July 7, 2015

Stumbling from one race to the next. Now let's regroup :)

About 10 days ago I ran the Mont Blanc 42.2k.  Wow, it was a stunner of a course!  Bluebird skies, warm temperatures, glistening glaciers and flower filled alpine meadows.  It really could not have been more beautiful, but man oh man was my 4th place finish, in just over 5hrs, ugly.  Mont Blanc was just four weeks after Comrades so I knew it was unlikely to be a great day but I had hit as much trail time as I could to build some climbing and descending legs, and I think this helped ... but not enough.  It's a course that I think I could do well on (runnable sections and then some great powerhiking and semi-technical descents) but I'd need more focused training and fresher legs.  Wanting to fall asleep just 4k into a race never bodes well for a good day, but it's been a busy spring with travel, coaching work and ongoing hand rehab (from my bike accident back in March) and I did what I could.  I was so grateful to share some miles with Albert of Salomon Spain who motivated me along and I was very grateful for the crewing of my Salomon folks - Arnaud and Philipp especially.  And I must admit, misery loves company so when I saw that Blake (Salomon Australia) had dropped part way it made me feel better that I was not the only one having a bad day - sorry Blake, get better soon!  Mind you, Max King rocked the course for 3rd and he'd run Comrades too - so I don't really have any excuses.

The day after Mont Blanc a bunch of us Salomon folks headed to Font Romeu in the French Pyrenees for the week to prep for Kilians Classik 25k and 45k the following weekend, and generally spend sunny days talking shoes and gear, hanging out at 1800m and having fun as a team.  It was a super week despite the fact that is soon became evident that my niggling tibialis anterior was really not at all happy.  I spent more time with physio Arnaud than I did running, but I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to do that and I still got to see some great places and spend time with super people.  A huge thanks to Greg Vollet, our Salomon manager, for a super week and for supporting me when I was not able to run much.  Kilians Classik itself is a great celebration of trail running, and I at least managed the 10k fun run and the kids race on the Sunday (though I will admit I was happy to sweep the kids race rather than try stay ahead of some very fast kids!)

After a whirlwind 12 days in France I am now back home in North Van and have had to concede that I won't be racing Leadville 100 miler in late August.  This year so far has been very bumpy in terms of training due to general niggling pains and the bike accident.  Now I have to accept that Leadville is less than seven weeks away and I am semi-injured and not especially fit - not a great combo to head into a tough 100 miler at altitude.  Leadville will be there another year and it is still very much on my bucket list but for now I need to not think about races and trying to squeeze in training, but instead think about rehab and fitness.  Hopefully I can have a better second half of the year.  In the meantime, here are some nice pictures of fun time in France.

A bientot
Ellie x
Mont Blanc finish - no way I was going to walk over a finish line even if it was uphill!  Credit: Drew Pattison.

Strong Salomon ladies atop a Pyreneen peak.

10k easy run - just happy to run.  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.

Silly celebrations with Martina Valmassoi.  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.

Mont Blanc: Misery in beautiful surroundings.  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.

My buddy Jan.  Great fun times, just don't mention that I'm old enough to be his mother (Salomon is taking good care of the future of trail running!).  Credit: self.

Yes, that is Mo Farah.  Yes, I was like a giddy school kid.  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.

Not bad for a race finish line after about 2700m of climbing and 1600m of descent.  Mont Blanc marathon, Chamonix.  Credit: self.

Remi, Blake, Martina and Jan cheering in Kilians Classik 45k runners.  Credit: self.

Yes, I went down this at slug pace on a dodgy leg, no - it was probably not a good idea :)  Credit: self.

Font Romeu wild trails.  Credit: self

Kristina, one of my coaching clients, rocked the 80k for 6th at Mont Blanc and then cheered me to the finish of the 42k the next day :)  Credit: Drew Pattison.

French food - mmmmm :)  Credit: self.

Leading out the kids race at Kilians Classik.  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.

Chamonix: stunning.  Credit: self.

Tiptoeing on a short walk on dodgy leg :)  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.


  1. Stunning sort of place to go running...the 100km race to the stones in the UK this weekend, wanted to do it but couldn't due to work and this damn nagging groin injury

  2. Looks like lots of fun. :) Sorry about Leadville; wishing you quick healing!

    1. Thanks Matt, Font Romeu was fun .. and hopefully Leadville another year. Hope your return to running is going well!

  3. Hi Ms. Ellie. We recently launched the frontRUNNER e-zine (www.frontrunnermagph.com). Please take a look at it and give us your comments. Thanks! - Ray -