Friday, 13 December 2013

Pretty Nippy

After a very snowy end of November it has been blue skies and bitterly cold for a couple of weeks. I have been making most of the snow and getting back out on the skis just for a play around and also managed a couple of little days skinning up. I went to St Gervais with Garry for a nice 2 hour jaunt in glorious sunshine and we were pretty lucky to find a little stash of powder on the way down.

Top of St Gervais
The next day I went for a skin up Les Houches in full on fitness mode and blasted up to the top of the Kandahar slope in just 50 minutes. I was pretty happy with this time as I didn't take the direct route up and preferred to weave my way up different slopes. It was pretty hard work I must admit skinning that fast. I left the car ready for a nice morning stroll but for some reason as I do now and then I switched to fast mode and never let up until the top. Loved it although the descent was freezing as I never stuck on any extra layers at the top and just turned around and skied down into the bitter cold.

Breathing out of my........
Yup that will be snow on the lens
Running has not stopped yet but the yaktracks have been a fair amount. I have been running in the evenings after work. It is pretty hard I must admit to get home after work and then get changed to go and run in -8 but I have been pretty motivated to keep up my running and so far all is good. Nothing long. Never more than 13km but it is awesome fun. The trails are rock hard ice so are quite tricky but the riverside run to Les Houches is in great condition on hard pack snow. I am still loving my running even more than skiing at the moment although that will change when more snow arrives I am sure. I still have doubts about this winter season and all sorts of things are going through my head everyday as to what to do next and if I will last a full winter or head back to Scotland but as soon as I get out on the trail at night as silly as it all sounds my head is just clear and I just love to run especially in these amazing crisp cold nights with everything sparkling from the snow , ice and frost. It's amazing but then once home again and in for the night I repeatedly keep thinking what I should be doing with myself. All I am focused on now is summer in Colorado and it is miles away. Anything could happen between now and then I know. It's just crazy how big an impact that place had on me.

My night time view
Still cracking fun but bloody cold. So cold in fact that night
the buff around my neck froze solid
Onto next years races and unfortunately I did not get into Hardrock 100. I can't say I am gutted about this as I knew my chance was slim so into the hat for 2015 I will go. It is still the only other Ultra(with exception of the LT 100) that I have really really wanted to do. Hardrock 2014 is set to be a cracker as Kilian Jornet made the draw for next year so I cannot wait to see how he does on a course which is ideal for him with lots of climbing and technical ground. It is going to be a hell of a race next July. I am expecting a new course record from the Spaniard.

Now I know that Hardrock 2014 is not to be it has kind of cleared up what I will be doing as I was waiting to see the result of the draw before focusing on others. So here is my list....

April 26th – Hoka Highland Fling – 80km - Scotland

July 13th – Leadville 50(80km) - Colorado

August 10th – Leadville 10km - Colorado

August 17th – Leadville 100 PACER(return the favour to Kim for pacing me this year)

September 12th – Run Rabbit Run 100 Steamboat Springs – Colorado

October 4th – Lake District 3x3000 80km – England

So 3 80kms next year and another 100 miler is on the cards and probably some short stuff when over in Colorado. Entry for all the American races opens on January 1st but I should get in them as they don't usually sell out for a few weeks but I will be signing up on the 1st. The UK races I have already signed up for. So next years big one is the Steamboat 100. I have months to let you know all about this one but it is 100 miles and has a little bit more climbing than Leadville involving 6000m of ascent and descent , 68 miles on single track , 8 miles on tarmac and the rest on rough jeep roads throw in a small field of just 250 runners and it should be brilliant. Also I am allowed to use Pacers so hopefully I can have my Colorado team back with me for this one and they all seem super keen so far which is awesome. I am also doing a few of the other Leadville races because I loved the place and want to go and run there again plus Anna and Kim are planning on doing the 50 miler as well so would be cool if we can run that together. Finally I will be returning to the Leadville 100 but this time to pace. Kim is going to enter and straight away I told her I wanted pace for her and return the favour. I am actually more excited about pacing a friend over the course than any other race next year. No idea on what distance she wants me to run with her but I am happy with anything up to 40 miles including the Hope Pass section as I loved that but I will do whatever she asks. I am just so happy to be going back there again.

I am sitting waiting on more snow to arrive so winter can properly kick off and my next two days off are going to be spent visiting Lauren in Les Deux Alpes to go Trail Running! And maybe a little ski...maybe.

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