Obama the Antichrist ?

So I had a really fucked up conversation with my Dad’s side of the family the other day.  I will apologize in advance for the free-form rambling of this post … maybe later I’ll tidy it up a bit into more biting cynicism but for now this will have to do as I am tired … Read post and take this poll after …

My mom and my dad could not be further apart in their political views these days, and it’s a good thing they got divorced. She is a firm supporter of Obama, though realistic that he’s still just a politician, she hopes he’ll be better than the Bush crowd that simply made more money for a small top portion of business associates tied to oil and military. She doesn’t foam at the mouth when she talks about McCain and Palin – she points out reasonable things like his political views, her batty lack of experience and corrupt past history in Alaska as well as her virulently anti-abortion views when talking about why she’d never want him/her elected. 

The fact that he’s been a Bush supporter on most of the issues that caused the economic situation today (and on the Iraq war) and that Bush managed in the process of his two terms to destroy the entire US economy and potentially the economy of most of the first world countries in his continued allowance of further unbridled capitalism, completely void of meaningful regulations. Now, yes, some of these policies were started by Democrats … but certainly he only furthered their initiatives, further deregulated industries that should never have been deregulated etc.. I can’t even understand why the people in the US are not protesting on the streets in massive numbers considering what this man did to their country. By far the worst president in the history of the country. So, even if Obama is still part of the same ‘political machine’ most people who support him are realistic – we just hope he’s a kinder, gentler fuck up the ass than Bush and will try to change more things for the better of the middle class, knowing that the good of the whole country is really in the best interest of all political parties if they want the US to remain a constitutional democracy (even though he’s a millionaire).

On the other hand, to speak to my step Mother and my Dad and listen to the evil hating shit that comes out of their mouths – I am speechless. They sound like they living in a science fiction movie and speak like they are brown shirt Nazi’s in WWII, dumbly repeating the puppeted words of their masters verbatim without stopping for a moment to consider how absolutely repugnant and unrealistic the words coming out of their mouths are. The amazing propaganda machine that is the right-wing has managed to whip up such hatred of Obama – I’ve never witnessed such knee-jerk reactions that are not based in reality during a political campaign. My stepmother actually said to me that she thinks Obama will be the ‘anti-Christ’ if he’s elected and she and my Dad think it is meaningful sign that people like Louis Farrakhan call Obama ‘a Messaih’ (another stupid caricature from the opposite end of the spectrum). They both agreed with each other on this point. Right wing Christian freaks have been shouting in their ears and they believe them.

What is it about otherwise seemingly intelligent people that allows them to believe – seriously believe – such blatently obvious utter tripe ? Stepmom also thinks Palin is amazing (well this is understandable as she is strongly anti-abortion herself). She says Biden talks out of both sides of his mouth, but then she finds Palin credible despite seeing how she’s run Alaska and the scandals there about how she abused her power (how does that fit in with an ‘aw shucks’ hockey mom image) ? I just fail to understand how people become so bamboozled by propaganda that they cannot realistically watch a person speak on TV and judge them for themselves, not through the ridiculous viewpoints of people on the extreme edge of either side. Just watching Palin squirm and wriggle, unable to put together meaningful sentences when interviewed by newscasters is enough to make my skin crawl – like hearing fingernails on a chalk-board. But then Bush is the same level of idiot and many people loved him. Maybe they don’t like to vote people in with higher IQs than they themselves can comprehend would exist ?

When I pointed out to my Dad that there is truly little difference between Republicans and Democrats, and that really it’s the rich vs. the poor, he agreed. We talked about the banking scandals and how there were as many involved Republicans as Democrats who profited all these years from the de-regulation policies and how Bush controlled the country for 8 years, so how could he tell me this was Jimmy Carter’s fault or the fault of the poor.

Oh yeah, this was another nugget – the right wing now is saying that the loan programs started by Carter to help poor families get homes in the fucking 1970s caused the current bank failures !! That this Carter policy was responsible for the Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac crashes 30 years later after years of de-regulation and changes in that industry since it was first incepted (which by the way started under the evil motherfucker Ronald Reagan)!

