Day397 Top 10

I am a bit vain this year to do a top 10 of 2020 of my runs.

2020 compares to 2019, let’s see. 2019 had tons of going on. I ran my first 50 miler plus going to Chile afterward for Patagonia and did many other stuffs. Thought can’t top that, can I?

But 2020 was not a dud. Still I am kind of scratching my head trying to think of what did I do in 2020. What happened there. So here go boys and girls, the top 10 of 2020 Antin’s running report.

10. I had Carlsbad Marathon (plus attending a wedding). Yes what was I thinking? It was a 007 operation

9. Seneca Greenway 50K. This was pretty dope. We were on the edge of having that canceled due to Corona. We got through by the skin of our teeth. We ran it before masking was required. Yike!

8. GVRAT. The rat race. Awesome in its own way. I ran 1000 miles. Never done anything like this. I ran across Tennessee virtually.

7. GSER. I went to Atlanta-Georgia twice during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic to do this virtual run and both times DNF-ed (failed to finish). We could label it as GSER1 and GSER2. Unbelieverably hard and risky. There were BLM protests and all (I saw more police than protesters though). It was one of the epicenters of what 2020 is about (as you know still ongoing with the elections). I had the boots on the ground! I can say I was part of history. Hey, we take that — both the good and the bad.

6. CRAW. A virtual race across the world and is still ongoing. We ran over 5,000 miles. The fun never stops. 31,000 miles is the end, so 26,000 miles to go. We will definitely be crawling. Are we an airplane though?

5. Camp Anderson. Another virtual event but WTF, everyone showed up in-person and we cumbaya at the camp… true, glad it was just 10-15 of us and not 150-200. It was still a WTH moment. I had a good 6-hr endurance run. Never was a run so hard. Great people though

4. Gettysburg Marathon. Thought all in-person races were canceled? I was able to “sneak” across the state line to do this one early morning (I didn’t tell my family). At the time they were not strict about needing a rapid corona test. Love this race though

3. Rock N the Knob. RTK. half marathon. Awesome trail race. Nuff said. Hardest of hard freaking race…”I need a sherpa”…who came up with a trail and a trail name like this? I will go back for a second. Yup, already registered it for 2021

2. Stone Mill 50. SM50 stressed me out like no other race. We started in the dark and finished in the dark. Way finding wasn’t hard, but I was worried the whole time of getting lost since “those” trails were not on any maps and the RD kind of handwaved that they were there. We did it that I got to say

1. Devil Dog the Lite version. 50K. Hmm. It was the last race I did. In December. Pog! Just a 50k but it has a “heritage” and I felt like I ran the 100. This means I need to do the real 100 miler version some day to earn it – a true devil dog

(Meta: I’m too lazy to post the links to the journal post of the runs I did …maybe some day I will go back to add them. By the way, just go to my run history page, it has the same thing)


Day395 first day of the year

Like last year and the year before, January is a time to sign up races and reorganize my race schedule.

I woke up this morning, finding out couples races have special holiday sales. Grindstone only opens for one or two days before closing the registration until April. I didn’t sign up for Grindstone. I almost did, but did not do it in the end. Grindstone is still out of my league, I think.

I then looked for an easier race. Yeti had today for lottery entry drawing. I was very much tempted to enter. Then later I did not because I was looking for more challenging run.Yeti might be a little too easy.

Rim to River 100 then popped into my Facebook feed. This one seems quite good. I signed up. I don’t know much about the race yet, but couple people I know had done it.

I signed up too for Rock N The Knob. My schedule is cleared that weekend.

The race Highball to Thurmont got shelved. Kind of wanting to do this one. But 2021 is ita inaugural year. I do not want to be jinxed, with Covid and all.

I also shelved Black Beard Revenge 100 at OBX. It sounds very interesting on paper, but the race is close to my other races and it was best to cut it.

Then there were other races already in place.

Marine Corps 50K has me worried. It is too closed to my big run (Rim to River).

CAT50k – I am interested in this race but it has not opened yet for registration.

Blue ridge double marathon would have to wait. I don’t think I have the strength to do it.

