The perfect race. This will be my final though of @marathonparis. All day I've had messages, hundreds of comments (I read them all however I am unable to reply to them all sorry) and members at the gym ask how my run went. To sum it up simply, it really was the perfect run, it was exactly the way a marathon should be. Highs and lows of both excitement and despair, yet that typical runners spirit that doesn't quit. I'll remember the pain, the tears, facing defeat, however I'll also remember the joy, the courage, an over whelming sense of achievement and the pure happiness. I have been made to feel extremely special all day, so thank you. Today also makes the two year anniversary of my fitness journey! Forgot to mention that! Hahaha what a great two years it's been which was also why I wore my Anytime Fitness singlet rather then my tradition blue singlet. A little gesture to say thanks and to remind me where I started from. Paris is done for this year and I certainly hope to be back again next year. For my next race I'm going to do my best to film as much as possible so you can truly be apart of the race with me. Thank you all so much again for the incredible amount of support. I do encourage you to continue sharing the love and support to those around you and on IG. We are a great community who together can achieve amazing things together.
Last November, we all said Pray for Paris. After only spending three days there, I've never felt so loved by strangers in all my life and travels. We prayed for Paris and our prayers were answered. Paris, you welcomed me with open arms, cheers and pats on the back. I tell myself everyday to never give up and to never give in, you certainly live by the same motto. Thank you for allowing me to run on your roads to prove to myself that if I never give up and never give in, I can do this. Thank you.
As we left the park the cheers began again. What a difference it makes. I can no explain how incredible it is to see the crowds line the streets, arms out wanting to give us all a high five. I was like a home coming parade just for us runners. My pace picked up as did the pain, I didn't care. This my was race and I was going to finish it strong. As we went into the final bend the crowd was cheering so loudly it was beautiful. In front of me was the finish line! I was so close! I began jumping around with joy knowing that I was about to finish the Paris Marathon! Tears of joy streamed down my cheeks and I couldn't stop smiling. All that pain was worth this moment. I crossed the finish line in 4:58:22, a time that I couldn't be more proud of. We did this fitfam and I can not thank you all enough for the support as it truly did get me over the line.
My run went exactly the way a marathon should, even though I was on the brink of defeat. It's a marathon and you are supposed to face defeat. However it is then up to you to fight through it. And we certainly fought through it! We push through the pain! We fought back and completed the Paris Marathon! As I crossed the finish line I threw my arms in the arm and shouted we did it! Again, thank you for being on this journey with me. Now to rest and recovery, we have a 100km race in July to prepare for. But for now, I'll continue smiling and feeling on top of the world knowing I never gave up and I never gave in.
All of a sudden my confidence dropped and my body began to fight against me. The pain was feeling went to the next level, this wasn't in the plan. Then I heard a whisper- you've done well but now it's time to stop, you don't need to do this anymore. This whisper nearly instantly turned into a scream, my body was quitting on me and so was my mind. Welcome to the marathon, the place where runners go from champions to victims. As I looked around it seemed as though I was 'running' in the middle of a pack of zombies. We all were breaking together. Unfortunately for me the pain was slow, my 12 rounds had just begun. I was warned by @midmorningcoffee who did the marathon last year that at the 35km mark you leave the cheering crowds for an empty park. When I got there it felt like a lonely road with no light at the end of it. I tipped my hat yet again and cried. My legs were done, my perfect race was about to be over. Then out of no where a lady from Spain began shouting. I have no idea what we was saying but she was shouting loud and patting everyone on the back. It was incredible to see as people started running with pace again. People seemed to have self belief again. I was one of these people. I've come to far to quit now. I didn't go through all this effort and pain for no reason! And then my body began to whisper. Not this again?! It was a different message. A message that has got me through the last two years and will carry me through to the finish line. Never give up. Never give in. In sync with my body I verbally whispered this to myself. Every runner that Was walking that I ran past I said it to them. We will finish together!
The scenery changed here as we literally ran through a lot of crowds. I felt like a cyclist at a big event, it was rather thrilling. We ran down and up multiple tunnels which provided a cool breeze however the inclines were really starting to get to me. We ran past so many people drinking beer that I laughed to myself the though of having a beer mid race! At the 25km I saw four guys waving their beers around on the footpath. So for the first time in the race, I stopped. I grabbed one of the beers and took two huge gulps of which they and the cafe crowd cheered too. Why not? I'm in Paris and I'll have a beer if I want to! It was perfect timing as my positive thoughts began to dwindle. I was heading down hill mentally and physically so I needed that spark back. This reminded me where I was and what I was doing. For about 90% of the race I had a smile of my face because I wanted to enjoy the experience. This race wasn't about getting the fastest time, it was about me being happy. I thought about all the comments and messages I had received and how lucky I truly was. It felt as though I had you all with me which made me shed a tear of joy. I know I say it a lot and I truly do mean it. The support I receive from you all is truly amazing and motivating. It means the absolute world to me and I am so grateful. At the infamous 30km mark, they had a cardboard cut out of a wall saying 'you just broke through the wall'. I smiled and cheered! The wall is smashed and I am on fire! Yes my pace was slowing down however I've got this! I'm focused and nothing was going to get in the way of me smashing this marathon! Oh how I was so wrong. My legs were in a lot of pain at this point. I was going down hill, fast. I hadn't broken through the wall. I had just arrived at it. And it was about to show me why it in fact breaks so many people. Reality kicked in again and the wall was about to break me.
My pace began to drop ever so slightly (there's that word again) however I was fine with it as I was going strong. Here I noticed people started dropping off. At the same time I was over taking many however also been overtaken by many which was confusing. My legs woke up and began to hurt during this stage, I think particularly due to the long slight incline which I struggle to overcome. I realised that I had drunk a lot more water then usual and needed to pee. Never in my life have I seen so many men and women pee in public! I couldn't bare (no pun intended) the thought of stopping so I continued. At the 15km mark I could fee myself fade. The thought of doing this nearly three times was mentally draining me, however I had support ahead. I saw an Australian flag which completely boosted my spirits. Alone in country that speaks a different language, this was my saving grace. I shouted out 'yeah go Australia!' The guy with the flag looked at me as though he couldn't be bothered. Shutdown! Oh well it boosted my spirits! Towards the half marathon point, my legs really began to hurt, I felt my strides get shorter however my pace was again rather consistent. So far, nothing major. I thought it was rather strange. Marathons aren't supposed to be like this. They are supposed to be brutal. They are supposed to be the ultimate challenge, yet when is this going to actually start? I began to get cocky and thinking that I've got this easily done! My confidence was sky high. Then it kicked in. Oh that's right, I've got another 21.1km to go. Yep. Back to reality I went.