Day371 – 2nd anniversary

It should be my 2nd anniversary here on WordPress or the first day into my 3rd year of blogging. No special fan service today…other than Thank you fans always for your continue supports!

I remembered in the early days it used to a delight every night as I finished my run and I rushed on here to post how great that run was and usually talked about this and that of what I discovered during the run.

As my runs have been longer and longer recently, I don’t write so much about them any more. It is like oh another 5K, what to write about that.

No, I still think short runs are exciting. I have not done enough of those. Couple weeks ago, I finished a short run. I think I went out to do a three mile that night. Details now escape me, but at the time I was so excited. So that was how it use to be like I told myself. I was going to write a blog entry about it. I think I fell asleep not long after and the entry never made it out the press. I forgot now why I was so excited after that run that I was dying to share. Only thing was it was a great run.

These few days I have been reading on how to improve on my runs. I want to run fast. An article in the Runner World peaked my interest. It mentioned about form. You have to run more efficiently to run fast. A way to do that is build strength and also train your mobility (involve stretching). I hate doing either of them.

I see that is one of my weaknesses. I don’t pay too much attention to strength training and much less on stretching to improve my balance and mobility (range of motion).

When you look at fast runners, their strides are incredible! They are flying through the air. My strides compare to them are just baby tiny steps.

I have been doing more running on trails and I notice I wish I have better footwork. There are certain positions I can’t do well. Some steps are too far out of reach. There were a few times I almost fell. Mobility training will definitely improve my trail running.

I am kind of losing my focus this year. If you read the previous year anniversary, I was bubbling with excitement because I was on the verge of running the MCM 50K and I was just off the mountain the night of, which was kind of my first trail run.

Nothing crazy for this year anniversary. I did not go to the mountain over the weekend. The race I thought I am about to run, got one of their permits denied. Race won’t happen unless they have all the permits approved. Who knew there are so many of them. We thought having the Covid permit approved was the hardest thing and rest would be easy. We held our collective breath for that one. What frustrating is our race will be mostly done in the park. I think we got the park permit approved, but we got hung up on the road permit. We do have a short section being on roads and a few road crossings, so it is not that we can ignore that. The county denied our permit for the road portion. The whole race is up in the air at the moment. The race director is trying to appeal the county’s decision. I don’t know what to think. The race date is so close already and now this.

I know with Covid many races got canceled. We have come to expect no racing for the forseeable future. However, things were improving in our area and we got our Covid plan approved and it looked likely a race would be possible, but now this. It is like don’t get our hope up and then got dash by it.

Why all this mumbo jumbo I am writing? I hope next year will be better. I wish I have the exuberance like I did before. This is the third year, right? It should be better than the year before.

There are many different things I could write…I have a list of races I did for this year and a list of races I am ready to do for the next year. Don’t worry I will post it some day soon. I want to show, even with a crazy year, we got things done. That though is not what I am feeling at the moment. We are baking something but we are not there yet…not sure how it will turn out, since I am kind of doubting anything good will happen. A little pessimistic won’t you say?

I know there is always next year. How about that for 2nd anniversary?

life running


I didn’t go camping. Instead I had a lazy saturday.

I injured my foot last weekend while running. I didn’t notice anything wrong at the time, but it probably was from over straining my right foot. You know the whole body hurts after running the marathon and my right foot was hurting. I didn’t pay much attention to it but through out the week, the top of my right foot continued to hurt. I stopped running by Wednesday to let it recover. By today, it still hurts.

I googled on foot pain. They had several reasons. I am scared of having foot fractured. They said it would take 4-6 weeks to recover. It means no running.

I can’t be sure unless I go see a doctor. They said even with the x-ray it might not show up. Only advice is to rest and use ice/heating pad. I don’t know. I massaged it every day and night. I hope it will be better soon.

So because my foot is bad, I was thinking to go camping to rest a bit from running. That though probably not a good idea either since I usually carry a heavy pack on me when I backpack.

In the end I didn’t go. It was not for my foot but because I was too slow in getting my things together on Friday night.