Fuck me – like we didn’t have quite a few Republican politicians come through in that time to correct any supposed mistakes Carter made? No, of course not. But of course the original Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac loans are now mostly repaid from the era of Carter – the defaulted loans are the ones given out in the de-regulated world economy that Carter’s team certainly did not foresee, where banks bet on the mortgages with each other on the open stock market!.

All he could say in response was that McCain was a ‘rebel’ and a ‘maverick’ (I love that the real Maverick family are suing to get McCain to stop using their family name in vain!). Well he does live in McCain’s home state, so is even more full of the garbage from that end of things than most of the country. Still how can the country’s Republicans, who had power for 8 years, cling to the notion that NONE OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED IS THEIR FAULT when it stares them in the face ? Are they so much part of the ‘blame anyone but me generation’ that they can’t see the forest for the trees – can’t see how greedy politicians in a 2 party system are going to fuck the poor no matter what ? That it’s all a big game – Republicans rape the country for 8 years, the Democrats come in and make love a bit while screwing around behind your back, then you get raped by Republicans again for 8 more years – that this is the cycle we’ve been in since WWII and the takeover by the military industrial complex and corporate interests ? That the sixties and all the political assassinations assured this cycle would continue (with more Republicans than Democrats of course) via threat of death if you do not tow the party line? That the US has basically LOST it’s middle class and is now exporting it to countries like India thanks to corporate interests – that there is NO SUCH THING as a ‘US Corporation’ – none of them have national pride or national interests as a concern?

But he still went back to his comfortable right-wing rhetoric in the end that explains all the pain away, never blames rich corporate heads who control the press or the politicans, and instead points the finger at Mexican immigrants, ‘evil doer’ terrorists (like Obama!!) and anything else ‘out there’ and untangible to keep them frightened and not looking too deeply to find the real truth. The propaganda masterminds are great at using fear of ‘other’ to control the population – Hitler used it and the right-wing Republican party uses it. It’s like the part of my Dad that is logical and intelligent and ‘should know better’ is just lost to this fear-based rumour mongering. And as he goes ( a college educated engineer with a Master’s degree ), so goes much of the nation.

Two outcomes to the election I can foresee.

1. Election will be stolen by the Republicans just as it was 4 years ago even though Obama leads in polls

2. Obama will win and will be assassinated by some freak all pumped up on this deadly racist, anti-Islamic pro-‘American’ rhetoric put out by the right wing which has people like my step Mother believing this man is an un-American muslim terrorist (oh yeah, and he’s black!)

I hope that no matter what happens, there will be riots on the streets of the states in protest – violent ones that force people to realize that despite the bullshit that comes out of my step-Mother’s mouth – you are NOT MORE FREE IN THE USA than anywhere else on the planet. But I won’t hold my breath. Likely it will be followed by another ‘terrorist attack’ to ensure the fear stays strong and propaganda keeps hold of the hearts and minds of the US citizens.

Your freedoms are GONE folks – wake up! You are so much LESS FREE than most of Europe but your propaganda news machines make you think you have so much to be ‘thankful’ for … you, many of you, even believe that 99.9% of the free world must be wrong and that socialized medicine will be evil! Socialized medicine will never come to the USA for three reasons.

1. Insurance companies won’t let it – they stand to lose out big time

2. Doctors won’t accept reasonable salaries and the loss of their fake demi god status

3. People are fucking stupid in the USA and even though they travel to other countries, or hear people who live in and experience the health benefits n other nations talk about how good it is – they prefer to believe the scare tactic horror stories coming from items 1 and 2 – the ones who will lose lots of money in a socialized medical system

Unfortunately the only way I can see the US improving at all is via total US economic collapse (unfortunately that will take out much of Europe and is unlikely now that we have Sarko and other Euro-corporate boys running over there to try to tell the idiot how to stop the bleeding) and a complete tossing out of all the Washington insiders, and a popular revolt electing real humans to the Congress and white house. I can’t ever see that happening though – the media is corporate, the corporations are too powerful, richer than many small countries in fact …

So that is why I will never ever move back there – and why I hate politicians such as Sarkozy and anyone else with policies who try to change Europe to be more like the States — ie, to allow corporations more power here – the socialist nations of Europe need to resist the raw capitalism of the States – so far the people here are far more politically astute than the citizens in the US and so I can just hope that continues, but then again – the French elected Sarkozy last time … now proven as just another one of Bush’s butt wipers and corporate ass-kisser.

