Peter B Hello! Well, now it's done. Paris Marathon 2015 in 4:25:48 which was a bit more than I hoped for, but you can't win them all. The event itself was a good one. Setting off from the Champs Elysees and then making our way on a lap around the city that takes you past several of the landmarks of Paris like Notre Dame and the Eiffel tower.
At 9:55 when my group started it was a nice mild temperature, but as the race progressed the gorgeous weather meant that the heat got to you. My goal of sub 4h went out the window when it reached 22-24 degrees C as I'm not used to it. All of my training has been done in -15 up to +5 so it really got to me and made my heartrate race up to 175-180 although I wasn't out of breath, At the pace I was going my training-HR used to be at 150 so I decided to ease off a bit. Still managed to keep up a decent pace (one eye on the HR) up to about 26K, that's when the struggle began. Cramps started to set in so I had to stop every 1-2 K to stretch before it seized up completely. Possibly should have had salt tablets included in my kit which might have helped.
This went on up to about 30-32K where it got a bit worse. I now had to resort to a run/walk/run schedule to stay on top of both HR and cramps. Then at 40K I managed to grab a handful of raisins and shove down my throat (my gels ran out at 30K, should have packed that extra one in the morning) which seemed to give a new lease of life. Legs felt a little lighter and I could keep running the last 2K to the finish (bar one short stop to stretch out a cramp), and the last 300 meters was awesome!
Coming up to the finish the streets were packed with people and when you turned the last corner there's a wide avenue to the finish lined with people. The Arc de Triomphe straight ahead behind that glorious sign stating "Finish". Didn't feel the legs at all down that straight for some reason ;)
So now it's done. I didn't make my initial goal to go under 4 hours, but the conditions wouldn't allow it. I'm quite convinced that if I'd kept my target pace ignoring the heart rate it would have backfired in the end. Not convinced that I would have lasted for 4 hours going at above 90% HR. I really well pleased to have done it and the medal and the t-shirt are nice reminders of an awesome event.
Afterwards my legs felt really sore but not as bad as expected. Had touches of cramps for about 24 hours after and some DOMS for a couple of days but still came out of it surprisingly well (well, that is if you ignore the sunburn on my head that now started flaking :). I might even do another one in a while. I'm not certain I'd choose an early spring one next time though. This means the bulk of my training will be during the Swedish winter with its harsh conditions. I guess you can call it a lesson learned since the training isn't representative for the conditions of the race.
Nevermind, I DID IT! :D