By noon on Saturday, I was still only partially packed, I decided to abandoned the trip but to go to a park to run instead. In a couple weeks I will be running a 50 mile race. I signed up on a spurt moment early October. There is finally a race being approved in my area. So I signed up. I have very little training for it. It finally sank in now I need to train.

So I went to Seneca Park – well not exactly there but an area south of it. My race will be the whole thing at the park and the surrounding region. I did a race there this spring and already know part of the trail. So today I went to explore the part I have not been to. The trail is called Muddy Branch, but luckily our fall is quite dry and I did not get muddy.

I did a six miles out and then back. Ended up with 13.1. I reached 13 miles when I got back to the car, but I wanted the extra .1 to say I did a half marathon today for a training run.

That’s all. Originally, I wanted to do my birthday run too, which means a lot of miles because I am now into my 4th decade. I backed out of that. I would not want to be out running the whole day. A short few hours of running was enough.


Day369 Life

I have been blogging on and off since 2018. I probably have been repeating myself about my running and stuffs.

Not sure how many users/readers are out there reading my posts. I admit none of my writing are creative works unlike many other writters on here (wp).

Existentialist question: what is the purpose of all this? I write because for myself because it feels good. If there is someone reading it, good. I am happy about that. If none, it does not bother me. They say, write for your readers. Nope. Not me.

Over the summer, due to Covid-19, and I was mostly quarantining at home, and I watched a lot of Ytube videos. That is the new platform compare to blogging. People who want clout and monetize the media should go into video making. You get ton of fans. We are talking about audience in millions. vblog at one point was pretty popular. Now it is all about VOD – video on demand, something I just learned. People record livestream, and saved it to be “reboardcast” for the rest who want to watch it at a later time, but also want the livestream experience, you get VOD. You do it for the crowd.

Back on topic, blogging, the way I do it…ya is for audience of one.

Have I lost everyone now? Writing used to be expensive (time/printing/distribution), but with online platform, cost is low, very low. So I am basically writing everything and anything. The cost is usually now bear by the readers in term of time. Time is expensive. Videos I think is a better platform people can endlessly watch dozen of videos than to have the time to read a blog entry. I don’t mind the crowd moving to videos.

So what’s up. I took my truck in for a maintenance today. Nothing is wrong just that it will reach 100000 miles soon maybe in a week or so. I wanted that peace of mind, to have the half-life maintenance done. Yup. My truck required the big job done like timing belt replacement (actually I just checked the maintenance schedule, TB is required at 105000, so I was a few months ahead of schedule). I know this. I got the parts and watched endless numbers of Ytube videos on how to replace the timing belt since March.

In the end, I decided to take it to the mechanics to have it done by them. It was probably a good decision because nothing I open up ever come back together in one piece. They did everything, hopefully well. This was a new mechanic. My normal guy went bankrupt during Covid, and don’t know where he went. So this was just a random guy I passed at a gas station. He look honest to me and the charge was around what I was willing to pay. I don’t know the market price (I know it takes about 6 hours). Any way the guy finished the job. There is no way I can inspect it if it done properly unless I was there watching him work or I take my car apart. It takes some trust that he did what I wanted him to do. I asked him to replace the spark plugs too though that wasn’t due till 120000. The car turned on and I drove it away. If the guy didn’t replace it, there was no way for me to know. I asked him to replace all other stuffs too, water pump, tensioner, pulley. I gave him a new serpentine belt too so he can cut the old one. But I didn’t know about the serpentine belt tensioner and related pulley, so those were not done. Some people say those should be replaced too, but they were not as hard as replacing the timing belt.

The engine sounds the same to me after the work. Maybe a bit quieter but this might be just my feeling. It is one of those things it is impossible to tell if any work has been done. Unless the belt broke not long after. Oh I pray not.

Out of curiousity I started googling known problems with my model. The bad news is I probably should replace the radiator soon because it tends to break down without warning and will mix the fluid with the transmission fluid and damage that, which will cause tons of money to replace. Online people were saying to spend 200 dollars now to avoid needing to spend 5000 or more later.

I hope it will last me another 100000 miles. My previous truck was near 300000 miles before I let it go, so I have high expectation for this truck. I like a machine that just works.

I have been following the maintenance schedule. So fingers crossed.

