19 In marathon/ running

Paris Marathon nr.2 – Every race is a lesson of some kind…

My second Paris marathon got off to a decent start – the cold I felt like I was coming down with on Friday held off and I felt a bit better on Saturday, the alarm went off at the right time on Sunday and we got to the start area with plenty of time to drop off the bag and stand in the portaloo queue. Twice.

Since we couldn’t understand any of the announcements and the starting pens looked full, we squeezed ourselves into the 4hour pen when we saw a gap in the fence. (We oh so foolishly had 3:45 time bands around our wrists)

Getting to the finish line and across it took way longer than last year but I was relieved when we finally did get going.

Here’s how the 42.2km went down:

1km – I’m going at 5:34. Not bad. My timing band says I need to average 5:20 but I always speed up later on so this should be an ok warm up pace. I think if I keep this up until half way and then speed up I’ll be good.

2km – I really need to pee. Should have used the portaloo at the start pen. If only I knew just how long it would take this time to get to the start line. Ugh.

3km – I really do need to pee. But – it’s probably all in my head and the feeling will go away after 10km like it does on training runs.

4km – Need to stick to the shady side of the street, this sun is killing me. And I really should have used that portaloo.

5km – 28 minutes. I’m 2 minutes behind. I’ll be ok. I’ll speed up later. I always do. Why is everyone sucking on energy gels already?

6km – I need to pee. A little less though than at the beginning. I think.

7km – Almost at 10. Then I won’t need to pee anymore. Who says running a marathon is mentally hard? Parenting two kids is so much harder.

9km – Time to turn on the music and run this thing.

10km – 56 min. I’m still behind. Oh well, I should be ok if I speed up during the second half.

11km – How unfair that all the guys get to pee into the trees. I really need to pee. And my ovaries really hurt today. I hate being a woman.

15km – I’m 4 minutes behind. How did that happen. Ooh – empty portaloo next to me. Don’t analyse, go! … Ahhhh. So much better. I’ll make up that lost minute no problem. And I will speed up soon. I will.

16-20km – This isn’t too horrible, I think I’m getting into my groove. I will speed up after 21km.

21km – 1:58. I’m 6 minutes behind. Yikes. What is going on? Time to speed up.

22km – Why are my legs not speeding up? I might not finish in 4 hours. How did I run it in 3:56 last year?!? How have I not gotten any faster with an extra year of training?!?

23km – Why are there old people in front of me whom I can’t catch? Why is this so hard??

24km – Bugger this. Parenting is definitely easier than this. Marathon is a loooong freaking way to run. Only the insane do it. Totally insane.

25km – Ugh. This.is.no.fun. And.so.freaking.hot.

26km – Maybe my extra muscle weight from Crossfit is slowing me down? Why is this so hard?? Let’s just concentrate on my cadence, I WILL speed up like that. One-two-three one-two-three one-two-three…

27km – This nuun water in my Camelbak tastes like warm piss. I need cold water in my face right now.

28km – OMG these dark tunnels with flashing lights make me so nauseous. Who on earth thought this was a good idea?!?

30km – 12 to go. I’m way behind. OH WHO THE F*CK CARES, I JUST WANT THIS TO BE OVER!

31km – The cold water is good but why do people have stop at the tables?? And why do they NOT throw anything in the bins provided?? It’s like a minefield getting through the water stations…

32km – 10km to go. If I run them in an hour I’ll be close to last year’s time. Why on Earth did I ever think I could run a marathon in less than 3:50?!??

33km – Waaaa! This really isn’t fun at all. How does Cat Simpson do it?!? Why can’t I be as awesome as Cat??? πŸ™

35km – 7 to go. Stop doing math and just keep weaving around all the walkers. Yikes, lots of walkers all of a sudden and lots of ambulance sirens…

36km – Great t-shirt ahead: “Where the Foch is the finish?” Thank you whoever you are for making me smile.
(Avenue Foch is the street where the finish is)

37km – 5km to go. Please be over already. Nothing specific is hurting but I am just not moving, I feel so heavy and stiff.

40km – Thank the f*ck it’s almost over.

