Paris Marathon Race Recap

Finisher.

Just like that, 6 months of training is over. I still can not believe that I ran a marathon. It was everything I expected it to be. Tough. Exhilarating. Fun. Challenging. Emotional. Scary. Hard. And I did it.

This recap is a bit long. You are forewarned !

Pre-race

I spent a good part of the week stalking the weather, thinking about my outfit and reading and re-reading the information I received from the race organisers, as well as race recaps from 2015. I didn’t want to miss anything important.

The energy really started to build on Thursday when I went to the race expo with a friend who was also running. I was so damn excited, having waited a year to pick up that bib.

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While there were many people it was completely manageable and packet pick up was a breeze. Have your medical certificate verified and stamped, then pick up your bib and bag. All in less than 10 minutes.

This last part of the week I worried over what to wear. The weather was looking to be between 65 and 70 degrees and in one of the recaps I had read, someone wrote “dress like it is 20 degrees warmer”. With the heat they were announcing, I was thinking of wearing shorts, but worried about chafing. So I bought Vaseline. Then I bought anti chafing cream. But I was still on the fence about shorts or capris that I had trained in.

Of course I had to go back to the expo Saturday. There were so many people but the energy was contagious. I met up with a woman whom I have become friends with on social media… of the same age, running the marathon for the first time…we had “virtually trained” together. She was with a friend and we spent the afternoon talking about running, sharing running war stories, shopping for running equipment. The excitement was definitely building…

Messages, emails and phone calls had  started to come in. Well wishes from so many people, I was a bit overwhelmed by this show of thoughtfulness. It was quite emotional to feel so many people routing for me. My BIL, who ran the race a couple years ago, called Saturday night to wish me luck. I talked to him about my wardrobe dilema. Capris he said. Cool top, but capris will provide a bit of compression. Yeah. Good argument. He gave me some last minute advice. I got some encouragement from my nieces in Africa:

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Despite the nervousness and butterflies, I was feeling pretty confident. Tummy issues from the beginning of the week gone, I was satisfied with my 3 day pre-race fueling strategy, my equipment had been set out early, I had checked my lists twice. Well 3 and 4 times… and continued to stalk the weather.

Being so excited meant I had been sleeping short nights, and Saturday I had gotten up by 6 a.m. At 10:15 p.m. I was in bed, wanting a good night’s sleep.

Pre race  : The morning of…

I slept well and felt rested. I got up at 6:30 to eat breakfast (protein pancakes, almond butter, yogurt and half a banana) & one cup of coffee to get things moving (sorry TMI). I also wanted to be sure I had time to do my usual dynamic warm up. Checked the weather AGAIN and was still on the fence about what to wear. 70 degree weather was confirmed. I put on the shorts, lathered on anti chafe cream and sunscreen. Then my husband got up. Capris he said. Ugh, ok, Karen just make the damn decision. Capris it is. Then I was off.

When I had initially signed up a year ago, I signed up in the 4 hours and 15 minute corral, so my start time was 10:05 a.m. They had informed us the corrals would open half an hour prior. So I didn’t need to be on the Champs Elysees before 9:30. It is about 30 minutes from where I live but I decided to leave early to be able to use the potties. I love the metro ride. For all of the Parisian races, this is where the excitement starts. At every stop, people in running clothes get on, the subway fills up. So as you get closer, the energy builds.

I got out at the top of the Champs Elysees and the atmosphere was already insane. There were cars, buses, taxis and crazy people were in the middle of the Charles de Gaulle rotary, around the Arc de Triomph, taking pictures ! Buses of Chinese tourists were going by taking pictures of the runners. CRAZY.

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Since I had time before my corral opened, I stood in line to use the porta potty. Never thought I would see porta potties in front of the Arc de triomphe !

