18 weeks ago, I started training for the Paris Marathon 2016 and true to the cliche, time has really flown, as tomorrow morning I will be boarding a plane to visit Paris for the first time. The training is done, my bags are packed (touching wood that I’ve left nothing crucial out!) and it’s time to get
As this will be both my first time in Paris and my first race abroad, I’m both nervous and excited, but mostly the latter. I always get a bit nervous before a marathon the nearer the race approaches, which I think is both natural, given the daunting task ahead… and a good thing. It keeps you on your toes, hones your focus and sharpens your senses. Arrogant and foolhardy don’t tell to fair well over the course of a marathon, in my experience. My plan for Paris is to enjoy it, as a general overall plan, and going by my training, I’m hoping to complete the course in 4 hours or under. It’s just a rough time that I have in my head but I’m not fixated on finishing under a certain time or running a certain pace. My long runs of late have tended to average about 8:44 per mile (up to 22 miles) but I’ve no idea how I will fare over 26.2 miles or indeed how I will fare over this particular course.
The profile of the course on the Paris Marathon Route website indicates that there are no major hills along the way and it looks set to be a rather scenic route.
I’m hoping the weather will be good too but I’m choosing to stay away from stalking weather websites because if it rains, it rains. There’s nothing I can do about it and worrying myself silly over it is not going to help. If it rains, I’ll wear a hat. Done.
There really is a lot of stuff to pack when you’re planning on running a race abroad – I had no appreciation of this before now – I thought I had packed minimally but my bag (and it’s a big bag!) is at capacity and I’ve already diverted a few items into the parents’ bag which they can bring out when they arrive on Saturday. Aren’t parents just handy like that?!
I’m hoping the parents will be handy again at mile 16 on Sunday… and hand me a bottle of Lucozade Sport as I whizz by them. Apparently the Parisians do not believe in sports drinks to get you through a marathon…. can’t say I agree but anyway, that’s how it is. There are water stations every 5km, along with fresh fruit, or at least that’s what they’ve said in their briefing material. Due to there being an absence of Lucozade (or similar) stations on the course, I’ve had to adjust my usual fuelling plan to include more clif shots (black cherry – caffeinated) and at different times. That being said, I would still really like to get in a bottle of energy drink somewhere after the halfway point and the 16 mile point is around the Louvre so I figured it might suit the rents 😉 See, something for everyone!
Thank you for reading all about my journey to this big race and I can’t wait to report back on the race, the expo and the beautiful city of Paris. Good luck to everyone taking part on Sunday and I can’t wait to tog out with you all!