Ragnar Relay Wattenmeer

TIPS:

  • How to get ready?

- Read the Ragnar Bible
- Define a captain and 2 co-captains.          
- Divide the responsabilities within all the team.
- Meet with the team several times to go through R&R and the next steps
- Order online all that is needed.
- Start packing early!
- create playlist for the van and your runs
 

  • What to pack?

- WARM clothes for at night or to warm up after a rain (especially if rainy...)
- More running outfits than the number of your runs if ever you have to take the leg of a teammate or the weather changes.
- Cables / Plugs to charge sevral phones in the car
- Power banks
- Music booth
- Solar cream
- Cap
- Raining gear
- 2 running shoes (if wet or blisters)
- first aid (especially for cuts, burns, blisters)
- Mosquitoes spray
- Earplugs and sleeping mask
- Pillow
- confy hoodie/blanket/sleeping bag to sleep in the van
- FOOD: you will want to eat all the time almost to bring healthy and power food. 
I also prepared pasta in advance and I really appreciated it at 2am in the morning.
- water bottle
- earphones
- all the equipment required by the Ragnar Race: secutiry jackets, lights etc
- foam rolls / Compex / Voltarene / Tape
- things to decorate the van
- big trash bags for your used clothes
- "clothes wipes": to put with your used clothes to kill the smell
- toilet bag (the usual: deodorant, toothbrush etc)
- toilet paper
- cash
- running pouch/bag if long run

 

THE TRIP:

So... I’ve done 10km races, half-marathons, marathons... what next could I do? What challenge could I fing in y quest fo always doing something new? 🤔

Fortunately, one day a colleague of mine comes to my desk and ask me if I know about the "Ragnar Relay".
What is that? A 250km run, from Hamburg to the sea, 10 people, 2 vans, 24h.
I am... IN!
Wait... it's only 3 weeks before Berlin marathon. Ok, it's a perfect training then and it's ony an average of 25km per person.
Wait... it's not enough then... 😂
That's when my collegue tell me about the "super difficult leg of the race cold the Ragnar leg", a 16km run in the middle of nowhere at night.
Let's also mention that the crew then have is made of great people so it is decided: I will join! 

You need to know something before joining a Ragnar Relay: it’s a lot of preparation! (See rubric TIPS above).
Build the team, sign-ups, transport, rent the vans, book hotels, read the Ragnar Bible with all the rules, buy the equipment, calculate the paces etc etc.
AND we are lucky: in the team we are all sporty so we did not have to train for it.
But let’s say all of this is taking care of and it’s the day before the event, here is my journey:

 

DAY 1: on the way to the race.

It's Friday, I am home office so all week long I postponed the packing time to today... but things get super packed and when at last I look at the time I only have one hour left to get ready and pack! Thankfully, I had written done on my phone (another tip here!) a list of what to take so I go through the list and pack ASAP. 
I make it to the airpot more than on time (perks of leaving of Nuremberg: the airport is so small ^^) and meet with the team: we are READY!

The journey continues:
Plane ✅
S-Bahn ✅
Air bnb ✅
Bed ✅ 

 

DAY 2: let’s get started!

I wake up and look at the window: it is pouring rain...
We knew it (but I guess my brain did not want to accept the info when I packed so I am not equipped AT ALL) but we still had hope the weather channels would be wrong.
We pick up the vans, check out of the air bnb, go grocery shopping for the weekend and here we are: time to say bye to half of the team that will be in van 2 and meet us at the exchange point 1 in some hours.


Indeed here is the principle of the race: we are a team of 10 runners, divided in 2 vans. The first van starts and each runner has one “leg” to run one after the other (relay). The legs vary from 5k to 16k. At the end of the first 5 legs, van 1 meets van 2 with the 5 other runners in and  we give them the baton to continue the relay. They run their 5 legs and our role is to be at the meeting point 2, 5 legs later. Etc etc during 250km! From Hamburg to St Peter Ording.
Yeah, what an idea 😉

Btw, name of our team: Vicky the Viking and the limping Pirates!!!
(Don't ask, long story 😂)

So with my team (van 1) we head up to the start line near San Pauli in Hamburg.
It is still... POURING rain.
Whatever, we pick up the bibs and our first runner gets ready!


Once at the starting line, I realized that we are in the same wave as Midnight Runners, the Reebok French influencers and a team from AR Berlin! I am so happy to see all those faces. It really feels like a bid running family gathering ❤

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It's 2pm: 3-2-1-GO! 
Our first runner

starts the relay

The start of the 24hours chrono!

Run 1 passes to runner 2, runner 3 passes to me 💪
I am runner 3. My first leg is a 5,4km at the exit of hamburg and along the sea towards the north. It is GORGEOUS and CLEARLY, all the rich people from Hamburg live here! Amazing houses with private garden on the sea.
I run my leg at marathon pace, under the rain… but well at least it is not cold.

I pass the baton and the race keeps on for 2 more legs and we need to drive to the first major exchange point with van 2.
We arrive there and we receive a text from our last runner: she is lost! Apparently, some people on the road gave her a false indication and she went 3km in the wrong direction. She is with a group of runner and they have to wait for the van to pick them up, drive them to where they dropped off the route and then run to us. We loose a good 45min but to be honest I do not take this adventure as a race so I don’t care, but shhhut 🤫😉
While we wait we decorate the vans and take pics, so all good!

At last we give the baton to the other team and we have approximately 2hours in front of us to drive to the next major exchange point and rest/eat.

It is pouring rain and I am FREEZING.
I did not planned at allthe right way my suitcase and I mainly have short and tanks...
But here again the running community is here and Gabriel from Midnight Runners lends me a warm sweter. It will save my adventure ^^.

I skip the diner so I can sleep in the van while the others go for food. It was much needed! 

Time flies and it is already time for our first runner to receive the baton from the last runner of the other van. We hug the team and already time to go.

My second leg is a 8k at 22pm. I am freezing but once I am out of the van and with the runners waiting for their relay I feel motivated. It is raining and windy so I am wearing all the time a gorgeous “kaway poncho”, you know the high quality poncho you can find almost everywhere for 2euros! 😂 I kind of create my own adidas x Alexander Wang style... 👌

The run is more challenging than I expected: in the middle of the fields, pitch darks, some fences to climb, SO windy because along the sea and no trees around. But weirdly enough, to run under the rain, to fix the light spot on the ground that my headlamp creates, to ear the wins... is kind of cradling… I like it!
The 8k goes really well and I pass the baton earlier than expected.

The rest of our legs goes well, we even take a ferry at one point! ^^

We make it to the second exchange point and wait for the last runner of van 2.

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I don’t even know how many layers of t-shirts I have on me. All that I took in my suitcase and that was not already used for a run is on me!

I should launch my own running collection seriously...

 

DAY 3: I don't know anYmore what dry means...

We all have a short nap in the Van, then our first runner gets ready to receive the baton around  3am.
I eat my pasta at 2am because at 4 I will be up for a 16km. 
Team 2 arrives, the passation is done, hug to the team and time to go!

Run 1: done.
Runner 2: running.
So here I am… 4am and ready to go. We have a 45min delay all in all so I will start my run around 5am. The rain and wind are insane. I am crazy, I know, but actually I find it challenging and super rewarding to be outside running under those conditions. In my mind I am like “wtf MC, it is 5am in the morning, it is pouring rain and windy, you are in the middle of nowhere with a headlamp and you run 16km”. I love this feeling…

Apart from the rain (that actually stops around the 10th km!) the run is really nice, in the middle of Nature and thanks to our delay I witness the sunrise! 
I think it is my most memorable moment of the race, this sunrise in the middle of nowhere, with the headlamps of some other runners in the landscape behind me.

FINISHER! I finished the famous Ragnar Leg (most difficult of the race)! I even receive a special medal. I also finished my work for the Ragnar Relay all in all, I am done! 

We have 2 runners left and then our van is done! We made it!
We give the baton to van 2 to for them to finish the race. Once again I meet friends at the passation spot ❤

My team has some energy left and wants to “drive around”, personally, I eat my daily amount of porridge and fell asleep 😉

We then drive to St Peter Ording where the finish line is.
We even have the time to cheer on the last runner on van 2 beofre the finish line. Then we meet with the rest of Van 2 and we all wait for him to arrive.


We all run (or try to, he is so fast) with him the last 100m and here we are... FINISHERS!


Our captain gathers the medals and give them to us one by one, really nice moment AND the sun is shining.

