Rainy Days

It’s been raining since last night.  The display of thunder and lightning in the mountains from our window was incredible.  Lightning first then followed by an echo of thunder.  The forecast for today is rain in the valley until the mid afternoon.  Yesterday’s run was good but my legs are beat up again, once again from the downhills and it wasn’t even that steep.  The strange thing is, I felt great on the downhill not feeling any kink on my knees.  It is hours after the run after sitting for an hour or two without movement is when things start getting tight on the legs.  I did twist my ankle twice, one on each leg on the run but ran it off.  Those rocks, they get you.

We will be heading to the village today to get a phone for our Tour Mont Blanc for emergency.  We should have a phone.  The weather forecast is sunny for those days but we are going around the mountain towards Italy and knowing the fickleness of the mountains, weather can change.  We are also going to look for rain pants which is another mandatory equipment for UTMR and also something we should carry on our TMB trip anyways.  We are carrying most of the mandatory equipment for the race on our trip.

Right after dinner last night, we walked over to Super-U – a bigger grocery store in Les Houches.  Super-U is a chain grocery store in France.  Another one is Carrefore and there is a small satellite store up the hill above the Tourism Office by our apartment.  It has enough selections but Super-U is bigger and even more selections.  It’s only about a 10 min walk down the street.  As we headed back, on our right is the Bio or Organic store where we got the real peanut butter and then a little past that is the Pharmacy.  The pharmacy carries everything needed for health related issues, also my contact lens solutions.

There is a pizza place for take outs just two blocks from our apartment but we haven’t tried it yet.  It opens from 6:30pm to late evening which means we’ve already eaten dinner.  Our normal dinner time is at 4:30pm, right before 5pm to allow proper digestion.  It’s such a habit now that eating after 5pm messes me up.  It could be just old age.

I am still in search for a bathroom scale.  We need to keep a watch of our weight because it really affects power to weight ratio on the climbs.  There is a certain amount of weight we both need to be at to enjoy climbing.  Right now, I don’t know what we weigh but try to eat consciously.  Yesterday, at Super-U as we entered the grocery store there was a glass shelving of eclairs and other pastries to die for.  Doug loves those creme filled cakes and I would love to have those blueberry tartlets!  We both drooled but unless we are going for 5 hours on the run or hike, it’s not a good idea to have it available, we just cannot trust ourselves.  However, there will be many opportunities to tastes those delicious pastries in the next coming months as our mileage increases and as we get fitter to go harder.  The more we train, the more we realize just how tough it is to maintain fitness and the main reason is to enjoy the mountains as well as traveling.

On our first day of Tour of Mont Blanc hiking trip, the refuge we are staying overnight is 20mi from Les Houches with approximately 8,000+ft climbing that day.  We look forward to Savoyard food at their restaurant.  There are three very distinct cuisines in the French Alps; tartiflette, fondue and raclette.  All involves heavy duty cheese that are cooked to melt on potatoes and meat.  The cheese involved are Reblochon, Raclette and Swiss cheese.  More on that once we get to try some at the refuge.  I know it’s going to be worth it!

Yogurts are incredible here in France.  I purchased some cottage cheese the other day and oh my, it’s not the same as the cottage cheese I know from the US.  Again, it’s got real ingredients no fillers like guar gum or starch.  It’s texture is very much like a very dry but super thick creamy yogurt.  Their Greek yogurt is so amazing, thick and creamy almost like a very thick creme.  Right after a run or hike, it’s my first go to food for my recovery food.  Greek yogurt or cottage cheese then I drizzle it with honey, lots of honey.

Today, it’s a rest day as my legs are once again trashed.  We will need to get a foam roller to travel with.  The legs are a bit inflamed and some minor muscle tear with a bit of fluid.  I know it sounds horrible but it’s normal if the legs are subjected to heavy load in a short period of time.  Considering we trained 7 months of Muay Thai and Met Con daily or even climbing 1000m on the treadmill, running in the mountains is a different animal.  Weight and strength matters.  Mental toughness and perseverance is important.  In some cases, bravery in some sections of the route is also needed like climbing ladders or passing edgy trails holding on to cables or chains.  Yikes!  Steep climbs and steep downhills are killer.

Right now, recovery requires time and time is not much before UTMR but I also know that just like anything i.e. Muay Thai, it gets better as the weeks go by.  We just need to hang in there, keep on going up and down the mountain and at least climb 1000m a day.  The body needs time to heal and adjust.  It’s not there yet.

Thanks for reading!

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