I did not get into Umstead. Looking for another race to attempt.

I am thinking of Rocky Raccoon or C&O Canal 100. Both races have about the same difficulty. Rocky Raccoon I can register now. Registering for C&O Canal has not opened yet.

C&O is near my house and easy to get crew or pacer support. Rocky is in Texas and hours away from the nearest airport! I have not traveled that far for a big race. Yes for Marathons but this is more than a marathon.

A quiet weekend this week. Woke up late typically. Want to train but many things needed my attention. Feeling guilty if I go out and run the whole weekend. Nice fall weather though. Maybe will go and run.


Day356 signup

I went ahead this morning and entered my name into the lottery for Umstead 100.

Even it was just a lottery, I felt the apprehension – like can I really do this?

I have tried two attempts over the summer to do a 100 mile run but both ended unsucessfully. I know I could do the miles but the time limit worries me.

30 hours. My both attempted were targeting 34 hours. First attempt I was a bit cocky, since I could do a 50 miler under 12 hours, and 50 miles more shouldn’t take that much longer and I thought 30 hours are plenty of time.

My second attempt was targeted for 34 hours and it was a bit stress to keep on pace. Actually the first attempt was stressful, the second attempt I believe I was on pace.

So I went ahead and signed up. It is a lottery. The drawings will be done on Friday 6pm eastern. There will be 25 spots and 25 additional spots to be placed on the wait list. Based on the past, these 25 spots are likely to be included. I am so wanting an entry.

I started to look into hotels and airport and stuffs. This race is perfect for logistics. The race is about a few miles from the hotel and not far from the airport. I’m also thinking to drive to race…Looked it up and it was within my driving range – 6 hours. I have driven that far before for a race (Old Glory).

That’s all for now.

Out take. Last night I came home (I started working again), I changed into my running clothes about to go out for my evening run but then collapsed on my bed…The next thing I know it was 2 am. I slept like 6 hours straight. So I went back to bed for good and didn’t wake up until 8 am the next day. No running at all yesterday except in my dream!



After doing the RTK race, coming back to do my usual local run is too easy. Tonight I was flying through the run almost effortlessly.

I’ve gotten stronger. This was the first sign after a month of training that things are going in the right direction.

My Strava is telling me I ran my fastest half marathon so far, 2:38:11. I hope to bring it down some more. I hope to get down to my personal best of under 2 hrs.

The run felt great. It has gotten much cooler in the evening. I felt a bit cold at the final two miles.Winter is coming.


Day354 Race

Nothing like being in a race. I missed having the in-person race experience a lot.

Yesterday, I did a race at Blue Knob Mountain in Pa.

It was unbelieveble finally after six months there was a race for me to do. The announcer at the starting line asked who are doing it for the first time and I think, 80-90% of the people there raised their hand. Me too. I was my first time at that race. The person next to me said we drove hundreds of miles for this race because there is no other race to do! I want to say, me too! Who is crazy enough to wake at three and drove across state line to do it for a half marathon no less?

I ran a 13.1 miles trail half marathon yesterday. It was a lovely day for running. Cool around 65 degree. Might have been in upper 50s or low 60s during the early morning. As I was driving there, I almost regretted I did not brought a long sleeves (I hate the cold). People were wrapped in blankets. But I did have my hoodies jacket on.

The race meant a lot to me. Did I mention I haven’t ran in an in-person race for over 6 months? I went to bed early for two straight days to set my body for the early morning hours. I set the alarm on the race day for 3:30 in the morning. I actually could not sleep much the night of because I was afraid oversleeping and missing the race. The course was three hours away and I need to be there by 8.

3:30 I got up, showered and dressed. I packed the night before already. Then checked and double checked all my things. I would be out the whole day, so I got to have everything I think I need. It only took me 10 mins and I was all set ready to go.

The time was a bit too early. I did some light reading, emails, facebook, and such. Set a second alarm and went back to bed for an hour or so, with fully clothed (except for shoes).

4:45 got up for real this time. Raid the fridge for breakfast. This was what I didn’t plan ahead. Grabbed couple slices of bread and spreaded with hummus and off I went.

