Friday, April 10, 2015

Paris Picnics and a Marathon

There's something that the French and I definitely have in common - using any excuse to grab a picnic, wine, a blanket, and find somewhere to sit and gab with friends. The weather has really perked up since I first arrived in Paris last week so there are loads of people sitting out and enjoying themselves. I thought people in San Francisco enjoyed daytime drinking and parks, well the Parisians definitely do too. I suppose because everyone lives in apartments heading out to a public place is kinda the only way to do it. I'm totally a fan! Today's picnic spot of choice was just in front of the Eiffel Tower, not bad. Yesterday it was a bit of afternoon ice cream on a bench down along the Seine.

Cheese, bread, fruit view of the Eiffel Tower

My mom and aunt Anne (who we call Imel so don't be confused when I refer to her as that) arrived from Philadelphia yesterday morning and will be here until next Thursday. The real touristy checking out of the city begins now. I'm trying not to walk all over yonder and back for the next few days since I've got this little 26 mile marathon thing to do on Sunday (more on that later) but we're definitely covering some ground. Yesterday we waited almost two hours to go up in the towers of Notre Dame but totally worth it. It definitely has some of my favorite views of the city and I do love the gargoyles. We popped into Aux Deux Amis last night for dinner and it was delish! I'd seen the place a few nights before when I was in the neighborhood heading to another place. We luckily got there early, grabbed a table, got an English/charades version of the menu from the very nice and social waitress, and ate I think seven different plates - salmon ceviche, white asparagus, small whole shrimp fried (amazingly good even with heads and tentacles!), green veggies in butter sauce, sliced chorizo, terrine of pork and some other tastiness, and finally an apple dessert that was like baked apple with a bit of goats cheese on top and honey. Shortly into our meal the place was hoppin' - definitely a good local spot.

Today we ventured out to pick up my marathon race bib at the Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles where the race expo was being held- three metro lines to get there but can't beat only having to pay like a Euro to end up all the way across the city in about 30 minutes. I was a bit worried about this ridiculous medical certificate that they required to have to pick up your race bib. Apparently I think you're supposed to go have a physical and your doctor can then sign off on your health and fitness to participate in the race. Well, good thing I have lovely doctor friends who will vouch for my health (thanks Amy!). I received the OK that my health form was acceptable and was able to get my race bib. Whew! After the expo there we procured the makings of our picnic on Rue Clare and found a spot at the Eiffel Tower. Post lunch we hit up the Arc de Triomphe (saving going up in it for one evening to see the lights across the city) and then wandered down the Champs-Élysées.

Found my name on the massive wall of all 50k+ names

As for this marathon, well, I have no idea how it will go. Training has been a bit spotty over the last few months. I got some long runs in while in San Francisco and felt pretty good running 20 miles a few weeks ago so I can hopefully squeeze out 6 more. I'm going into it saying I'll just try to enjoy myself. There's not been a lot of enjoyment throughout prior races when I'm attempting to hit a specific time and just running a marathon in general isn't usually fun after about 16 miles and you've got 10 more to go. I've decided that if I feel like walking or taking a picture or whatever I'll do it. Now if I can stick to that on Sunday and not go out the gate running way too fast this should indeed be fun. Will I go under 3:30? Likely not but who knows. I'm in Paris and I should enjoy 26.2 miles also known as 42.195 kms and then I can do whatever the heck I want for the rest of the trip. Also, the weather is going to be quite nice so it's much better than when I thought about two weeks ago that I might be running in the rain.

For most of you I'll be done with the race before you even wake up on Sunday morning in the States and if you're in Europe and have a long Saturday I might be done before you wake up too. Elites go off at 8:45 and I'm supposed to start at 9. I do like that I don't have to go through a massive start village and be there at the crack of dawn like other big races I've done. I plan to rock up to the Arc de Triomphe around 8:15 or 8:30. I think I also signed up to have a photo posted to Facebook at some kilometer late in the race so I'm sure that will be one for later deleting!

I will say though this video gets you excited for the race... brings back memories of Dreams of Glory before Olympic Trials!

Paris est prêt à accueillir ses héros ! Et vous ? Partage le teaser officiel de la 39ème édition du Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris ! Paris is ready to welcome its heroes! Are you ready too? Share the official teaser of the 39th edition! #ParisMarathon
Posted by Marathon de Paris on Monday, April 6, 2015

Hopefully the next post will be a positive post-race writeup!

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