This year is slipping past so rapidly, I really don’t know where it’s going. My 12-week French course is now finished, it’s nearly my birthday and soon I’ll start working again. What?! However, this past month was so much better than one before it that I can’t really complain. My running feels like it’s starting to pick up again, and I’m super excited to see all the work come together during the April month of marathons.
Overall stats for March are: 337.2km run and 4868m climbed, which makes it my lowest month of kilometres this year but the highest of elevation. I’m still on track to hit my yearly kilometre goal and have already passed the 1000km mark! Here are some of the highlights from March:
EcoTrail de Paris
The big event of the month was running the 45km EcoTrail de Paris race a few weeks ago. This was the first time I had run more than a marathon distance, and I went in super prepared. The weather threw everything possible at us: rain, snow, mud-slush but nothing shook me and I finished as 9th female. I still can’t quite believe that result – I just had a fantastic day and was grinning (and overtaking men!) from start to finish.
Started working with a coach
After the downhill trajectory of February and my general feeling that I had no clue what I was doing, I started working with Ben Barwick from Full Potential coaching. It’s been an interesting transition but I think it’s working so far. He has me running less kilometres than I had been, but given that I’m hitting the workouts and am generally feeling much better, I can only trust in his method. There are times when I get frustrated because I want to be doing more (and I get scared sometimes telling him all the things I have planned…), but we’re constantly communicating and I think it’s going to be a great partnership. I’m excited to see what I can do with his help.
Semi Marathon de Paris
While I didn’t run this race, I had such a fun time going out onto the streets of Paris to cheer the runners. I had quite a few friends who came over from London to run the race, including my old captain Claudi, and it was generally just great to see everyone working hard to get through the race. It was held on the same day as the Big Half in London and so many people I knew set PBs at one of the races. Next year I’ll definitely be running!
Touristing in my city
I’ve been making a conscious effort recently to see more of the city I live in by visiting some of the museums, churches and gardens that are on offer. My aim is to go to one sight each week, and this month I checked out the Pantheon, the Musée D’Orsay, the tropical aquarium at the Palais de la Porte Dorée, saw a rugby match at the Stade de France, wandered around the Cimitiére Montparnasse, Jardin de Plantes and Sacre Coeur and finally visited the nearby town Saint-Germain-en-Laye where there is the National Museum of Archaeology. Woah!
Unlike London, Paris does not have a lot of parkruns to choose from – in fact, there are only 8 events in the entirety of France! I’d love to one day have run them all, and this month I made a little progress towards that by visiting the other Paris parkrun at Parc Montsouris. It’s a three-lap course with a very, very long hill on each lap – not a PB course by any means! Still, the park is very nice and the briefing was done in English, which is handy for tourists visiting the city. I’ll be sticking to Bois de Boulogne though!
Attained B1 French proficiency
After twelve weeks of intensive French study, 20 hours a week, I completed my course at France Langue Paris. On finishing I received a certificate which states that I have attained B1 level in the language, which I’m super proud of given that at the start of the course I could barely string a sentence together. It was a great experience and I’m quite sad that it’s all over – I will miss my class and teacher. Now I just need to continue my language learning so that I don’t forget everything I’ve learned these past three months.
Coming up in April
It’s MARATHON SEASON! And because sometime last year I had the great idea to run 4 marathons in 4 weeks… that’s basically all I’ll be doing in April! Coming up is Manchester (8 April), Brighton (15 April), London (22 April) and Hamburg (29 April). The aim is to complete them all in under 4 hours #4in4sub4, and includes being the 4-hour pacer at the Brighton event. It’s going to be one crazy challenge but I’m so excited to give it a go. 🏃♀️