random thoughts

Day 191 On my way to OGU

I got my wish and now am heading out to Glen Lyn for the Old Glory 50K (OGU). I orignally thought I would have to skip it due to conflicting with a long backpacking trip this weekend. Through much toils and tribulations, here I am. Lot of unnecessary tears.

I could have revealed my feeling earlier. I if I like running and had a race booked, choose it. Trying to leave both options opened let me to this miserable state.

I don’t know how I will do. The night will be cold. I brought a truck load of clothes with me. I haven’t planned for any of the in race food yet. No water on me. I will need to buy some and then, cold temperature might cause it to turn to ice.

Last night I had my club run. Not many showed up because of the rain and cold. Something was going on downtown around Trump Hotel, they blocked roads and even we as runners were blocked off from going where we wanted to go. We detoured from our set route. We were originally running on 13th st from Constitution to P. They had us turned on Pennsylvania to 12th? My memory is a bit hazy.

At end of my run, I met an Orange Theory fitness instructor in my building. We never met before, but she saw my Marine Corps Marathon shirt and we talked about the race. She did it too this year. She has done several 50 milers. I said I was training for the JFK. She is also familar with it. It was like meeting an old friend.

I got home quite late, passed midnight. Spent an hour hauling stuffs I will need for my OGU race to my car before going to bed. I really packed a truck load of clothes. Because tonight gonna be cold.

week 9

Day 180

First off weekly miles ran: 25 plus 18 miles hiking.

Got to put those hiking miles in otherwise, my running look pretty shabby.

No long run this past weekend. I originally scheduled a marathon race. It was another Potomac River Marathon just like the one I did a week before. Note they (race organizer) called it something different, but basically running on the same C&O Canal towpath. I signed up for this race back in spring. I have been doing races with this organization, Health and Safety Foundation, for couple years. On last Tuesday though I decided to defer the race until next year. Luckily this race has a very flexible deferral policy.

I also deferred another race (50K), which is supposed to be taking place this coming Saturday. It is not because I am nervous. I think I am ready.

Somehow, I don’t feel like running that much recently. I know at this point in time, it shouldn’t matter how I feel, I should stick to the training plan and run my miles. There are only a few weeks left until my final race. I still like running, but some other things seemed to be more important.

I am struggling with prioritizing. Previously, I am all for first come first serve. If there is something I like, but my calendar already has something in it, I would not move my events that are already booked.

Now I started moving things that were set around, all hell break loose.

I have been going through some soul searching last whole week. Nothing much came out of it. I do like running but there are other things more important. I have been skipping out churches on Sunday and my time with my friends. Though they understand that I do what I like, still it kind of hurt when I have to put them on a balance and weigh which choices I should do.

This past weekend, I went hiking instead. It improved my mental health somewhat. I kind of coming out of it better than when I started. My problem was not resolved. I did not come out with flesh vision and passion. The best thing about this hike was my hiking Friend K, got herself a trail runnin shoes. It was not like she was going to run with me. She does not run. However, she ran me on the trail for at least five miles on rough terrain. All the time though I was trying to stay away from running, and there she was running. I was thinking she got to be tired soon, at least for someone who doesn’t run and we were on trail (mountainous), even real runners get tired. I don’t she was doing it for me, she said and I believe her that she would still run the trail even if I were not there. I got home, and slept for four hours until evening.

Looking ahead

Day 178

Summer is over and Fall is here. I want to say it is good time for running. I have stacked every weekend with races from here on out until November.

My body is in good shape, but I am feeling the post marathon blue today. I did a small run of 5 miles. I could have done another 4 or 5, yet I don’t have the motivation to do it.

In fact, I went ahead to cancel this weekend race and the next weekend race. I tried to canceled the fourth weekend race too but I missed the deadline for doing that, so I probably will run it.

I probably will still run them on my own but without supports and race timed.

Suddenly, I am no longer interested chasing the bling bling of marathons.