It is then time to celebrat => Beer time! (Alcohol free for me, marathon prep is still on).
We chill at the finish line spot all together and I can see most of my friends in other teams arriving so it is so nice!
It is still early but we head for BURGERS in a closeby restaurant, Die Insel. The place is nice but I DO NOT recommend the veggie burger. It is a huge piece of cheese, way too fat and nothing elaborated.

Then we drive to our air bnb, 20min from the center, in the middle of nowhere (apart from thousands of sheeps) and in a former school! We even have bunkbeds in dorms, and eat in a canteen style, pretty fun.
But... there is NOTHING to do… The team is tired and happy about it but it is so painful for me to do nothing, I hate this… I do my best: I sort out the pics of the weekend, I expand my clothes outside, I call my parents etc etc, but then I cannot anymore and decide to go to bed at 8pm... Better to capitalize on sleep than to get bored.

 

DAY 4: Back to reality.

We all wake up in this old school: I have the feeling we will actually have classes! 
Breakfast all together and time to leave.
We drive first to Hamburg to give back one of the van and we have lunch at Froindlichst. SUPER nice. I recommend it: a vegan restaurant with so many choices!

Then direction Nuremberg!
Long ride but the stops are pretty fun with all of us stretching by the road. I am almost all the way plugged to my Compex 😂

At last we arrive at Nuremberg and time to say bye 😢

What an adventure... What I will remember:
-      The rain and wind
-      The proudness when running under this weather at night
-      The team <3
-      The meetings with the other teams at the exchange points and see all my friends from different teams and cities/countries
-      The finish line, trying to catch up with our last runner.

I would be definitely in for another Ragnar Relay BUT:
-      Ultra-team: 5 runners instead of 10
-      A place with no rain ^^
-      Pack better
 

So maybe another Ragnar Relay article next year! 🔥

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surf trip in Nicaragua

 

TIPS:

  • SURF:

- Coconut Surf: surf camp in San Juan's hills.
- Alex surf shop: truly nice people <3
- Playa el Remanzo: beginner to intermediate
- Playa Maderas: intermediate to pro
- Playa Hermosa: beginner to intermediate
- Playa el Yankee: intermediate to pro
- Take a wet suit!! It is SUPER cold ^^

  • Food and drinks:

- The Beach House: THE chill/hype place in San Juan
- Ali Mama: Nice pizza style in town
- Simon says: great coffee and smoothies. Super cool patio terrace
- !Salud Kitchen: my king of place ^^
- Kiss Me: ice cream please!
- Taco Stop: you always need a taco in a surf trip.
- San Juan Surf: shopping!
- The surfing Buddha: just the name is already amazing
 

  • Sports:

- Running path: along the main beach and up to el Cristo.
- Fight Club: Boxing/Gym

 

  • WHAT TO PACK?

- Wet Suit
- Sun Screen + Anti mosquitoes
- Sun Glasses
- Little bag you can keep close to your body
- Dry bag
- Cosmetics and medicines: you will not find it there.
- any snacks you really like / nuts / protein bars


THE TRIP:

Dates: 25/03/18- 31/03/18
Departure: NYC, USA
Arrival: Managua, Nicaragua

So here I am: direction Nicaragua!
I really did not believe that I would have the opportunity to go there so early but I am in NYC for work, I have holidays left, soI grabbed a Spirit.com deal! (It's simple! 😉)
But wait... "deal" = cheap = effort!
I will arrive around 2am in Managua AND have a 5hours (yes, no typo mistake) landover in Miami. But well, what wouldn’t I do to feel the sun on my skin and to catch nice waves?!? NOTHING!

Program summary: Leave from Brooklyn – grab a uber – wait at La Guardia airport – take the first plane ✅
I hear many bad things about Spirit Airlines but if you are used to Ryannair it’s the same level and the personel is super nice!
I land in Miami and I consider going out of the airport to make the most of the 5hours layover BUT in the end a little voice wispers to me “MC, this is one of the moment you should just seat down, calm the f... down and not run around as usual!”.
So this is what I do: I seat down at a coffee place, order a tall coconut cappuccino (thanks again the US for having this option almost everywhere. Germany, I am still waiting!) and take the time to write down my blog article about NYC (go and check it!).

Time for the second flights, but when I arrive in Managua airport (it is like 1am almost 💤) I learn that Spririt Airline lost ONE luggage… only ONE... Yes, Mine 😂🤦‍♀️
BUT the personel is super nice and 30min later they find it and here I am, alone in the airport waiting for the carousel to bring my backpack (FYI even a small backpack cannot be a cabin luggage with Spririt).

Denis from Coconut surf is kindly waiting for me at the airport. 
Yes, when you land in Managua and want to go to San Juan have a look at the shuttle system and the prices because it is a 2h30 drive and often expensive. I am lucky, the shuttle is included with Coconut Surf Camp.
I am exhausted but I have such a nice ride with Denis! He tells me all about Nicaragua and most importantly, I speak Spanish during 2hours! I LOVE it. Sorry: me ENCANTA! 

We arrive at the camp around 2-3am. OMG it looks and feels SO peaceful. Max the tenant welcomes me and we chill on the terrasse 🙏
At last I go to bed: I cannot wait to be tmrw! 


DAY 1:

THIS is what I expected!: I go outside of my room, I hear “Holaaa, que tal? Como fue tu noche?”, I speak Spanish, I walk outside and it's sunny, warm, there's the pool waiting for me and the view over San Juan is beautiful.
What? You said HOLIDAYS? HELL YES! 😇😎

I meet Denise, a German (they follow meeeee 😱🤣) volunteer at the camp, and Yuris, a local nicaraguayenne, who is helping too. As soon as I wake up Max offers us to dirve to the city center to see the city. I am IN!
Great surprise: we drive in a jeep so I can seat in the back and tan while we drive... Ah Nicaragua ❤😆
Music ON, good vibes ON, new friendships ON, sunglasses ON, let’s get the party started!

First we stop by the top of a hill so I have a view over the ciry, so exotic.
Then we drive into the city center. It is adorable. So many colors and I can feel the vibrant vibes of the place 🙏

We then pass by Ali Mama to test new recipes and by Simon says to grab an Ice Coffee.

We go back to the Villa and I take advantage of the sunny terrace to practice my daily yoga flow.
Max also gives me the Coconut Surf tshirt, I am a real surfer now right?! 😉
 


And... at last... Direction the BEAAAAACH 💥
We to to Playa el Remanzo for my first surf session.
No surprise: the place is beautiful!
We chill at the beach bar Slaudy Bar Surf Brothers and wait for the waves.
Then it's time! I take my board (a 7.2 from NSP, always the same ❤) and go in the water.
It is... COLD! OMG I did not expected that in Nicaragua! I do not have my wetsuit today with me and the waves are prety small but I still enjoy so much but after 1h I am just frozen! 😨

We stay on the beach to enjy the sunset... Gosh I love sunsets.
It is just gorgeous and I feel at peace.

Once back at the villa we all chill around a barbecue. Great atmosphere.
I discover grilled baby corn: delicious!

I go to bed early because is the end I slept like 4h last night! ^^

 

DAY 2:

Each day we all take the breakfast together outside on the terrasse, such a nice way to start the day!

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Today we directly go back to Playa el Remanzo to surf.
Once again the waves are pretty small but it is nice to slowly go back to surfing AND I make a new friend 🐦

For lunch we go to The Beach House in San Juan del Sur. It is SO nice. The place is so chill and the food is great.

Then we drive to Playa Hermosa.
How can I say it... it is... INCREDIBLE! Seriously, this beach is just breathtaking.
The drive there is quite adventurous but once there it feels like paradise. 

First mission: do NOTHING under the sun and just look at this amzing place.
Since it is impossible for me to do nothing for a long time (I know 🤦‍♀️) I decide to go surfing. Small sesh since the waves are not rally here yet.
Chill again, walk on the beach and then sunset arrives, and then the waves arrived 🙏 Gorgeous surf session at sunset. We go out of the water in time for a real photoshoot 😆

It's the last day of 2 people from the camp so we have diner all together one last time ❤

 

Day 3:

Today we go to Maderas!
I heard about this beach since so long! And indeed... the waves look so good!
So I decide to go asap in the water... so I do not warup and strech... and I take the wrong wave... and I dislocate my shoulder.
Shitty moment.
This already happened to me in Bali and here it is, same sound, same sensation, same situation (washing machine) 😥
I just hate myself s much. I am sure I could have avoided it.
Anyway... I get "lucky in my bad luck" and meet Gesa, a German physio who live on Maderas. She has a first look at ma shoulder to see if it came back into place.
I will not write down how depressed I was, how I cried etc because you are not reading a travel artcile for that! 
I have a walk on the beach to calm down and we head back to the camp.