What all these races about? By penciling in the important race dates, it helps me to plan for all other things, like vacation and smaller races. Here my current race calendar.

I am always mulling over races to run. So I am very happy when it becomes a reality. Signing up a race is a step forward the goal.


Day394 oho the 3rd 50k

A few weeks ago I mentioned about running the 50K fatass on Bull Run Trail with the Virginia Happy Trail people, or do a 50K on Waterfall Mountain (also their trail), or join a guy running on the W&OD trail (Day391). In the end, I didn’t do any of those that weekend (Day392). But then in the following weeks, I was able to do all three of them. I wrote about hiking on the Bull Run a couple entries back and then visited the Waterfall Mountain last weekend (last entry Day393). They all have been a blast. This 3rd run, on the W&OD was of the best of them all.

It started, unexpectedly couple days ago, I had one of the most spectacular runs (on W&OD).

Our team has been doing the circumpolar run (CRAW) around the globe as a virtual run, that is, we ran it at a place of our choosing, and pretend we are running around the world. This ‘race’ is divided into 12 regions. We were about to finish the second region.

I was not sure whether we could complete it on Monday because the miles left over were a lot for our group (twice of our daily run total). We had about 80 miles left when I went to bed the night before. By morning we got it down a bit (we have people on our team that are on the other side of the world). Then as the day progressed it was down to 60 miles and then to 50 miles. In my mind, if the group could get it down to around 20-ish miles then I and a lady could finish out the region, because she and I could do some big mile before the day is over. But through out the day, miles barely bulged much.

By noon time, I went out and did a 5K. I told my group I would run some more miles after work – gave them a number about 10-ish but I told them we should try to close the region if possible. Some put in a bit more miles. By 5PM, the last person posted to the group that there was only 32 miles left. Everyone said, they finished their posting. A few of them though did not reply (a way to drive me crazy), but I assumed they would not run any more miles since based on past history that was mostly the case. Our group is pretty low key. We rank 131 out of about 200 groups (there are another 100 groups bottom of the pile but they are really not real contenders because they usually have only have one or two people running on their team). Our group is not too shabby compare to them, but we are not really seriously able to run for a prize (there is ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ ranking price). Our team is not even a silver contender. That is true, we all agreed that this CRAW event should not become a pressure. So far, I am well-pleased with how we are doing. We are not fast and we are not dysfunctionly slow (most of the bottom 100 teams are dysfunctional – like one person on a team doing thousand of miles while the rest of the teammates are doing like 10-20 miles). Our team is mostly balanced.

However, as I looked at the remaining miles to close the region, I said we could finish it. I know we have a strong runner on our team (S), and she said she planned to run after work too, however, she is in the West Coast, so as I was leaving work, she was still working and and she did not confirm yet, and so I was not certain how many miles she would be doing or if any at all.

She had been running 10 miles the last couple days, and I did not want to over burden her to run another 10 miles today. She is a newbie ultra runner, who just said to have stepped into the ultra world of running her first 50K a few weeks back.

I asked her if she planned to do 5 miles or 10 miles. If she would do 5 miles, I would have to run 26-ish miles (marathon).

In my mind, it was game on. I was ready to run a marathon or more. I love the challenge. I told myself even if it is a 50k, I can do it.

We had warm weather. It had been cold on x-mas and the weekend that followed, but on Monday, it rised 20 degrees to around 50s. As I left work, it was still around 50 but I knew it would drop back down to low 30s when I finished by midnight. Brrr.

I was ready. I packed my hydration bag with a long pants but I had shorts on, planning to put the pants on later in the evening. I put on a double layer top, a t-shirt underneath and a long sleeves over it. I tied around my waist another long sleeves, for just in case. I hate running in the cold. Put on a glove (just the left one because I lost the right one over the weekend at the Waterfall Mountain.) I carried a hand torch and a giant head lamp on my head. I put couple packs of gels in my hydration pocket and an extra bottle of water in my vest’s other pocket.

By the time I left my work building, it was near 5:30pm. I had until midnight to count as a finish for that day. This was about 6 and half hours. I know I ran 50k in 6 hours before but tonight I had to do 32 miles (which was a mile more).

The extra half hour allowance was not that much extra time. Because, I was not in race day condition…first, it was the time of day. In a normal race, we would start in the morning. Now it was at the end of the day. The body is not as strong or fresh at night than in the early morning. Also in a race, there are rest stops and aid stations. This time, it was self-supported (I had to carry everything on me like water, extra clothes, flashlight(s)). This would slow me down. Also an important factor is race day crowd support/race director/timing device and finish line, which would have given me the extra drive. Lastly, the course. At an official race, the course is usually controlled, but this run was not. I would have to stop for all traffic lights and at street crossings, which would eat into my time. (A 10 min pace could easily become a 12 min pace by waiting for 2 mins at a crossing.)

However, I was prepped and hyped. Let run this 32 miles in 6 and half hours. So I stepped out. I had a course in mind. The W&OD (Washington-Old Dominion) Trail is within walking distance (maybe a mile) from my workplace. Recently I learned someone ran a 100 mile on that trail doing a out and back from Arlington to Purcellville, so 32 miles on it is doable.

At first, I did not know which way to go, then I decided to run toward Arlington instead of Purcellville, since I could get better support (gas stations/restaurants) going into town than away from town. Also I am more familiar heading into town (Arlington/DC) than going the other way. I believe too it would be warmer by a few degrees. The suburb tends to be cooler.

The sun had already set. I could feel the temperature dropped. As I started running, I warmed up a bit but I decided to keep my second layer on, knowing it would continue to drop through the night. Let it be a bit warm now than cold later. I figured I would be the frog in the pot, and I might not notice the gradual change in the temperature. Fingers-crossed.

I decided to check in with my group every 10 miles and to keep them posted. First 10 miles I was strong. I got to Arlington where W&OD trailhead is. My group posted a few more miles by then. There are ‘only’ 18 miles left they said. The time was 7:15 then. I took a 15 minute break. Not intended, but by the time I started again it was 7:30. The night is still early and, it gave me a big boost that finishing the Region is within reached.

I had not heard back from S. I know she would not fail me, but then I would not want to put 10 miles on her. I could run 18 more miles, but I also wanted to be back at my car and not be out for that long. I did not expect the rest of my group (other than S) to run any more based on the past four months we were together (we only put like 30-40 miles per day). I felt we squeezed enough out of them already.

So I continued on toward DC using the 4-mile run trail, which was a ‘continued’ of the W&OD at a light around the corner. I felt I should give S some buffer and in case she couldn’t run, I could go back out to run. The fewer miles I have to do later on, the better.

I didn’t get hungry, but I knew this was an ultra and I need food in order to keep me going later on. About a mile, I know there was a Giant, our local groceries. I stopped there before and knew they have a foot long Italian breads, with cheese and salami. I love the salt content. I set that as my turn around point as well as grabbing that italian bread.

Around mile 15, I got a message from S. She got off work. It was around 9pm. She confirmed she could run 10 miles later that night. I took my second break at mile 17. Why is this significant? Weariness has taken in. I started to walk a bit instead of running. I had still 5 more miles to the car. I told S, she might only need to do 6 miles and at the same time updated the group of my progress. I told them that I would have 22 miles by the time I finished, basically 6 miles for S to do. I also was at the West Falls Church Metro station (our subway), and if our group had enough miles, I would take the train back to my office. No one posted any more miles. So I went on with my run.

However, during the last hour, someone (actually multiple persons) updated their miles and it was the 6 miles total needed, but neither S nor I knew about it and they did not let the group know. My team. grr. But we did not know. Everyone was aware we would be finishing the Region, yet none of them spoke up about having enough miles. S started doing her 6 miles and I did my remaining 5 too.

