How's my foot stress fracture? Yeah, much better, thanks. I'm back to running, mostly uphill as we are currently in the Southern Alps, uploading loads to Strava and nearly completing the 2000m vertical challenge within the first 10 days of the month.

Here in the mountains, the only way is up. And when our local but famous cols - Galibier, Granon and Izoard - are closed to traffic for three or so hours for cyclists it's a great opportunity as a runners to reconquer these landmark vertical challenges without dodging cars.

But on the Col d'Izoard ascent, last week, I only spotted one other runner going up. The two friends who I started the run with, reverted to walking after the first kilometre uphill. Mind you, they arrived at the top, over 600m vertical only just behind me, having taken the shortcuts rather than the road. High five to them, though, because the short cuts were mightly steep!

We came down together managing to avoid being swept up on the handlebars of the very swift descending cyclists (those NOT on e-bikes!)

In total it's 14.61k up and down. It took me 1hr 53mins up and 45mins down 

Next week, it's the gruesome Granon. Over 1000m vertical and over 10km to the top. If you do the maths, that's 1 in 10 gradient. Aargh!



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