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

Misc – Random Thursday

Day 101

I signed up for few more races. Now don’t remember what I signed up. The biggest race was JFK 50 Miler in November. I wrote about of not doing this race because I might not recover in time for December hiking /trek. Couple things, Earth shattering thing happened in my life last week, what do they call it? YOLO? I felt I have a new leash on life and what I immediately did was registering for this race. If I don’t do it now, I might never ever do it. There you have it

I signed up for Crystal City 5K. They will host a 5K ever Friday in April. I also signed up for Mother’s Day 4 miler. Originally, I was going to go out of town that weekend to do some training run in the mountain, but decided to stay put.

I learned from a few things from my friend B, who is doing some fitness courses with me. I was motivating to think on one worse part of my body and do something about it.

Action. Action. I got a new watch! Garmin 235 something. It was an upgrade from my previous Garmin 35? Something like that. The newer watch has more function like I could read my email / notification on the watch. It buzzed a lot through out the day.

Weekend! I live mostly for the weekend. This weekend I will head out to the mountain, Doing somewhere from 10-20 miles hike with a full pack. We not sure where will will be going. The original site Torry Ridge seems to have some road work and we might not able to get to the trailhead. White Rock is our back up plan. Will see.

I started running again, few miles at a time. I did about 15 miles this week. Yes, it is a far cry from 40 mile week.

Locally the cherry blossoms are blooming. There is a kite festival this weekend. My friend brought a kite of a whale and she is going to fly it. It is humongous. I will be out of town though. My Cherry Blossom 10 miler race is next week. I will be looking forward to that. Then another week, I will be doing the first marathon for the year.

That’s it.

Time sink

Day 100 – Last couple days I have tried to stay away from phone, social media such as Facebook, and blogging, and email.

My friend K and I have been discussing about these things over Sunday, how technology companies are bothering being unethical in designing their product that it is impossible to put down. The phone has features that will keep you on as long as possible. I have been notice how true that is.

How much time do I spend on my phone? How much time is left for anything else? So I have been more conscious on what I am using my phone for. If it for checking email, I got to do it quick. If some emails are too long, then they won’t get read.

I have been following blogs through my emails. So each day I limit myself to read one or two blogs and I got to do it quick — avoid the infinite scrolling blogs. Facebook, maybe only check once a week, and limit the time to maybe five minutes.

Even with writing blog, … Keep it short. If it is over 5 words, it is too long. Haha. I really find myself no time for anything.

Especially guys, my friend said, they need their sleep to produce testosterone. Their phone keeps them up and they won’t get their sleep, and so result in guys with weak body etc. Being a wimp. So I start to take heed, to sleep earlier. I’m thinking to keep my phone in the car!

Meaning

Day 93 / still waiting

One of the reasons I started blogging is to record my races and the training I do. Because running races is what I live for. But on a deeper level, I was trying to find meaning and truth in all my activities we call life. I believe our lives have meaning  even if it is not apparent. On the surface, every day seems to be the same. I wake up, go to work, run afterward and go back to bed. On a weekend, I might be lucky to find a race or two to run or if not, it is one long training for the weekend. Some days like what I mostly been doing the last  few months when I don’t feel like training, I ended doing nothing but sitting in my room staring at the ceiling. That is part of life too.

It does not mean life is not exciting. Last few months were to me jumping through one crisis to another. I might be a bit extreme to call it crisis but it was like the end of the world! I feel somehows going through one storm after another. And it was very exciting.

Why? We all just want a peaceful life… I did not write about them. Looking back though, I  survived. Always, every day I am entangled with something, and they definitely distracted me from running. Maybe something I didn’t do at work or something I didn’t do at home. I had a crisis with my training plan when I consistently putting up only 7 miles per week for the first month. I don’t know what happened there.

I had a clear thought this morning while driving into work. As I looked back at the past week or the past month, I kind of see a pattern of something greater than just routine going through the motions of life. I saw maybe a glimpse of what life is worth living for, (life is always worth living) something that was truly uplifting. Now the thought is gone. I am grasping if I could, bring that light back. It was like a mundane thing transform to extraordinary.

This weekend I will run the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon (hopefully – Lord willing as my friend loves to say). Few more hours to go.  I signed up for it almost a year ago. It doesn’t mean I was hyped about it. This would be my third time running it. I signed up early to save money. The price now has doubled if I walk in and register today. I also already signed up for next year.

