2016: A Year Of Many Firsts

4 more hours to the last day of 2016. It started well with waking up in the morning and seeing light snow sprinkled on the roof tops, bare trees and streets outside the window. It snowed a tiny bit earlier this year, but today was the first time that the snow was heavy enough to leave a layer of snow (Featured photo showed my running playground Bassin de Gif-Bures, taken during my last run of 2016. If you examine it closely, you could discern the whitish layer on the trees and grass).

Looking back at 2016, I would say that 2016 is a year of many firsts for me. Following are some of “The First Time I…”

1.  Lived In France As A Mrs...

Our First New Year celebration as Mr. and Mrs. Maniu.

2. Unemployed For 5 Months

Waking up every day and not having anything productive planned, is really not my thing. I enjoyed the first few mornings when I could wake up, bring my ipad to La Pause Gourmand, my favourite neighbourhood boulangerie, order a cafe allongé and two croissants or pain au chocolate (which I eventually reduced to one), catch up on the news from Singapore, Hong Kong, France and the rest of the world. After a while, I knew that I had to find a job soon or I would drive myself nuts. However, it was also because I was unemployed, I had more time and drive to start (3) & (4).

3. Started A Blog

I have decided to create a blog to document by new life in France, in Europe. Starting a blog is easy. Sustaining it is another matter! 

4. GoRunAsia.com

With so much free time on my hands, I decided to launch an Asia running race event website.

5. A Running Club

If I knew I would be the slowest one in the club and that kids could run faster than me, I might not have signed up. The main reason Silviu and I signed up was that we hoped that a more discipline training in road running would help with our speed in trail running.

The first time that I did a warm up run with the group almost killed me; their échauffement pace at 5+min/km was a pace that I would only do during a once-in-a-blue moon race. We started with 3 group sessions weekly, and a solo run on the weekend; soon, it increased to 2 runs on the weekends. Currently, we are training 6 times a week and we have switched from trail runners to road runners, as of now.

6. First French Cross-Country Race

My first cross country race, Cross International du Val de Marne. Running on muddy grass is not that easy. 

7. Australia, Singapore, Romania and France

Travelled a lot - In France and overseas.

It started with spending the New Year in Sibiu, a city near Sibiu’s hometown in Romania. After that, I flew to Singapore and Australia to visit my family. For the rest of the year, I explored France, my newly found home, by visiting the various cities.  

8. Change of Age Category

Based on analysis, this age category is even more competitive…my ranking will drop from bad to worse.

9. First Road Race Bike

I am still trying to master the thin tyres which always seem to wobble under me, and the brakes which my small hands do not seem to be able to control.

It gives me an opportunity to get dressed up in pro gear. My pro gear belies my actual cycling fitness and skills. 

10. Used Netflix, And Never Look Back Since

I caught up with some of the more popular American drama series, starting with revisiting Friends to more recent ones like House of Cards, Suits, The Good Wife, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother,  Stranger Things…I know, I know…I should watch more French movies and series so that I can improve my French. Oh, and yes, I discovered Fais Comme Çi, Fais Comme Ça, the French comedy series where I learned all my French slangs.

11. First New Year Concert

In the grand, yet cozy beautiful Sainte Chapelle at Palais de la Cité, listening to the waltz from Johann Strauss.

12. A Stand-Up Comedy-A French One To Boot

On the glory of being a finisher in UTMB, in French…and I wasn’t totally lost in the language!

Welcome Another New Year

There are lots of Firsts in 2016, some Ups, some Downs, but definitely more Ups than Downs. Let’s run into 2017 and see what other Firsts the new year will bring.

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