Just in case you all thought I had fallen off a come back cliff…..I have clawed myself back to some sort of form, all be it tentatively. Since my last blog about the Jurassic Challenge things have been a bit up and down….well mostly down really. Perhaps I had been a little over confident about my ability to crank out 90 miles over 3 days…..my brain had said yes but my body said NO…..I was super pleased to come out of it well in terms of any virus relapse but my poor old legs didnt seem to follow suit. Since then I have lurched between a tweek here…a tweak there and not really able to put anything consistant together. Saying that I managed to brush of the bike and get out in the sunshine and smash out some epic rides and bore myself to death in the gym (not something to relish when the sun is out and your cycling on the spot sat in a sweaty puddle). So the last 3 weeks havnt been ideal…especially as all the time I had my Annecy recce trip creeping up on me and the small matter of the IAU World Championships to contend with.
After a few days of tentative walk run attempts I boarded the plane to Geneve with a bunch of good mates….who just happen to be pretty good runners, with the purpose of reccing the 86k annecy course. I packed running kit, hiking kit, cycling kit and a large cork screw…….I really had no idea whether I would be able to run, walk or crawl….
I literally started day one saying that quite possibly with in 100ms my calf could go and I would be walking the rest of the day…..to my utter delight this didnt happen. I spent the first couple of days being ober sensible, walking a lot of the very steep climbs, jogging the flats and the downs. The legs behaved themself with a little bit of tender loving care (taping, icing (well ice cream!) and compression socks) and by the end of the week I was trotting along quite happily. However, I nearly totally ruined the whole thing on the last day…..like a complete cluts I was merrily pointing out the beautiful view at the top of the last climb when i triped on a tree root and head butted (well knee butted) the ground. Thankfully I only had 30 mins to jog home but my knee was not happy with me. Amazingly apart from a big black bruise and a double knee its seems to be ok but it certainly reminded me that I really need to pay a bit more attention over the next few weeks if I have any chance of making the start line in Annecy. I managed to get a good 100ks done over the 6 days with over 5,600ms vert gain all run in beautiful surroundings…..what a tonic!
Anyway…..what can I say the course is epic. Some serious climbs (5,200ms of total elevation gain) super technical sections with ropes, stunning views (as long as you are not in a white out like we were several times), snow, sun, road sections and many possibilties to go off course.
It was great to just get away with like minded friends, share the mountain trails, stop for packed lunches, laugh, enjoy the views and finish it off with ice creams and serious amount of cheese in the evenings.
What happens next? Who knows with me…..its been a less than ideal year so far, so to just be running illness and injury free feels like everything I could wish for at the moment. On wards and upwards!