While in France, I had some interesting running adventures. On the first morning I headed out to do W5D1, which is 3×5 minutes running. Pete’s mum walked with me for the first five minutes, to point me in the right direction. We took a grassy path around the ruined chateau, and she said if you carry on this way you come to the arc de triomphe, then turn left on to the road, and take the next left which will bring you back down to the house. That sounded perfect, and you can see a picture of the arc de triomphe in Pete’s France Diary.
So along I jogged, climbing over a fallen tree, reached the road and turned left on to a 45 degree incline. This went on for some minutes, but I made it to the end of my interval, wishing I had brought some water, as it was considerably hotter than England. I kept my eye out for the road on the left, but other than numerous tracks leading back into the forest, there was no road. I kept on running, knowing I was heading away from the house, until I reached the end of the day’s run, lost in the middle of nowhere. There were a lot of trees, and huge fields of sunflowers, whose faces sniggered and sneered at me in the breeze; there was no sign of the chateau or any road that might lead towards it.
I tried to short cut through a lumber yard, where a huge alsatian made me feel unwelcome, and a man shrugged at me and said quel chateau? which was uninspiring. I retraced my steps back along the road, running some of it just to speed things up, and eventually plunged into the forest along one of the larger tracks. Another farmyard, more sunflowers, no people, no chateau, and the chalky track getting more and more pitted, then at last Pete and his mum walking towards me wondering where on earth I had got to. My app only recorded the official run part of the run, but I did twice that, so the total distance covered that day was about 4.5 miles: a little more than I expected.
W5D2 I headed down through the village and joined the road at a lower point, which of course meant a greater distance of hill. As I headed back down the forest track, a black and white dog joined me. Dogs make me nervous, but this one seemed to be my friend, running in front of me and checking back every now and then to make sure I was still with her. As I approached our house, the door was wide open and the dog headed straight on in.
W5D3, which as you know is the first long 20 minute run with no walks, I failed to make it up the hill. Just knowing there was going to be no respite really did for me. I attempted it again a few days later but tried a totally different route, along an abandoned railway track through the forest. This was entirely flat and shaded by trees, but completely deserted, and booby trapped with massive spider webs at face height. I encountered what I think was a polecat, and another fallen tree, and managed to finish the run, spooked out and on adrenaline.
W6D1 is intervals again so I went back to the hill, with more success this time. I repeated this run a couple of days later, and I had every intention of running somewhere in Paris during our two night stopover, but realising how much ground we would cover on foot just sightseeing, I decided to give it a miss.
Do you have any holiday running tales to share?