Preparing for TMB

So far, the only thing we’ve done was to turn in my iPhone to be unlocked.  The plan was to carry our running vests for the 2 days from Les Houches to Les Chapieux then to Courmayeur.  The forecast is good for the first day but not so good on the second day.  On the second day it will be raining most of the day.  It’s hard to know how much rain because it really depends on the clouds and location.  We will be heading towards Italy on the second day but being that side of the mountain is just on the other side of Chamonix, it will be pretty much similar weather.  On the other hand, yesterday proved that theory different.  We climbed up Brevent from Les Houches and as soon as we got up to the ridge, it was sunny and clear on the backside of Brevent but very fogged up on the Chamonix valley side.  You just never know but if the forecast calls for rain, mostly likely it will rain.  The temps will be in the low 60’s F and maybe mid-60’s or even 70’s depending on the wind or rain.  We will be at a higher elevation climbing 2 Cols but then dropping down to Courmayeur.

So, we don’t have rain pants.  The question is, should we get one for this trip.  We haven’t really found one that we like.  In our JMT 10-days thru-hike, I only had my skorts the whole way.  2 skorts and interchanged as needed.  One shirt.  It was also in the summer which is similar temps here in Chamonix.  We survived the rain and wind.  One thing I love about my skort is that dries very well, literally within 15 mins after a rain.  It’s also small and to pack and lightweight.  It’s surprisingly durable.  I am still wearing the same skort I have for almost 4 years!  It’s not a big deal for the legs to get wet.  The main thing is, the cold or wind chill.  To keep warm is challenging but moving helps.

Packing is going to be interesting for this trip.

Yesterday, we climbed all the way to Brevent via Les Houches.  The connection between Bel Lachat to Brevent is a section we’ve never done before and hope to complete.  It was awesome!  Right after getting to Bel Lachat, the ridge line connecting to Brevent is a beautiful traverse before another climb to the Brevent.  Unfortunately, the fog engulfed us on top of Brevent and part way down to Plan Praz so no view to see.  It was a long climbing day and we hiked, not run at all.  My legs were pretty trashed from the downhill back to Chamonix from Brevent.  The drop down back to the valley is about 4 or 5 miles but steep.  The trails were busy with hikers and runners.  I wasn’t really tired overall physically but the leg and feet muscles, tendons and ligaments were beat up.  Also, I am approaching Luteal phase, one of the reasons of going slow as I can.

We had hot coffee at the Brevent but I probably won’t do that again!  Each cup for an espresso with milk and sugar cost us E4.  Quite expensive for a little shack bar by the tram but that is the normal price up at the refugios.

Our training have progressed since we got here.  Total mileage per week and elevation gains increased.  Sometimes, I wonder if it’s a bit too aggressive but at the same time we don’t have much time left to build up before UTMR.  We will need to suck it up and train until race day.  We will have to race the best we can and that in itself is good enough!

There’s a lot of things going on in a woman’s body specially during Luteal phase during the month.  I noticed significant increase in body aches and tightening a few days before onsite, about five days before.  This is normal but no fun.  Not sure how to get around it because it’s a natural way the woman’s body works.  There are studies that during the pre-Luteal phase of the mentrual cycle that laxity on the knees is high therefore increases the risk for injury during the time.  That is a theory and a lot of studies on PubMed have been written about it but most of them show (those that I’ve read) not conclusive or needs more research about it.  I do notice that joints a bit weak during ovulation and a few days after as I approach mid-Luteal phase.  It goes away after on-set.

The 2 days on TMB will be rough for me but as always manage it, specially the PMS symptoms which always sucks.  Doug is however, getting better and is stronger.  He’s been using his poles and got new shoes to break in.  Also, he got a new running pack for a good price the other day so he is very happy about it.  I love it when he gets excited about things specially life.

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