This post is brought to the internet from somewhere deep in the woods of northwest Montana. I’m currently enjoying my last night in Montana before driving back to Portland, OR for the flight east tomorrow night. Vacation started off with a drive from Portland to Bend and a couple days scouting out my potential future hometown. I absolutely loved Bend, everything about it, from the running trails, to the restaurants, to the houses and shops. The flora and fauna in the central Oregon high desert plains are obviously quite different than the northeast, but down in Bend the trees are plentiful and the river is beautiful. I’m excited to see where my current job goes, as there is a lot up in the air, but I’m going to keep looking for opportunities in Bend in the meantime.
From Bend the trip proceeded to the Yaak River Valley in northwest Montana, where I’ve been staying with friends since last Thursday. This has certainly been the most relaxing part of the trip, enjoying home cooked meals and spending time with a family that exemplifies love and hard work. The mountains in Montana are as big as the sky here and the rivers trees and open spaces are just as vast. I am daily impressed with the amazing scenery, epic vistas in Glacier National Park and the mountains just outside the pop up camper I’ve been sleeping in. My training has been slightly curtailed due to the cold weather and hilly terrain, but I’ve only completely skipped one run. Just one run in the past week+ has been below 3k’ elevation and though they say that you don’t feel the effects of higher altitude until 5k feet, this has certainly been more aggressive on my lungs than most sea level runs. I think the combination of traveling, freezing temps and increased elevation are to blame, more than the individual issues. My speedwork and tempo runs have felt it the most, all have been slightly above the paces I was shooting for. I have only trimmed less than 10 miles out of my plan, so I still have high hopes for the race on Sunday. I’m not quite sure what to expect as I have been told that the course is hilly and did miss that time from injury over the past couple months. I currently feel great and still would like to PR even if don’t come close to my 2:40:xx goal time. Barring some unforeseen extreme weather or injury I will be expecting to finish under 3 hours for the third time this year, something I never thought possible one year ago.
Special shout-out to the 2012 VW Jetta rental we’ve been cruising in, it’s taken us through off-roading in Oregon and over a 6500′ pass in 6″ deep snow with close to 2400 miles of reliable motoring. (fingers crossed for tomorrows trip)