June running – day 1 lost in France

French roundabout
French roundabout art

So running every day in June has to be easier than running in December – yes ?

Well I certainly thought so , and true the long days mean you have more time and inclination to get out and run, but it turns out June, like December can be a pretty busy month. I had not really factored in work commitments or that June in Scotland is end of term time, and so as a parent and fully paid up member of ‘big society’, as it was in December there are various shows and socials to go to.

But thinking back to December when running daily often meant getting myself out of bed to the inky blackness of Scottish midwinter mornings; lycra on, heading out into  deserted streets of icy pavements and below zero temperatures, I was sure running each day in June would be a breeze.

So it turns out that on June 1st I was going to be in France on business ( I work for a holiday company,) this meant I could not start the challenge with my fellow ‘challengee’ and ace running supporter Alison. But on the upside I could do my first run in different surroundings and that always adds to the fun.

I was visiting campsites in Brittany, and the weather had been really quite good . On the previous day I had gone on a lovely morning run along the waterfront at Benodet with my work colleague Claire. Claire is a recent convert to running and although struggling with a head cold was persuaded by me of the medicinal benefits of running off illness.

Benodet beach
Evening in Benodet
benodet run
Dayglo in Benodet

We did a nice easy run along the town in the earlyish morning , just a pity this was May 31st !

Last night of May we were staying overnight at a campsite at St Cast – an elegant little seaside town in Brittany- the campsite is perched right on the coast with views across the bay and is surrounded by little coves. The weather had been so warm that on Thursday evening we had sat outside watching the sun go down, so I was looking forward to running the next day.

On the morning of June 1st I woke early to see, well not very much as it happens, as there was a sea fog, and where the night before you could easily see out to the bay, today I could barely see 20 metres ahead .

St Cast evening view

I don’t have  a problem with poor weather, in fact I much prefer running when it is too cold rather than too hot, but visibility is useful, and more so when I had been planning on taking a route that used the coast as a marker. My sense of direction is pretty rubbish, so the likelihood of me getting lost in the fog in France was feeding my imagination.

I had to do the run in the morning as we had a busy day travelling, and would not be back home in Edinburgh until after 11pm, so I thought I better get out and get this challenge on the road!

Claire promised to have breakfast ready for my return and said ( only half in jest ) that she would send out a search party if I failed to return.

Misty St Cast beach

Once out despite the fog, it was quite pleasant and not really cold, so I set the Nike plus for 3 miles and headed off towards the town. As the campsite is on the top of a cliff , unless I could come up with an out and back route along the coast I was going to have to face a steep hill back, and I do try  and avoid a hill at the end of a run if I can. So I took a route into the town, running past lots of chic little Breton houses and passing the market setting up for the day, but I was feeling quite sluggish and getting nowhere near my required half way point to make my agreed distance of 3 miles.  I was wary of heading too far away from recognisable landmarks, so turned round and after a bit saw a sign for a beach and headed towards it.

I liked the idea of running down to the beach as this would be quite different from most of my runs in Edinburgh. The path led to a tree covered avenue of sorts before opening up to a narrow track. Then to get to the beach I had to negotiate  some quite steep steps ( hardly running at this point) . It was quite magical as when you got to sea level the mist lifted and as there was no one else around it made for quite a special start to the June challenge.

I took a few pictures including several rubbish attempts at self portrait, and in the process switched off my Nike plus ( sometimes technology and me are not good companions). I then had to get myself back up to the campsite as we had lots to do and before Claire sent out a search party. I tried running across the sand which is quite hard work, and then contemplated running up the steps , but after the first few decided against it.

Got back to the campsite with a mixture of running, walking and stopping to take pics, and delighted to have day 1 completed.

Footnote

This challenge is a self invented one , but I am following a similar set of rules  to the December Marcothon which was to complete 3miles or 25 mins, but being the first day I was disappointed to find that I had  officially only covered 1.83 miles even although I had been moving for longer than 25 mins. In my haste to get the pictures at the beach  I had switched off the NIke app and only restarted once I was running in the campsite.

It was bugging me that I had not completed 3 miles and during the return journey including a delay at Stansted was contemplating how to make up the missing 1.17 miles

I got home to Edinburgh just after 11pm and it was a lovely June evening – so I briefly said hello to him indoors and despite incredulous looks -swiftly put on my running shoes to get my required mileage. A quick circuit round the block gave me an extra 1.41 miles which I urgently posted to Facebook at 11.59 to get my 3miles in the bag on day 1.

st Cast cafe
Chocolate chaud

Day 1 Total mileage 3.24

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