What was I thinking? When I clicked the box on Strava Challenges to complete 200k running during the month of May it seemed doable along with climbing 2000m, I also entered the 10k and 5k challenges for the month, which was really just pot hunting to have those Strava trophies.

I ticked off these two challenges on the first day and then climbed 2000m within 14 days, running well over double, 4000m, by the third week, we are in the mountains after all. But, with 11 days to go I was on 99k and thought, oh well, I'm never going to do 101k before the end of the month? That would be insane considering a couple of 10k trail runs and maybe one road 10k are my usual limit for a week here in the French Alps.

Damn Strava and those challenges. It's like having a very annoying personal trainer shouting in your ear. You can do it. C'mon put your trainers on. Get out there. Push yourself.

The 11 day countdown started with some serious sky running with an 8k trail jog up Galibier (542m), a day's rest then a 10k tough off-roader with two steep Strava segments (421m). 

The weather was sunny and my legs didn't hold any aches (or grudges against my brain) so I managed five consecutive 10k runs at, it has to be said, an ever slower pace, from a sprightly 5.49/km average to a more plodding 6.21/km. These routes were as flat as possible although there is always some elevation whichever way you run here in the Alps. But then there was a longer 14km trail run that meant 287m uphill - and the more tired your legs the harder the climb. 

But, whoop, the end is in sight with three days left and 19k to complete. That would be less than 7k per day, a breeze. Except it's tempting to do three more 10ks just to shut my Strava PT up!


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