Categories
health running

Day352 tired

I am a bit under the weather, with dizziness and just lack of strength.

I thought I had lyme disease again, but I went hiking and was fine.

Last August, I had the similar thing and there was a hike called the Devil’s little stairs, and I couldn’t get up to it before fainting.

This past Labor Day weekend, I attempted the Little Devil Stairs again, I got up on it fine without breaking a sweat. I was up on top before I even knew it and without a break. My team and I went on to hike five or six more miles in the surrounding trails before heading back to our car.

But probably something is wrong with my body. It has been difficult running. I can only run about half a mile before getting tired. There is no more that natural pace where you could lock in and run forever. I used to be able to do that.

Now a day, I walk on most of the runs I did. It takes a long time. A two hour half marathon becomes a three hour event. A marathon becomes 7-8 hour thing.

Not sure what is going on. Have been wondering if I need a break.

I took a break over the summer too. 6 weeks without running. It got worse instead of better.

I checked my number though. The three previous years I only ran between 600-700 miles per year. This summer, I ran 1000 miles. I am attempting another 1000-1200 miles before the year ends. Numberwise, this is a lot of mileage.

Categories
health running

Day344 A second attempt – about to start

I am a few hours away from starting the run. As of right now I just woke up and still am very comfortable on my bed in the hotel near the airport. By the way, after having been of other city airport hotels, this is one of the best! It is comfortable and inexpensive and you don’t hear the take offs and landing or airplane flying over. How do they do it? I found out they originally were a Motel 6, but they renovated it and upgraded all around. It is on the level of Comfort Suites. It is part of the Quality Inn chain, but the quality I am getting is way higher than all the Quality Inns I stayed at. I just love the hotel and want to sleep in. I paid for four nights, but tonight I won’t be there!

Ideally I should have started the run yesterday because it was cooler and the chance of encountering rain storms during the run was lower (30% chance only), but today and tomorrow, my chance of running into a storm is around 50%. They are leftovers from Cat 4 Laura that made landfall in the Texas/Lousiana region couple nights ago.

However, I was not ready yesterday. I had not reviewed the map then and had not decided on the starting time. Since the starting time would determine the ending time, it needed to be chosen carefully.

Last time, I started in the evening at 6 pm and was aiming to finish at 4 am two days later. I thought of doing so again and maybe moving up the starting time by a few hours.

I woke up late and had company’s work to do. It was my day off but I didn’t finish those stuff on the day before my trip (computer issue kept me from doing them – it decided to run an update when I tried to do my work before my flight! My frustration level was through the roof). So I spent the morning doing my work. I was not done until 2 pm. I then went for lunch. I knew the run was not happening because I had not packed yet! I got everything laid out, but still did not have my runner pack in a final ready to go condition. 100 mile requires careful consideration of what to take a long.

Then I decided to go to Walmart to get a watch (you know the cheap one that have a stop watch feature?) but as I got there, I forgot all about getting a watch but instead got a lot of stuff for dinner and food for the run and food to eat after the run! I brought $30 worth of junk food. I probably wouldn’t finish them all – 7 cans of spagetti, lot of fruit cups, oreo cookies, packs of juicy fruit candies, instant cup noodles, package tunas and more. The watch would let me calculate the interval (time of a shorter distance, say 10 or 20 miles) during the run because I don’t want to mess with my main watch since that will track the overall 100 mile distance. Not having a spare watch is not a problem. I could still do it in my head and with paper and pen, it just a lot burdensome.

When I got back to the hotel, I separated the food that I will take along into 6 ziplock bags. The goal is to eat a bag for every 6 hours (6 bags for 36 hours). I counted up each bag to have around 850 calories. I have six of these. This is much better than my last attempt. Last time, the whole run I only carried about one bag calories of food and ended up only eating about 10% and the rest of my calories came from sugarly drinks and I felt it affected my performance. First not enough, so I was dying halfway. I remembered my heart was racing crazy from the energy drink yet I didn’t have the power to run, and I was drained. I was so scared that I didn’t want another Powerade. It was not fun when your heart was about to explode and the lung was collapsing. Breathing hurt that time. I hope to avoid that mistake.

Because I will be carrying so much food (6 meals), I am bringing my big bookbag. They won’t all fit in the smaller pack. It is a daypack from my hiking trip. It is heavy. Very heavy. I don’t like running with such a heavy pack! But I need the food, unless I have someone to carry them for me. This is why I wish I have local support crew (aid stations). Otherwise, I could leave all the food/drinks with my crew and they just have to show up at a given interval and give me the food. Last time I was hoping the stores along the way would be my aid station. However, drinks were easy to come by but not food! They had candies but no real food. Real food were out of the way and I didn’t want to take a detour.