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My friend’s husband, who was in my corral, started texting me… where are you ? the corral is open ! really ? well, I needed to pee. So I waited for 25 minutes in the longest.line.ever, (very happy I had worn my capris because I was cold !) then as soon as I was finished went to wait in the porta potty line again. Luckily it went a little faster, but I was starting to cut it short. I had about 20 minutes before the race started so I had to make my way down the Champs Elysees, and go into the coral as they were releasing the people towards the start.

One of the only downsides of this race … I was almost embarrassed to see the most beautiful avenue in Paris covered in debris : water bottles, clothes, people peeing… but that is for another post !

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I arrived with 10 minutes to spare. My friend was at the front of the pack, where I was at the back, so I never caught up to him. My bladder had taken precedent.

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The race

I loved the atmosphere while waiting in the corral.

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The announcer would repeat what he was saying in several languages, there was loud music, it wasn’t too crowded, and before I knew it we were off. I immediately started my run walk interval that I had been using in my last long runs. 2:20 and 40 seconds. With the speed I was supposed to run the “running part” my goal was 4:45 but I just wanted to come in under 5 hours.  (for those who are new to my blog, I used the Jeff Galloway run/walk training plan, more information here.

 

KM 1 to 5 : I was amazed by the number of people lining the streets. The first part goes from the Champs Elysees to the Bastille, it is pretty much a 5 km strait line through the center of Paris, through Place de la Concorde and by the Louvre.

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I had run it several times on my training runs, so knew what to expect. I was feeling good, forcing myself to slow down. I was running on the right side of the road with my frequent walking intervals, wanting to easily get out of people’s way. By km 5 though, I knew I could not stay on the right the whole way. The road sloped down and I knew 42 km with a right slope would not be good for my gait. It was also getting hot. Luckily on the right side there was some shade from the buildings though it didn’t last long. Even though I had a handheld water bottle, with the heat I knew it would be important to drink at every water stop.

Km 5 : water. They were giving away bottles with 33 ml. So I grabbed one and off I went. There was great crowd support, so much more than I expected.

I was looking forward to see my fan club, positioned at km 8.

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I lived in this part of the city for 10 years and know it extremely well, so knew what to expect, familiar with all the streets I was running on. My family was following me with a geo-localisation app so knew exactly when I would be coming.

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I could see them from very far away because they had this HUGE American flag they were waving. I was happy to see my two girls and husband. They gave me food, filled my water bottle, asked me if I wanted to change into shorts (yes, my wardrobe choice had been the subject of a lot of discussion).

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I was feeling good. No tight shins, no knee pain, though I knew I could not continue to run only on the right side of the road.

Km 8 to 19 was my favorite part of the race because that is where I run all the time and did much of my training. I was feeling good. I was running more in the center of the road, no pain, no niggles. There were a ton of bands playing great music.

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Arriving at the 10K marker I was already 2 minutes over my target time. I thought since I had started out slow, I could make up for it. but it was darn hot. I drank more water. By this time, things had thinned out, the streets were very wide.

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The sign on my back was a major conservation starter.

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Several Americans asked me what intervals I was using. I ran for about a km with someone from North Carolina who does triathalons, so the marathon was “no big deal”. That conversation break was welcome and time flew.

Water again at km 15. At about km 17,5 I saw a friend & his dog. I knew my husband and children would be waiting at km18 with the big American flag. My friend & his dog ran with me until we met my husband.

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I was hot, needed more water. I refueled and was off.

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Shoot, forgot to ask my husband for my sunglasses. By now it was past noon, it was hot and I felt my head heating up. There were buckets of water along the way for you to scoop and put on your head / neck, but in all honesty, that has never helped AND I don’t find it particularly hygienic to put my hand in water that potentially 30,000 people before me have touched. There were firemen several places along the course also squirting water but my brother in law had warned me to avoid it else I would be running in soaked sneakers. Good point !

At km 20, I was a few more minutes behind my projected time. By that time I knew I would not hit my A goal of 4:45. More water. So hot.

Km 20 to 25 were very hard because of the heat. We were in direct sunlight the whole time and I was actually worried about heat stroke. I felt I was getting sunburned despite the sunscreen I had put on. I cursed myself for not having a hat and sunglasses.