I arrived back at my workplace where my car was parked and told the group I did it. Entered my miles and so did S. We finished our region, 3094 miles in 73 days. We had a few miles over. (A team member on the other side of the world then started the next Region, I guess it was like 8/9AM for her the next day, which is perfect, since we do not want any time off the clock. Talk about a relay)

I did not mind that my run was not a 50k nor a marathon. What matter was we finished the region. It was a team effort. Mondays are normally my rest day from running, so the less miles I needed to do the better. Yet, there I was running a 22 mile on a cold winter night.

I was a bit miff about certain team members who did not communicate to the rest of the team of what they did or plan to do so enable better plannimg for everyone since this was a team effort. The reason is none of us want to run extra miles that do not count toward our goal. We all could run, but if we could be inside, we would choose to be in.


We celebrated the end of the region. I was happy that I finished the run at 10pm instead of at midnight. I still had to drive home, shower, and eat. I still had my Italian on me. I was carrying that foot long in one hand while running and had a bite every so and then whenever I had to wait at a street crossing. It looked ridiculous. However, now I wanted a proper meal. By the time all said and done it was midnight.

I was enjoying the run. It was as exciting as an actual race, since I know every mile I ran counted toward the team mile. I had the biggest kick (or runner high) in such a long time. I felt asleep with a smile.

life running

Day392 slow news cycle cont.

There is just not a lot is going on with me as twenty-twenty comes to a close.

We had our first snow this winter. Last week was warm with the temperature up around 60s and this week was freezing cold in the 30s. The snow came but did not stay the next day. I am so jealous as my friend in West Virginia posted nice snowy scenery of their trails. I wish I have snowshoes and join them.

I hate myself for not running when the weather is nice and only run when it is unbearable outside.

I have not done a lot of running the last two weeks. I ran maybe only two days. Last weekend I didn’t run … after written up such a nice plan (day391) but in the end, I did not execute it. Often times I don’t like planning ahead like that because once it didn’t happen it is a big let down. I knew it too at the time of writing it up. What happened? I think I was paralyzed with too many choices.

In gaming term – I am tilting toward losing the game. I did FF (forfeit) the game last week. I need to get back into my running.

What I have been doing instead of running was watching youtube. Dang it is so addicting.

Definitely tilting/inting. I am part of a team running event (running around the world). We are closed to finishing Region 2. Yet I can’t able to bring myself to run these days to finish up the region. We are about 400 miles away. I could have chopped that to 300 or even 200 if I have not been tilting.

I read somewhere that people have a tendency to self-sabotage when they are about to succeed. I think I have that problem (they call it inting in gaming, that is, intentionally losing the game because they are tilting so badly).

As you can tell I have been watching a lot of videos of people playing video games on youtube. Somehow I found that entertaining. I myself don’t play (no computer).

I was also hoping to finish the journal for this year, that is reaching day 400 entry, and close it with a summary. Yet it might not happen. I don’t want to write every day just for the sake of ending the year.

For me 2020 has not even started…I felt still so much left to do. There is something to look forward to for 2021. It will mostly a repeat of 2020. My runs will be the same. I am still training and executing the same plan (for the Laurel Highlands race and Graysons Highland too). One thing different is I have the Rocky Raccoon race in February. My first 100 days will be a bit different because of that. I will start off with a much stronger season than in 2020.

I am happy 2020 turned out the way it did. There was no way I was ready for those big races I planned for 2020 and the pandemic gave me an extra year to prepare for them.

10 more days left for 2020…hmm what should I do? That is what I have been up to. Oh my Garmin watch said I ran 2090 miles this year. I reached and passed my goal of running 2020 miles. This I think is more than my last three years combined, and I think in part thank to the pandemic. I am trying to run a few miles more. I might double this number next year…(not a promise), but might able to.

oh on other news, I am so much better this year than last year, in term of money. Last year I was on the brink of bankruptcy and it was like for two weeks I couldn’t buy food. My boss didn’t fund the 401k (retirement plan) this year … but it didn’t affect me because I increased my own contribution. Cashflow-wise, I probably never been richer in my entire life. I think again thank to the pandemic, my expenses were cut (no more metro rides, and no more eating out, and no more races and traveling, and no more going out). I also didn’t have to buy any new running shoes (no races). I didn’t cut my second phone or gym membership even though I no longer use either of them, this could have save me another thousand of dollars. What am I going do with the money? I can buy my air ticket to Houston for the Rocky Raccoon (and pay for a Covid test if the race requires one). Sorry, first world problem.

