It's not even mid-April and, normally, we would still be skiing either in the resort of Serre Chevalier in France where we have an apartment, or ski touring in the backcountry. But, of course, nothing is normal about this April 2020.
On 14th March the ski resort officially closed due to the coronavirus crisis, we had two ski touring days and, then, on 17th March, President Macron announced restrictions to exercise, including ski touring. Now we are limited to 1km from our apartment and an hour of exercise. So the running season, for me, has started at least a month early. The good news, though, is that the weather in the Southern Alps is glorious. How odd, though, to be running in vest and shorts with a background of the snow on the mountains that we are unable to ski
Fortunately, of course, we're not in Paris where the curfew means runners can only exercise before 10am or after 7pm. Our mountain view apartment has acres of woods rising behind it, perfect for walks with the dogs - or hill runnng. The resort is also empty and the roads eerily quiet so running via looping Ikm routes and trail running would actually be a pleasure in any other circumstances. That is, if I didn't feel like a caged rat in a science lab, limited to scurrying around a maze.
Doing a 10km and staying within 1km of home, without just running up and down the same kilometre 10 times, means going off track, across fields and up steep hills. So the problem is to complete 10km within an hour. Well, it is for me.
The only way I can do it is to keep to the flat road by heading south for 1km and back, then north for 1km and back. And repeat. So that's 8km with the final two running south again. Headphones on, it's not as mindless as it sounds but, hands down, the more looping trails and off road option is preferable.
Just hope the gendarmes don't catch me or it's a €135 fine!
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