Friday, October 17, 2014

the red beret goes running

At La Kitchinette in Rennes, post Musée de Beaux Arts visit

If you looked at the few pictures on Facebook that have been taken (most from my best museum buddy Jessica, who took almost all the pictures on this post as well) since I arrived in France, you might think all I'm doing here is drinking tea, visiting museums, and running. wouldn't be completely wrong (though I've been doing my fair share of homework and work at my internship, too!) 

Last weekend I was off to Paris again to run the 20km de Paris, which took place Sunday the 12th. Jessica came with me, playing the role of Travel Buddy, Official Photographer, Moral Support, and (most importantly) Especially Excellent Company.
In Paris
A little personal history? Why not...

The 20km de Paris was my first road race longer than 7km.  I started running long distance about four years ago, when I did the “Allure Libre de Gaume” Sunday 5km series with my Luxembourgish host mom as an exchange student in high school.  I wasn’t very active my freshman year, and only slightly more my sophomore year of college, but my junior year I decided to start running a little more seriously, and I started practicing yoga and swimming more frequently.  Last fall, I ran my first official 5k in the United States and was surprised to find that it was my fastest one (26’50”)- almost 20 minutes faster than my first ever 5k three years before. I ran another in the spring with a similar time, and decided to try taking my practice to the next level. As I was preparing to study in France in the fall semester (where I am currently), I set my sights on the 20km de Paris- a 12.5 mile road race through the French capital, beginning and ending in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

@ km 14

I started training in August, but it wasn’t always easy. I was frequently in transit, with trips to NYC to get my student visa, moving out of my Rochester apartment and home, and then packing and moving to France. Sometimes the motivation wasn’t there, and I know I could have trained much harder, but I made it to Paris, I made it to the start line at the Pont d’Iena, and in 2 hours, 13 minutes, and 50 seconds, I made it to the finish line…exhausted but thrilled.

 I met up with Jessica in the afternoon, and after sitting in the comfy Starbucks chairs for probably about an hour (to recover somewhat), we wandered around a rainy Paris until our train left for Rennes in the evening.

Dead exhausted, dead thrilled.