Day 213

Finally I did a couple short runs last week. That was monumental. All thanks to my running group. I finally got myself out of the door. It was good to be back on a regular schedule. I was glad to see familiar faces and some new faces in my running group.

up and coming – A Race! But you know, I feel like I am under prepared for an exam. All the plan I had about hitting the road running after my trip from Chile were up in flame. It was more like smothered out by the holiday season. Why I feel that way is because I have a marathon to run this weekend and basically I put in a total of 10 miles on the pavement in the last five weeks. I have never feel so under prepared for a race!

To San Diego. The first race this year will be in San Diego, for Tri City Carlsbad Marathon. I will fly out tomorrow afternoon and come back on Monday. We have a holiday. Yes another Holiday! Looking forward to bagging the state of California.

to Bolder Boulder, CO. Our running club is going to Colorado for the Memorial Weekend in May going I think a 10K. It is called bolder Boulder (city name). I just like the roll of tongue.

We got a massive Air b&b house that can sleep 30. Our group leader had that off and I gave my initial payment for it. I still have to sign up for the race and book a flight. I hope a lot of people will join, so my share for the house will go down. Currently we are each expected to foot about $200 for a three night stay.

Talking about numbers! I have been doing lot of that last week. I finally did a total of my trip to Chile and it was under $2,100. Probably the cheapest trip so far. I had to do it because I was out of money. As well as there were some fraudulent charges on my account so I had to get that sort out. My bank was very helpful. I got the last bit straighten out today. It was complicated, somehow. The representative said it might still take up to 90 days and I should continue to monitor my account. ah! I might forget about it three months from now.

I had to pull out all hat tricks for my up and coming races. I have been looking at flights for my trip to Colorado in May and another Marathon in Maine. I was contemplating which day to fly. Apparently flying out on Saturday or Sunday is cheaper than flying out on Friday. I almost decided to fly on Sunday arriving early Monday morning, run the race on Monday and then fly out immediately Monday afternoon. This way I save on the Hotel!

As for my trip to Maine, I have looking at the option to drive 10-11 hours there but the car rental, gas and toll came out to be just about break even with flying. I don’t want to use my own car.

About my car. It had been a busy week stressing out on my own personal problems. Car. In my state, probably any where else too, we have to take our car to the mechanic for a safety inspection once a year. Mine car is due for one at the end of this month. So, last weekend I took my car in for the inspection. Normally this only should take half an hour, but for me it took over three days and I still haven’t had it passed.

What’s wrong with it? Nothing and everything. I realized the tires were under inflated and I did not have coins for the air pump at the service station to fill them up. So I searched all over my hous for coins.

The first station I arrived the pump did not work. I drove to a second station. There were two cars in front of me. One of them was having the car cleaned. So I queued up waiting. Then the lady in the second car knocked on my car window, I rolled down mine and chatted. She said her car has a flat and she wouldn’t move her car. By that time I probably waited half an hour already. I ugnored her and said OK. Aftr waiting a bit more, I looked out my window and guess what! her front tire on the passenger side was indeed flat! OK she is really telling the truth, she couldn’t move her car. I had to go to another service station and got my tires pumped. As you can see, it is just string of bad luck! I spent my Saturday driving around my town looking for a gas station with a working pump! On top of that apparently there was something going on that we had gridlock traffic in my small town on a Saturday.

Unbelievable Life! That was only scratching the surface of the frustration I had. I replaced my windshield wiper. I won’t go into that. I then went for inspection and failed because some lights were burnt. I replaced those and it was a long story too juat like the tire incident. Today I finally had all the lights replace. I will take my car in for another round of inspection once I am back from San Diego.

catching up

Day 212

I was just looking back at last year resolutions, to get some ideas for this year. They were not bad.

1. eating healthier – kind of did that. At least during July and August, I cooked my own meals.

2. train more consistently – I certainly stepped on my runs last year, while giving going to the gym.

3. Make new friends, yes. I deepened my relationship with couple people and it was rewarding experience. Some are online like you dear readers.

