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).

A year of many firsts

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…

2.  Unemployed for so long – 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

but I still have to be disciplined enough to continue writing on it.

4.  Started GoRunAsia.com,

My first attempt to be an entrepreneur.

5.  Joined 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.  Raced in a French Cross, Cross International du Val de Marne.
7.  Australia, Singapore, Romania and Nice, Grenoble, Strasbourg, Vosges, Annecy

The first time I travelled so much in a year.

Year of many firsts. Travelling.
Travelled a lot – In France and overseas
8.  Changed my race category due to me turning …

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

9. Bought my first road race bike in autumn.

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.

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. Attended a New Year Concert.

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

12. Attended a Stand-Up Comedy.

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

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.