Early sleep for me.

 

DAY 4:

SO, I cannot surf 🤷‍♀️
I cannot really use my left arm easier... so I will walk!
So far I stayed in San Juan and at the camp and I am happy to explore a bit more the country. I usually bagpack everywhere when I visit a new country but this trip was planned super late and I gave the priority to surfing.
Anyway, great program ahead: go to Isla Ometepeon the Lago Cocibolca, via public transport 👌 I HIGHLY recommend this technique because it is 1- super cheap 2- perfect to see how local live.
I am lucky, I have the best travel buddy, Yuri who works at the Camp is comin with me so we have a girls day AND I get to speak spanish all day ❤

We start by... stopping a bus in the middle of the road! Apparenlty you can do it in Nicaragua.
That's SO nice to travel only with locals and by bus. WAY better than to pay a super expensive tourist shuttle. Yes, you do not know exactly when the bus will arrive but well, just plan large.

We arrive at Rivas and take a cab to the ferry point in San Jose. It was SUPER cheap but I guess that being with a local helped a lot.
Time for the ferry now. As a tourist you also have to book a "fee" but nothing major. The ferry trip is pretty fun. It's just so nice to see the 2 volcanoes appearing closer and closer.

We arrive on Ometepe, by the San Jose del Sur terminal. HERE BE CARREFUL: lots of cab drivers will come to you and tell you crazy prices to visit the island. Also some women on scooters will tell you that you can rent scooters even if you do not have a passport, do NOT believe them, it's a real scam. The police will stop you at one moment and take your money or the person renting you the scooter will find something to make you pay more. Anyway, if you walk 100m, on the right you will see a bus stop and this bus does all the island. Super cheap but then yes, the timings are not super reliable. We did not know that so we took a cab (after a lot of bargaining) to Oro Verde. It is a natural reserve. It's a really nice walk in nature. Do  the big loop because it will bring you on top of a small hill and you will have a beautiful view on Volcan Maderas (one of the 2 volcans of the island). Also do not miss the beach with black sand and view on the volcano: beautiful. There is also a butterfly house. You can drop by it is nice and included in the ticket.

At the exit of Oro verde there is a bus stop! It a 5min walk so tourist just take cabs but you should walk there and crab the next bus. There is only one road so they for sure go in the direction you want.
We grab a bus and stop at Quatro Escinas to grab another bus to Playa Santo Domingo. This bus stops to Ojo de Agua but we skip it because it is clearly a super touristic natural pool. The beach is GORGEOUS. Really it is peaceful, wild and the view on the volcano is great. We walk on the beach and stop at Natural Restaurante Vegetariano. Great view, good service and good food.

Chill on the beach, bath in the lake and we have to grab a bus and head to the ferry. We take a bus from Playa Santo Domingo (there is a stop near the restaurant) and this bus do a round of the island by the north so super nice to see the rest of the island. we arrive at Moyogalpa Ferry terminal and I highly recommend it because the view on Volcan conception is gorgeous and the more the ferry will leave the island the more you will have a view on both volcanoes and it is amazing.

Then... way back: taxi - bus - walk and we are back in San Juan del Sur.
I highly recommend a stop by Ometepe but I hoghly recommend 2-3 days there because the best thing would be to climb one of the volcano and it takes a full day.

I end the day by a shopping session (the family expects presents! 😉) and then drive back with the team to the camp.

 

DAY 5:

Today is barbecue dayyyyyy.
We go to El Yankee beach, a local one where pro-surfers go. The road to there is "difficult" but worth it... it is just GORGEOUS. Really, with Playa Hermosa they are the top 2 of the beaches to go. The waves are insane and pro surfers are in. With my "one day ago I dislocated my shoulder" I feel so frustrated (there are some easier waves on the beach 😉) but the pain is real. We set up the barbecue spot and go on the beach to watch the surfer during at least one hour ^^.

I go for a nice walk until the end of the beach. I love those solitary moments. Just me, the space where I am and me realising the chance I have to be where I am 🙏
Then the time has come to cook!
So many vegetables (baby coooorns) and fruits (grilled pineapple omg).

We need to recover... nap time for everyone! 😆
Then I decide to go back on a board because I am really afraid about the waves and I don't want this to stay. So I go in, stay in whote waters and do some take-off. I am just so afraid the shoulder will pop-up again, it is not the best session but at least I see it stays in place when I do the take off.

We pack up our things and drive back to the camp. Chill night and early sleep for me.

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Sunset break on the way

Team <3

 

DAY 6:

Ok... I cannot surf and wait... only 2 weeks left before Paris marathon...
Yeah, WTF...
So I decide to go for a run to the "Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia" on top of the hill near the main beach. A REALLY hot and tiring 12k but I feel so much better after.
I jump in the pool directly when arriving at the villa, omg that's life 😉 

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I close my sporty morning with a yoga sesh to release the tensions the best I can.

Peace and sun my friends.


In the afternoon we go back to Playa Maderas and I have a physio sesh with Gesa. Super helpful.
Then I go on one side of the beach with my board to just try some stand ups on my own to test the shoulder. It will not last long but I least I went out there.

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I chill with Gesa, Max and Denise around a coffee and we watch the sunset.

I am still exhausted by the constant pain in the shoulder and neck so I am early in bed.

 

DAY 7:

Last day...
I am already sad to leave but I know it is up to me to make the most of this day.

We head up to Playa Remonso and it is decided: today I will surf!
Sending all the positive vibes to the sea!
I am lucky to get a great surf teacher who gets my fears and we will like start from scratch my surf level 🙈 But in the end I will make it!
Not as good as before but I make it and I take waves AND I feel the addiction again.
I love this feeling of going out of the water after a great wave and you just cannot wait to surf again. Not the best on the last day because no idea when I will surf again but at least I am not afraid.
For sure I had to celebrate with a handtand (I know, super stupid with my shoulder but I don't really care right now ^^).

We then drive back into town with the crew, great ride at sunset with Despacito and and all the reggaeton songs we have ON!

It is time to pack and say bye.
Last barbecue and it is time to go.

Yuri makes a part of the ride with me and I am super happy to spend my last moments in Nicaragua with her. She is really a strong and inspiring woman.
We say bye and I continue towards the airport.
It is super late, I am tired, nostalgic already but I also know I was super lucky to have this week experience in Nicaragua.
Also, NYC is waiting for me for 48h and soon Paris marathon so no time to look backwards! 💪

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We will see again!

 

 

ANOTHER WEEK IN NYC

 

TIPS:

  • Foodies/Drinks:

- Mixtape Bushwick: Place recommended to me by a friend for a nice coffee in Brooklyn.
- Chill House: Chill space to have a coffee, get your nails done and get a massage.
- Juliette: ok... a French place 😉 But a friend recommended it to me and the decoration is great! There's also a nice terrasse on the rooftop.
- Pardon my French: A bit loud but a great place for a brunch a "pancakes and Mimosa cocktails" mood. I loved the decoration.
- The Third Rail Coffee: for a nice coffee that's not Starbucks.
- The Yard: I only went there for a coffee but the co-working place looks great!
- Murray's: If you like cheese and Italian fine food go there. I went there to pick up a salad and they had good veggie options.
- Juice Press: Another "Healthy smoothie and açaí bowl" place but well, I like it ;)
- Empire diner: If you are looking for "a clichéd American restaurant" this it is, and it looks great!
- Dudley’s: Great place for brunch, I loved their kale salad.
- Bar Belly: So perfect for after work drinks <3 Great atmosphere and cocktails.
- Essen: A food chain to pick up all kind of food on the go. Lots of nice options.
- Le Barricou: OMG... The pancakes... PLEASE try these!
- The West: perfect place to do your blogger or freelance work with a nice coffee.
- Osamil: Great place for cocktails.
- Hell's Kitchen: a full district full of nice and trendy restaurants. Great options but be ready to queue!

