Even busier

Day 76

Weekend was even busier but I didn’t do much over the weekend. It was a great weekend for various personal reasons, all related to God, family, and friends, so I won’t go into it. 

The long run didn’t happen – it was a self fulfilling prophesy. I should avoid that like plague. It didn’t snow at all over the weekend either. Instead we had a full sun! It was the best weather for running too. O well.

No run on Saturday. Week# 5 was 23 miles and week#6 was 24. 

Week#7 starts on Sunday, so I put in 4 miles in the morning and 6 miles at night. I was so happy this week that I squeezed in the runs before church and after church. I ran in a new place: W&OD trail. My friend offered to be my Aid Station with hot chocolate and truffles! Woot! I had all the truffles to myself. This was like my second or third time having truffles. They were good. 

I wasn’t able to squeeze in my long run on either Saturday or Sunday. I was feeling guilty enough on Monday and finally put in five hours for my long run. I did about 20+ miles. I didn’t wear my Garmin so don’t know the exact mileage. The total actual run time was probably around 4 hours.

 I am proud of it. I think now long run should be easier for the next 5-6 weeks. 

I broke today long run into three sessions. The first was 10~11 miles, the second was 6 miles, and the final was 4 miles. The first break was because I was in the middle of doing laundry and had to stopped to put clothes in the dryer. I hate cooling down and going back out in the cold. The second break (before the last last session) was a bit longer, I think I stopped for 30 minutes. I fixed dinner (jelly sandwich) and mixed my Gatorade powder drink.  I had to put clothes in the dryer again. I also had to find various clothing to put on because it got colder.

I was so cold when I went out again, the third time. I added a head cover buff, and an extra shirt (a long sleeves and two T-shirts). I wore two layers pants (a long sweat, and a short). It was a bit hot with being a little overdressed.  I put on a pair of gloves. By now sun had set and the road was quiet.

One of the thoughts during the long run was I must have to have stronger resolve to run. I have been much distracted last the last two months…due to women. Yes, women can be quite a distraction. The long run had the effect of calming my mind. Everything seems inconsequential. It is really choose to block off everything else and run.

 So this is week#7, with only two days in I already run 30 miles! It is the most I ever did in last 7 weeks! I hope to add 6-8 more miles by end of the week. Finally broke through 30 miles. Thank you again for those who prayed for me. It takes almighty power to get me out onto the pavement. Cheeky. Yes my friends prayed for me, because running is important to me.

Other news

Valentine race. Run your heart out. I was strolling really.

2) Actually I am 170 lbs now. Getting fat. I blamed all the truffles and hot coco. /joke

3) on other news, we were asked what was the gospel in our Sunday school class. I cried when no one was able to answer. Then my friend did. Don’t remember what she said, but she is so smart.

Thank you God for last week being over and another week to come.

5k report

Day 74

I ran the “Run your heart out 5k”.  I was so close to running my heart out. It was 27 seconds away from my personal best. I finished at 24:27 and my best was 24:01 on the same course set on Feb 2017.

I didn’t really get completely out of breath. I was running at 90% about 2/3 of the time. My last mile was kind of in a holding pace.

I didn’t wear my Garmin so I don’t know the exact pace. But based on my feeling, I was pushing hard from zero to the first mile. From the 1st to the second mile I was kind of peaked and had to throttle back a bit. I was still passing people. After the second mile I didn’t pass that many and mostly was just hanging on my pace. A female runner passed me. I wasn’t able to pass her back.

I didn’t stop for water break. I think my muscle was reaching their peak output. I felt my legs were heavy around 2-2.5 miles. Also I was nearly out of breath. I felt I could have pushed a bit more and sustain at a higher pace, but I didn’t push that limit.

Overall I am pleased. I haven’t been this fast since fall of 2017. This makes me happy. I know. I want to surpass my record. I was running at 7:51 min/mile pace and I really want to run faster at 7:00 min/mile pace or lower.

To BQ, I have to do 7:00 pace for 26 miles.

Middle of the night

Day 73 Halfmoon Mnt

Run: It got cold since last night. I was going to run to get to 30 miles but having been out the whole day, I just couldn’t bring myself to get back out there in the cold.  More on this why I was out.  Instead of running, I had a cross-train day.

