A hot wave surprised all Parisians last week-end and those who had not planned any escape to the fresher countryside met in the many parks of the French capital.
I had nothing planned originally but in the end did not have any time to get bored. Because Thursday was a national holiday I went out for a late picnic on Wednesday evening to celebrate the short work week.
While we were drinking wine and eating salami and cheese with some French baguette (what a cliché) I randomly proposed to my best friend to go for a run on the next day. I honestly do not know where the idea came from. Not only I am not a runner but I am also very bad at it. I get bored very quickly, I have no breath and I cannot concentrate on anything else than my pain while I am running.
But because I have been going out a lot and enjoying the good life lately I might have forgotten to exercise and I can feel a lot of energy that does not get used enough. So I was more than excited to meet my friend the next morning at 2pm (it was a holiday after all!) at the Bois de Boulogne, the second-largest park in Paris on the eastern side of the city. As a comparison it covers an area about two and a half times the area of Central Park in New York.
It is a nice place to run first because you do not have to run in circles and because of the nature: within the boundaries of the Bois de Boulogne are an English landscape garden with several lakes and a cascade; two smaller botanical and landscape gardens, a zoo and amusement park, a complex of greenhouses holding a hundred thousand plants; two tracks for horse racing, a tennis stadium where the French Open tennis tournament is held each year, and many other attractions.
The sun was high and burning when we started to run but we were so happy that the heat did not matter to us.
Because my friend started to run regularly more than a year ago and has already raced 2 semi-marathons, I was counting on him to train me and give me some tips.
We began with a 5 minutes run to test my resistance, and I was so surprised to feel fine that we kept going and did 4 x 10 minutes of running with 5 minutes pauses between each session. Overall we ran for 40 minutes and with the walking in between we covered a distance of 10km.
For those who run it might seem nothing but for my first run in 7 years I was pleased to see that I am actually in a good shape and most importantly that, although I have not been able to go to the gym very often lately, my body recovers quickly.
After the effort, the comfort! we got a fresh juice from a little Organic shop and “tried” to get some sun tan…which for some mysterious reason is not happening for me, although I have been 10 days in Brazil and running in the sun as much as I can.
Anyways, after this pleasant experience the decision was made: I will be running a 10km race in September, my friend and I are subscribing as a team and training all summer so that it will just be a fun thing to do together and not a scary moment I will dread. I could have trained for a semi-marathon (21km) but let’s not forget that until yesterday I hated running, so it is enough for now, and if this goes well the semi might be the next challenge.