Les 20 km de Paris Race Recap

It seems like I’ve been planning to run this race forever. I signed up for this race because:

  • Running a race in Paris has been on my bucket list since I first became a runner (FYI: I had been a French teacher for over 20 years.)
  • The timing was perfect. Columbus Day was the Monday before the race so I would have to take one less day off from work.
  • My friend invited me to stay beforehand with her friends in the Bordeaux region. This made the vacation more affordable.
  • My blogging friend Karen had agreed to do the race, as well. (She had since had to DNS because of a trip back to US at that time.)
  • The race was only 3 weeks after my previous half marathon so I would be (hopefully) still trained.

Here’s the race description:

  • 20 kilomètres de Paris is probably the most mythical running experience in Paris as well as the most festive and popular one. Benefiting from 39 editions, 20 kilomètres de Paris is back on Sunday October 14, 2018, this race will gather between 25,000 and 30,000 runners from 100 countries in the streets of the French capital. The route highlights the most beautiful places in the west of Paris (the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadéro, the Arc de Triomphe, the Bois de Boulogne, Roland Garros, Maison de la Radio, the Grand Palais, the Tuileries, the Pont Royal, and the left banks…) while maintaining a high level of safety. 
  • For better flow, the race will start in waves, 20 waves of 1500 runners each. 
  • 20 musical groups will play their best music all along the route and a lot of spectators will encourage all runners.
  • Aid stations every 2km
  • Refreshments will be provided at the 6KM, 10KM, 15KM as well as at the finish line. You will find water, dried and fresh fruits and sugar.

I wasn’t that impressed with the above at the time but after my experience at the RnR Montreal, I was very excited to see how organized this race promised to be.

I apologize in advance that this post will be long. You may want to skip ahead to see what I liked and disliked about the race itself.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan but I ran my last half marathon on September 23 in Montreal so I figured not a lot of training would need to be done.

Since then I have completed easy weekday runs and longish runs on most weekends.

Though I don’t usually care much about my short runs but I do like to get in a 11 and 12 miler before each half marathon.  After completing my last half marathon, I had only two free weekends and I wasn’t sure how many miles to run as a long run.  I decided on just 7 miles and then 8 miles.  I was so happy that both were with my Sole Sister running friends.

I didn’t expect to run this race at a PR pace. I was running it purely for the experience. I mean, I was racing in F##in’ Paris!!! Starting and ending at the Eiffel Tower!!!!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Friday, after four days in Sanguinet, my travel companion, Lisa and I took the train back to Paris and to the same hotel that we stayed in our first night in Paris.

After immediately checking into our hotel, I hopped the subway to the race village (expo) which was a bunch of outdoor tents near the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. This was a perfect time to go because it was near closing time and was not very crowded. There were numerous tables of running products, info on other French races, as well as many opportunities for tasting and photo ops.

I should mention before I go on too far that on the previous day, I must have somehow tweaked my ankle/Achilles and I didn’t realize it until I tried to run to the expo. I felt a sharp pain every time I tried to run. So I just walked and it felt fine. But you can imagine how it freaked me out at the time.

This certainly weighed on my mind the whole next day. We walked and took a boat ride. Actually put over 12 miles on the feet. The only time my foot felt weird was going down stairs. I did not try to run on it again that day.

I debated about what to do with the race. There was no question whether or not I was doing it. But whether I should just walk in case running would wreck my future racing plans. If I was really injured, by running, I could make things worse.

Anyway I carb loaded as if I would run the race the next day but didn’t sleep much that night.

Race Day:

Strangely, this race was scheduled to start at 10 am!!!

With almost 30,000 runners, the start was organized in waves. My wave (next to last even though I optimistically listed my finish time as 1:55) was to begin at 10:45 or later.

I brought my usual race breakfast of oatmeal from home and the hotel owner was nice enough to boil some water for me. I also had coffee and a chocolate croissant.

Before I left the US, I checked the weather. It was to be cool and cloudy. Just days before the race, rain was predicted. I luckily got a rain poncho on our bus tour in Bordeaux and brought throwaway clothes with me from home.

Well, wouldn’t you know it that Paris experienced an unexpected heat wave. Now it was going to be sunny and near 80 degrees. Yowsers.