Bitter Discourse

My step Grandmother died last week. She was part of the east-coast liberal intelligentsia ultra rich crowd (husband, deceased, was a university professor and Nobel Prize winner). Her dying words were ‘Obama, Obama’. I hope she was seeing a vision of the future election winner.

I think after the debates last week, it’s pretty obvious that McCain is not going to change a thing. Or we can say that if he dies and Sarah Palin gets into power he’ll change things but only for the worse. That woman is a scarey bitch, playing games with her bullshit hockey mommy facade over a disgustingly cruel inner character who blames victims and represses individual freedoms. I also hate anyone who supports arial gunning of wolves, and who thinks hunting is something that one could practice as a ‘sport’.  We can hope (bitterly though ’cause I never trust a politician no matter how cool they try to make themselves sound) that in this case Obama would change something.

My take on politicians is that they are all quite selfish and ego-driven beings – no one would dare run for president given what it takes to get there these days, were they not. But in general it seems that the way Democrats try to stay in power is by gathering up a large pack of commoners around them,a along with a few key wealthy do-gooders in order to get themselves into power, and then once there they of course must also work with the ultra rich and to benefit them (or they lose continued support and funding in congress), and they of course take every advantage to make themselves and their buddies rich but they mitigate this by throwing some bones to the middle class pack every once in awhile and thus generally keep the lives of more people in the US happier, and their larger power base satisfied. Whilst Republicans simply keep the giant pack at bay for years using lies and fear mongering tactics to manipulate the middle class and lower classes, growing richer and more powerful only in their tight inner circle of super rich supporters and destroying the rest of the country or whatever else stands in their way (until it gets so bad that once more they are tossed into the street by voters, or if it gets bad enough one could always hope for a real revolution again).

I don’t think any national level politician is free from greed or is truly there for the ‘common good’, but I think liberal democrats at least feel guilty about fucking people over and do a few good things here and there, which is why I prefer them to Republicans. Ideally I’d prefer socialism but whatever. I can’t imagine Americans going for that as they are so utterly brainwashed by a poor education system and Fox news (Faux News) propaganda that the very word sends them into purple-faced spittle-filled rants.

Anyhoo … I don’t donate money to politicians in general but today I donated money to Obama. I hope he makes it …

Sexism in running … something finally to be bitter about

OK – gotta get this crap off my chest. I know most French girls are fucking girly. They always disappoint me, cute as their skinny bitch asses almost always are. Many of them won’t run or exercise in general because it makes them sweat, they don’t do sports because guys might not like them, don’t want muscle etc.. They prefer to smoke and puke up after eating to stay slim instead of climbing, hiking etc. to do it. Not all of course … there are a couple French girl mountain guides, good climbers, top ultra runners. But they do not represent the majority or even popular sentiment. The ones who do it ‘regularly’ seem to have to be at a super high level, then they are respected and revered even, but they are seen as a class apart from ‘most french women’. I know that is a given. For a country that invented feminism supposedly, the girls here prefer to stay pretty far back in general with regards to sports and are happy to go hiking letting their boyfriends carry their backpacks most of the time. The Ultra trail race I did has always under 300 women out of 2000 participating and the big race has about the same number of women out of 2500 runners.

BUT still – WTF is it with France and Switzerland still being so god damned sexist about incredibly short races like the distance of 10km where it is an olympic event for women ?! Or why do you never see ANY women bike clubs rolling down the street (tons of men’s clubs with them all dressed up in spandex, dicks plainly visible … wouldn’t chicks want to show off their tits and muscles in the same way ?) What’s up with this ?

The NUMBER of times I have come across foot races where ONLY MEN can sign up for the 10km distance, and women must sign up for  a shorter 7.5 or 5km races on the same day is DISGUSTING. I find this constantly – I find a 10km race in a nearby town, go to the site to sign up and find out I CANNOT. I must sign up for the pink girly race instead if I want to race that day (I don’t – I simply will not support these types of races!).

