July 14, 2017. Can I learn French AND simultaneously Train for a 50 mile ultra marathon? Oui! Bien sûr, Pourquoi pas?

IMG_2569.JPGJack of all trades – master of none.

Yep, that’s me.  I’m pretty good at most things – I’m not the best at anything.

I dabble…in many things but really never progress in most – beyond the novice level.

I can speak a little French – believe me nothing fantastic – just some words.

I can run a little – believe me nothing fantastic – I just run.

But this year – I have huge plans / dreams / expectations of myself.

I’m thinking others in their early 50’s are probably busy doing the same thing – trying to fit in as much life as possible.

Presently, I’m in the middle of a life long quest to finally master French.  However, I’m also registered to run a 50 mile ultra marathon.  Holy cow what did I just type! And what will prove to be harder? And how will I find the time for both?

When I run, I practice my French.  Listening to French language podcasts for miles on end. Currently by myself as my French friend and running partner moved – bisous Latiffa.

When I practice my French, I run.  As the miles pass, I often find myself counting in French, saying the French alphabet, and singing French children’s songs.

I obsessively listen to everything French while running.

Interview with myself:

Do I think this learning method (running while listening to French) is effective?  It hasn’t been thus far.  I still only have about 15 words I feel comfortable using.  It is what it is…

Do I think these two goals (learn French and run 50 miles) are conflicting or compatible? Hands down – conflicting!  But, what else am I going to do on a long run? And what else am I going to do while learning French. I couldn’t possibly devote all my time to just one activity.  I’m a dabbler, a Jack.

Why all of this at once? Have you heard the term…hyper focus?  For me, when I have just one thing to focus on – I hyper focus on it and often just spin my wheels. By putting these two challenges together (dans ma tête), I’ll be better able to balance out my time and avoid burning out mentally AND physically.  Dans ma tête, I’ll be forced to split my time between the two – there will be no time to hyper focus.  And like most of us, this will be in addition to balancing the other normal plates of life: job, home, family etc…

I’m so excited!

Do I think I’ll be successful?  YEP.  I’m never going to be a French teacher and I’m never going to win the Olympics.  But I will speak French (not sure how much) and I will run 50 miles (not sure if I’ll be able to walk afterwards).

It’s going to take awhile for me to really learn to speak French.  I’m on a five year plan.  But what else are you going to do while you train to run 50 miles (event is in November, I’ll let you know how it goes).  And what else are you going to do while learning French (next trip to France is May 2018).

It’s my pattern – It’s what I do best – dabble vs. master.





6 responses to “July 14, 2017. Can I learn French AND simultaneously Train for a 50 mile ultra marathon? Oui! Bien sûr, Pourquoi pas?”

  1. Suz!
    I’ve just read your new blog and I love it- it’s hilarious. And thank you for reading mine and following me- you are my very first follower! Thank you!
    I visit France every year so might even send you some language tips 😉
    And good luck with the running!
    Emma Adair

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You! I’m really enjoying writing again after many years.

      I’ll be watching your blog.

      And’s yes, send me ALL the help you can.

      Best Regards! Suz


  2. Emma – when do you plan do visit France again?


  3. […] I described this oddity in my “Jack of all trade-ness, master of none-ness” blog:  July 14, 2017. Can I learn French AND simultaneously Train for a 50 mile ultra marathon? Oui! Bien s… […]


  4. I definitely think there are benefits to simply listening to the nuances of a language, even if you don’t understand the meaning. I do this with Latin music which I happen to love. It also helps to have a text of the music, conversation etc to review occasionally. You’ll find you begin to hear and recognize more vocabulary as time goes by. Most helpful of all–and I’m sure you already know this–is being surrounded by native speakers and being forced to really listen and interact. It’s painful and embarrassing at times, but a necessary step in language acquisition. And, don’t be afraid to ask a native speaker (politely of course) to please slow down their speech so you can more clearly decipher each word. Best of luck on your journey of learning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bonjour Henry. Great points and I so agree on the immersion technique. We were able to travel to Quebec last summer and it truly made a difference in just a week. Bonne Annee. Suz


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: