First Autumn Run

Sunday 18th October 2010

First Autumn Run
Go out for the first run in several months. Despite the run only being 7.7km and slow, it gave me serious DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) lasting almost the whole following week. It wasn’t until the following Saturday that my legs and body would feel good again.

Running does feel good. There is more time to enjoy nature when running than when cycling. Today was the first time I’d run beside the river Isère since Spring and it’s now Autumn. You feel the river when you run beside it because it chills and freshens the air in the tree covered valley floor, especially after recent rainfall in the mountains when the flow is rapid and turbulent. Sometimes the river is powerful and impressive and infuses you with those same feelings – adding to the motivation to run well. In cycling there is a constant focus on riding the bike and although you are aware of the fresh air, weather and scenery – it’s not so intimate. It’s hard to draw inspiration from nature when you are focused on staying 20cm behind someone’s wheel in front at 45km/hr.

Monday 18th October 2010

Waterfall Mountain Bike

Used “proper” mountian biking shorts today – with a padded inner and a loose outer layer. Normally the padding isn’t felt in cycling shorts due to it hugging the body closely. The mountain biking shorts have a loose inner layer and so the padding feels a bit like wearing a big baby’s nappy – and after some sweating it’s like a big wet nappy – not very nice. Next day I went to Chambery to look for better equipment! None of the specialist cycling shops had any sensible clothes – they only had “downhill” protection shorts. Surprisingly, Decathlon was the only place to have proper mountain biking shorts and quite a large selection. Lessons have clearly been learned because all of the shorts now have a Lycra inner layer with padding – most of them detachable. The inner itself is just like a pair of road cycling shorts. People had started to rip out the inners of the old shorts and wear road cycling shorts beneath instead – so this issue has obviously been addressed. With the Lycra holding the padding next to the skin you don’t feel the wetness from sweating and there is no rubbing. As luck would have it there has been no opportunity to try out the new shorts because the snow came right down to 500m altitude – staying on the ground at 1000m and the temperatures have been too low for riding. This weather is very unusual for mid October – in previous years I’ve been able to enjoy tee shirt cycling weather until late November at this altitude.

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