Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? It doesn’t seem that long ago that it was 6-7 weeks to race day and now the training is over, a couple of easy runs ahead to keep ticking over before it’s time to step onto the Champs Élysées and run 26.2 miles.
The training has been “interesting” and I actually think my fall and cracked rib has helped a lot. At the start of the year, I set out with getting a PB in mind so that I could claim a good for age place in the London Marathon. The plan was to claim that place but not use it until 2017 as it will be the 40th anniversary of the Paris Marathon next year and I believe that will definitely worth going to. The last time I went into a race with a time in mind was in London in 2012 when I went out to get under 3:15, beat my PB which has stood since 1999, and get a good for age place so that I could get a place in London without having to go through the ballot. I wore a pace band to keep me right but by 10k, I felt I was off pace due to a slowish start so I decided that I needed to speed up to get back on track. I got there around the 14 mile mark and all was going well until that decision to speed up came back to haunt me and I blew up around 21 miles. I cramped up and my left hip flexor started playing up and so I had to walk a bit then try to start jogging again. I think I crossed the line in 3:42 but I was more annoyed at myself for getting my tactics wrong. I have never worn a pace band since.
I actually prefer to run to how I feel and only check my Garmin at the end of every mile then try to guess what my finish time might be. I have also found it easier to relax into a pace in the marathons I have run since. My target now is to relax and treat it pretty much like how I treated the Edinburgh Marathon last year. I knew I could do it and had a fantastic time going round with no pressure at all. I will obviously be aiming to do my best in Paris but the importance has shifted from that race to getting my time down for the Half Marathon in preparation for Edinburgh. Perhaps not having a time target will help me run a better time than I think I might do in Paris? I’ll soon find out!
One thing I am pleased about is that my ribs are no longer giving me any discomfort when I run and now that I’ve added Parkrun into my training, I’ve been able to push the pace a bit and not have any problems either during or afterwards. My legs have been in shock in the first hundred yards or so of my Sunday runs as a result but they’re starting to get used to it.
Another good thing is I am not in anyway nervous about next week although there is still time for that. Well, not any nerves above any I normally get before a race. Roll on next week and an easy few days this week!
I am running the Paris Marathon as part of my 2015 in 2015 challenge to raise money for Macmillan. Macmillan do a fantastic job of providing essential support to people on their journey and also to friends and family. Please help me help Macmillan support even more people by sponsoring me. Thank you