Paris skyline view from Montparnasse Tower

Looking at views like these it’s not hard to imagine why so many people choose to take part in the Paris Marathon every year.  I’ve done it four times now and the sights you see along the route still amaze me. Taking part in such a big event is both daunting and exciting (something all those runners preparing for London this weekend will no doubt be experiencing too) but running through the most beautiful city in the world is an unforgettable experience. Over 43,000 runners took part in the Paris Marathon 2016 and the average age of participants was 41, so I guess that makes me very average!

Over 43,000 runners took part in the Paris Marathon 2016 and the average age of participants was 41.

In addition to the thousands of people taking part in the marathon there were 250,000 spectators cheering and high fiving the runners along the 26.2 mile course which passes the most famous Parisian landmarks. Spotting your loved ones isn’t always easy with so many crowds – I missed my husband and daughter twice even though I ran past them within touching distance, but I finally got to see them just beyond the Eiffel Tower at the 18 mile mark.

 

Paris skyline Eiffel Tower nail art

In the days leading up to the marathon I hadn’t been feeling very well and was starting to think I might not be able to finish, or even start for that matter, but visiting the expo to collect my bib helped to get me in a better frame of mind, as did finding my name on the board amongst all the other runners. In total 57,000 people registered for the race (even though not all actually took part) so looking for your name is like trying to find a needle in a haystack!

Marathon name board

Paris marathon name board

Paris metro on way to marathon

The metro journey to the start line is always a nervous time but emerging from George V station on the escalator onto the Champs Elysees is a magical experience…the Arc de Triomphe and impressive Louis Vuitton store are right there in front of you…no time to shop though! Although the weather was perfect for sightseeing it wasn’t ideal for running. I don’t cope well with running in the heat, and typically there was a sharp spike in the temperature on race day, with the day before and after being cloudy and cool – the exact same thing happened last year. The temperature peaked at around 21c which is quite warm for April, but feels so much hotter when running. I poured as much water over me as I drank!

Paris Marathon 2016 start line Champs Elysees

Louis Vuitton Champs Elysees Paris marathon start line

Paris marathon Place de la Bastille

I had to stop for a moment to take a photo…it also gave me an excuse to have a few seconds rest!

Marathon finish Arc de Triomphe

By the end of it I was suffering from back ache and had massive blisters but the joy at crossing the finish line and putting the medal on made it all worth it…as well as seeing this cheeky little face of course!

 

Good luck to everyone running the London Marathon this weekend!

 

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Paris marathon Louis Vuitton Champs Elysees

It felt so good to be back in Paris, even if it did involve running 26.2 miles in 20 degree heat! The starting line has to be the most stylish on the planet…right by the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs Élysées. Being a part of the marathon in the world’s most beautiful city is such an amazing experience, so much so that this was my third Paris Marathon.

The last time I took part in the Paris Marathon I picked up an injury six weeks before and ended up running it with sciatica and shin splints. That was no picnic.

Despite being familiar with the course I was still really nervous…you never know how your body will respond to the demands of a marathon, even seasoned runners can be struck down by an injury during the race and have to pull out. For back of the pack plodders like me the only goal is to finish, hopefully (unlike the previous two Paris Marathons) without a debilitating injury. The last time I took part in the Paris Marathon I picked up an injury six weeks before and ended up running it with sciatica and shin splints. That was no picnic. I couldn’t run for two months after that. This year I wasn’t as fit as in previous races but managing to get to the starting line with just a niggling bout of tendonitis in my right foot was a minor triumph. My main concern was the weather forecast.

Ironically the previous day was perfect for me – cloudy, cool with a light breeze – but the weather gods were not on my side for race day.

On any other occasion I’d have been delighted at the hot and sunny weather but I really don’t like running in temperatures over 15C so I knew I was in for a tough run. Ironically the previous day was perfect for me – cloudy, cool with a light breeze – but the weather gods were not on my side for race day. Consequently my feet swelled up quite badly so that despite loads of Vaseline and the fact that I wear men’s size 9 trainers I still ended up with horrendous blisters and battered toenails. Not at all glamorous!

Lamarck Caulaincourt steps Montmartre Paris

Setting off for the starting line…those steps were a good warm up!

Paris Marathon name board

My name among the 54,000 listed at the expo…it’s in there somewhere!

Paris marathon finish

Reaching the finish line was sheer relief, and of course being greeted by this little one was just the best feeling…even if she did guzzle all of my energy drink!