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25 km …more water, and no pain. Faithfully running my run/walk intervals except to stop once or twice to take pictures. People look hot !

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KM26. Alleluia ! … a one mile long tunnel. There was soothing music, aromatherapy, and it was dark and cool. I walked, giving my body the opportunity to really cool down, which gave me reprieve I craved and the boost I needed. Coming out of the tunnel, we were running along the water there was a breeze. I felt much much better.

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KM 30, came to “the wall”. No wall for me. I took a picture. I knew my fan club would be at km 32 so I kept going.

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It was around this time that people started dropping off. Not dropping out, but you could tell the heat was taking a major toll on the energy of the runners. At least 50% of the people were walking.

Although I was keeping up with my intervals, I knew I was behind my projected time. On the “running part” I was not running as fast as I should have been. But it was hot and all the water stops and my fan club stops put me behind. But I didn’t care. I wasn’t obsessing over my time and I kept thinking what several people had said “you will only ever run a FIRST marathon ONCE, so enjoy”.

KM 32 : I saw my husband & daughter. The big American flag.

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More water. Food. Had them give me my ipod. Then I started off again and got really emotional. I knew I had this. So many people were routing for me. I thought of all the messages I had received, all the people who had called. As soon as I left my husband I started crying. I was running the race I wanted to run and I knew I had this. Only 10K to go. Although I was looking at my time, I didn’t care about hitting my A goal. I soaked it in.

The last 10K were ahead of me. I was surprised because there were so many people walking. Just walking. As I was doing run/walk, I blew past 80% of them. It was a huge ego booster even if I had to weave constantly.

My knees felt good, only slight twinges in my calf and thigh. I was actually worried about the amount of water I had taken in. People can actually die from drinking too much water. I hadn’t peed and didn’t feel the urge. So I just kept going, running by all kinds of people. These last 10 km were very emotional. I cried several times from elation because I knew I was going to make it, but tried to stay focused, focusing on my music. I had to stop around km 37 to stretch out a cramp in my calf. But besides that, I was pretty much pain free, and kept passing a ton of people.

It was in these last few km that people were in bad shape. I tried to focus but wanted to cry. I kept visualizing myself crossing that finish line, with the medal hanging around my neck. I tried to zone out what was going on around me. Tons of people stopping, stretching, sitting, vomiting, ambulances going by. I kept on trucking. By this time it had cloulded over a bit and we were in the Boulogne forest, so it was a bit cooler. At least it wasn’t the direct sunlight light it had been. I tried to keep my emotions at bay and stay focused.

I ran the last km. Slowly, but I ran it. The crowd support was amazing. So many people.There are signs near the end telling you to smile, that pictures are being taken in 200m.

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The last part weaves a little, so you couldn’t see the finish line until about 500m before. Then there it was. I started to cry when I saw it. I kept crying, tons of people were cheering, it was only a few meters away.

I crossed the finish line 5 hours and 11 minutes after starting. I was elated and continued to cry. I immediately picked up and put on that coveted shirt. It fit perfectly. Put on that medal. I eventually stopped crying and the huge smile took over.

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I am a marathoner. And very happy I had worn the capris.

Thanks again to everyone for all the support. I have lots of other things to say about the race so please check back regularly !

 

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Comments: 65

  1. HoHo Runs April 8, 2016 at 4:13 pm Reply

    Aw, this is great! It is SUCH an emotional experience, isn’t it? I would have balled every time I saw that American flag! I have chosen capris before solely for the compression on my knee. Good decision. I love that lime green finisher’s shirt. Wear it with pride! You did a fantastic job! CONGRATS again.
    HoHo Runs recently posted…Happy Birthday Wednesday WordMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 5:25 pm Reply

      Thanks Holly !!
      If there was one thing I underestimated, it is how emotional I would be.
      And yes, I am going to wear that shirt !