4. camping by myself – yes, I went to Wild Oak and ran the loop, while camping the night before all by myself. I planned some smaller trips (like Seattle). The Patagonia trip, though didn’t plan or led it myself, it was definitely very challenging and rewarding.

5. saving money – ahh. 2019 was unbelievable in term of investing and numbers by measurement aspect, and made quite a gain myself. Yet I spent significantly more and my earned income was not that much to begin with, so I was near the point of being bankrupt after my trip to Chile. I think I have less money in the bank now than when I was in college!

I had to stop eating out for a while and I was digging up food from over the places. I found cooked meals left in the company freezer I prepared back in July and ate those. Of course, I got sick after I ate them. I found frozen chicken breasts in the freezer from also July. I cook those too and got sick as well after eating. Any way, I survived. That was my start of the new 2020!

Also I was begging a coworker of mine for money for a race. I run ‘Run my heart Out’ every February, but this year, I don’t have the money yet to pay for it. It is $40-50 depending if I get the early registration. My coworker rolled her eyes. I should put up a go fund me.

A joke for all runners each new year is we all try to run as many races we can afford and a few we can’t.


Day 211

Either so much has happened or nothing has changed. It has been all talk about running but I still haven’t stepped outside my house for a practice session.

It was good I got a little hiking done over the weekend. It was not much, just under 6 miles. In the past, that would serve a warm up. Still I did not capitulate on it to get some running done.

A new year brings new (or renew) resolution. I did not care to make any this year. It is surreal we are in 2020. Maybe the trip of a life time really dulls my senses on the mundane things of life.

It was not until last night, when I went to church, I was awaken a sense of passion.

The reason we do things is drive and passion and resolution. The pastor expounded on the word ‘resolve’.

I have been disappointed in myself in being inactive physically (as well mentally) last five/six weeks. It is not what I want of me.

I have a bunch of bucket list items! Many of them will take more than a few years to do, like paying off my car loan! The passion is just not there to do them…

Resolve means a decision or an ultimatum and a declaration. There is not and should not have any further discussion. I need this kind of will. To make a final decision. To make up my mind and put away my distractions.

I renew my resolve to run in this new year.

We seek transformation. To change from what we are not to what we want to be. Transformation means a radical change. Each year, I look at myself, and I want that kind of change. To be a year unlike any years before.

To change means to cast aside something. My pastor from a previous year reminded me in a sermon, no matter if last year was good or bad, we leave them behind. We pick up and look forward to expect and do something new.

My ‘vision’ for myself this year is to see myself crossing the finish the after running 70+ mile at 1 or 3 AM in the morning. Why? I am dreaming to finish by 1AM. No DNF. Run even if is raining that day or Cold or lack of sleep or tired, I will push through. This is my transformation. That is my biggest race for 2020…unless I want to attempt a 100 miler in the next winter.

PS. The pastor gave stirring speech about seeking God and renew our commitment to the Almighty. I found that it can be applied to all facets of life, like running.

Mountains and Valleys

Day 210

The kind of race I like best is one that goes up and down. Yes it iss hard to run where there are hills, but it is what so fun about it. Thinking back, my memorable moments last years were the Baltimore Marathon where there were ‘tons’ of hills and Morgantown, and Jack and Jill in Seattle.

Life is kind of like that. Having came back from Patagonia, I was feeling very good. Nothing is compare to that kind of experience. Now back to daily grind, I seem to be in the low valley.

I have not run much since getting back. I have to get through this rut and refocus my mind. Who knew running require so much much mental power! I feel so weak in my resolve right now.

I went on short hike today on Sugarloaf Mountain in MD. I was a very light excercise but it got me outside the house. Yay!

On my way

Day 207

I plan to stay offline for the next 2+ weeks for my trip to Patagonia. I should be back by Christmas. I am going to Chile. I guess many have been wondering where am I going. I kept it semi-secret because not wanting to jinx it. It is a trip I wanted so badly. Now within couple hours away from boarding, all is assure I will be on the plane and flying out. Actually, I am still on my way to the airport, anything can happen.

