After running Lyon before the sun came up yesterday and then Paris as the sun was going down yesterday, this morning I set out to run the City of Lights before it really woke up – and before a big day of work here in the French capital.

I was up early to make sure I could fit in the preparation I needed to do before the morning-long event for work, as well as fit in some quality coffee time here at the hotel before finding my way across the city. I didn’t want to get lost and I couldn’t quite afford the time to make this another sightseeing run around the city so I decided an out-and-back loop along the river would be my best bet.

Leaving the hotel, I quickly found the river and dropped down onto the pathway next to it. This is a cobbled path which, while pretty for tourists, is less than ideal for running in the dark, but I quickly jumped onto the deserted road next to the pathway and kept my tempo up as I moved along the river. There were no other runners out, or at least not down by the river, and I enjoyed the solitude as I listened to the just-downloaded episode of Science of Ultra on my headphones. I watched the islands pass to my left and tried to figure out where I would turn around so as to be back at the hotel in about an hour. When I saw a ramp leading up from the path after about the 4.5 kilometer mark, I decided that was for me.

I crossed the bridge to the Quai D’Orsay then turned left and headed back along the river. This time I didn’t drop down onto the pathway for too long and, by the time I got to the Musee D’Orsay, I was alongside the road again. Luckily the traffic is not heavy at this point in the day so I didn’t have to stop to wait for the traffic at road crossings and kept my rhythm moving along the riverbank. When I got opposite the Cathedral Notre Dame I stopped to snap an early morning picture, then continued on down to Austerlitz before crossing the river again and finding my way the last few hundred meters to the hotel.

It’s a beautiful city and one I would love to be able to explore more in the future. For now, though, it’s time to get dressed, get packed, and get coffee before getting on with a big day of work.

Distance: 10.2km

Elevation: 34m

Time: 51:03


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