|Sandy at La Jonction|
So back to my days off and on Monday morning when I woke up I really didn't know what to do. I was at a bit of a loose end and to be honest when I thought about running I really didn't want to. I wanted to climb but had no partner as everyone was working. So after waking at 7am I didn't get out the door until 10.30am after many decisions on what to do. I opted to get the lift to the top of Brevent and run over to the Anterne Refuge where I had been the previous week and then just see where I get from there.
|Looking up to Mt Buet. Blue skies for now!|
Once I started running I started feeling better in my head and once I reached the refuge I looked over in the distance to Mt Buet(3106m) and wondered if I should head over. I knew the Col Salenton which leads you towards the summit may be full of snow so wasn't sure at first if it was worthwhile but in the end went for it. First time I had run the trail up to Salenton and it was awesome. Blue skies , super hot and the closer I got to the Col I could see the small amount of snow in it was not going to be a problem to get up. Once reaching the Col the other side towards Mt Buet was a different story and full of snow. None of which was really a problem though as there was loads of solid footsteps in it from the hundreds of hikers who have been up to the summit this summer so I just stayed in the tracks and had a great jog up to the final Col just below the summit. By this point the clouds had rolled in and the forecast for late afternoon thunderstorms was looking as it should have read early afternoon thunderstorms. I wasn't far from the summit by this point so I kept going only to get caught in a horrendous hail storm for 15 minutes but luckily managed to find some kind of shelter from the worst of it. That morning I had only packed a little wind shirt ,the first time this season I left my waterproof at home , Typical. Once I reached the summit the clouds were now thick and very very black so I did not hang around and set off down towards the town of Buet which was a long 2000m descent away. Just before I got to the Berard Refuge at 1900m the hail began again but I kept running and made it into the refuge for shelter as the rain and hail got so heavy I couldn't actually believe what I was watching come down. It was a good 20 minutes of constant downpour until it eased and I headed out and blasted down to the hamlet of Buet on trails that were now transformed to small rivers. From here I bailed and hopped onto the bus back to Chamonix but ten minutes into the journey I was thinking to myself how good I felt so at the next stop I got off and ran back home adding 10km onto my day. Overall a brilliant day out climbing 1500m and descending 3000m and I finished just 1km short of doing a marathon.
|On the way to Col Salenton|
|Nearly Hail Storm time|
So on Tuesday I decided to do something much shorter so opted to run the Chamonix Cross Race in reverse (I hate starting in the valley and climbing up this route , bores the life out of me) so it was 23kms and I must say my legs were pretty damn sore for the last 5kms and I must admit I had to stop twice to give my thighs a little rub.
Wednesday was another 6.30am lift up to the midi with Sandy for yet another Cosmiques Arete lap (I swear I could do this route blindfolded by now). Again pretty quick at just over an hour and we got stuck behind a couple of teams who must have started from the hut in the morning. After the short climb we sat in the café for a couple of hours and then back down to Chamonix. Later on I went out a short 11km run in afternoon doing my usual Brevent to Flegere traverse. It was then the lift down to save the knees which have been a little sore recently and then a run along by the river and home. Tested out my TORQ gels and the Rhubarb and Custard really are brilliant , they taste just like the boiled sweets I used to get on lunches when I was at school! They are a slightly thicker Gel to my usual High5 ones which I have used for years and seem to do a good job so I will probably be using a mix of both in Colorado. 76kms covered on my 3 days off.
|Sandy soloing up the last chimney section on the Arete.|
Long way down below!
Really glad I am able to get up to 3842m quite often now even if it is just for a few hours at a time. I do wish I was doing new climbing routes but morning laps of the Cosmiques and runs in the afternoon ain't too bad training.
|Just Chillin' at 3800m|
Leadville news and I have been in touch with my support team. Pacers - Anna , Ben and Kimberley and Crew - Stacey and Jennifer. They have been brilliant help and all seem super keen and excited to help me out. We already have a short run planned the day after I arrive in the states. It really has blown me away how helpful and eager everyone is to support me. It is such a long long day for everyone to hang around and help me try to finish the race and I am so lucky to have them.
|Thanks TORQ. Not tried the Banoffee flavour yet.|