Weekend

Day 69

I had a long weekend doing two things of my heart’s desire. Running and hiking. At the end of it, I still couldn’t believe it. It was like yeah, I have done this all my life. It was fun, I was told at the end of it all. That caught me by surprise. Fun. I didn’t even think the first word would be fun. Yes the weekend from beginning to the end was fun.

I wish we had done a 30 miles hike instead of 19. That would have been truly a ‘long’ suffering but that would have been fun for me. 19 miles was still fun. I could limp out the wood with blisters yet still can run the next day. A thirty mile hike would probably sideline me for couple days.

I have been injured many times due to running and so far each time I was amazed how fast my body recovered. Maybe I haven’t been too seriously injured where I have to be out for an extended time. Most of the times, it was just a recovery after a major race. I would stop running couple days and I would be ok again. The last time I kind of seriously injured myself was on New Year Eve when I tripped and fell. I was bed-rested (kind of for an evening). The next day though, I went back outside and ran. Was very happy about it.

I read in forum where people asked whether to run after such and such injury. There is the official answer of seeking your doctor and there is the runner’s answer – you run base on your pain threshold (listen to your body). How much pain can you tolerate? I know it is crazy. We all know it is crazy, but it is true.  We all have to make our own call whether we should stay put or we should run.

Today I got to experience what it means about pain threshold. I haven’t reached mine yet. Hopefully won’t be in awhile. I know I wasn’t seriously injured. It was just skin scrap because of blisters on each of my heel from yesterday hiking (I blamed the socks). Normally I don’t run when I hurt.

I ran today with blisters – they were already popped. Each step was painful. I was wondering how long I could stand it.  Luckily it wasn’t too bad.  The pain was there but I was on runner high today. Toward the end I didn’t feel too much. I had a very good time. This is rare. I kind of put the pain away, and just focus on my run. Not sure how I did it but I did. It was a joy to be out there. I have a bloody sock for keepsake. Eew. I know, but it is like a badge. I have unlocked a new level of me.

Was that fun? You betcha. Wanna do again?? Maybe in a long while.

P.S. *Fun – it was referred by my friend to Sunday worship and probably the lunch after as being fulfilling and worthwhile, but I got the same head scratching idea of worship being fun to with hiking/running in pain being fun because I don’t know how to describe worship as being fun.

Hike

Ice every where! Day 68

Back in December around Christmas I hiked the Overall Trail and the placed was flooded with water due excessive rain. My friend and I went back there today. The flood was gone. There were still plenty of water, but because the temperature was below freezing, the ground was frozen, otherwise we would have been in a swamp.

We did an out and back in the vicinity of where we hiked previously without going over the same trail. We skipped the Neighbor Mountain but went on Knob Mountain trail. We hiked in total 18 miles and almost 19 miles. Halfway in we were originally going to do loop and we found out in order to finish the loop, we would have to hike 21 miles more, based on some rough calculation. We had done 9 miles at the time. My hike leader decided there was no way we were going to finish if we pressed ahead, so we turned around and hike back out the way we came. It could have been a very long hike. We finished about half an hour over our expected time and hiked three miles more than our stated goal, which was pretty good. We were hiking more than 3 mph at times.

I was able to find out that I haven’t completely recovered from my last adventure. My left hip was giving me trouble. I couldn’t lift my left foot very high. It kind of shutter along. After 10 miles, it was hurting at every step. My boots also were giving me trouble. I realized this after the first mile, because I had hot spots on the back of my heels, but there was very little I can do. I had band-aid and wrap in my pack, though they wouldn’t have helped. Looking back, I was trying out new socks and that was a bad idea. I guess I didn’t wash them beforehand, they ended up giving me blisters. Socks might have been too raw (too fiberous). Socks, I though were  hiking socks didn’t perform well. So I need new hiking socks now. I need new pair of boots too.

The rest of the hike was uneventful. I was glad to be back outdoor. It has been a stressful week and the hike really evaporated all that. I felt I was a chump on the trail though because of my foot and blisters, meaning the trail bested me.

We celebrated the end of the day with the best pizza in northern Virginia (not Costco but) at Pupatella.

I am looking forward to the next outing (BP) in two weeks. There are a few things I need to get before then, not the least a new pair of boots and socks, and maybe a new sleeping bag (need a rated 15F bag). The place is called Half Moon. It is somewhere out in West Virginia. I will write about it once it is over.

Logistics

Clothes and shoes. Day 67

I’m not running today because I need a time off to recover and to be ready for the coming weekend long run. I could run but my muscles are a bit tired. My total distance done during last 4 weeks is 33 miles out of 100 miles planned. I definitely need to do better. I have about 12 weeks left.

What I have been up to the last few days? Running has so many minor non-running tasks to do. I have been scheduling races. I got all the big races taking care of but my 5k and 10k races are still up in the air. I looked at the days and all and I will do about 10 or 12 of those. The first one is in Feb. 

