My S.O. having left for a 3 weeks humanitarian trip on the other side of the world and my holidays not being planned for another week, I was faced with the thought of being completely free for 10 days. And while being positively surprised by the amount of things I was able to do in these few days, while still having so many planned for the weeks to come, I started thinking that I should probably consider claiming back more of my time just for myself.
On Sunday, the first day of my temporary freedom, after having woken up at 5AM to kiss my man goodbye, I went back to sleep for another 4 hours. And then, soon after a cup of bulletproof coffee, I just thought about going out for an hour run.
This was just the beginning of a physically and intellectually motivating week that left me with an overwhelming sense of personal achievement. My first challenge was to train for “the Parisienne”, a 7km 100% feminine race I will be running on the 10th of September. Since its creation in 1997, its route runs along some of the most beautiful monuments of Paris: starting right below the Eiffel Tower, it then passes in front of the Palais de Tokyo, crosses the Champs-Elysees up to the Petit Palais and Grand Palais, goes over the Bridge Alexandre III and then the Invalides, strolls along the banks of the Seine and finishes in the middle of the Champ de Mars!
In addition, since 2001 “la Parisienne” supports medical research on breast cancer and has enabled since 2006 the FMR (the French Foundation for Medical Research) to implement a system of donations amongst companies which can enroll their employees to the race (one or more teams can be enrolled by each company). That is in fact how I got into the race: while I was looking for a 10km race, I unexpectedly received an e-mail from my company looking for volunteers to form a team. And there I was, bib number 30790! Once again, things come your way once you put things in motion!
Actually, this race is also perfect for a beginner as it is short and welcomes women from all age and experience.
I only started to run a couple of months ago but I am not that bad, and knowing that I run for a good cause, through a short distance, and with other inexperienced girls, takes out all the pressure from it and leaves only the fun and my personal challenge!
Hence, after my Day 1 training, where I managed to run 7km with several pauses, I went back to running with a girl friend the next Saturday. And this time, and for the first time, I did 7km without ever stopping and while chatting all along! I was proud first for finally seeing that I can actually run the distance in one stroke, but also realizing that if I hadn’t being speaking I could have had more breath to cover the distance faster!
In the meantime, I also gave an appointment to some work colleagues for an outdoors session of Swedish Gym®, a concept that has been going on in France for a few years now. It could be described as a fun session of aerobics : gathered in a circle around the coach, participants (mostly women) reproduce movements that are simple to perform at the rhythm of a lively music.
“A session of Swedish Gym ® is a privileged opportunity to take care of oneself, to let off steam in a friendly atmosphere, without competition or notion of performance. This subtle combination of music and physical exercise boosts moral and releases the famous endorphins (hormones of well-being)!”
It is also a practical concept as during the year the subscription allows you to attend any course all around Paris any day any time. During Summer, outdoors sessions are free and accessible to anyone willing to try it out before subscribing!
I left for one week holiday but not without packing my gym outfit to run in the country side (very hilly) to maintain my good shape before the race!
My wish is also to keep training once Summer holidays are over and life is back to normal, and maybe organise some weekly training sessions with motivated / motivating friends while the weather still allows it!