Font Romeu Diary

Whilst the ret of us were braving the gales and showers of the British Spring, Darren Jackson and Julie Platt were sampling the life of an elite athlete. Darren shares his Font Romeu diary below:
Mrs Platt had arrived and we were going to tea with the elite athletes. She
was star struck but it didn’t take her long to find her tongue!!
5th May.
This morning was exciting. On the way to the Lake for our first hour run we
saw 3 wild bore and 800mtrs further it was amazing to see a family of dear
crossing the road, the young didn’t cross and shuffled back into the woods –
amazing, don’t get that in Wigan.
Lovely afternoon, for a further 30minute recovery run. I (Darren) had not
been to sleep because Mrs Platt being her usual self is not able to remain
quiet, so the recovery was harder than my previous recovery runs the week
before she had arrived.
At the end of day one I had to politely tell Mrs Platt to be quiet at 23:40.
6 May
The start of a new day, Julie isn’t quiet even during the night – she snores
like a drunken male. Nevertheless, she was on form and ready for the morning
run again around the opposite way of the gorgeous lake. 7 miles was achieved
at 7:40 (average) pace. I informed her part way through because she was
running so well she would have to have an ice bath and relax this afternoon!
The ice bath was dramatic but paid off for the recovery run at 2100mtrs at
the Plato. The story is this is where Paula Radcliffe did most of her
training – believe  me it’s gorgeous scenery but TOUGH.
7 May.
We were off to a earlier start this morning. I felt that I had just shut my
eyes before having to get back out of bed. Mrs Platt goes out like a light.
Like her running if she sets off before you your shattered! Snoring like a
The morning session (5miles) was tough, (for me) 10 days in and the legs
feel like they were going through treacle. Julie was running well through
the woods (Pyreneeze 2000)  up and down hills like a professional fell
runner. She even asked if I wanted to do a cool down! I don’t think so!!!
We had a fantastic session this afternoon. The machine Helen Clitheroe
(@clitherbot) and our new friend Sonia Samuels (@SoniaSamuels) showed us a
new 5 mile amazing loop which meant we had to keep to their recovery pace –
8:15mp some point, not mention the hills which were horrendous. It was
surreal running with these individuals but also very entertaining.
The ‘Meadster’ (Jenny Meadows) left camp earlier in perpetration for
Shanghai Diamond League but importantly to sort her tight hamstring. It was
sad seeing her leave in a frenzy with Trev (coach) having only been told
three hours prior they had a flight to catch, but it had been amazing seeing
the monster train and witness the level of fitness she has – dangerous.
To end our evening Julie and I cooked for the elite (well I did why she
talked and entertained the guests.). They sat in and watched in amazement
while she talked, and talked and talked.  I was in hysterics of laughter
watching Sonia just looking at Julie get faster in conversation. We ended
our evening with one or two vinos.
8th May.
Although this morning was an enjoyable day in the sun it was tough run. We
were woken by the neighbours morning activities – I thought a murder was
being committed, Julie couldn’t work out whether it was the male or female
making the noises.
10 miles was achieved but the climbs were horrendous. Julie and I saw most
of the major scenes in Font Romeu during this run, however neither of us had
a drink or euros to buy a drink. After 7miles I was dehydrated and frothing
from the mouth!  Julie was running up the hills like there was nothing
stopping her, (the fells are paying off) and more interested in getting to
Paula Radcliffe’s plaque.  We eventually found this at 8miles and I had to
drink from the fast flowing stream which was adjacent to the award. It was a
matter of delly belly or die. The rest of the afternoon, neither of us moved
off our beds. We both had been burnt by the sun. I must of drank 3 litres of
fluid just to try and feel normal!
9th May.
The morning run was effortless compared to yesterday, or it was just because
we knew that we only had a 5mile run!  The afternoon was more difficult –
last session in Font Romeu  was hills.  We did 12X35 efforts.
10th May.
The last run in Font Romeu. 5 miles of hills felt like 20. The quads, gluts
and calfs are throbbing. What a fantastic time we have had on this training
camp. We have net some great people (GB Squad) and soaked up the advice
offered. Julie and I have had a great laugh either at each other or the pain
that the other is enduring.
Being a keen football supporter we travelled to Carcassonne to ensure that
she made the kickoff at Wembley on Sunday. The journey to Carcassonne was
picturesque, yet a few of the French have serious BO.

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