I am training for the NYC marathon and had a long run on my plan this past weekend. I like to get it done on Saturday if possible, so I have the weekend to recover. The weatherman was announcing rain coming in about noon, so I knew I would have to be up and out of here early if I didn’t want to get caught in it. I was up at 6 a.m. and had breakfast immediately. I always eat before a long run, and give my body some time to digest and get things moving before heading out. I had prepared everything the night before, so I was out of the house around 7:30 a.m., just when the sun was coming up.
I had 22 miles to do. I hadn’t mapped out my route but the last few long runs have been in my usual stomping grounds so I was craving some variety and looking for something to mentally break up the distance. Paris gets busy around 10 a.m. so I figured I had a couple quiet hours before it was taken over by tourists, traffic and pedestrians. I live on the east side, so I decided to start at a very eastern point and run a strait line due west. This would take me past most of the monuments.
So I made my way to Nation (my easterly point) and ran towards the Bastille. These starting miles are hard because of this :
I must have run by 20 bakeries. They all
tempted taunted me with the smell of freshly baked croissants and crusty French bread. The eastern side of the city is very residential and of course it was breakfast time.
I came to the Marais district after about 4 miles, and you can see how few people are out at 9 a.m. The French are not early risers.
I was so happy to stumble upon this, public toilets :
Finding (functioning) toilets is one of the hardest things about long runs through the city. I often stop at a cafe or at my hair dresser’s but since he doesn’t open until noon, I need another solution for morning runs.
I ran down the Rue de Rivoli, which is known for major shopping. It is bustling as of 10 a.m. so I was happy to zip down that street before the stores opened. I then came to the Louvre, and people were already standing in line, and taking selfies.
I turned to run through the Tuileries gardens, and was blessed with the most beautiful view. The sun was shining on the top of the obelisk in Place de la Concorde, and on the Arc de Triomphe in the background. So I ran through the gardens under the glorious sun.
I made my way to the Champs Elysees. Again, no people ! Well, except for 1) all the Asian tourists, many of whom were in the middle of the avenue taking selfies, and 2) the people standing in line for Louis Vuitton.
I then made my way to the Eiffel Tower. This view never gets old. Ever.
I crossed the river and made my way along the river walk. Not too many people out along the water except the runners. One HAD to stop and step in front of my camera as I was getting ready to take a picture.
Outside restaurants and cafes were setting up, and I think there was some kind of event because there were several arty exhibits. Tree stumps and rocks ?
I kept going then stopped at Notre Dame. By this time there were many people out and the streets were getting crowded.
I started to head home. It was slow going because a lot of it is on cobble stone. I came across the Parisian firefighters doing some drills.
I then made my way back to finish the last 4 miles near where I live.
I loved the variety of the sights, and it really broke my long run into manageable portions. I also discovered a couple new areas of the city, and… since I hadn’t run here in 6 months, I also discovered a ton of construction and refurbishing.
Do you like changing up your routes and adding variety or do you prefer to run the same routes ?
Do you like running through the city ?