Thursday, September 30, 2010

The First Run

If you know anything about me, you know that running is a BFD for me. I've been running pretty steadily, with the exception of injury, for almost five years now. It's one of the best things I've found to keep me sane, and it keeps me happy and (mostly) healthy.

Naturally, my first run anywhere NEW is also a BFD. France is no exception. My internal clock is still screwy, so I went to bed last night at around 2:30 here, and woke up around 11. I ate a small breakfast of half a fresh croissant (OMG...heavenly!) with some coffee, then slipped into my very loved Nike running capris and Big Sur long sleeved black shirt, and was out the door to break in my brand new pair of Adrenalines.

I'm someone who doesn't sweat navigating new places, so I decided to brave SGL without looking at any maps so I could wander. I always end up finding my way back, even if it means I wander for a bit. I like to think that I can never be lost, only on detours. So I went out with no map, no real idea of where north is, since there is no convenient body of water to indicate the cardinal directions, and pretty much instinct and memory from when JL had driven me in to town from CDG.

The first thing any runner from the states will notice about is that the sidewalks are not only very narrow, but so are the streets, and the French are culturally NOT much into running, so of course I got many a stare and wide eye! It must have even been more bizarre for the pedestrians to see a young woman running, since French women are notorious for not being much into athletics. Instead, they smoke a bit, eat small portions, and walk everywhere. So yes, I am la coureuse americaine and I am an anomaly.

I took off from la rue Ampere, which is where the Febvrets' home is, and went in any direction I pleased. I wound through the center of town past many shops, which were also small but cute. I'm still soaking in how different it all is from what I'm used to, and it's certainly not bad, just different. I am missing my big, wide streets with plenty of space to run in the bike lane, but I can't complain at all about the sights, nor the fact that I can see PARIS while running!

It's also quite odd to be surrounded by such AMAZING houses. The architecture here is simply stunning. On the way back in, after getting a bit lost with street crossings and winding downhill towards the Seine, I came across a large terrace that goes upward towards a large park domain owned by the city. Of course, the grass was entirely manicured, as were the gardens, flowers, and bushes. It was such nice, flat ground to run on, and not terribly damp, considering it rained last night. I made sure to leave as soon as I woke up because the forecast here has been rain, although it didn't actually occur this afternoon.

I also have to laugh at the fact that, while running, I happened to come across *gasp* the birthplace of Louis XIV. I hadn't known he'd been born in SGL until I came across a gate that said so, but found it hilarious, because I feel like it's only TRULY a "Lindsay" moment to have done so. I spent the last year slaving over a thesis on fairy tales involving the Sun King's court and know more about his reign than I would probably care to know, so I'll take this as his slight tip of the hat to me.

Well, that's all for now. I'm off to dinner!

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