I think the food I am bringing along will be enough. It still is less than what my body will consume though. Every 6 hours my body will be burning 2000 calories and I am giving back only at most 1000. I plan to buy muscle milk and yogurt along the way, they will add couple hundred of calories. No more sodas this time around. They have to be high caloric drinks. I know I will still shutdown after halfway, but at least I hope it will give me enough to press on.

I checked the map afterward packing. I am not too worry. I wish still I had memorized the turns. We do what we have to do.

As for start time. I’m moving it up real early to 9/9:30 AM with the aim of finishing at 7:30 pm on Sat night.

That was the main reason I couldn’t set off yesterday. I was already behind the start time once I figured I wanted a morning start instead of an afternoon/evening start.

Having an extra day, physically was a good thing. My poison ivy infection is getting better. My left leg is almost completely healed of the ivy reaction. My right leg started to get worse on my flight to Atlanta and yesterday the bumps (30+) started weeping/oozing, that is good, it means they will be healing soon. It was what I was concerned about that the blisters from the ivy will break during my run and the friction from repetitive foot moment will agitate the wounds and they would get infected. Now they broke while I am still at the hotel. I washed and cleaned them with the poison ivy specialty soap. I should be ready for the run. I believe they will dry out during the run.

Only last concern is my cardio aerobic performance. It degraded a lot compare to last time. Those who have been following my blog know I was struggling with my runs. My feeling is I can only do 13 miles at most and probably drag it out to 26. I don’t know if I will even reach 50, much less get to 100. That is a realistic assessment. I know it is bad luck to envision failure even before starting.

I do want to get to the 100. It is a long shot. Even when I was in my peak, that was very hard (in the realm of impossible) thing. Now I am four times worse. Only way to find out is go out and try. I am very nervous.

food: My main secret to get through the run
Categories
health life

Day305 recharged

I felt a bit better after a day of rest. I didn’t want to take a break but I couldn’t squeeze any more out of my body. It just stopped performing.

Last weekend was the lowest miles I have done since April. Every weekend I want to go out to put up 50-60 miles. The past weekend I only had 14 miles.

On Sunday I didn’t want to run at all. I did want to but my body was not moving. I tried and after a mile couldn’t pick up any pace I came back home.

Last night, it felt great to be back out running. I was in my strides much of the run. I felt tired after 13 miles but still I could pull myself together for the last three miles and made it home, that when I know I still have it in me. 16 ish mile is kind of short for a test.

I have been eating meat like a vampire sucking blood. I would like red meat. Not getting enough from food might be the cause of my low energy. I haven’t had much meat due to higher prices, but I brought a pound of ground pork after my trip and totally devoured it during lunch…yike it was supposed to last for a week! But my run was great last night, that made me feel less guilty.

The trip to Atlanta is on. I committed. I know I committed after signing up the race, but I have been on the fence on choosing the date to go. Ideally I like to go toward the end of the summer, but I also don’t like the heat. Even now, it is crazy hot down there. I picked the July 4 weekend. The flight is booked and hotel too. My two weeks indecisiveness costed me two hundred dollars more for the trip, because my flight has become more expensive — no it is very expensive. I could fly across the nation at that price; hate it, but I don’t have much time to watch the price with only couple weeks left. It would be too risky. Also I looked at the stops of many cheaper fares requiring a stop to Fort Worth, TX before continue on to Atlanta – that’s crazy. I want to go to Atlanta directly. I guess we don’t have a lot of short hops low budget airlines in the US as in Chile. Enough ranting.

My map is on its way. I will soon study the turn by turn for the race. 34 hours of worth of turns is a lot to commit to memory. The next step after that is choosing the start time. I probably will choose the traditional 5 AM start. I have until 3 pm the next day to finish.

Also I decided not to upgrade my watch. I would like a watch that can last more than 35 hours on normal gps, but there are not a lot of choices out there. The price tag is just heavy for me at this point. Watch, flight, hotel, my trip is over a grand. So I stick with my current garmin, which could last for around 12 hours with everything but gps turn off. I just have to bring a charger along and charge it midrun.

Also I hope my body won’t fail on me like last weekend.

Two more weeks to get my body together.

Categories
health

Day301 RnR

I need some Rest and Recreation time. Couple nights (Monday) ago my body just refused to run.

I had planned to run about 18-20 miles that evening. I was halfway through at mile 9 and I could feel it, my system shutted down. Usually I could run forever once I started running. You just lock yourself in a pace and the body does it thing and your mind roams and daydream and does it thing.

