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.

19.4 Review

Day 120 / Review#4 – spring time

What happens: A review of last 30 days from March to May. I felt a lot had happened and also not much at the same time. Last time I wrote a review, there was still snow and I did the first half marathon this year then. Note 30 days are not the actual calendar days but days of that were journaled (a meaningful day). I could also use the word entry, but I like day better.

As always, the last review can be found here [last]. I am still figuring out how I want to do this, if I should write strictly a summary or provide something new focusing the present (like provide a snapshot), or both.

Here’s a look back of the last 30 days.

1) running of the Roanoke Marathon. Its training spanned through several months. The race was a foundation for all the races I will do this year. The training was long and I felt I was a beginner runner all over. More on the race is in the report [race].

My goal this year is to be an ultra runner. My first trail ultra race is only a month away (actually will be my second, but it is a first one with hills). I did some mountain running and I gotta say, it is hard. Hills are not hills,… they go on forever. Roanoke marathon showed me that.

While hiking is a fun activity, to me it is also a training. I am pleased that I was able to do a great hike (backpacking) at Tory Ridge [hike]. I also started to train on trails during the weekends. I am not there at where I should be yet. There is still much to do to get ready.

Off tangent: I probably leave my review with one point hanging. I ran out of things to say…I have stuffs to write about but I found them boring (like doing chores). I like to go off tangent.

I started to write only on the weekend because that when things are happening. I do my races on weekends. I hike, backpack, train, and everything on the weekend. I do train during the week too, but each day mostly after work, there is only limited time and I want to hit the bed as early as I can. One thing I changed was going to bed early! It was part of the over all goal to be more efficient and choosing to do what most important.

Other major events were running the Frederick Half, (too lazy to provide a link), running the cherry blossom race, couple weekend training (Easter).

I looked back on my New Year Resolution couple days ago. Some of those were on the right track. I’m proud of my training and runs. Other things like eating better…Needs much improved, to try again.

I started going to gym last couple weeks. I like being sored on other parts of my body other than the legs. I’m so proud of this. Along the same line, I found a buddy who will do a mini triathlon sprint with me. Hopefully that will get me into the Tri world. I’m excited. It is all about ramming up the intensity.

Relationship. Everything is tied to people. I would like to ignore this aspect but it is really the bedrock of everything I do. It is through people that I found meaning in all my activities. I could say run in the woods by myself but then it is because I want to able to run with people in a race. I don’t know what I’m writing here, just taking a stab at it. I like to run for the sake of running too.

I thank God for friends and a group of guys who keep me on track in life. Having this group of friends is the biggest change in the last couple months.

Last couple months, my Friend K really got me back on track. I had a defining moment! I (or she) solved one of the biggest problems since the beginning (120 days ago), which was just lurking in the back and I had no idea how to tackle head on. I was much relief. I’m speaking vaguely here but really, it should change my life. Of course my relationship with K, and my perspective of everything changed. More to come. I now have more intensity and life than ever before!

[Last] https://antin.blog/2019/03/06/19-3-review/
[Race] https://antin.blog/2019/04/15/roanoke/

[Hike] https://antin.blog/2019/03/31/torry-ridge-bp/

Wednesday

Mid week already. Life really starts on weekends. There were so much happened that it takes a week to unpacked.

I was going to write more about it. There were so much other thoughts I wanted to capture. Friday night was a high point because I attended a talk called Secret Church from an organization called Radical. This was my first ever. We had a long prayer/fasting marathon and I was dozing in and out. In the end everything was a blur. We prayed for East Africa — I forgot the name of the country. A recurring thought to me was I got to go there. There are probably some amazing hikes to do there. I wish there were more videos on the place, but time was short. The talk was entertaining though that was not the point.

