18
Apr
14

Eat sleep train repeat

yep it is a training holiday.

Would you believe I brought my scales so I could monitor my weight? I have accepted I will eat more rubbish here and drink more pop but I want to go home around the same weight I arrived.

Monitoring the weather and staying with Lynne and Alan meant that a conversation on Wednesday morning changed Thursdays plans and suddenly we were going to Ventoux on Thursday morning. How much did Wednesday change? Well instead of going all the way to Col d’Izoard I settled for Briancon and climbing both sides of Col du Lautaret. Just the 75 miles and 9000ft or so of climbing. A nice day out and another indicator of how I feel on this trip. Finishing my ride earlier meant cream cakes and enjoying the view up the top of Alpe d’Huez.

Thursday morning and once more holiday mode was abandoned with a 0530 alarm and in the car before 0600. Stopped for fuel and croissants and after a drama free drive arrived in Bedoin around 9am. Chatting to a chap in a toilet queue I discovered that the Malaucene side of Ventoux was shut. Made the 2 or 3 climbs issue go away. Set off from Bedoin with the intention of climbing steady and that was all I did finding myself at the top 1hr 42 mins later. Unlike the last 2 trips I could actually get to the top and I could see the view. I was thankful of my jacket though as the descent back to Chalet Reynard was cold. Quick coffee and off to Sault. If you know anything about Ventoux you will know that although a long climb Sault to Reynard is easy so by the time I was back at the cafe I felt pretty fresh. Knowing I didn’t need to do the 3rd climb I raised my effort for the last 6kms. Reaching the top a 2nd time I was delighted to notice the lack of wind and the warm air. I did pop down and look at the snow and yep it looked like snow. Layered up and booted it down the hill to Bedoin. Climbing is a challenge but descending is FUN and it is safe to say I had a lot of fun. Reflecting on the ride over pasta I was again happy with how I felt and comfortable in the knowledge that I was a much stronger climber than before. Having done both climbs inside 4.5hrs meant I was back in Bourg before it was dark, another plus as it meant dinner was not too late and I could get on with Fridays plans.

Given that I have been waking early as I do at home and that the weather is due to turn this weekend I decided that Friday was run the Alpe day. An interesting idea given what I had done over the two previous days but my legs have been that good I wasn’t worried. Monday when we arrived I rode it in 52.xx so concluded that 70 – 75 mins would be a solid run. I set off at 0624 as it was getting light, it was cold this morning but there was very little wind(wish I had ridden up today) which meant I could run to a very consistent level no matter what direction I faced. Everyone knows the first 3/4 bends are the hardest and that doesn’t change running them. What changes is the lack of recovery, instead of coasting my pace would automatically pick up every time the slope dropped which meant I hit bend 18 pretty much spot on 6 mins per km which is about 75 mins up the Alpe pace. I also knew at this point I would go no slower as all previous times here had seen me run faster from this point although I had never completed the mountain so from bend 4 would be a new challenge. Couple that to the fact I have been run training and my weight and you can see where this is going. The pace dropped so quickly that by bend 10 I was running about 5.40 per km and with 4 bends to go this was hovering around 5.35/5.36 which felt pretty good. I crested the top and felt so strong I kicked on and did the 2kms up to the official finish as well. Ended up with a long 67 to the tourist finish and a 75.xx all the way up. Happy with this as again although hard I was not flat out with my HR hovering around 150.

Strangely I decided my recovery ride would be the 26kms to La Berarde which to be honest was bloody stupid with over 1000ft of climbing in 26kms with lots of it being way over 10%. You only get the full feeling of the stupidity by the speed of the return. Sadly I was also in long leggings and a long sleeve jersey as the weather has started to turn ahead of shit storm weekend.

Spent a chunk of the afternoon in my favourite cafe in Bourg and writing this blog. Really quite relaxed here and not that excited about returning to my real life at all.

I shall spend this evening checking the weather before fully planning tomorrow.

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