It was too early for me to be up at this hour but the drive was 3 hours long and I had to leave early. Tired while behind the wheel, but managed to reach to the race nonetheless. It was a bit early and I saw the marathon people started at 8 am. I picked up my race package and couldn’t be more excited.

The marathon did have a draw but I was fearful this marathon would be too hard. I signed up to do the half. This is weird coming from me since I usually only run marathons. Our start time for the half, was an hour later, so I went back to my car to try to catch a brief nap — I set the alarm of course. Not that I really sleep so close to race time.

What I like so much was it was a real race and it was challenging. I love trails and running on the trails. I wore my boots for this because I preferred more an ankle support even if it means sacrificing mobility and speed. I don’t run that fast on the trail any way, so it was not much a trade-off.

I am telling you, this half gave me a good beating. The course was challenging. I have not done that many trail races.

I was not ready for the up hills and also trails. My feet felt like lead. After two miles my calves were screaming. It was hard. There were more than 10 miles to go. I have not done any hill work for a long time and it showed.

I rolled my left ankle early on into the race, I think before mile 3. I had to stop and retied my shoes. People passed me by. Then I got my mojo. Calves no longer were hurting. I ran a bit faster now and were able to catch back up with the crowd. I passed them actually. Down hills were easy for me. I kept catching people until I was in a comfortable pace.

It was a technical course for most part. There were a lot of rock hoppings. So the pace for me was slow. There were several giant climbs but fun. One was over 1000 ft.

The finish was like any finishes. I was glad it was over by then. My time was 3:45 (hr:min). Yes, a half marathon that is almost like a full marathon to me. I didn’t see a lot of people. I sat around at the finish area for a bit watching others finishing before I started to get cold. So I wrapped it up and get home.

I did get lost on the course near the finish line. It is not something I like to talk about. It was totally on me for not paying attention to the flaggings. It almost costed me the race, but my spider sense saved me after going about quarter mile the wrong way, I backtracked and saw the correct way. I lost at most half an hour there. I thought I was going to run to the finish.

If it was not for Covid time, I would stay for few hours to celebrate with other runners. I had another event to go to that day, so after grabbing some food (this race has the best food, all they were you can eat too), I headed out.

Rock -N- The Knob Half Marathon Run

I am not a picture person. My phone was in my hydration pack the whole time. The place was beautiful.


Day353 rambling

I am itching for a 100 miler, since I have been receiving emails/Facebook feed from Umstead about this Sat by noon eastern, the deadline for people who deferred to register.

I have kind of heard of Umstead before when I was searching for a 100 miler to attempt. Apparently, this race is built for first timer ultra (100 miler), in that it is a 4-loop course. The course has a 30 hr limit. There are ton of guides available in how to do this.

I went to the website and found the previous RD wrote a detailed guide how to attempt the Umstead. I was so moved by it – in gratitude. I came across the guide before a year ago and what I read didn’t make much sense then. There were a deep aprehension. This time I reread it after two failed attempts at trying a 100 miler (GSER). The light in me lighted up. Oh, that what you mean by lomg runs, oh, that what you mean about not wearing new shoes, oh, that what you mean about eating during the running. All the points I learned in the hard way in Atlanta.

The guide is so good I want to reread it again. He briefly alluded to why new people like me failed at ultras, 1. topograghy (yes!), 2. food (yes, yes), 3. heat (yes, yes, and yes). All three were my primary reasons of failing the first attempt. That day was too hot, and I was not eating enough (just one tuna sandwich for whole 25 hrs day), and I was getting lost left and right and lost so much time. I was a noob of a noob! The second attempt was just bizzare — also a noobish mistake.

Any way Umstead says they will take away all three problems – It is a loop course so, every 25 miles, you are back at the starting point. It eases on the logistic management (food/drink). It is held in April, relative cool weather in NC, near Releigh. Meal, also part of the logistics for it is easier to manage.

The guide mentions about arriving a day or two early. So runners can check the course but warn, don’t walk the whole course! The RD is very kind in leading it through step by step of how to do this race for newbies! Like how can you fail if someone is guiding you at every step?

