Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Summers Hotting Up

So it's been a month since Transvulcania and summer has well and truly arrived here in Chamonix. Most of May was just okay weather wise but things are heating up now day by day. The snow is melting fast so lot's of the high trails are now totally runable with things like Mt Buet still a week or two away from being clear.

High up behind the house
The past month has been a bit of a strange one. Some days I am going out running and feeling great and other days I feel terrible. Maybe I never let myself recover for long enough after La Palma but it seems to be sorting itself out now. I really haven't done much distance running at all in the past month. I have run fairly often to and from work which is 18km a day and gone on quite a few 10-12km jaunts on lunch breaks.

Heading to Refuge Tete Rousse
Even though I have been going easy on long distance runs I have been cramming in a load of uphill work. I am loving the trail up to Mont Lachat behind my house and it's an awesome 1200m climb on a really fun trail. I have also been doing decent Plan D'Aiguille runs on lunch managing to get up the 1300m in 1hr 09mins on the slightly longer(more runnable) Brand Bois trail and finally I have been up Aiguilette des Houches from the house and have a really nice 16km loop up and down which gets me 1280m of ascent. I have a marathon in Cerdanya this weekend which I am looking forward to. I ran it last year and loved it so I am happy to be going back to run on a slightly different course. As usual I want to go and enjoy and feel as good as I can for all of the race. If I feel really good then I will have a real go otherwise I will cruise around enjoying different scenery and landscapes and hope it's not quite as hot as last months race!

About to head down the Midi arete. The view
never ceases to amaze no matter how many
times I have be on it.
I have had a few fun trips up the Midi of late getting the lungs working hard at altitude. I have been up doing the safest things I can unroped without spending too much time on the glaciers. Midi Plan traverse , Pointe Lachanel and Cosmiques Arete are all great cardio workouts. All fairly easy outings compared to most things in this valley but for sure the north face sections on the midi plan which are really just a (very exposed) walk are slightly intimidating early season with that huge drop to your side on small icy footsteps. I managed to get my Cosmiques lap time down to 40 mins , station to station but I have a long way to go yet to get close to Kilians 1hr 25mins......for 3 laps.

Out with Woody and Kilian on the Cosmiques Arete.
Great snap from Kilian.
Out with this one again
I even had my skis up with me the other day to make things easier crossing the heavy soaking wet snow in the afternoons. I actually got some lovely turns off the midi arete in the morning but by 10am things were heating up really quickly and skis make it so much faster to traverse the Col du Midi rather than walking and constantly sinking. I can see myself using my skis for access this summer quite a lot.

Woody scrambling up Voie Caline
The plan for me now is just to stick with what I am doing. I love being able to mix up my running and easy alpine stuff in the summers. The running keeps me in shape for..eh....running and the alpine stuff gives me a break from the trails but keeps the legs and lungs strong for the races to come this summer and then there is work. Money needs to come from somewhere and I will be working all of this month and some of July and then its USA time in August. Surprise surprise I just can't wait to get back there but I am a little concerned that my next big race is the Bear at the end of September and between now and then my longest race is 45k(Tromso) I would really like to get a 60-80k race in at the middle of July but I really can't find one at all. I do always like to get a 50 miler done maximum 2 months before a 100 but it's not looking likely this year and I will have to be content with having finished Transvulcania however by the time the Bear comes around Transvulcania will have been almost 5 months before!

Solo day on Midi Plan Traverse and a wee bit of skiing.
So from next month I will up my mileages when I have more time free. Last years back to back runs mid week of  30 - 40 - 35km might this season turn out to be 40 - 50 - 45 but really I don't know yet for sure. I just need to wait and see how I am feeling. In between my back to backs I will be enjoying the high altitude climbing and getting in short runs in the Aiguille Rouge and with luck smash out some Mont Blancs from my house a few times over July , 3800m up , 3800m down...Excellent.

On top of Aiguilette des Houches, Another training run from the house.
So the rest of June is going to be Run , Climb , Altitude.......Work.

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