Tag Archives: runnning

To my old GPS watch

photo (5)A few days ago I picked my new running watch which incorporates a GPS (1). The previous one, a Garmin 405 Forerunner was a present from Jaime and Luca back in the Christmas period of 2010 to 2011.

At that time, I had then just moved to Toulouse and they thought that it would be a good gift to incentivize the expressed wish to take on running again. And how it worked! With the new watch I started to measure some running tracks, track my heart beats, beat my personal records, record every run, run plenty of races, race and train with friends…

In just half a year I lost about 20 kilos and completed about 900km. Never before I had run so often so constantly. It helped me to run firstly slower focusing on the heart and then faster focusing on the pace. It helped to introduce tempo and series sessions in the training.


In these 5 years, wearing the watch almost at every run (2), pacing myself with it, making numbers in my head about rhythms, times, kilometres, etc., I have completed over 9,000 km, more than 50 races, including 10 marathons and 2 ultras.


Since the last summer it started to work faulty. Sometimes it switched itself off, it re-started by itself, it didn’t recharge the battery well… The last time it recorded well a complete activity was on October 29th, when we ran together 7km, just 4 days after having completed the Toulouse marathon. Maybe it needed more time to rest.

Rest in pace.

(1) A Garmin Forerunner 220.

(2) Except for having for some times in which I forgot it or its battery went out.

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Trail du Cassoulet 2014

Verfeil is a small commune at the North-East of Toulouse. It is difficult to date its origins though Celtics were living there some centuries B.C. It was built at the top of a small hill, with fortified entrances and a castle from the VIII century at the top. Today about 3,000 inhabitants live in Verfeil and they do their best to make the Trail du Cassoulet a great running event.

This year was the first time that I took part in this race, together with other 2,000 participants: 300 of us would run the 32km trail, about 1,400 the 15km trail and the rest walking routes, races for children, etc. The organization was superb.

Every runner got a can of cassoulet. If got to the finish line we received as well an apron (plus a bottle of wine if the runner arrived disguised with a costume). After the trail, we all gathered to enjoy a delicious and energizing bowl of warm cassoulet.

The trail departed at 9am. I took it as a training session for the New York marathon, which I would run 4 weeks later. My training plan indicated that the day of the race I should train 3 hours, 1 of them at marathon pace. Thus a 32km trail would be perfect.

Route of the race as recorded by my Garmin.

Route of the race as recorded by my Garmin.

The trail had just over 500m of elevation gains, spread along many ascensions, none of them very long. In the last ones I had to walk parts of them. The race ran along 2 lakes, crossed small rivers over tree trunks, went through lots of arable fields, some dense forests and the stables of a castle (not in use anymore). I include here some pictures I took during the race:

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In the it took 3 hours and 21 minutes to complete the trail (my Garmin measured 33.4km instead of the announced 32). I finished the 131st out of the 277 runners who completed the long trail (that is 47% percentile, not bad). As mentioned above, to recover from the trail, Luca and I enjoyed a very tasty cassoulet. And just before that I got to donate my running shoes to a NGO so they can have a “second life” in Morocco; a good destination for a pair of snickers with which I made some 3 personal records, 2 in 10km and 1 in marathon. 🙂

Donating my old running shoes.

Donating my old running shoes.

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