  2. Christine @ Two Runners Travel April 8, 2016 at 4:50 pm Reply

    I have been waiting to read this recap, Karen. Loved following song with every step of your race. As I told a friend who recently completed her first marathon, welcome to the 1% club aka marathon finishers club! You are amazing!! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the experience and were able to take it all in. You should be so proud!

    Reading your recap only confirmed that I desperately want to run Paris someday.

    Congratulations! I hope you are still smiling 🙂

    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 5:25 pm Reply

      Thank you Christine.
      And yes, I am STILL.SMILING. unable to stop… 🙂

  3. Chaitali April 8, 2016 at 4:50 pm Reply

    Such a great recap! I loved reading about your first marathon. It’s so great that you had a wonderful support team who was able to meet you several times on the course. Congrats on a great job considering that heat.
    Chaitali recently posted…Friday Five – easy foodMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 5:26 pm Reply

      Aw thank you.
      I definitely prefer the heat to any kind of cold rain !

  4. Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC April 8, 2016 at 6:18 pm Reply

    I love this so much – so great. I’m so happy for you. I got chills as I read this. YOU ARE A MARATHONER! SUCH an amazing experience. Yay!

    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm Reply

      Thank you Courtney. Such a great experience. It was all about the finish line.

  5. Karen April 8, 2016 at 7:03 pm Reply

    Félicitations!! I hope I got that right lol
    Well done 🙂 I love your recap. The heat is tough, but you did well fueling and not having any issues. I drink a lot too in the heat, as much as 2 liters on a longer run.
    I love the sign you wore to share your interval method, very good idea! How did the timer hold up for you?
    I love your finisher picture, you do not look like you have been running for five hours!
    How sweet your girls and hubby came out to support you.

    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 8:03 pm Reply

      Thank you Karen.
      I changed the battery in my timer, just in case !
      And if there was one thing I underestimated, it is the importance of having fans along the race. Having that to look forward to was SOOOOO much more important than I ever estimated.

  6. Sonia April 8, 2016 at 7:13 pm Reply

    So sweet to read this! Wonderful recap! I laughed, I teared up. I know that feeling of the first marathon, and it’s so exhilarating to hear your experience of it. Thanks for sharing. Now, onto your next!! 🙂 See you at NYC!

    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 8:01 pm Reply

      Thank you Sonia. I am grateful for having the experience I was hoping for. And it was hot, but I prefer that over rain.
      Now I need to take some time off before I start thinking of NY ! I want to fully soak in this experience and I will think about NYC LATER.

      • Sonia April 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm Reply

        lol (I was kidding)….yes! Enjoy your recovery and rest time! You deserve it! Well done again.
        Sonia recently posted…To Marathon or Not…My Profile

        • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 2:29 am Reply

          Thank you Sonia.
          An incredible experience. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

  7. Elizabeth April 8, 2016 at 7:27 pm Reply

    Such a great recap! It was so hot and you did very well. I love all of your photos and I think it was a great idea to have the sign on your shirt. This sounds like the best marathon experience ever. It was the perfect combination of huge event, seeing family and friends, and enjoying the run! Congratulations!! 🙂
    Elizabeth recently posted…Friday Five: Prepping for the ORRRC HalfMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 8:00 pm Reply

      Thank you Elizabeth. I think it is also a mindset thing. I wanted the first experience to be good, so I put into place all the conditions to ensure that would happen. Of course I can not control everything, but seeing the bright side of things really helps.

  8. Denise ketchen April 8, 2016 at 7:34 pm Reply

    Congratulations, Karen! It’s hard to even imagine that you could run for 5 hours and 11 minutes. What an amazing accomplishment. I’m really impressed too with your determination to get to the finish line. You should be very proud of yourself as I’m sure your family and friends must be. I enjoyed your blog about the entire Marathon. Will you now take a reprieve from running for awhile? Love your “finisher” picture and have downloaded it to “my pictures” Congrats again, Karen. As us Mainers would say “you did wicked good”!!

