Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Still Plodding Away

I rested on Thursday after 3 good solid training days so on Friday as I had an early finish at work I got the last Brevent lift to the top and again ran up to Col Salenton and to the top of Mt Buet (3109m) , this time I was 3hrs 30mins Brevent to Summit. Sandy hiked up to meet me via the normal route and we then descended the 2000m down to the car at the village of Buet. Brilliant run again and in the evening sunlight it looked amazing , especially as I was just getting to the summit and the sun setting away in the distance towards Geneva. The run back down the Berard valley was 21 degrees at 10.30pm. 29km and another 3000m of descent.

Buet Summit at Dusk
Sandy Cooling off at 10.30pm
I had a full work day on Saturday so didn't make it out and then on Sunday's lunch break I ran 16km from Brevent to Flegere then down to Les Tines and back along the river to the shop for the afternoon shift. Really really hot the past few days in Chamonix. Up high there was a good breeze but once I had descended down to the valley it was 33 degrees!!

After nearly a month of blue skies on Monday I woke to torrential rain. The forecast was for it to clear late afternoon so I sat in the house until 4pm waiting for the rain to finally ease then I headed out for 12k. Aiguilette Des Houches to Merlet Park and then back home. A pretty boring run to be honest. I wasn't really in the mood for it and the ground was super wet so it was pretty treacherous in places to say the least. Still good to get something done but not really a run I will remember at the end of the season.

Tuesday was much better so I again went for my current favourite run to Anternne – Salenton – Mt Buet – Buet. Blue skies were back so a great day again although I didn't really feel too great on the last little climb up to the summit. Don't know what was wrong but I was much slower than I have been lately. The previous days storm had dumped quite a bit of snow above 2900m so the very top of Mt Buet was pretty white. The run down was great(except the short section above the Berard Refuge – Worst trail ever) and pretty warm once in the Berard valley so a couple of dips into the river were needed. Another 29k done.

Buet Summit again , this time with added snow
Thankfully this time the clouds didn't bring hail
The following day I ran the traverse from Planpraz to Flegere via the Col Gliere. Not a super long distance but the first time I have ran the trail this season so I really enjoyed it. Pretty much clear of snow with only one little awkward section to traverse about 10 metres of snow that was actually quite steep and not somewhere you would want to fall but I made it across. I then wanted to save the knees from another long descent so opted for the chairlift down and ran the flat from the bottom of Flegere to Chamonix. Only a total of 10km but really enjoyable. Then after lunch Myself , Graham and Sandy headed back up to Flegere via the help of the cable car and chairlift to go and do the Crochue Traverse. I have done this little ridge outing loads and it was great to go up in the afternoon to have it to ourselves. Nothing hard on it. A short fun chimney climb to start then a little steep down climb with only a couple of loose handholds followed by some narrow and fairly exposed ridge sections but nothing difficult. The descent off of it was the most fun as it was snow all the way to Lac Blanc below so by skiing , jump turning(Graham) running and bum sliding our way down we made quick work of the descent but opted not to go for a dip in Lac Blanc due to there still being little icebergs floating in it so we made it back to Flegere with plenty of time before the last lift. Really good to get out in the mountain and not be running for change.

Col Cornu
Saving the knees
The down climb , Sandy testing loose rocks , Graham running away
Crochue Summit 2800m. Yeah Yeah Yeah
many remarks were made about the shirt.
So far my body feels pretty good. My knees are a little bit sore sometimes after long descents and also in the mornings so I have been using an ice pack on them in the evenings before bed and when I wake up and it seems to help. Now don't be fooled by thinking that I never get sore legs. It's funny how you can run 30km one day and feel great then 3 days later go for a 10k and it can get worryingly sore. I must say though that my recovery is pretty good as I am not stiff or sore the day after my longest runs. Being able to go out back to back days running is pretty vital I reckon and so far this season I have been able to do that.

Back to work tomorrow and three more days off next week then back in work for two days then it's flight time on August 10th. Time really has flown past this summer and with the exception of maybe two or three runs I have not got bored of putting on the trail shoes and getting out. I have been super lucky that the weather has been amazing for pretty much all my days off which really does help at getting out. It can be a bit of a chore going out when it's miserable. I have done that enough back in Scotland. After all these training miles I really haven't lost my love of running in the mountains and on the trails. It may sound all a bit cliché but you really do have to enjoy running to get through these kind of races and being able to get through the pain barrier and not giving up is also a good skill to have but at the end of the day if you ain't enjoying running then why do it , find something else to do that you do enjoy. Like I have always said if you wake up one day and just don't feel like going a run then don't , don't push it and just wait until you feel like going again and enjoying it instead of it being a chore. In saying all that though I am looking forward to September when I can go rock climbing and do some Alpine stuff again and maybe only go running two days a week instead of the 5/6 I have been doing all summer. I have a couple of races in October back in the UK but I reckon I just need to be going out a couple of times a week in September and I should be fine.

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