24 June 2009

Day 33


Champagne!, originally uploaded by Ryan Runs Europe.

39.7 Kilometers.
I woke up around 9:30 and spent the morning running little errands...one of which was going to the fromagerie and trying some of the local brie of Provins. I headed out around 1 pm with a stomach full of brie and baguette, and decided to walk for a bit to allow my food to settle. I didn't make it one kilometer before I started running. Some days it is hard to hit the road...and other days it is hard to hold myself back. This was one of those days. I had a lot on my mind, and nothing clears your head quite like grinding out just shy of a marathon. I love running. It is just me and the road, with no worries but putting one foot in front of the other. The fact that I didn't have a place to sleep didn't even cross my mind. Out on the road on a hot day, alone and in the middle of nowhere...that is where you hit the runner's high. I don't really know if there is a universal feeling of the "runner's high", but for me it comes when I am out alone, simultaneously tired and full of emotions, pounding out stride after stride. Every step involves muscular tension and the pounding of pavement, a mixture of pleasure and pain that I can only relate to Bernini's "Ecstasy of Saint Theresa"...mildly like ripping an arrow out of your chest repeatedly for miles at a time. If you haven't already, I suggest you give it a try.
I got to Nogent-sur-Seine after a 20 km that just sped by. I had originally planned on stopping there, as the itinerary on my website pointed out...but I made most of those decisions arbitrarily one night when I was incredibly sleep deprived, so I decided to keep going to the next town on my list, stopping briefly to check out the church and pick up a snack from the boulangerie.
I arrived in Marigny-le-Châtel a bit after 4, incredibly thirsty. I wandered around in a state of half death, covered in salt grime, until I found the supermarket outside of the town and downed a couple liters of liquid. Feeling a little bit better, I stumbled back into town and wandered around for a while, not really discovering anything. When I was too tired to be on my feet anymore, I returned to the little square in front of the church and sat down. There were two women sitting nearby, so in an attempt to start a conversation, I asked if the church could be visited. They said no. I asked if there was anything interesting to see in the town. They said no. I asked if there was a place I might find the Internet. They said no. After a few more questions of that nature, they asked me where I was coming from, and after telling them my story they were pleased to offer me some help. They had to be somewhere for the evening, but they started calling everyone they knew. After many false leads, they offered to put me into the hotel for the night. It was a bit difficult for me to explain that I couldn't accept, but they understood and continued to try to help me out. We went together to the house of the guy who operates the church (I don't really know what his position was), but he was very reluctant to have a stranger sleeping on the premises. He did offer me a shower though, and the two women left me with him on their way out. Ten minutes later, they returned with news that they had found me a place to sleep, and I went with them to meet Ingrid who had offered to put me up for the night. She brought me back to her house, where I met her family and her husband Philippe, who was quick to introduce me to my first authentic Champagne, on my first day in the region. Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am...or how hospitable people are...or both.
We had a good dinner together, and I spent some time watching TV...mainly American shows dubbed in French. I can't say I understood more than the basic plot, but I enjoyed being off my feet and at a table with some wonderful people. I hit the bed hard.

32 comments:

  1. I don't know how you're running this far without carrying water! Is it just too hard to run with?

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  2. Ryan, a glass of champagne in France,with hospitable people, oh la la! You are a lucky young man to meet such kind people. The people have been so good to you. Thank you everyone..you are awesome!! Signed His worried Mum!

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  3. It is nuts that you are able to constantly find somewhere to sleep. I think people are intriged by what you are doing and want to hear more of the story.

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  4. Awww. Your moms worried about you, how sweet! Hope the good luck remains!

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  5. Pessoal visitem meu blog tambem, vejam as postagens e reportagens que estão a disposição e se afiliem como seguidores tambem.

    Abraços

    Robson

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  6. Awesome photo!.. Brie? omg, I am so jealous.. As far as a 'runner's high'.. I can imagine.. I get the same when I work out on the elipticals and when I know I am close to the end, I can feel the burn ... a sense of accomplishment... my bf will get the same kind of high when he finishes that kilomenter in the ocean against a strong current....

