Seven weeks ago, my last blog entry basically bemoaned my lack of common sense, loss of ‘mojo’ and bit of laziness, as major factors disrupting my ultra marathon training. For five of the last seven weeks the training has continued to suffer, largely as a result of continued partying and the accompanying alcohol consumption, some busy weeks at work, and a terrible bout of the debilitating disease known as CBA*.
Fortunately, the last two weeks have seen me freshly inspired by healthier eating, holiday time, some panic about how the hell I can possibly complete a 50km run in two months time and, most of all, by the fantastic scenery of the French Alps where I’ve spent the last week running. I’ve even taken my camera on a few runs just to capture some of it.
All of the above photos are taken close to Meribel-Mottaret, and are 6,000 feet and more above sea level. Suffice to say, the running has been slow as a result of the altitude, the temperature, and mostly my lack of fitness (stopping to take a photo every now and then provides a welcome break). While I’ve imagined myself to be floating along like a Kenyan Olympic athlete in the mountains of east Africa, emulating the grace of a mountain goat and the tenacity of something very, very tenacious, the reality hit home when I passed by a herd of Alpine cattle. As the valley echoed with the various tones of cow bells and the lowing of each animal as it trudged along the mountain track to pastures new, so my ears buzzed with the sound of swarms of flies, teasing me with the fact that I was an easier, slower and probably sweatier and smellier target than a slow moving bovine mass.
But who cares, I’ve been newly invigorated and still have a few more days left of it. 42 miles, including a half-marathon, have so far been covered up and down the hills in the photographs, and surely running at altitude now will make a big difference when I’m running back at home. While I doubt I’ll be worrying the Mo Farah’s of this world any time soon, I might not be far from being able to out-run an annoying insect and his equally nuisance like friends. Stick to cows you flies… I’m back in the game! (At least for now.)
*CBA – Can’t Be Arsed. Particularly prevalent in terms of running when: the weather is wet and windy, there’s something good on TV, at times of hunger, on days when any number of mundane chores seem more attractive than going for a jog round the streets, and at times of hangover (the distinction between CBA and hangover becomes difficult to determine after about three days).