All has been quiet on the blogging front but I can assure you that Caralyn and I have been doing quite a lot of walking over the past two months. Probably not enough walking, given the task ahead of us.
April 3rd is the Paris marathon. 26.2 miles around one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We will be fundraising for Walk the Walk which, being a breast cancer charity, requires that we walk in decorated bras while all the other thousands of competitors wear normal sporting attire. Not getting any younger, I am even more apprehensive about being underdressed in broad daylight than I was when we did the New York marathon several years ago. Caralyn has done this marathon before and has assured me that everyone gets offered a glass of Beaujolais in the last kilometre – I’m thinking I might need one in the first kilometre for a bit of Dutch courage.
Aside from the dress code, another drawback is that this has to be a fast marathon. There is a cut-off time of 5 hours 40 mins which, for walking, is very fast. It’s not impossible for us as we managed New York in 5 hrs 36, but it’s been a while since we walked at speed and over those years our bodies have got a bit more creaky and clunky: especially our knees. We have decided to just aim to finish, whether we get a medal or not.
We’re looking forward to having a few days in Paris beforehand. I am curious to see how it will feel to be there after the recent atrocities. I expect there will be high levels of security and poignant moments – but also an air of defiant celebration. We will be bringing our own support team: Paul and Michael are coming along to wave flags and cheer us on. (Actually I think Paul is hoping to scuttle off to the Musee d’Orsay instead but I will INSIST on his presence).
Training has been hard as it’s been such a wet and windy couple of months. We’ve managed to meet up for two training weekends involving incredibly boring stretches of pavement and road. We’d much rather walk on towpaths and fields, despite all the mud, but we need to simulate marathon conditions, so the grey streets of Hemel Hempstead and Crewe have been momentarily transformed (in imagination at least) to the Champs Elysees. It will be great to see the real thing in just over 6 weeks!