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  7. WOW! I just found your blog. Your determination is inspiring! Your mother is sweet to worry about you.

    Did you train for this?

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  8. Awesome! keep cranking that mileage!!!!

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  9. sorry about spamming, but PLEASE don't remove.

    http://blogfromthebeginning.blogspot.com/

    if anyone comments my blog, I promise I'll post a real, not spam comment on yours!!!

    Thank You :)

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  12. Hey! I'm one of PJs friend's girlfriend...I don't know if you've even met him, Matt Rosenthal. Anyway, he passed your website along to me because I am a runner as well as a fan of crazy shenanigans. Just wanted to say that reading your blog is entertaining, illuminating, cause for thought and often laughter. Count me as a fan and keep on keeping on, you are an inspiration!

    -Sarah

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  13. Ryan,
    Hey, I am a friend of Carina's from school, and what I think that what you are doing is the coolest. I have some connections in Athens, and if you tell me where you are going to be, and I can arrange something.

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  14. Good luck, and keep it up! I ran today .. again.. on a treadmill. You lucky duck you, to be sprinting across Europe! It's really inspiring ;)

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  15. Ryan,
    I travel threw you. The way you explain, I can visualise even thow I've never been. I think that the europeans are kind people and from now on, you will have a roof to sleep under.
    Bonne route!

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  16. Wow - you are doing what I dream to do someday. Run through Europe, but not alone...with my favourite running partner (my husband). We are training for the Fall Marathon in Toronto, Canada. It's crazy hot here these days. I'm going to follow your inspiring blogs. What a great way to explore the world - on foot!

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  18. Ryan, I stumbled across your blog on the "Blogs of Note" and have just spent the last hour enjoying reading about your journey. Your humor, determination and excitement about what you're doing is infectious. And reading about the kindness you have received from total strangers has reminded me how good most people really are. Good luck as you continue on your journey - looking forward to reading about it!

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  19. I find it pretty amazing that somehow you find a place to stay by the end of the day. I would have slept like a baby too after running that much for days.

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  20. Wow, you're an adventurous soul, and lucky too. It must be quite a high for you.

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  21. Fantastic that you stayed with a family that immediately poured Champagne. Yum. This is the one and only blog I follow--what a great trip. And hello to Ryan's mum!

    http://nevercomehome.blogspot.com/

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  22. You're trip is going almost better than I imagined it would go! Although, to be honest, I knew you were going to have an awesome time of it. I'm pretty amazed at how well you're holding up with all the running, maybe you've hit your sweet spot mileage! Hope things continue to be smooth sailing.

    -withall

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  23. awesome day!!!
    it's great how the people you meet are so generous and kind!!
    ~ wishing you all the best from saudi arabia

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  24. This is a very inspirational blog. It seems like you enjoy your running, and your determination is incredible. I find it hard to just go for a jog day to day. Good luck on your journey across Europe. I hope you find many other people as hospitable as these.

    -Chad

    chasm-of-chad.blogspot.com

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  25. I found your blog the other day. I think it's awesome that you are doing something this huge. Most people don't have the courage to get where they want to go. Keep it up, good luck, and enjoy yourself...you're in Europe!!!!

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  26. Ryan- What an inspiration you are! Way to go! I will keep up with your adventures- good luck and be safe!!

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  27. Love your story although I think you're insane for running the distance :) A friend of mine just left Amsterdam for Denmark, I'm on my way to Turkey in 2 weeks, and my best friend is headed to Italy in a month or so!

    I love the hospitality of strangers.


    Shawna's Study Abroad

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  28. I feel like it's fairly hypocritical of the church to feel apprehansive about letting you sleep there.

    I'm glad someone else was a little more hospitable.

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  30. Hope you have a great trip through Europe. I've enjoyed visiting your blog.
    Lisa in Kentucky
    http://theperiwinklepost.blogspot.com/

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