I have no plan for this weekend. I am thinking of going to Cole/Cold Mountain. It will be a solo camping trip. I am a bit scared about solo camping. But then, if I have time, I should go because I don’t know when else I will have the chance to do it. My hiking buddy has been doing it with her friends or by herself…so not likely, I get to do it with her by year end. It is not fair right…she gets to lead one but I don’t get to have my trip. Any way, since Covid, I have not done any camping with her. That’s fine. Just an observation, not a complaint. I just feel so much safer when I did it with her. I think though she wants me to have my own experience…so I don’t have to rely on her.



Happy Friday!

Been tired lately and last night I felt asleep by 9pm. I came home had dinner. The day seems to go by faster now with going into work. All the driving.

I started driving to work. Normally it is ok. It is not as bad as driving into DC. My workplace is just outside the city somewhere between the suburb and really suburb where I live. Still it takes about half an hour.

This week though I had such bad lucks. Couple times I got stuck in traffic. I know, I live in the city and traffic is normal. I got use to it these many years of driving in the areas. We have one of worse traffic in the nation behind New York and Los Angeles (I think rank 3rd or something). The point is we are not a big city like those! 1 mil in pop vs 19 mil. There is no comparison. I think it is just poor planning. We spent a lot money on transportation too, probably more than any cities of our size in the nation.

But with the pandemic, traffic virtually has disappeared here. Now I am back at work and the unbelievable traffic has returned too. I think everyone has the same idea as me.

There were many road works since people were not on the roads. But now people like me are back at work. At the same time they start making weird road closures and lanes changes that are like a five year old drawing on the sidewalk. Maybe a five year old can do a better job. When combine them together you get huge accidents every day. You think they learned. I wonder why no one sue them! Or maybe department of transportation (VDOT) can’t be sued. They always go after the poor soul who couldn’t react quick enough.

There were a few times during the summer I drove into work and each time I almost got into an accident. None of it was my fault. They closed a lane abruptly with little to no warning and imagine you were driving near 65 ish (speeding I know during morning rush) on the interstate and a car on the lane that was suddenly closed either had to make a sudden stop or quicky shift out to your lane or crash into the concrete barrier. Most stupid drivers would shift into your lane hoping you would stop in them for them. And I have seen all scenarios. My heart stopped a few times driving on that highway. I tried all the lanes too and encountered being both the victim whose lane was suddenly closed or the poor soul on the lane with suddenly a car popped onto your lane with no warning and they then making a hard brake on you! It is insane!

You would think yes, next day, you remember that section of the road and be better at it except they changed to something different the next day!

And so this week, a few time I got stuck on the highway for hours. A normal commute even during a rush hour should only taken about 35 minutes (hey sometimes only taken me 15-20 mins, ah those early pandemic days), but this week, it took me one and half hours to get into work or coming back home! Why don’t I just stay at home right? Exactly, why am I venting? I have a choice to just work from home.

They did try to redo the lane to make it safer, but they shift it every day and it like try and miss to see which day they would screw up badly and cause a huge accident.

Another thing I have been thinking while being stuck on the highway is couldn’t they have a special road crew whose job is to clear accident? We have an accident almost every day on the highway. However, if you have seen an accident or a breaking down car on the highway, it likely will block the roads for hours. It is like the first time anyone has seen an accident and no one know what to do. I am not just talking about us the rubberneckers, but the emergency crew too.

Indeed, the emergency crew has a different priority. Their job is public safety and to hell with the people stuck in traffic. They take the whole day if they want and they block an extra lane or all lanes if they have to.

They would bring the fire trucks and if an ambulance is needed, they you wait for it too, and of course the police would show up and then two or three other cruisers too. They would call a tow truck or two. This would take a whole day before they move the cars to the side. They bring out everything.

By then the road would be blocked for hours! Even when the accident is cleared, the road would be continued to be congested. I am sitting there thinking, can they make the whole proccess go faster? Like five minutes and move everyone to the side? Or for example, stop sending cars onto the highway until the blockage is resolved! And direct cars off the highway – like reroute them. I passed like three or four exits (with no one exiting, and everyone stuck to their lane) bumber to bumber and we were crawling at 1 mi an hour. Our local roads run parallel to the highway and why no one is using them? They could redirect all those cars like me off the highway onto local roads. Just a bit of coordination, it would have been so much better.

