week 9

Day 279

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.

past few days

Day 279

I got over my little depression (post marathon blue) the other day. I don’t know what might cause it or helped it go away. Thursday, though was not feeling great, I went out and did 5 miles. I found out I was not totally recovered from my last week marathon. Muscles were still sored. The run was great because we had couple younger guys showed up and they ran fast, at least faster than me. There was a lady too. She was also quite fast. It had been a long time since I found someone who could keep up and out run me. I had a good time to go an all out sprint at the end.

Friday, emotionally I was much better than Wednesday or Thursday. The blue totally went away. I went for a supposingly 20 miles long run but ended up doing 13. The funny thing was about couple miles into the run, I met a guy (Jack) who used to come to our Tuesday and Thursday run. So we greeted each other and continued on. He is a bit faster than me. We were apparently going down the same way on Rock Creek Park, in DC. This trail is long. We continued down same way and he was leading and I was just pacing from behind. I told him no need to wait for me because I will be running slow (to put in the mileage for the long run). After couple more miles we went our separate way. I continued down toward Lincoln Memorial, while he took a right (he said to East Potomac). Long story short, he was out of my mind as I continue to put in the next six/seven miles. I missed having him for company. Well in hour later, he sent me a text with the image of map of his run. He did 21 km (I thought was miles), and I said I only did 13.1 (miles). We then realized both of us have done a half marathon. I did not expect him to run this much.

If I knew he was going to run 13 miles, I would have joined him. However, it seemed he is not a social runner (run and chat with someone).

This post is long enough. Today, Saturday I was supposed to run another marathon, but I didn’t run it. I think I could have, but I am really over with running marathons. I went up on a mountain (called the Peak) instead and hiked 18 miles with a friend. I will write in a separate post some days.

Looking ahead

Day 278

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.

race, recovery, repeat

Day 177

I felt the weariness on the second day after my marathon as I was riding to work. I did not feel that bad on Monday but on Tuesday I did not feel well at all and wanted to faint while riding the train into work. I was low in energy. I closed my eyes and couldn’t focus. Luckily, I got a window seat and was leaning against the window.

The rest of the day I got better. I took some vitamins and fish oil. I still couldn’t eat much and did not finish my lunch and skipped my dinner.

By evening, I recovered and went for the group run. It felt great. I started out slow but later on after warming up a bit, I could run full speed. I love running fast. I got a bit tired after halfway. I walked the last quarter mile when I found a companion who was walking.

I could still run some more after getting back to the starting line but decided to join the rest of the gang for the happy hour. I didn’t eat there though.

My next race is supposed to be this coming Saturday but I submitted a deferral till next next year (put it in right before my evening run). I might still go out to run, since the course will be on public park (the same C&O Canal Towpath I just did last weekend).

week 8

Day 176

My best friend is back from her trip and we had a little of catching up of what happened for the last two weeks. I couldn’t remember at all what happened except I said I have been running a lot. At least that what I thought until I reviewed my blog and noted that I have been under-trained the last few weeks. She kept asking what happened to me, like sonething major had happened because she said I don’t look too well, I just couldn’t think of anything. It might have been I just finished two back-to-back marathons and was really deficient in calories (hungry but couldn’t eat – lack of appetite).

I told her that running a marathon is not that big a deal any more. I guess that is major. Maybe more on this later.

One thought came to mind while I was on the trail yesterday doing my run was, the scenery changes every couple steps I took. I found that was really cool. I know it before. It is not something to be surprised about, but still as I ran, I was anticipating the next view, the next turn or bend. I was totally enjoying it.

Running a marathon or anything takes patience. I try not to think how much more it will be to the end during my run. I set much shorter goal, like trying to make it to the next aid station.

I did not run that often last week. I did one run during the week – a short 4 miles, but I did a lot of miles over the weekend.

Total miles ran for week 8: 65 miles

oh, my left foot was fine by the weekend. It did not give me any trouble during any of the races.

C&O Canal Towpath Marathon

Day 175 Race Report

If yesterday was a fluke, today was not. I again started the race late. All I got to blame is myself. I got to race of what I thought was an hour early and took my time eating my breakfast. I had a lot of fried rice. Somehow, as other people gathered up, I was staying confidently at my car. I saw other cars were still pulling in and thought I had plenty of time. Somehow, I took today starting time to be the same as yesterday. However, in fact the marathon started half an hour before the half.

By the time I walked up to the starting line, only the half marathon runners were still there. I don’t know why I did not check the race website for the start time beforehand. I made another rookie mistake.

The race director kindly informed me the race has started and I should start running. He told me the course and which direction to go.

