day252 – coping being stay put

Day 252

I was reading my own posts last weekend and had to use my site navigation (the theme sucks and yes I know, the navigation navigation drives me nut, and so does the infinite scrolling) because I want to discover some pattern / big picture in my life, since I was writing a summary report. I could change site theme of course. Some day, I will get it to my liking.

Well the only way I finally able to get around my site was by searching. Thank you for whoever put it there. Unfortunately the site doesn’t index by my personal dating system (I knew that) and many other things. Like, I want to read the blog of day #20, it just can’t find it. I imagining my blog being a book (or a physical journal, I want to flip to page 20, but it can’t do that except to infinitely scroll there and if you are not careful by hitting the back button you have to start all over again! I know a webpage is not a book. Still! It is one of those complaints about digital medium. I wish I could read it like reading on Kindle – that is a digital medium done well.

WP search engine is pale in comparison to Google search. Sure I probably could use Google to search my site, but that is another story. By using WP limited search capacity, I learned a trick here and there in the way I of leaving better key words so to enhance it searches/indexing power. Isn’t it frustrating when you know something (a post I wrote) should exists but can’t find it? It all comes down to indexing.

I found that they index the title, duh. By playing with it, I learned now how to search for my posts. Yes having unique key words is very important and tagging them too.

Sorry, I got sidetracked and don’t remember why I am writing this and lost my train of thought. Yes, playing with WP is entertaining, but there was probably another reason I was writing it beside being geeky. O well.

I received an email from my DC Rock N Roll marathon organizer giving me options to replace the canceled race (supposingly taking place today) due to the coronavirus. Oh boy, they offered so many choices! A word, most other races just give you one or two basically, sorry you can’t run but we take your money any way. Think of it as a donation to a good cause. Not this one. I have until April 4 to choose one.

Here they are:

1. Move to half marathon or 5K distance in 2020 Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington D.C. Half Marathon: Nov. 7, 2020

2. Free transfer to 2020 Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon: Sept. 5-6, 2020

3. Free transfer to 2020 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon: Sept. 19-20, 2020

4. Free transfer to 2020 Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon & 1/2 Marathon: Sept. 19-20, 2020

5. Free transfer to 2020 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon: Oct. 3-4, 2020

6. Free transfer to 2020 Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon: Oct. 17-18, 2020

7. Free transfer to 2020 Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon & 1/2 Marathon: Nov. 7-8, 2020

8. Free transfer to 2020 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & 1/2 Marathon: Dec. 5-6, 2020

9. Free deferral to 2021 Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington D.C. Marathon & 1/2 Marathon: March 27, 2021

Montreal and Savannah seem like ones I would like. But I probably choose option 0, that is to do nothing (no running) and they will take my paid entry fee as a donation to them.

Good day y’all. I will begin my weekend of doing nothing but playing game and staying inside.


day251 Another night run

When spring is cooler than winter, there is something wrong here. We had a string of warm (mild) days but the these few days the temperature has been yo-yo-ing.

I didn’t feel like running. I could run in the dead of winter when it is 32 deg outside (ya this winter was not that cold). Now I tell myself, I can’t go out because it is 50. Actually tonight when I run it was actually 43 and it would drop down to 38-39. What happen to Spring? I had to don my winter clothes again. I went out with a long sleeves and then came back to grab a second layer.

But I did have a good run. Glad I went.

It always the case for many of my runs, I usually didn’t want to do it either for this reason for that reason. I glad I learn to overcome my tendency of making excuses and gone out any way and 99-100% of the time, I finished feeling great.

There were absolutely no one on the street. I was alone with three flash lights. I had a head lamp and cycling handheld lamp and a BeSeen blinker band strapped around my other hand.

Couple times I had to turn around to check because I heard footsteps behind me, like I was being chased. There was no one. They were my own steps echoing, maybe bouncing off a fence or an overpass wall.

Was it a moonless night? Probably. I had couple times fear running down my back. You know, I am not afraid of being alone but I am afraid of other people. There is an adage in my family, not being fearful of ghost but people. Weird isn’t?