I have heard in Korea they have a rapid team that clears the accidents. Why can we have something like this here.

Enough ranting… I have no plan for this weekend. I know I should be running but I don’t know where or when.

A few choices I have is either to do the VDM I did last weekend again or doing something new.

My second choice is to go to The Wild Oak Trail. This 28 mile trail gave me a beating last year. I really want to do it again.

Third choice is to go and do the Priest. I have heard it is pretty challenging. I have not done it before. Last year I was very sick and had to go home during that camping trip to the Priest. The Priest is the farest of three from home. I think about 4 hour drive.

I likely will pick the second choice…but it is a lot of work to prepare for and I am still not packed yet. I would have to wake up like 3 AM for the long drive, which is not very attractive to me. Plus I have get food tonight – food to eat after the run. I have food I already cooked but those can’t last in the car. I need camping food that won’t spoil.

update: 10:30 AM – I am still in my bed. Option #2 is still good. I got food and everything packed now


Day361 busy

As you might have guessed, I have been busy the last few days with the boring stuff of life called work.

Now things are picking up, I better write before being steam-rolled by all other things.

First, I am debating whether to run the JFK50 this year. I did it last year and at the time it was the hardest race I did. I trained a year for it. Now looking back, ehh, it was not that hard. The race was mostly flat! and boring miles after miles on the C&O Towpath.

What make me want to do it? It is a race with tons of miles. I think I like that a lot.

While thinking about it, a local race organizer posted that they were approved for the Stone Mill 50 miler. This actually have been a race I wanted to do a long time before I even heard of the JFK… well I kind of lie there. But I know both JFK and Stone mill at about the same time.

JFK and Stone Mill is not even in the same category. They are both 50 miler but JFK is like 10 to 100 times more famous, but the Stone Mill is much smaller scale, which means less expensive. JFK current price is 300 squids. Stone Mill I am hoping for a third of that.

Where I got off? Ya, so I would like to do the Stone Mill Race.

I haven’t signed up either of them. Still waiting.

Now, weekend! I plan to do some trail run this weeking. I have a big plan.

I am getting in touch with another runner who is planning to run through Shenandoah. I volunteed to be his pacer. I hope to catch him around 50-60 miles, and we will do the rest together. It is still a planning stage, but I am so excited about it.

I still have a few things to say, but I am getting sleepy. They will be left for future posts.


Day360 music

The pastor’s message last Sunday got me into some reflections this week. I guess that usually is a good thing when a message resonates. I missed those days, when I would just sit at the back of the church with me half dozing off and let the message comes and would go out later in the night to run and see how it help me with my running. Corona time really affected my running somehow because I can’t really doze off in my own house while virtually worshipping. It just won’t work. I would go into deep sleep instead. So many of my runs were ruined. And usually online worship is too short by the time I woke up from my dozing or deep sleep and it was all over. I am thinking it is really the second doze that helps.

This time the message was not about running. Usually I don’t listen to music when I run. No ipod and I don’t want to waste battery on my phone since usually my run lasts a long long time, I need every once of battery on the phone for emergency and there is just no luxury for music.

The sermon if you have guessed was on music, specially on church music (worship music). The church I attended just came out their own hymnal (song book). I haven’t gone to church for a long time, and I thought who would still use hymnals. I thought songs normal are shown on the screen.

In this corona time, I am not touching any hymnal. Who know how many other hands have touched it. I didn’t realize though until the very end of the night the pastor said, if you want to take it home, you may for this week. They are new and they are yours for free and you don’t have to bring it back next week. They will have more. I didn’t take one since I don’t go to that church often. I only go there because I miss the morning worship and they have night worship. I can’t read music any way so it does not do me any good to take a song book home. If there is a digital copy though I would have downloaded one. But it is a freaking book. They made it slim though, which is good. I have seen song books over 500 pages. This is probably a third or a fifth of that.

