August 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Trials of Vacation Running

Preparing for the unexpected on a vacay run...
Running around Paris starts to feel like a chore after a while. I’ll do my loop around the Canal or into the Buttes Chaumont. I’ll hit the CoulĂ©e Verte, the renovated railway that serves as a peaceful oasis in the east of the city. I’ll head towards the Eiffel Tower along the Seine as the boats float on by and the tourists snap their photos. This all sounds romantic and idyllic until about the 50th time. Then even the most devoted runner and Paris enthusiast needs a break.

While most Parisians leave during the summer because, well, it’s what you do, I’ve been lucky to sneak away a few times to experience new locations, new roads, new trails, and new challenges. Running in the shadow of the chateau at Chateaudun, once owned by a friend of Joan of Arc, and hitting the beaches of the English Channel in St. Malo have proved to be the perfect way to spice up marathon training. And a future trip to the Mediterranean means some serious coastal coasting with plenty of SPF. A boy needs help getting under that 4 hour mark…

But running in a new place isn’t always as peachy as it seems. Yes, there are new things to see and smell, the air may be cleaner, and the people might be friendly (they say bonojur as they run by!). But not knowing the terrain can be cumbersome when embarking on a 21km early in the morning.