    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 7:58 pm Reply

      Aw, thank you Dee. I am now going to take a short break, still relish in the happy memories, then start preparing for NY later in June probably.

  9. Terri April 8, 2016 at 7:36 pm Reply

    Awesome account, Karen! Congratulations!!!

    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 7:57 pm Reply

      Thank you Terri.

  10. Marcia April 8, 2016 at 7:45 pm Reply

    Congrats again Karen! I’m so glad it was everything you’d hoped it would be. You’re so funny with the capris/shorts debate. I had no idea it was so darn hot! Way to prevail!
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    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 7:57 pm Reply

      Thanks Marcia. Yes, it was darn.hot. Especially since I started around 10, and finished around 3 so ran during the hotest part of the day.

  11. Meranda@Fairytalesandfitness April 8, 2016 at 7:54 pm Reply

    What a great race you had! I love the sign you put on your back! I have started wearing visor during long distance races so I have something to block the sun yet I don’t have to worry about having sunglasses in the morning hours when it is still a bit dark. Also, it helps if it starts to rain too! Congrats again on a wonderful race and a great experience!

    • Karen - Fit in France April 8, 2016 at 7:56 pm Reply

      Thank you 🙂
      I had thought about a hate / visor but just didn’t want to carry something else. I am lucky it wasn’t much hotter because I did get a sunburn.

  12. Kimberly Hatting April 8, 2016 at 9:29 pm Reply

    Thanks. Now I’m crying 😉 This is, seriously, such a great recap! I experienced so much of what you described in the final stretch to the finish line. My goal was 4:15, and I finished 4:33:xx…..and I honestly did NOT care about those extra 18 minutes. I never actually cried, but my eyes were glossed over with and “bulging” with tears in that final mile. And I probably had a goofy smile on my face because it was such a surreal experience 😉 Congrats!! I’m so glad your first marathon was fantastic!!!!!
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    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 2:28 am Reply

      Thank you Kim and thanks for folliwng and all the encouragement.
      I am not an emotional person, thus all the emotion completely took me by surprise.
      As did the importance of having family along the way. That was AMAZING !

  13. Ana April 8, 2016 at 9:32 pm Reply

    Congratulations! I got all teary eyed reading your recap! It is so awesome that your family was there to give you full support! And Running in Paris sounds like an amazing experience!!
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    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 2:27 am Reply

      It was amazing. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
      Thank you !

  14. Darlene April 8, 2016 at 9:39 pm Reply

    Tu m’as fait pleurer!!

    I loved that your daughters carried the American flag. Sounds like such a great race. And you did great!

    So glad to follow your training. I felt a part of it.

    So now on to NYC!!!
    Darlene recently posted…Friday Five: Splitting Up Your Long RunsMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 2:26 am Reply

      Thank you Darlene. I loved the experience, it was amazing.
      I completely underestimated how emotional I would be, I am not an emotional person at all.
      But yes, this was very emotionalal !
      Sorry I made you cry 🙂

  15. Sharon April 8, 2016 at 10:01 pm Reply

    Awesome job and congrats on your marathon finish! Great recap! I would love to run in Paris some day!
    Sharon recently posted…San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Race Recap 4/3/16My Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 2:24 am Reply

      Thank you Sharon. It is a flat course with no real difficulty. If you do it one day let me know !

  16. I’ve been waiting to read this! Huge congrats to you my friend. It gave me chills to read this and it’s been so fun to watch your dedicated training. I love how your family met up with you for support. And I love how your races start at a much more civilized time of the morning!!
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    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 2:19 am Reply

      Thanks Deborah. My family was such a huge part of the training, living the whole experience along those months with me, that having them there was not only important for ME but almost just as important FOR THEM.

  17. meljo @ ayearinrunningshoes April 8, 2016 at 11:18 pm Reply

    I loved EVERY word!! I loved EVERY picture!! And, I loved that your husband and daughters met you along the way and carried an American flag!! Many, many congratulations, you earned them!! Kind of interested now to hear how NYC compares for you!

