Pre diagnosis, this used to be a blog about running. As you will probably know, I have not only set myself the 2014 challenge of running from Limone to Cap D'Ail as part of the Cro Magnon, I have also decided to run to the start. Best guess is around 250km and around 10000m of positive altitude change in 4 days, hopefully with enough time to change clothes, eat and pick up my number and chip in Limone in between. With this in mind, I have been training. I have dropped a few kg's from the Christmas excesses, and got some serious mileage under my belt - not far off the 1000km for 2014 so far.
Last Saturday, #2 and I emerged blinking into the Cote D'Azur sunlight from Lenval Hospital, had something to eat, a bath and about 6 hours sleep, and then I left the house to meet Mike and Mark for a bit of a pedal. Cross Training. Sort of. The primary goal for me was to get out and recon the route I will be taking - unsupported - from Monaco to Limone to the start of the Cro Magnon. I will be setting off late on Wednesday evening 18th June, heading down the Sentier Littoral towards Menton - headlamp blazing the trail - and then bearing left at Menton towards the hinterland. There are footpaths criss crossing the roads, but I am not sure how many of these I will take as they add altitude change to the journey and increase the chances of getting lost. Add in a storm and....well, I'll probably stick to the roads until daylight at least. We had a lovely ride on the minor roads over the Col de Castillon, down to Sospel, and up to the Col de Brouis, with very little traffic to spoil the fun. I was taking notes as I will need to be able to fill up my Camelbak pretty frequently. Once over the Cols it was a nice downhill ride to Sospel - I recognised some of the paths as I have taken them in various trail races over the years - they might be a more direct route down to Breil from Brouis.
Once in Breil, we said goodbye to Mark over Cafe au Laits and Croissants, and as he peeled off to the right to go to lunch - I looked longingly at his downhill trajectory. Mike and I headed left - and a relentless uphill. The road was pretty wide from Breil to Tende, although it did narrow where the topography of cliffs and river left it no choice. Fortunately the summer months will be quiet and I will be able to hear traffic coming. We also investigated a parallel footpath which pretty much tracked the road but went up and down every mountain in between. Once again, I will have to play it by ear on the day and see how I am feeling, the weather and how much traffic there is. I feel a lot better about the trip up to the start, though, which was the main thing. I am also psyched about getting back on my bike and I want to do more of that. Mark and Mike, and others, are cycling from St Tropez to Monaco this Sunday for charity.
I am jealous, but otherwise occupied - this week has been taper week for me. I am participating in the Trail Des Balcons D'Azur this weekend - a 47km mountain trail race which starts and finishes on the beach at Mandelieu Napoulie and wends its way up and down in the Estoril national park, in the meantime. The weather forecast is once again appalling, but I am looking forward to getting on the trails nonetheless.
I say this week has been taper week - that normally means fewer km's together with a carb free followed by carb loading diet, and extra sleep. I can tick the first 2 boxes, but not so the third. Since emerging from hospital, #2 and we have been wrestling with the insulin doses - we have just about got the nighttime doseage cracked but it has meant continually getting up in the night at 3am to check BGLs. The daytime has proven a lot more difficult with hypos every day after lunch and supper, but hypers late afternoon. We have made a few adjustments to basal and bolus rates, the most recent this morning, but it is a case of constant monitoring. It has felt at times a bit like being back at square one, and we do feel for #2 - she gets anxious with a hypo, and moody with a hyper, and then lashes out at all and sundry. Once back in the zone, she is so loving and apologetic.
I shall be wearing my Diabetes UK running shirt this weekend, to raise awareness and because it is pretty damn nifty, and consider the run a warm up for June. The profile of the race is pretty much straight up or straight down, so it is not going to be anything like the 3hr 57 I achieved in Barcelona - but I am aiming to have fun and enjoy the countryside.
Ben Rolfe, married, father of 3 gorgeous girls, English, living in the South of France, working in Finance
Ramblings of a running nature
I will be posting on an ad hoc basis my thoughts, adventures and challenges on here. I welcome anybody's thoughts and constructive criticisms, but generally I am not interested in contacts requiring me to give over my passport and bank account details in order to transfer €10 million to my account.