The whole evening message was a history (modern history) on church worship music. I am not sure the period but probably from 80’s to the present, where “CCM” came on scene and churches ditched hymns and switched to CCM (Contemporary Christian Music – and now there is a new term CWM, Contemporary Worship Music, an offshoot). It was a defense why this church now sticks to singing hymns.

I grew up around CCM. I used to go a chinese church. We had a split congregation where the traditional side would sing hymns (traditional church music) and the younger folks like me would sing the more modern sounding songs (we younger folks have the youth worship/and it was all in English). I never was able to tell the difference or reason why we were doing so. I thought just we wanted to be cool. Music is music to me. I was part of the worship team for a time too and had my say in what songs to sing. I never picked hymns. We had all kind of trainings, music, theology, etc. However, never occured to me why we were singing the songs we sang and how they came to be. It was just songs the adults side did not sing. I guess they were ‘kid’ songs. We were the first generation to have our own worship and we hired the first youth pastor at our church. So very early on we already settled with singing the modern songs over hymns. Now looking back and thinking, “what have I done!”

At this church service last Sunday, I got exposed to the whole history. I wonder what the churches used to sing before the CCM movement? I was born right into it so did not see the shift. Apparently there were Christian artists that wanted to make “Christian” music that sounds similar to secular music. There was a market for it. I grew up listening to a Christian radio station in my area. I like those music a lot. The business people wanted to expand the market to the church too to gain a bigger market. The church people also wanted the cooler songs they heard over the radio.

At the same time, there were several churches that also produced their own music. Their music caught on around the world (e.g. Hillsong from Australia).

We came to a point now almost all the churches now are playing the contempory style of music in worship.

The main argument of the night was that hymns are poems put into music and contempory music are not. Poetry has much stricter forms and so their message are more deeper. The music is transcendent. Chorus is a modern invention. CCM has iffy theology and listeners are being brainwashed (my take, the pastor didn’t say this, but that what I felt it was hinted at) – He commented that we don’t recite the apostles’ creed five times over in his sermon, we shouldn’t sing a chorus 5 times in a song. Singing a hymn is effective in conveying some very complex truths – the example of “double cure” for double inputation of righteousness was used.

Well why this long post? I haven’t brought music for a long time at least 5-6 years. The sermon prompted me to buy some. What are people singing or listening nowaday? I usually buy compilation because I am just too lazy to make my own playlist. And I realized there was not a worship CD from the WOW Hits people since 2010. Ten years!

So I was researching for a CD to buy last night. Guess what? Justin Bieber Holy is the number 1 hit in Christian music. I was doing a double take there. I have heard of Kayne West but now Bieber too! I’m not judging, but I didn’t know he makes Christian songs. I can see so many people at my church is going say, we are not singing that.

I am going back to listening to classical music 🙂


Day359 random friday?

I will just leave a bunch of stuffs here. Never mind I usually do that any way.

I signed up for a marathon! Not going to say it for fear of jinxing it. But yes there is a real marathon! There will be social distancing and stuff. I signed a waiver saying I won’t sue if I got Covid19 from it. I am excited. Yet just like Rock N the Knob I have to stay quiet! There are spots left…People if you are reading this go sign up. It is a real race except I try not to be too hyped about it.

Did I finish the report for Rock N the Knob?

I had this plan you know – I need a lot of miles and now my workplace has moved closer to where I live, it only takes me 45 mins to get to work instead of 1:20 min, I am thinking of running to work.

I haven’t planned it out yet. This is likely what I want to do. Take the bus in, and then run home at the end of the day. I am looking at a 18-20 mile run. It is doable. I get home before midnight.

My training also is calling for a night run. Someone on a local cycling group posted a 70 mile route in my area. I kind of want to try it. I have done part of it over the summer when I went for a out-and-back 60 miles. This is a loop course, so I want to try it one Friday night. My workplace is nearest to the trail head, so I am thinking of driving to work and leave my car there then head for the trail at the end of the work day and run 70+ miles. I should be done by Sunday and either sleep in my car or attempt to drive home in the wee hours. One of the problems I could think of is will they let me leave my car at work over the weekend? It would be a bummer at the end of my 70 mile run and my car is no longer there and have to run another 20+ miles home.

