Le Semi de Paris | The Paris Half-Marathon

imag1184I have attended the Parish Half-Marathon in March 2016 and I consider it one of the most prestigious running events that I’ve been part of, so far. I’ve finished the race in a rather mediocre 1h 40’, but from my point of view, the most important thing was taking part in this wonderful event and I will be sharing all the details about the race below:

 

But first, the city

Paris doesn’t need any introduction and definitely not from me. I’ve only stayed in Paris for a total of four days, during the period in which the Paris Half-Marathon took place (its official name is Fitbit Semi de Paris or Le semi-marathon international de Paris).

However, in the days before the race and a bit after, I had the chance to wonder around the streets and visit the most popular landmarks (the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, the Arc de Triomph, Notre Dame, walk on the banks of river Seine, etc.). And it was splendid. Plus the energy that this city transmits is incredible and contagious.

Like I do imag0864in any new city, in my first day there I went for a short run in order to get my muscles moving a bit and to get to know the city, or at least parts of it. I had to be careful so that I wouldn’t tire myself too much with the running and the visiting and make sure that I will be in top shape on race day.

But I won’t go in too much detail regarding the city. It is all so known to everyone and it is better if you go there and discover it on your own. I will just point out two more important aspects:

  1. The people there were great. They engaged in conversation and they were really nice to me, which might be against the popular opinion, that the French or the Parisians are a bit…arrogant. I did however spoke only in French while I was there, so this might have counted a lot in their eyes.
  2. The security. France was and still is in a declared state of emergency. This means that you see police and army patrols on the streets and when you try to enter a museum for example, you get a full security check, like you would in an airport. This made me feel both safe & unsafe in some way.

The race

Now let’s get to the race, because that’s why I’m here for.

The races in Paris will always be a big attraction for runners all across the globe. And even though not so many records are set there, compared to Berlin or Boston for example, there are still plenty elite runners taking part each year, ready to push through that 1 hour mark.
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Sott Jurek’s “Eat & Run” | book review

13202092Since it’s a slower time of the year and perhaps you might be looking for something to read while you’re home, enjoying a Christmas dinner and nice glass of red wine, get cozy and grab this awesome book that will take you through a whole new world of running…and eating.

Scott Jurek

The book „Eat & Run” was written by Scott Jurek, one of the most succesfull ultra-marathon runners of all times. Not only he won the toughest races on earth(from Badwater to the Spartathon), but he also represented the US in multiple international running competitions.

I’ve heard about Scott Jurek in another book, „Born to run”, which I’ll be reviewing as well and I highly recommend. But in that book, I imagined him as that all-star-nose-in-the-air-super-runner, that comes from a rich family and probably had a scholarship and had it all set in order to become the fantastic runner that he is. However, from the first pagest of his book, I was proven wrong.
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Count those calories

fotolia_1975513_xsWeight loss

Recently I’ve suffered a small loss in weight and this made me re-direct my focus to my daily calories intake.

Normally I am very thorough in respect to the calories that go in my body on a daily basis and I have been using an app to track down and count my daily intake for almost two years now. However, in the past few weeks, due to the craziness that was going on at work, plus my busy schedule and the longer runs that I’ve been puttin up lately, I’ve gotten a bit behind and I immediately saw the effect. Now I have to work even harder and get back on track and reach my ideal weight where I can have the best running performance.

How many?

So how many calories do you need on a daily basis?

I for one use a combination of maths, technology and intuition to come up with an estimate, which I will share below, but what you need to understand is that this can never be 100% accurate. It depends on a multitude of variables and it differs from one person to another. But I will do my best to share everything I know about this from my own experience and from as many scientifically proven facts as possible.

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The quest of a hundred medals

imag1388 About the challenge

The quest of a hundred medals is a challenge I’ve started which, as the name states, will take me on a journey around the globe in my quest to run a total of 100 races.

Now, since I can only run around 15 races per year, and that’s an average of more than one race per month, this challenge becomes a long-term commitment, which hopefully will give me the chance to visit new and exciting places and run in all kinds of races, from fast 5Ks to long marathons, ultra-marathons and trail runs.

I will be sharing every step of this amazing journey with you guys, from trainings & workouts, to race reviews and well-documented research, but also a lot of cool stories from my adventures and lots of shared experiences with and from other runners.

Won’t start from zero

I have to say that I will not be starting this challenge from scratch. I’ve been running competitively for quite a while now, but even so, I will not be counting all the medals and awards. However, I will start counting the medals which I’ve got in the past year and go on from there. Thus I will be starting the challenge from the count of 9, ergo 91 more to go…Yupii!
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A rainy run in Manchester

Running in the rain

At the beginning of 2016 I had the chance of spending a couple of weeks in Manchester on a work assignment and even though I couldn’t find any races in that period to sign up for, I still took my running equipment with me and took this opportunity to run around the city.

Running is one of my favorite ways of discovering a new city. I love getting out the door into the unknown and just picking a direction and then enjoying a good run while I get to know the new city, admire its architecture, learn the streets, do some sightseeing and interact with the locals. And Manchester was no different.

I am not a morning runner, especially during weekdays when I must be in the office rather early. But I’ve learned to adapt and to really enjoy running in the evenings and late at night. I haven’t changed my style while I was in England either, but what surprised me was that the people there aren’t evening or night runners. In the entire period that I’ve spent there, I only met a group of three runners during a cold and windy night. The rest, 90% of the runners, at least from what I saw, are morning runners. Every morning on my long commute to work I saw countless runners hitting the wet streets of Manchester, from as early as 6 AM and continuing until 8-9 in the morning.

I have always admired the people who run in the morning, but I admire the runners in Manchester even more, since the mornings there in February & March are so grim, cold and wet that it’s hard to imagine how would one motivate himself/herself to hit the road…simply impressive!
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