Running

Race No.1 for the Season

Done! It was a 6km charity run for women, with proceeds going towards breast cancer research.

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Less Ninja Turtle, more Pink Power Ranger

May Day, also known as Labour Day in some countries, is normally marked by union marches, or in the case of France, demonstrations and/or protests. In Metz however…

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It was a sea of women runners

As it was all done in the spirit of camaraderie, there were no time chips for timing, placements and prizes. Nonetheless, the Ninja Turtle ran as fast as those little legs could carry her, because there was food to be had at the finish line.

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When food is a motivator, anything is possible

One race down, three more to go!

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Running

Running Motivation

Hello, and happy St Patrick’s Day! Since the Ninja Turtle is neither Irish, nor Catholic, it seems a little strange to be hat-tipping this festivity, but she never says no to one more reason for a cold beer, which seems to be the real point of today. Like all runners, she is also somewhat superstitious and ritualistic – no hunting for four-leaf clovers or wearing horseshoes, but she certainly wore green while out running today, and the thought crossed her mind to go around pinching those who didn’t, so she would be chased into picking up her pace.

We’re halfway through March, and now seems as good a time as any to re-evaluate how this year is coming along. This time last year, the Turtle was training hard for the Marathon de Paris, her first, and having a bucket list goal to work towards is one hell of a motivation in itself. Having achieved the goal however, the Ninja Turtle has decided that there is a lot more to running than just marathons. Sure, they are nothing to sneeze at, but 2014 is the year she’s going to diversify her running experiences. She aims to do more festival and music runs (because she loves dressing silly and scoring high-5s from the children), as well as trail racing. Of course, she’ll go back to the marathons if something really attractive comes up, but for now, there are other priorities.

It must be said that with a less solid goal, it can be challenging to stay focused. When you’re aiming to complete a marathon, you have a mantra on your runs, it sounds something like “42.195… 42.195… if I don’t make it, I’d rather die… 42.195…” (or if you use miles, “26.2… 26.2… I’m going to run faster than you… 26.2…”) When, like the Ninja Turtle, you’re an amateur runner without a coach or a tailor-made training plan, and all you want to do is have fun/run through rugged terrain, mantras become less evident. They sound a little bit more like “kill the hills! kill the hills!” or, while running on the grass in Anywhere, France, “do NOT step on dogshit, do NOT step on dogshit”.

Nonetheless, there is plenty to get her lacing up and out the door; as mentioned before, spring has sprung early this year. The riverside trails that were closed over winter due to floods have reopened, and she did most of the 8 miles alongside two rivers – the Seille and the Moselle.

The best feeling in the world can only be attained by outrunning the ducks on the river.

The best feeling in the world can only be attained by outrunning the ducks on the river.

And along the way, she was treated to views like these:

La Seille, as seen at the Porte des Allemands.

La Seille, as seen at the Porte des Allemands.

Of course, scenery aside, this runner has a few other “carrots” to keep her running. In no particular order, they include:

  • A new running playlist
  • A large post-run meal featuring a LOT of peanut butter
  • Enrolling for an upcoming race
  • A running magazine that GodzillaPin bought for her

How do YOU motivate yourself to run?

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Arts and Culture, Travel

Same Town, New Perspective

Think you know the town you live in pretty well? Does walking the same path become a habit, part of a routine you don’t really have to think about? Put simply, does the thought of hanging around your own town feel somewhat blah?

This is especially true for the Ninja Turtle, who literally runs circles around Metz. So when GodzillaPin proposed a Sunday afternoon walk, her first thought was, why? She’s going to see the same thing on her long run on Monday anyway.

Not so. Turns out GodzillaPin was a man with a plan.

Parcours d'Artistes 2014

Parcours d’Artistes 2014

The Parcours d’Artistes is essentially a series of exhibitions scattered around town, and armed with a map, one wanders around hunting out the venues of choice. The art pieces were all for sale, and the venues they were exhibited in varied locations, from private homes! to cafes, art galleries to former churches.

It was a lovely mix of the visual arts, including but not limited to:

Oil on canvas paintings of landscapes...

Oil on canvas paintings of landscapes…

Ceramics and textiles...

Ceramics and textiles…

Sculptures made of really random objects...

Sculptures made of really random objects…

Ornamentals...

Ornamentals…

And pretty kickass political statements

And pretty kickass political statements

It was a lovely way to pass the afternoon, but after 3 hours of walking around and climbing at least two dozen flights of stairs, GodzillaPin’s knee started causing him grief and they decided to call it a day. As for the Ninja Turtle, she’s feeling a lot less blasé about the town they live in. In fact, there is beauty right before one’s eyes, and creativity lurking in every corner. It’s simply a matter of looking a little closer.

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Travel

Looking for your next holiday destination?

Look no further! We are here to tell you there is only one place to be this year-end holiday season: Metz. With the first snowfall on Thursday morning mixed with rain, one is magically transported to another world, not unlike Siberia actually (only without the hamsters). Hotel room rates don’t get better than at this time, so you save heaps on accommodation! (You’ll need it. Don’t skimp on heating.) Tell the kids they’re in Narnia. It’s fun for the whole family!

Jokes aside, tomorrow kicks off Day One of the Christmas Markets, and the most compelling reason to come visit is that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Metz Christmas Markets so it will be packed with extra special activities. There are 6 sites in all, full of stalls selling mulled wine, Christmas biscuits, and beautiful crafts.

The grande roule is up and ready to go!

The grande roule is up and ready to go!

So what are you waiting for? Metz is THE winter wonderland for Christmas this year!

Disclaimer: GodzillaPin and the Ninja Turtle take no responsibility for frostbites or hypothermia. Do NOT let the children sit on St Nic’s lap (just… don’t take chances, ya know?) It is completely possible to drink too much mulled wine.

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