Fit Girl in Paris: Nike 10km run

Fit & Training door thijs

I've been working of over a week in Paris and I still got a couple of days left. Even when travelling I’m looking for ways to challenge myself and stay fit. Seeing Nike had the 10k run when at the same time I would be in Paris I decided to ask them if I could join. I did not realize I would be having one of the most awesome weekends of this year!

Saturday the 4th of October
It started with a rendez-vous in a fantastic hotel where a lot of runners would be staying. They arranged a meet and greet with Carl Lewis, who is a former Olympic track and field runner that has won multiple golden medals in his career. The funny thing is, I was so young during his career that I didn’t had an idea who this guy was! Everyone around me went crazy after knowing I was going to meet him!



The meet and greet location was in one of Nike stores in Paris. It was packed with so many young and enthusiastic runners such as “the Nike Runners Club Paris”. Carl Lewis gave an inspirational speech about reaching goals and setting them. He asked us one question: What is your goal to break your PB (Personal Best) tomorrow? I was surprised that the whole crowd became quiet and nobody answered… After that I’ve been asked about my PB so many times that I felt weird not having one too. After the speech I also was told that we would be running 5km through Paris haha. Why the heck not?

The 5km run
This was one of the most awesome events of all. We ran with a group of 50 people through the city, with coaches of the runners club that had boom boxes attached on their backs. The song “stolen dance-milky chance” will always remind me of this afternoon (the sun, the city, the run, the smiles and the fun. It was such an amazing feeling to be running with a group of wild, beastly enthusiastic runners that I felt we owned the city and we could do whatever we wanted.


At the half of the race, we stopped along the river and they organized a rally. And as you may know, Paris is a busy city, so there really wasn’t a possibility to run at a fast pace (too many cars, too many people). The run coaches divided us in 4 groups and challenged the teams to take a sprint to the other side competing with the opposite team. My body was still shaking from the adrenaline 5 minutes after that sprint. It felt so good releasing the energy that was generated because of all the enthusiasm. I personally feel much stronger doing something together and having fun at the same time. So empowering! We ran back and headed straight back to the hotel to prepare ourselves for the evening: a concert of Ellie Goulding!





Le goodie bag
We did not have much time, but when I got to my room I was surprised by a goodie bag from Nike with macarons and running gadgets, I was so in love with everything that I could not resist to try it on. I totally forgot time and I was late to prepare myself for the evening event. I felt like a child on Christmas day!



Ellie Goulding
A beautiful and talented singer. She blew us all away with her amazing performance. I found out that she not only rocked the stage, but she would also be running with us as she is one of Nike's faces. This is her being a total badass! The evening was so amazing but I was a bit stressed for the 10k run. A lot of people were asking me for my Personal Best, but I did not have one I felt I had to perform and have one. I wanted to go to bed early, not party too much and be fresh...Of course after 2 drinks and I went to bed late anyway, because I didn't want to miss a thing, LOL!

Sunday: Day of the run

I was so nervous that I could not sleep well and stayed up too late. I was really tired that morning, I even did not have the appetite to eat and that is so not me! Even after arriving at the event it was really hard to be focussed. I was worrying about the most stupid things: I hope I don’t have to pee during the run, I hope I look cool enough with my gear (whuuttt??) I hope my knee doesn’t fail, I hope I will have a good time etc etc.

I really had to pull myself together. Luckily I had a friend with me that was taking good care of me by helping me organize myself. So there I was. Standing at the start. I looked around me and I only saw young strong women and men around me. Carl Lewis was on the stage, holding the starting sign and saying sone last words and ...GO! It was time to shake all the negativity off me and to focus on what I was doing. Thoughts went through my head:“Do not go too fast in the beginning, be careful for your body, take your time..”

After running a little while I noticed a change in attitude. I ran 12km 2 weeks priorly  and I was feeling confident and felt I wanted to do more. I thought about setting your goal to achieve your personal best and instead of having the goal to run the 10k safely, I was getting fired up to actually surpass my own expectation. I started to “run”. Really run like I was chasing something. Chasing a new Personal Best. I wanted to run under 50 minutes. My attitude became aggressive and competitive, but in a positive way :-)

Yup I had to pee, my laces came loose, and I had difficulty surpassing others that were in my way to run at my pace. I ignored that I had to pee, tied my laces and looked for practical and safe ways to run. After 7km I had a hard time to keep the pace I started at in the beginning, I had raised the bar very high and i started to notice it physically. The only thing I thought was: keep on going, do not stop! 

I saw the finish and I was really almost at my limits. I was so happy with the time and when I heard my friend cheering I instantly started crying after reaching the finish. It was a bit funny because I wasn’t sad at all. I actually was very proud, that I overcame my own fears by pushing myself. It feels liberating to know you can always go further than you think!



When I got home I was so tired, fulfilled and grateful for all the experiences I have had in such a short time. So many beautiful people with great passions in such a great city. I could not have imagined that my first experience as a “Fit girl in Paris” would be so    amazing. One of the best events I have had ever. And about my PB? I did the course in 45 min and 36 sec , which I never had could imagine to start with. Let's see how far I can get from now on :D