Summer In The Alps

Already getting towards the end of August.  When I was both a school kid, and then a trainee teacher, this really signalled that it wouldn’t be too long till the ‘Autumn term’. End of summer.

Autumn. Wow, summer has gone so fast!

Since Tour du Môle, I have been busy working, and training. There have been good run days, and bad ones too. Bad ones tend to be either tiredness, or actually sometimes because it has just been ‘too hot’, and I’ve had some of those ‘stuff this’ moments. At the same time, there have been some pretty memorable runs – including a trip out with the girls one summers evening toward L' Aiguillette des Houches. I had come home from work, ate a considerable amount of pasta (it was a surprise to the others too, although this is kinda how I roll..) and then grabbed my backpack and headed out onto the hill!

A beautiful sunset and a descent in the dark made for a really great evening. It’s funny where you find the energy from – I wouldn’t have thought I would have it in me, after a full day at work to then be out and about for a few hours, heading home not long before 11pm. But good company and this kind of adventure definitely gets the blood pumping 

Photo: Nikki Barnard

Photo: Nikki Barnard

Last weekend I took part in the Trail des Haut Forts.  27km and a fair climb. Admittedly, I had been pretty busy leading up to this race, and while I had got the runs in, I didn’t know too much about the course. It occurred to me, when I started thinking a bit more about the race profile, that this was going to be a fairly fast and sharp race. The first 18km were undulating, followed by a big old climb towards the end.

The night before, I arrived in Morzine, and Chloe, along with her friend Ellie helped me suss out the situation in terms of the ‘hows and wheres’ for the next morning. Not so easy. Conflicting race event info meant that neither of the potential places for picking up the bibs were open, and considering the time of evening, I was not feeling massively calm. This soon resolved itself by the time I had made a phone call, watched some TV and, yes, had some pasta.

After this unexpected cafuffle the actual race morning went smoothly. I picked up my bib, had some coffee and did a gentle jog as well as a few hops. Then it was time to go.

Photo: Ellie Green

Photo: Ellie Green

Now, I am not a big fan of the start of races. The adrenalin, the pace…the fear. I always managed to pull myself together, but these are pressurising moments. What would be interesting with this race would be that the pace would probably be fairly relentless given the fact it wouldn’t really be particularly steep for quite a long time.  This was indeed the case – and it took me a while to get into it, and ‘find my lungs’, as my friend Ben used to call it.

The weather was hot. Very hot. I am so grateful for the stewards and checkpoint breaks that offered plenty of water at many stages of the race, so there was never a feeling of real thirst – and this makes a big difference.

I also had a bit of a hair ‘nightmare’.  At the start of the race I had braided my hair with the precision of a show pony, only for it to come out within seconds after beginning the race. There I ran, mane a ‘flowin. You might think “why didn’t she just tie it up again?”. Poles in my hand made this impossible for a considerable amount of time. Thankfully – I managed to sort it, so I could maintain a full field of vision. Note to self: next time, use a style that works when running, and not simply just guess work after a recent haircut...

I was happy to finish 3rd female, and pretty tired too! The last climb was quite relentless, and fairly steep, although my strides felt good on the up. My feet felt it on the down towards the end, and I had sore toes – something I am looking into a bit. All in all, a great day, and great conversations with people who took part.

The day after, I had a very lazy start, and then decided to shake my legs out a bit. I went for a very relaxed, short run, although my feet and quads were a little sore. It was another nice day of weather and it felt good to go out again. As well as working at Epic, I am vlogging a bit about my running too.

That's it for now folks!









What's next?

Happy New Year!

Already January is flying past! After a  great New Year with good mates in Germany, it’s been what feelt like a super quick month training, prepping and getting pretty psyched for the next adventures…

Recently I teamed up with Sophie from Hinturland and her sister Mary to be part of their running film entry for the BMC women in film competition. My friend Cat Slater and I had a great day in the Lakes, with laughs, good views, a bit of mud and a brilliant chance to film on a brisk winters day. Keep your eyes peeled for our entry, coming soon!

We all turned up in the same Salomon Speed Cross 3s!

We all turned up in the same Salomon Speed Cross 3s!

Now, I'm in the process of packing-  I tell you, it’s easier to get ready on a race day…

The reason for this strategic packing is that I am about to spend the next couple of months in the French Alps.  I am really excited to be heading to the Chamonix region while I spend some time interning with Epic TV. Epic TV produce as well as broadcast unique adventure and extreme sports footage online, as well as 'know their stuff' when it comes to good sports gear. I look forward to this time working with them and getting to know the team.

   Winter 2014 in the Alps


Winter 2014 in the Alps

Now the snow has arrived there, it will be very wintery and wonderful in those mountains, and I look forward to the travel adventure - a chance to also get some training in somewhere different :).

As well as being based in the Alps, both Nikki and I will be also travelling to the Atlas Mountains, to recce the area and then help The Right Altitude with a running training camp in March. I am really chuffed to go and explore and train in another set of beautiful scenery. I've written more info about this trip here and do check out their facebook page about future trips. 

My plans for races this year are in my head, and I'm excited for whats potentially in store - more to follow on these! I hope you are able to get out running at the moment and are excited about your exercise plans for year ahead.

Before I get back to the packing scene – hope you like the new blog lay out. I will post more info soon as I make my way on my travels :)

As Nikki, and many others have uttered before....."the mountains are calling..."






Sport talk with James Bishop: Part 2

Here is the second part of my interview with James Bishop! Last week I met up with James to chat through his youtube channel and to have a discussion of his running in December.  This week in our second sport talk, I found out whether James did the Iron Man he set out to do, what Goalhanger films has been up to recently, and what James wants to do in 2016. During the video, I also took the opportunity to ask James about his sports watch. I am on the look out for a new running watch (as much as I do love my forerunner 210) so I asked James about the super duper watch he has – take a look for yourself, and maybe add it to your wishlist! James has actually spoken about the Garmin 920 XT on his you tube channel here. If you can recommend a new watch to get - love to know your thoughts!

I can’t believe how quickly this year is going! Really excited to share with you ideas and plans for 2016  - bring it on! For now, enjoy your weekend, it’s nearly Christmas; get wrapping (if you need to), and enjoy the festive time.

Don’t make a wish this Christmas – simply formulate a dream. Then start encouraging yourself to make it happen.