My friend and I hit the trail over the weekend to test out our camping gear. She got a new pack and I got various new stuff.

I found out why I was having blisters on my heels on the last two hikes. It dawned on me not because my socks but my boots were given me blisters.  My boots were worn.  The fabric was torn where my back of my heel is. The hole rubbed against my foot. I was thinking of using duct tape to tape it up. But I got a new pair!

 The mileage was to be low at 10 miles range. There is an overlooked up on the mountain.  

Another thing I got was a warmer sleeping bag. This would be my first /second winter camping trip. Last time I went, I didn’t know how cold it can get outdoor. I had supposingly a 32 degree bag but in reality it could do was around 40-50. I didn’t freeze to death but it was sure a cold night, in which later I learned was around 20-25 degree.

This time I have a 15 F bag. We were expecting 20 degree temp. The bag passed with flying colors. I was not a bit cold except for my face. Unfortunately I didn’t stay the whole night due to some unusual circumstance.

Around 1 AM my friend called me from outside. “Antin are you awake? Did you hear that?” 

“Yes,” I mumbled. “What’s that?” A loud noise woke me up. I am a deep sleeper. I knew it was gun fire but I assumed must be some crazy hunter doing their hunting at night and was about to go back to sleep. 

But she didn’t sound too good. Never have I encountered her being afraid of anything. She said something about what she thought was someone trying  to shoot at her while she was peeing (or shooting near us) that she saw a car down the road driving away. We were in a secluded area and there shouldn’t be any other but us. So what she said was all spooky.

We went backpacking enough and ran into bears or what have you, those things that freak me out but this time she was really scare. I felt she was right outside my tent.

I told her let me see if I am dreaming. I know she was about to kill me. I slowly  opened up my tent and looked out. She was fine and at her tent. The moon had gone down. Nope this was real she confirmed. By then, it was like already 10-15 minutes after the fact.

She asked if we should go home. I said let me get dress first. Unfortunately I was stuck in my sleeping back haft in and half out, while trying open my tent flap. The cold air rushed in. My stupid bag was stuck. It opens on the right ride and I am left handed so I was unable to unzip it. 

If there was someone trying to shoot at us, we would have been kill as I tried to get out the bag and find my clothing. I knew we had to leave.

My friend asked if I was still trying to get dress. yes. Where now are my pants. 

She asked, were I sleeping naked. No. I am getting there. If I didn’t get kill by bad people, I going be killed by her.

Finally after an eternity even to me, I crawled out my tent. My friend wouldn’t let me stand up. 

We talked it over. She was right of course. We didn’t believe it was hunting at all since it was in the middle of winter and at this ungodly hour and we were on the trail (where normally no shooting is allowed). It wasn’t just one shot but about 5-6 shots.

 How could we continue sleep through the night  to the morning? What if the person come back. For safety, we decided there and then to head back home. 

We packed as quickly as we could. We kept low to the ground and kept our light off. 

We hasn’t hiked in the woods yet so our car was next to where we set tents. We tossed everything in the car without much organization. 

 If you asked why we didn’t seek a park ranger or police, it is because we don’t even know where the ranger station was located. We were on a national park, but I think the ranger station is about 10-15 miles away.

We didn’t encounter any more problem as we descended from the mountain and we got home by 3 AM. I went back to sleep till the morning. 

My friend asked if I would be up for another hike near us the next day. Since the night event, we really didn’t want to be defeated and be kept from the woods. We headed to a different local trail and did six miles. So by the time I got home again it was around 4 pm, I didn’t feel like running.  It took me about an hour to get warm after getting indoor. By then, I wanted to eat something.

What a weekend!


PS. To my international readers, America has very few restrictions on owning a firearm. This might alarm you. I apologize I have no good argument except that this is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. We are zealous about this particular right (too bad, we were not up in arm about some other rights like internet privacy).


Day 72 – Seattle Trip Plan (July 2019)

I just booked my plane ticket to Seattle for the Jack and Jill Marathon. This is for July. I know it is still awhile away but usually price will go up,  so might as well book it now.

Finally get it off my back because I have been looking at it for who know when. It was at least two years in the making. It put my mind at ease to have it out of the way.

