Saturday, 28 November 2009

A longer run

Full on sun was forecast for today. I had to make the most of it as a band of poor weather is moving in tomorrow. I fancied testing my legs and my general bio-mechanics on a longer run so I opted for a 21km outing with approx 1000m of ascent. From home, the route took me up the road to the Col de Peguere, up to the Cap du Carmil and then along the undulating ridge, following the GR de Pays to the top of the zig zags above the Col de Port. From there, a steep descent to the Col before making my way along paths back down the valley, following le Tour des Canadelles waymarked route and a short road section home. It is over a year since I did the circuit which I finished in a great deal of discomfort and pain with muscles and tendons complaining in no uncertain terms! This time, I was sure it would be different.

The slog up to the Cap du Carmil is just that - a slog, a necessary grind, 7.5km with 800m of ascent to reach the highpoint of the circuit which took me 1 1/2 hours. From there, some nice downhill through woods and then a stretch through some high tussocky pastures. Looking back to the Cap du Carmil, the high mountains were visible in the distanceThen, more uphill towards the Pic de RazelsFrom there, a couple of kms through more woodland to the top of the zig zags above the Col de Port where the pooch and I stopped for some refreshment. Things were going well! We were on the home stretch now and past the half way point. Down the steep zig zags to the Col, picking up the GR de P which lead down into the woods and then the local markers for the Tour des Canadelles route home. Unfortunately, somebody had been felling trees along our route and trunks and tree debris were strewn across the path over a distance of a couple of hundred metres which made progress difficult and slow. However, once over that section it was good paths and sections of road home. I made it back in one piece, with tired legs (naturally) but no major aches or pains which is a big boost for me. It bodes well for the Trail des Citadelles in early April which is approximately the same distance and the same ascent.

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