I began humming. I like to hum and whistle duringy run, especially a long run, very longnrun. Sometimes, it is the same tune over and over again. It matches my footsteps, ory footsteps were keeping time. One after another they fall and reverberate on the sidewalk.

It was an eerie scene. Ocassionally, there was a car or two went by. We didn’t have a curfew, but people kind of know to stay at home. There were nothing open and nothing to do at night. There were no more bar or theater. There were no late meeting. People who were out were probably really essential workers going home from their work.

I reached the half way point and turned around. The run was too short. If only I have more time, I would run even a marathon. My legs were just warmed up. I could go on for a few more hours.

Yet I had to go home too. This why I love running. I love the feeling of being alone yet also in a community.

A few other day I was trying to explain why I run virtual races since most races were canceled. My friend thought I am talking nonsense. You go out, you run some number of miles and you upload your run data to some website and they mail you a medal or something. You pay for it. Yes, I could have ran my distance for free like every of my training runs I have been doing every day. Why race? Some how the idea that my run is a race makes it special.

I remember a passage in the Bible where because of David’s sin, God was sending s plague among the people. David realized he needed to offer a sacrifice to appease the Lord’s wrath. He was at this farmland and the owner of the place was willing to offer his land to David along with the animal fpr the sacrifice, but David told the man, to sell the land and animal to him at the market price because he would not offer something to the Lord that does’t cost him.

Running is really not a sacrifice for me, but I feel it is a bit hollow when I don’t have to spend money on it. Maybe other people won’t able to get it. Our dream and passion demands everything.

Why I run? It was few years ago, my girlfriend then got me into it. There were some lonely night or morning when I ran either from her place or to her place. We carpooled to work and instead of her picking me up, I rather run to her. It was that calm but eerie feeling I found running in the middle of night or early morning, I always want to experience over and over again.


weekly run summary

Day 251 / week 9

I reread a year of my blog posts over the weekend on my training runs and it was funny that I always say I don’t run enough and that my training plan is derailing, but I always pulled through in the end for my race. I am always a crutch runner. Training plan doesn’t work for me.

I feel like I am at the point that the training is going off the rail about now. Isn’t it always around week 10? This time around I don’t have a schedule to follow. If I get off, I won’t know where to get back on.

There’s nothing to brag about this weekend. I supposed to go for a hill run, since literally I had nothing to do or nowhere to go. My face was glued to the screen, Facebook, Youtube, news sites, and it was hard to pull myself away. Finally, I made myself out the house around 2 pm on Sunday to at least put in a decent run.

total 62 miles

Monday: rest

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday 13

Thursday 12

Friday 11

Saturday: 0

Sunday: 26.2, a virtual run. What does that mean? I ran by myself.

Why a marathon this weekend? I signed up for the DC rock n roll (was 3/28) but of course it was canceled due to the coronavirus. I knew I have to do a marathon either this weekend or the next as part of my training. Since I felt fresh, I decided to do it a week early. Also who knows if the government will issue a lockdown order in our area. I read about people running a marathon on their driveway or balcony. I wouldn’t want to do that unless there’s no choice.

Also, I want to get a feel for the next virtual race. I signed up for the Blue Ridge (double) Marathon, which is to run a marathon twice, 52.4 miles. That too was canceled and we were encouraged to run it virtually on our own.

The farest I ever did was 50 miles. It will be a challenge.

For a 52-53 mile run, I am not sure if I would find the strength at the end. I will write more about when the time comes. I plan to do it on the weekend after Easter. It will be on the same course as this weekend run (planning to be out for 12-13 hours). As a virtual run, it could be hard or it could be easy. We’ll see.


Review 20.7.250* (Quarterly)

Day 250 / Spring

It is finally day 250. Thought it couldn’t come soon enough.

I do a report or review for myself and those who only come read my stuff ever now and then. If you only want to catch up on what I have been doing in the last 3 or 4 months, this should be the entry to read. This page will be bookmarked on the bookmark page.

If you want to see what going on 5-6 months ago, you can read my previous entry (19.6).

