Day500 Yay! 500

TL;DR – A regular title Review 22.12 would be enough for my highlighted events since last year (Day450). No I did not run 500 races.

When I reread the last 50-day report of Day450, my two 100 mile races stood out. Honestly, I couldn’t top it this year. I have two 100 mile races this year too, but one of them, I already DNF’d (did not finish) it and the other I have not yet run, and it is not out of this world exciting nor do I have the confident that I will finish it! They are hard.

In 2022, I faced with one setback after another. I don’t mean injuries, but that too. It was bad early in the year when I had to limp around and running was out of the question. I mean when I was all healed up, my performance was more than desired. I was struggling with my weight issue notwithstanding. Nothing seemed to go right. Slowly, I rebuilt my strength and speed. It was not enough for my two A-races. No, they were more S-tier races. I am not sad or mad about it. If you know, I wanted to challenge myself by stepping it up. Indeed I did.

I have been saying that I have been doing goals that were relatively easy, achievable and 100% risk-free. There was almost no risk of failures. I started to dream up goals by adding 25% beyond what I think is reasonable and tried them. I stretched myself to goals that are a bit beyond me. This season, these two races truly tested me. For this reason, the races were tantalizing close within my grasp. I got what I asked for.

I am happy with my progress. It is hard to show “no result” and call that good. But it is. I guess in the end it is the process that matters more. Got to remind myself that.

Which races I am talking about? The MMT – Massanutten Mountain 100. I trained very hard for this at the beginning of the year. I was on the borderline of making it happened (like actual finishing it). In the end, I was just within 15 minutes behind the final cutoff and five mile away from getting the buckle. Again, I am not mad. I wrote many posts on it. My full report of the race can be found here.

Second one was the Iron Mountain. I was also so close of getting this race under 12 hours. I know it can be done. I was also within the 15-20 minute window. I just need to be a bit of a stronger runner. I trained for this race over the summer. There is nothing much to say. My Report of the race can be found here.

I am so thankful I had the chance to run both races. Awesome experience and the friends I made. Regardless their outcomes, I did what I set out to do. Just fell short that’s all. It was all part of the plan. I don’t plan to fail but it was also expected. I had fun and enjoyed doing them. I sometimes feel salty about them, but it will all pass. I got to move on. This is something I learned recently. Everything is temporary. Victories or defeats, they all pass.

Many of my events for this year were very similar to last year. I did Rock n the Knob again for the third time (report). I did the Richmond’s Dominion Power River Rock trail fest for the third time too (no reports written for any of the years). I mentioned these because I had a lot of fun there. Also I am still pursuing my 50 states marathon goal. This is a multi year adventure. I went to Minnesota (for Grandma’s in Duluth) this summer. And I went Ann Arbor (the report not yet published). In a couple weeks, I will add another state (keeping it quiet for now, but I hope to get New Jersey, fingers crossed). Slowly but surely, I am getting my 50 states done, whether it will be in the next 5 or 10 years. I wrote about a bunch of them in my last (semi-official) quarterly report (Day490), which was a long post.

The quarterly report of Day 490 got me back on track and gave me a new impetus for the fall season.

meta: I was glad for doing some soul searching on Day490. As going forth, I plan to write a report around every 10-15 days or so, to be more in line with the timing. I figured I need that quarterly reminder.

Many things have happened since. I ran the Iron Mountain as mentioned. My August month was mostly training for that race (I made several trips down to Iron Mountain). In July, I ran the Catoctin. What did I do in June? I went to Minnesota, and ran the Grandma’s.

What else did I do? I don’t remember other than running. Spring came fast. Then summer and now fall. I traveled a lot but mostly for running. Places that were far last year, no longer seem that far. I had mostly peace in my family since my mom has recovered (it was a year since she had her stroke).

I finished the Gvrat (The Tennessee Rat Race) for the third time, running across Tennesee virtually. Note, it is actual running but not at the actual location. The excitement was not the same as the first or second year when I did it. I only did the bare minimum to get my 640 miles in over the summer for the award (a medal). In comparison, the first year, I did over 1000 miles. The second year, I did two crossings (that is 1300 miles). I was hoping to do more this year. Surprisingly, I did less this year. 640 miles is still whole lot of miles to many people.

I am also part of the Craw Race (running around the world, virtually). After three years, we are about to finish. Similar to the Gvrat, the fervor has gone down quite a bit since we started. My original team is intached but one. Some other teams had disbanded or became too slow to finish. We are still trucking. We have only 2000 ish miles left (a month or two away). I confess we are struggling with our miles. Half of the team are injured or recovering. Some are sick, Covid too hampered our team. Plus, I bet the general life struggles is taking a toll. There are a few old guards who trudge on–that is the ultra running spirit. We likely will finish it by the end of this year. Currently our team is near the Canadian border, and we will cross into the US and then run to the Mexico border, where we all started. Winter is coming. Last year, we were bogged down by the cold.

The last few weeks, I have been running in one event after event. I am overjoyed with so many runs, such as LakeRidge 12 hr., Rock n the Knob, and Pemberton 24. Their reports are somewhere here: 1, 2, 3.

I still have many more races to come before the year ends. Maybe 4-5 more. I met a 62 y.o. woman (Caroline) who got me into a race in December (Naked Nick). She is an amazing avid runner. She races ever weekend just like me. I met another lady (Tek) who runs 100 miles like I run marathons. She doesn’t get tired. I have to suck it up.

Normally, I don’t run when it is cold. It is getting cold. Now, oh a race, sign me up. There is Stone Mill 50 in November (a yearly tradition for me so far, my 3rd time) and lastly the fearsome Devil Dog 100. I won’t talk about this now.

What about next year? I will publish it soon before the end of the year. But most important one is, I have OBX (Black Beard’s Revenge) as my biggest race. Then I’ll try to go to Canada to have my “international debut!” at the Toronto Marathon (I haven’t decided which one, May or October; October’s TCS Waterfront is more preferred). I wish to get a couple new states in but traveling is becoming costly. I have no plan yet which state to go to, maybe Georgia or North Carolina. Personally, I still want to go to Tulsa, OK except the airfare is so expensive (and I want a direct flight).

One important thing recently I have asked myself is why am I doing this? To others it seems I have lost my mind with so many races. The answer I came up is because I love it. I actually wrote up a blog entry but haven’t published it.

Looking even longer down the road, maybe for 2024, I want to do some big crossings, such as the 4 deserts race – Atacama Crossing. I am also thinking of crossing TN, Tennessee for real, as in the Last annual Vol State or Heart of the South if I get in that is. I also have the Nepal trip on the backburner, which was supposed to be for 2023. Plus maybe a Sydney Trip for the Sydney Marathon. There are so many races I want to do. Any one of these is a bucket list item for me. Not likely if I get any of these done but I can certainly dream.

This past week, a similar idea came up while I was listening to classical music on my way to work. Haydn wrote 104 of symphonies, and he definitely is a prolific muscian. That is a mind bloggling number. Why? Because he was good at it and loved doing what he was doing. I don’t see myself as Haydn, but my running is like an opus. It is my work of art. I can’t get tired of running in another race. I want more of them. Maybe 104 more.

Sorry, I digress. 2022 is not like 2021, I reached my highs and my lows. I don’t have regrets even for races that seemed to be a failure. I accepted them. Some might say, I reached my limit. I think they are just minor setbacks, bumps along the road. They are part of the journey.

The post is long enough, I know some is wondering what about the Ann Arbor Marathon race report I just ran the past weekend! We want to know how it went, some would say. It is coming soon ™ I promise.

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