I decided to use the event as a test to learn about the pacing and effort at the front of the pack. I went out fast with the lead group and held in amongst the top 10 for about 45 minutes. I was handling the pace well with respect to the aerobic effort and my ability to run at that speed, but as we climbed my lack of vertical in training clearly showed up. I couldn't keep up on the steep climb and struggled with the speed of ascent.
As the race went on I slowed and faded significantly suffering on the climbs. I was eating and drinking well and my gear all felt great, so clearly the issue was with my fitness. The lack of specificity in my training, in particular endurance and climbing, were a big issue. At ~30km I decided to call it a day and abandon. I knew that I had a lot of work to do to be ready for my goal races this season and that continuing the way I was running (or not really running) would not be as effective as stopping and starting some focused training as soon as possible.
I love this race and I know I can run it well, but I wasn't ready on this day. I've made some adjustments from last year's off-season training that are designed to set me up for my goal races later this season, however, they also mean I wasn't well prepared for Nivolet Revard. I will be back next year with better fitness and focus to race well.
Coming in to the half-way checkpoint at La Féclaz yesterday. I was already in trouble: slow climbing, heavy legs, and just not moving well at all. Early season races are a way to check where I'm at and now I have a list of things that are lacking from my training. 10 weeks to Eiger and lots of work to do.