Even in the local Le Dauphiné Libéré newspaper a few days ago in the run-up to the Annecy 10km (which does have women and men in the same distance) had an article that was chock-o-block full of sexist commentary such as saying how a 10km race is so very difficult and that it calls for a ‘strong male’ with a big heart and muscular legs (do these guys even watch these races, or are they just gay men drooling over imaginary male runners who write these articles??? – most of the guys in these races looked like scrawny whippets to me compared to muscular ultra trailers I ran with last week) and it went on to speak about how the ‘weaker female sex’ made such a GOOD showing this year by enrolling close to 200 chicks in a race of 800 people. WTF ???

The girl who won the women’s catagory in this race beat most of those ‘strong men’ coming in 52nd place scratch in 36 minutes. The first year of the CCC (then 86km) a woman won the ENTIRE race scratch beating every man in the race by a large gap. What makes them think this is so ‘weak’ when MOST of the men who enter any given foot race end up getting BEATEN by a WOMAN (even though by percentage we are a FRACTION of the total racers) and that the extra 2.5km is so ‘difficult’ for women to run that they have to hold a special 7.5km race ‘just for us’  ?

Just shut up and get to work worshipping my pussy, French boy is all I want to say … get on down there and stay there!

How to train for a 10km personal best … without bitterness

Apparently running an ultra marathon the week (OK one week and a day of we are to be exact) before your 10km race is a super way to end up doing a personal best …

OK that would not have been possible the first year I did my first ultra marathon … I remember that year it took me a couple of weeks to recover. But also then I did not know about active recovery (ie using biking to recover for example – I had been told to do a jog the day after the race, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that as I was in such pain etc.) and I also didn’t know about the cold/hot water thing, where after a race you basically ice your legs and hips in cold water, then hot then cold, then hot etc. finishing with hot, to basically flush toxins out of your muscles more quickly. I only learned that in the 2nd year. But … now that I do know about that and now that I can recover quicker and continue to make plans to do things immediately after the race (even though for example the first climb 3 days after had some painful moments!) it is definitely a much better way to get through the ugly first few days after your ultra where your legs are puffy with toxins and still have that odd ache from the accumulated fluids.

I signed up for a 10km race on Wed last week which ran yesterday in a town called Annecy an hour and a half from here. People in my running group thought I was a bit nuts to sign up for another race so soon after doing an ultra, but in the end it was really good for me and for the recovery and I think my continued training for the next race at end of October. I didn’t want my body to feel like after the CCC the exercise season was over, since I will have to go 72km again in about 7 weeks.

Rather than feeling tired and worn out as I feared during the race, I ended up with a personal best time in the 10km! Well, at least personal best since I took up running again about 4 years ago when a good time for me was about an hour. (I don’t remember all my past 10k times from when I was younger but I think I did not even sign up for more than 5k races when I lived in Chicago – though I am not 100% sure). Now I am very close to running 7.5 minute miles consistently again over these shorter distances (7.6 minute average for this race, but in fact at the 5km mark I had been running at a 7.4 pace … I slowed over the course unfortunately). This was the pace I remember I used to run 5km when I was in my 20s working as a sexy mean dominatrix …. 

I think a huge chunk of my improvement is due to my weight loss earlier in the season. I just found an interesting calculator on a running website that actually shows how many minutes you save over distance by dropping weight : http://www.runningforfitness.org/calc/weighteffect.php . And this seems to show that if I do manage to get down to my target weight, I could cut 2 minutes further off my 10km time. Not a bad motivator … 2 minutes faster in this race would have moved me from up 7 places in my age group.

So I highly recommend running an ultramarathon of 98km with 5500m of uphill and downhill at altitude the week before your 10km race if you are going for a personal best. Doing that will make the 10km seem like a piece of piss, believe me.

Secondly you will be so used to running through the pain that when you do a faster pace and find yourself breathing hard, you can say to yourself, ‘I only need to hang on for another x minutes, I know I can do it’ with extreme confidence and you will get through it. Especially since it is merely a fraction of the time you needed to say this to yourself to get through the 98km race.

