Saturday, July 9, 2011


recently, some friends and i ran a nighttime 10k in puyricard.

we thought that a nocturnal run would be casual and laid-back. 

we were wrong. we arrived and everyone was wearing running club jerseys and taking long warm-up runs.

this inspired quite a case of nerves, but we were given a bit of courage after making it successfully through registration with 3 people and 1 forged medical certificate. 

while leaving the gym, we were handed a bottle of wine. i'm american through and through but god bless france for handing out wine at their sporting events. nothing inspires vitesse like knowing there's some wine waiting for you at the end. 

it was one of those races where i quickly hit my stride and received the divine gift of running through vineyards and the provençale countryside with cheers of "allez, les filles!" encouraging me all the way. in the south of france "nocturnal" means sunset, so i ran with a soft warmth around me, the sun glinting in my eyes, and little bugs in my mouth. 

and, with the promise of a glass on wine in my future, i exactly hit my goal time.  

allez, la france! 

we lose weeks like buttons, like pencils.

there was a whole pile of weeks laying before me.

i couldn't quite see around it. i missed my family and the people who have known me so long and so well. i felt drawn to virginia.

then the pile began to dwindle and the fewer weeks laying before me, the more i couldn't imagine leaving life here.

now, somehow, there's only one left.

where did that pile go?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

on the road again

"a pain stabbed in my heart, as it did every time i saw a girl i loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world of ours." 

Friday, May 27, 2011


oh great. what i thought was "good job" really means "that's what you deserve". 3 years of unknowingly offending the french, done and done.

run, hannah, run!

i ran a 7k here in aix the other weekend, which was delightful for multiple reasons.

first being that it was the first race i’ve run in a while.

second being that i got to run with an amazing group of women from iccp, both dedicated runners and women who were only doing the run as a challenge to themselves. this also included the exciting discovery that one of the girls i work with and i have similar running speeds and styles (being that talking is enough of a distraction that it merits the loss of breath).

kels & i enjoying some chit-chat & post-race endorphins.
and the third reason being that it’s infrequent to see french women engaged in sport. it may be true that french women are not fat, but it’s not because they’re out doing serious workouts, i can tell you that. on the rare occasion that i see a french woman while i’m out on a run, she’s often fully made-up, hair flowing in the wind, and wearing chuck taylors.
some of my students saw me on a run one day and their response the next time i saw them in class went something like this:
-we saw you.
-did you?
-yes. you were running.
-oh okay. yep, i run sometimes.
-but why were you running?
-it’s good for your health. do any of you run?
-(blank stares)
granted, it would probably be a bit of a shock to see my high school french teacher out running sans make-up, hair pulled back, in running shorts, but they seemed mostly confused by the concept that i was just out running for the sake of running.

so to see a conglomeration of women (french and otherwise) out running in aix was beautiful to me. a mass of pink t-shirts pushed down the cours mirabeau. bodies i would assume were out of shape if i saw them in the street blasted past me, far more in shape than i.
it was tough, but i exceeded the personal goal i set for myself, and had a blast in the process.

 and, most importantly, we got in the paper.
super famous. 

write me.

write me letters, like kafka wrote to milena
or at least shoot me a postcard. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

the south

turns out the south of france and the south of the states aren't really that different after all.