Looking ahead, I have two ultras in November. The biggest one, the 50 Miler, is still to come.

captain log

Day 171 Guilty pleasure – icecream

The weekend wasn’t as intense as I had anticipated. My training fizzled out due to my own undoing. I ran on Friday, but my quad wasn’t healing properly and pain shot out after about 8 or 10 miles. I was going to do 20. Any way, I started the run very late around 7 pm instead of six or five – I was dreadful of the long run and so delayed starting it. There was no way for me to finish 20 miles before midnight by the time I actually went out. I could have finished but I didn’t really try.

That was Friday. I was hoping then to make it up on Saturday. I had a 10k in the morning. I didn’t hype this race up but this was one of the coolest 10k to do. It was sold out. We ran on the International Airport of Dulles (IAD) main runway. They closed half of the airport for us. We ran the whole runway. It was indeed long. It took maybe a mile before getting on the runway and then the runway was unending. We did out and back. I think the runway was about 2 miles long. I ran marathons but comparing to running on the runway, I felt despair.

Most people were running on the edge of the runway but a few of us got to the center where the white strips are painted. I really wanted to spread out my arms and pretended to fly. Maybe next time though, because I was running for time and I didn’t want to be goofy.

The runway really messed up your pacing when there is no reference point for you to know how fast or far you have been running. They had mile markers but still. Of course it was flat and big. Everything is far away. We had good weather. I did not see any plane landing or taking off, which kind of disappointed. We knew too because they closed the runway. I think the other side of the running was really far away, probably half a mile away where planes were land, but we didn’t get to see. Mybe they did shut off the whole airport. I don’t know. It would have been so cool to run on the runway while planes were landing or taking off on top of you.

Security was heavier than usual 10K. They had hundreds of agents and airport polices on bikes surrounding us. They had helicopters and drones flying overhead — saying taking pictures though I think more for security. We went through security check but we didn’t have to take off our shoes or go through those milliwave detectors. I didn’t bring anything in but my phone and ID, but I could have. They used the handheld metal detector sweeper on me. When I arrived in the morning the parking guard asked me: what is my purpose of being here! I said to run. He let me through. Isn’t it obvious, there are thousands other cars behind me that we were obviously there to run? We were using the air and space museum parking lot that is next to the airport. Museum doesn’t open until 10. Normally, I don’t think anyone would park there at that hours.

Would I do again? maybe. I had to get up extra early to leave the house in time for the race. And our race was delayed for a bit (like 15/20 mins) because a bunch of people couldn’t get through security in time and the organizer decided to wait for them.

After the race, I was very cold and I went home to sleep for the rest of the day until evening. Not sure why I was cold, maybe I wasn’t feeling well.

Sunday was really a lost day. I ran maybe 5-6 miles in Reston while waiting for my friend to finish church and for her call. She was waiting for me to call but I didn’t. She didn’t call me until near 1pm and my moning was gone doing nothing. If I knew ahead of them, within those six hours I could have squeezed in the long run.

Then I couldn’t get to the lunch place because my friend moved up the time and I was still out in Reston while she was in DC and I wasn’t aware until she texted me asking where am I. She then promised to bring me lunch. I wanted to decline and gool for a run but she wasgetting mad at me for skipping church and now the lunch. So I waited for another three hours at a park boat launch place, where we were to meet. I ate around 3:30 when she showed up. I was no longer hungry, but food was food and good stuff. Again if I knew I had to wait for three hours I would be running in my stomping ground around DC instead of sleeping on a bench like a hobo. DC traffic and parking is bad even on Sunday, so I couldn’t blame her for taking too long for getting to me. It took couple hours to get from one side to another. I normally run on Sunday afternoon, but since she was kind of mad at me when I said, I couldn’t make it to lunch, I dare not turn down her kayaking event. We launched around 4 pm and kayaked until 5:30. With each minutes ticked by, I knew my Sunday run was toasted but I still had hope I might be able to get some run in at the end of the day. After kayaked, we had plan to go to her house and she would cook for us. And I was hoping to be in and out within an hour since she sleeps early. However, the dinner took 2 plus (near 3) hours to cook. We watched a documentary and a movie. Ended up my whole evening was gone. I got home dead tired and before long it was midnight. Guess what! I ran into traffic on the interstate on the way back to my home so I got home extra late. And on a Sunday night! They closed all lanes but one. So no running at all. Murphy law.

