Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The BEST Birthday Gift Ever!!! :D

Disclaimer: This is going to be a superlong entry... It deserves to be one... ;) 

Yeap... That pretty much summed up my trip... :)

This is definitely one of my running stories that I'll tell to my future children one day, InsyaAllah.. :)

Shanaz and I flew into Paris separately on Thursday night... But managed to catch each other at the baggage claim area at Charles De Gaulle airport, Paris... So off we went to the hotel to check-in but the room wasn't ready.. So we walked along the city and had our late breakfast...

We decided to go to the running expo to pick-up our bibs and check out the scene of course... Mind you, we were still feeling 'fresh' from the 13-hour flight... :P

Our 'autographs' on the Asics wall... ;)

It was definitely the best expo that I've ever been to!!! Runners' haven it was... After picking up our bibs, we checked out the entire expo and managed to cover the expo in almost 3 hours!!! Phewwss... It was an eye-opener to see so many brands that we've never heard off back at home...  And they even had an area to showcase booths for upcoming runs or marathons...

Running accessories... Choices!!! ;)

One day, you'll be added into the collection ;) 

Leaflets on upcoming runs or marathons... 
You can come and see me if you want to take a look at them :) 

The goodie bag...

Didn't really splurge at the expo... I was saving up my Euros for my post-marathon and birthday treat... ;)

Goodies purchased at the expo :)

We started carbo-loading and dessert-loading from day #1... Hehe...

One of the best chocolat eclairs I've ever tasted! :) 

The night before the marathon, we were still feeling tired from the jet-lag, and decided to carbo-load - the room service style... ;)

Race (and Birth) Day :)

Both of us woke up at 5am and were lazing around till about 6am... Got our gears ready and left our hotel at about 7am to take the metro to the venue...

Birthday outfit was slightly different from this pic...

Birthday girl with her tiara... On the way to the metro ;)

If you read my previous post, I discovered this awful and painful bump while flying to Amsterdam... And the bump was still large and painful on race-day... I even contemplated with myself whether to run or not the day before my birthday... I bb-ed my doctor friend and she was telling me it could either be a cyst or an abscess and advised me to take painkillers and get it checked once I'm back in KL...

But of course, me being the stubborn Arian decided to just run with the bump.. Afterall, I came too far to be missing out on a birthday marathon... ;)

The metro was packed with runners at that time and we both felt so tiny in the metro... The weather was breezing cold that morning... But it didn't last for long though...

Of course we had to camwhore before the marathon since it was starting at 8:45am (2:45pm Malaysian time)... It was like running after lunch time!!! Hehe...

In front of the Arc de Triomphe

Shanaz and I... 
Shanaz was whistled at a couple of times for braving the cold weather that morning in that sexy running skirt ;)

Teams Gediks from Malaisie represent! ;)

It took us about 15 mins to depart and cross the starting line...

Plan du Marathon de Paris 2011
The route: From the Champs Élysées Avenue to Foch Avenue running through Bastille, Nation, Vincennes, les Tuileries…
You can click here for the bigger picture of the route...

The first 5km was quite chaotic due to the massive runners that were trying to pick up their pace respectively... I even tripped a runner at this point... :S

But loved the every 5km water station as not only they provided water, but we were given oranges, bananas, raisins and even sugar cubes for us runners to load-up... Talk about generosity and appreciating the runners! :)

I was running with one of the 4:30 pacers for the first 10km of the race... I was stoked when I was doing a 6:32 pace/km... But somehow, the pacer decided to pick up his pace and zoomed off after that... Well, one can only dream to finish in sub 4:30... Hehe... One day insyaAllah... ;) So decided to follow the sub-5 timing band that was on my left arm...

Had to adjust my tiara whenever I spotted the photographers ;)

My legs were extra 'semangat' that day and I was so happy that I PB-ed for my 21.1km - 2hrs 16mins baby!!! :D :D :D And that I was about 13-15 mins above the timing that was written for the sub-5 hour finish on the band..

I started feeling the pain from the bump after the 30km marker, and the sun was already shining down on us and I didn't even wear any sunblock because I THOUGHT that it was going to be a cool and chilly day... It was already 24 degrees by this time and I kept telling myself that maybe sub-5 wasn't possible because the pain was throbbing... And that I started slowing down from this point onwards...

Smile for the camera even when you're in pain ;)

I called up my very dear running friend, Rosey from this point onwards... She was 'pushing' me to get it over and done with within 5 hours... When I reached the 35km marker, I have been running for 4 hours already... And called Rosey again for her to push me again... Sweet kan? Hehe...

Finally, we were given Powerade just before the 40km marker... And decided to chew some of the GU chomps...  And at this very moment, I was in superpain and I was thinking about my family and friends back at home... I even imagined that I was being 'pushed and chased' by my running friends... Yes, I had to occupy the mind... ;)

And I decided to ignore the pain, run with all my heart and didn't look back... All the way to the finish line...

