The night before Paris I wrote in permanent marker on my hand:
These were my numbers for the day. I was aiming for a 4 minute 45 second km pace. This would get me a 3:20:00 marathon. It was ambitious but I was after it. The absolute worst case scenario I would tolerate was 5:00. This would get me a 3:30:00 marathon. I would take this and anything in between.
Paris is spectacular and the run was stunning, but the Parisians are not too interested in the 45,000+ crowd of runners and parts of the course can get quiet. Let's get into the juicy bits. My pace was good. Very good. For the first 29km I chipped away and was sitting on a 4:53 average km pace. "I'll really need to fall apart for this to go over the 5 minute mark," I kept thinking. And just like that, as the 30km marker passed, the anchor dropped. My stomach was in ribbons. The temperature made its way up to 20+ degrees and I struggled. You can see my stats here and what will stand out is that pre 30km I had crept over the 5min per km territory just once. Look at every km post 30km and you will see I didn't get below 5min per km once. It was a complete struggle for 10 long kilometers. I was devastated at that finish line. Finish time 3:32:06
I am positive at the moment. I have taken the Cannondale Slice RS TT bike out only twice, but on our last outing it has begun to feel good under me. My average pace was OK given I have not ridden TT since last August.
Goals, times and ideas about Vichy continue to float into my mind but it's still far too early for them, and one of the worst things you can do is burn yourself out mentally with an event before it has even arrived. I am going to plod away with training for the next few weeks and when May 30th hits I will focus hard for the the next 3 months. Thanks Paris, despite the pain you were stunning as always.