Saturday, October 18, 2014

hiking: la jonction (2589m)

Today we hiked up to La Jonction, the convergence of Glacier des Bossons and Glacier du Taconnaz. The route: Le Mont - Chalet des Pyramides - Gîte à Balmat - Jonction and return the same. I am suppose to be resting and recovering, but there has never been a clearer more beautiful day. We chose a moderate hike, not a technical trail, and planned to walk slowly, stopping often to take photos and really enjoy the views. It was the perfect day to relax in the Alps and not rush over the trail (even though it would make a great run). 

It wasn't long before we had our first view over Glacier des Bossons.

A little more climb, and we were facing Glacier du Taconnaz.

The final section carried us through the rocks at Gîte à Balmat.

Soon we reached La Jonction. Wow, what a sight! The massiveness of the glaciers was almost dizzying, and the snow and ice sparkled under the cloudless blue sky. 

For about an hour, we sat, enjoyed the sun, ate apples, and identified summits from previous hikes. No running today...but I jogged a short test to see how the Achilles might feel (not too bad, but not full range of motion either). We had to start the trip back down if we wanted to reach the base before dark as the sun was already dipping toward the mountain tops. À bientôt, j'espère.     

Friday, October 17, 2014


I've spent the week taking some difficult, but necessary, rest - sitting, icing, stretching, hobbling around once in a while to make a cup of coffee. It's hard passing on hikes and runs, but I've been trying to make the best of my time off. I painted my toenails, massaged sore muscles, wrapped and elevated my foot while reading articles about running, recovery, and shoe reviews. 

The colors are changing, temperatures are dropping (just a little bit over night), and I am dying to get back to the trails. Summer temperatures have returned today, and I am sitting in the vineyard thinking about running and debating if I can manage a light hike this weekend. For now, a short walk, and a nap in the vineyard will have to do.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Race report: Run Evasion Rhone

Distance: 22.3 km
Route: Départ du centre sportif de la Queue d'Arve / Rue François-Dussaud / Rte de Chancy / Bois de la Bâtie / Pont Butin / Berges du Rhône tout le long jusqu'à la sortie du bois de Châtillon / Aire-la-Ville / Barrage de Verbois / Réserve naturelle de l'Allondon / La Plaine / Arrivée à la salle polyvalente de Dardagny.
Conditions: Warm, humid, overcast with a very light sprinkle. 556 individual runners and 154 relay pairs.

The Run Evasion Rhone (RER) offers a beautiful 22.3 kilometers of trail from the city along the river to the finish line in the vineyards of Dardagny. Jess and Laura met us outside our apartment this morning to ride the train together from La Plaine to Geneva for the race. We got our bibs, stretched, waited, jogged a short warm up, and finally, it was time for the 10:15 start. 

I wasn't sure I would run today, but I taped my sore Achilles and decided to see how far I could go. Not exactly easing back into it, I started out fast, surprised that things didn't feel as bad as I thought they might, so I started to run like I hadn't just taken a week and a half off to sit and ice. This worked for the first speedy 5km, and I felt alright for the second five, but was starting to feel that I wasn't going to make it through. Soon it was halfway over, maybe a good place to stop, but then came the 15 km mark, and that's just too close to the end not to finish. I really pulled back in the last few kilometers, and being passed by so many other runners hurt more than my little injury, but at least I would finish. If I decided to quit, I'd still need to walk to the finish line, so it made sense to keep on running, slower, but still going. I was off by about 5 minutes and just as many positions of my estimated arrival, but still happy to make it and crossed my fingers that I didn't worsen the problem in my Achilles. I suppose it would have been better to sit this one out, but it's a nice course, close to home, and just too tempting. I managed to shave ten minutes off my time from last year, so not a total loss.

photos by RER

Go team! We all finished, enjoyed some cider, and a posed with Phil, the overall champion.

Splits: 5k- 22.23   10k- 47.00   15k- 1:11,25   20k- 1:36,40   finish- 1:50, 14
Kilometer splits: 4.14,  4.15,  4:02,  4.40,  5.09,  5.10,  4.54,  4.53,  4.15,  5.24,  4.53,  5.13,  4.48,  4.44,  4.44,  4.40,  4.57,  4.29,  5.54,  5.12,  5.51,  6.10             
Rank: 7 / 47 age category,  10 / 104 women

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

cms visit

We had a relaxing day yesterday full of long meals and a long walk topped with a big raclette dinner joining our family with some of our Franco-Swiss family. We returned Derek's parents to the airport this morning, but managed to squeeze in an early tour at the CMS site. Good timing too, since the detector is being closed again after an extended shutdown.

Monday, October 6, 2014

gimmelwald - mürren

For the second morning, we woke to sunshine after a night of rain. It was even warmer and sunnier than the day before. (We are so fortunate!) Today we rode the gondola up to Gimmelwald and walked through the farms up to Mürren.  

Before leaving the mountains, we visited Trümmelbach Falls. We were amazed by the power and noise of the glacial waters rushing through dark caverns.

We started our drive home, but not until the valley lost it's sunlight.