After finding out that I had failed to be selected for the 2017 Virgin London Marathon – I currently have all my fingers, toes & laces crossed for the 2018 ballot – I straight away signed up to run the Paris Marathon instead. I was determined to run my first ever marathon in the year 2017.
Training for this event became more than a hobby, it became a passion, in fact it literally became my full time job … mostly because I was unemployed and broke, but let’s not lose focus- training for my first Marathon became an obsession.
As for finally doing it, finally running the 26.2 miles through the warm city of Paris, well, I can’t even begin to describe what that was like. There is no adjective that describes feeling fear/excitement/pain/joy/hate/euphoria all in one go.
So instead, I’ve shared 101 thoughts I had running my first marathon. Most of these were jotted down in my phone within days of completing my first marathon. Other resurfaced over time. From arriving at the start line to crossing that finish line, these are genuine thoughts that ran through my hyped up brain as I ran my first ever 26.2 mile race.
1. What an atmosphere, it’s electric.
2. Am I really about to run for five whole hours?
3. Hmmm, do I need the toilet? No.
4. Oh look, a man dressed as a shark. That’s gonna get really annoying for him.
5. Yes! I can see the start line and I’m so ready to for this, I feel pumped. LET’S DO THIS.
6. ….Okay this is more like shuffling onto the central line at 8am on a Monday morning. Come on people, move!
7. Right, 04:45:00, you can do it in that time.
8. Can I, though?
9. YES YOU CAN.
10. Must remember to pace myself. Pace Hannah, pace.
11. Oh look there’s my family. Wave. Wave. Pose for the pictures.
12. Oh look how proud they look and I haven’t even ran anywhere yet.
13. Awwww, look at the kids- No, don’t look at the kids, no tears till the end.
14. Hmmm, I wonder what my family will eat for breakfast? No! Don’t think about food.
15. Wow, 26 miles.
16. Twenty. Six. Miles.
17. Why did I decide to do this again?
18. Do I need a wee?
20. Twenty six bloody miles.
21. It’s mighty warm out here for 10am.
22. Oooh look shade, I’m gonna run in the shade.
23. Let’s try and takeover this big pack of burly men who are chanting stuff and wearing matching t-shirts, they look like Brit’s abroad on a stag do. Pfft. Must avoid them.
24. Wait, what are they pushing?
25. They’re pushing someone in a wheelchair. Okay, I’m the worst person ever. They are amazing.
26. Why do my legs feel tired already?
27. I didn’t sleep enough last night. Stupid Instagram.
28. Crap, my knickers are right up my arse, I should have gone commando.
29. Look at those gorgeous buildings, so beautiful.
30. I’m tired.
31. Uh-oh my shade is disappearing.
32. Yay. Water stop. Water water water.
33. Why are they giving out orange pieces?? Ain’t nobody got time to eat an orange.
34. I hope I put enough Vaseline on my nipples.
35. Am I being paranoid or are loads of people over taking me?
36. Maybe, I should try and speed up.
37. No, don’t speed up. Pace, Hannah, pace.
38. Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it, do do doo doo, do do doo doo
39. I feel exhausted already. Maybe I should have a gel.
40. No, it’s too soon, I can hold off. You can do it Hannah.
41. Screw it, I’m having a gel.
42. Do I need a wee?
44. Am I sure?
46. Toilets are coming up. Maybe I should just go.
47. No. It’s wasting time.
48. Goodbye toilets.
49. This park is really pretty.
50. Crap, I need the toilet.
51. Look at all those men in the bushes, pee’ing, standing up. Show offs.
52. Why is it so hot? I trained in rain and wind.
53. More toilets, yay.
54. F*** they’re padlocked shut.
55. I feel like I’ve been running forever and I’m not even half way.
56. I’m sweating in places I didn’t realise I could sweat.
57. Why did I ever think pieces of orange was a bad idea? Sucking on a cold, tangy, juicy fruit is all I can think about right now.