I wore my usual skirt and tank. No need to even check a bag. It was already warm when I left my hotel at 9 am.

I bought a cap at the expo and decided to wear it.

I rode the subway with lots of other runners and spent the whole ride discussing running with a young French guy.

We received a lot of information and maps before the race with instructions for exactly where to go and what to do.

I basically followed all the runners across the river toward the Eiffel Tower.

Then looked for signs for my wave (color coded pink – you can see the pink dot on my bib).

This was the most crowded race I have ever run. Long lines and we waited what seemed like forever. The French were very calm. No one complained. No one was pushing. The music was very loud and everyone was dancing and smiling.

There were port a potties everywhere and all along course. This I found odd probably because I’m a prudish American but the port a potties were for the women and next to them was a group urinal for the men. They peed out in the open!!!

Eventually my wave entered the start area and little by little we approached the start line. A group of runners was let go every 3 minutes..

I looked up at the Eiffel Tower and I got tears in my eyes. I was running a race in Paris!!! A dream come true.

Screw it if I had to walk 12 miles. I would cross that finish line and get my medal.

Anyway, here’s how the race went.  Since the mile markers were in kilometers, I’ll recap it by kms. No need to post my splits since I was not racing it. (and my Garmin lost a signal every time we went through a tunnel under a bridge)

The course map:

Les 20km de Paris Route Map

and elevation map (in meters)

Elevation-course-20km-Paris-2017

Kms 1-5:

Finally around 11:10 am, I crossed the start line.

So what to do? Run or walk? I ran a few steps and it felt weird but the more steps I took the better it felt. Not normal but no sharp pain.

from Le Parisien

I had to start slow because it was so crowded. No one was walking. Not sure if anyone did any kind of run/walk.

We ran over the Iena bridge and then onto Avenue Marceau. This part of the course was uphill but not that steep. Most of the streets in Paris are cobbled stone. I found this hard to run on and concentrated on my footing and to continue my easy pace. It was still crowded anyway.

The sun was shining brightly as we ran the shade less streets of Paris.

I had thought I read that there would be water every 2km.

Nothing at 2km

Nothing at 4km. I misread “aid stations” to be water stops.  How “stupide” of me.

I tried not to think about how thirsty I was and to concentrate on the course.

We passed the Arc de Triomphe and then ran down Avenue Foch.

I never looked at my Garmin during the entire race but there were timing clocks at 5k, 10k and 15k.

When I passed the 5k mark, I was pleased that I was running easy and still had not walked.

Soon we turned and entered the beautiful Bois de Boulogne. No more cobbled stones but speed bumps in the road.

Still running slow and easy. No pain. But dying of thirst.  Next we ran along the Allee de Longchamp.

Kms 6-9:

We continued running through the park and finally around 6k, there were bottles of water and tables of food: sugar cubes, figs, dates, raisins, orange, lemon and banana slices and more.

I grabbed a bottle of water and a fig, date and sugar and walked for a while.

There were recycling containers for a long while. No throwing of bottles on the ground. But there were lemon and orange peels on the ground. The volunteers kept screaming to watch out that it was slippery.

After we ran along the Allee of Queen Marguerite, we left the park and followed Boulevard d’Auteuil. We turned at Porte Molitor to run down Boulevard Murat until we got to the roundabout of Porte de Saint-Cloud. Here we headed toward the banks of the Seine River.

Kms 10-14:

Another clock at 10k. I now realized that I was running slower. But I was very very hot. You could hear ambulances on the course. I didn’t want to be in one of them. Besides a blister forming on the bottom of my toe (in a new place), I was feeling no pain. Very happy about that. (The pain free foot not the blister lol)

Finally another water stop and the same refreshments as the last one. This time I walked, took a bottle of water and ate one of my GUs.

I realized too late that I should have carried the bottle of water from the water stop to the next since obviously, there was NOT water at every 2km.

At this point, the race got very hard. I don’t usually doubt my ability to finish a long race but I was just too hot and thirsty.

I did what any runner in this situation would do. I ran and walked and then walked and ran.

