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.
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.
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!
Setting off for the starting line…those steps were a good warm up!
My name among the 54,000 listed at the expo…it’s in there somewhere!
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!