I could run it without much emotion. There are not many races I would re-do, but this one is one of them. My friend calls it a subscription service if I run it year after year. But then I can attach so much meaning to it. It is one of the best marathons to do in this area. I have ran many (6) marathons and many half marathons (4-5). Rock n Roll is always the best! It is big! It was my first marathon as well as the first Half Marathon that I signed up (though didn’t run). I have so much memories of it unlike some other races. 

My running involved with friends and my best friend at the time when I did the first marathon was in that race. That was all i needed for meaning. Thinking back, I was running through the whole course looking for her only in the end found out she started at a later time because I told her to switch to a Half and she listened, but I had my PR that day and my first ever fastest time, even to this day 3 years later, the time is still very hard for me to top it. I have no reason to beat my time tomorrow. 🙂 Even if I run my fastest time tomorrow, I won’t be able to meet up with my best friend who is out in the woods hiking somewhere.

I am rambling on. Today is another one of those waiting time, waiting for things to happen tomorrow. Doesn’t life is like that? Waiting…and then kind of miss it when life shows up? That is some kind of truth regarding life I am seeking.

I think meaning for the things we do or things happening is like turning on a light in a room. The things we do is  the same, but how we look at it is like having the light on or having the light off. Just a thought. 

Waiting

Day 92 / decided

I woke up this morning and gained a better sense what I want to do this weekend. I want to run. So I signed up for the Pot of Gold 10K for Sunday as a safe bet. 

By the time I got out of work today, I wasn’t sure if I should upgrade my Saturday Half Marathon run to full one. But on my way to the Rock and Roll bib pickup convention, I ran into a friend of mine and I asked her if should upgrade. She said I shouldn’t because after the half, the second had of course doesn’t have that many people I. The crowd. Also the cost for me to upgrade is like 140-140 dollars. That is a lot. I just registered to run for next year paying on 70 dollars. So it doesn’t justify to pay double.

So I got my bib. I will run both Saturday and Sunday.

I was late for the club run tonight and ended up running by myself. I put in four slow miles.

I am waiting for the weekend to start.

Forward

Day 91 / lent

Midweek is when I look toward the weekend. Not only because I can’t wait to finish my work but because what I will do on the weekend will determine what I should be doing today. Like if I have a big race coming up, then I should rest up now. It is either run or not to run and how many miles. There are still plenty work left, I can assure you that. With weekend only couple days away, I got to decide what to do now.

This coming weekend, I am overwhelmed with choices. 

Plan A: stick with the plan. Go out and run the Rock and Roll DC half marathon on Saturday, which I signed up like a year ago and then enjoy the Sunday off with my loving friend and go for a hike in the afternoon and dinner at night. A full day of worship.

Plan B: Same as A, but add a 10K run/ race on Sunday – Pot of Gold 10k. But the cost is I will miss worship unless I go to the 11 o clock service, but doing that will bump my Sunday class, which I enjoy attending.

Plan C: upgrade my half marathon to a full one and run on Saturday, basically not much time for anything else. C is for Craziness. I am definitely not ready to  run a marathon. Should I believe myself go run a marathon? And do A/B of Sunday.

Plan D: D is for Don’t run at all on Saturday but instead go on a hike with my friend on the North Mountain. On Sunday, I could do A/B.

Likelihood of doing each decreases as goes from A-D. 

I really can’t decide without some value system or goal. I might as well flip a coin and leave to chance. Truly I guess I am conflicted with between running and see my friend. Three of them was about more running and the last choice is no running.

If the way to evaluate is based on passion, I would pick either C and D. If I pick based on logic then it will be either A or B.

I have been doing my runs during the week but I haven’t completely recovered (since last Wednesday). Not sure why it is taking so long. Normally, just a good night sleep would bring me back to 100%. Plan D is a good plan because I’m tired and need the rest. My friend going say I am disobedient again, because I know I shouldn’t run but is going to run.

Last night, I ran 8 miles. I finished 4 miles with the club and did an additional 4 on my own because I thought I lost my head buff. So I was retracing the steps but couldn’t find it. I only discovered I had it over my neck the whole time when I got home and started undressing. I wouldn’t have run the extra four miles if not for this. It was really cold and I didn’t even realized the buff was on me.

This morning woke up with a stiff calf. Ya, I didn’t stretch after the run. I will take it easy tonight, no more running. Got to honor the day of rest.

I noted that lent has started. It is a time for some reflection.