Friday, August 7

A week of climbing: part 1

Ok, this is going to be a long one so i may as well split it up. A while back i became a bit disillusioned about the whole training thing. Life, work and Xterra France getting cancelled basicly ment that i pretty much jacked it in for a week or 4. Still trained but it was a bit haphazard and kinda pointless. So with that in mind i had suggested to Pauline that we go to France for a week of focused training/relaxing/time together. This is the story of that holiday:

Last minute breakage of my tri bike on Tuesday meant that the cross bike was being called into action. Flap flaps from Dublin to Geneva, minor delay at Dublin as they couldn't close the plane door....getting scared now. Hour 40 jump and we landed in Switzerland. Ok...its hot out...very hot, late 20's kinda hot. Met Toni and Paul and the other 3 Irish people who were on the same flight as us! Hopped in the car for a nice long scenic drive to Mascot la Plange...wherever that was. Arrived at the most idilic little French village, which turned out to be our home for the next 8 days. Beer in hand i went about putting the bike together.

Home for the week

The evening was spent talking to guests who were just leaving over dinner and meeting the people we'd be riding with for the next week. 3 dentists; one IM/HIM distance tri-athlete and partner, and a sportive rider. Mixed bag of ideas on riding so we all agreed to let Paul decide the ride for the day after and Col du Petit St. Bernard it was. Nice easy 15km on the flat, 30km climb and descent after, then 15km flat home. 90km in total on the first day with a 30km climb with sections of 6%...up to 2,180m....WFT am i doing here, i can't climb for shit!

Rolled out after the soon to be traditional breakfast of porridge, bread, coffee ,boiled egg, bread, coffee, juice, coffee and bread. I do like breakfast. 15km easy enough to Bourg St Moritz and got the legs warmed up for the 30km climb up to Petit San Bernard. Sections of 6% but mostly rolling 4 and 5%. Took it handy after realising that there was no point gunning it from the get go. Talked most of the way up with nice low HR then chilled at 9km to go waiting for the group. Last 5km Paul decided it was time to gun it so hung on for all i could. Lungs and legs were burning but i would not get dropped. Hit the top and caught my breath in the sunshine waiting for the others to catch up.

View from Half way up
The top and Pauline's new friend.



Descent was fun on my CX bike, breaks of cheese make for silly lines around hairpins. More or less a sprint recovery session on the way; break hard into corner, sprint out x lots. Great ride and nice cool down after coffee in Bourg. Only after did i figure that Paul might be testing myself and Pauline to see where we were, as the others had been here before! Dinner that night outside was worth it and talk of tomorrows ride in the heat made me a little sceptical...a run was planned and a bit of a swim. Slowly slowly catchy monkey....but not this monkey.

No comments: