Short backstory

My first Garmin was a forerunner 210. In less than a year that one died and I paid the Garmin upgrade for a 610 touchscreen. The build quality was a lot better, but the stainless steel back of the watch started to bubble and separate from the housing. For a time it was staining my skin a greenish color. The watch was still working and I wasn’t having any other issues with it – I think there was a firmware update or 2 that shortened the time to satellite lock, but overall, no deal breakers. Until last week. The watch started to freeze when transferring data and some of my runs would return partial or corrupt data. So I decided to bring it back to REI. I was planning to pay the Garmin and buy a 620 (another upgrade). Then I found out about the Fenix2 that will be shipping at the end of March. So I’ll pre-order and wait. It’s the closest Garmin comparable to the Suunto Ambit  2 (but works with Strava, unlike Suunto).

In summary, I’m watchless right now. I have an old High Gear that  has includes chrono, barometer and altimeter, but no GPS.  I’ve pre-ordered the Fenix2 and am planning to use my iPhone (+Strava app) until it arrives – sometime in early April. I’m really not that much of a device geek… but I like what I like. And I’m patient.

The Run

Today’s run was good. In fact, I rocked it. This was my longest mileage week to prep for the 50k in 2 weeks, so today was the last day to close in on the mileage of a 50k before the race. I’m of the mind to kick your own ass training, so that you don’t get your ass kicked in a race. I’m feeling a lot better after today.

It went like this:

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 8.11.31 PMRight after I crossed 26 and started the ups on the Marquam trail – I lost GPS. The run was the same as this though (from last week):

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 8.17.25 PM

At the library on 39th and Salmon (at 19 miles) there is a city water fountain outside and I had one Hammer gel left. Done and done. I really didn’t think about it too much, I just decided to make it happen and combined this loop with my Mt. Tabor standard:

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 8.20.19 PM

19.7 + 5.1 = 24.8  / ~ 25 miles. So not only the total mileage but elevation of ~3000k up. I’m going to have more vertical in the 50k, but I felt great in the last few miles, my stride came back and my pace was recovering.

I can’t think of anything more bad ass than this run in Portland. Primarily because it’s a bounce between the 2 highest ridges that can be seen from the city. It was a little bit surreal looking all the way across the valley to Council Crest from Mt. Tabor and knowing that I was just there an hour + ago.

When I was coming downhill in the last mile I went into full back patting mode (I actually patted my own back) – it felt *amazing*. I’ve been so worried about the mileage and that my feet aren’t going to be able to hold up… or my stomach is going to mutiny like it did on Thursday. The relief was immense. It was full-on internal congrats (the most important kind):

“Good job Chris. You’re running strong. You’ve got this. I’m proud of you man. Nice work. This was the test and all systems checked out. You’re cleared for takeoff.”

I came home and weighed myself to check dehydration – I wanted to see how much weight I lost over 25 miles – it was about 3 lbs. Not too bad, I would have been worried if it was 5+.  I hit water fountains the entire time (they’re back on at Marquam Shelter) and went through 2 bottles of Cytomax and 4 gels (2 hammer gels and 2 clif shots). I felt better with the hammer gel, it might be that clif shots are made with brown rice sugar. Not sure.

No primal screams today – just pure focus. The climbing came easy. Nutrition was dialed. Breakfast was half bagel (thank you Bridgetown Bagels) with almond butter and honey and a banana and just a half cup of coffee. Not too much.

The next couple of weeks will be tapering mileage and some race visualization. We’ll see if everything clicks. Fingers crossed.

Today was a good day.

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