I took the plunge…I pressed the button:
Most people would classify me as a planner. I like to have my daily and weekly schedules mapped out ahead of time and when invited to a gathering I generally need to know every last detail (start/end time? Dress code? What will be served? Who will be there? etc). Yeah, you could call me slightly anal. When it comes to big decisions though, I tend to me slightly irrational and go more on a whim!
Two days ago I was casually talking to my coworker and she was telling me how her BF has run a few marathons. I asked her which one’s he’d run and when I heard the words “Paris Marathon,” a spark went off in my head. I had been thinking recently about running a marathon in 2012; I had planned on the NY Marathon because, well, I live in and love NY. November 2012 is so far away though and I wanted something a little sooner (but not too soon!) to look forward to. The idea of running 26 miles in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, though, sounded wonderful! I run around NY all the time, but I’ve only seen Paris for 3 days back in college. Immediately I googled “Paris Marathon” to see when it was. Well, this is where fate worked out – the Marathon is in April 2012 — ample time to train AND the most beautiful month in Paris!
My heart skipped a beat (or 10) at the prospect of running my first ever marathon in a foreign city. The emotions of excitement, exhilaration and finally fear ran through me. Well, when I pin-pointed that nasty little emotion of fear, I knew what had to be done – I had to run the Paris Marathon. “Do the thing you fear the most.”
Registration for the race opened up on 9/15. I assumed that meant midnight Paris time on 9/15, so on 9/14 at 6pm EST I anxiously logged onto the computer to register. 15min later and registration was still closed, so I headed out to happy hour, keeping my phone close by so I could check every now and then if registration had opened up. By Midnight EST still no registration open, so I went to bed. This morning I woke up at 6:45am, check on my phone to see if registration was open. Seeing the link active, I jumped out of bed and ran to turn on my computer in the living room (didn’t want to wake up sleeping beauty, the BF). Excited and nervous, I quickly typed in my information and BAM I was registered. Within minutes I received by bib #: 50730. Wow this was really happening. Apparently I was one of the first 10,000 registrants because the pricing for sign up is tier based on how many people have signed up already. There’s 40,000 spots total, guess I was a little overly anxious 🙂
Immediately I posted to twitter:
Today was a “no run” day for me, but I couldn’t go back to bed so I went to the gym in my building’s basement to ride the bike for 30min and do some strength training — after all, I’m going to need to be strong to run 26 miles!
The “planner” me kicked in and I booked a nice hotel near the race starting line since I figured things would fill up fast with 40,000 runners. I want to arrive Friday morning and give myself two nice nights of sleep before the Sunday morning race.
After the elated high and thinking about my future adventure way to much today, the “OH SH*T!!!” factor kicked in around 6pm:
AHHHH Some of negative thoughts that are running through my mind:
“I’m going to be training in the dead of winter, who does that!? I’m either going to be running 20miles in the dead cold or on a treadmill”
“What if it’s a snowy winter and I can’t run outside a lot?? I can’t train solely on a treadmill, I’m just setting myself up for injury that way”
“Seriously, am I nuts? Who signs up for a marathon in a foreign country when they’ve never even run over 13.1miles?”
“What am I going to eat in France the night before a race!? Creamy sauces and fatty pastries are great for AFTER the race, but will kill my stomach the day before…How do I learn to say ‘plain pasta with tomato sauce’ in french?”
and finally… “Sh*t, F*ck, balls, crap, OMG”
Ok, so 3 hours later I’m slowly coming down from my freak out stage. Rationally looking at my irrational decision, I know I have plenty of time to prepare. I’m smart, I’m fit and I can do anything I put my mind to. I’ve done it before and I will do it again. Some of the best decisions I’ve made in life have come from a whim and a gut feeling.
Here I go on my journey to run 26 miles in Paris!
Please help me stay out of my freak out stage, I’d love some advice:
QUESTIONS: Have you trained for a Marathon in winter? Any advice for running in the cold? Any marathon training advice in general? When should I “officially” start training for my marathon? I’ve heard four months, but is it bad to start earlier? Please tell me I’m not the only insane person out there – What crazy things have you done on spur of the moment decisions???