 

  • Fitness:

- adidas Runners NYC: Well, what can I say... they are the best ❤ aR NYC is THE perfect running community: nice people, cool events, inspiring captains/coaches, welcoming all level runners. Join the Facebook group to find about all their events and join them for a run! DO NOT be afraid! Really!
- Girls run NYC: Ok, super cool team too. I mean, Jessie Zapo is the best ❤
- Switch Playground: Great way to sweat and for a total body workout in a short amount of time. Super nice coaches.
- Sky Ting Yoga: I LOVE the atmosphere of their studios! For beginner to intermediate levels. I joined an "advanced class", it was not advanced but still a nice flow.

 

  • Shopping:

- Sincerely, Tommy: Brooklyn based concept store focusing on emerging womenswear and lifestyle brands.
- Another Stories: We all know this brand, I know, but still 😉
- Spring Street: Well... there is EVERYTHING on that street! Go to the adidas Originals store, really nice/street style.
- Vitamin Shoppe: The kind of shop you will never find in Europe BUT if you know the product you want (and trust) they have a crazy choice of fitness supplements.

 

  • What to do?

- The Wing: The Wing is a network of co-working and community spaces for women, founded in Manhattan’s Ladies Mile in 2016. Only with membership but I thought you should know about it  😊
- Bowery street / Elizabeth Street / Hudson Street: perfect to wander in Lower East/West Side.
- High Line: I heard about it for the first time during this trip! It is SO nice! It's a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail. It was created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan in New York City. It is super nice, especially at sunset.
- Improvisation show at UCB theatre: A first time for me! I did not laugh at everything because the American humor is not really my type but it is super nice to see courageous actors and to be part of the theatre community for one night.
- Go for a run in Brooklyn and along Manhattan: from Greenpoint go to the Williamsburg bridge, cross it, run all the way along the river in Manhattan until the Brooklyn bridge, cross it and go back to the starting point.


THE TRIP:

Dates: 16-03-18/24-03-18 + 01-04-18/02-04-18
Departure: Nuremberg.
Arrival: New York.

I cannot believe I am already back... 1 month and a half after leaving, I have the chance to see again the silhouette of NYC appearing in the horizon after jumping in a uber at the airport.

I am back for a shoot with adidas Women. We are capturing content for our next major campaign (stay tuned!). It's my first shoot ever so I am super excited!

As usual I make the most of every opportunity to travel so I decide to arrive earlier to spend the weekend there and leave later to spend another weekend there (instead of flying on a Monday and Friday!). My cousin and friends live there so it’s always a chance to see them!

 

DAY 1: 

To summarize: wake up in Nuremberg and bedtime in NYC.
I love to think like this ❤️ 


I arrive around 6pm in JFK, jump in a uber, pick up my cousin’s keys and direction my dear Brooklyn (my cousin kindly leaves me her flat for the weekend so I feel like a real New-Yorker 😎😂). I arrive at their place just in time for the sunset from the rooftop: what a way to end the day! 

 Rooftop view.

Rooftop view.

I am really tired and I want to run the next morning so my weekend starts with Netflix and pasta. I actually love it! 👌

 

 DAY 2:

 “Just in case” I had put an alarm to be "sure not to wake up too late, which should be impossible because of the jetlag"... Well I was wrong! 🤦‍♀️ My alarm goes on at 10am: I slept 12hours!  
Program: overnight porridge/ yoga flow / foamroll and here I go, ready for my long run of the weekend.

I know EXACTLY where I want to go: from Greenpoint to Williamsburg bridge, all the way along the river in Manhattan, cross Brooklyn bridge and all the way back through Brooklyn. I LOVE this path. The moment I cross the Williamsburg bridge and see Manhattan appearing is always an emotional and amazing moment. 
I also go back via Dumbo and it is such a cool district!
The weather is amazing and I have a great 25km run (I have Paris marathon in 3 weeks 🤦‍♀️). 


After that I join the adidas Women team for brunch at Dudley’s. I take a kale salad, I missed it so much!
Then I go for walk with a colleague and Jessie Zapo. We all have a great talk about how we can grow the women communities in a meaningful way in NYC.
Nice place to stop by: the square between Lafayette street and cleaveland pl. After that I keep wandering in Manhattan to make the most of the sunset light.


At last, I join the rest of the crew at Bar Belly for drinks (water for me, youhou) and leave early because tomorrow is NYC half-marathon (SO pissed I do not have a bib number!) and I want to go to cheer the runners.

Once again pasta in front of Netflix: crazy Saturday night!
 

DAY 3:

I wake up and go straight for a run. I know the NYC half marathon passes close to the Williamsburg bridge on Manhattan so I run there, stop at one spot to cheer the runners and I run back to Brooklyn. A chill 11km.

Then I join friends who are brunching at Pardon my French. We all go for a walk in the Lower East Side and I stop to grab a coffee at Third Rail Coffee. On the way we have the chance to see one of Banksy's street art piece (he is back in town!): "Free Zehra Dogan". We have a nice walk in Chinatown and Little Italy. I love the feeling of those districts, a real cultural bubble. Everyone decides to head back to their hotel but I don't want to go back ^^ I grab a baguette on the way (I know, sooo cliché) and I keep wandering in the Lower East side, go to the adidas Originals and Y-3 shops on Spring avenue and write down the names of cute restaurants I spot on the way just for you! (see rubric tips)

Time to join my team at The Yarn for a coffee. After that I head with a friend to the High Line for sunset. I did not know about this place before and it is SO nice: you see another part of NYC, lots of different architecture styles and at sunset time it is gorgeous.
 

I head back to Brooklyn and early sleep because tomorrow back to reality!

 

DAY 4:

The weekend is over 😢
BUT let's start the week right: I go to Switch Playground in Soho with my Manager. The concept is a one hour circuit training with 22 stations and 2min per station. All of this in a dark room with load music. It's a great way to do exercises you would not usually do and it's a real full body workout!

 Beast mode ON.

Beast mode ON.

After that we stop by the Juice Press and go to the adidas Newsroom offices where I will spend the day working (yeah, I know... 😉). For lunch we go quickly to grab food at Murray's.

At the end of the day I check-in at my hotel, The James New York Nomad. It has a great location between Madison square and the Empire State. I know, super touristic area but I like it! After all, I am THE tourist. The hotel and the rooms are ok but the beds are AMAZING: huge king size and maybe the most comfortable bed I had in my life. One thing to know: the gym is super small and not nice at all BUT they have 2 peloton bikes 👌

I feel sick and jet lagged so at 7pm I am in bed. Sorry, in THE bed 😄

 

DAY 5:

IMG_9105.jpg

First day of shoot for me!

#lucky

I meet with the team in the lobby and we go to Brooklyn Studios in the Queens. 
I am so happy to be on set and to see how it works. I cannot tell you a lot about the shoot because confidential but long story short: ONCE AGAIN people are the core of a great day and a great work ❤

IMG_9148.jpg

It's Yoga Time!

#namaste

In the evening I go to Ski Ting Yoga in Tribeca. The studio is really nice, so are the teachers and the team! I joined an "advanced class" and let's be realistic: it was not an advanced class, more intermediate. 

I go back to the hotel and go straight to bed because my cold/flu is getting worst and worst.

 

DAY 6:

Today there is a blizzard alert in NYC. For me "it's just snow" so I wake up as usual, pack my bag for work and head to Switch Playground on 12th street. Even if I really feel like sh...
On the way I stop at the Vitamin Shoppe on Union Square Park. What a place! Looks like an old pharmacy but only for sport people. Loved it.
AT LAST I also stop to the pharmacy even if I am honestly afraid by US medicines 🙈

Switch Playground killed me but I loved it. I have a great class animated by Claire Saunders and music by Olivia K.
 

IMG_9168.jpg

Then I discover what's waiting for me outside... the blizzard 😱

#snow #WTF

My team texts me that thy are all working from the hotel so I head back. We work from there all day. At lunch I go for a walk on Madison Square. It is too gorgeous with the snow, I have to stop for some the #gram 😉

I go to grab a salad at Essen and go to bed super early because my body is consumed by the flu.

 

DAY 7:

Second day of shoot!
Same program: meet up with the team - go to the studios - work all day.
BUT today we have banana fur! You will see more of it 😄

At lunch I go for a walk along the river and I discover the Queensbridge park. It is GORGEOUS with the snow and the Queensboro old bridge.
 

At the end of the day it's a wrap! Super cliché but we get donuts to celebrate 😉

We then head back to the hotel to get ready for Justin Timberlake's concert at Madison Square Garden 😂

IMG_9304.jpg

TONIGHT I wear... the Banana Fur! 😂

#bananafur #furfree

Before the concert we go for drinks at Osamil: really nice (non-alcoholic for me) cocktails card.
I never thought I would go to a JT's concert but I actually have an amazing time with the team and it is so cool to go to a concert at the iconic Madison Square Garden!