My foot felt great. But what bothered me the most was my shoulder/rib. It was really painful during the last few miles. (Ok. Another non-running injury from banging it hard in Bordeaux getting on a bus. Yes I am a klutz.) The pain stopped when I walked. Oy! Hard to run without swinging your arm. So I just walked more and taking in the scenery and appreciating the fact that I was running a race in Paris.

We were now running along the Right Bank of the Seine River. You could see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. It was still far away but a welcome sight.

I smiled when I passed the Statue of Liberty in the middle of the Seine.

Eventually we ran by “la Maison de la Radio”, the 20km de Paris street art fresco specially done for last year’s race and the historic bridges of Mirabeau and Bir Hakeim.

Kms 15-19:

The third and LAST water stop. This time I drank the whole bottle of water and ate some dates.

We were still running along the Seine passing some the most famous sights of Paris: Grand Palais, Place de la Concorde, Tuileries Gardens.

Eventually we crossed the Pont Royal to run along the other side of the river. Though there was no more water stops, there were many water fountains on this side. Many runners were stopping to take a drink and pour water over their heads. I just wanted to finish!!

We soon passed the Musée d’Orsay and Les Invalides and we were heading to under the Eiffel Tower.

Km 20:

Finally I could see the finish line. And I tried to sprint across. It was very crowded as I was now running as a BOTPer.

The clock was meaningless since it had started with the elites. Even my Garmin was inaccurate since it lost its signal each time I ran in a tunnel under a bridge.

But who cares? I ran a race in Paris. I couldn’t stop grinning.

As you as soon as you crossed the finish line, you were handed a bottle of water, then a bag of food and eventually your medal.

Then you were directed to a stadium where there was organized bag pick up, guided stretching and yoga. There were also men’s and womens changing tents.

I felt dizzy and just sat on the grass for a bit to eat some of the food in my bag.

inside our refreshment bag

Then I took some pics and followed the other runners to the subway. The trains were full of sweaty yet happy runners all wearing their medals around their neck.

On the long subway right back to my hotel, I just wanted to pinch myself.  Did I just run a race in Paris, the most beautiful city in the world (in my opinion)?

Believe it or not, by the time, I got showered and changed, it was time to plan my celebratory dinner.

escargots, boeuf bourguignon, wine and this…

Additional Race Reflections:

The Good:

  • The expo – the food, the swag, the info…
  • Nice gender specific shirt
  • Pre and post organization – lots of signs and emailed info
  • Refreshments on the course
  • The course – scenic and pretty flat
  • The music before and during (all types and American)
  • The medal
  • Directions on spectator viewing
  • Great crowd support along the course – so much called out my name and cheered me on
  • Immediately emailed results
  • Live streaming on YouTube of the race
  • No rain
  • No injuries

The Bad:

  • Late start
  • More tables needed with just water
  • Warm temps
  • It seems that they ran out of medals and water at the 15k stop for the slowest runners (phew!)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes, if you don’t mind a large crowed race. If you ever get a chance to go to Paris, consider running this race.

Here’s a video that pretty much captures the highlights of the race:

Final Thoughts and Stats:

As you can see, I definitely finished in the BOTP. (23,418 out of 26,281 and 23 out of 43 in my AG)

The race was only 12.4 miles and my finish time was slower than most of my half marathons.

Still I am proud to have gutted it out under adverse conditions.

Those French runners are fast. And they don’t wear skirts and the men pee out in the open.

C’est la Vie!!

Next Up:

Pelham Half Marathon on Nov 24!!

Image result for pelham half marathon

The day after the race, I ran 4 miles and my legs felt better than during the race. Go figure.


It’s Tuesday so don’t forget to link up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life

I am also joining up with Running on HappySuzlyfeCrazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Happy Running!  Have you ever run a race in a foreign country? What was different? Do you have a bucket list country to run in?

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Four Somethings for October

January 2018 Share Foru Somethings #ShareFourSomethings

Thanks to Laurie from Meditations in Motion, I discovered a new link up started by blogger Heather Gerwing. The last Monday of each month, Heather invites other bloggers to share their “Four Somethings”Something Loved, Something Said, Something Learned, Something Read. If you are a blogger, you may post your Four Somethings too!

So here are mine:

Something Loved.

My vacation in France.  I pretty much loved everything about it.

the people

the buildings

the gardens

the public transportation

the food

Something Said.

