Monday, March 29, 2010

Salomon Advanced Week/Trail de Mirmande

Ok so I am going to try and put my advetures to France-Italy-France-home in a nutshell. It started with a week in Bedoin France for Salomon advanced week. 30+ athletes gathered to test products, give feedback, and run the epic trails around and up Mt. Ventoux. It was awesome meeting other Salomon runners from all around the world, eating good cheese and bread, and doing what I love, run (even better with rocky, tough trails)! And super inspiring to be around talented people, not only athletes, but all the folks behind the products too. It is really rad that Salomon sent me to France. I also got to see an amazing podiatrist. He uncovered some postural issues that were impacting my tendon. With his insights, Salomon is working on making the princess a slipper that resolves the issue! Anyway as I said before and I'll say again, I am grateful to be able to do what I love! And I am super grateful that Salomon allowed me to have this opportunity. Here are a few other posts about advanced week:
Phil Villeneuve's Blog
Devon Crosby-Helms Blog
Adam Chase's Insider
And here are is my must have list... these products are killer (and I am not just saying that because they are my sponsor):
EXO II 3/4 Tight
Fast Wing Hoodie II
The Relax Shoe

Next, I was off via train to my sister who is currently living in Pallanza Italy. My parents were visiting as well, so we ventured to Lucca and Scarpon Itlay as well. I got to carbo and vino load. Oh and cafe and sweet load too. After week of falling in love with Italy, I was back on the train.

Next stop = Annecy France where I met Martin Gaffuri. We stayed a night in Annecy and the next morning we headed off to Mirmande to race. I was uncertain of the race throughout most my trip. I still had some lingering fear post injury. Jack and Daniel from the French New Balance team had invited me a few months before, so I decided to suck it up. It was time to get over the fear and get back to racing. And no better place to do that than on beautiful French, technical terrain. Martin and I got to stay in a cute little place in the village. The village was adorable, all stone, and quaint. Ok so I fell in love with France too!

Martin and I walked the village, pre-race pasta partied, and then we were off to sleep. Interestingly, the clocks changed that night, but we made a slight error. We woke-up, ate, got ready, and headed out the door for our warm-up to see no other runner's in sight. We were up an hour early (didn't think our cell phones had automatically changed time seeing that we got no signal). Oh well, we got to crawl back into bed for an hour and experience some deja vu! At 8:30ish the New Balance announced that I was there racing and then we were off at 9am. Up. Down. Single tracks. Mud. Branches. Rocks. Steep downhills. Narrow Paths. Blooming yellow flowers. Trees. Amazing volunteers. Apple blossoms. All of this made me incredibly happy. I just stayed comfy and did what I love, run! I constantly had to watch every step and it made me feel present, grateful, and excited! The course had everything I love about trail running. Before I knew it, I was cruising into the finish, smiling! I finished in 4:14 and happy. Happy to be back racing. Happy that I got to enjoy those beautiful trails. 6+ hour drive back to Paris and then 15+ hours on a plane back home. I am jet lagged and wide a wake, thus I am writing. But, glad to be back. Back home. Back racing. I had an awesome adventure. Thanks Salomon for an awesome week in Bedoin. Thanks family for an amazing time in Italy. Thanks New Balance for hosting me at the most beautiful race ever (seriously one of my favorite races for sure)! Thanks Martin for joining me in Mirmande! And thanks body for healing!

Ok and here is a short list of things from this trip:
- Nutella Gelato is essential for pre-race fuel
- French bread, french cheese... c'est bon!!!!
- I love how Italians and French say hello, much more fun than a handshake
- People are really cool.
- French is not the same as Italian, but for some reason I kept wanting to speak it in Italy...
- Only one way to get over fear, hop back on the horse again
- It's nice to share the calm before the storm
- Take the train if you're in Europe
- Smile
- Do what you love
- Spend time with family
- Take a yoga class in Italy
- Kids are great, I love my nephews
- Family is great, I love my family
- Friends are great, I love my friends
- I see why I love the French trail in Oakland (just picture it with more rocks, narrower, and leaf/brush covered!)
- I am incredibly grateful
- Yay to an amazing experience!!!!!!! Again thanks everyone!!!!


Phil said...

Great job on the race Caitlin! Sounds like you had came up with the right combination for the ultimate trip! It was great to spend time with you in/and around Ventoux - rest up and have a great spring!

Buzz said...

It's always fun to experience why it's called "trail running" here, but in Europe it's called appropriately, "mountain running"!

Anonymous said...

Hello Caitlin,
A toi de traduire ::))
Merci de ta Visite à Mirmande,de tout les compliments...... tout le TEAM New Balance te souhaite le meilleur pour ta saison, tu as montré tout ton talent sur les pentes Française et Dromoise.
Rendez vous en 2011.
Amitiés sportives.