Running Achievement: Fast & Easy Miles

Today for the first time I went out for an easy run and felt fast! I ran sub 10 minutes, actually more around 9.34 average which is a huge step for me and felt confident. Everything was right today and I am so thankful for that! My breathing worked out perfectly, my posture was good, every uphill felt incredibly doable, I didn`t have the tiniest bit of pain on the downhills and I really had a blast.

I was on my favorite trail again, one I can just not get bored of. It`s an easier trail but I enjoy it so much. It was warm but completely shady under the trees. When I was about to start I saw another car pulling up. The runner from that car ran at the exact same pace as I did and he was right behind me. At first I thought: “dude, just overtake me, this is getting annoying” but then (yes, it was an easy run, but it was so much fun!) I just went with it and let this stranger push me. Whenever I could hear his steps closer to me again I stepped it up a tiny bit until he turned away onto another trail. I met many other runners and the sweetest dog during this run, too and had so much fun.

Still, the way back was not quite as fun and I took it one turn at a time but today was such an acknowledgement of what my body is capable of. I`m thankful for awesome runs, what about you?

Olympics Earworm

Since the opening ceremony of the olympics and the appearance of Rowan Atkinson a.k.a. Mr Bean with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphonic Orchestra, the theme song from Chariots of Fire has been stuck in my head.

I read that the biggest amount of tweets during the ceremony were about this specific part! Another interesting fact is that there have been more tweets on the day of the opening ceremony of the London Olympics 2012 than during the whole Olympics in Beijing in 2008! I think that`s incredible!

I think this song would make for a great slower warm up tune or for that moments were you need concentration but don`t care for anything with lyrics.

Travel Impressions: Versailles

On our way from Reims to Paris we stopped by in Versailles. Since it was a Monday, the buildings were all closed but we took a walk around parts of the garden. It was absolutely impressive! I liked the front side of the building most and was blown away by just how big everything was. The sky was incredibly blue while we were there and the gold really stood out. Here are some of my favorite snaps!

How to Survive Your Long Run on the Treadmill

Running on the treadmill is something I rarely do because I get really bored. Three miles and I will want to die. I`m sure there are many others who would agree with this!

Last Sunday I was stuck with an area I didn`t know and a 12-Miler on the plan. I was not going to go for a two-plus hour run in the early evening in a city, area and country I didn`t know so I went for the hotel gym.

 

Equipped with some gels, three water bottles, my cellphone with a new playlist, headphones, fast-food dinner and drink plans and an iPad I was ready to go. We stayed at a nice hotel but the gym was a pain. A tiny room, overheated, a mirror, two treadmills, some free weights, two or three other machines.

I started at a slow pace, on the treadmill everything seems a lot faster to me. This was also the reason why I hit an average pace in the upper 12 minutes instead of the high 11 or low 12 minutes that I had planned or usually run my long runs at.

I turned on season three of Friends, the season I was currently watching and started off. I had my friend come downstairs and check on me at about an hour in. Of course the TV in the gym area would not work and the internet was not accessible. It really helped me to have something to look forward to. In my case: fast food. Not that I eat fast food a lot but I just had a huge craving that needed to be satisfied ASAP.

A few episodes of friends, three gels, 1.5 liters of water and two stretch breaks later I was done. I managed to get over the time quite well but I was the happiest person ever when I stepped of that moving band and proceeded to stretching, a shower, Pizza Hut and a beer.

I`m not a beer fan but I had to at least try one in Belgium. I actually ended up liking this Leffe Royale.

 

5 Minute Plank

I had planned a different post but my internet connection on the camping space I’m staying at currently won’t let me upload pictures. Today I’m sooo sore in agood way of course, because:

For an update I achieved  two goals yesterday regarding the #PlankADay challenge. I beat four minutes and then reached five minutes. A PR by roughly 90 seconds! The trick? A song I sang to in my head, steady breathing and probably the 45 minutes of running and 15 minutes of leg strengthening I did before.

 

Running in Paris

First of all, excuse the iPhone snapshots, I can not import my camera pictures until I am back home and I took most of these while running. 

 

Starting off at the “Metropolitain” (Metro Station) just behind the Louvre.

Before heading out to town for today`s five mile run I googled running routes in Paris and around the Seine. This was the one I found to be appropriate. I started by the Louvre and circled the Tuileries garden.

Yeah, those are the famous pyramids! I`m sure I must be in at least ten tourist-photos.

By the Ferries wheel behind the Tuileries garden.

I ran around  Île de la Cité and enjoyed a good view over the Parisian Notre Dame.

 

Waiting at the traffic light. Notre Dame in the background.

Then, I circled the Île Saint-Louis and made my way back towards the Louvre. All in all it was a scenic route but not only due to many traffic lights but also people and groups of tourists blocking the sideways. I had to run on the street for quite some time. That was fine whenever there was a bicycle lane but other times it seemed quite dangerous.

 

I found the Rose Line!

For my next run, I`d rather join the Parisian runners along the Seine or in the gardens, not in the regular traffic. Because I did not stop my watch at the traffic lights I`m not sure about my time but I do know that my pace must have been in the very low 10 minutes, at times probably even below that. It surprised me because with all the traveling I did not run as regularly the past few days. Instead I walked roughly 25 kilometers in Paris alone and that must have been the reason for the comparatively fast pace.

Going back to the hotel in the Metro.

Running in Metz

As you might know I am currently in Metz, France. Of course there will be a post with pictures but for now let me show you how beautiful the route was I ran three miles along, today.

Metz is one really pretty city with beautiful architecture and great food. I probably ate a few thousand calories worth of pastries today. The most interesting part in my opinion was the Saint Etienne Cathedral with its impressive colored glass windows, some of which were painted my Marc Chagall.

Starting off opposite these boats.

The trail goes right along the water and is nice and shady. Many runners are here and also bikers, walkers, fewer tourists.

Swans, swans, swans – that`s why it`s called “Swan Lake”

Can you sport the Cathedral in the distance? Quite impressive.

During my run I went along the river, crossed two bridges, ran through a park and watched dogs play and children running around and eating ice cream. Sadly the weather got really bad afterwords which is why we decided to leave the beautiful camping space on one of the islands and sleep in a hotel instead. All the equipment is soaked!