I figured that since we were just sitting here in ugly old Zermatt doing nothing I would give a little update. The pictures will convey how awful it is here and how we are suffering through every minute.
Since we have been here we have run each day in order to better adapt to the new time zone and keep our legs ready to race on Saturday. Our runs so far are supposed to have been easy, but when all trails go straight up, easy becomes a relative term. Today we did discover the easiest trail in Zermatt! If you go down to the river and stay next to it you can have what is basically a flat run. The problem we have then is getting back to the place we are staying. The studio apartment is about 100 yards straight up a hill that averages between 10-15% grade. I may do a short video later of the hill and our apartment with short being the operative word.
As some of you may know, Zermatt is car free so everyone (locals anyway) walks or rides their bike everywhere they go. There is a local electric bus system that will take you up and down the street next to the river if you are not good at walking or are just lazy. Given the terrain, it’s easy to understand why most of the local’s bikes have electric motors on them. These are not the hidden electric motors that some pro cyclists have lately been accused of using, but are usually large obvious motors that aid a great deal in going up hill. A guy on his way to work yesterday scared me while we were on our run because he silently came flying past me going up a hill. Usually you can hear bikers going up hill because they are working hard but this guy was barely breathing. No worry about bikers on tomorrow’s run however!
Some of you may be wondering which race is tomorrow and I can tell you that it’s by far the “easier” of our two races. It’s only 13 miles with somewhere over 4,000 feet of gain. If I can finish in 4 hours it will be a good day for me, but I will not be pushing the pace by any means so we will see what happens.
Hopefully the photos below will convey our suffering accurately.
Well we are still traveling. It’s now been 20 hours since we left home and we have about 3:30 left on the train to Zermatt. We have as usual made some observations:
1. Euro women are not afraid to wear very tight pants whether or not those pants are a good fit and regardless of material. Be it leather or see-through white cotton.
2. We Americans value our personal space much more than people from other countries. People from other parts of the world are not shy about crowding when in a queue or anywhere else for that matter.
3. Americans are also still the most obvious group of people and it’s no wonder that people from other parts of the world recognize us before we even open our mouths. For some reason we Americans just haven’t learned how to travel quietly. And American men don’t generally wear pointy wizard shoes which are a Euro male law.
4. I now know why a lot of spy novels feature Hasidic Jews as diamond carriers who travel to Zurich for exchanges and banking. There is either some truth to the author’s tales or the Hasids are trying their best to fit into the storylines.
M and I have learned to appreciate DIA as far as airports go. There are bathrooms and water fountains everywhere, whereas in European airports both are a bit harder to come by. In fact we’ve never seen a water fountain. Fortunately for us they do have 2 grocery stores in the Zurich airport so water and snacks are readily available upon arrival. The smells from the bakeries in the airport are enough to make one just want to give up fitness and get fat. The Zurich airport overall is quite nice, however, and as efficiently Swiss as one would expect.
Going from the airplane to the Swiss train system is like going from a Metallica concert to a library. The quietness of the train is very relaxing and much appreciated after the noise of the plane.
This is a continuation of the thoughts above which I had written on the train. They might be a bit incomprehensible but I was/am pretty tired.
We made it to Zermatt yesterday afternoon and got some groceries and went for our first run. There are no easy runs here as everything is straight up hill. They are all beautiful trails though so it’s kinda hard not to stop and take pictures every 10 feet.
The internet at our place isn’t functioning yet so there may be a delay in updates. Also for those of you who are skiers, there is fresh snow on the mountains!