About being up in the air, I am looking at hotels and airfare to Seattle which will be my first race far far away (in July). I booked a hotel for the first 4 days but I plan to stay additional days in Vancouver, and that part hasn’t been covered yet.

Also been looking for water bottles and camel pack for runners. Not just normal bottles, which I do have many around, I like some kind that you could carry handfree – some kind of strap.  They are expensive. I am picking between the quiver type (like arrows), vs the normal camel pack. I like a Nathan set. And an Ultimate Direction. And Orange Mud. I hate choices because I don’t know which ones I like best. I might end up buying all three.

I haven’t looked into shoes. The last race messed up my shoes so I need a new pair for racing and another pair for practice. This year, taking on a few ultras, I definitely need couple pairs of trail running shoes. Shopping time.

Cold

Some of us had a day off yesterday in the US for Martin Luther King’s Day. I did. So I had no excuse but to run on my day off. I did two 6 miles run by spitting my 12 miles run into two segments. Yesterday was even colder than Monday. I ran in the morning when I got up and again at dinner time when the sun was setting. The morning run was harder. I guess I am not a morning person. I think I completed it in two hours. It was cold. My eyelids were almost frozen shut. The evening run was much better. I did it in half the time. Apparently I didn’t get tired. Maybe I had warm up and had plenty of food in me. I was in my good old self – the one I like. I didn’t run fast but I felt so much strength and energy in me. I stopped about half mile short from my end point though because my hip, left side this time, didn’t feel quite right.

As I ran, I reflected how lucky I was that my body healed up. I didn’t even remember which of my ankle was weaker (left I think). Both were pretty strong. I had a problem with my right hip a month ago and now the problem was gone. But I guess I jinxed it. My left hip now felt kind of weird, almost like what my right hip was a month ago. It felt like it wants to fall off. So I cancelled my run toward the end. I woke up today and the discomfort was still there. It won’t prevent me from running tonight, but I wish it wouldn’t cause me problem.

Temperature was -12C this morning. I was glad I overslept and didn’t run. This evening will be warmer. It will climb back to 35 ish and tomorrow 50 (F). Sorry about the unit of switching between C and F, when it is below freezing I like to use centigrade so the number would be too scary (like yesterday I was told wind chill was 0 F, and that is scary, I prefer to think of it was only -8C).

Day 66

Hmmm

Yes it was cold. We have the coldest temperature this winter. -8 C today. To some this might be normal (like those in New England or many other parts of the country), and we are a bunch of whiners. But amazingly I ran. I think the harder the condition the more I want to run outside. It was so refreshing.

I am still battling myself to find the will to do my training run. I do love running very much. I know I do. I do not find running to be tedious at all. But there have been way too many things going on for me and I have negret my running. I think the hardest thing for me is to commit in my mind the first thing I have to do for the day is to run. Many times in recent days my heart was trouble or distracted by many things and I couldn’t commit.

I am frustrated that I couldn’t focus or commit. Weird for me to say it but yes running require a strong determined will at least for me… It has been lacking lately. It wasn’t having lack of time issue. For me, time will follow once I set the priority. I am struggling with most is choices. I can’t decide what to do if I am given with a choice. Any way, I have been quite lazy with my runs.

Once I don’t have the will, I tend to put off the run from the first thing in the morning to late afternoon, to late evening and usually it ended out with no more time left to run. It is just hard to muster the will.

I had a very cold run this Sunday. It was a run I have been ‘putting off’ because I want to have the optimal time to run. In the end, I realized the optimal time was now when the sun was setting and my tummy is rumbling (not really, but it was near my dinner time).

I was just so fess up with not having the right time. I decided to go out any way and ran. I realize that there is never a convenient time to run. Every time I go out to run, I have to sacrifice something. There is always something I need to do more. So if it means giving up eating dinner at dinner time, so be it. If it means running in the cold, so be it. I just have to layer up. If it means running in the dark, bring a flashlight or headlamp.

Was the sacrifice too much? Do I go too far out of the way to run? There is never a good time to run at least for me. There is never a perfect place for me to run. There is never good condition to run. I needed to tell myself that to get  out the door today. Only thing I need is to be outside on my feet. At least my mind always makes up too many excuses. Yes I have too much going on with me. I just only want a quiet life and only thing I have to do is to run without distraction.

I was glad I could run and it felt very good.

Day 65

Reload

Last night was much warmer than I anticipated. Maybe I was overdressed again. I had expected howling wind and subarctic temperature, but instead it was balmy and calm fall weather. I still layered up like on Monday night. I didn’t need my jacket. This time I had my micro spikes on and I felt so good of crushing those ice and snows beneath my feet. I still waked though because icy snow piles were uneven to run on. Th temperature was warmer than Monday. I think it was +4C instead of -4.  Might have been even warmer than that.  Continue reading “Reload”