Laurel Highland race is this weekend (Tonight actually) for those who are doing it. They will get to the bus stop by 3 in the morning. I already defered my entry. Still I wanted to attempt a 70.5 mile run this weekend. I know it won’t be as hard as the Laurel run since there won’t be any elevation here in the city. But this weekend is pretty booked. I got work being spilled over (end of the fiscal year). I really want to do the run though even if it is a local run.

Yes, I need to focus on my rocky raccoon training. Week 1 is over and I have done about 13 miles so far.

remind me – I need to get a training plan in place.

life running

Day358 Life

This might have been the longest pause from journaling since I went on vacation last year. Life has been busy but things are pretty much the same under the coronavirus time.

I am no longer working from home. We still have the option, but I chose to go in. I found it was better to go back into the office and I got my parking and office key. I started last week. The reason why I like to go into the office was it brought my life somewhat back to normal with a set schedule for work and a better work/home split. Still sometimes, work gets spilled into my home life. However, it is much better to have structure of a 9-5 for work day and then afterward, it is home life.

I and couple others are at the office (3 of us). I sit at one end and the other at the other end. The third came in like once a week and he sits somewhere in the middle (we are like a triangle). There is a bit elevated risk of catching the coronavirus by going in. But I think the risk is not that high compare to what I am already doing; it is all around us.

I went to church the first time the past weekend because my friend invited me. I asked what I have to do like do I have to preregister before going (some churches are doing that for contact tracing/better anticipation of the crowd), and I asked if a mask was required (I asked because I didn’t have one). I have been using disposable ones and they finally ran out. I ordered some (500) over Amazon in August for my Atlanta trip, however they never came. I got the money refunded back. I felt it was a scam so I have not brought any new masks since. Still happy to have my refund processed. Almost thought I won’t be seeing it again.

So for my friend’s sake I stopped by a CVS store and got a reusable cloth one and it was expensive! Anyway, I walked into the church, and voila, wearing mask was optional.

I respect the people there. They are moral and upright and respectable people. But they mix politics in wearing masks, which I see as a health issue and I was disappointed. I think a third of the people did not wear a mask. The pastor and his worship team did not wear masks. I get it, a mask might make it hard to speak clearly since many of us look at visual/facial cues in speeches – yet of the four member music team only one person was actual singing – the other three wearing a mask would not hinder them, but they chose not to. They did maintain social distancing on stage. Anyway, that is my rant. In the back of my head, I kept recalling the incident of a choir practice where many got infected with the corona.

I did not stay after worship but high tailed out the place. Many people gathered to socialize inside afterward. Nope, not for me. Yes, going to church is optional. If I don’t feel safe I don’t have to be there. I probably won’t step in a church until next year.

My take is how can people be so ignorant or stubborn over wearing masks? I feel people made it into a political issue rather than a health issue. I can’t wrap my head around them. 100% of those refused are Republicans. Church somehow draws so many republicans. The issue is beyond right/wrong. It has become a farce.

Back to what I am doing…I enjoy driving to work each day. I like the traffic. I am probably one of the few people who do. I felt that extra hour in the morning stuck behind traffic really help me solve some of the insolvable problems in my life…I am talking about times for day dreaming. You can’t daydream while sitting at home I found out.

What else? I signed up for the Rocky Raccoon for those who read my comments in the previous entry already knew.

I will be doing it – my first attempt at a 100 mile run. I ran twice unsuccessfully but this is a real race and not virtual, so there is more at stake.

I am no longer scared thinking about it. I will train and trust my training. I felt I have gotten stronger. I am not there yet. I am not as tough as last year…or as strong. I felt my performance has decreased a lot, yet it was not crippling like when I had the Lyme disease.

I felt I am sick or defective somehow and I have not able to put a finger on what is wrong with me. Yes it probable easier just go to the doctor and has them run a test. I am suffering a bout of lightheadedness /vertigo. I feel fine if I go running but when I am home or at work, my head is spinning. It is not severe but a hint of things floating. Yes I need a new pair of glasses too. Anyway, at one point I was suspecting Lyme disease again or it could be covid, but I have this thing for weeks now, might have been a month. I should see a doctor to have it checked out.