Thirdly your leg strength will not be the limiting issue in your 10km race. Yes I started the 10km still having a downhill quad sore in each leg, and one ankle wondering about downhills … but since the race was basically flat (they claimed it was a rolling course but I challenge them to tell me where the up and downhill was – after all the hills I did last week it was again, unnoticeable to me) these muscles were not an issue.

I did eat 2 Power gels before starting the race, knowing that likely my reserve of carbs was not built up yet and that my muscles might need the immediate fuel but in some ways I think it was simply a bit of paranoia on my part. Also I’d gotten up at 5:30am for breakfast (a good couple hours earlier than normal) so knew that would be wearing off after the drive in with friends. The start was at 9:15. The weather cooperated as well -cool and cloudy so no pounding sun to deal with. I thought I’d maybe feel the ankle but it did not bother me one iota. In fact, during the whole run my legs felt nothing but really strong which gave me a sense of security allowing me to push the whole breathing thing.

The only limiting factor I found that I had this short race was my own V02 max, and how fast would I be able to breathe in a rhythm rather than raggedly while making my legs turn over faster than I was used to. The altitude training had helped too … this race was 500m lower than my home town and 1500m lower than a lot of the race that I did last week. So I started out at a pace that seemed a bit fast but on the other hand, didn’t seem to put me into an anaerobic state where I would hit threshold. Another benefit of running for 22 hours is you get to know your running body pretty well in these kinds of ways. So I was able to find the exact ‘edge’ that I am at right now where I knew how much to push the breathing without getting into a bonk state. I started out with a 2 steps, breathe once pace and I think I finished the last 2km on a single step single breathe rhythm. 

Also, finding hotties to follow is another great inspiration. After about km 4 or 5, I found a very cute French chick running in front of me, with a great ass and basically followed her slim sexy bouncing bum the rest of the way since she was running slightly faster than I normally would have thought to run myself. I hoped to have a sprint left at the end to try to get even closer to her bum, but sadly only had a small one left (I suppose this is another good sign in that I was really running at the edge of what I could sustain over that distance) for the last 400m or so (which finished inside a real track and field stadium).

After I stopped at the end, I felt briefly like puking but that passed in about 10 seconds, and then my recovery was so fast it was not even funny. Another great benefit of training for ultras is your recovery time after less than an hour of running is a walk in the park, even when you push it. I was neither thirsty nor hungry after the 10km. I looked at the drinks stand at the 5km mark and thought it ridiculous and passed at least 2-3 people who’d been ahead of me running at a good pace who broke their whole pace to stop and choke down a cup of water. Another great benefit of having run a mountain ultra done in ‘semi autonomy’.

As we walked to lunch I did develop an appetite. However, it was more of an appetite for the cute men walking all over town wondering which ones of them were available for a shag or not …. I am seriously in sexual deficeit at the moment and need an outlet … ! The more I lose weight the more it seems that I to want to shag …

More post CCC blather …

Yes, still on a high from finishing better in the race than I’d hoped. Three days afterwards (I finished on Saturday AM so had Sunday/Monday to rest) I climbed the Cosmiques Arrete, and yesterday (1 week to the day after the start of the race) I climbed 2 peaks in the Aiguilles Rouges – the normal ridge route of the Index (Arete sud de l’Index) and the Mani Puliti route on the contreforte de la Gliere. Two very very easy (ridge climb in the 4+ range and face climb with 5b max) but 6-7 pitch routes in 1 day. I did them in my mountaineering boots – I just got some new Garamont Tower GTX boots that I adore. No problem climbing 5b in the boots – felt very secure and am sure I could climb probably up to 6a in these things.

I had to get something to replace the Asolo light summer hiking boots which I completely wore out on the Tour des Combins a few weeks ago – they are a few years old and hands down were the most comfortable pair of hiking boots I’d ever had but I wore off the heels and the Gore tex leaks like a sieve – absolutely water attractors now, not at all water proof anymore. I may still try to get those re-soled to hike when it’s dry out as they are great for comfort but not climbing. I decided to get a hybrid boot and replace two boots at once. My previous mountaineering boots never fit me properly – they were purchased years ago because they were on sale and I had at least 2 inches in front of my toes making them absolutely impossible to use for climbing, but they were 100% crampon compatible. The new ones take a balin at the back, but a strap at the front. Luckily Black Diamond makes Sabretooth crampons for the hybrid boots so the combo of the Garamont boot and the Sabretooth crampon should make them pretty much ‘do everything’ boots for all I care to do around Chamonix; likely they’ll even go for Mt Blanc as long as I have gaiters and it’s not too far below zero when I do it.