Total mile for week 6 was 20-24, maybe 26 miles. I was aiming 60-70. It was the lowest mileage I put up.

I was not happy. I wasn’t mad at my friend but myself for not being more resolved to run. Dinner was good though. I brought a half gallon of icecream and wolfed down after I got home. My friend also made icecream but it was too chocolately and salty. The icecream sated my anger a bit.

more filler

day 170

What with the fillers? I have nothing to write so I am posting random stuffs that come to mind. I know, if I have nothing worth to say, don’t say it. I usually do abide by it. I only blog when I run, because that is what I like to talk about. Running kind of bring out so many other thoughts too.

I originally started blogging writing a narative of my life, mostly focusing on my running and backpacking trips. How great they are! I know. It is my love and my passion. And all the world should know it too.

I feel proud of my progress or even the lack there of. Every week is a new adventure and a new race. In the grand scheme though, who care, right? Who care if I run another marathon?

Why tell the world? I don’t know. But thank you for reading. Writing is a medicine to me, just like running to get my mind off things, writing does too. I don’t have a lot of followers and I don’t aim to gather a lot. I do appreciate those who read/comment on my blog. You are like a friend, a real friend. I certainly treat you guys that way and maybe some day get to meet in real life. Deep down I guess I do want attention! You by reading make me feel good, somehow.

But life is messy. I wish my life is a narative with clear beginning, a good plot in middle, climax, and good ending. I have been blogging for about a year now (started last October or November).

There was no clear beginning. Beginning was when I started the blog. You guys though kind of came in the middle of it. I already have been running for couple years before then. I am about entering my fourth year now. Middle/plot: It was really up and down. I don’t see any progress with my running… yes, I ran more races, I ran for longer distances. I attempted bigger races whic were unimaginably tough (or even impossible) to me several years back. I wish the blog kind of show how I got from there to here. I don’t know. Sorry. The details were kind of messy. You readers bear through it. In between you get fillers like this post. Climax/Ending. I don’t know where this will end. My dream is certainly to run all fifty states and also to run in the BAA (Boston Maraton). I hope that would be the climax. I don’t know if I ever get there. As for fifty states, a rough estimate is it will take me 25 years to run all fifty states. I will be like 65 by then.

Life is messy in another way. I don’t write much about my personal life – the real life, though, they probably are seen or can be inferred. Unfortunately, I don’t write about the messy stuffs of my life… like my cat died (j/k). Yup, it is just only about running. True, I am running away from my real world problems, which you guys won’t get to see.

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I did 3.5 or 4 miles last night and was about to do more but various issues popped up (real world). Not really my concern but they were a distraction anyhow. Couple people were let go from my work place today and it kind of shock me. I was told about at the beginning of my run. How unreal. You just couldn’t keep quiet right? You would think!

This messed up my run concentration. Who knew running takes concentration. My friend called/texted me. Before I knew it, my run isn’t happening. I am happy to even get 4 miles in.

Not sure if I will be posting in the next couple days as I will be busy training…weekend’s coming!!

filler

Day 169 – weekend plan

The middle of the week is like a valley between two peaks. Last weekend was awesome in that I had a full plate and I was attempting something I have never done before. The weekend before that was the same. This coming weekend though would be the boring run of the mill thing. I have no plan. However, weekend is still way better than now…the middle of the week.

