Friday, October 17, 2008

another 6 miles at night in paris - habit forming?

i hope this won't become a habit - last night i didn't get out to run until 9 o'clock. once again, from necessity, rather than desire, i didn't get out until after 9 pm for my run. on the first day it rained, and i needed sleep after i checked in. yesterday was work in the morning and sightseeing in the afternoon. i almost skipped the run because of all the walking i did - to the catacombs, in the catacombs, to the academie de le biere (not too strenuous), to the musuem of middle ages, in the musuem and, finally, back to the hotel. all that walking easily totalled a few miles (the length of the catacombs alone - not counting descent and ascent - was 1.7k)!

rationalizations aside, i took off down the blvd st. germain just as before (no elevator encounters this time around). but instead of heading left on the quai d'orsay, i made a right and headed over toward notre dame. this route was also shorter, so i'd need to tack on a loop to reach six miles. but i was also running faster this time around - btwn 8 and 8:15 pace. i've done this run before, and wasn't as interested in sightseeing as getting in the miles (and going to bed). still, running along the seine (night or day) doesn't lose any of its attraction.

this time i was on the river side, and had an awesome view of the musee d'orsay - easily the closest rival to the louvre "as must" see in terms of art collections. in fact, i snapped the photo of l'absinthe drinkers on my blog there (to the consternation of the security guard). not sure if i'll get to go there this time, however. after the musuem, my next objective was pont neuf (ironically named since it's the oldest bridge across the seine) - which may look familiar to jason bourne fans (from his meeting there in the "bourne identity").

i crossed over to the isle d'cite there and headed over to notre dame. even at this hour the place was still littered with tourists! i circled around and reached the 2 mile mark at ponte de l'arche veche' - fitting bookend to the ponte neuf at the other end of the island. i toyed with the idea of heading over to ile st. louis, but skipped it. instead, back on the left bank, i went downstairs to the waters edge and ran there until it was time to head back to blvd. st. germain via blvd. st. michel. this was tricky terrain because of the cobblestones - but it was also fun to run so close to the water.

however, st. michel wasn't the smartest choice because that was easily the most crowded (and cigarette smoke choked) place of the run. the 100's of students and tourists milling around there made for a tough bit of zig-zagging during this crowded stetch. equally busy, and not fun, was the stretch of st. germain along the movie theatre row (odeon). again, busy and smoke-filled is the most charitable description. the pitfalls of urban running? i should have gone back along a different route.

as i finished mile 4, i knew that i'd need to run past my hotel back down to the quai d'orsay for another part of a loop. but once past that busy stretch of st. germain, the blvd emptied and it was fun again. i reached 5 miles just before the turn for a second loop. i was headed back to the musee d'orsay (but this time on the same side of the street). just past the musuem, i made a right turn and headed back to my hotel via the rue de bac. i finished the run in just under 50 minutes - at a much faster, and less interupted, pace than the day before.

i seriously doubt that i'll do any more running at night on this trip. i have plans for both tonight and tomorrow night, so won't even have the opportunity to try it again. and, since i slept (very) late this morning, today's run will have to be in the afternoon. luckily, it's finally sunny outside! so what better reason is there to get out there for a few miles? tomorrow, hopefully, i'll get the miles in during a morning run.


Anonymous said...

Paris is SO worth a day-time run. Paris is the best (... or rather a close second behind London, ... which rocks). The rich history, the beautiful architecture and the buzz make it great doesn't it?

I love running abroad and I always bring my running-shoes whenever I go to a conference.

Enjoy your stay there!

johnking said...

those pictures are awesome! Enjoy paris Frank!