Monday, 20 April 2009


The initial post race euphoria soon wore off as my legs started to stiffen up after sitting on a kerbside in the bag reclaim area. While there i switched on the mobile and got a message from Sue to say they were somewhere at the finish.

That was great though finding each other was taxing. It shouldn't have been as all we had to do was to say meet at a clear meeting point but Sue isn't great with directions and it took several calls and about 20 painful minutes hobbling/standing before we met up.

Getting a Metro wasn't easy either. The queues at Charles de Gaulle Etoile were enormous - literally four abreast and 100s of metres long - so we made our way through and out again with Charlotte bravely leading me, and then down the now bustling Champs Elysses for half a painful hour before getting a train from a quieter station further along.

When I got back Bethan was still feeling poorly so that evening I stayed in with her while Sue, Charlotte, Eleanor, Olivier and the boys went to a local restaurant. By 9pm I was completely shattered anyway and went to sleep.

The next couple of days were painful. We did the whole tourist thing on the Monday - Notre Dame, bateaux mouche, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysses, Place de la Concorde, Tuilleries Gardens - and that involved a reasonable amount of walking and an overdose of ibuprofen. While ever I had 800mg of ibuprofen in me and my legs were warmed up I wasn't too bad - slow, but ok - but if the dose fell or I sat for a while my legs were painful. I couldn't walk quickly and my leg muscles were prone to occasional spasms that had me freezing or jerking like the late Jack Douglas in a Carry On film.

The next day Sue was unwell with the gastric bug so I took Bethan out. We'd aimed to get to the Musee d'Orsay by 9am but problems getting a taxi meant we ended up walking there, arriving about 10.30 by which time the queues were absolutely enormous. Generally my legs felt easier but the pain in my front lower legs was very strong whenever the pain killers were wearing off. We went back in time to take Charlotte out to a quirky little Bengali café then in the afternoon Sue was well enough to go out so we made the simple Metro journey to Parc de la Villette, which was pleasant enough even though virtually all the children's attractions were still closed. In the evening I took the 2 girls to a local restaurant.

By the following Saturday my legs felt pretty much fine and I took Bethan out for a 2 mile jog/walk with no ill effects, but the following day my planned 4 miles gave me pain from the off and I had to abort it after 2.5 miles. Two days later I did manage 4 miles - starting very slow but getting progressively faster - and a further 2 days on I did another 4 pain free, this time far faster. It was the quickest run I'd done this year. Great to be able to do that 11 days after a marathon but maybe not the wisest move.

This last weekend I did 2 miles jogging with Beth on Saturday and planned to do a slow eight miles on Sunday. In the end the 8 miles turned into 10 and I ran it faster than I've ran a 10 mile race (though I've only done 3 ten milers and they were all hilly). I had some lower leg pain on the right side after 3 miles but as it didn't get any worse I ignored it. The way it feels today makes me wonder if the right course of action would have been if it doesn't get any better, stop running, or at the very least slow down to the pace you intended to run at and not the minute and a half per mile faster that you've inadvertantly ended up at.

I'm my own worst enemy. On Runner's World I advised caution - that you'll feel really good but don't be tricked into running too fast or too hard too soon - and that I had experience of that before. I've then gone out and done the exact opposite myself. I think its rest time for a few days at least.

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