I did not do much yesterday. I should have run or work-out in a gym but did not do any of that. I stayed late at work to finish up some adminstrative stuff. Then the weather was looking beak like a storm was coming. Instead of running I headed home, thinking I would run after getting home.

Then it went downhill. I was hungry – not really; it was an excuse- so I stopped at a Korean place across from where I live. I haven’t been to there for a long time. The food is really good. I was surprised. They sell Korean rice sausages. This is my second tine eating it. The last time I brought them home and did not eat them right of way and they did not taste good at all. However, this time I ate them immediately and they were so good. I at first thought they were pricey but then realized the lady gave me too pair of chopsticks. They were like four servings inside the box! I ate them all (I had to do it in two sitting – food was still good an hour later). Most people dine in, I do carry out.

So I did not run at all. Not even a mile or two. I slept early and got about 8 hours I think, the longest ever.

Oh, though I don’t have plan for this weekend, I have to do my long runs. When I was training for a marathon, my long run is just a Saturday, but now it is Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, I will get in 60+ miles.

I do have some unscheduled events for Sunday … not really want to go but there is church with my best friends, then lunch, then kayak or paddleboard with them, then 2nd lunch, and an afternoon watching a Christian documentary on the Charismatic Movement (its a two hours film), and a dinner or maybe even 2nd dinner with them (my friend said she will cook two meals for us since I missed the one yesterday). There might be a 2nd worship too at night (another 2 hours event). I might not able to squeeze in my 20 miles long run after all. I might go to the first worship service and skip out the rest and rejoin them at dinner time. Or while they attend church, I skip out to a nearby trail and do my run. W&OD near Reston is my favorite.

My friend is going away for two weeks so, maybe a sacrifice of a Sunday is an acceptable trade-off. Any way, I will go by ear and act accordingly.

funky feeling

Day 166

I am in a funky mood. So I withdrew myself and drank lot of bubble tea. Heehee. I really want Coke but knowing they have way too much sugar to do me good.

The hike/backpacking trip affected me more than I anticipated both physically and mentally. I haven’t done any running. Mentally, I am feeling lazy and being lacking in discipline. Physically, I feel beat up and roughed up. The weariness slowing creeping on me. I lost quite a bit of toenails from the trip because I was wearing improper shoes and I was kicking rocks and roots throughout the trip. I tripped and felt once. My left ankle has a pulling pain – just a little almost not noticable but it is affecting me running gait. All the work left undone during the weekend caught up to me. Excuses I know.

Mentally, there are a lot on my plate. There are lot of pressure from work, personal issues, planning for next trips, social, … relational. Ah, Normally, when I go out for a run, all these things are silenced. I know I am just running away from them.

For example, I have a big trip coming up in December. I really have no issue with it. The plane ticket was purchased. I am going regardless of if the sky should fall. Yet, it is the biggest trip of the lifetime. I am going on it with my new found best friend. There are still a lot of preparation. Many of friends and family don’t want meto go. My coworkers and boss said I took too many trips already (they were weekend trips). Their complaints not withstanding but still it is affecting me mood.

I haven’t done a six days backpacking trip before. The longest I have done was really two days (4 if you count the first and last day of driving there and back). I have never traveled outside of the country by myself. So I am afraid – paralyzing fear. I think about it a lot.

Another thing on my mind is a friend has a bad relationship with someone and I am kind of caught in the middle. They are not talking to each other. I could care less but then as a Christian I am to show loving compassion to both. Their relationship is a mess. They don’t want me to be involved. I am thinking to myself, why am I even involved in this?

Running would take my mind off this. I will be doing three races this weekend. A marathon, a 5K, and a half marathon. It is the first time running so many miles. 42 miles total.

Oh my back is kind of messed up too from the hike. I couldn’t bend down this morning and it would hurt if my right leg crosses in front of my left leg. I could still run, just don’t do weird twist or foot work during it. Luckily it is not a trail run this weekend. I think the fall caused this. I pulled something.