I am debating between two different approaches, whether to do a strict review of what occurred between now day 200 and now, or do a snapshot of what life is currently like for me of this very moment. I am leaning toward the snapshot and like to digress into free-write. Here we go.

The reason for doing any of this is to allow me to take a step back and see a bigger picture what my life is like. Sometimes we are focused on the much day to day, that we miss a bigger narative – or the interesting thing that is happening in our life. I hope and want my life to be meaningful. I hope by doing this I am a bit closer to reaching my ideal. I believe life has meaning and we are building on it day by day.

As I was running tonight (last night now), the covid virus was heavily on my heart, since one of the pastors I know is infected (a good friend too). This stuff is serious. There is a chance the person might day. How that affect me? I might die from the pandemic too. We don’t want to think about that but it is a reality. Am I ready? Am I satisfied with the direction of my life?

It is easy to say, I am not worry. I have been living out in full. But am I really?

I can die happy because…of Chile.

My high point this quarter was going to Chile with my best friend and did the things I only dreamed of twenty years ago (yes, that long). The trip though truly was horrible. I could have gone with a better companion, but it had to be her. She was mad at me the whole time – she had been mad at me for three months beforehand and it all culminated on this trip, where things boiled over – the tipping point as you would call it. Why couldn’t we resolve our differences? Life is strange. People are strange. That was the back current to what was the most unique experience I had. Do I know why she was mad? She told me much later after the trip but to this day, 6 months later, I still don’t get it. Some things are just too hard for me. Sometimes, there is just no solution.

Yet the trip was also the highest point in my life for many reasons. It was such an unbelievable trip – it was like climbing Mt Everest for me. I didn’t write enough about it. (Patagonia). It is not so much what we did but what we experienced together. Traveling with friends indeed is so different from traveling alone. I am not exaggerating. I hope to do more of it and if the same person if fate allows. It is a hard call if I know what was going to happen beforehand, would I still go? I don’t know.

Then there was one month (6 weeks) of no activities. I don’t think I wrote much about it. It was one of the worse depression in my life. I really did not train seriously until the end of January (week1). At the time too, my finance situation was near melt down. For the first time in my life, I was wondering if I have enough to pay my bill and where I can get food. I was worry that money wouldn’t come in for my rent and that the check would bounce! However, last three months I have been better at controling of my use of money and finally some breathing room before this coronavirus hit. There were several entries I wrote about no money to sign up for races! That’s big when I had to give up on running in a race.

Luckily. I did run in one race in Carlsbad, California CarlsbadMarathon. It is a beautiful place. I went there for my cousin’s wedding and was able to do a race the next day. My outlook regarding life improved. During the trip, my friend who I went to Chile with, also called – we finally spoke to each other after 3 months (seriously I didn’t know).

Most of the time after that was training and more training. I was supposedly to train for a series of ultras and marathons I would be doing starting next week to the beginning of summer (previous race plan). Many of these races won’t be happening any more. The DC Rock-n-Roll and the Blue Ridge Marathon are canceled. It was funny when I planned 5-6 months ou t, no one could imagine it would turn out like this. I did couple overnight training trips for the Laurel race (LH1, LH2, and LH3/4). Both times were in snow. Interesting learning experience.

Ran my last utra before the corona COVID-19 thing got serious (SenecaCreek). I thought I wrote a report on the race, but didn’t. It was briefly referenced in my weekly run su mmary. I didn’t treat the ultra as a race but more like a weekend long run, hence no race report. Actually, the race was quite good. I should do a serious report on it.

Finally, I did some planning here and there. Nothing too concrete. I did some ‘preaching’ to myself to motivate me. I think they are fun to read. I usually borrow my pastor’s material. I call them Faith-running, that is to turn my belief and apply them to running. (transformation, thoughts, vision/goals, and resolve )

Am I on track with my goals? who knows. I wish I have a big master plan. I am more of living from day to day, month to month and year to year. Planning isn’t my strong suit.

