After a flurry of posts, I went silent because I was legitimately busy. Busy enough to not be guilted by those shirts that read, “Someone busier than you is running right now.” Last week I flew to and from Paris for work, ran my ninth marathon, AND AND AND…I ate all five bananas in the bunch before any of them went brown. *drops the mic*

*Picks the mic back up* In all seriousness, it was a whirlwind (and I did eat all of the bananas in time). Having never been to Paris before, I determined that I needed to see as much of it as possible on the day that I landed, my one free day before I had to work. So upon landing, I hustled from CDG to my hotel via the RER and metro, dropped off my bags, and instead of enjoying a daylight-consuming nap, I made hay while the sun shone: I walked around the City of Lights for over six hours, covering nearly a half marathon in distance per my Fitbit. The adventure exhausted me further, but I managed to check a number of “must-see” landmarks off of my list, so next time I visit Paris, it can be Anthony Bourdain-style, just eating well, drinking nice wine, and relaxing. My series of Selfies in Front of Notable Parisian Landmarks includes the Eiffel Tower, the pyramids at the Louvre (no time to go in, and it was closed anyhow), Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, the Tuileries, and the Musee d’Orsay. If I’m making a bad face in any of those photos (I’m not going to post them all here), it’s probably because someone is harrassing me about donating to the deaf mutes again. Who thought that in Paris it’d be the locals demanding to know if I spoke English!

Is that an antenna sprouting out of my head, or is it the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair?

Fortunately, since my trip was so brief, I didn’t get adjusted to Paris time, so I wasn’t jetlagged upon my return. I flew out Monday evening, returned on Thursday afternoon, and made it into the office on Friday no problem.

More importantly, at least as far as this blog is concerned, the trip didn’t affect my race performance. Walking all around Paris helped refresh my legs after the 50k to Rock ‘n Roll Marathon debacle, so although my springs still weren’t 100% springy on Sunday for the Runners Marathon of Reston, I felt much better and managed a time less than 1:00/mile off of my PR. Given that my training got a bit derailed by the icy winter (and I’m not as painfully thin as I was when I ran the PR), I’m quite happy with that result. Since RMR is so very small, my time was still good enough for second place in my age group!

I love that the race is small. The logistics are a dream: I park in the parking lot of the high school where the race starts, and can leave without issue immediately after I’m done. No crowds. No depending on Metro to run enough trains with enough cars to accomodate the increased traffic during what otherwise wouldn’t be peak hours. It’s one of the few races for which I’d actually consider doing race-day packet pickup since it wouldn’t be a madhouse and I wouldn’t be stressing. Water stations are served by an abundance of friendly volunteers. (I’m looking at you, Rock ‘n Roll Marathon.) There are even finishers medals. Just perfection. I hope it never, ever gets big. (Oh darlin’ don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little…)

Showing off my finisher bling from the Runners Marathon of Reston.

However, despite it being officially spring, my race day wouldn’t be complete without some weather-related misery, and Sunday certainly delivered. Temperatures hovered in the low 20s all morning, a biting cold that was worse than the six-degree start I experienced at Hashawha. I started cold and stayed cold. At one point I was convinced that the tip of my left middle finger had actually fallen off inside my glove, but I’m crazy enough that I wasn’t concerned enough to stop running. It’s a race and that’s just a flesh wound! As it turns out, I hadn’t lost any digits. It was so cold (How cold was it, Hope???) that at the mile 12 aid station, I spat out the contents of my cup, thinking I’d been handed a cup full of glass. As it turns out, it was a cup of water in which a thin sheet of ice had formed and broken as the cup was passed to me, mixing into the water like so many shards of glass. I’ve had cups frozen into ice cubes, but never frozen to this glass-like state before. It was pretty freaky at the time.

My Adidas Ultra Boosts were my constant companion during the Paris trip, so expect a review of those sometime in April…hopefully. For now, au revoir!


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