 

DAY 8:

AT LAST I can go for a run in Central Park and it is... just amazing.
It is gorgeous, super convenient for runners and I have the feeling to be constantly in a movie (everywhere I look is iconic) etc etc.
I HAVE TO stop on top on one hill for a yoga flow to celebrate the moment. It is unreal. I store inside all the positive vibes from this moment.

I run up to the Onassis Reservoir and it is breathtaking.
I forgot about this place! The view from the north of the reservoir towards downtown is really impressive. I am speechless with a smile on my face 😬


I run back via the 5th avenue (I know ❤). It ended in a 15km run but with breaks.

I check out from the hotel, turn on my OOO automatic email (I am officially on holidayyyyys today) and... and... and... SIGN MY NEW CONTRACT with adidas!
This May I will be joining the adidas Runners Global team 😇

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new contract sign with adidas runners.

#dreamjob #adidasrunners

To celebrate I go shopping on the 5th. Yes, I go with the banana fur and actually many people will complement me all day 😂

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Shopping time on the 5th avenue!

#shopping

I am... exhausted now ^^ I stop by a Starbuck for a nice "tall coconut milk cappuccino" and I walk towards Time Square to meet with my cousin. This place always impresses me. Such the image of American consumerism.

IMG_9608.jpg

effect of new contract + shopping + banana fur on me 🤣

#TimeSquare

We go for diner in Hell's Kitchen. Everything is FOR SURE too trendy and SO hype so all the places have a one hour waiting line... We don't want to wait and we end up in a simple thai restaurant that is actually really nice and good. Anyway I believe that people make a great diner, not the restaurant!

We then go for an improvisation show at the UCB theatre. It's really nice to try out new things! I am not a big fan of American humour but I have a really nice moment.

Next stop: back to Brooklyn! Sleep is my only motivation now 💤

 

DAY 9:

I stay at my cousin's place with her husband and in the morning we go fo a beautiful 10km run in the Queens and along the river. The weather is perfect and I love to run with the family.

Then I need to pack because I am heading to Nicaraguaaaaaa today. I really do not realize that because I booked it only 2-3 weeks ago!

Long story short: I have a really long layover in NYC but I make the most of it and write this article!

 

DAY 10:

Here we are, one week after I left NYC. I am all tanned and tired 😎😂
This morning took a plane at 1am in Managua, Nicaragua, and I landed this morning in NYC so I did not really have a night.
But this is NOT an excuse not to enjoy Brooklyn!

I go directly to my cousin's place to drop my backpack and put on some warmer clothes (#backtoreality) and then we walk to Le Barricou to have a brunch with my cousin, her husband and my friend Ines... I cannot wait to test their pancakes! Before that I order the Eggs Florentine and they were good. BUT the best is yet to come and indeed the pancakes are HUGE and DELICIOUS. I highly recommend them ❤

IMG_0089.jpg

So fat, so fluffy, SO good.

#pancakes

Then I go for a walk with my friend in Brooklyn/Bedford avenue. I grab a coconut cappuccino (3rd coffee of the day already, imagine my state) at The West and we join a french crew for an "Easter gathering". Super nice moment.
I leave them to go to Yoga at Ski Ting Yoga near the Williamsburg bridge. The studio is really nice. The yoga sesh is not what I expected (too chill and I am so tired and a lot of shoulder opening and I cannot really move my shoulder 🤦‍♀️) but I still have a nice moment and love to practice in a new place. I go out with the sunset light/vibes so I feel grateful once again 🙏

The last step of this really long (bur great) day is a catch up / girly / tea night with my friend: perfect end to a Sunday!

(Not a lot of pics because I lost it all after my phone broke down... anyway 🙄)

 

DAY 11:

I was supposed to go running but... it is REALLY snowing like crazy... But it's ok... it's not like if I had a marathon in 6 days 🤦‍♀️😂
I decide to make the best of this weather: I practice my morning yoga flow, I prepare tea and I write the end of this article.

Time to pack for the airport, I still have to come back to the Nurnberg reality one day...


Once again NYC you have been amazing 🙏❤
What an incredible city. I really feel like I can be myself here, be as weird as I want and everyday have the chance to have a new enriching experience.
I will be back for some new adventures, I hope soon again! ❤

 

 

 

SKI & FUN WEEKEND

 

TIPS:

What to pack for a long bus trip?
- pillow
- earplugs/headphones
- sleeping mask
- phone charger
- water bottle
- healthy snacks (apple, cereals bars...)
- something to cover yourself if it's cold (blanket, hoodie, scarf)
- book / notebook
- take something you never have the time to do (even administrative things): you will have the time! 😉

What to pack for a ski week-end?
- sun cream + hydration lip balm + hydration face/body/hand cream
- sunglasses + ski mask
- a swimsuit (there is often a sauna)
- WARM clothes (don't be afraid to take too much!) + neck warmer + warm thin gloves under the usual ski gloves
- helmet (or rent it, please)
- foam roll + muscle-release cream for after skiing recovering
- healthy snacks! Difficult to find healthy (and affordable!) food when skiing so bring your own: protein bars / fruits / nuts / dry fruits...
- "warm" case/layer for your phone so it does not die in 5min
- portable battery
- water flask
- small bag-pack to ski with

Nutrition during a ski trip:
- Capitalise on Breakfast: it's THE moment to store energy for the day.
- At breakfast make sandwiches for the lunch break.
- Always have (healthy) snacks with you if you need sugar on the slopes.
- Always have water with you.
- Eat carbs at night (but no fat).
- Yeah, "after ski parties" are part of the trip BUT: start right after skiing, be careful, drink water too and go early to bed to recover for the next day! 💪 (mummy MC, I know).


THE TRIP:

Dates: 23-03-18/25-03-18
Departure: Nuremberg, Germany
Arrival: Damüls, Austria
Itinerary: We went by bus. Leave at 5am on Friday, back at 10pm on Sunday.

 

DAY 1:

IMG_7722.jpg

Wake-up at 03:35am, ouch 🙈

Yes, I tried to save 5min!

I drive to the adidas headquarters to meet with the Ski & Fun squad! 
Direction Damüls in Austria by bus. It's a 06h30 drive but I sleep all way long as usual! 
At last, here I am, renting my equipment and going up to the Uga-Alp where we will stay for the weekend. 
Second year I am joining this weekend trip and I really like this spot because we are right on the slopes and the view is amazing!

Directly after arriving we hit the slopes!
What a team we have and the weather is amazing. We are so lucky 🙏

Good news: i did not loose too much of my level since last year 💪
I really enjoy every slopes and each time I look up I am amazed by the nature surrounding us...
Look at this:

Then we go back to the Chalet for apres-ski and sunset. Perfect end ❤

IMG_7799.jpg

Other good news: handstand pic  of the weekend captured ✅ 

I can leave in peace 😂

Early sleep to be ready for tomorrow!

 

DAY 2:

I wake up, I look at the window and here are the sun and the view! 💙

I do not loose my fitness routine even here and I start the day with my daily abs circuit and yoga flow.

Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 12.22.24 AM.png

WeLCOME TO MY PRIVATE YOGA STUDIO 👌

We have a veranda in the room!

Then, breakfast! I am starving (it’s the altitude or me?!). I also like skiing because I can eat a lot AND not feel guilty because I spend all day burning calories 😉. 
I also prepare sandwiches for lunch (see tips section!).

We then hit the slopes once again with the crew. The weather is PERFECT.
I can feel I am tanning so I looove it.

After 3h skiing we take a lunch break in a chalet. All the conditions are here for a nice break.

IMG_7818.jpg

Sun, friends, music, sore legs and Almdudler... What else?

Life is hard.

We keep on skiing the rest of the afternoon and go back to the Uga to enjoy another amazing sunset.

Tonight we have a party! The theme is "Rubik's cube": you arrive at the party wearing all the colors of the cube on you and you leave the party with only one color... MC’s tip to avoid this? Go in BLACK! It’s THE element connecting all the colors in the cube and you don't have to swap any clothes 😆
Early sleep anyway, I want to ski tomorrow even if they announce -18 degrees...