    BTW, Paris is definitely secure on my running bucket list, you recap was AWESOME!!
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    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 2:18 am Reply

      Thank you,, so glad you enjoyed it. I wrote my recap immediately to ensure all the important détails were there, then spent the week editing.
      It was an amazing experience and I am Lucky to have such a great first.

  18. Pam and Christine April 9, 2016 at 12:04 am Reply

    I love this recap and so enjoyed following your journey to becoming a marathoner. Paris is such a beautiful city and I can only imagine what it would be like to run a first marathon there. So glad your family was out to support you and many congratulations on your race. Heat is a runner’s enemy and you handled it like a champ. So excited for you Karen.
    Pam and Christine recently posted…Five Goals for London MarathonMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 2:17 am Reply

      Thank you so much. It was so great having my family there. I completely underestimated how much of an effect it would have on my mental strength / focus.

  19. Jennifer @ Dashing in Style April 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm Reply

    Sounds like a great experience despite the sun and heat. Congratulations!
    Jennifer @ Dashing in Style recently posted…Lululemon Buys & Try-Ons: Tracker Shorts, CRBs, Speed Track Short, Energy BraMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 4:02 pm Reply

      Many thanks.

  20. Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home April 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm Reply

    I’ve been waiting for this recap and I’m so excited for you! This is a great recap–you captured how you felt throughout the race and I felt like I was running with you. Congrats on a very well orchestrated race! The heat is a challenge, isn’t it? I’ve run 2 Chicago marathons in that heat, and it really gets tough in the final 10k.
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    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 4:02 pm Reply

      Thanks Wendy. The heat was a challenge, but I preferred it over rain ! And luckily we had a slight breeze off the water.

  21. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy April 9, 2016 at 1:56 pm Reply

    I am so impressed! You did awesome! Awesomely? Really, just amazing.

    One of my halfs was even hotter than that, and it takes a huge toll (actually, 2 of my halfs) I have no doubt I would’ve been walking that last 10k, too, assuming I made it that far!

    I do find pouring water over my head helps. At one of those hot halfs there was a guy with a jug of water pouring water over anyone who wanted it — it felt so good! Of course it doesn’t help for long.

    I love that I can picture a lot of this too, since I went to Paris once!

    I am willing to bet your time will be better at NYC and I can’t believe you’re already back to training AND that you lost weight training for a marathon!

    You rock!
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    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 3:57 pm Reply

      Thak you Judy ! Now that I have trained once, I assume I will improve my time in NY, knowing what I need to do to improve… but I will start thinking about it in a couple weeks. Have a great weekend.

  22. Stephanie Suire April 9, 2016 at 6:14 pm Reply

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything about this recap. I am so proud of you and so excited that you are a marathon finisher! Reading your recap was like reliving the race all over again, I still remember the same spots along the course (the starting line, the first 5K, the 18K point where I saw you, the tunnel, the forest at the end and the constant looking for the finish line!) So happy your family was there to cheer you on, wear that shirt and medal proudly!!!!

    • Karen - Fit in France April 9, 2016 at 10:30 pm Reply

      Thank you Stéphanie. I will. I can not believe a year has gone by already….
      It was an amazing experience. THANK YOU TOO

  23. Coco April 9, 2016 at 11:55 pm Reply

    Yay! What a great race! And you shared your experience so well! That heat would do me in for sure. I love the picture of you smiling near the end!!
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  24. Debra @HappyRunningSole April 10, 2016 at 3:56 pm Reply

    I enjoyed reading your recap. I’m glad I’m not the only one who obsessively stalks the weather and reads and rereads race recaps. I love all your pictures! So awesome that your family was there to support you at several stops along the way. I’m glad you felt good the whole time and had a strong finish! Congrats, you’re a marathoner!

    • Karen - Fit in France April 12, 2016 at 12:02 am Reply

      Thank you Debra.
      I am an obsessive planner so reading and rereading help me be prepared.