I do try to run a marathon in all fifty states (I have done 8 so far). I am only limited by time and money. I hope too in a few years to run across the US continent (I haven’t written about this). It is a bit ambitious and requires careful planning. I want to hike the whole Appalachian Trail too (thru-hike), and that will be in a few years. My progression into longer and longer races is going on well. I haven’t run a 100 miler yet, and looking to do one either at the end of this year or the next. I have a huge race calendar on a Google spreadsheet and have been ticking off a race here and there. My goal is to do what I can do when I still have strength. It is getting harder each year at my age (true!). Aging is a reality. So I hike, run, and push myself to the max, because someday, I won’t be able to do at the level I can do at the moment.

What’s next? I hope the coronavirus won’t cause more cancelations of my races. Couple of my races in May an June are on the fence. Of course the Laurel race (70.5 mile race) in June will be my biggest race of the year. The next report will cover it if it ever take place plus some virtual runs I will be doing meanwhile.

*meta: I changed my numbering system. 20.7.250 means 20 for 2020 the year, 7 is the 7th review since the beginning when I started writing a monthly/quarterly review, and 250 is my date numbering from day 1. It goes from the significant to less significant. The day numbering usually get lost because we are not that good at counting beyond 10. Soon too the number of reviews will get too big to be meaningful. But the year, that is something fun and our brain can zero in.

Why adding in the date? It makes it looks mysterious. It is like a software version triplet.

life running

no dramatic weekend plan

Day 249

With each day like the day before of sheltering in place, this would be the first weekend without real clear plan.

With most races canceled, why bother to train?

I guess I will still do some running, before that is prohibited. In France, people were not allowed to jog or bike. So, it probably will happen here also if things get worse. It probably will get worse.

My local area (my county) has only 16 cases as of early morning. We have 5-6 counties in the Washington area (3 counties in VA). Probably adding all up is about 100 cases.

Still, the rate for my state is increasing. So soon I expect my area to probably reach 1000.

I got sidetracked. Yes, do what I have to do before we really have to be locked in. Yup there are still some people outside. Restaurants are not banned yet. There are restrictions in place but not banned.

Traffic on the road is less but not zero.

Yes, I still semi training to hoping to run some virtual races. The Marathon Maniac have some virtual events! Yes! I am excited. I also want to run the Ronoake race as a virtual race on April 18. It would be 52.4 mile long. More on that when the day get closer.

That’s all. Sorry for the noise. I wanted to post something so I can get to my 250th post!


coronavirus is changing my life around

Day 248

I guess I am not the only one affected but many people around the world too.

In this corner of the world since we had our first case on March 7, things are changing day by day. Our government at various level declared a state of emergency. They always added that not to panic, the declaration was done so they could access special funding from a higher level of government.

There was a kind of disbelief at first that this is in our city. Then there was the panic. I believe on March 7, I still ran a marathon. I glad the race was held. I know it was a hard decision. If anyone got sick from the race, the media would have been all over it.

As of last week (Wednesday), our workplace started allowing anyone who wanted to work from home can work remotely. I think 80% of the staff took the offer. I was one of the few who was still going into the officw until they banned the general public from using the subway.

Then last Friday, the word got out, and there was a mad dash to the mall/grocery stores. By then almost there was no toilet paper available in the whole city. People were stockpiling weird stuffs. I was at Costco thinking to buy their inexpensive rotisserie chicken for lunch. We couldn’t get through the crowd. The check out line was all the way to the back of the store. I left empty ended. I had Costco pizza instead.

I have been working from home the last two days. I tried to keep the same schedule as if I wad going into work. I got up, showered, dressed. Instead of commuting, I had time for breakfast, a real breakfast and not just a piece of bread I normally stuff in my month as I rush on the road, eating while driving. Nope, now I had a sit down breakfast.

The day was pretty normal. I worked actually longer hours remotely than when I go in.

I tried to go for a run after work. I worked until 6 each night. Tonight I had to work a little bit longer. Time seemed go by quicker. I missed the normal office interaction with my coworkers. Yes, it is a bit more quiet at home.