But the Monday night run was hard. I told myself, let walk a bit. Actually I didn’t realize I was walking and my mind woke up and said body when did you started walking?

So I decided to walk a bit. Run and Walk is a good strategy for a long run. I tried to restart running here and there but in the end each time I lasted for maybe a block or two. The last four miles I gave up completely. I walked all the way home, choosing the shortest path possible.

There was the fear I couldn’t get home at all. When you know it has been easy to run 18-20 miles and now you are stuck at the last few miles and it felt like an eternity.

In the past three miles was like half hour for me and in term of running time it is fast compare to 4-5 hours of my total running time. It should be like a blink of an eye.

But my last three miles was a struggle. I was walking and thinking, this can’t happen to me. Will I have to call a uber to pick me up, being only three miles from home?

The last time something like this was last summer when I had Lyme Desease. I went into the woods last weekend. I checked for ticks afterward. I hope it is not that. Last time though it took a while (over a month) for the symptoms to appear. I hope it is not that. I hoping it is just plain fatigue.

Categories
health

Day299 Last day

Yay! Tomorrow we will begin a new chapter and we kick this crazy corona2020 in the bucket. Kidding. I think we will live with the new normal for a long time.

Not anything spectacular to write about today except it is the last day for filler. I do have something but they are controversial and I don’t think it is ready for prime time. I watched some Chinese propaganda videos on youtube, how they were exluded from the international space station and another video on why people are missing out on the windfall in investing in Chinese companies. I had some thoughts on those, but I think it is controversial, so I will keep my thoughts to myself at least for now.

But I found a post that is in my queue, that was written in the beginning of May, when I took on the challenge to virtually run across Tennessee. I wanted to know basically on how my body is handling the high mileage. So here a month in, I am taking a look again.

I dare not boast too much about it. My body is recovering well every day! It is handling well. I am sore and they are the good sore of general fatique. I am easily tired and feel sleepy…usually very early in the evening. I want to sleep a lot. I guess it is a good thing for the body to recover.

No significant injury. I battled with shin splint early on but so far they got much better. I don’t think I have what they call hiker legs yet, but it should be getting there. The balls of my heels are hurting a bit. Yes, I am wearing old pair of shoes and they are due for replacement. My heels are taking the pounding, and that can become a new injury, if I am not careful.

Health check. I should get a real physical when the doctor office is open. I think the doctor is in but everyone is leary of coronavirus – at least still present in my area. My state has been claiming this and that metric is showing we are beating the virus but they always put a star next to the data saying excluding the northern virginia which is where I live. They don’t have a specific regional data for my place because it is splitted into so many “political” juridictions – Maryland, DC, Virginia (Fairfax and Arlington are virtually on top of each other), which made statistics hard to come by. I have been using Maryland data as proxy because they are so much closer to us.

I have been at it running relatively high mileage for over a month, nothing too bad. I do take days off, but also want to maximize the running time. It is a delicate balance.

It is hard to tell if I have overdone it, so we will see. Will check back next month. I hope to stay healthy and motivated for at least a month more and evaluate again.

In long distance like this, I read most people drop off after a few weeks in. If I can tough it out for another month and be careful about it, the summer will be great. My secret ambition is to cross the US continent one of this days, so this is really a baby step toward that goal. One step at a time.

Categories
health life

Day293 Checking in

I joked with a coworker sometimes saying I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. A joke because I am an early riser and I do well early in the morning than late at night. More importantly I don’t always sleep on a bed. Sofa or floor would do for me. I love hearing her retorts to me, saying I don’t sleep on a bed.

My body usually automatically bounces up the next morning. Do I ever get tired the first thing in the morning?

For me, I need coffee at night and not in the morning.

Today though, I feel like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Just feel tired and groggy, but I can’t sleep any more. I slept in a bed last night though.

I am out of food too. Need to go to the store later. What I really want is a big steak dinner, but meat rarely goes on sale now. There are rumors of meat and fresh fruits shortage possible because the workers are infected with the coronavirus and cannot work. I need something deep fried. mmh.

I went for my first Chinese takeout on Thursday, for General Tso Chicken, deep fried. Yummy. I had a craving of it for almost three months since the coronavirus started.

Another coworker said I am being unreasonable (racist) of avoiding Asian stores all this time. I said you can never be too careful, indicating without proof that the virus is more prevalent in the Asian community. I wish I can reason with her that it is not that the virus is discriminating, but that social factors are creating that the poorer and the ethnic minorities are ones bearing the blunt of this pandemic (including those who work in a chinese take-out). Always it is difficult to talk to this lady. She always thinks I just argumentive. I only do it with her, because she is my match. She is Chinese Asian and she can’t stand me and she felt very offended by my statement. She countered that Asian community are the first ones to have their masks on in public. I don’t talk about this though with others. Just trying to act according to what I think is safe. So now I think the virus is spreading more widely…there is no point in avoiding take-outs any more. Just be safe and well mask.