Also I won’t be running during those time away. This would be the longest time that I ever would stop running. Hopefully, when I get back, I can start my training. People think it is easy…but each race is hard and training is harder still. I will be training for three ultras, with the longest one being 70 miles. The nearest one will be four months away.


Day 206

Time is something we don’t have enough. There are so many things I needed to do before the trip but you can only do so much.

I was trying to finish the stuffs at my workplace but I did less than I wanted to be done. What can you do when you are short handed. I feel bad for the person who is covering for me.

I also wanted to do some work while I am away to lessen the burden of my helper. I know I am stressing her quite a bit. Feeling bad for her just not enough. I am feeling sick about it and feeling guilty of going. Still I will be going…with a heavy heart.

Unfortunately, I am currently not able to pack the laptop into my travel bag. I am doing backpacking and almost everything in my backpack is essential. A laptop just won’t cut it. Also, how will I get internet access? I will be in the wilderness most of the time. I looked into satellite linkup but that cost almost as much as my trip.

I have been quite stress out ladt couple days. I have less than 36 hours till point of no return. The trip is a go.

It will be a good trip, if only…!

I know for god’s sake, I am going on a trip of a life time and I should just relax. Many people make this trip possible.

Going places

Day 205

This post is hard for me to write. For some people (like my hiking friend), they love traveling. For me, I have such a fear, stressful/worrying kind of fear of going to places, no matter if it is local or is far away. I am content to stay at home. I know a coworker of mine too who shares my view and she is happy just by staying at home for her vacation. I like to tease her about it. Really, I was teasing myself too.

However, I have been going to many places recently due to backpacking and running. They do help me to build up a higher tolerant of fear.

I am an immigrant and came to the US when I was a child. Traveling shouldn’t be strange to me. However, I remember I did not want to come to the US back then. At the time, I did understand why we had to or how much better for us to move. I had to go where my mom was taking me. It was silly of me to have wanted to stay back at my home country than to go, now thinking back. Now I really love the US, having grown up here, there is no other home for me.

I had similar occasions while growing up during my teen years, when we would have to move to a different place. Looking back, it was not that many times, but each times were like a life changing event. Luckily in the recent years, I have not had to move. I have been staying put at the same place for a long time.

Last few years were kind of stressful, when I started running. Running let me to explore places around my neighborhood, to places where I normally don’t get to. I usually just drove/walked from my house to the bus/train station and to the grocery shop, which would be the extend of my travel. However, with running, I needed to put in the miles and it forced me to go to new places. I had to run a little farther to places I normally would not go.

Pretty soon, I was not just running just around my neighborhood, but running in other parts of our county/city. I would take my car to a new place and ‘explore’ it on foot. Pretty soon after, I was doing races in my neighboring states. I don’t have to, but one of my goals is to run in all 50 states kind of make me have to travel outside my area. I have traveled to about five states now (not including the state I am in). I wish I can add, pretty soon I will go run marathons in another country. Not yet for now.

Backpacking kind of get me through my fear of traveling the last couple of years. I am still much afraid, but I have been doing it with a friend, and I was not afraid when I was with her…unless she herself becomes afraid as once time she was. I have hardly done any backpacking just by myself.

Having a companion definitely helps. My trips for my races to Delaware, Pennsylvania, Washington, and West Virginia were all done with my mom. Haha! I went to Maryland to race (NCR and Baltimore Marathon) by myself (though the first half marathon in Maryland, my mom came with me, but subsequent trips to Maryland were all done alone by myself). I have become a pro now! I mentioned a one of previous entries, that Maryland is no longer a ‘foreign country’ to me.

Now next week, I will be out of the country. Really get out. This is my fourth times in my life. I have my passport and documents ready. Yes, my hiking friend will be going with me, but I have still been terrified about it. I have spent many sleepless nights staying up or awaking in the middle of the night and unable to get back to sleep because of it.

No one made me to go some would say, but I am going to go. I am taking it as a dare. I am not a globe trotter. Sorry I probably won’t blog about my travel – I wish I could. I am gritting my teeth and will get on the airplane next week with butterfly in my stomach.