A couple of hours ago, I finished my first ever marathon, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I loved the experience, it certainly was an experience, and when running your first marathon, what better one to do than the Paris Marathon? I can think of worse ways to pass the time than running past the Louvre, Chateau Vincennes, and the Eiffel Tower.
Still, 42.2km is still a heck of a long way to run, which meant that I had plenty of time to think along the way. I thought I’d share a couple of these thoughts with you in order to give you a window into the thought process that goes into running a marathon from start to finish.
1) (at the starting line) “What the Hell was I thinking signing up to run a full MARATHON?!” -this thought was later repeated at every kilometre and mile marker throughout the race
2) (at the 5km mark) “I don’t need to, but if I time it right, one of those gorgeous firemen can catch me if I faint.”
3) (at the 7km mark) “I can’t believe how great I feel! This is going to be easy.”
4) (at the 10.5km mark) “Wow. I have to run that distance another THREE times.”
5) (at the 18km mark) “So this is what my life has become. The location of the next porta-potty has become the only thing I care about.”
6) (at the Half Marathon mark) “What is that tingling sensation in my left leg? (pause to check) Okay, you have got to be kidding me. Really pants? You decide that now is a good time to split open, meaning that the inside of my leg has now been rubbed raw?”
7) (at the 23km mark) “I wonder if I’ll lose a toenail to this race?”
8) (at the 25km mark) “Interesting, I didn’t know I could chafe there.”
9) (at the 30km mark) “Hit a wall? Not me! I only have 12km left. I can do this!”
10) (at the 33km mark) “Where are all these tears coming from?! I’m not in pain and I’m not upset about anything, so why can’t I stop crying?!”
11) (at the 36km mark) “Okay, now I’m in a lot of pain, but this is getting ridiculous. HOW DO I STOP CRYING?!”
12) (at the 38km mark) “After averaging 9 minute kilometres for the past 10K, suddenly I’m averaging 7 minute kilometres. Wow. When you’re worried that you’re about to be pulled off of the course because you’re too slow, it really motivates you to move faster.”
13) (at the 41.5km mark) “WHERE THE FOCH IS THAT FINISH LINE?!?!?!” -inside joke; the Paris Marathon ends on Foch Avenue
14) (about 5 seconds after crossing the finish line) “Would anyone mind if I just curl up into the fetal position right here and take a nice long nap?”
15) (about 5 seconds after being handed my finisher’s medal) “So when can I do this again?”
As you can tell, it was a roller coaster of a day, but I did it. I ran a marathon. Okay, I may have walked a fair amount in the back half of the run, but I still finished, and now I can say that I’ve accomplished something that less than one tenth of 1% of the world’s population will ever even attempt. And that feels pretty darn good.
Until the next one!