If I don’t get to write another entry before the new year – I wish ya a merry Xmas and happy new year.

P.S. Amnesia. I thought I wrote about the Occoquan adventure, but somehow did not. See Post 393 on Occoquan and the Waterfall Run.


Day391 short news cycle

Lack of news because I did the Stone Mill 50 and then the Devil Dog 50K, and ran my last race of the year, I am relatively free this weekend. I was going to do the WTF 50 (course preview), a new course I found by the Virginia Happy Trail people. They are weird I tell you. Ever since I ran their Vicky’s Death March a few weeks back, I am more into their club things and they have tons of set trail courses to run. Last weekend, I joined a few of their members to do the Buck Hollow/Mary’s Rock run and this week I was going to do their MGM stands for Big Butt in latin or Fat Ass Run on the BRR (Bull Run Trail/Run/Ultra – the last R escapes me). They love accronyms. But there the WTF, that a few of them wanted to do today and I like the name. I read it is a tough course. WTF does not mean I thought it means but it stands for WaTerFall. Cute. I guess it is the name of the local mountain or maybe an actual waterfall or a trail name but I couldn’t find it yet on the map.

I felt a bit lazy and couldn’t will myself to wake up early in time to haul my butt to the trailhead. They were running at 6 AM in the dark and the place is about two hours away. Also I didn’t pack last night so it was not happening. I might try tomorrow morning, which will be another great day.

Last night a guy was running a 100 miler on my, yes my track, the W-OD (Washington/Old Dominion Trail). That is awesome. No I don’t own it. I am just surprised any one would use that trail for a 100 miler since it is ‘boring’. I didn’t know it was that long either. The guy ran from Arlington and out past Leesburg to Purcellville and back. It was not exactly 100 miles so he did some loops in the middle of night at the other end point before coming back. I normally ride my bike there but never occur to me to run it.

That kind of give me an idea. Maybe I could do the same!

Why am I going all over the place? I was or am still trying to find out what I want to do today. I could head to MGM for the Big Butt and see some club members or go to WTF for some waterfall or go see this guy who is doing a 100 mile; he is also a club member. Or doing something completely different on my own.

On other news, I signed up to be a sweeper for the World’s End Ultra for mile 35-50, roughly. Sweepers ensure no one left on the trail. We sweep the runners/or herd them to the Aid Station for pickup. Usually sweepers have a tough job to encourage the desperate few who are about to be cut to hurry up. No one was taking this segment so I took it. It will be from 5PM to 10PM. I think no one took it because of the emotional aspect to “sweep” people off the course after they have been running for 12 or more hours but likely won’t be able to make it to the finish. We are the person to break that news to them. It will be a fight. You know ultra people have the indomitable spirit and I will be the one to break that in the nicest possible way.

There was an application process. They would like the sweeper to have first aids knowledge. Usually runners fell behind because of an injury. So I am thinking on signing up at a local REI to have a refresher. I learned those stuff like 25 years ago, so might need a bit of update.

As for the distance, 14-15 miles shouldn’t be too bad. They asked me what my experiences on trail. The race is billed as the toughest ultra in PA, so ya I got to be able to run the trail. I plan to go to the trail in the spring and run it. I am excited. The race will take place in first weekend of June, a week before my A-race Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Ultra. I was just looking into that. I told them I should be able to handle the trail by then.

Why I am even a sweeper? My friend is doing the sweeping first 20 mile. He said to come down and join him to spend the day there. I think he is also doing the Laurel Ultra, that how we meet last year.

As for the Rocky Raccoon 100, I said I have to book the campsite couple weeks ago. I didn’t and ended up all camp spots are taken! Anyway it means I have run my 100 and not sleep, since no campsite. I might snooze in the car afterward. I won’t have any pacer coming with me, so not having a campsite to set a base camp is not a problem. As I said, I will be running through the night, so no need a camp. This will be in first week of February. Still about a month out.