 

DAY 3:

I cannot really see anything by the window when I wake up but I don’t care, we still want to go out and to ski. Indeed the conditions are not ideal ^^ I sometimes even feel dizzy because I cannot see the slope BUT it is still super nice to ski.

IMG_7873.jpg

Last lunch break on the slopes.
I HAVE TO order a hot chocolate and Kaiserschmarrn!

So fat but so good.

We then have to ski down to give back the equipment, pick up our luggages and take the buses back to Germany. A LONG ride back is waiting for us because of the traffic but I don’t care, what a weekend we had 🙏

Once again the adidas Ski & Fun weekend kept its promises. We had an amazing time skiing and lots of fun 😉
I cannot wait to be back next year!

 I will be back!

I will be back!

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONG WEEKEND IN ITALY

 

TIPS:

- To rent a car is the easiest way to travel around.
So many cute villages to stop by on the way.
Parkings are often included in hotels.
I would not recommend to do NBG-Como by car but more to rent a car from Milan.
- It was low season which was nice because not many people BUT many things/activities were close.
- We wanted to rent a boat on Como Lake but we could not because low season. Try to book in advance if you want to do so.
- It was easy for us to book day to day but maybe because of low season.
- Book restaurants in advance in Verona.


THE TRIP:

Dates: 27-10-17/01-11-17
Departure: Nuremberg
Arrival: Como Lake
Itinerary: Gravedona - Lecco - Sirmione - Verona (we rented a car for the all trip).

DAY 1:

IMG_E3444.jpg

Dolce Vita arriviamo!

Giiiiiiiirls trip!
Long weekend in Germany so with 2 friends we decide to hit the road direction Italiiia.
We leave directly from work and drive to Gravedona on Como Lake.
NOT a good idea: way too long and small/dangerous roads in the mountains, especially at night.

We arrive late in Gravedona and everything is closed because of the time and it's low season so we go directly to our air bnb Rezidencia Christian. I really recommend it. Huge apartment, good location and Christian is super nice.

 

DAY 2:

What a wake up... We discover the view from the apartment and it is GORGEOUS.

 View from the balcony

View from the balcony

I love to motivate my friends to practice sports so I take them for a 10km run along the lake in the morning. I highly recommend it!

IMG_3650.jpg

adidas runners como lake! 😉

The run is so beautiful, like in the movies!  
I also use the opportunity to create some Instagram content 😉

 #yogaeverywhere

#yogaeverywhere

As a reward: lunch by the lake, under the sun (remember: MC follows the sun!)

IMG_3649.jpg

☀🍷🇮🇹

 

Essentials.

We then go for a walk in Gravedona. Really cute/typical village.

The day ends perfectly with a gorgeous sunset on the lake AND some wine.
I told you: girls trip 😉

 

DAY 3:

IMG_3697.jpg

Starting the day right.

After breakfast we head to Lecco (still on Como Lake).
Really cute village to stop by if you can but for half a day max.

We then drive to Sirmione on Lake Garda.
Once again, great sunset on the way.

DAY 4:

Buongiorno Sirmione!

Our hotel rents bikes for free so here we are, biking towards the old town. I highly recommend to rent bikes, it's super nice to ride along the lake.

The old town is beautiful!

We also go for a walk all around the old town. The water is turquoise and it's almost feels like we are far far away on holidays!

We are in Italy... so Italy equals... FOOD!
We stop on a plaza for some pasta, wine and ice-cream.

The rest of the afternoon is shopping and nap under the sun 😇

Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 12.10.21 AM.png

Sunset on the lake.

We go for diner at Trattoria Al Porticciolo, really nice.

 

DAY 5:

We drive to Verona in the morning.

Ah Verona, THE city of love (after Paris! 😉).
Really traditional city with a lot of culture. It is a real pleasure to walk through the narrow streets.

We start by the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, then go to the Ponte Scalier and I Portoni della Bra.

Then we go to the famous Piazza Bra. It's beautiful!

We also go shopping Via Mazzini and Via Roma and end up at another beautiful Piazza: Piazza delle Erbe.

After that we go to see the sunset at the top of Castel San Pietro. The view on the city is impressive!

On the way back we quickly pass by Casa di Giulietta but there is not a lot to see and the balcony was under renovation work 🙄

We go for diner at Osteria Casa Vino: DELICIOUS and amazing service. I highly recommend the red wine risotto.

 

DAY 6:

Breakfast on the balcony, short shopping session, last lunch on Piazza Bra and we hit the road again! Back to Germany.

IMG_3941.jpg

Words to live by.

Italy is definitely a great place for a girls trip! Food, wine, spritz, shopping, dolce vita vibes ❤

I was really sick during this trip (yes, I did not expand on this in the article but actually most of my days were half days and that's why I do not mention so many activities or parties/restaurants: I was sleeping) so I did not make the most of what Italy could offer but anyway it was a beautiful trip!




 

 

ONE WEEK IN NYC

 

TIPS:

  • Advice:

- Trip advisor is actually right! NYC has AMAZING restaurants but also HORRIBLE ones (and sometimes you cannot guess at the first sight). Check out on the internet a place before you go.
- There are often fees when you withdraw money (even with an international card) so withdraw a lot at once to save some dollars.
- To take the bus and not the subway is a great way to discover the city.
- Check uber for some trips: it's sometimes almost the price of the subway!
- Top of the Rock is a great rooftop to go to (and not the Empire State Building) because you actually see the Empire State Building.
- The MET has no entrance fee: you give what you want. Wardrobe is free.
- Cliché but still amazing every time: go on the Brooklyn bridge / walk in Central Park / walk in Brooklyn/Williamsburg / Go on a rooftop / Go to the MET and the MOMA. 

  • Foodies:

- Five Leaves: Brunch
Recommended: the pancakes!!!
- Sunday in Brooklyn: Brunch
Recommended: the pancakes.
- Two Hands: Brunch
Recommended: avocado toast.
- by CHLOE Soho: veggie Brunch and lunch
Recommended: the banana bread.
- Chai Thai Kitchen: diner.
Recommended: The pad thai
- City Bakery: for a nice break.
Recommended: the hot chocolate!
- The Meatball Shop: Lunch or Diner.
Recommended: the ice-cream sandwich.
Maman: coffee break or lunch.
Recommended: cappuccino.
Franklin GuestHouse: diner
Recommended: the veggie noodles.
Little Dokebi: diner.
Recommended: Bibimbap.
Public Hotel: drinks.
Recommended: the design/atmosphere.
- PHD: drinks
Recommended: the view.
Fada Bistro: diner and drinks
Recommended: the patio in the back.
- Del Posto: A bit too fancy for me but good food.

  • Fitness:

- Soul Cycle: spinning classes.
Recommended: Mantas' class.
- ShadowBox: boxing studio.
- Y-7: yoga studio.
Recommended: hot yoga with Bee.
- adidas Runners NYC: running team.
Recommended: weekly and "Weekend + Brunch" runs.

  • Shopping:

- OAK: the store on Nassau avenue, Brooklyn, has huge discounts.
- Williamsburg in Brooklyn: the all area has great concept stores and vintage shops.


THE TRIP:

Dates: 26-01-18/04-02-18
Departure: Nuremberg.
Arrival: New York (stop via Paris).

O-M-G 😉
SO happy to go back to NYC!
It's my third time so I do not have the "pressure" of doing all the touristic spots and I know I will have the opportunity to enjoy quietly (if possible) the city.

I am going there for work. It's the annual Summit of the adidas Newsrooms (our Social Media entities all around the world) and for the annual Summit of adidas Runners (Join us! Check if there is a team in your city!). 
I also have the chance that my cousin Laure is living in NYC so I will spend the weekend before and after the Summits there with her 😇

 

DAY 1:

REALLY early wakeup (4am) and direction Nuremberg airport. To be honest I did not see the trip pass by. I have the amazing capability of sleeping whenever and wherever I want (yes, lucky me) so the trip NBG-Paris-NYC went super fast.

So here I am, JFK airport. I feel like a teenager in a TV-serie!
Direction my cousin's place. She leaves in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Perfect.


It's only 2pm so FOR SURE I feel the need to go for a run. It's what I prefer when I arrive somewhere: go for a run to discover my surroundings. 
I run 10km in Brooklyn: each corner, each street, each shop is so cliché but so perfect. When I arrive by the river, I have my first real view over Manhattan... I am speechless and I cannot take off the smile of my face.

IMG_6728.jpg

Once back, I have the chance to catch-up the sunset on the rooftop.

 

 

Are you serious NYC?! Are you THAT beautiful everyday?!