For next year it looks like for the first time you will need qualifying points to even enter the CCC race again … the previous 3 years you did not need to qualify to enter that race, only the UTMB. I guess the high drop out rate this year (plus number of people who wanted to do the race but could not) convinced the organizers to set up a new system of pre-qualification for all the races. I qualify to do whatever I like – CCC or UTMB since I did the CCC for the past 2 years and always have finished, and on top of that for extra measure my Course des Templiers (assuming I finish it) will put me up to the points required in just 2008 alone (to do the big UTMB). I don’t think I want to do the UTMB however … I just don’t think I have the time commitment to put into training for a race of that length. I know I can do 98km and 5600m + on 2 days a week of running (and do OK) but I do know that I cannot do 166km on that kind of training regime. Considering that I like rock climbing and hiking equally to running, I can’t imagine giving those up to simply train only to run. But I am glad they are putting in a points system for both races. I have to wonder how some people trained. There are guys posting to the forum on the UTMB site saying they trained 5 days a week, with a 6 hour endurance run each week and DNF’d due to the heat. I find that ‘encroyable’ and basically do not believe it.

When you train for a long race like that, just ‘running’ is simply not enough. As someone pointed out if you run 21km 5 times a week and think it is preparing you for a long endurance race, all you will end up being is a good 21km runner. You MUST train up to at least 1/2 the distance that your race will be, at least one time, at most 1 month before the event, then taper. By this I mean, if you are doing a 98km race you must run at least 50km in one day about a month before the race, even if it is very slowly and takes much longer than you expect your race pace to be. You simply must run that type of distance. If you do not, your body will not be prepared for the ‘time on feet’ required to complete the race. Some of the best things to do in this regard are things such as long mountain days – for example 10 hour days on the feet scrambling/climbing or hiking — this type of endurance to ‘keep going physically even when hungry/tired etc.’ on your feet is really important when doing endurance racing. Writers more expert than I estimate you can about double your distance each long endurance run if you allow sufficient recovery times between the longest runs. The time in between might be 2-3 weeks btw. This is OK for this type of running! Overtraining by running uselessly for 5 days a week at shorter distances gets you nothing but trained for shorter distances. If your race is going to take more than daylight to complete you must also train to run at night. So many runners seem to not do this and then be surprised. I ended up replacing my lighting system after trying to run 21km in my mountaineering headlamp when I realized that to run faster, I needed a wider beam so I could see where to place my feet much sooner at night. Your pace at night will slow to a crawl if you do not pay attention to this type of detail.

I started out the season running slowly for 21km uphill twice as my long runs. Then I did a 26km uphill race. A few weeks later I did 42km, and a couple of weeks later I did a weekend where I ran 2 back to back marathons in the mountains ON THE COURSE at altitude. I ran at altitude as often as I could as well. I didn’t train often, but when I trained I trained well and with purpose.  When I walked or hiked, I hiked hills and concentrated on climbing technique and climbing quickly as possible while walking … pushing myself into a hard-breathing sweat even on ‘casual hikes’. I then did a multi-day mountain tour with a heavy backpack on at altitude, speed hiking all the cols which were close to 3000m (a good 700m higher than the altitude of the race itself). I carried things like books and camera gear in my pack, knowing that building up the leg muscles this way with 7-9 hour mountain days would be good for the endurance a few weeks later. Red blood cells take about 2 weeks to get created after you go to altitude … after I did that tour I went back up high several times in the week before the race. It worked, apparently. Recently I went up the Aiguille du Midi (3800m) to do a climb at over 3400m and I didn’t even get short of breath …

I also take iron now. I used to not take supplements of iron because my blood tested in the ‘normal’ range for iron in the blood and because iron pills blocked me up — but my reserves (ferritin) level was that of an infant consistently and I read a lot of information about slow metabolism that suggested that this was a link in that slow down of the metabolic process. So now I take either Floradix (French iron/mineral/vitamin liquid plant-based supplement) or an iron-enriched spirulina capsule (neither of which constipate like ‘typical’ iron tablets do … and additionally are much more bio-available) and have been doing this for about a year now – it’s made a huge difference to my energy levels at altitude. Also I discovered I have to take magnesium while living here … if I do not, I get brain fog which mimics depression and it also causes weight gain because I tended to eat to try to compensate for the lack of clarity/tired feeling I got. I also cut out wheat completely from my diet. No pasta nights for me before races.