 The itinerary for the trip still needs to be iron out as well as various things once I determined what I want to do in Seattle besides running. It will be mostly a fly in fly out weekend thing since I don’t want to take too much time off work. 

I will leave Thursday night and come back on Tuesday morning.  So I basically have the Friday and Monday free. The race is on Saturday and Sunday is church day. I might explore the city at night either Saturday or Sunday. Friday morning, I probably want to check out the race course. I read the description and know what to expect, but nothing beat walking on the course itself. I’m not a big shot and I don’t expect to BQ this time. Still, I want to act like one and will throughly familiarize myself with the course.

Monday though is undecided. I might do a one or two night camping. The alternative is to drive up to Vancouver and explore a bit there. This will be my first time to Seattle or Vancouver. But city sight-seeing is not my cup of tea. I prefer being up on the mountain and Seattle has plenty of them.

Seattle will be only one race this year that is far far away.  All other ones are local — couple of them are on the other end of the state and I will need to drive 6-7 hours to get there, still if it is in the same state it is local.

I am itching to sign up a 50k for the last weekend of April. Common sense tells me not to do it and to wait till next year, but my inner voice is telling me do it now because there is no reason why I couldn’t run it now. 

It is easy to book a race than to train for one. I love the booking part. I wish though I don’t have to book it and just show up on the morning of and run, but that only would work if the race is small. Still booking part is easy.

I did a 5 M run today. Legs are kind of feeling it (tired). 

Running Stats: 

  • week 1, ran 7 miles
  • Week2, ran 7 miles
  • Week3, ran 24 miles
  • Week4, ran 23 miles
  • This week, so far ran about 24 miles, hoping to add a few more by end of the week

As you can see, I have been goofing off last month, putting in about 60 miles. There goes my dream to run 2019 miles this year. 

Hopefully by the end of Spring, I can put up 50+ miles per week. I don’t know, they say don’t suddenly increase my mileage. The goal for me this week is to have 30 miles. Then increase about 5 miles more per week.


Here and there

Run About – Day 71

I did a run here and there. I know if this keep up I will be in trouble, at least for the first marathon coming April. I am doing about six this year (goal of doing six in six months), doubling the number of last fall. It is not too late to save it. I think if I focus to train the next 8 weeks I can do it.

This weekend I had my first 10k race for this year. I was running near my best time finished at 49:46, about 30 seconds slower than my record. I ran at a good pace, my muscle was fine and my breathing was fine too — at no point was I out of breath. I did stop for water break and that costed me the 30 seconds for a PR. I was not running for a PR though. I didn’t run my heart out. I was running for the love of it. I will run my heart out next week.

Yes it was the coldest race I ever did. I don’t remember even how cold it was. I think by the time I finished it was 22F (-5C?). But I think I run faster when it is cold. I was surprised too the water at the water station didn’t freeze over…but my water bottle was frozen …haha, but that because I left it overnight in the car.

The polar vortex thing finally left us this weekend (after my race).  People were out in T-shirt. I think it went all the way up to 60F (15C?). I did my ‘long’ run in my long sleeves and a pair of shorts. At the end though I felt cold but that was because I did it in the evening. It didn’t finish my long run due to time, trying to finish my run before the Super Bowl start time. (American Football championship game). I missed just the first few minutes.

If you asked me where I was running today, I would say I was runabout on some random hills. No joke, I have pictures to prove.

(Runabout Ln)

(Random Hills Rd)


Day 70

I have been staying indoor for most part because the cold just stings. You could layer up and cover yourself but cold is cold. There are people running still. Not me. At least for most part.  Probably just an excuse for me though. I know I can run in the cold.

I stepped out a couple times but headed back inside. 

I did a 3 mile run last night with my club leader. The rest just bailed and I wouldn’t blame them. But we did it. I wore my usual get up a tee underneath a long sleeves. But my ears and extermities were cold. I later put on ear muffs and gloves to avoid possible frostbite. People die in this cold. I afraid I might die too on the way so I packed a jacket and fleece in my backpack and for good measure tossed in the ice spikes. I ran with my bookbag. I didn’t have to use them. That was that. I knew I had to do the run and wanted the extra weight. An army dude told me he would lent me his weight jacket if I ever need them. My bookbag is the poorman version of that.