 “Vous parlez bien le francais.” (You speak French very well.)

I was a French teacher but that was over 20 years ago.  I was able to get my point across and spoke French the whole time. My French was far from perfect so I loved getting this compliment (and more than once!!)

Something Learned.

I learned that it (running) doesn’t get any easier. You have to respect the distance.

Distance running is hard for me.  Even after 32 half marathons.

Especially when you walk over 12 miles the day before a race, it is sunny and warm and you have NO water to drink.

Halfway through the race, I really wanted to quit. In fact, I wasn’t sure that I COULD finish. I was feeling that bad….

I don’t know how but I finished that race…

with a smile!

Something Read.

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Ok, I read the Girl on the Train and saw the movie. Didn’t love it but didn’t hate it either. Well, this book was a waste of time. Confusing. Too many characters and it just dragged on and on. Eventually I stuck it out and did finish it.  What a let down.

Happy Running! What are your FOUR somethings?  Share at least ONE.

Weekly Wrap for 10.15.18-10.21.18 – I’m Back and Jet Lagged

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Traveling is great but it’s tough getting back in a routine.

  • Monday – My last day in Paris. I was wondering whether my legs would be tired but they felt as fresh as a daisy. So I went for a run in the same park as my first Paris run with Karen but in a different part of Bois de Vincennes.

We spent the rest of the day outside of Paris in Saint Germain en Laye. (Since I’ve been to Paris many times before, I tried to do different non touristy things on this trip.) It was fabulous.

Ended my trip with a delicious dinner and a walk down the Champs Elysées.

  • Tuesday – Rest day. Shuttle, plane, and 3 trains home. No problems…arrived home safely!
  • Wednesday – Back at work and having trouble adjusting to the 6 hour difference in time. it was raining but then it stopped so I thought Id go for a run.  Temperature drop and wind… I thought that I could run in a long sleeved shirt and capris and would warm up as I ran.  Nope… in the 40s but felt like 30s. Quit after one mile. Brrrrrr.
  • Thursday – So today, I packed tights and a jacket. I was determined to not let the weather stop me from running.

  • Friday – Rest Day cuz there was unpacking, laundry and mah jongg to squeeze into the evening.
  • Saturday – Long Run with my “Sole Sisters.” With a half marathon coming up, I wanted to run  9 or 10 miles. The fall temps were perfect as was the company (esp. breakfast afterwards).

  • Sunday – Today I drove 3 hours with my stepson & his girl friend to go to my future daughter-in-law’s bridal shower.  I am so excited for this wedding in March.

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday 3 miles (Turkey Trot Training Group)
  • Tuesday  3 miles, tennis sub
  • Wednesday – rest day, dinner out with tennis pals
  • Thursday4 miles. mall walk with my BFF
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg chez moi
  • Saturday4 miles (if time), bus to NYC
  • Sunday – Poland Spring 5m Race, lunch with friends, Broadway Show, train home

Please link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home

WWSki-Orange

Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you?  Any big races on the horizon? Please share.

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Running in a Foreign Country – Part 2

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

Since I just returned from my trip to France (where I did do some running), my topic for today is again:  Five Tips for Running in a Foreign Country

Image result for running in France

1. Bring a running belt.

At home, I could get away with running naked (just clothes LOL) or with just my phone in my pocket.  In a foreign country, I wanted to make sure I had metro tix, ID, money and a credit card.  Even with my pockets, I was glad that I had my running belt with me.

2. Don’t depend on weather forecasts. Bring clothes for ALL running temperatures.

At home, you can just change your clothes if it is warmer or colder than predicted.  And yes, in a foreign country, you can buy what you need but you’d be surprised how hard it is to find running clothes.  So yes, I brought tanks, short and long sleeved tops, a jacket, DIY arm warmers, gloves, skirts and capris.  The weather varied. It was cooler in Paris than in Sanguinet (which is located south of Paris) but when I returned to Paris, there was a heat wave!!

the weather the first day was cool but it didn’t stay that way for long

7 days later

3.Schedule your runs.

