This again. 

Yeah I was talking about deja vu in a previous post and yeah this is how it feels.

Let’s get it over with then:

Arrived, felt good, it was hot, weather warnings. Got through kit check:

No bother. Ate lots of pizza, had a beer, went to bed.

Alarm went off at 3am. I had a bad night, it was really hot and we’d both been tossing and turning. Ate my porridge, grabbed my stuff and got going. Bus collected us from Chamonix at 4.15am. Closed my eyes and tried to sleep on the bus but it didn’t happen. 

Got to Courmayeur and scoped out a spot on the stairs of the sports centre, ate some brownie, shut my eyes. We walked to the start at around 5.30am, it was warm and obviously still dark. By 6.00am we were underway. The sun soon rose and it was just beautiful. I felt OK going up the first major climb (Arête du Mont Favre, 2500m), a bit of a sore stomach but nothing major. The usual bottlenecks held us up but we were well ahead of time and didn’t let it get to us.

There was no talking, just endless marching, getting into a rhythm and simply maintaining it is the best way to deal with the climbs.

I felt good, the heat was creeping in and we were all sweating it out. We made it through the first CP (Lac Combal, 1970m) without any problems, filled up our bottles and continued on. 

The shade from the mountains soon disappeared and we were exposed to the sun for hours on end. Whilst it was extremely hot, I didn’t feel like I was over-heating and made use of any animal trough available to dunk my cap and buff. 

Ed was struggling on the initial climbs and I slowed to let him set the pace for a bit. After the big climb of his legs got used to the fatigue and he was back on point.

The descent to Bourg St Maurice went on for ages but we got our heads down and got it done without wasting any time.

We hit the CP, the last one before the massive 2000m of Col de la Forclaz. It was absolutely rammed and there was no where to sit down. I made do with the curb for a bit as loads of blokes jostled around grabbing at the food. 

The was another mandatory kit check here, we passed that and started work on the climb.

I felt so much better than last year and was able to maintain a steady pace up the first section, loads of people were dropping out at this point, head down picking their way back down the climb. We pressed on, taking a few breaks. Eventually we made it to the half way ish point (Fort de la Platte, 1976m) and had a drink. 

The climb then continued on and on and on. Eventually we made the summit of Passeur Pralognan, 2600m and were pleased to have achieved that in the daylight. This meant that we could tackle the roped-descent without worrying.

It was a long, rocky downhill that went on for several miles. It got dark very quickly and soon the moon and the stars were sparkling, headtorches struggling to compete.

I’d been fighting nausea for some time but I was in good spirits and feeling positive. We got to Cormet de Roselend and picked up our drop-bags. I changed my bra, knickers and top and put on merino arm warmers. I sat for a few minutes, ate a noodle soup with bread and then set out for the next big climb up Col de la Sauce.

We’d decided to listen to music for the next section (well until daylight really) and so made an absolutely bangin playlist. The climb went on and on but I felt absolutely brilliant, I was buzzing, stomping up the climbs, singing along to the music. The miles raved on by, I can’t really remember much of them, Ed later told me he thought I was acting a bit weird. We passed a few marshals, they asked if I was ok ‘Absolutely BRILLIANT MATE!!!’ I kept saying- because I did! Later Ed told me that they were asking because I looked sketchy as.

I really can’t describe the feeling of euphoria that I had, it was consuming and timeless. I know it was my body seriously struggling to regulate everything and I should have saw it coming but at the time I was almost outside of myself, projecting ahead, ecstatically happy, every cell in me, pure joy.

Eventually we made it to Col du Joly. I felt really sick but was still crazy happy at how I was going. I stopped while Ed went to get some food. I felt weird.

Next thing I was having a wonderful dream, I was at the circus, music, the big top- whole thing. I woke up, slumped on my poles, I’d obviously fainted. A concerned marshal came over saying I was ‘blanche’ I tried to say I was ok but didn’t make it that far as next thing I know, I come to being carried into the first aid tent. I’m put on a bed and they start testing my blood sugar, heart rate- both ok. I’m shivering now and the temperature results come back- too low. They swaddle me in blankets, I’m out of it. They kept testing my temperature but I was too cold and not warming up, they find me a warm spot, I feel like a lizard in a vivarium. I want to keep going but no, not safe. They’re pulling me out the race.

So now I’m swaddled in blankets like a baby, trying to keep my eyes open, shivering in a tent, every so often they take my pulse, prick my finger to test blood sugar, take my temperature. I’m trying not to spew. Ed pulls out as well. 

We’d been running for 23 hours, covered 56 miles (garmin reading) and over 5400m of ascent. 

Next day I sulked, pouted and pouted some more.

Then I ate a massive meringue and I was fine.

I toyed with publishing my playlist but DNF-ing is shameful enough so I’ll spare myself the embarrassment.

So what’s next, not sure yet. I feel ok now, tired but physically I’m fine. I’m barely pouting….well maybe a little.


4 thoughts on “This again. 

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