My thoughts through out the evening were why am I doing this. Not that I was doubting myself or was I wavering in my commitment. I know the reason deep in my bones.

It is a secret. I didn’t want my marathon debut to be a one off event. Luckily over the last two years I did six already. 

People know that I am always training. Each race leads to an even bigger race. I wrote before my goal eventually will take me to run a marathon in all fifty states. 

 I also set sight now on doing an ultra, at least try a 100 miler ultra. However, these are all secondary goals. Really. I am for real.

The number one reason I am still training is because I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I want to do it with the woman of my dream. We, well I at least wanted to do it by 2020. Looking at it now it is impossible but it was a good dream. Well I can still try to qualify it this year :).  I thought three years were plenty of time to train up for Boston. Little did I know the three years, I haven’t bulged at all in my time. I am still slow as ever.

My love for doing marathons usually brought up in conversations. They teased me that I must be having an affair or which woman has totally taking over my life because running is taking over my life. It is my life.

 They are closer to the truth.  I ran to impress a woman.  They would laugh. They said you don’t want those kind of ladies (for the reason the fast runners are too skinny). It is just like if I say to them I brought a F150 pickup truck to pick up ladies. They told me you don’t want those kind of women (I sold my truck now). They said, I should go live in Texas to pick up cowgirls.

I do run for a feeling. I remember my first race with my girlfriend. It was surreal. No one ever able to keep up with me but this lady not only could keep up with me, she out ran me. Later I found out she competed in her school or university and she was fast. Running though wasn’t her event. When I run, it always brought me back to that first run! Same as hiking. I hike for that feeling of other worldliness and surreal out of body experience. I might be exaggerated a bit, but that feeling is why I run and why I can run/hike forever after I go into a trance.

Oh, how this related to cold? Cold just brings me into that state faster!!! The death state 🙂


Day 69

I had a long weekend doing two things of my heart’s desire. Running and hiking. At the end of it, I still couldn’t believe it. It was like yeah, I have done this all my life. It was fun, I was told at the end of it all. That caught me by surprise. Fun. I didn’t even think the first word would be fun. Yes the weekend from beginning to the end was fun.

I wish we had done a 30 miles hike instead of 19. That would have been truly a ‘long’ suffering but that would have been fun for me. 19 miles was still fun. I could limp out the wood with blisters yet still can run the next day. A thirty mile hike would probably sideline me for couple days.

I have been injured many times due to running and so far each time I was amazed how fast my body recovered. Maybe I haven’t been too seriously injured where I have to be out for an extended time. Most of the times, it was just a recovery after a major race. I would stop running couple days and I would be ok again. The last time I kind of seriously injured myself was on New Year Eve when I tripped and fell. I was bed-rested (kind of for an evening). The next day though, I went back outside and ran. Was very happy about it.

I read in forum where people asked whether to run after such and such injury. There is the official answer of seeking your doctor and there is the runner’s answer – you run base on your pain threshold (listen to your body). How much pain can you tolerate? I know it is crazy. We all know it is crazy, but it is true.  We all have to make our own call whether we should stay put or we should run.

Today I got to experience what it means about pain threshold. I haven’t reached mine yet. Hopefully won’t be in awhile. I know I wasn’t seriously injured. It was just skin scrap because of blisters on each of my heel from yesterday hiking (I blamed the socks). Normally I don’t run when I hurt.

I ran today with blisters – they were already popped. Each step was painful. I was wondering how long I could stand it.  Luckily it wasn’t too bad.  The pain was there but I was on runner high today. Toward the end I didn’t feel too much. I had a very good time. This is rare. I kind of put the pain away, and just focus on my run. Not sure how I did it but I did. It was a joy to be out there. I have a bloody sock for keepsake. Eew. I know, but it is like a badge. I have unlocked a new level of me.

Was that fun? You betcha. Wanna do again?? Maybe in a long while.

P.S. *Fun – it was referred by my friend to Sunday worship and probably the lunch after as being fulfilling and worthwhile, but I got the same head scratching idea of worship being fun to with hiking/running in pain being fun because I don’t know how to describe worship as being fun.