This is the same as if you are at home.  If you don’t schedule your runs, they may never happen. However, when in a foreign country, there are so many other things to do besides running. It is soooo tempting to skip your run.  So you need to make running a priority and pick a time to get it done. This may just involve getting up earlier than you would like to. I guarantee that you will never regret your run. And besides, while running you will get to see some interesting sites in the city that you are visiting.

so excited to run along this lake

4.Don’t forget to have rest days.

Again, if you run everyday at home, you may be wanting to run everyday while in a foreign country. But you will find that you don’t need to because you will likely be more tired (hello jetlag) and you’ll be surprised at how many steps you’ll get in while visiting this new city without taking a single running step.

boat ride + wine = 🙂

5.Make sure you are safe.

At home, you know where you can run safely and where you should not run at all or should not run alone.  But in a foreign country, don’t assume that you can run anywhere.  Don’t assume that it is safe where you want to run. So ask around and do your research and find out which places are safe to run.  And depending on what country you are in, you may have to change how you normally dress when you run.  I would recommend dressing modestly, just in case. (maybe not just in your running bra and short shorts.)

proudly showing off my recent race shirt

Happy Running! Have you eve run in a foreign country? If so, any other tips that you can add?

 

 

The (Re-Scheduled) Governors Island 5K Race Recap

Image result for Governors island 5k

September 29, 2018 – 9:00 am

Back in August, my Russian friend Anna was in the US and we planned to meet up in NYC.

You wouldn’t expect me to go to NYC and not run a race, would you?  Actually, it was Anna’s idea not mine. She wanted to run a race with me and this race was happening the weekend of our meetup..

I’ve visited Governor’s Island once and I’ve always wanted to run there. So we both registered even though I didn’t know much about the race besides what was on the website:

THE RACE – This great midsummer’s race features a great course with world class views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Statue of Liberty, starts off with a ferry ride and features a great post-race party.

COURSE – We have an exciting new course planned that improves on the one we used last year. The 5K is one loop and the 10K is two loops.

AMENITIES – Bag check and toilets will be provided. Water and Gatorade will be available on the course, and bagels, spreads, fresh fruit and more will make up the usual great NYCRUNS post race spread to greet you at the finish line. Free finish line photos and video will be available on the results page. The giveaway for this race will be a great tech t-shirt*. *Sizes are guaranteed – if we don’t have your size at the race, email theteam@nycruns.com within two days of the race and we’ll ship your shirt to you a few weeks later.

RESULTS, AWARDS, FINISH LINE PHOTOS & VIDEO – Awards will be given to the top three male and female runners overall in each race. Age group awards in the 5K will be awarded to the top three in each the following age groups: 9 and under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 and over. Finish line photos and video will also be available on the results page.

DIRECTIONS – There’s only one way to get to the island – the Governors Island ferry, and your ferry ride is included in your race registration.  You must arrive at the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South St. no later than 7:30 AM to check in and you must have your race bib.  The 4,5, R, and 1 trains are closest to the ferry terminal.

This was the same group that organized the Brooklyn Ice Cream Social 5k that I ran back in June and that was well-organized. So I was pretty psyched for the race.

waiting to board the ferry – no rain yet…

We boarded the ferry, got to the island….and…

Rain…Wind…Thunder…Lightning…

Then we got the bad news.  THE RACE WAS CANCELLED!!!

And back on the ferry all the runners went.

Boo!!!

So the race was re-scheduled for Sept 29 and NO REFUNDS!!!

I emailed them that I lived almost 3 hours away and would have to pay for a train and hotel room plus my friend lived in Russia!!

Their response was: No refunds!

So I wavered back and forth but signed up for the Sept 29 race.

As race time approached, I was thinking of skipping the race.

I had been in Montreal the weekend before and would be in France the following two weekends. Plus work travel during the week. Ugh!!

But I had paid for the race, had enough points for free hotel room (near the ferry) so I took the (cheap) Megabus to the city Friday night after work.

Luckily I had saved my bib from August and did not have to pick up a new one.  There was NO day of race pick-up.

So what to wear?

Last weekend, it was chilly.  So I packed my gloves, throw away shirt, jacket, arm warmers to be prepared.

Nope. I woke up to temps in the 60s already.

