Paris Marathon – Part 3

Posted: 11th April 2010 by glyn.roberts in Marathon

The route starts to get harder. We are now having to run in the tunnels down one of the major roads of Paris.
One of these tunnels is where Diana’s car crashed I believe.
Constant up and down hills to go in and out of the tunnels made this run suddenly harder. Going up hill was ok but I started really feeling the pain when heading downhill.

I reached the 18 Mile marker in 3 hours. Great time for me and I was really happy with my progress.
I could see Ash’s head in front of me but didn’t have the energy to push myself to catch up.
As I was making such good time I thought I’d give myself a short break and walk for a few minutes.
Worst mistake I could make!

After 2 or 3 minutes walking I tried to pick up the pace and run again but my thigh muscels tightened up.
Disaster. I stopped and stretched quickly to try and loosen my legs up.
Started to run again but after 10 seconds I had to stop. I really could no longer run.
I’m not sure if this qualifies as me hitting “The Wall” or not as the rest of my body was still eager to continue (and a bit hyped up on Carbohydrate Gels).
So I walked for a further 5 mins to see if I could walk this off. No, I couldn’t.
Walking was painful but barable, running now was horrible and when I tried I could only last a few seconds.

The only thing going through my head at this point was “What should I do now”.
Had 8 miles still to cover and even trying to jog at a slow pace was not possible.
I had 2 options:

  1. Quit or
  2. Walk to the end and get a bad time while looking like an idiot

So I decided to go for the “Look like an idiot” route and complete the course.
As this is the first time I’ve been to Paris I really don’t know my way round so getting to the finish line to meet Ash another way was not an option for me.

Almost at the finish line

I must admit, it was the hardest thing I’ve done. Walking while people are overtaking you knowing that the finish time you get is not going to be good really does not push you to complete the course.
The crowd started trying to push me along which well intentioned as they were, I did not appreciate. (Sorry)
If I could go any faster I would.
What made matters a bit stranger was that my name was written on the number on my shirt. I’d hear “Come on Glyn, you can do this.”
I’d look up to see if it was someone I knew (very unlikely as I don’t know many people from Paris) and it would be a stranger offering support.
I admit that I was in a bad mood all the time I was walking so this view is just me being a grouch.

While walking I had the chance to try and judge what time i’d finish. 8 miles left and my current time was 3 hours. 1 mile every 15 mins walking so I’d finish on the 5 hour mark.
I continued walking all the way up to the 26 mile marker. A few minutes before 5 hours so I was reasonably happy due to the bad luck I’d had.
I slowly jogged for the last 0.2 miles spurred on by the Crowd (yes, I did appreciate them at this point) and crossed the finish line at the 5 hour marker.

Not the time I was aiming for but I did smile that it was all over.

My only thought as I crossed the line, “Never again”