In similar vein, it is the close of my fifth year of running and beginning of the sixth. I am not always a runner before. It used to be a big deal for me to note the season because each season I had some sort of goal I tried to reach. Now it is just, run and keep up with things. I am probably in my 12th or 13th season by now … I have lost count, assuming two seasons a year (fall and spring). summer and winter are usually too short to do anything, so I don’t count those.
These few years have gone by so fast. The first year was fall 2016 – I ran my first 10K, and then a half marathon. I trained through winter and till spring, (season 2) when I had my first and second marathon within a month apart. My marathon was on April 1, easy to remember. My family thought I was playing a joke on them. They did however went and cheered me in Charlottesville. There wasn’t any marathon like that since. It was also one of the hardest marathons I did.
Fall 2017, Season 3, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. I trained all summer. The result was not as I expected. I did not improve on my time. Reality set in, that this won’t be a quick thing to be able to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Correction: I think I ran NCR marathon in fall 2017 and I ran Marine Corps Marathon in Fall 2018. The story is the same. At NCR I met a lady who did like 22 marathons. And at MCM I came to understand that I couldn’t reach my goal in a year or two.
Spring 2018, Season 4, I ran the Delaware Coastal Marathon, as the first or one of early out of state marathons. I guess the idea was forming that I wanted to do all 50 states. As I ran more races, I got to meet people who were on similar quest. I met someone who was halfway to the 50 states.
Fall 2018, Season 5, history is a bit hazy here. I think I got accepted to the marathon maniacs club. At the time, I thought the standard was pretty tough, because one had to run 3 marathons within 90 days. Somehow I did it and qualified. I was thrilled. It led me down a path of endless marathons – yes I became a true maniac!
A lot happening then. I might have started blogging then. And marathons were not as challenging as the next level – “Ultra Marathon!”
No idea how I got introduced to the Ultra world. It just happened.
Spring 2019, Season 6. The rest is history so to speak. Everything now is documented here on WP, of how I became an ultra runner. I ran so many races in 2019, I can’t recall them. We did many hikes too. Because this was the year, we would go to Patagonia. Plans were made in the spring. Ah I remembered how I came to the ultra world — I volunteered at an ultra event (Seneca Greenway 50K) that spring and then everything fell into places. Spring 2019 was very important in what led to me today — both as a distance runner and an outdoor man.
Fall 2019, Season 7. I did one of the best ultra races – Old Glory and from then I fell in love with trail running. A week after, I ran the JFK 50 mile. That was one of the longest races – mind boggling long and epic. We finished the season by traveling to Chile and backpacked Patagonia. I think that always will be a high point of my life.
Spring 2020, Season 8. Bad thing happened – Covid-19 came and all my plans and races crumbled. But I was able to do a race in California – Carlsbad Marathon. It was one of most scenic marathons I did.
Fall 2020, Season 9. I was willing to up my game. Due to Covid-19, many races became “virtual” – basically you ran at your home of the distance the race required. One of the virtual events I did was to run the distance across Tennessee – about 630 miles over 4 months. That was the most miles I ever ran. I surpassed the requirement and finished with 1000 miles that summer. Also, I made two attempts to run a 100 mile in Atlanta and both ended in failure but it led to greater boldness in doing runs in all locations, any time, and any weather. There was the passion to be out on the street running day and night. I ran across my city for the first time doing 50 miles. My whole city became my playground/training arena. No place is too far to go on foot. I did a lot of miles alone, and self-supported. And that helped me in doing ultra races the following year.
Spring 2021, Season 10. Finally I succeeded in my first 100 mile run. I traveled down to Houston, Texas, to do it. Not only did I run the 100 mile, I ran couple 50 miles, and a 70 mile. It was an ultra pop off year. races: Rocky Raccoon, Grayson Highlands, Laurel Highlands, Stone Mill 50, and Seneca Greenway 50k, oh I forgot about Iron Mountain. Each race was epic and an adventure in itself. The significance of this is I got tested on the trails. Sure I could run on roads, but what about trails? Doing those races gave the confident, yes and on trails too.
Fall 2021, Season 11. As season comes to the close, I have another 100 mile lined up and several maybe-maybe ultras. I am committed to the Devil Dog, and very tempted to run either the Stone Mill or the JFK again. I know I got to be out of my mind to do them because I am sure the 100 mile race would drain all of me – the question is: will there strength left to do any other races afterward? We will see!
What next year gonna be? It has not arrived yet. God willing, I will be running some more. My goal as always is to do all fifty states. And to be a better marathon runner – yes run faster and stronger. Also I am still part of a virtual race with a team of runners – and we are running around the world. This winter, we would be two-third way through (20,000 miles). Wow! we ran a lot. 2000 miles per person on average. I think I reached 3000 miles – maybe. Who is keeping count? More on this in future posts.
Something to discuss on future posts, how has running changed me? Time is devoted to being on the road. I virtually disappeared the last year or so. The body adapted. What I thought was impossible, now seems easy. I am boasting I could do a marathon any weekend. Want to run 20-30 miles this weekend? Sure lets do it. While that is true, I want to be the person who can run 26 miles every day! This is a minimum for those who want to cross the country on foot. I have that bigger dream to cross the continent one summer on foot. Ya.
There you have it. Thank you all for your supports. Once a year, I got to thank my fans.