Archive for Argentan half-marathon

semi de Boulogne [1:29:33, 1243/8134, M5M 6/206, 8⁰+rain]

Posted in pictures, Running with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2022 by xi'an

First time back to the Boulogne half-marathon since 2008! With clearly a much degraded time, albeit better than the previous race in Argentan. The route has changed, with a longer part in the Bois de Boulogne, sharing the road with the hordes of Sunday cyclists that pile up loops at high speed. But still a very fast one (with a record at 1:00:11 in 2013). The number has alas considerably increased since my last visit, with 9800 registrations, which makes running in the first kilometers a challenge with hidden sidewalks, parked cars and moppets, &tc. And a permanent difficulty in passing other runners, especially on a rainy day. (The only good side was being protected from headwinds.) Once on the road by the Seine River, I managed to pass a large group conglomerated around a (1:30) pace setter and moved at my own speed, till Km16 when I started to tire and realise I was alas missing some volume of training (as running in NYC was only a slow-paced jogging). Hence wasting about a minute on the final four kilometers… (Jogging back after the race to my car, parked 3km away, proved rather painful!) As the 1:30 time was my upper limit, I am still reasonably fine with the result (and the 4’14” per km) and hope I can train harder for the next race.

a journal of the [experienced] plague and pestilence year

Posted in Books, Kids, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2022 by xi'an

Read The Cybernetic Tea Shop, by Meredith Katz, which is a short and rather clever (if YA) novel about the hazy boundary between humans and humanoids. Plus involving tea addicts! (Which is presumably why Amazon suggested it to me following my reading A Psalm for the Wide Built). And further read over a few sleepless nights the terrible Isandor series starting with City of Strife, by Claudie Arseneault, which had an interesting built of characters and fantasy universe, only to collapse into the usual cracks of super-evil villeins, a massive imbalance of power and a focus on the mundane (like foods and romantic attractions) when their society is under attack. The writing style is also heavily handed, to the point that I found myself skipping more and more paragraphs as the story unfolded. And will definitely not consider the incoming volume.

Went smoothly through my first (?) COVID positivity, which only caused a mild fever over one single day, amidst common cold symptom. Luckily did not pass it to anyone in my immediate vicinity, and resumed running if not swimming almost immediately (if not hard enough to train for the Argentan 1/2 marathon!). But sadly missed the 800th anniversary conference in Padova, as I was still testing positive the day before. I may have gotten infected in Britain or Belgium, despite my constant use of a mask (except in restaurants!).

Watched three more episodes of House of the Dragon, with great characters but a definitive lack of scope (when compared with Game of Thrones). The story remains at a highly local level of power fights and bickering, with existential threats inexistent. Still relatively enjoyable.

semi d’Argentan [1:36:54, 29/180, M5M 2/14, 19⁰]

Posted in pictures, Running with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2022 by xi'an

After a long break (since 2018), I ran my “traditional” half-marathon in Argentan, Normandy. As the new organisation of the race had not contacted former participants and had changed their webpage, I only heard about it a week before the race and hence had not trained at all for the distance, plus had a fairly busy September with morning classes and the like, hence was not in such a great shape compared with the end of the Summer. As a result I did not do great, with my second worst time ever (the worst being my first half in 1995, with only two weeks of preparation) and not even a first place in my Master category. Despite the number of participants having dwindled from the earlier 600 runners. Which meant a very solitary race as well, with just one runner passing me in the last 12km. And only the Norman field edges to try to escape the headwind…

20 years ago…

Posted in Running with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2020 by xi'an

Antony ½ marathon

Posted in Running with tags , , , on September 27, 2020 by xi'an

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