I was not as tired now, saving time from not having to go in to work is a plus. I could run longer. I had more time! Yesterday I ran about 13 miles in 3 hours. Not a fast pace but it was very enjoyable. Today I did 12 miles in 2:22.

I have a roomate who works in the food industry. His life is definitely affect by this since no one goes to eatout any more.

The coronavirus has caused all of us to stay put. In the coming days, it might get worse. I keep on imagining it would be like one of the scary movie like World War Z or Residence Evil. I don’t know. Or maybe I am Legend.

The last two nights, as I ran around the neighborhood, it seemed like the city empties itself out. It was such an eerie feeling.

I don’t know how to close this post. Let life goes on.

camping running

LH3 / LH4 plan

Day 247

mileage and campsites of Laurel highlands

Not even sure if there will be a race but the Laurel #3 over night trip is definitely canceled. I got words that Pennsylvania state parks no longer allow camping for the duration.

I might still go now my race schedule for April and May has pretty much free up. I might go as a day trip. Like last weekend, I arrived early Saturday morning (1AM) and left in the afternoon.

LH#3: I have options. But simplest is to camp at RT30, and run from RT 30, covering 10 miles in each direction. Possible date would be April 4. It probably during the peak of the outbreak, so the trip will likely be canceled. I haven’t picked another date yet.

LH#4: Night run of the last 10-15 miles to the finishing line. Possibly LH#5 if have the chance. Definitely needed. Last weekend, I found I did poorly in the dark. My night time vision is really bad, not sure if it was my head lamp battery was running low, but I couldn’t see the trail. When you can’t see, you can’t run.

Just toss this out there. I will refine the plan when the day get near. Of course, now I don’t have to worry about camping and lugging that huge pack any more.


why I run

Day 246:

I need some motivation to get me through this hump.

I have been floored by many cancelations of events due to the COVID-19. When it is about other people’s races, I didn’t really care but when it is about my race, it’s personal! Last few days one after another, my races are dropping like flies. I can expect not to run in an organized race until mid summer.

I understand the rationale of the cancelation and if I am the RD I would make the same decision. Yet we are a little selfish. The emotion is still there. I can’t say how upset I am. Yes, I am a spoiled child and want to whine a bit.

I am having a moment I know why I run and a moment why I don’t know why I am out there. I should run regardless how I feel.

I started running a little over three years ago when I did the first 10K with my girlfriend. Later that year we signed up for a marathon. Since then I have been wanting to run faster and longer.

I did not reach my objective to run fast but I have now run much longer than before. Marathons now seem to be easy. I could do a marathon any given weekend if I continue to maintain my fitness level.

I started to go into the ultra world and in 2019 I did four 50K races. They were so good. I plan to do even longer distances. Now I am no longer worry when I sign up a 50K. I don’t know about 100 mile races yet if I can do them. I do want to try. I might do another 50 mile next year and I might attempt a 100 mile. Devil Dog is pretty attractive to me right now. Grindstone 100 also.

I run not to race. But racing is the reason I am in training. I should try virtual races many marathons are now offering.

I don’t know. I need to get my head out the fog and start hitting the pavement again soon.


Monday run summary

day 245

The week has been distracting to say the least with the coronavirus news. I only had one marathon canceled on me so far but it dealt me a major blow and I haven’t really run much. It shouldn’t affect me emotionally. I know I should run with or without the race, but it really took all the motivation out.

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 3.5

Wednesday: don’t remember. 0 mile

Thursday: 8. group run canceled

Friday: 0 traveling

Saturday: 20 walk/run in 6 hours. Rolled my ankle again and walked mostly the last two hours back to the car

Sunday: 0. I was a bum, sleeping at home

total: 31.


Laurel #2 review/lesson

Day 244

The trip was almost a mirror of the first trip but with better luck. I was able to leave from work on time and with lighter traffic than usual from the COVID-19, I was able to get home within an hour.

The clock started ticking once I got home. I decided to cook my own food for this trip instead eating the dehydrated meals, because it was just too expensive to buy and with the CoVID scare, there were not any to buy. It was my first time cooking for a trip but nothing scare me. Just do what I got to do is my mentality. I didn’t have pasta so I went with my go to rice with hotdogs and eggs and honey. I brought some nuts too. I will leave the shopping part later – it was insane in our area. A little healthier than my nornmal hiking meal but not by much!