Yes, I said after Stone Mill, I have to focus on Rocky Raccoon. I need to get up to speed soon. Very soon. That’s the news for this week.


Day388 some boring stuff

boring stuff to most but me, I checked out some spring marathons last night. Hey it is that time again where races are on sale.

I would have to defer the One City. Finally there are words from them. It will be a virtual event. I am no longer enjoying running virtual marathons, so I will defer this to next year. No flaming on the organizer. It made perfect sense to have it virtually since Covid cases are rising everywhere and the fear that cases will overwhelm the health system is real. If they had it in person otherwise, people like me would be considering traveling hundreds of miles to run and likely increase the risk of bringing the virus to them/taking it back home to my community.

Charlottesville Marathon. Kind of eyeing this. They will be hosting it outside of the city since the city itself has a maximum limit of 50 people per event. When there is no running races in 2020, any races in the spring is selling like hotcakes.

Roanoke Double Marathon. Also eyeing this. This one originally on my schedule last year, but Covid canceled it. The same organizer. We are facing the same circumstances. Likely it will be changed to virtual again. Know this, I’m still kind of wanting to sign up. I can save $35 for the early registration.

Dirty Kiln in PA. Also eying this race. Because it is outside of my state, I will need to be tested for Covid before running. PA requires visitors to be tested for Covid within 3 days before arrival or quarantine for 14 days after arrival. I think this is a sane way. So no more sneaking into another state to run a race. Well I think everyone should be tested before running a race. Weird they think other states have more covid cases than they do. I read on FB many runners before running the JFK went and got tested. I guess this is likely will be a trend in the running world.

That’s all. I am about to get up to run the last race of 2020. The race is at 7 AM. About 2 hours more. The wait.


Day386 VDM

I did the real VDM – Vicky’s Death/*Delightful March, a run by the local Virginia Happy Trail People. What I mean by real is that I ran one like it back in October, almost two months ago (here), except this time I did the full loop instead of skipping Hawksbill Mnt. I know about Virginia Trail runners since I started running but somehow they never fit into my plan because I am mostly a road runner. They are really the old school trail runners – most of their events are free and self supported and you run and responsible for yourself out there. They are hardcore runners.

I am used to the paid 5K and 10K where people prepare everything for you and run and get a medal and pictures and everyone go home feeling good. There is none of this stuff with trail running. It is the adult version running. Today 25 miles is like road running 5K. There is no pat on the back of good job – because we are expect to be able to run miles, plus elevation, and not get lost. Totally hardcore running. I am happy to finally say I am there at that rank now. 25 miles on the mountain is easy for me. It was like stretching my legs.

Trail running was not for me until recently after doing ultras and most ultras are out in the woods. So I have been trying to connect to the trail community. This year has been quite good. I connected to people in PA/WV, that has been amazing. The stuff they did are just crazy. Of course PA hosts the Eastern States – which is like the Western States – one of the “majors” for trail running competitions. We don’t have any famed races here in VA. Old Dominion used to famous but now people get old and it does not have the same draw as PA. If I could join a running club I would join the PA one (Allegheny Trail Running).

Recently I connected also with the Montgomery County RR after doing their Stone Mill trail race. VA Trail racing club people are still pretty weird, though we are all together – the Virginia people helped out with the Maryland people – everyone knows everyone. My prejudice against the VA trail people is still pretty high. People in the DC area are weird and you just get use to it when you have live here long enough to know because we are super rich and we (many) have access to high level in the government and we can’t talk too much about our jobs. So people here are just too snobbish and standoffish. This shows on the trail too. That is why I could get along so well with trail runners outside of DC but not people here. That is fine though. I run my own race. (PA people can attest to what I say).

There were like 30-40 people showed up today on our run today. This is a great turn out, since it was an unfunded – free run for 25 miles with 7000 ft of climbing. Yes normal people would not come out to run this. It is just so demanding. Time wise etc. People rather run a real marathon than doing this kind of runs. So this is only for people who really like trail running. There is no prize either. We all started at 7:30 and everyone run their own pace and find their own way.

