One of my resolutions for 2014 was to run the Paris Marathon. I’m delighted to have achieved that within the time-frame I had trained for. But it wasn’t as easy as hopping on the Eurostar and rocking up at the start line!
Training began in November 2013. Having ran the Dubai Marathon in 2012 with not as much training, I was determined to make a decent effort for Paris. I started off by setting my goal time (<4 hours) by using an iPhone and web app called MyAsics. This was the first time I vouched to use an online app for my training. I kept and still do keep my manual diary (thanks to the rowing days) however I’m pretty sure the online app will replace all that soon.
The marathon started off well. The official start time for general marathon runners was 8:45am. This was staggered, with runners aiming for a finish of 3 hours going first, followed by 3:15, 3:30 etc. My category didn’t get going until around 9:45am given the sheer amount of runners. That was a bit of a bummer, as I hadn’t brought anything to nibble on during that hours wait – but a good learning curve for the next marathon!
We ran by some beautiful landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame to name a few. They did a great job of having a rave in a tunnel around 27K with lots of flashing disco lights. After the Eiffel Tower, around 30K, it got quite tough for me. However the supporters were out in their hundreds which was a great boost. I heard quite a few supporters shout ‘allez Patrick’ upon taking out one of my earphones which added a good boost (runners names were on our bibs, the supports were not psychic!)
The weather was borderline perfect throughout. We started off with clear blue skies which then turned somewhat overcast so we didn’t have the sweltering heat on us. Upon 38K I was back on track as there was such a great vibe from all the supporters, so I (and most of the other runners) gave it our all for the last 4K. It was a fantastic feeling.
Waiting at the finish line was my mother, who thankfully had my bag full of energy boosts such as Haribo sweets, a glucose drink and some sparkling water. In the evening, I enjoyed a fabulous hot stone massage at I-Spa by Algotherm at The Intercontinental Le Grand Paris. I also booked a private steam session prior to the massage, which was really worth it. The hotel itself is a gem.
It took a couple of days to recoup especially with my legs but I can definitely say it was worth it and I would most certainly do it again. Training for anything like this requires commitment and I admit, it’s not easy. But upon setting your goal and allowing yourself time, the rest should come that bit easier. I was once told willpower is a muscle which requires regular workouts, just like your regular muscles… So why not set yourself the goal of running a marathon? Venice Marathon is on 26 October 😉
My next goal is to complete the London to Brighton bike ride in June. I’ve never done something like this so it should be a great challenge. It’s around 86K and all in aid of the British Heart Foundation. I will be raising money for this one, so if you’re in a generous mood, click here to donate. Any financial support whatsoever is greatly appreciated.
So thats’ that, I’ll leave you with a glimpse of some of the 50,000 Paris Marathon runners this year: