With exceptionally bad timing, my marathon training clinic and my 2.5 week trip to the south of France started on the same day. I am pretty sure drinking wine and eating piles of cheese is not what my clinic had in mind for the first two weeks of our training. Seriously, our cheese consumption has been off the charts.
That said, I am still attempting to do some physical activity on this trip so that I don’t return home as a lifeless blob. Today, my husband and I went on a run in Toulouse. Before we left, I did some research and discovered that Toulouse has a great trail for cycling or running called the Canal du Midi. This canal, which runs 150 miles through the south of France, was built in the 17th century to allow ships to avoid sailing around the Iberian peninsula. Today, it is lined with tall trees and inhabited by houseboats and it is the perfect place to run.
It was a beautiful run. The path is all kinds of terrain – mostly paved, but at times cobblestone and also a bit of dirt trail. It is mostly shaded because of the tall trees and it was breezy making it ideal running conditions despite the 29 degree heat.
I thought I was being ultra smart by packing my Nike+ GPS sport watch so we could track our distance but unfortunately I left the shoe pod in another pair of shoes. (Argh. #RunnerProblems). So all we had to track our run was a stopwatch. Given our less than ideal diet and general lack of exercise over the last few days, I generously estimated we ran about 5:40- 6 minutes/km putting us somewhere between 8.5 and 9.5 km given our time.
We celebrated our first bit of exercise of the trip with a very fitting lunch at a French cafė where we dined on Croque Monsieurs, salad and a creme brûlée for dessert.
We’re continuing our journey in the south of France tomorrow heading to Carcassonne and then Aix en Provence. Hopefully we’ll find more interesting places to run so we can burn off some of the calories we’re consuming in delicious French cuisine.