So to be able to make the most of Monday’s heavy snowfall, I decided that I would work again from home on Friday and duly informed my colleagues that I would be doing so. So just before one o’clock, I set out of home and ran uphill to Croissettes (approx.720m of altitude).

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After having run up the very steep chemin de l’Arzilier through the wood I reached Montéclard (part of the commune of Epalinges), which lies at approximately 760m above sea level. Each time I run past this meadow, I pray that the project to build three small blocks of flats in this area does not move forward as it would be such a pity to see this open area of countryside (one of the few remaining at Epalinges) go.

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About 4 minutes’ from the point where the picture above was shot, I arrived at a steep slope (gradient of 18%) where chemin de la Pierraz joins chemin du Polny; there was not much snow left in the field (on the left) unlike two days earlier. However, as this place lies at an altitude of about 780m above sea level, I knew there would not be much snow left.

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Some 15 minutes later, at the crossroads between chemin du Ruisseau-Martin and chemin de Ballègue, I could see that the open expanse on the left (called La Possession) still sported a thin layer of snow. This was not a surprise to me because the altitude here is higher, at some 810m.

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So I knew that there would still be several centimetres left at plaine de Mauvernay (altitude of approx.860m), which proved to be the case (click to enlarge the panorama). So I quickly went into the small chalet situated opposite the two ranges of trees which kind of mark the beginning of the plain and changed from my Nike into my Salomon after having put on my gaiters.

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Once in the wood, I was surprised to see that there was on the whole as much snow as there had been on Tuesday (admittedly, Bois-Clos lies at approx 870m of altitude, but it is not that high an altitude; I suppose that the tall trees provide some shade and thus prevent the snow from melting too fast) and I was glad to run in the shoe tracks I had left by running twice on this course earlier this week.

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Unfortunately, I had to go back to work and I could not indulge in a second lap round Bois-Clos. What a pity because, at last, I was getting used to my Salomon Fell Cross Lab!

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On Saturday morning, I felt that I must go on the same run again (for a much longer run in the woods) so as to enjoy running in the snow at Mauvernay probably for the last time this winter/spring. However, this was my fourth such run this week (after having done so on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) after a period of little running (see Poor start to 2013 … I am behind schedule!) and two thirds into the course I followed on the three previous such runs, I stopped. From this point, I more or less walked back to the chalet where I changed back into my New Balance. Not only did I feel shattered, it was also a huge disappointment!

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Even though running back home is mostly downhill from Mauvernay, my willpower seemed to have been crushed by the fact that I had walked mostly for the last third of what I had thought would be a pure, non-stop run in the snow, so that my ‘run’ back home from there was mostly walking interspersed with some running. Even drinking the 25ml shot of Sponser’s Activator (which had helped me several times on previous long-distance runs) was of no help. I think that never before had I experienced such a breakdown. It was not that I was feeling any pain or that I had ‘hit the wall’, it was more the huge letdown of not having completed the last third of my run on the snow that was depriving me of my will to run any further!

However, I remembered a clip I had seen a few hours earlier in which Scott Jurek (the great American ultra-distance trail runner) cautions runners to listen to their bodies (in fact, I had almost fallen ill this week – you might have noticed the cold sore below my lip) and I decided not to make too much of this disappointing run as well as to rest today and not go back to Mauvernay for some cross-country skiing.

I have nevertheless managed to put this  very short ‘period of rest’ to good use as far as my running is concerned, as I hope you will find out in the next entry 😉

Other entries on running in winter near Lausanne

Entry on running in winter along the lakeside in Geneva

Running along Geneva’s lakeside after some heavy snowfall

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