I was ‘stroke’ about this run for weeks. They traditionally host it the day after Thanksgiving (on Black Friday). This year, they moved it to Saturday. This just fits so well. I prepared for it like a real race. I went to bed by 9 ish. I had everything ready. Clothes, food, set alarm. I woke up bright and early. I was out the house by 5:55 and Got to the trail by 7:15.

We had warm weather – all relative. 42-45 was warm for me. I ran in T shirt and shorts where normally this would be too cold for me. It is all relative.

This time I am determined to do the whole loop. Last time I skipped out a few miles – like around 5 by skipping Hawksbill.

This time, the group I was with was slower. Much slower. We walked like 80% of the time. They were really slow. It might be that I have gotten much faster and stronger. I just did a 50 miler two weeks ago, so my body is still relatively fit. So this run was super easy.

I was with my group the whole time. It was zero stress. I was only one who brought food with me. I ran with a footlong sandwich in my hand. It was too eye catching in our group. A weirdo running with a long bread/Hoggie the whole day :). People were saying when am I going to eat it. The sandwich really helped. I had enough calories and was happy. None of them brought food because they expected food at the halfway point at the visitor center. Unfortunately they did not have food when we got there. That was a bit a bummer for them.

I did quite well. Last time while climbing up on White Oak Canyon I almost fainted. This time none what so ever. The climb did not affect me. Also I did not roll my ankle. So everything was good.

My body finally is strong enough to do something like this and not get super tired. I have been doing a lot of hiking these past four years. I have been running marathons – probably more than 10 now. But in the past, I am half dead after finishing a big run. But now even doing a 50 miler does not affect me. I see a qualitative change. I am just happy about this. It means I can go on to the next phase of running a 100 miler.

What I want to say is it open a big area. Now I can do trail running. It is like freedom. Things that were impossible now is possible. Things that were hard are no longer.


Day 384

I am back to my usual of trying to scape together enough content for a post.

I finished the 48 hours run. It was not much to say except for the lack of sleep – but I cheated a little with an hour extra sleep one night during the graveyard shift. I think running a marathon is harder than doing this 48 hour of running. Actually it is only 44-45 hours because you don’t run at the final 48th hour. Because I was able to catch some snooze, I was not too overly tired.

I think for me, what would be the right level of challenge if it was running a 10K every 4 hours for 24 hours straight or 24 hours of 5K at every hour (Pembleton — I really want to try that next year).

Anyway, since I finished the 48 hour challenge, every 4 hours there is the residual urge to go out and run. I woke up at every 3 hours thinking, oh, did I miss a run and told myself no, go back to sleep.

Not feeling any particularly tired today. Yet I told myself, better be safe than sorry. Even though I could run today, I decided to stay put and rest up. Monday is my normal rest day. So I have to force myself to rest.

Nothing particularly insightful gleaned during my run. Time just went by quickly. Run, then changed, clean up, record the run, eat. do laundry and rest about couple hours and then start the cycle over. So I remember was Run, Eat, and Sleep. Time went by so fast.

It was a run I always want to do. It was like a mini camp for running. I read about people (two highschool runners – forgot their names) went to Kenya and ran with the elites there. They wrote about everyday was running. I was jealous of them to have such an opportunity. So the past weekend was like that for 48 hours totally gear toward running. I had a total 13 sessions. It was great. It was 13 sessions of tempo run. It was like a dream comes true.

Though I ran 50+ miles over the weekend, I was not exhausted. That I found fastinating.


Day383 training cont

I started this fad training since Friday that has been a circulated the running community this spring called 4 by 4 by 48 (4x4x48) run. David Goggins, a famous ultra runner, (he did many other notable things too) came up with the idea of running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. Rumors had it that he himself used it for his ultra trainings.

I was training for my 100 miler and I thought why just as well to try it. The run itself was too easy for me since I am now am able to run a 50 miler without dying. This 4x4x48 basically spreading a 50 miler over two days. So this is too easy.

