Big city heat greets me at 7am – heavy, still air highlights the smell of sewage, rotting fruit and pastries – it must be Paris!
I turn left along Avenue General Leclerc – passing street cleaners, and cafe waiters aligning chairs, all pointing toward the street for the breakfast crowd.
My shirt clings to my body as I reach the intersection of Rue d’Alesia. Not sure which way to go, I notice a woman in running gear walking down d’Alesia, but I continue along Leclerc until I realize it will not be a pleasant run. I retrace my steps and make my way along the quieter Rue d’Alesia. The air seems fresher and fewer cars pass by. Across the street, I see a golden red glow emanating from a Vienoiserie/Boulangerie
luring me in for a café noisette and croissant, but I resist.
Since my route is vague, I scan the side streets for an oasis – et voila! – I see a tree- lined path. Turn right. My goal is to reach the end of the trees and turn around. But to my surprise, I reach a wrought-iron fenced park with a sign: Parc Montsouris.
Entering through the gate, I see a paved path that rises and disappears into the lush trees. Assuming it circles around the island of grass, I almost sprint up the hill making my unplanned-adventure run satisfying since I had forgotten about the heat and heavy air as I figured out my route. A great way to train.
A dramatic statue reminds me that I am running in Paris still training for the Marathon du Medoc, which takes place in less than two weeks.
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Next stop: Villeneuve-Loubet (a high-speed train ride to the South of France).