Paris Marathon: Completed!

April 5, 2009

Picture this… about 37,000 people running in the streets of one of the oldest and greatest Western cities. Every 5km, people grab oranges, bananas, and water bottles, consume them, and toss them to the side of the road. Pictures me, slowly plugging along for a total of 42.2km, or 26.2 miles, up and down hills, through the streets, past monuments and museums, bands playing every 2km, 200,000 people cheering us along the course, and the perfect weather for a long run.

That was my day today. I ran the 2009 Paris Marathon, when I didn’t think I’d make it 15 miles due to some severe and long hiccups in my training schedule over a month ago. I never ran further than 15 miles, but finished 11.2 more today than I’d ever run beofore. It was glorious.

At 18 miles, I was on pace to finish at 4 hours and 25 minutes, but then the cramps started. We’re talking cramps that made prior “charlie horses” I’ve had feel like small annoyances. When I ran to the side to stop and massage the muscle, I could feel it spasming under the skin. But I walked through them and continued on. I ate even more bananas and oranges at the rest stops every 5km. They were gone by mile 22.

I had to walk up most of the hills after mile 18 (Paris is on a river, but it’s not flat) and I walked the rest stations with perhaps 100 meters on each side, but I ran 95% of it. I have finished something that less than 0.05% of people will ever do. My knees and legs don’t know it now, but I feel amazing.

Pictures will be forthcoming.

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