The Road to Chamonix

Two weeks to go before the CCC, my A race of the year & a lot hinging on it.

My foot seems to be getting better at an incredibly slow rate! It’s been the most frustrating experience i’ve had since i started running.

Basically this race gets me the final points i need to run the UTMB next year & that’s been my long term goal for the past 3 years. On the 4th of July whilst running the Great Glen Ultra, i injured my right foot. It was bloody sore at the time & i took the following 3 weeks off running to rest it. I did 3 short easy runs with a days gap between them as my 1st runs back, thinking i’d left it long enough. The day after my 3rd run my foot was giving me a fair bit of pain again, but not as bad as when i injured it at the Great Glen. This was a fairly major setback with the CCC looming the following month. That was 3 weeks ago, so i’ve rested it for another 3 weeks & it feels better than it did when i tried running again last time. I’m hoping giving it another week of no running, it might be pain free & i can test a couple of short runs? Or do i wait until a few days before the race & see how it feels?? I’m thinking its probably going to be the later, this would give the foot as much time as i can give it before i run through 3 countries in the alps for probably over 24hrs. The fact i’ll have done no specific training for an incredibly hard race & my foot might explode at any time & i know what’s coming (as i did the race last year), is somewhat playing on my mind. I’ve never not started a race & i’ve never dnf’d either & i don’t want to start now. But things couldn’t really have gone much worse in preparation.

Things were going really well up until the 4th July. My miles & elevation were both up on last year (not massively, but up all the same). I had had a few niggles but the foot wasn’t one of them. I’ve seen a few physios & it sounds like an overuse injury, well it hasn’t had much bloody use lately, so hurry the fuck up & get better!!

2015-07-20 14.47.00

2015-07-04 20.09.26

One week to go & i’m now at a stage of no pain walking about for most of the day (can feel it by late afternoon), but if i move my foot in certain directions its noticeable. Iv’e another Physio appointment tomorrow as my last ditch attempt to be as ready as i can be in these circumstances. I’m thinking no running until its either totally pain free even when moving it around or race day, which ever comes 1st! I’m expecting as my best case scenario to hopefully finish albeit in a slower time than last year, but if i was somehow to manage that, then it’ll feel like a huge victory, as long as i don’t cripple myself in the process.

Registration Queue

Registration Queue

It’s the day before race day. I’ve been in Chamonix since Monday & i went for a 20 minute run (1st in over a month) on Tuesday to test the foot out. It felt fine to start with, then a wee niggle mid way through, then i forgot about it. So i’m hoping that’s a good sign? I did contemplate a wee run on Wednesday but was a little too conscious of a slight stiffness from the day before. So i’ve opted for slapping on the deep heat today, then i’m going to tape it up, so it’s as ready as it can be for the morning. Being in Chamonix has taken my mind off my foot thankfully, and i just want to get to the start line & see what happens.

The Shed Sale looking towards Mont Blanc

The Shed Sale looking towards Mont Blanc

We’ve been emailed a weather warning by the organizers. That to me would usually make me think of cold/windy/snowy conditions, but no this ones the opposite! Temps of 35 deg & little wind through the day & cold at night mean they are recommending that everyone carry an extra liter of water, i’ve talked to loads of runners & just about everyone is planning on just carrying the original 1 liter & refilling as often as possible. Decisions decisions, carry an extra liter & have to carry the extra kilo & reorganize how i carry my kit, or go with the flow & make sure i keep my liter topped up? I’m thinking the later due to the 35 deg is going to be at 1000m & i’m going to be much higher than that for most of the time, but i think the sun cream will be layered on & my Lawrence of Arabia hat will be making an appearance again.

The start of the year i was planning on smashing my time from last year, now it’s all about the finish line……

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