Mais Oui, Paris – Weeks 13+14 – 2 weeks of very little

For the first time for about 3-4 weeks I am feeling slightly better about things now. I have severely cut back my running in the hope of getting myself right for Paris Marathon. Now it is the last 2 week, so I will do my threshold intervals on Tuesday and Thursday, then the work is done!

Monday:

I cycled to swim training, swam for 1h15 – about 3000m – and cycled home. I was in the slow lane, which was a good thing! I did one harder 400m pull set, which was in 7minutes flat. I am trying to actually kick properly in when doing breaststroke, I hope that makes me slightly less slow!

Tuesday:

Back to the 1817 track after work. As it is the school holidays it was pretty empty at the track (not many kids playing football), so I switched directions for each interval. I wanted to do 6km at T pace again, as I felt fine I split it into a 3-2-1. My heart rate was much lower than it has been, and I did the last km in 3:33 without going all out.  This was much more like a session I would expect to have than those from last week. I think that is a good sign that I am recovering!

Wednesday:

I should have swum before work, but I wanted to sleep (I didn’t sleep well). I had a nap after work, which was stupid because I then couldn’t fall asleep at night.. Rest day

Thursday:

6km T, I just did 6x1km as I wasn’t feeling great. All were about 3:40/km but felt far harder than they should have.

Friday:

Off

Saturday:

After hearing that Sebi and Peter were looking for a 3rd person to swim, I decided to go along and try a longer work out. I wanted to do a 90 minute swim, but they wanted to leave after about 60mins so I did what I could until then.  I think it was 3400m, a lot for me. I slightly extended my cycling home so that it was 20km or so, I would have liked a bit more actually, but it was fine for the day.

Sunday:

off

Monday:

I went for little 7km run just as a leg shake out. Now I will admit that I probably ran faster than I should have, but my heart rate was sky high from the start. Against the wind I was in the mid 150s when doing an easy pace.  It came back down a little with the wind behind me, but my piriformis hurt, the whole back of my right leg ached, and my heart rate was high. I started to consider not starting in Paris.

I cycled to the pool later anyway as it was Easter Monday and I could swim at 5pm instead of 8pm. It was a decent session, if only 1h again. The lane was pretty empty, but when Konrad is there it always shows me how much slower I am than I need to be!

Tuesday:

I had planned on doing some M paced intervals, but after the nightmare of yesterday, I rested. I feel like I am allergic to something, or have a long lingering cold. (I got my German B2 test results – I got 90.5 from 100 for a very good grade, quite happy with that!)

Wednesday:

Because of the French trains striking, one of our connections wasn’t available, so we had to get to Karlsruhe in a different way. We managed it but then saw that our train to Paris was cancelled. We scuried to try to get a slow train to Strasbourg, but missed it s were stuck in Karlsruhe. Or so we thought, because suddenly they announced that a replacement train would go instead. It was said to be on time, but actually was 1h40 late!  So we didn’t get to Paris until fairly late on Wednesday evening.

Thursday:

Tourist day in Paris – up the Eiffel Tower

Friday:

Another walking day around Paris

Saturday:

I ran for 15 minutes on the treadmill in the hotel, I did some slightly up paced stuff and felt ok, maybe I had recovered in time??

Sunday:

Marathon

Mais non, Paris – Paris marathon 2018

After a few nice days in Paris I had arranged to meet Has to sign up to the marathon at 14:30 on the Friday before the race. I handed in my ‘medical certificate’ and got my start number, I wasn’t ready for the race, but I would be running it anyway!

The last month before the Paris marathon has been a nightmare, a constant mix of being overtrained, ill, allergic and injured, not ideal for getting ready for a marathon. My heart rate has been constantly high for a while now, at rest and while running. My hope was that after enough rest, my body would somehow digest the training that I’d done, recover and spit out my fitness returns. Well if it was going to do that, it was waiting until the last minute to do it! I was still feeling like crap 6 days before the race, my last real run before the marathon.

I knew that 2h50 was possible if everything came together, but if not then I would be miles off with my recent form. I would go out at 2h50 pace anyway and see what happens, hopefully I’d feel ok!

Me and Has next to the straw filled toilets! (and the Arc de Triomphe)

So on the day of the race the alarm went off at 5am and I ate my Pain aux Chocolat and pita bread and waited. At 6am Katja was awake and we went to down to breakfast in the hotel at 6:30. We met up with Has and Audrey at 7:30. Katja would spectate with Audrey whilst Has and I ran. I felt a bit odd about the race, nervous of course but sometimes I feel nervous, but ready. This time I was nervous and not ready, I felt unprepared.

The first km is downhill on cobbles, I found my tempo of 4:00/km and felt ok. It was a bit warm even at the start of the race for me, but it wasn’t too bad. My heart rate belt was playing up and showed variable numbers for a while. With a 170 heart rate after 2km I was/would be in major trouble, but it then went to 160, which would be ok. It soon settled down a bit, and showed that I was going too fast, and my heart rate was too high.

I kept on anyway, seeing Katja after 6km and giving a shaky thumb to indicate that it wasn’t going great. After 10km 41 minutes had passed, I was a little slow for a 2h50 marathon, but on PB pace. That was pretty much irrelevant though, it wasn’t going to happen, I knew that already.

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After 13km I made the decision to pull the plug on my race, I would run on to the end, but I couldn’t race it anymore and hope to get to the finish line. I started to slow and my heart rate fell a little, but I didn’t really slow too much for a little while. I passed 14km after 58:30, I wasn’t on PB pace anymore.

That was the kick I needed, I gave it up for real and decided to run/walk it in, like I did for Roth last year. So after a 45 second walk I ran for 9:15  every 10 minutesm until the end of the race! For the first 4 intervals I was running at 4:15 pace, but then that started to fade too.

I wasn’t bothered about my time anymore, I just wanted to get to the end. There was a long tunnel after maybe 25km which they called ‘Hell’ it was a bit weird, it was actually nice and cool compared to the sunny 18-20 degrees outside, so it wasn’t too hell like for me. (I’ve since heard that is where Diana died, it seems in poor taste now!)  In the next tunnel they played Funky Town, a Roland Cake favorite! I couldn’t help but laugh.

Mentally I felt like it was always going to be ok, even after 25km I was thinking, only 8-9 more run/walks. My quads were getting pretty sore, so re-starting after the walk breaks was starting to get pretty painful. My 9:15 runs we’re getting slower and slower too, but as I say, time was not irrelevant, but my legs were so dead.

After about 36km Has overtook me. He had started 2 minutes after me and was having a decent race. I didn’t try to go with him, I doubt I could have anyway, but it didn’t make sense if I was run/walking. Finally after 40km the walk breaks were over and I would run to the end. Those last 2.2km dragged like a mo-fo, I felt like they would never end! I got to see Katja again just before the end then clapped some hands on the run in before crossing the line in 3:17:32.

It was a nightmare day, too warm, my legs weren’t there and my fitness is just gone too. I think it is just a bit of overtraining that has led to this nightmare, I will take it easy for a good while now, I need a cycling and swimming base anyway.

I think I am done with marathons now, I might try one off triathlon training some time, but that won’t be until at least Autumn 2019.  Paris Marathon has been a dreadful experience for me, I hope the rest of the season is much much better!