Spring Re 23:13 [Day550]

Last season Re(view) of Day500, I ran a lot of races, such as MMT, Iron Mountain, Devil Dog. For my regular readers, this post is a repeat of what I have been posting, but for those who only tune in once every six months or a year, this post is for you. It also helps me placing mental separation like a season or so is done.

Looking back, my perspective has shifted since then. Day 500 was written just before I did the Devil Dog 100 race. I had at the time seemed to be in an unsucessful year due to the emotional beatings received from not finishing two races earlier, e.g., the MMT 100 race and the Iron Mountain 50.

The post ended of what would I do next, which is now and next year. I had at the time the Devil Dog 100 coming up and OBX 100 following.

Since then I have completed both, the Devil Dog 100 in December and OBX in March. The fall races prepared me well for them. The Devil Dog was not an easy race, but couple friends came and helped crew me. I managed to finish. The full report is here.

After running the Devil Dog, I took on the Outer Banks Blackbeard’s Revenge 100. It was an exciting race. I PR’d it, meaning beated my best time ever in a 100 mile distance, finished it a little over 26 hours. I was not even aiming for a PR. There is a lot to say. I went in not sure if 32 hours were enough for me to finish. The race for me was easier than expected and easier than any other previous races even though conditions were not as good due to the heat and strong winds and what seemingly the lack of food at aid stations. I love it a lot because I had a good time. Full report is here. This race was those once in a lifetime adventures. I was glad I ran it. It gave me the feeling I still got what it take to run a 100 mile race. This brings us to MMT 100 later of this year.

Now for 2023, I have been training a lot for the BRR 50 and the MMT 100. I did the BRR just couple weeks ago. MMT is coming up soon in a couple weeks. This report comes in the midst of things. I felt better prepared this year than last year. We will see how I will do. Wait till the Next report to know. Day 600 will be near the end of the year or even early next year (depends 25-30 weeks from now).

I ran several smaller races, e.g., Redeye 50K on New Year, Holiday Lake 50k, Cowtown 50K, Bull Run Run 50 Miler, Shamrock Marathon, Blue Ridge Double Marathon (report hasn’t written yet), Seneca Greenway 50K, Naked Nick 50k. Then there was the Reston 10 miler. I won’t link any reports here because there are just so many. Bear with me, I am throwing around a lot of names. Our virtual race  around world (CRAW) is done. We finished early January of this year. That was a three-year project. I am taking part in the extended version of adding 6 more regions, which added maybe 25,000 km. Likely will finish it at the end of this year or some time next year. We have a fast team.

About races, each of them was a wonderful experience. Am I tired? Sometimes. I am used to now of running many races in a short span of time, I can’t remember them and I can’t even keep track of my up coming races. I can’t summarize them all here except each one was so good. I was living my best life to be able to experience them. They definitely helped prepare me for the next big race. I am grateful I got to run in them.

Physically, I have been dealing with my weak left ankle. I believed I injured it sometimes after the Devil Dog, maybe at the Naked Nick 50k event. It is healing but the process has been slow and long. I started to suspect I teared a tendon or something (but some say that would be painful if I did). Now four months later, I still have a slight discomfort. It doesn’t hurt any more, but from time to time, I felt like I have that hit my funny bone sensation in my left ankle. It would bring me to my knees. All I know is it has not healed 100% and it is affecting my trail races. Road races are fine. I just have a problem standing tip toe, going down the stairs, putting on shoes etc. Not pain but a weak sensation that my ankle can’t be trusted. I have been praying for a stronger ankle.

Now 2023, I will be going to Toronto, Canada. One of my dreams is to run outside of US and it is being come true. This race is in about a week. I just received my race bib the other day in the mail. News gets old fast. So by the time readers read this, it is likely be done or you might be reading the race report before this post.

I signed up for MMT 100 again this year. I have high hope I will finish. This soon will take place. I am repeating myself. Yes MMT is very important to me.

I signed for Grindstone 100 for the fall. It will be a hard race and hard training for next quarter. I might do Burnimg River 100 this summer. I think this pretty much it for 2023.

I am in the process of planning for 2024. Not much can be said at this time, but will leave this in a future post, I hope my plan will be clearer by then. I am struggling in defining what I want beyond 2024. Things are moving in the right direction. Red Dirt Lousiana and Pinhoti Alabama are in play. It’s a secret right now.

As for the Nepal trip, some new laws came in effect. One was we backpackers will be required having an approved mountain guide. No longer are we free to hike as we like by ourselves. I might not go there anytime soon because of this new law. It is a tiny setback. Having a guide is definitely what I like but I also like the free-ranch aspect and the sense of danger. I know the law is still evolving, so we will see. Too many people doing dumb things over there is the rumor. This trip was supposed to take place this year. Hence I set a relatively free running schedule. However, it is not on any of my immediate plan yet to do. It is one of my dream trip but I haven’t got off my butt to make it happen.

What’s next after this (for 2024 or 2025). I have a bunch of marathons to run. My friend Caroline inspired me with her exact plan of running in all 50 states. Next year, I plan to run a lot of marathons, many of the same races she did this year. Imitation is the best form of flattery they say. I am not ashame to copy. Basically trying to get all 50 states done as soon as possible, meaning I will need to do around 10 to a dozen races per year. Maybe looking at a shorter time frame of 3-4 years. I have about 36-ish races left.

