Running and Recuperation in Provence

It is July and we are finally in the Luberon, a serene and stunning area of rolling hills, lavender, wheat, and sunflower fields in Provence just east of Avignon. Nestled in between the Luberon Mountains, we are in a small villa about 5 kilometres outside of Reillanne, a medieval perched village.

C RunningMy family has had a tough 2016 and we desperately needed to get away from Paris for everyone to rest and recuperate. We have extended family with us to help watch the kids but this place more or less watches them for us. Our villa is safely tucked inside a valley where my mobile phone doesn’t get a signal much to my wife’s delight! The kids can run freely and explore the property while enjoying the view of the five horses that roam the field just fifty metres from our front door.

Our kids, my wife and I all need time to rest and recover from what has been a tough yet formative year. I’m off work for a while to focus on the family. It has been very rewarding as my bonds have grown deeper with my wife and my kids. Several mornings a week the girls crawl into our bed for a proper snuggle and we often find ourselves falling asleep again for another thirty to sixty minutes. The extra rest is welcomed to help us feel refreshed.

Horses

The horses by our villa

My formula for recuperation comes from long slow runs from village to village or along trails that summit the local mountains. While in the Luberon my objective is to average an hour of running per day. The roads are hilly and when running I either go up down. Rarely does one find a flat road. Over a 10 km distance it is normal to gain 500 to 1000ft of elevation as you run from perched village down to the valleys and then back up again to another perched village. This month will be great for working the core and the quads. Great for ascending and descending running skills.

Between the runs, I hang out with the family and play in the pool, or explore local markets, and taste the incredibly juicy fruit grown right here in the Luberon.

Today I had a joyful run to a small perched village called Villemus. Here is a photo of the village from below as I approached it.

Villemus 2

Looking up at Villemus before the climb.

 

Here are two photos of the incredible stone work from centuries ago as they built Villemus high on the hills for protection and to maximize use of the flat arable land in the valley below.

Here is the running profile of two runs from this week.

 

I feel so privileged to be here. The landscape is inspiring yet calming. The air is clean and the kids run free. I could easily forget to return home!

And to close, here is a photo of the setting sun behind our villa.

IMG_1749

Setting sun near Reillanne

 

 

2 responses

  1. Sounds like a small slice of heaven. The joy of stepping away from the fast pace of the city to the wonderful peace and quiet of the country… allowing you all to rejuvenate. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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