trail du pic st michel


Distance: 24 km
Elevation: +1400 m
Route: Lans en Vercors- domaine de l'Aigle la croix des Ramées Pic St Michel (1966m) loop
Conditions: Pleasant and sunny with a few clouds. Tough climbs and strong competition.
Rank: 3 femme scratch,  2:48:14 

We were up early this morning for a beautiful drive to Lans en Vercors. With little time to spare, we pinned on our bibs and lined up for the start. It was a fast start and instantly to the first climb. I felt pretty strong up to the first summit and after to a cantalevered overlook. The ascent to the highest point felt long and I knew I was starting to struggle. I soon realized there were two women just behind me (I knew there was one ahead, too) , and I wanted to stay in my place. I ran every part I could, but in the final two hundred meter trudge to Pic St Michel, they both overtook me. It hurt to drop from 2nd to 4th this late in the climb, but I planned to stay as close as I could to finish the climb and hope for the best on the long downhill. 

The last kilometers felt like they would continue forever, but finally (and suddenly) I could see the town and I was moving fast. I held onto 3rd place, and worked hard for it, only 30 seconds behind 2nd. I was really happy with the result because I had to push myself the entire race, despite ups and downs in motivation, I found a strong burst to finish.      

The competitors were strong, but as usual, friendly and Derek and I both enjoyed the challenge, the scenery, and the excitement of the day. Since we didn't have the legs to head back up the mountain, we picnicked near a landing field, watched the paragliders during the afternoon, and recounted our race experiences. 


jura rest day

Tomorrow we are racing, so today we should take it easy, but stretch out the legs a bit. I wanted to try a new route in the Jura and see where or if a few trails connected to one another, so Derek went for a short adventure.  As usual, my scouting outings turn into a little more than we plan to do, but I suppose that's part of the fun.

I wasn't able to connect the trails- at least not where I thought, but we had a game of "trail or no trail" on a good slant and found some 3 foot tall ant hills. OK, now time to get ready to race, and rest a bit.


this week

It has been a beautiful week here. Running in the vineyards most of the week, watching the vines start to leaf and the baby sheep graze nearby, a great loop in the Aravis for some elevation, and finishing the week with a bike ride with Jess.


sous dine

Today Laura and I visited Montagne de Sous Dine- we ran a 17km loop with 1100m+, and awesome views. I took lots of photos of Laura (and her cute new haircut) enjoying the trails, scrambling, and skipping over rocks.

We barely paused at the summit- just enough to scan the panorama, and continued on our tour. As we came down the Passage Monthieu, in an instant, I found myself face down with a rock on top of me. I was fine- a little shaken though, so I got up slowly to make sure my legs still worked. It's incredible how quickly your feet can slip out from under you and then pass over your heard. I acquired some nice bruises, and a how-not-to downhill video from Laura (although she stopped shooting to come rescue me before I finished the fall). Walk it off...and start running again. 


double jura

This morning, Derek and I went for an all-out run up Le Colomby. I can't believe this was my first time to this (too crowded) popular summit. The route totaled a little more than 10km with over 1000m+. We startled more than a few hikers in winter jackets, as we took the summit. It was a challenging uphill, and then so much fun to whiz down. 

Calmed by the morning's exertion, we were ready to meet friends for an afternoon of family hiking on the Bellegarde end of the Jura. After the ascent, a break for some snacks and espresso on the trail, we all broke into a run for the descent down the rocky trail. Impressive future trail stars with us! We spent the evening grilling, playing yard games, and sitting around the campfire, even serenaded by Blandine's violin. This might be the most perfect summer day.


more may

This week has been full of yoga, running, and friends- also lots of cinnamon buns. 

Laura and I went exploring some new trails in the Jura, and when we got cold in the snow (yes, snow!), we came home to eat some warm treats.

I went hiking with Jess- trying to get her fill of mountain time before knee surgery- and we passed plenty Spring blooms and baby cows on our wander.


Derek and I got to visit friends and their awesome little mohawk-ed babay for an afternoon of catching up and more eating before they head back to the States. 


recovery run

I was feeling a little tired still after the weekend's race, but it was a beautiful day and I wanted to be in the Jura. I took my time making my way up to the ridge, stopping for photos that I would normally rush past. I brought a blanket and a book, and after I had climbed though the daffodils, I found a spot tucked out of the wind to settle down for a long rest. 

By the time I completed my loop, I had covered 1400 meters vertical and over 20 kilometers. Not to bad for a relaxing recovery run.