Yesterday was Marathon Sunday here in London. Nothing beats London on Mara Sunday – 700,000 spectators cheering on over 36,000 runners on a beautiful warm sunny Spring day. Makes you feel happy to be a human, I reckon!
Ruth and Rose ran the London Marathon two years ago – have you ever known anyone to look so good after such a thing?!
We love a bit of running in our fam, and watching all of those amazing runners yesterday definitely made me want to do another race – something I definitely didn’t feel like doing this time two weeks ago!
Colin and I did the Paris Marathon on April 7th, and it was a pretty painful experience, but as I reflect back on the day I realise it was awesome all the same! So, indulge me in a little race review, if you will ^_^
We met up with some friends the day before at the expo – which didn’t have enough freebies for Colin’s liking, but we did all get a bit excited about our time chips announcing our arrival!
As Col and I were staying nice and close to both the expo and the start line (on the Champs-Élysées) we trotted off home after getting our numbers at the expo for an evening of pasta eating, stretching, and Juno watching. I didn’t get a great night sleep, but that’s to be expected, and various blogs reassured me that the night before is not the make or break of a good marathon!
The morning of was bright and chilly – great conditions for running, and I was pretty darn excited to get started and see what I could do! I’d been a bit apprehensive about how things would go as I hadn’t run for a month after hurting my foot on my final long run. The Physio said it may or may not be a stress fracture, but I decided to give it a go anyway as see what happened…
The start! (All photos from our pals Lucy and Vinny – I didn’t have my phone with me en route…)
Well what happened was nothing much for the first 24km – I felt great, Colin was (and continued to be) the best running partner ever, I was loving life, and the miles seemed to whizz by.
(Not us, obvs, but that was how I felt at the time!)
Just before the half way mark I got pretty bad cramp in my left thigh, but kept going with it, trying to kick it out and relax. It didn’t go away though and this really threw me. I think it was then that I realised how painful my foot was – I honestly think I was so distracted and enjoying myself so much earlier in the face that I didn’t feel it…but then it made it’s presence felt with a vengeance At 24km I really thought I couldn’t keep going and bawled my eyes out on Seine-side, not far from the Notre Dame (great spot for it!) I hadn’t realised how much all of those hours and hours of training had meant to me, and I was so set on doing 4 hours, that the reality of not reaching that goal was pretty upsetting!
Colin convinced me to keep going and we ran/walked for a little bit before I was in floods of tears again. The 4hour pacer passed us and it was all a little much for me. (It’s a bit funny looking back on it, but marathon running is waaaaaaay more emotional that I anticipated, ha!) The only reason I kept going was because of the fact people had sponsored us for the run, and I was so grateful for them/didn’t want to let them down, plus I figured we had to get our bags from the finish line somehow (I’m pleased Colin didn’t tell me we were only a km from the finish line at that point if we’d left the course, otherwise we may never have got our medals!), so we kept walking. And walking. And walking.
Ash and Lucy going past the Eiffel. They rocked it in 4hrs – whoop!
Walking was painful, running was painful, sweet French children high-fiving my sorry self was painful. But we kept going, and for that I am pretty darn proud of myself, to be honest! Colin was so encouraging and supportive, even though his legs has seized up, but he kept that little secret to himself as well. He’s such an amazing friend, cheerleader and husband. Gush, gush, gush – I love that man!
With about 2km to go I felt like we’d been walking for hours, so I was so surprised when Colin said we could make it under 5hours if we tried to run it in. Sheesh, I thought we were pushing 6hrs! Thus ensued some pretty attractive waddle-esque running and a bit more crying (no judging my lunacy unless you’ve done something similar – you turn into a crazy person!) But we did it. In 4:59:13 to be precise.
Here we are with our lovely friends – Vinny in the middle did it in under 3:30. Super hero alert!
It wasn’t the 4hrs I’d trained for, but I survived my first marathon. WE survived our first marathon (and I imagine Colin’s last – wouldn’t exactly say he caught the bug), and I genuinely am pleased we did it.
If you’re a runner, or thinking about running, there’s lots of info and inspiration on Pinterest: