Race #3: Eastern Divide 50k

Day 132 race report

I got down to Blacksburg a day before the race for package pick up. I like able to avoid the rush. The drive was not that long but it felt forever. I could run a 4 and 5 hour race but I can’t stand driving four hours. I was going crazy and was verge of delirium for wanting to close my eyes for a bit. I stopped for coffee after two hours at Harrisonburg. The rest of the way was uneventful. The coffee kicked in about an hour later when I was near.

I had about an hour and half to spare after arriving and I went up ti Mountain Lake (Pembroke, VA) where the race would end and nosed around on the state roads. I was not able to find the start line but I was driving around a bit on the mountain roads. The place is beautiful. I didn’t have a map with me so I didn’t want to wander too far. After an hour I got off the mountain and went back to town.

I went to race director’s briefing. Aftereard had dinner and hit the bed by eight. I had to be up by 4:30 for the race.

The race had about 10 miles of trail with a lot of running on the fire roads. I thought I would do well since it is really a road race. I finished in 7 hours. It was much slower than I anticipated. For some reason, I just didn’t have the energy to run. I ran maybe the first four miles and the last four and walked most of the way. I average about 4 miles and hour. It was a fast hike.

The Cascade Fall was beautiful. I didn’t spent too much time looking at it before making the climb up to Butt Mountain. Then we ran to mostly on the ridge line to Wind Mountain. We finished it at Mountain Lake.

I didn’t see the lake during my run. I was looking down and watching my footing the whole time.

I probably wouldn’t do it again. I felt the elevation was challenging but the race was mostly boring. Physically I was challenged. I wish I was in a better shape. In the end It felt like a one long hike.

Surprised

Day 131

I was surprised in a bad way when my family doctor told me I have high level of cholesterol in my blood and that I should take medication to lower it.

That scared the light out of me. I thought those kind of medications are for old people. My mom takes those. Wait, I am not young any more. Welcome to the party, I was told! My body is started breaking down.

Though initially, I have some bias of taking medications, I am resigned to the fact that they do help. You can’t play around with this. I did some reading and concluded my doctor is right.

I decided to take on a total life transformation, meaning, I will do everything in my life to live healthier. Three years ago, I started exercising by running, but not for health reason. However, I paid little attention on the food I eat or when I go to bed. Now I am seriously going to do all these things. I will count my calories intake and I will eliminate fat and sugar from my diet and if possible no more eating processed food. I was told my cholesterol level were high all my life, but now the news sinks in. I must do something about it. I want to live long enough to finish running in all 50 states.

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Here’s an update of last weekend. I caught a cold or a combination of a cold and heat exhaustion. I was sick the Friday night before the hike. My fever came back in the middle of the night and have been like that the last few days.

I still went on the hike any way and did 26 miles. Luckily the fever left me during the day and my strength returned.

I was more exhausted than usual at the end and went to bed early, like at 10. From the hike, I picked up a couple ticks and I still found one on me yesterday. Yike! I got careless and didn’t spray myself beforehand. Hope, I didn’t pick up any Lyme disease.

Also from the hike, I got two giant size blisters on my bottom heels. They were painful during the whole hike. I think because I wore an old pair of socks and I didn’t pull them all the way up and they were wiggling at the bottom. So the extra bit was creating friction and voila blister.

I tried popping them after the hike but was unsuccessful. I was too tired and couldn’t bend my foot to reach the blister. I started cramping whenever I tried reaching for it. Later the next day, I was able to pop them.

I ran with the blisters on Sunday in the 5K race. I didn’t do so well. Finished at 27 mins. I was two or 3 minutes slower than usual.

Funny thing was I showed up at the race course and there was nobody there. Because I mistakenly went to the wrong place. Luckily the real starting line was about a mile away and I got to it on time.

I have been laying low the last couple days because of my illness. I am feeling much better today.

I ran too last night. Every step reverberated in my head – I had a headache still from the cold.

I’m hoping to be fully recovered by coming Saturday when I will tackle my 2nd 50K ultra. I will write all about it afterward.

Friday night

Day 130

I ran last night and did not feel good afterward. I was coming down with something. Last night was very hot and I might have suffered heat exhaustion. I was shivering after getting back to the office. I did not have any clothes with me other than my running shirt. I should have changed it out but didn’t. I felt terrible the next couple hours. My head hurt.

I woke up this morning feeling better. As the day wore on, I knew something was wrong with my body. Headache came back and I couldn’t concentrate. Then I was chilled all over. My chest hurt. My whole body hurt. My joints and muscles too. I couldn’t move much. I felt a slight fever.

I took an Advil before leaving work. The fever broke while on the way home. Now my strength returned. I am eating like crazy now to prepare for this weekend.

As always there are a lot for this coming weekend. I will hike 25 miles tomorrow. Going to wake up early at 4 am. Base on 3 mile per hour we should finish in 8 ish hours. We plan to start at the trail at 8:30 and should finish around 5 with an hour lunch :). Probably we will skip lunch and finish by 4.

Then on Sunday, I have a 5K. I haven’t focus too much on speed so my 5 K won’t be that good.

In the afternoon, I and the other guy who is going the triathlon with me is doing some bike ride. We suppose to begin our training this week. I have been slacking off on my swim this week.

As long as my fever doesn’t come back, I should be fine. I’m bringing couple of Advils with me.

Race + recovery

Day 128

I use the WordPress app on Android to write my posts here and I am delighted they finally updated it to a newer version. It might not be as good as the website version yet, but I am happy of some improvements I noticed.

That has nothing to do with what I want to write, but I am a tech junky so it excites me.

I did the Baltimore 10 miler on Saturday. The past few posts I mentioned how tired I was with my running, and I am still tired, but you know the cure for a tired runner is not to rest but to run some more!! Heehee! I am recharged from doing a 10 miler.

In truth, the 10 miler was a struggle. Mentally and maybe physically too I was not ready for it. I finished it. It was not my fastest. Remembering in April, I did the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and finished it in 1:20. I finished the Baltimore 10 miler in 1:27. It was not really a harder course. There were some inclines but so did DC one.

My goal was to finish under 1:30 and I did. The course was mostly an out-and-back. The first couple miles were in the zoo. Then we ran to the lake, I forgot the name of it. We then ran around the lake, which was a mile itself. We came back. We did a loop in a part of the zoo and arrived at the finishing line.

I didn’t stop for water. There were a station like every mile apart. I did use the potty at mile 4 or so. I could have held in but I wasn’t going for time. It provided me much needed rest. I felt so good afterward.

The day was hot. It was a fine day for running. I wanted to run fast but I didn’t have the air or breathing for it. I felt I was choking for air most of the time. My body felt like it was being stuck in first gear. Couple times I got into my rhythm, but I soon lost it.

The last mile was hard. I had a bit of a surge going but people still was passing me.

I glad to finished it. I am going for the king crab challenge. They offer a special medal for doing three races (Frederick half, Baltimore 10 milers, and Baltimore marathon). I had two out three completed.

Life

Day 127 Special Edition (Two posts in one)

Maybe because of the last weekend trip and I over extended myself, I am a bit under the weather. Physically it shouldn’t be that taxing since it was pretty much low mileage trip. 13-18 miles per day. We were on the trail about 6-7 hours each day and it was pretty relaxing compared to previous trips. I had done hikes where we hiked from dawn to dusk.

However, we were rushing from point to point and that kind of worn our spirits. The two other ladies though seemed unaffected. Maybe it was just me who was tired. I like to take my time – if we get there we get there, if not, then make the best of it.

Being pressed at all time get to me. I was stressed out with my own run these past two weeks. I have a marathon in two weeks and I don’t feel I am ready. I haven’t been running much since the last marathon. I ran about 12 miles per week since. I want to be ready for it. I hope to be able to pull a long run thos weekend – if only my body can handle it. Then taper a bit. Or the last two weeks really has been the tapering period.

I was a bit stressed at work too. I won’t say much but there are a lot needed to be done. Somehow, some way, they will be done.

Trying to sleep whenever I can, I took a quick nap during lunch the other day and another one on my way home. Those breaks were good.

Mentally, I am all over the place.

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This was an old post I wrote on Tuesday but didn’t publish. The content is still relevant to be published. So here it is but it might be a bit repetitive to the ‘last’ post (126).

I finally remember what I was going to write for post 126. It was originally intended for this post (127) . The ordering is a bit mix up but it is OK.

Many people think I am awesome and did many crazy things (in term hiking, running, camping and all). It is because I only post things when I had something great to share. Many times though my days are pretty boring. Only maybe a weekend come around that I get to do something ‘exciting’.

In my fellowship group this morning, we shared what would make a good life. We all kind of know the answer that we want to have a meaningful and purposeful life. We want to make a different in this world. Make things better. Not to just to take take take and then run the place (earth) down. We want to be happy. It is also a deep question to answer what can make us really happy. Ultimately it is point to something intangible and eternal.

As I was pondering about this, a separate thought occured that I am reminded of my new year resolution. Every day, I want to be better myself (especially with my running). I have to consciously make that choice. I realized the past two weeks, I have been backsliding. I lack the intensity and the aggressiveness (and drive) I had before. The word that dawned on me was I want to be transformed. Radically changed. A total make over.

My pastor on Wednesday spoke of what it takes to be transformed. People around will know if you have a relationship with him like people all around me know I have a relationship with running. I was going to tie it in on my last post with that idea but somehow it escaped me until now.