Well it has been a bit strange since I have been back in France. Back to work , arranging the shop opening deliveries of skis and boots etc.. but I just cannot get into winter mode yet. The skis have been back on and the running has continued.
I have been out for a few great little runs and just taking it easy now with two or three runs a week. Depending how I feel they are either during lunches or in the evening. I had an excellent run in the snow last week. 12km mostly flat with a little climb involved to get to the snowline then I had an awesome run down through ankle deep fresh powder back to Chamonix. Totally loved it although the feet got slightly cold so neoprene socks are on the shopping list. Other than that I have just been out for anything between 7-10km. As I said nothing at all like the summer but just keeping the legs ticking over. It will become more difficult to get out when the snow properly hits and the temperatures in town plummet but I am pretty determined this year to make sure I do get out twice a week. I actually went out this evening for 10km after work and felt I could have gone for 50! Just one of those nights , hood up , head torch on , head down and mellow tunes full blast and I was zoned out and totally at ease on the trails not really wanting to stop but I was hungry and needed my dinner. I love it when I get that feeling. The feeling of being able to go on and on and on. Breathing was spot on , heart was at a steady rhythm , I was not too hot nor too cold and my legs just felt so fresh going along at a chilled 50 min 10km pace. Typing this up I actually kinda wish I had stayed out.
|Tights are back on and S-labs are crap in snow|
I never ever talk myself up about my running because at the end of the day there are always millions of people way better than I am so what's the point in going on and on about yourself. I know I am not the fasted out there and to be honest most of my friends who do not run as much as me are probably the same pace or even faster than I am but I do take great pride in my ability to keep going and stay relatively fresh. I know many people out there don't really see the point in doing races unless you give it 100% all out maximum effort for the entire race. Fair play to these people I think that is great but I touched on this before I think and I have been to races and done that and now I just go out to enjoy and love the fact I have trained myself to complete some of these distances and not wish the finish was just round the corner because I am in so much pain. It's meant to be fun isn't it? I run trails because I love to run trails. I don't do it to then get halfway and moan how sore I am and I wish it was all over. Yeah there are plenty of stages on a big race I am in tremendous pain but I love the challenge of fighting through that then an hour or maybe two down the trail you feel great again. I don't go out looking for the pain , it will come , it will go. That's Ultras. I ain't really into doing races or finishing races to tell people how hard it was or how sore I got. I want to let them know how amazing it was. This is not me sounding like I am above all of that or don't feel pain it is just that I know that is going to happen so what's the point in going on and on about how tough it was when it is pretty obvious running 50k , 100k , 100 miles is going to be bloody hard.
So Skiing has begun again and I have been out with the usual crew for a few days in Verbier skiing some great early season powder and also out for a couple of little tours to get the skinning fitness back. I do apologise to any non skiers out there as there is going to be a fair few skiing pictures coming up on this blog for the next few months but I promise I will try keep this minimal and it will not turn into a ski blog. I will let you know how the running is going and what is going through my head looking to summer! Yes summer! It is only just beginning to snow and all I can think about is those sweet sweet Colorado trails.
|Yes I know - Too good to leave behind|
|The two Grahams out for a wee tour in Flaine|
|Verbier powder hunting|
It might all sound a bit far fetched but my trip in August feels like it totally changed my outlook on my life and where I want it to go. To be honest I have never really had a life plan and never had a clue what I really wanted to do but my trip to Colorado was so amazing it really had a massive effect on me. I totally believe this was not just a holiday buzz. I genuinely felt when I was out there that that was the place I am meant to be. Chamonix has never really felt like home. I love it here , it's totally amazing and I can forever see myself returning but it was always a stop gap for me to escape what had gone on back in Scotland and try to look ahead. It has been amazing here and I have met amazing people who will forever be great friends but my time here really is ticking away. I am sure I will have a tremendous season out here but all I am thinking of is Colorado. At the end of the day it looks near impossible for me to get a long term visa but I will make do with 3 months next year just to get a taste for life there a bit better and maybe even try pursue the long road of obtaining a visa. After my spell there it is looking more and more like Scotland. Now no way on earth could I do a summer back there but a winter I could handle as there are many winter climbs I still really want to get done but after one more Scottish winter I have no idea where the road will lead to next......... absolutely no idea.
|Ready for the ice|