Devil Dog 100 and Blackbeard’s 100 restored my confident in running longer races. 50 milers no longer seem that hard. 100 milers also seem a bit easier. I plan to do a lot more 100s. My goal might be also do a 100 in every state. My friend is tempting me to follow his footstep of doing 100 of 100 mile races. He is 62 year old I think. If he has such aspiration why can’t I? So instead of being a marathon maniac, I am now a hundred miler maniac.

I have been looking at oversea races for 2025 and beyond. One is in Mexico. One is in the Philippines. That is a bit of a distance future. Mexico might be part of 2024 plan. So planning phase should start soon especially for the mexico trip. Mexico is a scary world. I hope to go in and get out as quick as possible.

I need to constant push myself to do things outside of my comfort zone and leave things I am familiar with. 2021 and 2022 were like that when I reached beyond what I thought was possible. 2023 seems to have a safe schedule so far. How I know I am a bit over my limit is I when I started failing like in 2022. 2022 got me to admit I reached my limit and then I took remedial actions and redemptions this past winter and spring season.

I made more running friends. They inspired me. In beginning 2022, I only met one person (Tek) who I thought was crazy running 100 mile races as if they were running a marathon. Then at the end of 2022 and last few months, I met several more (especially Fernando). Likely either this year or by this time next year, I will be like them. I don’t think I am that far away. The gap between what I thought was impossible to possible has narrowed quite a bit. One was my perception of things, I am no longer afraid of 100 mile races. I will start running 100 milers like I run marathons in a higher frequency.

My Weaknesses: I have slacked off on my training a bit, last year. Miles wise is still pretty high but my effort has been lacking. Training is no longer “hard.” I could do better. I believe only we train against resistance do we improve. I still sleep through my morning training. It was one of my last year goals to wake up early and excercise. I only did it like once. I need to break that bad habit. That is my big weakness is I am easy to settle or compromise for less.

I gained weight. Not a bad thing but I could lose some body fat. Not fat shaming. I haven’t gone to the gym at all. I could improve on my physical build. I run a lot but other areas needed to be worked on too.

Fasting: My diet has not been that great last year. I need to eat less processed stuff and more fresh and natural food. I know so many people who eat cleaner than me. Fasting was not part of my training/life last year. I should occasionally fast to keep my body healthier. I plan to start fasting regularly, but staying away from food is hard for me.

I am struggling with defining my future direction. Yes I am doing the 50 states completion. I am running ultras and 100 mile races. I am attempting harder races. But that is only a small part. I need to ask what do I want more in life. How do I get from here to there? from my small tiny dreams to my bigger dreams. A lot of times, I just need to push myself, get off my butt.

If you ask what would be doped to do, I think hiking the triple crown would be it. PCT, CDT, and the AT. I consider hiking the Appalachian Trail a life dream. I need to actively reach for them. It is easy to dream, but action is hard.

Also if I could travel oversea, I think that would be wonderful. I don’t strive to be the best gamer etc. I am just an average person. But if I could do something epic, that would be so good. This would tie into my retirement plan of living oversea.

Lesson/observation/reminder. Life goes by so fast. I met couple friends who said 2017 was their best year in running and every since it has been downhill. Now I ran with them and they were far from the best forms. I don’t know if I have peaked yet, I hope this year is not my best year yet. I already ran for about 7 years and I felt I am just started. I fear in a blink of an eye I will be where some of my friends are now. I run with a lot of friends who are in their 60s. They are still going strong but no way were they compared to when they were in their 40s. It seems so fast. In a blink of an eye and they are “old.”

I need to put in the effort to make the most out of life. Every year, I need to optimize my time. Choose the best things to do. Let not waste the opportunity I have.

Another lesson, I thought I am in control of a lot of things, but these last few years, despite of my planning, there things like the covid interruption was beyong anyone could prepare for. I am just one of many floating in this sea of time. There will likely be major world events that will take place and that will turn everyone’s life up-side-down again. Yes, still got to make the best out of everything.

Am I on track? Yes and no. I think I am on track of doing what I like. I completed 4 x 100 races. But I haven’t been aggresive enough in going after my goals. I met both Frenando and Caroline who inspire me to be like them. They are both much older than me yet they are doing like 10 times more than I am. I know I shouldn’t compare to them, but they do give a good reference point to me. I started thinking, I could do what they are doing. The question then became why not!

Apart from running, I am or I hope to withdraw my time, energy, resource from the online twitch community. I supported several self-made artists/content creators last year and even past several years. They had kind of quit halfway. I am Not disappointed but also kind of am. It is hard to explain. I think it lacks closures. I will leave it to a future post to write more on this.

Anyway, I just put it out there. I have been involved in this streaming thing since the covid started. Things are winding down. Many content creators are back to their regular work (real life/real job). The so called final fantasy has ended. I credit this to be why I was successful running the two 100 mile races the last 6 months, Because I had more time for training.

I hope this has been a good read. That was about some of my current struggles and life updates. Until next time. Oh, here was a midterm review done not long ago for those who want to read more, Day532 (Feb 2023). It is pretty much similar to the present report. (I haven’t forgotten about Lake Tahoe). The next midterm maybe will be in July or August. Of course the next Re: will be 50 “days” from now and that is about maybe 25-35 weeks from today or 6-9 months.

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