Sunday, August 5, 2012

Running in Biarritz

I didn't get as much running in this weekend as I'd like.  Yesterday I ran 8.05 miles at a leisurely pace and I was hoping for a long run of ~12 miles today to finish off the week with 5 days of running and 2 of swimming.  Sadly, I turned off my alarm and promptly fell back asleep and slept until after 9am.  Unfortunately, it is too hot this time of year in TX to run if I do not get up quite early in the morning, so there was no chance of making it up.  Boo.  But, I desperately needed the sleep.  I think what I have realized is that I cannot run both mornings on the weekend, and I should move one of my swim days from the weekday to the weekend.  That would allow me to sleep in one day, because I can't swim until after 10am (when the pool opens) anyways.  Solid plan for next week, hopefully I can execute it.

I did have the extreme pleasure of watching the women's Olympic marathon this morning, which was awesome!  I DVRed it and watched every minute.  It is so rare for marathons to be broadcast on tv, so it was a treat.  I was sad for Desiree Davila, who is my fav of the three US women.
Desiree Davila, my facebook friend! (That is actually true)

So one of the reasons I lapsed on the blog was a work conference extended to vacation trip to France in June.  I was attending an engineering conference in Biarritz, France for one week, and afterwards met up with Boyfriend to take a week and a half to explore some other places in western Europe.  I ran the whole time I was there, as that is something I love to do when I am in new places, and the running was actually great.  I had come from TX where it was already in the high 90s everyday to european temps in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Biarritz is in the southwestern corner of France, bordering Spain.
It is a very small and pretty seaside resort.  It is known for gambling, golf and surfing.  The coastline is very dramatic here and the city is small and walkable, with most of it along the sea.

Surfers, heading down to the beach
It was a great place to run!  I did six runs while here, starting with the first afternoon I arrived.  I either ran along the sea wall or around the two lakes in Biarritz.  The sea wall route took me past all the major attractions and tourist center, including the former palace of Napoleon the III (now a very expensive hotel), up to the lighthouse, and into the next town.
There aren't many pictures with me in them because I was traveling solo

View of the main beach, casino, Hotel Napoleon & Lighthouse
I stayed in a cute little hotel (Hotel Eduoard VII), which was a converted home and has 18 rooms and a beautiful salon where breakfast was served daily.  It was only a 6 minute walk from the convention center and main beach.

my Hotel

You can see the convention center on the left, which had gorgeous ocean views
Although I really enjoyed running along the sea wall, it was always a little crowded and I enjoy variety in my runs.  So, I used google maps to spot some nearby (within 2 miles from my hotel) lakes, which dirt paths around them.  I ran there half the time.  This took me towards the non-tourist center of Biarritz, which was a fresh perspective and it was always very quiet.  Sadly no pictures, because I do not run with a camera.

Dramatic rock outcroppings

Overall, I really enjoyed Biarritz.  It was quaint, pretty, walk-able and the running was a nice way to see so much of the city!  The terrain was very varied, along the sea it was quite hilly, but in the town center much flatter.  If you find yourself in SW France, definitely check it out and go for a run!

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