Signing up for a marathon is an act of faith: you hope for good weather, ever-increasing health, and adequate time to complete your training. From my standpoint last fall, the 2017 Marathon de Paris seemed possible: my toddler would be weaned (hopefully), our year-long homebuilding project would be finished, and although my husband wouldn't be able to travel with me, my mother and sister could help watch my children while I was away.
In reality, unforeseen training hurdles piled up like snowdrifts over the past few months. Our Oregon winter brought more snow and ice than we've had in years (I should have purchased YakTrax cleats!). The freezing weather slowed down progress on our home building--we gratefully moved into our new home just two weeks before my marathon. And on Valentine's Day several weeks prior, my health had seemed in crisis when sudden facial swelling and a whole-body skin rash prompted an ER visit, only to be followed by months of continued symptoms and dermatologist appointments.
But God is good, and running might have been exactly what I needed during these months. While I missed weeks of training this year, I also managed to squeeze in a few required long runs, completing a 14-miler three weeks ago, then a 20-miler in light rain the weekend before the marathon. It was a late peak, but that final run gave me the confidence to know I could finish the race.
April in Paris turned out to be gorgeous--crisp temperatures and sunny skies, with tulips and pink cherry blossoms abounding. I shared an Airbnb apartment with a friend from Texas, and our brief week before the marathon was spent visiting my favorite Paris neighborhoods and sights like the Marais, the Jardin des Plantes, and the Louvre. Paris is my heaven, and I was reassured knowing that back home, my sister-in-law, my mama, and a French friend were sharing the joyful task of watching my children. All of this was the blessing I had hoped and waited for.
To be continued: Later this week I'll write about my experience running the Marathon de Paris. Merci and thanks for reading!