Still I thought that it wold be chilly on the ferry so I brought a bag to check my jacket but left my throw away at the hotel.

passed these on the way 🙂

sunrise on the East River

Getting to the ferry was no problem — just an easy 15 minute walk. I got there around 7ish and while waiting inside chatted with a runner doing her FIRST 5k.  So exciting!

The ride to the island was very short.  I wound up chatting with a Music teacher preparing to run a half in Disney and who had been at the cancelled race (he recognized my crinkled bib).

I arrived around 8 am and had an hour to stroll around the island.

It was relaxing not to rush to the start and I could check out the course — scenic with water views and pretty flat!!

tempting… but the line was long!

so many of the runners were wearing the race shirt

Eventually it was time to check my bag,…


use the bathrooms (there were real restrooms and tons of port-a-potties and then head to the start.

I lined up close to the front but not too close.

But as soon as we started, it seemed that for the first mile, EVERYONE was passing me by.

I had decided that I would enjoy the race as I did during my recent 5k in Montreal and especially since I had just run a half marathon less than a week before.

The course was one loop around the island so you had gorgeous views throughout. The biggest problem was that there was NO shade and it was very sunny.  I have run in warmer weather but for some reason, I was very warm. Even my legs were sweating in my compression socks.

The only water stop was around mile 2.  I supposed that it was placed there for the 10k because it was too late for this warm 5k. I instinctively grabbed a cup but just took a quick sip and tossed it.

As usual, I ran out of steam during mile 3. I was surprised because I didn’t think I was putting it all out there but maybe, it was because my legs were tired and/or I was very warm.

Still I was shocked when I approached the finish line and saw that I could have PRed.  But it was too late. (Watch me cross the finish line HERE)

checking my watch LOL

And happy with my time!!

I immediately ran into the runner running her first 5K and we congratulated each other.

Then I got some food.

a welcome surprise after the Montreal races.

There was an interesting outdoor art exhibit:

The first ferry back was not for another hour so I decided to re-do the course walking but in the opposite direction and cheer on the 10k runners who were still on the course (They had to run 2 loops).

Soon it was time to head back to Manhattan on the ferry.

After a quick walk to my hotel, a change of clothes, I hopped on the subway and spent a few hours meandering around the Village with fellow runner/blogger Cari before heading home It was a beautiful day and she was great company.

Back to my race:

I loved the course.  The weather was perfect.  I can’t believe that I hesitated coming to NYC for this race (yes, most people would think I’m crazy. But I’m a crazy runner!)

It didn’t hurt that I got an email telling me my finish time and that I won my age group.

NYCRuns personally engraves your award and mails it to you later.

I also realized that my finish time for this race tied my PR.  My 5K PR was gun time and this was chip timed. My chip time 5K PR was 27:01 (but I don’t know if that counts?)

Yes, part of me wishes that I had pushed more and gotten that PR.  At the time, it never crossed my mind for this race.  But I’m not getting any younger. Someone please tell me to do speed drills and get that 5k time lower before it’s too late.

Mile Splits:

mile 1 – 8:54
mile 2 – 8:52
mile 3 – 9:03
.14 – 9:03


Since it’s Tuesday, I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life for

I am joining up with Running on HappySuzlyfeCrazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Happy Running! How is your running going this fall? Any recent races? Ever had a race cancelled due to weather? Do you train for a 5K PR or do you just race for fun?

Weekly Wrap for 10.8.18-10.14.18: Vive La France

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I spent last week vacationing in France.  The purpose was two-fold:  to accompany my friend Lisa in visiting her old friends who lived in the Bordeaux region and to run a race in Paris. Yes, both were accomplished,

Last week

  • Monday – Though probably jet-lagged, I had decided that although Karen was no longer able to race with me, I wanted to meet up with her and possibly run with her. She chose Bois de Vincennes which was only a few metro stops from my hotel.  The run was leisurely and it was great to see her again.

 

Later that day, Lisa & I took the train to Bordeaux where Chantal met us and we rented a car and drove to her home in Sanguinet.

  • Tuesday – My first day in Sanguinet. So of course I had to go for a run. The house where I am staying is a mile from a huge lake. I ran there with no problem. But got lost on the way home. Good thing I speak French fluently and I was able to get directions back home.