Luckily, being half an hour behind was not as bad as yesterday of being an hour and half behind. I tried to catch up to the runners. I know they were about three miles out. The course was out and back four times and so I saw them usually running in the opposite direction but I never caught up to them. The closest I got was within two miles.

I was not able to catch up to any runners but I did catch up to those who walked. Officially I finished at 6 hours but unofficially my garmin time was 5:34 about the same as yesterday.

The weather was hot. I did not lube up myself today because I woke up late but surprisingly I did not get chaffed. Halfway through I felt a bister was developing on my left foot but I readjusted how I planted my foot and in the end no bister. I did not know you could do that.

If you think how could someone can run two marathons within two days, the answer is simple, you run very slowly. I tried to run fast but I was unable to do it. My time was 45 minutes slower than usual.

Was it hard for me? A marathon is a marathon. It seemed when I was running, the course seemed unending. Eventually, it did end. It was hard in that sense. However it was not extremely hard. I am at a point now in my training, where doing 20+ miles for a long run and the next day going out and do it again is typically what the plan calls for. I am supposed to be doing that much miles during the weekend.

I ended up using the races for my long runs.

double marathon coming up

Day 174

I just finished a marathon today. I will do another tomorrow. I will write more on this in another post of how people do or more marathons without rest. Back-to-back marathon is not too hard a thing to do. I found a secret.

I did Altis Cross County Marathon. It is a small ultra like race. There were 80 ish people running the full and about the same number running the half. Unlike other big names, this one was really low key but it has everything about a good race. I like the food and candies they offered. It had some trails to run on. The ground had everything: we had sand, asphalt, concrete, and dirt and might have some gravels. Luckily no water crossings.

Any way, this race was one I learned an important lesson about life. Not everyone running in a race have the same purpose.

I got to the race about an hour before the start time. I got out of the truck and saw a group 15-20 people was doing some warm up or at least I presumed they were warming up. They were heading out around the lake and I thought I would just follow them. Who would have known they were the advance starting group (first wave). The race director didn’t mention anything about this. I am not blaming the RD. Usually for small race RD is very flexible to different runner’s need.

However, I was blindly follow them to the point of missing the start. I did not time myself but when I came to my sense that these people were not going around the lake but instead was going farther out than I was comfortable. I could have turned around. I could have asked them where they were going, but a guy was being rude to me. He said he couldn’t help me and that the starting line was the other direction. We were like an hour out and probably have gone 3-4 miles already. I started being anxious. I guess my vibed was infecting the whole group I was with. More on this later.

I saw the race has now started. The real runners were catching up.

The race had two laps of out and back. I continued to walk with them. I would not want to splint back to the starting line. Actually, I was still curious where they were heading and was tailing them. Part of me did not want to believe that they were runners and I had goofed. At the turn around point, one of the guys told me to stop tailing them because I was making them nervous. The guy was mean and I sensed if I kept on, he might do physical/bodily harm to me.

This has never happened to me in a race and if it was really a race I wouldn’t tail them either.

Any way, I was quite disturbed. I calmed myself down, got away from them, by following them from far away. By this time other runners caught up and the trail was full of people. I fet a bit safer. I walked back to the starting line with them.

After passing ‘go’, I started running and started my garmin watch. I figured the race gave a generous time of seven hours and with about 5 and half hours remaining, I could still finish if I started then. If anything I just used it as a long run. I glad I was not disqualified from the race. The race was not bib timed, so it didn’t matter when I start (The RD was really generous). Actually he didn’t know I started that late. We all used the race clock. I started about an hour and half late but that was ok. Official time, I finished at 7:10, and my garmin time was 5:30. I ran 28 miles based on garmin measurement. If I added in the extra 9 miles walk before my start, that means I did a total of 37 miles. I was going to add two more miles but figured I didn’t want the race timing person to wait another half hour for me. I already finished after 7 hours (the supposed total time allowed for the race). I accidenally did an ultra and got an official finishing time (for the marathon). For that I was glad.

Any way, I was angry at myself for making such a rookie mistake. I did not check where I was going and followed the wrong crowd. I did not keep track of the ‘warm up’ time. However, in the end, it was no harm no foul. I could have been DQ for late start or failed to finish within the allowed time.

I was angry/frustrated also because I always thought myself a nice guy but there were people telling me to go away during the race. They said I made them nervous – how was it my fault? I should not let a random stranger bothered me. I always thought everyone in the runner community are welcoming. I shouldn’t let one person ruin the whole. I was bothered at the time because it was totally not within my expectation.

There were others who encouraged me during the race, such as saying keep it up, good job, you can do it, keep going. Or they simply smiled at me. Not everyone are mean. However, I was quite shaken. This was one of emotional races and left a salty taste.