Over the next couple of days I’ll be posting about what I got up to after the marathon…believe it or not I still had some energy left for a bit of  sightseeing!

 

You can read all about my beauty running essentials in my previous post.

Thanks for reading, have a lovely day!

 

 

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Beauty Essentials for Running Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Murad Essential-C moisture

If you’re thinking of taking up running, or even if you’re already a regular runner, beauty products might not be at the forefront of your mind when you’re lacing up your trainers and heading outdoors, but protecting your skin from the elements is vital if you don’t want to age prematurely.

The Advanced Active Radiance Serum contains a high level of vitamin C to protect against free radical damage and boost collagen.

In the warmer months my skincare regime of choice is Murad’s Essential-C range. The Essential-C Day Moisture SPF30 has a broad spectrum sun protection, which means it shields skin from both UVA and UVB rays. The Advanced Active Radiance Serum contains a high level of vitamin C to protect against free radical damage and boost collagen. It also claims to help cells resist environmental stresses including UV exposure and chemical aggressors and prevent future pigment formation. You can read my review of the Essential-C range here.

I also use the Essential-C eye cream to protect my peepers as well as a snug-fitting pair of sunglasses. My favourites are not the typical sporty type (I find the lenses are too small) but a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shades I bought from TK Maxx years ago. They fit nice and snuggly without slipping and I’ve yet to find any others that I prefer. A high factor sunscreen is a must for any exposed parts of the body – I always use SPF 50 in the summer.

Vaseline is cheap and effective at preventing chafing, but if you fancy something a little more luxurious I can highly recommend Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream…

One thing that really can ruin a run is chafing. Sports bras, trainers and clothing can all rub, which is made worse if you sweat a lot…I discovered that the hard way! Vaseline is cheap and effective at preventing chafing, but if you fancy something a little more luxurious I can highly recommend Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – both to prevent and treat any sore spots. The Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant stick is also perfect for preventing dry and chapped lips. You can read my thoughts on the Eight Hour range here.

Beauty Essentials for Running Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Murad Essential-C moisture

Beauty Essentials for Running Soap and Glory Heel Genius Malibu SPF 50 suncream Salvatore Ferragmo sunglasses

Hard working feet will appreciate a soothing and nourishing foot cream such as Soap & Glory’s Heel Genius after a tough session. Regular running can cause a build up of hard skin, which isn’t going to do those pretty summer sandals justice!

Beauty Essentials for Running Benefit Benetint Clinique City Block Eye of Horus godess eye pencil

The one area of the face which is relatively sweat-proof is the eyes so I like to define my brows and lashes.

Now I don’t know about you but I just can’t bring myself to leave the house totally barefaced…vain I know but feeling pretty and working out are not mutually exclusive. Over the years I’ve put quite a few products to the sweat test (Clinique’s City Block and Benefit’s Benetint are firm favourites) but recently I’ve stumbled across some truly fabulous finds. The one area of the face which is relatively sweat-proof is the eyes so I like to define my brows and lashes. In my previous post I reviewed the L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper which is now one of my running beauty essentials. It has fantastic staying power and costs just £5.99!

I picked up the L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes on a bit of a whim, which at £10.99 was quite a splurge for me, but I was really pleased with how it applied.

When it comes to waterproof mascaras I’m not too fussy, mainly because they tend to dry out before I get much use out of them, so I don’t like to spend too much on one. I picked up the L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes on a bit of a whim, which at £10.99 was quite a splurge for me, but I was really pleased with how it applied. It adds length and volume to my lashes with just a few strokes.

The Eye of Horus eye pencil, which was included in my Dream Box 3, is probably the best thing I’ve ever received in a beauty box.

As well as mascara I like to wear just a little eyeliner on my upper lash line for added definition, and right now there’s only one eye pencil for me. The Eye of Horus eye pencil, which was included in my Dream Box 3, is probably the best thing I’ve ever received in a beauty box. I can’t praise it highly enough. For me it ticks all the boxes – it applies with the lightest of touch, delivers amazing pigmentation and does not budge.

I’ve posted a picture of me which was taken about an hour after I finished the Paris Marathon last Sunday and as you can see the eye makeup is still on. There’s just the tiniest smudge of mascara under my left eye but given that it was roasting hot and I got completely soaked several times running under the water sprayers I think these products deserve a medal for going the distance too!

Beauty Essentials for Running Post marathon selfie

So those are my beauty essentials for running but if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear about them in the comments. I’ll be posting about my trip to Paris in the coming days! Thanks for reading, I hope you have a lovely weekend!
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