Related to food, I learned something new with food and running. I have done couple of long races and each time I tried to eat my own body weight of food during the race. That is a reason I still have my love handles in spite of all the running I have been doing. But I read a comment from a race director saying too much food would hamper a runner’s performance.

The lightbulb lit up for me. I have been eating too much on my run. They say, the pro eat just a tiny bit only enough to sustain for the moment. This way you could still run at your maximum speed without fatigue setting in.

This is so true. I need to readjust my fueling strategy. I need to carry just enough fuel to get me through to the end. Ultra people is pushing their body to the limit by how little they carry on their runs. I am not at that level yet and there is so much to learn.

I don’t feel like writing today, but I did it, here for just checking in.

Categories
health running

day258 – week summary

Is it week 10 or 11 of my training? I lost track. Usually by the 10th week, everything fall apart. This time is no different.

I wrote this entry last week but lost it as I was about to publish and now finally found it again. How do you lose an entry? Ask WP. At that time, I didn’t know how, but now I found it was in the webpage folder instead of the blog post folder. So weird, you can’t move a post from one folder to the next. Does that make sense?

Bear with me if it seems to be the same stuff I wrote last week. I have short term memory.

total mile: 26

Monday/Tuesday rest: 0

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: forgotten. probably 0

Friday: 0

Saturday: 26

Sunday:0

It has been another crazy week. This week was worse than the last. I had ton of time, yet very little running done because of the coronavirus.

Now I don’t have a 3 hour commute (roundtrip) every day. It is almost a vacation I always dream about. Every day is a Saturday. Almost. Yet, the reality of being stuck at home is no fun. I didn’t get to do what I need/want to do. No one to blame but me, for being too obssessed with the news.

For running, I am doing the same route. There are tons of neighborhoods I can run to, but I have been sticking to running the boring same route of back and forth in front of my house.

By the way, our county finally closed all the public parks. We haven’t done so at the national level yet. It is getting there. They closed the parks for cars. There are parks I can still run to without driving there. Our quarantine enforcement in our area has no bite. There is no street closure. We do it in some places, but the idea is not to limit movement, but prevent people from congregate at a location. No one is being pull over by the police for violating the ‘essential’ travel only. That bother me when I look out at the street and see so many cars. Basically people still can go where ever and do whatever they want. That should be good for me, right?

Along with everyone, I just can’t wait to have it over with. On one hand, it seems impossible to get everyone following the quarantine order. The other hand, we have shutdown the city like never before. However, there are too many people deem themselves essential. It is a disease we don’t see affecting us immediately due to the long incubation period and the infected can be without any symptoms but still can spread to others, which many didn’t realize. It might bite them two or three weeks from now. We are not fighting today battle. What we do now affect in 2-3 weeks time.

So it’s supposed to last 2-3 more weeks according to the New York governor before it gets better. New York is taking the lead and all eyes are on them. Our area is now maybe a month behind them (4000 cases, to theirs 130000). NY seems to slowing their curve today. Our area is slowing a bit too, it is no longer doubling at every 4-5 days as before or even freaking every 3 days sometimes, so that is some good news, but it is too early to tell.

The cost of the policy to shutdown the state/country is huge. There is also a cost if we do nothing. Some states still do not have a stay-at-home policy due to the low count of infections in their states. There are some who question if it worth it. Mayor of New York, said yes. For each life saved is worth the economic cost.

There are some good news that a cure or vaccine might be possible. Hopefully, everything will be over when the summer comes around. Hopefully not too long, so we can all get back to work.

Categories
health

Friday almost random thoughts

Day 243

I learned a bit more about the coronavirus , COVID-19, yesterday as the situation changed in our community. Last weekend was the first known case in our area. As expected, with each day, more and more cases are being identified.

My response has been like the rest both with fear and also blowing it off. First I saw lack of response and planning on the official part. They gave news conference and asked people to wash their hands.

I checked on the statistics myself since I think I am confidence in my math ability though I am not an expert. I saw the curve and all. I saw we are not as bad yet. We (people around me) are lucky compare to some other country.

Yet I felt we have not done enough. Also I felt it almost as inevitable it going to come and spread here as well. It was only a matter of time. The question on my mind was how dangerous is it and what drastic actions are we taking.

I saw people started ‘raiding’ their stores and emptying shelves of some day to day items. Toilet paper buying is just hilarious.