Readers you probable don’t like this. Since signing up for my race in Texas (yes corona land I call it), I have been rooting for Prez Trump to win a second term. Why? I hope he would not interfere with my race in Texas. Biden if he wins, he probable would not either, but I get a sense he might enact tougher measures on traveling and events that attract many people.

How can I be so selfish right? I do care about stopping the corona but I do want my race! Its my freedom even if I have to travel to Texas to do it. I know I just made the same argument that people at the church I attended made when they refused to wear a mask.

4 months. We will see.


Day350 Summer Review 20.9

I was about to write the same things as I did back on Day300, and something in me prompted myself to check the previous review. It was good thing I went back to reread it, so I won’t repeat myself again.

Guess what? I already repeated myself in yesterday post Day349, in which I listed all the virtual races I did and the long runs around my neighborhood. That was part of the things I wrote in my last review. It was not word for word, but I totally forgot I did it before and had done it so throroughly.

So what did I do in the last three months?

It has been a bit of ups and downs (e.g.). First of all not long after Day300, I finished the GVRAT (1000K). Then I slacked a bit (no actually a lot, for whole summer). Then I ran a bit because something special came up, and then slacked a bit again. This happened over and over until the summer was over. Slacking/down time was pretty much a constant theme.

Laurel#4 trip was kind of cool, and I forgot all about it. It opened my eyes, that all the running for GVRAT and in the spring I did, had not prepared me for Laurel (Laurel Highland Ultra). It was a good thing, the race got deferred/postponed (first to September, later on to next year). I was going to run 70.5 miles that day (June 18?), but only was able to pull 8 miles, (gate to 8) and back, and it was one of exhausting runs I did. I was dying on that run. The worse thing about that day was I rolled my ankle a few times (and it had not healed even when August came).

RYOR Camp Anderson weekend was like the Laurel weekend. I almost forgot all about it. RYOR is almost like BYOB (bring your own beer) but for running (Run your own race). It was a virtual event over July, we could go there to Camp Anderson to do the run any time during July, but almost everyone showed up on that last weekend, July 25?, and it was crazy for corona time. I had one of the best time this summer because of it. I had my second most challenging run of the summer too there. I threw up in the middle of it (I think from heat exhausion). The friendship formed from it was great! Very similar story as the Laurel weekend. A ton of fun.

The rest of the summer was spent on my two attempts at doing the GSER (Atlanta Virtual race) (one, two). Both times I thought I had a great chance to crack it, especially the second time around. There were tons of preparation went into them. And there were tons of entries with before and the aftermath. I must have written about 10 or more entries. They are all heavy reading, even I don’t want to reread them again and give you guys the highlights.

The post can be ended here, the rest of the entries, can be seen as life in under corona/covid19 time. Doing the GSER, I was able to travel to Atlanta. This was rare and scary. Both times, my impression was flying out from an empty airport and there was the surreal feeling, but then landed in a packed airport at the destination.

The first trip, was when we had some improvement in the fight with the corona and life was improving. People had been staying home for 3-4 months and were starting to come back out again (like me). On my first trip I was scared of catching the virus. When I came back, I put myself in a two-week of self quarantine. Then over the summer, cases of Covid19 resurged around the country. Georgia was one of those states with very high number infection (top 5). The governor refused to close back down the state but went ahead with many measures to encourage the full reopening (wearing masks were discouraged argueably; fighting for personal freedom). Some of my posts were about tracking the Georgia infection numbers. I can see a difference on my second trip there compare with my first, with places in full reopening. Not sure if I explored this in an entry.

I did not write much on BLM (Black Lives Matter, but it was a big news here in the US and spreaded around the world of the unequal treatment of Black people by law enforcement, due to continued revelations of blacks being shot and killed by police – seen by the public as wrongful deaths.

It is a whole slew of divisive issues (because some don’t see it as a big deal – as our president said so do white people are being shot and said more white people are being shot at by police than black so what the big deal (my word); and now it has shifted to social disorder – rioting and we need to have a strong militarized police for law and order, whereas there were those calling to defund/disband the police). There were marches and then rioting in many cities and people being killed – just chaos.

