In the words of Edith Piaf - Non, je ne regrette rien
Thought i would round off with a bit of background to the Paris trip in my penultimate post. I would thoroughly recommend this as an alternative to the London Marathon if you either don’t get in London (like myself) or fancy a different challenge. The Eurostar is brilliant and door-door it is quicker for me from mid Essex to arrive in Paris then it is for me to travel from home to arrive in my spiritual home town of Preston, Lancashire.
My pal Simon arranged the hotel in October and booked a great deal at Hotel Ampere which as previously mentioned was only 15-20 min walk from the start/finish area. Incidentally Simon who was targeting a sub 3.30 time i think, nearly pulled out after 7 miles with a recurring calf injury. He was almost making his way to a tube station to head back to the hotel when he tried running on it and managed to cope with the pain. This pain management went on for a mere 19.2 miles! Yet he still pulled in at 3.40hrs which i found staggering.
SLEEP AND MAD DRIVERS
On the Friday after checking in and pulling the twin beds wide apart we walked to the starting area and walked the first 2 miles towards Note Dame which thankfully was downhill. On the way back we took in walking past the Louvre Museum and a few other amazing buildings. There seems so much more space and tranquility in Paris than London. After i had a couple of short siestas we went out local and ate at a lovely local and traditional... American restaurant!! Yep, burger and chips was what we needed.
Early night and then Expo on Saturday which i really enjoyed. Although having now experienced the London Expo with my brother i think London put on a better show overall. I ensured i drank loads of water during the day, estimate around 4 litres! No wonder my bladder felt full most of the time. We bought 2 chicken curry and rice meals at the “Rice party”, one which we had later that evening for tea (dinner to you posh people).
We aimed to stay off our feet as much as possible Saturday which i managed by having a 3.5hr siesta. Only waking up to take in the English footy results and a live French game on TV. We treated ourselves to a night out on the town.... at the local cafe. Drinking only a hot chocolate or an orange juice. But watching the local Parisians go by was great entertainment. Especially the driving around a dangerous junction, they are totally CRAZY drivers.
I should mention that whilst i was in a deep sleep Saturday afternoon and Simon was lounging on his own bed, the cleaner walked in the room. Not sure what she made of us in bed at that time and hoping she didn’t see the tubs of vaseline (for blisters, chaffing and nips) and think some funny games were going on.
END OF THE JOURNEY
Tried to sleep about 11.30pm, but like on Christmas Eve, struggled to do so initially. Alarm went off at 6.30, breaky consumed, bags dropped off smoothly when we found it and then the race was on. Afterwards, the hotel were kind enough to allow those like us who had already checked out the use of a room to shower in. I really struggled then carrying a heavy canvass bag from tube to tube to train to the Eurostar because of the lack of energy in the legs. But once on the train we cracked open a bottle of champagne and the journey to London flew by.
I loved the weekend and the whole marathon atmosphere and the achievement /reward i took from it, but i won’t do that one again, no need to now. London application is going in on April 30th and if unsuccessful again I’m thinking Rome or Barcelona 2013 and I’ll even take the missus next time and the cat if he is well behaved over the next 12 months.
Once again congratulations to those fellow first timers, what an amazing feeling it is. Also spare a few moments in your busy lives to think about the poor lass who died on Sunday.
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