Running in Paris: A Retrospective

So cheerful!
This weekend marked the 1 year anniversary of running in Paris with HeatherTheEcotrail 18k run, while not a race, was the first organized group run we ever participated in together in Paris last year (with bibs and all!).  This was the first time we could retrace the steps of our younger selves and see what “progress” actually means.

For instance, last year, we were in pain.  Not like, “Stop running” pain, more like, “Don’t stop running because it hurts more” pain.  It was intense.  Walking up and down steps was a task that our knees did not want to perform, and one which days later we were fighting against.

This year, pain was (mostly) absent.  In full marathon-training mode, I had no problem with an 18k, and even though she said her knees were a little achy, I’m pretty sure Heather was 98% fine.  We had conquered a task and walked to the metro, up the (obviously) broken escalator, and made it home with no agonizing, no limping, and no whining.  Pain is so 2012.

Last year, we took our time.  Literally.  It took us well over 2 hours to finish, about 2.5 if we remember correctly.  We jogged, walked a bit, sprinted rarely, and labored our way through the race, unsure of when it would end or what the next turn would bring.

This year, we finished under our goal time of 2 hours.  This isn't medal-worthy speed, but we shaved over thirty minutes off our time, and it would have been more if it weren’t for the muddy hills and puddles slowing us down through the Parc St-Cloud.  Regardless, we were proud of this time and our pace all through the run.

Last year, we were dressed (well, I was dressed) in whatever gym clothes I had lying around.  I looked nary the part of a runner, but more like a wannabe who thought he could run a long trail with minimal training.  Truth be told...

As shoes should look...
A non-eco Eiffel Tower at the finish...

This year, I threw on my running clothes, the separate part of my closet dedicated to sport.  I had the tights, the shoes, the comfy socks, the breathable shirt, and both Heather and I fit in spotlessly with the other runners.  No demerits for a uniform violation!

Last year we stocked up on paraphernalia.  I covered myself in food, tissues, a water bottle, and other necessary goods that I thought I’d need to get me through the race.  We snacked on gummy bears, kept drinking water every kilometer, and generally tried our best to be “good runners.”  It was as if we’d never eat or drink again.

This year, we didn’t care, accompanied with as little extras as possible.  We sprinted nimbly through the other runners with just a few gummy bears (that we didn’t touch), our phones, and Heather’s obligatory tissues.  It was casual.  We knew there’d be bananas and chocolate halfway through, so we stocked up then, stuffed our faces, and dashed to the finish line, with nothing weighing us down.
Win!  Well, finished!

Last year, we got a cool tee shirt, our first prize ever for running.

This year, we got, well, the same exact tee shirt.  But I still love it, and I’m already excited for all of the marathons, races, and runs that 2013 has in store for us!