What I found challenging was waking up in the middle of the night to do the midnight and the 4 am run. I started the run at 4. So all my runs occur at the 4, 8, 12 interval. The first night I already was struggling with the 12 am and 4 am. The second night I totally blew the midnight and 4 am run. I set alarms for them but over slept the 12 am by an hour. As for the 4 AM one, I heard the alarm but couldn’t will myself to get up. It was a battle of will. Finally after half hour of self talk and struggle, I convinced myself to get up and got out to run it. It was not bad once I started running.

Lucky that the second night the temperature was much milder. I hate cold. The temperature was around 50F instead of 42. So once I was out the door, I was not freezing to death. It was quite comfortable to run.

Another thing I found about the graveyard shift runs was I was hungry most of the time. But when I got back inside, I was too tired to eat anything but went straight back to bed. I slept on the second night. The first night I couldn’t sleep but second night, I needed all the sleep I could get. Constantly feeling that sleep deprivation.

I don’t know if I will do it again. Night runs are fun but they are too brutal. This kind of thing is not for me. I rather run in the day time than to miss sleep to do night training.

So my sleep dep training did not work out as I would expect because I went to bed. As for the 100 miler, I am not too worry because just losing sleep one night is not too bad. I can pull it through. But for 200 miler, not sleeping on the second night will mess me up.

Just few more runs today and I am finished with this 4x4x48. The hard part is already over.


Day382 training

I have not been training specifically for the Rocky Raccoon 100. I like the name. I have been calling it the Raccoon Race. I wanted to have a plan for training this race. I downloaded one from the internet but have not followed it.

I know I am much behind on many runs. We when training have certain miles and goal to reach for each week. It supposes to build up your fitness and endurance over the course.

I know I am not in too bad a shape since I have been running on and off. I did a marathon not long ago in October. I just did a 50 miler. It gave me a sense of where I am. The 50 miler was supposed to be a limit test. I was hoping to see how it compares to my strategy of doing the first 25 miles in 5 hours and the next 25 miles in 6 hours. Total of 11 hours.

My 50 miler was great I finished in 12.5 hours. Not great in term of my strat for the Raccoon but it is where I am right now. During the 50, the two guys in front of me were blocking me the whole way, especially near the end, so I did not really able to go full out. However, I do not regret about it. We should not go full out unless it is the one race (which Rocky Raccoon will be). Reason being is I am still in training. The Stone Mill Ultra was part of that training. They say don’t go full blast or else it takes a long time to recover. Those two guys helped me to perserve my strength for the Rocky Raccoon.

This weekend I am doing the Goggins 4x4x48. I miswrote in my previous blog saying it is 48×48. 48 miles in 48 hours. Same thing. 4 miles every 4 hours for the next 48 miles.

I started early at 4 pm. I already did 3 runs. The next run is in the middle of the night at 4 am (an hour away). I can’t fall asleep so I might as well blog.

First run went well. It was cold initially. I think 62 deg was cold, but it got warm as I started running. I did four miles no problem. It was nice doing it before the sun set.

My second run was after I got home from work. 8 pm. Again, I felt cold. The temp had dropped 10 deg to 52. I warmed up in no time and had to shed my layers. I finished it a bit faster. It took a bit more time though because of traffic lights.

My third was at midnight. I really did not want to do it. I had gone to bed early. By 10 ish I usually am sleepy. So I slept till 11:30 and forced myself up. I was cold again. The temp had dropped another 10 degs, now at 42 and will stay steady through out the night. I went out reluctantly. Once I got going it was not too bad. There was no wind and night was calm and brisky. I quicky warmed up and had to ditched two layers. I was down to a Tee and it felt good. I love the cold. I finished it a bit slower pace at 12 min mi. Not bad.

And have been waiting for my 4 am run since. I tried to catch some close eyes but not happening.

I started to feel the fatique in my muscles. There is still long way to go (2 more days – Sat and Sun) before finishing.

4x4x48 really tested the sleep deprivation and how the body adjusting to the reset.

That’s it for now. If I have time, I will update on my progress