We spent the rest of the driving around and getting lost but I did get to see the Atlantic and walk around the town of Biscarrosse. On the way home, we stopped so I could climb the famous Dunes of Pyla. It was one of my favorite activities of the trip.

 

  • Wednesday- I ran again to the lake and did not get lost this time but ran along a different trail and fell. No injury so all was good.

Today we drove to Arcachon and then took a boat to Cap Ferret. We had oysters (the specialty there) and took a boat tour around the Cap and a train ride to the ocean and back.

  • Thursday – One last run in Sanguinet. Instead of my lake run, I just ran around the neighborhoods. No falls and no getting lost. 😀

Today was a rainy day so we took a train to the city of Bordeaux and took a few bus tours of city and a wine tasting boat ride on the Garonne river. Such a beautiful place.

  • Friday – Rest day. We drove to Bordeaux to return our rental car. After one last wander around the city and a lunch with Chantal, we took the train back to Paris.

We stayed in the same hotel as our first night of the trip. As soon as we checked in, I headed out on the metro to get my race packet. It was a perfect time to visit the expo since it was near closing and not too crowded.

  • Saturday – Another rest day. Instead I put in over 12 miles walking. I took a long walk on the uabove ground walkway where runners go. In the afternoon, we took a BatoBus on the Seine river. This ride allows you to get in and off the boat so we did at the Jardin des Plantes and Tuileries.

  • Sunday – Race Day. I finished the 20km de Paris on a very warm sunny day. It was much harder than I expected but I loved the race. I am happy that I was able to take it slow and enjoy the whole experience.

We celebrated with dinner and walk around the Latin Quarter.

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday 4 miles (in Paris)
  • Tuesday  rest day, fly to JFK, train home
  • Wednesday –  3 miles
  • Thursday4 miles
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday10 miles, Ellms Family farm with mentee & sons
  • Sunday – rest day, bridal shower for future daughter-in-law (in MA)

Please link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home

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Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you?  Any big races on the horizon? Please share.

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Running in a Foreign Country – Part 1

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

Since I am currently in France (and hopefully doing some running), my topic for today is:  Five Tips for Running in a Foreign Country

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1.Download maps.me
maps.me allows you to download maps for offline use – perfect for those trips where your phone stays has to stay in airplane mode. You can even mark places on the map and pull up directions to them later while you’re offline. On the map, note street names surrounding where you’re staying and major landmarks nearby so you can get back to where you started even if your language skills are limited.

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In addition to maps.me, you can take screen shots of the map itself to save to your phone, and step-by-step directions of the route you’re trying to run – just in case the app won’t open or in case something else goes wrong with it or especially if WiFi access is limited.

2.Carry something with the address of where you’re staying on it.
Whether you’re staying in a hotel or an AirBNB, grab a card or key that’s imprinted with the building’s name and address. (Or just add this info to your phone). Even if you’re limited in your foreign language capability, you can show this to a friendly passer-by so that they can help you if you’re lost.

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hopefully you don’t have to carry around this old-fashioned key

3.Follow an out and back route
Keep it simple.  An out and back route leaves little room to get lost, since you’re following a straight line. I don’t know about you but I am directionally-challenged so I easily get lost (even on an out and bar route. LOL)

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4.Do your research beforehand.
Chances are, runners before you have been to the city you’re staying in and have suggestions for running routes. Do a little Googling before you leave the your home or check out routes on Map My Run, and bookmark any routes that you want to try.

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You may also want to ask locals or the hotel staff about good running routes. Take their suggestions, and then back them up with your own maps, step-by-step directions, and screenshots.

I also recommend taking a professionally-led running tour.  There usually several companies that offer them in larger cities. They may be expensive but I think they are totally worth it.  You get to run and learn about the city while you are running.

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5.Run without headphones … but take cash and a credit card with you.
Not only is it a safety practice to run without headphones (you can hear cars and horns, etc.) but it also helps you pay more attention to your surroundings.

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You should also have some local currency on you in case you need to hail a taxi. If you need to stop and purchase food or water, you may want to use your credit card instead of cash.

I will probably have a lot more suggestions when I return from my vacation…so stay tuned.

Happy Running! Have you eve run in a foreign country? If so, any other tips that you can add?