We then go for drinks (= cappuccino for me!) at Trix. I love the super big marble bar there. Ambiance really local/american.
After we have diner at Chai Thai Kitchen. Good padthai. 

Jetlag is kicking hard so I go to bed early.

 

DAY 2:

I am on a marathon prep' (Goal: Paris marathon <4hours) so i need to go for a long run during the weekend and today is the day!
My cousin joins me, I am so happy to have a running buddy (and guide)! We go from Greenpoint to Manhattan Bridge, cross towards Manhattan, run along the river, cross Williamsburg bridge and run back.

How can i write it without sounding too cheesy... Ok I don't even try: it's GORGEOUS! No seriously, WTF?! It's amazing.
We run 17km, what a run.

Afterwards we go for a brunch at Five Leaves. It's "the" brunch in Greenpoint and indeed it is adorable and delicious.

IMG_6757.jpg

I HIGHLY recommend the pancakes, there are HUGE and come with brown sugar butter!

We then walk in Williamsburg to see the vintage shops and then head back to the flat.
It's my cousin's birthday today! We celebrate at Fada Bistro. Super nice spot with a cute patio in the back.

Once again jet lag so I go to bed early and no crazy techno party as scheduled.

 

DAY 3:

Today is Manhattan day! So happy to go on the island.
We head directly to the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art) but then decide we should have lunch before: BAD idea 😂 For SURE there is just nothing around that's healthy, cute and not too expensive. We end up at the Nectar Cafe: DON'T GO THERE! The food is disgusting and expensive, but we had a good laugh!

IMG_6771.jpg

I ordered the "healthy salad and here is what I GOT 😂

 

Gelatine over weird yogurt, on top of salad and fruits... 

 

 

Why?

We are lucky, at the MET there are the David Hockney and the Michel Angelo exhibitions. Anyway, just the permanent collections are breathtaking. It feels like walking through Arts and History books. The Egyptian section is also amazing.

We then grab a bus from the MET to the Flatiron building. Great way to see all the 5th Avenue (I spot the adidas store 👀).

We do our tourists at Madison Square and go for a break at City Bakery. OMG please order their hot chocolate! It's like a cream of pure chocolate: delicious (yes, super fat, but whatever). The cakes are also good.

Then it's sport time! In Germany I met Mantas who is coaching at Soul Cycle and we have the chance to join one of his classes.
I love to end my weekends with a good sweat sesh! 
It's also a great opportunity for me to discover one of the most famous spinning class in NYC: dark room, neon lights, high volume music, motivated coaches... it has it all!

On the way back I grab... a Kombucha. WHY don't we have this in Germany?! I am officially addicted.

We head back home and have homemade diner on the coach in front of OSS 117.
Yes, we are Frenchies in NYC after all 😉

 

DAY 4:

Back to work!
Direction the Newsroom office on Hudson Street. 

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On the way I grab a hot chocolate at Dunkin Donuts...

This is my weakness!

 

I discovered it during my first trip to the US 11years ago and I love it even if it feels like liquid sugar, butter and chocolate 🙊

At lunch I go to by CHLOE Soho with a friend. They offer a good variety of veggie/vegan options. I also recommend the banana bread! Then I go for a coffee with another friend (so cool to have the opportunity to catch up with everyone here!) at Maman. Super cute place and really nice personnel.
Walking back to the office and crossing Soho, I realize that sometimes I would like to be rich and go shopping 💸

After work we check-in at our hotel, Dream Downtown. Nice place, well located, nice personnel, amazing rooftop, but a bit too "fashion club" for me. I prefer more nature/design/clean vibes. Also, to be noticed: the gym is ridiculous! It's literally 5-6 machines in a corridor. There is an outside pool but clearly just to chill with a cocktail at summertime, not to swim (yes, I had hopes ^^).

 Making the most of the gym's space.

Making the most of the gym's space.

I go for a quick abs circuit at "the gym" and then join the team for Diner at The Meatball Shop on the 9th Avenue. Really nice place, with veggie options and large choice of sides. I also recommend (well, not if you are on a diet) the ice-cream sandwich. Yes, you red it right: ice-cream sandwich! It's a huge scup of ice-cream between 2 cookies... Really fat/good/american.

Early sleep because tomorrow morning early run!

 

DAY 5:

Wake-up 5am, ouch!
Indeed I am meeting some colleagues for a run at 6am but I want to run before to be sure to hit my training plan's goal (10km with specific paces). It's snowing, it's freezing, it's dark... BUT it's NYC, it's gorgeous and we have an amazing team! 💥

Quick yoga/stretch sesh' in my room and direction the Newsrooms summit!
It's amazing to be part of the team managing the Social Media tactics for adidas on a Global Level. Also great to catch-up with all the teams: I usually just talk to them via emails or calls!

Diner at Del Posto, way too fancy for me 😅

 

DAY 6:

I feel so sick and weak today 😰
I was supposed to go to ShadowBox at 6am but impossible.

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All day at the summit.
 

I use the breaks to check-up on my instagram community ;)

 

 

At night we have diner/party on the rooftop of the Hotel, I highly recommend the place for the view!

 

DAY 7:

Wake-up 5:30am, ouch again!
Reason: I want to go for a short run before going to a yoga class at Y-7.
I join a "Hot Yoga flow" with Bee Creel. It was really nice! For once the room was really dark and hot (most of the "hot yoga" classes I went to it was not the case) and Bee has a great way of building the flow. Funny fact: the music is kind of hip-hop/commercial and I really had the feeling to flow/dance.

On the run back I witness a gorgeous sunrise in NYC's streets.

 Sunrise in NYC's streets.

Sunrise in NYC's streets.

Once again I spend the all day at the Summit.

I am still really sick (I know, WHY did I go for a run and yoga then? 🙄) and I think I fell asleep at 6pm in my room.

 

DAY 8:

Now direction: the adidas Runners Summit!
SO excited.
FYI my first "touchpoint" with adidas was via adidas Runners Paris in 2014! I joined the adidas Runners Bir-Hakeim team and it became my family ❤ I also discovered Instagram and Twitter with them (and now my job is Social Media!).
So I am really proud to be part of the "Global Committee" of adidas Runners.

The summit takes place in the Public Hotel, I love the atmosphere.
Great moments spent with the team and I take advantage of the rooftop to create some handstand content 😉

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AT THE END OF The Summit WE decide to explore New York City!

First stop: the adidas store on the 5th Avenue!

 We had to take the pic with Adi 😉

We had to take the pic with Adi 😉

Then we go to Time Square.
It is FREEZING (-12) so we do not stay long but still, this place is so impressive! It's the representation of the american consumerism/marketing but also of the american dream.

 Time Square.

Time Square.

It's sunset time, so it's Top of the Rock time!
OMG NYC, how can you be so beautiful?
I witness a gorgeous sunset with a perfect view on the Empire State Building and on Manhattan. One of those moments that will make me smile for a long time ❤

Then direction Brooklyn because it is the week-eeeeeend. 

We go for diner at Little Dokebi. Really nice atmosphere and really good Bibimbap.
Ok... it's Friday night... but i still feel sick and I want to run a half-marathon tomorrow 🙈 So bed!

 

DAY 9:

Difficult wake-up but no excuses: the marathon prep' is waiting for me!
Today is a 2hours run so I tell myself 21,1km.
Route: from Greenpoint to Williamsburg bridge, cross, run along the river until the Brooklyn Bridge
(I knooooow, the dream), and run back (I did not want to go back through the industrial Brooklyn and I enjoyed the first half of the run too much).

To run on the Brooklyn Bridge is just a dream coming true.

As a reward we were supposed to go for brunch at Two Hands but it's a one hour waiting line and... I need to eat!

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We then stop Around the corner at The Sosta...

 

 

DON'T GO there!


Worst  avocado toast I had in my life. even the cappuccino was bad.

We then walk to the World Trade Center and the Oculus Shopping Mall via the financial district. The architecture there is really impressive. 

We then have a walk in Central Park for sunset... one more iconic and unforgettable moment.

Once back in Brooklyn we go for diner at Franklin GuestHouseSuper nice place. A bit noisy (music load) and the portions are small but the food is really good.

 

DAY 10:

Last day 😢
I injured myself yesterday at the run so I cannot run. Hence we go for a walk in Brooklyn. We start by passing by the adidas Brooklyn Farm and then by Williamsburg. We end up at Sunday in Brooklyn for a brunch. It was so nice! The place is adorable and the menu looks promising. I take the pancakes (yes, once again ^^), so good, and a kale/quinoa/avocado salad, so good too.

