I can’t stop thinking about our week in Paris. It’s a good thing we’re going back; I’m not done with that city in the least. Jeremy and I have a housesitting assignment for an entire month there starting late July, and I can’t wait to explore more. Prior to our trip, my runs in Zurich really stood out to me, but running in Paris was something really special. I don’t mean to compare them – pretty much all my runs in Europe have been really fun and memorable – but there was something incredible about seeing the City of Love in that way.
I had done some research, and found a section of the Seine called Les Berges (which has a really great, interactive website) that has lots of shipping containers made into pop-up ateliers, food trucks, obstacle courses, etc. And a 100-meter track. It is basically between the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, so I knew it would be the ideal place to run. We had to take the metro from our Airbnb in the République, so we headed out somewhat early to make the trek to Les Invalides, which would land us close to Les Berges.
Pretty much every time you get off a metro stop in Paris, you go up the stairs and walk out onto the street to see something so beautiful you can’t believe your eyes. After getting off at Les Invalides and walking a couple blocks, we came to the Pont Alexandre III covered in gold statues.
We walked down to the Seine and saw Les Berges right away. A little ways down, we saw an obstacle course and the 100-meter track. There were tons of people running (which I love), and we ended up walking to the Eiffel Tower to check out how far it was (not far at all) and soon after I left Jeremy to get my run started.
I ran along the Seine to the Louvre, past the Musée d’Orsay, stopping to take lots of pictures along the way. There were a ton of people out, but it didn’t feel overwhelming. The weather was perfect (albeit a little windy), and I even ran around the Place de la Concorde among all the tourists. Normally I wouldn’t like to do that, but there were so many other runners out, I felt like I could do whatever I wanted (strength in numbers, right?). At one point I got caught in a cluster of tourists at a red light, but I saw an older French man running fearless through them and I sprinted to get right behind him so he could lead the way. He met up with other running buddies and I tried to push myself to keep up with them, but their pace was too fast.
When I was done running (I ended up doing four miles), I met back up with Jeremy, and he took some totally candid, unplanned action shots of me sprinting slowly on the 100-meter track.
Perfect weather, beautiful scenery, strong-feeling legs… It really doesn’t get much better.
Parc de la Villette
When I was looking around online for things that were going on last weekend in Paris, I found a 10K that started near our apartment. I got really excited, and we planned on getting up early on Sunday and making our way to the start so I could register. I’ve been itching to run a race, even though I’m fairly out of shape compared to my fitness levels this time last year. But I figured it would be fun to run a race in Paris, and explore the different areas the route went through. The night before the race I was reading up on details to make sure I had everything I needed, and I noticed that the website said every runner needed a note from a doctor clearing them for running. I had seen this when I was looking around for a marathon to register for earlier in the year, but was surprised to see that it was necessary for shorter races too. A quick Google search made it clear that I was not going to be able to run without the note, and I was disappointed. Since I was pretty set on running 6.2 miles, I decided to head out from our apartment and run up along the Canal Saint-Martin. I came across the Parc de la Villette a couple miles in, and it was really great. I wouldn’t have visited this park if it hadn’t been for my run, and it was fun to explore the different paths and huge art sculptures. There was a different race going on, and I could hear the announcer cheering people on, so the finish must have been close. It made me want to run a race even more. On my way back, I actually ran alongside the 10K I had planned on participating in, and people were cheering for the runners, so I pretended they were cheering for me too. I was, however, running the opposite direction as the racers, which a man kindly informed me of in French.
It was a beautiful run, and I was able to explore areas I wouldn’t normally have visited. I don’t think this running in new cities thing is ever going to get old.