41km – Yeah, I like this bit – around the roundabout and then I can see the finish line! The bunch of blond Israeli babes who started near me are ahead of me, smiling & taking selfies. Bitches.

42km – Big fake grin to the photographers! Garmin says 3:55. Sprint like there’s no tomorrow, I HAVE to beat last year’s time!

42.2km – Bloody hell & &@#%^! 3:56:something AGAIN but so much more difficult. I’m confused! I hope J isn’t totally hating me right now…. I hope he’s not far behind… I really really do not want to do this again… Ever…


48 hours later: I’m not in pain at all. Why the heck am I not sore? Did I not run as hard as I could? Why did it then feel so tough? Ugh. I need to stop analysing. I need to run Milton Keynes in 4 weeks without the Garmin and just have fun. Not sure I could do that though. Could I do it? Maybe I just make myself run the first half at 5:40 average & see if I can speed up later…


As you can tell I made two rookie mistakes – starting out too fast and worrying about my time all the time. Experienced marathon runners probably know that every marathon has different conditions and should not be compared to what’s happened before…

And I need to figure out for myself how to deal with being competitive AND wanting to have fun while racing even though my fastest speed is way out of my “fun” zone.

Anyway, off to enjoy day nr 4 in Paris πŸ™‚

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  • Reply
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    […] minutes later we were off. Right after Paris marathon 4 weeks ago I thought I wasn’t going to wear my Garmin for this marathon (that was right after I thought that […]

  • Reply
    Stephanie M
    April 16, 2014 at 11:59 am

    The tunnel made me feel sick too, I hated it. I hear it was worse last year though, what do you think?

    • Reply
      April 16, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Last year Paris was my first marathon and all I can remember now is how awesome it was to a) finish it and b) to do it in less than 4 hours. I do remember that the tunnels were bad but this year the lights and the music made them so much more terrible.

  • Reply
    Anna @AnnaTheApple
    April 16, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Congratulations!! Love the recap – your thought processes did make me chuckle. And yes that tunnel was horrible wasn’t it??
    You definitely have more to give if 48 hours later you’re feeling fine! And you’re running another one soon? Jeeze, you’re superwoman!!

    • Reply
      April 16, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      I signed up for 2 least year with 4 weeks between them thinking I”d hit two birds with one stone aka with one training cycle. Let’s see how running the second one will feel like 😐

  • Reply
    A week in Paris: reflecting on the 26.2 and letting chocolate back in my life | Mind over Matter
    April 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    […] been 8 days since I ran my second marathon. As much as it was such a tough run I’m amazed that I did not feel sore at all afterwards. […]

  • Reply
    The BCRC
    April 9, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Those are our tops! We got comments and laughs the whole way round. Really pleased that it took everyone’s mind off the pain for a few minutes.
    The BCRC – Bristol (stool chart – we talk about poo far too much) Convocations πŸ˜‰ is the very unofficial RC of the runnersworld uk paris marathon forum. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. πŸ™‚ pop in for some madness, it’s open to one and all.

    • Reply
      April 14, 2014 at 8:10 am

      They were great πŸ™‚ I’m sure you made many more people smile along the way.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Very good and funny race review. Mile 27 was my fave. Ro

    • Reply
      April 14, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Funny in hindsight πŸ™‚ The interesting thing is how quickly you forget just how terrible you felt. I’m now looking forward to my next marathon in just 3 weeks!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Reading this made me realise how much I love race reports. πŸ™‚ And miss long distance.

    Congratulations on finishing despite all the little nags on the run. And under four as well! πŸ™‚

    P. S. The before the end T-shirt made me laugh as well.

    • Reply
      April 14, 2014 at 8:12 am

      I thought this would put you off ever wanting to run a marathon!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Well done on Paris!! Great time too!! Sorry it was such a tough one and I hope Miltn Keynes is extra fun to make up for it!!

    • Reply
      April 14, 2014 at 8:13 am

      I hope the weather cools down a LOT between now and 5th of May. I really do not do well running in bright sunshine (no wonder I never ran when I lived in Australia :).

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