I was being quite patriotic on that day, so I took out my Malaysian flag and ran with it at my last 100m... I did a jumping pose at the end but not sure why the photographers didn't catch the pose... Hehe...

Captured my Maindru photographers: Before the emotional tears... Hehe... *Drama*

I was emotionally crying the moment after I crossed the finish line... Simply because:

1. I DID IT!!! I became a sub-5 marathoner!!! 4hrs 53mins 26 secs was the official time!!! :D :D :D

'Khadeeja' was 'burnt' from the hot and dry weather... Hehe...

2. It was my birthday and I was wishing that my family was there with me... Called my parents immediately after crossing the finish line and cried even more when they told me that they were really proud of me... :)

3. I was suffering from the painful abscess bump...

4. I was feeling the intense pressure to complete the marathon under 5 hours and I achieved it!!! FYI - I smashed my PB in Melbourne by a whooping 26mins!!! Alhamdulillah... :)

5. It was the best marathon that I've ever experienced so far and I was extremely overwhelmed... :)

Pics after the emotional marathon:

My partner in Paris...
Shanaz PB-ed at 4hrs 37mins... Superawesome and congrats babe!!!

I think we did make Malaisie proud on that day kan? ;)

Wearing the new tee from Chief's Original Bootcamp... 
The grueling sessions that I've had in March contributed to my achievement on my birthday... :) 

The marathon was like a festival for the peeps in Paris... For the entire 42.195km, there were orchestras, bands, cheerleaders and people cheering on us runners... We even had good looking firemen to cheer, support and hosing us down with water along the route... Talk about superb motivation for us running girls... Hehe... ;)

Hot or what?!! ;) 

I was in awe of the overwhelming support from the crowd... There were even kids calling me 'Princess' when I was running because of the tiara... Double awe... :)

With our finisher tees and medals in front of the Arc de Triomphe... 

And we did the craziest thing EVER the day after the marathon:

Us at the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower...
We took the wrong queue and took the stairs all the way up to the 2nd floor of the tower!!! 
Legs were definitely 'recovered' on that day :P

Of course, Shanaz and I had to splurge ourselves with these later that day as well:

Yayyyy for pretty bags!!! ;)

Every moment of the trip (especially the marathon) was just simply worth remembering and treasured for...

I was blessed to have supporting family and friends throughout the journey... Major Alhamdulillah for that... :)

Shanaz was an awesome companion throughout the trip... We hit it off instantly from day 1 of the trip... So, I guess our KK trip will be so much fun as well kan (though I will just be a cheerleader)? ;)

So, there you go... This definitely tops my birthday celebration so far in my 28 years of living in this world... :)


Closer looks at the finisher tee and medal :) 
Carrying around the medal in my handbag for the entire month! ;) 

Perhaps, in the next 6 or 7 years and when my birthday falls on a Sunday again, I will be a sub 3:30 marathoner and qualify for the Boston Marathon?

One can only hope and dream that it will come true... :)


  1. Congrats, if u dream hard enough it will comes true, and it did.

    This is one memorable day in the life of IAA, you overcome all the obstacles physically and mentally, most of us RBUs here are very proud with u and Shaz. Deo even followed Team Gediks progress live from Paris Marathon iPhone application.

    again, congrats "khadejaa" :)

  2. Dear Roadrunner,

    Wonderful race report!

    And sub 5 too - congratulations! Told you that you will be burning rubber that day...

    Lastly, speedy recovery from your surgery.

    Take care and regards,

  3. tahniah...but im jelous giler ni grrrr....

  4. Am so proud of you! You did a PB and conquered Paris Marathon. Btw, happy belated bday :D

    So you found love in the city of love? hehe

  5. Good post. Almost like reading a life chapter. Well done again :)

  6. wow im so envious! last yr i was visiting Paris when they had 20km de Paris race and it was really festive n happening.

  7. Skirt kita sama la...
    Congrats again :)

  8. ray ray: awww really? thank you guys for your never-ending support... so shanaz and i will be expecting a celebratory makan2 with the rbus soon? ;) and definitely will be one of my stories to my kids nanti :D

    chris: haha, didn't expect to finish it under 5-hours actually... thank you for the wishes and support! :)

    zul: thanks! don't la jealous ;)

    firewire: thank you for the wishes! it was such a short trip to find one! hehe i've to do another trip for that ;)

    tsb: awwww thanks! :) i still want my steak ;)

    ira: hehe well you can always do it next year ;)

    ka: yeah ke?! let's do a run in that skirt soon! ;) thanks! :)

    May God bless you all for being such supportive friends :)

  9. so proud of you and sooo happy for you .. this will the THE birthday to remember before another one tops it heeh .. hope u r recovering well :)hugs and kisses

  10. kak june: awww thank you for your support... and yes it is! so sad that we couldn't meet this time again... will make sure that we WILL the next time k? :) *hugsandkissesbacktoyou*