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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.

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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.

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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.

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health

Reread

Day 139

I reread a blog post I wrote a few days back about why I run. At that time I thought my running career would go on indefinitely. I was young and there doesn’t seem to be why I couldn’t run except for lack of interest. Now looking back I spoke too soon.

I don’t think I am being taught a lesson. But immediately after that I started to struggle with my run and everything. It is like a switch is turned off.

I did many things since. Too much to recount them here.

Last weekend I had to take a break from running. A 5K was only thing I did. A consolation for me was it could have been worse. At least I finished. I don’t mind when people were passing me because at least I know I have done my best. Run used to be effortless for me. I just tapped on the pavement and I would glide across. Big steps and fast steps and I hardly breathing. Now I am huffing and puffing. It doesn’t matter if I take a big step or small step or if I run in fast cadence or slow cadence, I just don’t go any where. My lung feels like exploding and my heart really twists violently inside and a few times I put my hand across my chest to feel if it is alright. People were calling out to me, asking if I am Ok. Luckily at the 3 mile mark, I had a burst of energy. I felt a little bit like my old self and ran to the finish line. It wasn’t super fast but the feeling was the same. It was like I could fly again.

I have been fasting every Monday for the past month immediately after I got the news that I have high cholesterol. I was determine to lower it. A total life change. I went from eating burgers every day to eating none of those food. I still eat out but choosing Panera or Chipotle instead and usually having a salad or a wrap. So that I cut 15-20% of my calories. No fat or sugar either. Instead of Coke I now have vitamin water.

The result is my run now is 25-33% slower. I can’t get any slower than that. Any slower would be walking. I can walk in a 5K but I can’t walk the whole thing in a marathon. I wouldn’t able to finish within the given time. Walking through a marathon takes about 10 hours and most races stop around 6.5 or 7 hours. I used to do it little over 4. And I thought I was slow because others were doing it in 3 hours. Everything is relative.

I wish it is the other way around. If I improve on what I eat and my run would improve 25-33%. Why food matters? On the weekend I went for a bike ride. Originally I planned to ride on a trail that is 45 miles long from the city to way out in the suburb and back making it a 90 miles ride. This was before I experienced being very weak. It is actually biking to another city in the outskirt of the DC area. By middle of the week, I realized I probably wouldn’t make it out and back, so shorten the ride in half, a 45-50 miles ride instead. I did this distance a few times before. But on the day of, once I got on the bike, I knew I wouldn’t make it at even this distance either and cut it down to 30 miles. My friend was biking with me. He biked slow but he had to stopped and waited for me a few times. The first 15 miles was a struggle. I just couldn’t keep up. We got to Leesburg by lunch time, and we met up with a friend for lunch. I had a whole 14 inch pizza. It was one of a few times I broke my diet. Actually 2nd time since I started eating right. The result was, on the ride back, my friend was getting tired but I was full of energy. I felt I could pass him if I want. We ended up biking back faster than when we headed out. I was so happy. Food really helps. It was an insight.

If I continue on my vegetarian-like diet, I am thinking of taking vitamin supplements. That is a start my friend told me.

Categories
health

Exhausted

Day 137

People are saying I am exhausted. I don’t feel tired but I can’t no longer run fast.

I have been trying to do couple of short runs, just under four miles but they have been very hard.

I would be out of breath after couple minutes and I never was able to get into my pace. I run slower than the slowest person in our running group. It is almost to the point of walking. It is not like I am not trying.

I felt my heart was up on my throat. Garmin thought differently. It said I haven’t broken a sweat. My heart rate stayed in zone 1 (resting) below 90 with on occasion entered zone 2, 93-120 beats, but I felt like dying at the time.

I am taking this Saturday off training.

I also measured my blood pressure. It is low but I am not sure if that is normal. They say runners tend to have low pulse and pressure. Mine is 90 over 65 and a pulse of 50-55.