Snowboarding & only Six Weeks to VLM

The last 2 weeks have been fun fun fun in the Italian snow 🙂
Alternative marathon training – a week on my beloved snowboard around Champoluc in the Monterossa mountains.

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The day after we arrived we were lucky to have a fresh fall of 25cm of the fluffy powder which  us snowboarders just love. Being mid week the slopes were empty so I had 3 full days to make fresh tracks before the masses arrived for the weekend to track it out.

Only 30% of the Monterossa ski area is pistes so this leaves a huge amount of trees, gullies, rockeries, open bowls, moguls, snowfields and slopes that are full of fluffy stuff to entice the snowboarders out to play. Up until the snowfall I’d only seen a few other boarders then it was our turn to be powder hogs and get surfing snow style !

As Mike was on skis we shared a lift up the mountain then went and made our own tracks down, him on the piste me planning my route from high up on the chairs spotting the fresh powder and noting where the other boarders were heading – it was pure heaven 🙂

A few face plants but I have to say that my marathon training and circuits has paid off and I was able to to ride all day first to last lift with no tiredness or aches from my legs.

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We had a luxury hotel with an outdoor pool, plus indoor fully equipped spa with 6 different types of sauna and steam rooms plus relaxation area with fresh fruit and teas. After a great day on the slopes a swift beer or two in  an Apres Ski bar we wandered back to the hotel spa before we enjoyed the 5 course Italian dinner in the hotel all cooked with local ingredients, the owners husband being a butcher we had a fantastic selection of meats from pheasant to lamb with veal & duck. My Italian wasn’t good enough to find out what the shooting season dates were !

We saved the local apres ski delicacies of Bombadinos until the last day – a cheeky winter cocktail with a kick. Its warmed eggnog with brandy, topped with whipped cream then cinnamon and cocoa flakes. delicious but I wasn’t safe to board after a few so took the gondola down.

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Unfortunately all good things come to and end and we headed back to grey old Britain, it was just as cold, grey and wintery as we left it, apparently they did have one day of sunshine, while we had one day of snow clouds then wall to wall sunshine and beautiful blue skies. Occasionally our daytime temps in the village were higher than back home.

After a late evening arrival home we picked the dogs up the next day – my beloved old lady Tilly has steadily been improving and recovering well from her stroke. Then it was club night – uugghh not looking forward to intervals on tired legs.

Attendance was really low and I made it through the eight 2 minute intervals although I was only just  hanging in there for the last two.

Massage on Thursday revealed that my glutes had worked overtime on the snowboard so they got extra attention in the form of an elbow from my sport masseur – ouch !

Has a totally rubbish run Friday, 4 miles of misery – it was wet, I needed the loo, it was time of the month, moan, moan moan !

A gental social jog around Swindon Parkrun loosened me up again and I didn’t hate running anymore, kept it easy as I knew I’d have a 20 miler on Sunday. The coffee was good afterwards and catch up with Vicky, Sian, Joe & Victoria.

Then the big long one – 20 miles. It was sub zero, trying to snow but the most evil icy headwind was brutal and blasted up for 8 miles. At mile 12 I was ready to head to the cafe for tea & cake and call it a day but the others said shut up have a gel and keep going, nice.

It worked, at mile 14 I got a second wind and instead of plodding along at the back I was leading out, setting the pace and speeding up whilst I egged and pushed the others on. Again like my 18 miler I felt I could have added and extra 2 miles at the end if need be. Bloks at every 4miles worked a treat plus I wore my Camelbak with 1.5litres of SIS fuel to keep me going.

So no damage or injury done on holiday, the endurance to complete my 20miler even if I had a wobble in the middle and back on training track. Feel guilty as heading into an easier week with Reading Half marathon on Sunday. But all good in London marathon training land 🙂

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