Corbiere lighthouse

Paris Marathon 2016: One Week to Go

Running a marathon requires months of dedication, commitment, organisation and usually a high boredom threshold.

These factors are multiplied when taking part in an international race as there are a number of logistical issues to contend with.

And so a week out from my third marathon ever and my second on foreign soil, I am undertrained, have lost my running partner, have yet to book travel and have nowhere to stay.

Not exactly ideal.

Training

Usually I’d try to follow a plan for at least 16 weeks in order to build up the mileage and increasing long runs before cutting back for the final couple of weeks.

Instead, I am doing a reverse taper (increasing the miles in the lead-up to the big day) in the hope that I can peak on race day.

This is the same approach I took to the London Marathon where I had been injured for much of the training.

That time, I got round in 5.12 which is still my marathon PB.

This time I am hoping to be a bit quicker but as with any marathon, just finishing is always the first goal.

Running Mate

Due to an unfortunate and far too hasty coming together of shoulder and rock-hard ice whilst snowboarding, my girlfriend will not be running the marathon with me.

And due to her ongoing rehabilitation as well as exam revision, she is also not coming to Paris.

Which means I will be in one of the romantic cities in the world on a Saturday night on my own (sound of tiny violins playing).

Is it weird if I lock my own padlock on the Pont des Arts then chuck the keys in the river?

If nothing else it would littering and potentially low-scale pollution.

And also, when I get back to Fitness First I won’t have a padlock.

Logistics

Flights from London to Paris are as common as French cyclists wearing berets and onion garlands.

So I decided to move to Jersey which takes either two flights or a ferry and a train to make it.

And given so many choices of prices, times, flights, ferries, trains and accommodation, the obvious happened; I did nothing.

Just over a week to go until I need to be tying up my laces and thinking about a last minute dash to le portaloo yet I still don’t know how I’ll get to the shores of the Seine nor where I will be staying the night before or the evening after.

And as I’ll be on my own, I’m not sure that cracking open a bottle of champagne on my own in a cheap-as-frites hostel is really something I want to be doing after a race.

Even thinking about it just sounds like the beginning of sad, noir film where I contemplate the point of it all before ending it all in a bath with a hairdryer.

OK so that is perhaps the very worst case scenario but it probably also means that I should get my A into G and take a look at lastminute.com.

Bof

All that being said, I can’t wait.

There is a strange, intense atmosphere around marathons.

I love the smell of anticipation in the morning.

It’s a heady mix of a challenge to come, the fear of failure and lure of success.

I’m hoping the Paris finish line also has the aroma of vin rouge and croque monsieur san jambon.

Allez mange tout!

PS if you want to see how I’m getting on, take a look at my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page next Sunday

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