Thursday, 18 August 2011

59-69. St Cyprian, France

We're back from our holiday in France.  We had a great time, the weather was hot and breezy and Jake kept his blood sugar in check by sampling various ice creams (bubble-gum flavour was his favourite) and swimming in both the pool and the sea.  I read "Born to Run" and it was fantastic - very inspiring.

Any doubts I had about the feasibility of running in the area were eroded as we approached the campsite.  On each side of the road were these cycle/bridle paths - ideal for running routes, and I was able to try out a few routes - some planned, others made up on the hoof, so to speak.  I also switched them around to allow for time for all three of us, ensuring that whilst the runs were undertaken every day, I remembered that the reason we were away was for a family holiday.

Along these bridle paths were all kinds of apparatus for stretching, hurdles etc - a real runner's paradise.  I exchanged a few "Bonjour's" with my fellow runners.  Some replied, some didn't.  I spotted one, wearing a Newcastle United top, who said a hearty "Bonjour" and I replied "Hi there" - he then turned at me surprised that I recognised him as a Brit  - come on...who else would wear that top?

On the first day, I trotted out at around 5pm, and got lost on what I thought was the return leg of a 6.3 mile loop.  Finding myself in the middle of nowhere with no phone or money wasn't the best start.  My limited French would be useless as well, so just like Forrest Gump...I kept running. After getting my bearings, remembering that traffic approaches from the opposite side of road.  I also had to remind myself that I was lost, with no money, no phone, a very basic grasp of the language.  All I had was basic common sense, internal compass and 2 eyes to read the road signs. I eventually found my way home albeit an extra 30 mins longer, but played it cool and told Carolyn and Jake it was "All part of the plan"...

I have to say that the Helly Hansen top worked a treat for the duration of the holiday - leaving me nice an cool, either running in the morning or evening it kept the sun off and most of all - dry.  Thanks once again to Jax @ Helly Hansen for sending me the free running wear - it worked wonders when I needed it to.

My first Injury of the challenge was a nipple related injury, a combination of sunburn, and chaffing from the New Balance top, when the HH top was hung out to dry.  The pain was so bad this morning that I ran in just a pair of shorts and trainers for this morning's run along to the port and back along the beach.  I felt a bit of a charlie and a show off, but needs-must and there were plenty of others doing the same who were show off's and charlies. Macho Man, indeed.  There will be none of that back in blighty, I promise.

Here are the runs, which were tracked on a scrap of paper:

08/08 Run 59 : 9.3 miles - I got lost!
09/08 Run 60 : 6.2 miles
10/08 Run 61 : 6.6 miles
11/08 Run 62 : 6.6 miles
12/08 Run 63 : 6.3 miles
13/08 Run 64 : 6.3 miles
14/08 Run 65 : 6.8 miles
15/08 Run 66 : 6.2 miles
16/08 Run 67 : 6.3 miles
17/08 Run 68 : 6.9 miles
18/08 Run 69 : 6.2 miles (Bare Chest Cheek...)

I got a message from Gareth, where he had it confirmed that his fracture is actually a break and the cast needs to stay on for another couple of weeks.  I know he can run the 13.1 of the Great North backwards and still get a decent time.  He texted me last night to say he's defied the Doctor's orders and undertaken a 5 mile run and felt great - good on you Pal!

I'd like to say a big thanks to my big sister Lucy for her sterling work in spreading the word via Twitter of my campaign.  I've had recent donations from her friends Jane and Fran, and Lucy's been great in spreading the word - thanks for your support!

So there we have it.  One of the most challenging sections of the 100 runs challenge so far and it's back to running in Saddleworth until Weds, when we are visiting Carolyn's Mum in Limerick with Pat's family for a week.

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