The next day, I hiked Meneka peak. I thought nothing could top Friday night. A lot of interesting things happened. It was a first we got to hike with some of our good friends who complained we always doing too many crazy 20 miles hikes. We brought the intensity down couple notches. It was under 9 miles. The crazy thing happened was near the top, we ran into a group who told us some fire up on the peak. We went and checked out. My group leader didn’t find any smoke or fire. Few hours later, while I was doing my trail run on the mountain, I ran into a team of fire marshals/rangers and they were asking me if I saw any fire/smoke. I then checked every camp sites up on the peak making sure no fire. I touched every fire pit and they were cold. I did came a large log or a long tree trunk some crazy camper was trying to burn. The campers had left. I guess they didn’t completely put out the fire. Maybe that was what the cause of concern from a group of hikers we came across earlier and they called the fire department.

Sunday was also pretty amazing because I was running a race. It was a new race I never done before. I want to write a race report on it. It was a 10K. The race was short, but there were 2,500 people running it. It was just awesome. I wasn’t at my usual pace but toward the end, I got faster.

Today, I did some ‘hill’ run by running up the stairs at my office building. I realized I could only mantain my breathing up to five floors. I was not used to doing hill run.

The week has been good so far. I started working out at my work gym everyday and it feels good to be sored all over.

And lastly, there is a chance I will do a triathlon this year. I found a friend who indicated he will do it with me. There are too races I have my eyes on.

Day 114

Weekend

Day 113 /long post on delight and peace

Everything about this weekend pretty much fell into place according to plan and I was pleased. I couldn’t ask for more.

In my life, there is someone special. I would love to spend every moment with her. This whole weekend, I was pretty much with her most of the time. She though wasn’t happy and I didn’t try to find out why. I was on the other hand, very happy inside, not because of her misery but because I overcome a struggle and was at peace.

I was assisting my mom planting some flowers last week and I looked across the street and saw a family also gardening. They were sweeping flower petals that fell from the trees. Their entire driveway was covered with pink flowers (they have a cherry blossom tree) and their was blooming last week.

I saw how peaceful and beautiful that picture was. And I was really jealous too. I want a nice house and family and was thinking when will I be like that.

Time is short though. I was thinking, that the family across probably might not even think that scene of few minutes from my perspective was beautiful. They probably thought, how much work they had to do to clean their driveway.

I had a moment of insight then, that we spent a lot time working toward a goal and that satisfaction is only last but a moment.

Thinking about myself, I spent months and years training for a race all for that moment of joy when I run across the finish line.

This weekend I had that joy. For the longest time, I have been struggling to find satisfaction and I have been contemplating the meaning of delight and friendship.

There was a girl I delighted but later we broke up because she delighted in someone else. Since then, only thing I delighted, is running.

Running will put a smile on my face. Running will brighten up my face and running will bedazzle my eyes.

I got to spent my weekend with people I love and doing the things I love. On Friday, I was at church with my best friend praying for mission work. Church and mission is what my friend love most. Though they are not my stuff, but I was happy to be there supporting her.

I didn’t go to bed until 3 in the morning. The next day though, I wasn’t tired. I woke up early and did my morning reading (on Facebook). I came across a post from my race I will do in June and it scared the light out of me. It reminded me that the race will be on the mountain.

So, I immediately got up, no more delay and got to the mountain trail that was about an hour away. My best friend and her friends planned to be there too later in the morning to hike on it. I got there first, started running it.

They came later and we had a good whole day of hiking together. Afterward, I stayed behind and did more running. I had a blast running on the trail. It was hard but it was not the hardest trail to run on. I did hurt myself toward the end of the day when I rolled my ankle. That was the end of running for that day.

I met on the trail a guy who have been running all his life. It was so good we got to talk like normal people but he has done so much beyond what I can imagine. He set a course record in a race he recommended me to do, I didn’t find out until later. He was humble and didn’t boast about his achievement. I wouldn’t never know he was such a fast runner.

On Sunday, it was pretty much normal. I woke up early around 5:30 because I had a race in Maryland. I got to the course around 6:30. Funny thing was the meet up location was so big people couldn’t find the starting line. Luckily, we got there early and was wandering around. I was misled by some people who ran the the race before. They led me to the wrong parking lot because they said it was there last year. In the end, I did find the right place.