While in Atlanta I was nervous. Even here while running around my neighborhood, I was nervous when I saw marches. It reminded me of my time down in Chile how I saw good cities ruined by riots and protests.

Personally, what affected me more, was being lock-in the house. By now we have been in stage 3 of the reopening since July. Many restrictions were lifted and life returned almost to normal. We could go places now (like camping). Yet we are still in it. I haven’t met up with any of my hiking or running buddies. We don’t go out for a meal any more. Even seeing each other on Zoom (video chat) was exhausting. I spent many days watching Youtube videos and was growing fat (e.g. many such posts). Psychologically/mentally, I was affected some what. I had a bit of depression for being at home for so long. I stopped running too. Readers were asking why I don’t set goals like I did in the spring? I don’t have an answer. I bet many others are feeling the stress of the covid and our nation, especially now schools restarted.

A bit look ahead. I haven’t decided whether this is the last review of the series or there’ll be a Day 400 or Day 500. I felt the day numbering has gone high enough I want to have a bookend and call it a year and to start over! Why am I doing review in the first place? It is to help me reach toward my goals. When I am not sure what my goals are, it is a good time to restart again. When the day numbering has reached such a high number, it has kind of lost its meaning. A good question to ask, is how have I changed since Day1.

life running

Day343 Atlanta here I come

Ready or not here I come!

I am not ready, but I am going. About 7 weeks ago (July 1/2), I was in Atlanta to run the Great Southern Endurance Run (GSER). I was only able to do it halfway and vowed I will be back to finish it.

Here goes, this weekend I will be there to redo the run. However, I feel totally under-prepared.

I am not as frantic as the last trip there. I don’t know why. I am even less prepared than the last time. I reread my blog of my trip last time…and I said I will do better in term of preparation, like taking the week off before the trip…change my sleep time to adjust for overnight running, pack the stuff I need for the runs (last time was last minute packing and I forgot certain things like lipbalm, sunblock lotion), get a better map and turnsheet, laminate the turnsheet, and many other things.

I have done none of that. I am just showing up to wing it! I told my friend I probably give up at the 13th mile this time around.

Any way, I will be flying out soon in couple hours. My run will probably be tomorrow. I could start at any time (it is a virtual race), but once it is started, I have to stay to finish. I am picking for the best day to start…Thursday or Friday? I am also thinking for a day time start instead of a night time.

I want to lean toward a Friday start. I will check the weather tomorrow and then decide.

It is sad to see an empty airport here at Dulles International! Just like last time. I bet though Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International will be crowded.

Worries? I have a lot. Mainly it is the D*** poison ivy. I am much better. The blisters have stopped oozing. I am using a type of soap that basically said take 2 days to heal. I am on the 2nd day. They still itch but much less (90% less). The itch drove me crazy before the medication. But still, yesterday, a whole bunch of blisters/boils popped up on my other foot. I applied the medication. They have not started oozing yet. It might take two more days for this foot to heal. However, I will be in the middle of the run by then…so the blisters might get infected during the run. Right now they are about to pop, so I am very nervous to run with a bunch of those. It is very uncomfortable. I would take a picture, but it will gross you out! That is my worry.

I had a history of bad allergic reaction to poison ivy. This time the overcounter medication seems to be able to suppress it. However, I hope it won’t break out while I am in Atlanta…ya, the last couple times I had poison ivy, I had to go see my family doctor for antibiotic to stop it. I won’t able to do that while in Atlanta.

Coronavirus: Virginia number is half of that of Atlanta (Georgia). It has come down a bit but the number is like last time when I went to Atlanta (on July 1). Riskwise should be the same as last time.

How do I feel? Not stressed. I felt I have to do it, like an obligation. So I will face all kind of ‘adversities’ and get worked up, and interfere with many other people (coworkers) to have this trip done. The truth is its not. This is a pleasure trip.

On a happy note…for me at least, is when I get back I will start the next wild thing. We will run across the world! (virtually). I am really looking forward to that. For a week (3 weeks actually) I thought no one would want to run with me, but I found 9 random people yesterday (well not me, they found me) and we are doing it! We are running as a team, and we need 10 people because that was a requirement. They are from all over the places, some from Texas, Florida, England, etc. I couldn’t keep track of all their names.