28 th July Journneys end, and reflection on the Journey

I came home via a 2 day stop at Jason’s house in Welwyn Garden City. It was good to have a few beers with my good friend Jason at his flat for the first time on the Friday night, followed by a night out with a couple of Jason’s friends and an Indian with a few beers. All in all it was a good weekend. On the Sunday I travelled home via Rode heath, in order to drop in on Nick and Sue and Brian I also met Gina; all good friends of mine. It made the journey home more interesting, and was good to catch up with some friends that I don’t often get to meet.
Having been home for a couple of weeks now, I have had time to enlighten / bore a few friends with my stories, and reflect on my trip. I look back on it with fondness. It is always easy to forget the tough times, but on balance I really enjoyed the adventure. I don’t think I will become a full time traveller anytime soon, but I will always keep life interesting with challenges and adventures whether it is running, other physical activities or travelling in the same style; which brings about its own adventures.
My next adventure is one that I have had on the horizon since the turn of 2011. It will take me back to Chamonix as it is the North Face Ultra Trail Tour Du Mont Blanc, a race as long as its title. This is a race I have had a go at on 3 previous occasions (2005,2008,2009) and finished twice (2005,2009). So I have a good idea of the race and what it entails. This slightly diminishes the adventure, but to keep it interesting I have given myself the “A” target of  beating 28 hours, a “B” target of beating 30 hours and a fall back “C” target of setting a new PB so less than 32 hours 52 minutes. The course is 105 miles and about 32,000 feet of ascent and descent. So having arrived home a stone lighter than I left I was keen to find out how much endurance fitness I had gained, or lost, on my trip.  So on Sunday 24th July I set off on a route I did last year before the Lakeland 100. I ran from home over Clougha Pike and Grit Fell and back on a longer loop than normal, it is about 20 miles and takes about 3 hours.  I remember finding it very tough for the last 3 miles last year, but this year I was still feeling good and running strong. Living above 1000 meters for most of the trip and dropping about a stone in weight has had a very positive effect on my endurance fitness. So I now know I have a very good base to build on in the next 2 weeks in the lead up to the TMB.

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