People behavior are funny. Then it hits me. My race at the end of the month is canceled/postponed. Many other races are canceling as well. My workplace sent their employees home. My running group is no longer meeting. Same for church fellowships. Rush hour trains are half-empty. I have a seat to myself and last night I have a whole train car to myself.

I learned as young healthy man the risk of me dying if contracted with the virus is low. The risk of me contracting os probably moderate since I ride the mass transit and it is hard avoiding crowd.

But that is not why I shouldn’t take precaution. I can be a germ carrier. I have to wash my hands and practice social distancing. Because this desease is serious for people whose immune system are weaker, such as the older population. It can be devastating.

gotta go. I didn’t get to my other thoughts.

Categories
health life running

Review 19.6

Day 200 Fall Review

My running season (7th) is finally over, with a cap of successfully completing the JFK. It has been an intense roller coaster ride. I went through the highest of high and lowest of low in my runs and in my personal life to get there.

My last report from Day150, was from early August. Instead of a report of every 30 days, I lengthened to 50 days, so I don’t have to write too many reports. A monthly or bi-monthly report has become a seasonal report. My one year of blogging just passed and I reflected on that recenly.

At the end of summer, I was ready for fall training for the JFK. I trained for about 9 weeks and then I don’t know what happen. I stopped. I still ran but I didn’t log my miles and basically went off the training schedule. Luckily I didn’t blew my JFK race. However, if I have kept to the schedule, I might have done better. I did well, but who knows how much better I could have done.

I wrote a race report on the JFK. The ultras that helped me to train up to it were OldGlory and MCM50k. I also did the Baltimore Marathon and Morgantown. I had a good time in both. I did couple earlier marathons (C&O1 and Altis) in September, however, I did not enjoyed those as much as the ultras and Baltimore. I thought it was an intense season, but now looking back, it was just about right.

When I was not running, I had several good backpacking trips. The whole season was a struggle between training and doing other things, which I also liked. Roan Mnt trip was pretty good. At Dolly Sods, our hiking group learned a good lesson. Our trips to Mt Pleasant (occurred in the summer) and to Wild Oaks were also memorable.

This season, I struggled with many things: my diet was totally off. I struggled with staying on my training. I don’t have a record how many miles I ran (tracked only up to week 9). I don’t think it was that much, around maybe 300 miles. I was lucky, indeed, and did not DNF on my races. I was also struggled with schedule conflict between racing/training/and other commitments.

There were always trade-offs and sacrifices. I had to cancel the High Bridge Ultra and plus a hiking trip to the Triple Crown — both had lasting effects that haunted me and I hate to have plan changed on me. One word on trade-offs, neither choice have the same value – say trading a race for a hike, or a hike for a race, may seem like doing the same thing, but is not. In life, I don’t think there is ever an equal/fair choice. I hurt those around me with my choices.

I dealt with couple times of low spirit in this season and sometimes I skipped my runs, especially the short runs. In fact I am still in the thick of it; yelp, season is over, but I still think about running. I skipped some of my races – big ones too, first time ever. I had to dig deep to find and regain a motivation to run and to overcome the busyness to train; too many things happened, things at my job at work and my relationship with other people. And even my weight training program was stopped. Only constant theme though was pushing on. I finished the JFK at a great cost. The season was a longer version of the race itself, except there is no finish line to cross and no crowd there to celebrate and no medal to receive. However, I am satisfied that the goal was accomplished and that is a reward.

Luckily I have been healthy throughout. I had short period of pain and shin splint and various ankle rolls and such, but over all was healthy. There was no injury serious enough to sideline me.

Looking ahead, I scheduled quite a few races for next year. It will be just as intense season like this one. God is good!

Categories
health

Result came

Day 141

I haven’t written much because I have been laying low due to health.

Dr called and confirmed I have Lyme Disease. It explained everything that happened to me the past month. I wanted to run but the fatigue, the irregular heartbeat, the shortness of breath, and the general unwellness made me unable to run much.

Eating well boosted my performance just a bit for a time. I felt a bit better last week. I felt I could run. I ran last Tuesday and was a bit faster running at 10 min pace instead of 13 or 14. I was hoping that was the beginning of my recovery.

I am happy now. No more doubting what was wrong with me or if it was all imaginary. It is real. I can do something about it. Not just random stuff like eat well sleep well kind of shot in the dark thing. I was willing to try anything at the time, because being not able to run drive me nuts.

Hopefully in couple of weeks I will be back in shape. Next week is my July marathon. I won’t be ready for that. I am hoping August Marathon, will be my full strength. Then comes Sept and Oct.