I still hadn’t pack because I was lazy. really lazy and busy the past several nights. Work situation didn’t help when I had to stay late to make sure everyone could work from home. Couple people less tech inclined people needed more help. Also we had to make sure our company technology infrastructure could handle. Friday was off without a problem. We sent everyone home accept me, my manager and couple of colleagues who wanted to go in.

All in all, I finally got going around 9:00 pm and I had to fill up my car with petrol. It would be a 3 and half hour driving if I I drive fast, but I was sticking to the speed limit. I ate while on the way. After the meal, around 10-10:30 pm I really needed a nap. I had to stop at a McDonalds to get a coffee. Luckily, they still had some. It didn’t taste too fresh but it got me staying awake. I got to camp around 1 am. Set up and closed my eyes by 1:30. I needed a good rest for the next day.

The air was cooler than expected. I did not bring my 10deg (F) bag this time but opted for a 32 (F). I had a long sleeves on but was in shorts. 32F didn’t do justice. I had no cap on. I was bordering uncomfortable cold. I woke up couple times trying to shift my postition. It got warmer when the sun came out and I sleep in till 8. It was nice for a change. Normally with camping, you get up when the sun rises. My friend, the drill master was not with me and I could be a bit lazy.

I woke up and quickly packed and headed out to my car with was about half a mile away. I left my food in the car the night before. It was still cold out and I didn’t warm up my food. Honey over rice and and broiled eggs would be my breakfast and lunch. I wish I brought some avocados but ran out of time.

Any way, I dropped my hiking pack in the car and swapped for my running sling. I didn’t have my hydration pack but opted for 3 8oz bottles. They were enough. I didn’t pack lunch but carried some candy bars. Off I went and the time was around 9-9:30. I hoped to get back around 3.

The trail was nice and dry this time. There were some muddy sections but was not as bad as the first time. It was very runable. This time without a 35-40 lb weight on my back, I indeed was running. I was not really flying down the trail but was cautious and also conserving energy for the next day.

Half way through though, I rolled my ankle – my left again, unlucky I was. So I walked for a few mile. I was thinking now what? I am like 6 miles from the car. Should I head back or press on? I was here to run. What with this limping?

I pressed on and see how my foot would take it. I got to mile marker 9 before heading back. My orginal goal was to try to get to marker 4-5, but having calculated the time it would take, I wouldn’t be back to my car until 5 or later and I might be caught in the evening rain when I headed for the second camp.

So I turned around. I got back to the car by 3:30. The temperature had dropped. The moment I entered my car, it started snowing. I didn’t anticpated that. Car was like 10-15 degrees warmer. Still I felt cold. It was too cold to go back out to hike to the second camp. I took out my lunch and ate hoping the snow would lighten up. I was still cold, actually very cold. I decided, I didn’t want a second night out and I rather wished to be back home. It was an easy decision, and to home I went!

Lessons: gas was cheap in west virginia while pa and md were not. no, lesson #1, was night running was hard. While hiking in I could barely find or see the trail, if not for me having been there before, I would have a hard time. It could be my eye sight was failing. So Laurel #3 and #4 has to be a night run. But day time running was so much better.

On my way home, I was using the scenic route and I could see every turn perfectly. I drove the same route there on the way in (rt 29 and MD51), and several times I thought I was going over the edge. It was quite scary experience. I did not want a dent in my truck. How different it was. My night time eye vision maybe failing me.

Top concern for the race is my ankle might not recover in time if I keep on rolling on it. Also I might roll it during the race. The chance is high.

Have a food bag for the race. When I come into the aid station, I could horde (with moderation) the food into the bag and eat them while on my way.

It is probably ok to be last on the first 20 miles. Real race start after the 20 mile. Just make sure I don’t get DQ.

Hopefully coronavirus would not ground my travel in two weeks for Laurel#3. I might defer Raurel#3 until May.