And I have lost since my heaviest weight before last November, a total of 8kg (nearly 18lbs, or 1 stone 4lbs) – I am now 65kg. I did this by a combination of not eating so much food at a serving, cutting out sugar and honey completely (including replacing sugar for tea/coffee with fructose), eating nearly no carbohydrates that were refined or even whole (ie no rice, pasta, bread of any type during most serious stages and only eating whole grains before long endurance runs) and reducing the amount of fruit in my diet at the points where I really wanted to lose weight. I tried for some time to lose weight (3 years?) and nearly gave up … I exercised a lot but it would not come off until this past November when I tried the South Beach concept, with the idea that potentially I had either thyroid or some type of pre-diabetic condition.

It was only when I really cut out carbohydrates and sugars entirely for 3 weeks (at a time while my husband was thankfully gone so I could have in the house only what I was allowing myself to eat and avoid temptation) that the weight started to come off. I believe I have what is referred to as ‘syndrome X’ or ‘pre-diabetic’ condition where the body simply loses the ability to properly process carbohydrates in the adrenal system and simply stores them as fat nearly immediately due to over-consumption of refined starches and sugars in our diet that over time damages and overloads the adrenal system. It was very difficult to do for the first few weeks, but once the addiction to sugar and starch had been cut, it became easy enough to keep up with the regime. I also increased protein of both vegetable and fish sources, but still will not eat anything but line caught tuna or wild salmon … farmed salmon makes me want to vomit it is so fatty. I try to snack on protein – nuts, soy yougurt or soy protien bars(supposedly too fatty to allow weight loss) rather than chips, bread, toast, fruit etc.. or fresh fruit, not dried if protein is not around.

I felt this weight loss weakened me in early season most definitely (I placed very low in the uphill 1/2 marathon in June after losing a bunch of weight) but I decided to keep losing the weight until end of July, and then to eat normally in August (I allowed back into the diet brown rice before long runs, or potatoes or sweet potatoes but NOT white rice, and I will never allow back wheat). I stopped drinking beer anywhere (hard to do at the micro-brewery but it worked) and only would drink red wine or clear alcohol such as eau de vies or vodka. Now my body seems to have figured out how to burn fat better, and I do not need as many carbs to run. I am OK having a meal with a large portion of brown rice before a big race, and a few slices of whole rye flatbread (the kind that tastes terrible unless toasted because it is flat as a board and very heavy).

I still need to lose another 3kg I reckon to be at my most fit weight, so I hope to lose this in September, and again go into a maintenance regime for October before the Templiers. I am really happy with the way my body looks again, which is a great side outcome. I am being flirted with by guys in their 20s and 30s, I get eyes following me now when I walk around in bars and it feels good. I love the look of my leg muscles now … I have not had thighs this muscular and with lack of fat since I was in my early 20s (or maybe teens??) – my legs are hard all over, not squishy. It feels great. It feels sexy. I am able to wear the clothes I arrived in Chamonix with in Y2K … which is a wonderful feeling after having fallen into a depression for a couple of years with the whole failure of the health of my husband and subsequent collapse of our relationship …

This year – one of the happiest summers for me so far in Chamonix since maybe 2003, the last time I had decent climbing partners in town. I have done more sports than in ages it seems, and feel confident again about my own abilities. Doing so many things on my own such as running solo back to back entirely self-sufficient marathons in the mountains really gives you a sense of who you are again, and a sense of confidence that only comes when you really earn it from real work, not puffed up ego or hope. I do think it would be great to have a lover again rather than just friends to do things with in the mountains. Orgasms are another great way to lose weight 😉  Unfortunately I will never think of Louise Attaque in the same way again … got to get over that a bit.