58. Look at that sky, what a gorgeous day to run through Paris though, I’m so lucky.
59. I’m doing so well, I should be really proud of myself.
60. F*** this, I’m going for a wee in the bushes, I’m officially exiting stage right.
61. I’m so sweaty I can’t get my pants down properly. Roll leggings, roll.
62. Oh no. Stage fright. No-ones looking, no-ones looking, no-ones looking, no-ones looking.
63. Oh sweet Jesus, I never thought wee’ing could feel so good.
64. Wow, I feel like a new person. I feel amazing!
65. I’m going to pick up the pace. I got this.
66. Thank you Parisian strangers for cheering me on and making me feel like a Team GB Athlete.
67. This is the best day of my life. Woohoo.
68. …and your gonna hear me roar, woah-oh-oh-oh-oooh.
69. Bet Katy Perry couldn’t run a marathon.
70. Orange stop. YASSS! GIVE ME ALL THE ORANGES!
71. Ouch my legs are starting to really hurt.
72. Groce. Sticky gel all over my fingers.
73. Why is my nose running so much?
74. Do I need a poo? No.
75. Should I stop? I feel like I need to stop. No.
76. Oh there’s my Family. Wave. High five them.
77. Yes, throw water on me random volunteer lady.
78. I FEEL INCREDIBLE. I FEEL BOOSTED. I got this.
79. Oh look the Eiffel Tower. But no, no time for photos.
80. Oh God, snot everywhere. Just wipe it on my leggings.
81. Pain. Pain. Pain.
82. I want to cry. I can’t go on. I can’t do this. I can’t. Make it stop.
83. Why do I suddenly feel bloated? I’ve overdosed on the gels, haven’t I?
84. WTF!? Shark man just sprinted past me. How? HE’S IN A GIANT FISH COSTUME??
85. Am I even running anymore?
86. WHY DID I DO THIS? WHY GOD WHY??
87. I’m never doing this again. Never. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever.
88. I want to lie down. I want to be in bed. I want to be anywhere but here.
89. Just keep running. Just keep running. Just keep running. Just keep running.
90. God I can’t wait for an ice cold beer.
91. Oh My God. I can see the finish line, this is it. This is actually it.
92. Breathe, breathe, keep breathing. In, out, in, out, in, out.
93. Don’t stop believing, just hold onto that feeling…
94. COME ON LEGS, LET’S SPRINT!
95. I’m doing it. I’m doing it. I don;t know how, but I’m doing it. I’m doing it. I don’t care if I’m crying.
96. I’ve done it. I can stop. I can breathe. I can collapse. I can brag.
97. Fitbit says 04:47:18
98. Would have been 04:45:00 if you hadn’t had to wee in the bushes, stupid bladder, but sod it, I don’t even care.
99. I did it. I did it. I actually did it. I’m a marathon finisher.
100. I’M A GODDAM MOTHER FLIPPIN’ SUPER HERO!
101. This is officially the proudest moment of my life. Well done girl.
My first marathon was celebrated with family, friends, burgers and beers in the heart of Paris and was one of he best days of my adult life. Especially as it was my 31st birthday too. As the exhaustion subsided and the muscle pain began to kick in, thoughts of other marathons began to creep into mind. Yes, I wanted more.
You see, although I’ve typed up that I was tired and exhausted – and I know I felt that – I cannot actually remember what it felt like to be that exhausted and I haven’t endured that kind of exhaustion since, that feeling of not being able to go on, completely mixed with knowing I’m unable to give up. It’s almost like the memory of that feeling is completely blocked out by the pure joy and euphoria I felt at the finish line. I imagine this is why myself and so many other marathon runners end up asking ourselves “Which one next?” mere hours after telling ourselves I’m never doing this again. Ever.
And so next month, I run my second marathon, the 2017 Dublin marathon. I booked it within a week of completing Paris. Meaning that this year will not only be the year I ran my first ever marathon, which was a huge goal of mine, but it will be the year I ran two!
Well, heres hoping!
Would you ever run a marathon?
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