The Little French English Improvement Project

little french person trying to improve her english, little french english person trying to improve herself, french english person trying to improve a little bit… and blogging along the way. (Now in Deutschland)

Posts Tagged ‘running’


Posted by Alice Challet - alicethefrog on October 5, 2012

Looking elegant at the finish line.

Am I simply a moaner, do I always have to be ill in some way to find something to write? I hope not. It is just a coincidence I tell you. Or, well, maybe it also has to do with bedrest boredom. Anyway, my annual bout of bad cough has arrived, so: time to write! And since I am stuck at home and cannot currently do physical exercice, I will just have to write about it. And it occurs to me I still have not had the time to tell you about the Great North Run

It was, to use my lately discovered new adjective, amazeballs. I could also use stupendous, overwhelming, flabbergasting… but I like to use new words for new experiences, and I had a very emphatic and verbose teacher at school. Mind you, a typing glitch has just handily created exaggeramazing. That works.

And it was, it really was.  Even at mile 11 when I got a jelly-baby induced stitch. People were shouting at me to carry on. “Go Chef, nearly there!” And then the Red arrows to greet us as we all ran down lizard lane. Finding out I could hobble just that little bit faster than poor brave amazeballs Tony the Fridge could run with all these people talking to him (check him out). Ice pops and orange slices and even a beer stand. All the multicoloured charity T-shirts, wigs, baloons and yes, Oompa-Loompa costumes. A banana flying overhead and nearly hitting a passer by on the Tyne bridge. So many little big things adding up to bigger big things adding up to my oddly mathematical GNR.

And also, because I will never be able to say it enough, thanks to all the amazing people who helped me raise more than £650 for Alzheimer’s Society. It really means so much to me and to Chef, although she doesn’t really know it.

I cannot wait to do it again! But in the meantime, cows and pigs and tractors and lots and lots of farmers to look forward to.


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Units, conversions. How big is the Great North Run?

Posted by Alice Challet - alicethefrog on September 14, 2012

Now I am no mathematician, figures and numbers always take for ever to register in my mind. So usually in order to comprehend any statistic that gets thrown my way, I bring it back to something I know. Growing up between French and English culture, I have had to do this all my life. 1 mile is 1,6 kilometres. £1 equals approximately ten francs. Or 1,65 euros. Ounces and pounds to grammes, yards to metres,  Fahrenheit to Celcius…

It is the same thing when it comes to demographics. I was raised in a very small village in the middle of nowhere. Growing up, I moved from village to town to city, from school to high school to Uni, moving to ever bigger places, groups and communities. Inevitably, every time you get to a new place, someone will helpfully bombard you with information and tell you how many people live, learn or work there.  Now like I said, numbers are not my forte. I have as much difficulty picturing a population in millions as you would a travel distance in bolts, cubits, furlongs or megalithic yards.

So I bring those figures back to my village-girl level. I have my own special demographics unit: the Chaméane. How many times would my village population have to be duplicated to make as many people. A Fokker airplane would fit most of my disgruntled village neighbours. My high school in Clermont was about 16 Chaméanes. The total number of people working and studying at the University of Regensburg last year was 165 and a bit Chaméanes, you could fit 10 times my village in the biggest lecture theatre.

And in three, no, two days, I’ll be taking part in the Great North Run. 54 to 55 thousand people. Have not tried converting that into Chaméanes yet, but it will be so many I might have to find another, better unit… 2,5 Universität Regensburg? 25 or 26 times my high school? I have seen pictures of the startline, crowd stretching as far as the eye can see.  It will be massive I can’t wait.

PS: I am running for Alzheimer’s SOciety. Sponsor me here

PPS: Great North Run ≈ 3,2 x Chaméane2

Posted in England, France, Great North Run, Life, Sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Half-marathons and musicals; singing my way to the Great North Run.

Posted by Alice Challet - alicethefrog on November 11, 2011

I am dreadfully exhausted, completely kaputt, one might even say bloody knackered. That is because, ladies and gentlemen, I have now gone officially bonkers and have embarked on a project bigger, greater than any other I have ever mentioned here: I have picked up running.

Now you may think this is a bit of an anticlimax, and the most attentive among you (or possibly those with the greatest amount of spare time) may already be aware of my recent acquisition of a pair of running shoes. Since that day I have been trying to go out running every now and again, but nothing especially awe-inspiring. However now I have decided to take part in the biggest, most amazing, mind-blowingly great half-marathon of them all: the Bupa Great North Run. Maybe you’ve heard of it? 54000 runners, millions raised for charity every year. I think it’s awesome.  And what’s more, the finish line is just next to where my auntie Hilary lives. I’ll only have to run a few hundred metres further to get a shower and collapse on a comfortable settee with a nice cuppa (and possibly with both feet in a bucket of cold water).

But in order to get any of this, the first thing I need to do is actually reach said finishing line! I signed up on this “Take to the Streets” website I’d heard of which generated a lovely, very reasonable looking training plan, bought a pair of reasonable track suit bottoms and got running. Except it appears that unlike my outfit I myself am not reasonable, and struggle to keep to the official training plan.

It tells me: You’ll be running about three times a week for the next year or so. We’ll be starting gently: first week, do 5 – 10 mins easy run/walk. So I went out running and came back quite a while later, calculated the distance; 5k, not mad. Second week, maybe de 10-15 min easy walk/run.  Ok, so I felt quite good doing 5k, why shouldn’t I try doing a bit more. I came back 1hour and 9k later. Third week, you want to get used to your new rhythm, so do something similar to last week, 10-15min easy run/walk. I did 10k, got lost and somehow got home an hour and a half later. I don’t think I’ll be going quite  this far every single time I put on my sneakers – I simply don’t have the time – , but I also can’t imagine the use of  sticking to “10-15min easy run/walk” either.  So my plan is: whenever I get an automated reminder saying  “run”, I might just go the extra mile (or two, literally). Does that sound good? Are there any expert opinions out there?

So now I have just added something else to my already busy timetable (lessons, aikido/kickboxing, writing, exploring, going out culinary experimentation – latest to date: savoury muffins filled with feta cheese spinach olives and parma ham-…). And I don’t even like running that much! When I was at school I couldn’t stand even the idea of any form of physical exertion. I am getting better, but still going out running when one could stay nice and warm in bed… You need something to keep you going. What does the trick for me is west end and broadway musicals. I have heaps of them stocked onto my mp3 player. Admittedly it can be a bit of a bummer when you reach a hill, it’s raining and suddenly “Lost in the darkness” comes on…You just have to skip.  But just imagine, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on a bright sunny morning… just what you need to help you beat your personal best. The only really tough bit is not to burst into song and start tap dancing on the way.

There are auditions these days at the Uni for some sort of musical… maybe I should sign up. I really have too much free time 😉

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