9-12 May 2016
The start of this week has been pretty normal.
I am settling in to a normal routine: Wake up, coffee, metro, work, metro, Monoprix, home.
But there is one change, running. I joined Jeremy in running again. Needless to say, I’m walking funny. The reason I am blogging about it is 1) running in the city is a suicide mission and 2) finding a park makes all the difference.
Jer had done some major exploring (as he can run much further than I can) and found the Bois de Boulogne. This park is huge, it may be bigger than Central Park (but I’m speculating) per the Paris tourism website this park was “A former hunting ground for the Kings of France, the Bois de Boulogne has become the largest spot for relaxation in the west of Paris. With a surface area of 850 hectares, one of the ‘lungs’ of the capital encompasses the Parc de Bagatelle, the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil, the Pré-Catelan and the Jardin d’Acclimatation. It offers numerous walkways, 28 km of bridleways and 15 km of touristic cycle routes. There are numerous facilities, which have been designed to suit everyone, such as playgrounds for children, the Musée en Herbe, picnic areas, bicycle hire and boat hire on the Lac Inférieur, the Auteuil and Longchamp racecourses, restaurants and the Théâtre de Verdure.”
Aka it is monstrous AND you can sit on the grass! I’m not sure if you picked up on the description about the park but there are not 1, but 2 horse racing tracks in the park. We are by no means running through the whole park but Jer found a nice route that takes us around a pond, where on the weekends, people will race small electric sail boats.
But to get to the park, we have to go through some busier areas of a our neighborhood dodging people, bikers, dogs and the inevitable dog shit. In the US there is a mentality to kind of go in a line, one person at a time, if there are 2 lanes merging its one from the left then one from the right. It is just polite. In Paris, its what I have been told is a ‘prison mentality.’ I laughed when I was told this at first. But I have come to agree. It’s everyone for themselves. A free for-all with people darting, cutting, moving quickly. So trying to run past people knowing they may move in any direction for no good reason, makes it dicey. I have yet to almost crush someone/get crushed. Let’s hope I can keep this up.
Also, I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t seem to work out but look fit. I also have barely seen any gyms. I have a theory. French people eat 2 big meals (lunch and dinner) and don’t snack, live on coffee, walk and smoke. When out with Jer running, there are people exercising but I would say they fall into 2 categories 1) expats and 2) people running marathons/professional athletes. The reason I think there are a lot of expats is based on the shorts men wear. They are long, almost to the knee. I would expect the Frenchies short’s to be mid-thigh. Also, the athletes wear their marathon/triathlete shirts.
For those who come to visit and go for a run, you will see what I mean. Just wait it truly is a beautiful park.
We are both looking forward to the weekend. We have another Holiday on Monday (Whit Monday) and we are finalizing our plans to head to the north of France. Stay tuned!
I also forgot to write what I learned last week in Paris:
1) French are sunworshippers but they don’t seem to be worried about tans or tan lines
2) You are not allowed to sit on the grass in most parks, which boggles my mind
3) When picnicking in the park, bring 2 bottles of wine per person
4) Always have an umbrella, regardless of the forecast, you have an 80% chance at all times of being rained on
5) I’m now addicted to nougat and likely everyone will be getting it for christmas
Step Count (without running)
Monday: 5,343, 3.87km
Tuesday: 3,585, 2.63 km
Wednesday: 6,955, 5.05 km