The race wasn’t my best because I was limping for the first few miles, before finding my pace. My ankle was bothering me and I didn’t want to put too much force.

There was drizzling rain and it was a little cold. I still enjoyed the race nonetheless. There were 2500 other passionate people there and you could feel the energy.

Later, I went to church and had more time being with my friends. It was pretty much normal for the rest of the day.

I did some biking, about 16 miles. I was pretty much alone but it was a refreshing time after running the race. I didn’t do my long run so I wasn’t as tired as usual. I got to spent time pulling my thoughts together and writing them down here.

Nearer

Day 105 – kind of a long Saturday Rambling

I feel like whining. I have been sleeping early and waking up early. Trying to square away my life. Boy do I need to get my life together. It was a little in that direction this week.

I put away reading my cheesy online novels. They are such a time sink. Most of the things I do on my phone are a time sink. Every time I pick up my phone, it could be 2 hours gone by without notice. Hence, I usually don’t sleep until past midnight. I controled myself this week.

I had a quite an adventure yesterday. Went out for lunch and left my phone at the restaurant. Luckily the staff picked it up and kept the phone for me. I later went to get it. It created a little anxiety separation for me. And my plan for the night was disrupted.

I was going to go out for maybe a 10 miles run and remembered that I signed up an evening 5K race at Crystal City. It was a rare event for me. People say I just signed up too many races and can’t keep track of them. I did this one last year. Pacer has this event, every Friday in April, you can do a 5K after work and then chill with a cold beer.

I didn’t chill. I was rushing to pick up my race package for still another race back in DC, the Cherry Blossom 10 miler for Sunday. I made it back into town before the place closed. Got my bib.

Still, I took the train home. Picked up my car, drove to the restaurant, which was back the other way across town. Got my phone, then realy chilled. It was 10 PM by then. In our beighborhood, there is a fad with popups like Kungfu Tea. They are everywhere now. So, I stopped into one of them and had my Kungfu tea before driving back home. The Tea kept me up all night and I caught up with most of the online novels. Went to bed with a smile. It is like an addiction to me! Late, very late to bed!

I am just a week away from my spring marathon. My best friend asked me how my running has been. Not ideal. It is too late to do anything about it. I had couple weeks of rest in March because of shin splints and also some personal matters that had kept me from running. I am slowly easing back in. It is like a reverse tapering, but before the race! Interesting.

We were blessed with good weather this week. It was actually quite good weather for running. I ran a 5k race last night. My time was 24:25. Not the best, but it was in the 24 min territory and that for me is good. There were not too many 5k where I got to the 24 min range, I probably can count them.

I had an amazing run Thursday night with the group. There was a new guy showed up. He and I were the fastest that night. We had a slow start but gradually increased our pace over a course of 4 miles. Half way I was out of breath. We eased back down for my sake. Then at the last quarter of mile, we went all out sprinting. That was the bomb, because in my life, I never tried to run my fastest with someone except for races. … I mean in a race I run with strangers, but this time, it was like competing with a friend. I was like a 5 year old. I totally emptied my tank on that last sprint.

No hiking for me this weekend, and kind of disappointed at this. Actually there is no hiking planned until the end of the month (and I might be leading it). Last week trip was so awesome, that it was kind of expected to have one every week. But for me, hiking/backpacking is a lot of work! I just like someone to do the work for me.

I think this weekend will be a normal one. I will will have a social biking today from 10-3pm to see the cherry blossoms. Then I should rest early, for tomorrow I will do the cherry blossom 10 miler.

Blossoms

Cherry blossoms are blooming and the horde of people descend to the Tidal Basin to film and take photo of it. I went with couple of my office mates.

Cherry tree in full bloom with people milling about at the tidal basin, overlooking Jefferson Memorial in background
People at the tidal basin, overlook Jefferson Memorial
Photoshoot of cherry tree blooming with Washington monument in the distance, clear blue sky overhead

It is a preview of the famous Cherry Blossom Race this Sunday. I will be running the full 10 miler.

Day 104