Time to head back to grab my suitcase and direction the airport!


What an amazing trip I had... 
A bit disappointed about myself that I got so sick and injured myself but I know I always overdo things 😒


I have the feeling I always end my articles by this but it's true: the people made my trip ❤
It was so nice to see my cousin and her husband and to see all the adidas teams!
Ok, the amazingness of NYC also played a role 😉

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NYC, I will be back!

 


If you welcome me, I could even move here!

FUERTEVENTURA SURF TRIP

 

TIPS:

  • Advice:

- Book a shuttle online from the airport to your place of residence. Super easy and cheap.
- If you take your own wetsuit: the waters are actually cold!
- Save one day to go to Lobos Island. A nice escape and you can climb easily the volcano. I recommend Lobos Explorer.
- To rent a car is a great option to discover the island. Lots of spots all around the island.
- Buses are an easy and cheap option but not running really regularly.
- Go for a sunset at El Cotillo: gorgeous.
- Banana Bar is the "party place". The rooftop is actually nice.
- Cliché but: the sun is REALLY strong there (especially since it is so windy you don't feel it) so pack the sun creams!

 

  • Surf spots:

- Playa Blanca: beginner/intermedaite - reef break.
- La Oliva: beginner/intermediate - reef break
- El Cotillo: beginner - beach break
Punta Blanca: Intermediate - reef break


THE TRIP:

Dates: 07-04-17/14-04-17
Departure: Nuremberg.
Arrival: Fuerteventura (I found direct flights with Sun Express)

Duration: 7 days.

For this trip I partnered with Planet Surf Camp.

 

DAY 1:

Early flight (06:20am) so early wake up (04:20am): yes, that's also this traveling for cheap!
Once I arrive in Fuerteventura I have to take a shuttle/bus to Corralejo. I booked it online and the driver drops me directly where I stayed so really practical.

I arrive at Planet Surf Camp. As usual in a surf camp, great atmosphere and I already feel relaxed. The camp is in a typical house in a residential area. I am in a dorm with 3 other people. There is a nice outdoor space with a small pool plus a roof terrace (to tan and do yoga for sure!).

 Planet Surf Camp.

Planet Surf Camp.

On the way to the camp I saw this gorgeous beach with white sand and I learn it is called "Las Dunas" so I decide to go running there... via the desert.. under a strong sun... on my first day (you will see where I want to arrive at).
In the desert I feel so happy/lucky, I decide to stop for some yoga, to feel the nature around me 🙏

 Scorpio pose in the desert.

Scorpio pose in the desert.

I arrive at Las Dunas and indeed it is just gorgeous.

I have a break on the beach, "absorb" the sun and run back.

And here is the result of this run in the desert...😂

I arrive just on time at the camp for the yoga session on the terrace, perfect!

Then I go down to meet the other inhabitants and we all decide to go for tapas in the village.

Great moment with the crew in a local restaurant. Then we go for ice creams and I call it a night because I am just exhausted!

 

DAY 2:

Directly when waking up, I go for a 7km run along the coast. What a nice moment. I have the feeling I will do this path a lot!

Once back at the camp, workout and a yoga session on the terrace and I get ready for surfing!!! 🏄‍
One thing to know: most of the time because of wind and swell we only went surfing pretty late in the morning or even in the afternoon! I am usually more a fan of surfing twice a day, once early morning and once in the afternoon, but I cannot change Nature!

Direction Playa Blanca for my first surf session in Fuerteventura!
The waves are ok, I take some but it's always difficult on the first day! Still, so happy to be back on the board!

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After surfing we stop at El Goloso in Lajares to have coffees and snacks.

 

It will become a tradition!

Spotted: there is a crossfire box in Lajares! Did not get the chance to go but I would have loved to.

Once back at the villa: yoga, chill, diner and early sleep (oh I love those early ones!)

 

DAY 3:

We decide to go on our own surfing because one friend rented a car. We load the boards and direction La Oliva near El Cotillo.

 La Oliva.

La Oliva.

We just... don't find the waves. I mean, nice green waves. Nevertheless, we have a short surf session, chill on the beach and head back to the camp.
Once back we go to the beach bar to enjoy some music. I just tan, read and snooze: love that!

We then decide to go back to El Cotillo for a sunset surf session but once again, no waves. Still, we have a GORGEOUS sunset and take the opportunity to do a cool pic session 📸

 

DAY 4:

Wake up, 7km run, training session by the coast and run back.
Yoga on the terrace, breakfast and let's go surfing! 💪

 Morning run.

Morning run.

Spot: Punta Blanca. 
And the waves are... amazing!
I even do my first turns! I was so excited (endorphins kick 🙌).

We head back to the camp for lunch and I will spend the afternoon chilling on the beach with the crew. 

Beautiful sunset from the rooftop to end the day.

 Sunset from the rooftop.

Sunset from the rooftop.


DAY 5:

It's my birthdayyyyyy! I love to spend it in another country, especially a sunny one!
I HAVE TO start the day with running and yoga so I go for a 10k and practice sun salutations on the terrace.

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I go down for breakfast with the team AND to receive all the birthday wishes 😉

 

 

They offer me the surf cap of the camp, I feel like a real surfer now!

We then all go surfing. What an amazing way to spend my birthday.

 Surf spot.

Surf spot.

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After lunch I go shopping into town,

 

stop by a cute coffee by the sea, have a cappuccino, write my travel book and call my family ❤

Then I join the group at the beach, we chill and go back to the camp.
There I take the decision to run my first marathon before I turn 26 (in the end I will run Berlin marathon only 5 months later 💪).

Next we start celebrating at the camp and go for diner at Sombrero. Really nice moment at the harbor. After that direction Banana Bar, "the place to be" (there's always one in surf cities 😉). The rooftop space is actually really nice and they even play techno/electro! I could not ask for more. The night lasts way too long for us to wake up the next day in a good shape but we have so much fun!

 

DAY 6:

Really difficult wake up 🙈
We go to Punta Blanca surfing but the waves lack power. We pass by El Goloso Corralejo on the way back and retire to the beach 😄

It's barbecue night on that day so we all eat together at the camp. Really convivial moment.

 

DAY 7:

Early wake-up and my friend joins me for a sunrise run. It was gorgeous.

 Sunrise run.

Sunrise run.

Yoga on the terrace (yes, every day!) and I join a group of Spanish people (I could speak Spanish all day, was sooo cool) I met the day before to explore Lobos Island.

 Those Spanish people &lt;3

Those Spanish people <3

We go on a tour with Lobos Explorer, I highly recommend them. We go with a private boat to the island and do a tour of the island first. Beautiful.

We arrive at "El Puertito", an adorable harbor with a pontoon coming through the turquoise water. A real postal card.

We go for scuba diving and paddling. First time I try paddling so I HAVE TO try some yoga moves on the board 😉

Before lunch we decide to go to the top of the main volcano, Montaña La Caldera. Super nice walk in the desert nature, easy climb (127m) AND we tan all the way. The view from the top is amazing.

We go back to el Puertito and have a great lunch in one of the fisherman's house. Wine and fresh food, what else?

 Typical lunch.

Typical lunch.

We then chill on the beach and go back to Fuerteventura.

 Turquoise water.

Turquoise water.

Short yoga session at the camp and I go for paella and ice-creams (diet whoop whoop) with my besties from the camp at Antiguo Cafe del Puerto.

 Love love love &lt;3

Love love love <3

Once back at the camp we improvize a salsa night with the Spanish crew. Super fun.

 

DAY 8:

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Last wakeup at the camp 😭

 

I go for my last run along the coast and it is SO warm.

 

 

I carry on with a work out and yoga session on the terrace (sun salutations again and again 🙏)

We go to El Cotillo for my last surf session and the waves are not really there... I am frustrated and sad but I tell myself that it is another reason to organize another surf trip asap!

One last coffee break with the crew on the way back, one last break at the beach ("sangria please"!) and I have to go back to the camp to pack.

 Last after surfing coffee break.

Last after surfing coffee break.

I arrive at the airport and take the time to finish my travel journal and to have a look back at the past week. What an amazing week...

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Once again the people made my trip great.

The waves were not the best to be honest but the weather was amazing and I had so much fun.

Once again a great adventure. 

 

 

Bye Canary Islands, I will be back!