For all of the pictures there's multiple albums in an attempt to keep slightly organized:
- Paris Part 1 - Sacre Couer, Montmarte, wanderings from my first few days
- Paris Part 2 - Notre Dame
- Paris Part 3 - Museums and Marathons - Musée d'Orsay, Louvre, Ste-Chapelle, Musée de l'Orangerie
- Paris Part 4 - Eiffel Tower
As for the marathon of running sorts that wasn't too bad. Considering my training had been a bit spotty given travel and just not choosing not to get bogged down in it I have to be quite happy. Though not my fastest I wasn't that far off and I slowed down quite at bit after twenty miles, both selectively and just out of tiredness, and didn't really care (the first 15 to 20 were pretty good and fairly easy). At that point the count down to the finish was on and I knew it would be less than an hour.
According to the race numbers it was only 25% women and that was definitely visible at the start and along the course. Just dudes everywhere - I should have befriended a few along the way. The temperature was good at the start and then rising throughout the day so as with every race there were a variety of running outfits being sported. In my pre-marathon runs I'd become accustom to seeing the French men's running uniform which included a lot of spandex and florescent accents. The florescent shirts were definitely out in prime time during the race but there was slightly less spandex. And as with any race pretty much as soon as it started and especially as we got into the first park loads of guys just peeled off and found a tree or otherwise seemingly acceptable yet visible place to take a piss.
|View looking away from the start up|
Aside from the peeing folks the course was really beautiful the entire time. I'd never seen the Bastille or been into the parks that are on each the eastern and western sides of the city. The only bad spot was having to run through a tunnel for about a mile. With so many cars normally in the tunnel and the hot air it was not exactly the most fun place to be running. I was pretty happy to pop out of it right around Musee d'Orsay and be back into the fresh air. The other few issues I discovered and luckily didn't have an actual problem with it myself but can imagine others may have were there were very few toilets at the start, there was water really only every 5k, and while it's nice to give out orange slices and bananas along the course running over wet and often cobblestoney streets littered with the peels of each isn't great. By the end as the temperatures were rising the less than frequent water (in most US races it's every mile, especially towards the end) I was eager for it and it couldn't come fast enough. I imagine those who were a lot slower than me struggled with the water and loads more slippery peels along the course!
My mom and Imel's spectating was quite successful. I only saw them once but apparently they saw me three times. Pretty good considering in the New York marathon a few years ago they never once saw me. They've gotten better! There were spectators along most of the route so that always helps too - even when they're yelling in another language. The best of the official entertainment along the course was the two locations of dancing hot pink wig wearing gay men blaring Village People and other equally fun tunes.
After running essentially all across Paris I made it to the finish, I even attempted to smile for a number of the cameras that I saw along the way, and was just happy it was over. Finisher medal and t-shirt in hand I was pretty excited to sit down and put on my flip flops! And, unlike the last half that I ran I didn't feel like I was going to puke (and didn't eventually do it either!).
|Done and done!|
Our walking and museum excursions is why I say there's two marathons going on. Paris is filled with so many museums, so much amazing art to see, and great places to walk so we're certainly taking as much in as possible. Since Thursday at Nortre Dame we've done Musée d'Orsay, Luxemborg Gardens, the Louvre, Tuilleries, Musée de l'Orangerie, Sainte-Chapelle, Musée Marmottan Monet, up in the Eiffel Tower, and we're planning to hit the Arc de Triumphe after dinner tonight to see the lights. There have been loads of metro rides and walking in between powered by baguettes, croissants, and other pastries during the day and delicious meals at night. There's loads more to see but we don't need to be popping in and out of places all day long every day, that would be worse than any actual marathon. All of the various photos from the museums where I could be a total tourist and take them as well as stunning shots from a clear day atop the Eiffel Tower are linked at the top of this post.
Two food spots of particular interest, and we'll see if they'll be out done the next two nights, were souffle at La Cigale Recamier and an amazing fresh mix of things last night at Semilla.
Souffle does not need to be just sweet, I love regular cheese souffle but in addition to that we had one that was meant to be like a hamburger and one veggie - all amazing. We followed it up with two dessert. We started with just a caramel one and had to order a second of chocolate. Light, airy, and delicious!
Semilla was a restaurant written up in Travel and Leisure magazine and apparently recommended by Alice Waters. It's definitely farm to table and seasonal. Everything we had from simple starter salads and asparagus to fish, chicken, and pork mains followed by both a citrus and passion fruit dessert was so yummy. Two gals next to us ordered the six course chef's tasting menu that looked like it was amazing as well.
|I only got around to a starter pic|
Tonight we're off to a place called Spring that is apparently a chef's selection of four courses and it's sure to be delicious - let's just hope there's nothing served that I really just don't like :) Tomorrow we're taking our adventures back in time to check out Versailles and see what Louis XIV had up his crazy sleeve in terms of both house and gardens.
|Eiffel Tower shot I sought out today|