Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Yes. Because that is all I can do right now. My injury finally seems to be getting a little bit better, but I still cannot run. It has been over 8 weeks. So to stay in shape and to keep sane, I have been going to spinning classes twice a week, and it is great fun ! A good workout, a great sweat session, nice rythme and music, I love it ! It is the perfect cross training !

Unfortunately, a lot of time has passed, and I have lost a lot of stamina, so I think I am gonna have to forfait the Paris marathon. It makes me really sad, but it seems like I got this injury because I increase my mileage too fast in the first place, so rushing my training for my first marathon seems like it would be the best way to get even more badly injured. The good thing is that we also signed-up for the half in March, and I still have hope that I will be able to run this. I am hoping to start running again (but just a little and very slow) by next week, and start the training in about 3 weeks, while still enjoying my spinning classes !

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Injuries suck...

As planned yesterday, I did go on a short and slow (veeery slow) run today. And even though I alternated running and walking and ran only 2 miles, I still have a pretty bad pain in my right calf. Actually, it was not so bad during the run (otherwise I would have stopped) but now, a couple hours later, it is pretty bad. So I went online and found that apart from rest and ice, most people use calf sleeves and compression socks, and it seems to work really well (and it also relieves shin splints, which I get a lot of). So tomorrow, we will go to our favorite running store and get my some of those. It's great, because it gives me a little hope that I will be able to run again before 2012 !

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Two weeks. I haven't been able to run for 2 weeks. It feels like 2 months. I used to think of some of the runs as a chore, but now I am at that point where I miss running. I really do.

The pain is almost gone from my calf, but not completely, so I will try to go for a very gentle run / walk tomorrow. I tried to rest as much as I could during those 2 weeks but I still did a fair amount of walking (I usually do), and I also went to the gym a couple times to keep my muscles in shape (lifting weights and biking).  It is really frustrating to sit here not able to run and see the days go by and the start of the training plan getting closer and closer. It starts next week and I should be running 15 miles. I probably won't be running that much, but I am excited to start running again tomorrow. And to get back in the grove, I planned a nice long workout at the gym tonight, followed by a nice long sit in the hot tub.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Marathon training

I have had many ups and downs since I started running. Actually I started running many times... and yes after a while I would drop it... Mind you I always has a good reason : too much work, being sick, moving places, changing job, and lately even free diving ! But I always come back to it. And this time, I have given myself a huge goal to achieve to make sure I won’t drop out : we have signed up for the Paris marathon next year in April ! I am really excited and training really hard for it ! Of all these years of running on and off, I’ve always only managed to run up to 3 or 4 miles, on a flat course. This time, after 2 months, I am running 4 times a week on a hilly course and up to 9 miles at a time. I am still running very slow, but al least, I am running... I am so proud of myself ! Although I have to say that to get there, I had some help... A few months ago, I bought myself a little contraption that records all my runs ! The sensor goes in my shoe and the receptor on my mp3 player, and all my runs are recorded on a website for me ! It also gives me my split times, my pace, distance, etc... It makes me accountable for my runs and it is (for me) a huge motivation to see all these miles that I log every week !

Apart from this little gadget, the most precious thing I have learned in the last few months, is the power of your mental. Your brain is ultimately the one that can make you stop even though you still have the energy to keep going. Especially when you are a beginner, you brain will tell you over and over something like “this is too hard, you should just stop and go home, enjoy a nice comfy couch and a cold drink !”. And until you stop listening to it, your legs will believe it and running will be the toughest thing you have ever done. But once you learned to change that message your brain plays repeatedly, you can use that trick to your advantage. You will come up with a few mantras and sentences that will give you a bigger boost than any energy drink !

Unfortunately you will meet a few setbacks in your training : fatigue, sickness, sometimes injury. I just stretched a muscle in my calf last week, which has been keeping me from running this week. I will give it another couple days before I go back out there. The annoying thing when you are starting to run again after an injury, is that you have to seriously cut back your distances and take it really easy, so I basically have to go back to running just a few miles at a time. Luckily, the proper training for the marathon hasn’t started yet, I am still in the pre-training phase. So from next week, I will take you along my runs and share with you the evolution of my training and my weekly mileage.

I know it is a bit of a change of direction for this blog, but I can’t really be much more minimalist than I am now, since I don’t even have a house ;-) My husband and I are now living at his parents with just a few boxes of the stuff we sent from Thailand. We bought a house that we are rehabbing with the intention of renting it out. Then in January, we are leaving to France for a year to volunteer on organic farms. I will keep you posted on this obviously but in the meantime, most of the posts will be about my running training. I guess it is relevant after all : can you think of a more minimalist sport than running ?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

People change


As we are getting ready to leave Thailand in about a month, we start to look back on those last 7 years. What we did, what we would do differently now, what we want to do, and how we have changed. On the latter, I just realized yesterday how different I am from the person who arrived here 7 years ago. It all started from a sentence I told the Husband yesterday : “I am happy to quit smoking, I can give up my wine, but damn I won’t stop running”. This may sound to you like a weird sentence, but see, we just started our freediving course last week. So now you understand about the smoking and drinking. But why running ? Well, freediving is a very demanding sport (I will come back to this on a later post) and, especially at the beginning, you should avoid any activity that would create lactic acid in your muscles, keeping you from being able to completely relax in the water. So my coach has been urging me to stop running. Now to understand how this sentence is so strange coming from me, you need to meet me 7 years ago : young party animal, chain smoker (French in a word), absolute meat lover, night owl, and against any type of exercise. And here I am today : vegetarian, non smoker, very occasional drinker, early riser and freediving everyday while preparing for a marathon ! If somebody would have told me 7 years ago, that I would ever say such a sentence, I would have never believed it.

As I was re-reading my very first post in this blog, I realized that I have achieved one of my very goals, to simplify my life. While we were getting ready to move out of the country, we went through all our stuff. After 2 weeks of work, we finally got rid of most of it, and ended up with 6 boxes of personal belongings that we sent to the US and about 2 bags of traveling items. It is like starting from scratch, we now own a few objects, books and souvenirs, everything useless was discarded or donated. But most of all I feel like I have simplified my way of life : I have cut out the heavy drinking and smoking, drastically cut down on meat, and I am now following a healthy diet based on whole foods and produces, while exercising 4 to 5 times a week. I will be leaving Asia much lighter than I arrived !

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Zen of Asia ?

I came to Thailand to enjoy a simpler and easier life.
After 7 years of working in diving, the Man and I were running a dive shop. It was great except I ended up with more responsibilities and stress than when I was working in a business bank in Paris.
No life, no time to dive, socialize or have friends, write on my blog, exercise, or even read a book, just work. We would come home at night and crash in front of the TV. Every night. Every now and then I would go out and blow off steam at the local bar and come home at 4am, plastered. Then our few days off would be spent doing the chores around the house, shopping and catching up with our errands, or, after the nights out, just lying in bed feeling like I was gonna die.
I am reclaiming my life now. I have resigned my position as a manager and we have decided to leave Thailand. No idea what we will do next and that is the fun of it. The whole world is opened to us, we just have to grab it now. Well, not exactly now. Before we leave, we have decided to take a few months to enjoy Asia. We have already taken a tour on the motorbikes down the South of the country, went to see our friends in Koh Tao, and started exercising everyday again. We are getting married in 2 weeks, and then we have planned a honeymoon in Nepal (1 month), maybe a short trip to Myanmar, and then a whole month of free diving. 
Some days are really busy with organizing everything, and some days are quite lazy. But we try to squeeze in exercise just about everyday. I am back on track...