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WEEK 3 starting Monday 28th December

Monday – Stretch/strengthen. Yoga in the living room from 20h15-21h15. Complete with Milton’s CDs, incense & a candle, this was a delicious and much-needed hour of self-care. I mixed up what I remember from Elizabeth & Julie’s courses in Dallas, as well as some recent poses practiced at Bikram Yoga in Paris. Imagine if I did this EVERY DAY!

Tuesday 29th
– run 8 km (about 5 miles) around the outer edge of the track at the stadium. Difficult, but not too bad.

Thursday 31st – 5 km.

Saturday 2nd – 5 km.

Sunday 3rd
10 km along the Seine from metro Cité to Bir-Hakeim. Hadn’t run along the Seine yet, so wasn’t sure if down along the river or up on the sidewalk was better. With no joggers in sight to provide inspiration, I ended up trying both levels. Up top along the Quai des Tuilieries there were lots of obstacles — tourists out for slow strolls, couples holding hands, rollerbladers, Velib’ers, skaterboarders, plus an entire family on razor scooters (ok for kids but rather ridiculous for adults), not to mention the exhaust from the nearby busy road. At Concorde I headed down along the water and under the gleaming Alexander III bridge. But below there were loads of tour buses, more tourists, and treacherous cobblestones. The uneven surfaces were too difficult for jogging, so I climbed up some steps and ran alogg the Avenue de New York. The Eiffel tour, my halfway point, was getting closer and closer into view. The sun was shining.

Halfway across the Bir-Hakeim bridge I checked my time – 38 minutes. On target – yeah. Feeling good. Had never (literally) crossed this bridge before. It’s a unique, double decker structure with the RER train track over the road with wide footpaths on either side. What a lovely view of the Eiffel Tour!

Heading back along the Rive gauche down by the water, it was miserably freezing and extra challenging with the wind now blowing directly against me. Not helping matters, I happened upon a delightful Christmas market. Before long I was pining for the warmth of a sweet spiced wine with shortbread swirl cookies, knowing this would probably be the last chance of the year to indulge on these seasonal treats. But alas, I kept running.

I slowed down a bit and ate a half clementine, then walked for a minute or two. My legs felt like speghetti. There weren’t many people on this stretch of the path; it was quiet and peaceful, but lonely. I was really struggling here. My destination – Notre Dame – was still too far away and out of sight. Somehow I picked up the pace again and ploughed on. Then miraculously, somewhere between Concorde and the Quai d’Orsay, I entered the runner’s ‘zone’ and found myself gliding along rather effortlessly. It was a bizarre and wonderful feeling.

Eventually I had to climb back up to street level near the Musee D’Orsay, and since it was free museum Sunday, there were hoards of tourists blocking the sidewalks. I could now see the Gothic tours of Notre Dame, and felt compelled to continue. I ran along the postcard vendors of the Quai Voltaire & the Quai de Conti. Finally I made it to St Michel, then up to the parvis du Notre Dame. Victory! I finished the run in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Hell yeah!!!

Monday update: I retracked the voyage on google maps and learned I actually did 10.6K on this run. Wow.


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