  25. Debbie @ Deb Runs April 11, 2016 at 5:41 am Reply

    Congrats again, Karen! I loved reading your recap, and felt like I was running along side of you for the entire race!
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    • Karen - Fit in France April 11, 2016 at 11:55 pm Reply

      Thanks Deb. Such a great experience.

  26. Michelle @ Running with Attitude April 12, 2016 at 11:09 pm Reply

    Congrats Karen! This was a great recap – You did such a great job despite the heat. I’m so happy it was such a good experience for you!
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    • Karen - Fit in France April 14, 2016 at 1:10 am Reply

      Ah, thank you Michelle.
      So happy the experience was positive.

  27. Meagan April 13, 2016 at 3:56 pm Reply

    A huge congratulations to you on such a well-executed race! Those are some really hot temperatures for a marathon. Thank goodness for that tunnel and the section along the water to give you a little reprieve. Love the finisher’s shirt and medal!

    Vaseline/other anti-chaffing stuff is the best. I didn’t have ANY chaffing or blisters despite the wet conditions at my 50K. Hopefully you didn’t have any either with that heat.

    This is random but…. I think I remember reading someone blog about stand up-only porta johns for men at the Paris marathon. Have you heard of those/did you see them?
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    • Karen - Fit in France April 14, 2016 at 1:07 am Reply

      Thanks Meagan. Congrats on your race ! 50K is HUGE.
      I had very little chafing but was so happy I wore running pants. Shorts would have been a nightmare.

      Yes, I confirm at most of the French races there are stand up porta johns for guys.

  28. Kristina April 17, 2016 at 12:53 am Reply

    Congratulations! What a great experience – it sounds like the Paris marathon is definitely one to put on the bucket list (if I had a marathon list!). Way to deal with the heat and to stay positive. Can’t wait to hear what’s next!

    • Karen - Fit in France April 17, 2016 at 7:59 am Reply

      Thank you Kristina.Lots of great races to run in Paris ! But you need to sign up early, they all fill up really fast.

  29. Elaine @myRUNexperiment April 18, 2016 at 6:05 pm Reply

    First marathon in Paris – what a wonderful experience and an amazing accomplishment! I can relate to your elation and tears as I felt the same way when I crossed the NYC marathon finish line after a five year break from marathon running (due to having babies!). I love seeing your family out on the course with a big American flag to support you. Congratulations!!!!
    Elaine @myRUNexperiment recently posted…A Love Letter To BalegaMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France April 18, 2016 at 8:46 pm Reply

      Thank you ! I loved it. NYC is next… November 6th, though only my hubby will be there, not my kids.
      Babies will definitely change your schedule up for a while… but its worth it.

  30. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets April 19, 2016 at 1:14 pm Reply

    Congratulations on completing your first marathon!! That was a great recap and I felt like I was there with you every step of the way. Running in the heat is So tough and I’m sure running a marathon distance makes it even tougher. That’s awesome that your family was able to support you several times during the race. 🙂
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…2016 Run For Clean Air 5K Race RecapMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France April 20, 2016 at 7:19 am Reply

      Aww thank you so much. It really was a once in a lifetime experience. I trained so hard for that race and am really proud.

  31. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes April 21, 2016 at 10:39 pm Reply

    Thank you thank you for sending me a comment telling me that your recap was up. I haven’t ready any blogs in forever and I did NOT want to miss this one! So yay! So so proud of you!! The conditions sounded tough out there, the heat is no joke and you did great pushing through it!! There is NOTHING like your first marathon and I’m so happy that you had such a great experience!! The picture of the “wall” brought back some fun memories. This race will always hold a very special place in my heart!! Congrats Karen!!! <3

    • Karen - Fit in France April 22, 2016 at 7:11 am Reply

      So glad you liked it. Hope you are well !

  32. Baker April 23, 2016 at 5:24 pm Reply

    Congratulations!!!! Loved the recap. Whats next?

    • Karen - Fit in France April 24, 2016 at 8:46 am Reply

      Thank you.
      NYC Marathon is next up !

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