27/28k and opted to march in rather than be that crumbling hero. Save that for another day.
I just enjoyed taking in the atmosphere, looking around and people watching. It’s a whole different world seeing people going through the whole gamut of emotions.
Texting Edel I found she was done and finished at half way and was back in the baggage area waiting for me. Great to finish I trotted up the last km and walked over the line for a little over 5 hours.
Collecting my medal and t-shirt it was on to find my wife and get some grub.
A great course in a beautiful city. Back next year with proper training and a plan!!
Strava link https://www.strava.com/activities/534587490