last night, at 9, i took off for an easy 6 miler that followed the seine, out and back, down to the eiffel tower. the surprise was getting in any miles at all - what wasn't surprising were the spectacular views of the city all all lit up - especially the eiffel tower lit up in blue, with huge yellow stars (to commemorate france's current presidency of the european union).
here's the brief recap: there was light rain and drizzle all afternoon. just as well, because i needed a quick nap following the flight, and i did manage to catch a few hours sleep. it was still raining lightly at 5:30, when i headed out to grab some dinner. instead of traipsing around in the rain, i picked up a baguette, some ham, and beer (fischer "blonde" ale) at a local grocery. i had an easy meal in my hotel room as i got ready for my meeting the next morning.
by 8:30 the rain had stopped, so i grabbed the opportunity to put in a few miles. i knew it would be interesting when, going down in the elevator, an elderly russian couple noticed that the tech shirt i had on said "prospect park." it was a white pptc "cherry tree 10 miler" long sleeve tech shirt from the 2007 race. they said, "we know propect park." i said, "do you know brooklyn?" and when they told me that they not only lived in brooklyn, but in marine park (right next door to sheepshead bay), i was bowled over! how small a world is it? and the woman couldn't help herself when she asked me if it was safe to go out running at that hour - just what my mom would have said :D
by 9:00 i was headed down a practically deserted blvd. st. germain, straight to the quai d'orsay - which i would follow down to the tower for the out leg of my journey. not only was the city lit up in all its glory, but the reflections off the puddles and wet surfaces gave it an extra bit of luminousity :) i made a left at the parliment building (which even at that hour still had a pair of soliders outside standing guard), and decided to run along the inside part of the street for this part of the trip. except for the brief stretch along invalides park, which was covered with huge white tents for some sort of special event, this wasn't overly scenic.
blue and yellow, ec colors!
but the shock was catching sight of the eiffel tower as i was practically underneath it - all lit-up in royal blue lights, with a huge circle of 13 yellow stars on its front (the colors of the european union). apparently, all the pent-up tourists were also out for the night because the place was packed! as i approached the live version of joe jackson's "slow song" was peaking on my ipod - and, by the time i was directly under the effiel tower looking up, jackson's "memphis" was on! then i headed into champ de mar for a loop of the park. as i headed back toward the tower, i was overwhelmed by the imposing view - incredible.
i crossed over the seine directly in front of the tower, and began my trip back along the right bank - all the while peeking over my shoulder at the blue tower. this side of the seine was, appropriately, called "avenue de new york!" i didn't stay on the right bank for too long, and actually crossed back not on one of the more famous pontes, but rather the passerelle debilly, a modern footbridge - with views of the water below between the floor boards as you cross over it! spectacular - and a little frightening (for me)!
passerelle debilly lit-up!
the return back was along the seine, on the left bank. i ran at an 8:15 pace, but with all the ohs and ahs, plus stops to oogle my surrounding, an 8:30 overall pace was probably more realistic. i was back at my hotel in just over 51 minutes - completely exhilarated!
right now, however, the next morning: i have to get ready for today's meetings... more later.