I am sucker for it. I am ready to bite hook and sinker. When can I register?

Other race are the C&O Canal 100, I think this one is easy too (also kind of a loop – out and back), and Devil Dog, probably not as easy, but is in my alley, so could be doable. Devil Dog though is too close and we still have the covid problem in our area.

that’s all. I can’t wait to train for my first 100 mile run. I think I should get it done this time.

health running

Day352 tired

I am a bit under the weather, with dizziness and just lack of strength.

I thought I had lyme disease again, but I went hiking and was fine.

Last August, I had the similar thing and there was a hike called the Devil’s little stairs, and I couldn’t get up to it before fainting.

This past Labor Day weekend, I attempted the Little Devil Stairs again, I got up on it fine without breaking a sweat. I was up on top before I even knew it and without a break. My team and I went on to hike five or six more miles in the surrounding trails before heading back to our car.

But probably something is wrong with my body. It has been difficult running. I can only run about half a mile before getting tired. There is no more that natural pace where you could lock in and run forever. I used to be able to do that.

Now a day, I walk on most of the runs I did. It takes a long time. A two hour half marathon becomes a three hour event. A marathon becomes 7-8 hour thing.

Not sure what is going on. Have been wondering if I need a break.

I took a break over the summer too. 6 weeks without running. It got worse instead of better.

I checked my number though. The three previous years I only ran between 600-700 miles per year. This summer, I ran 1000 miles. I am attempting another 1000-1200 miles before the year ends. Numberwise, this is a lot of mileage.


Day351 Whatz now

It has been peaceful for me. Yes once the GSER and GVRAT were done, I started the CRAW (running around the world virtually) with 9 other people.

That what we have been doing, one virtual race after another.

But it is different. Once you do it with another person, training becomes fun again. We swap pictures and stories and make believed narratives as if we are running around the world.

I have always dream of running an epic relay race such as the Ragnar. However, it is hard to find runners to do it. Yes I know plenty of average 3-5K runners, but sometimes for big races like Ragnar, you need people with more durability. They know too, so don’t sign up to put themselves through the torture. Serious distance runners are harder to find. They don’t do your typical social hour runs. Their small runs last couple hours long and longer runs, are 10s of hours. You don’t get to see them much because they are out running all the time.

For my team/group, I picked up a motley crew. We are a week in and hanging there. We have put in 400 miles and that is impresive. One gal ran a marathon over the weekend. I meant to do one too but couldn’t get myself together. No complaint. We have a few ultra people on our team, and a few super fast people but short distance runners.

My desire was to do it with six people …ultra running this thing. Our ultra people haven’t break-out yet. Many were recovering from the last event and need time to build up their base mileage. Me too. I was out for six weeks, and need time to build back up. No more 50-60 mile runs on the weekend for now.


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.


Day349 virtual races

This is not a typical blog entry I normally do. I just needed a place holder for a bunch of races I did for this summer – virtual races, that some would call them training runs. In truth, I didn’t run them as real races. I want them to be real races but they are really training runs. My time was 30-50% slower. I usually couldn’t do them the first thing in the morning as I would do for a real race (there would be so much more preparation I would do for a real race).

My thought though, I am glad for the virtual races. In Maine Coast, I got a medal, one of my proudest medals for a virtual race. DC Rock N Roll, that was a bit mess up. I thought I did it virtually but I had problem with the registration website (Active didn’t send me the link to change to it virtual, and still didn’t – now it is in limbo). I ran it but no medal.

Most of the runs were geared toward preparing for the Laurel Highland ultra but that race was moved to September. As an aside, after doing the GSER, I felt I was not ready for Laurel Ultra and deferred it to next summer to give me more time to train for it. All this should be for another post.

GSER – virtual race in Georgia. 100Mi, July 3-4 run1. June 1 to July 31 (but extended to August 31 run2, and reextended to September 30). run3?

–May 23: Long run#4, to Fairfax High, 41 miles

–May 17: Long run#3, 50k around Centreville, to Government center/Fairfax Corner

–May 9: Long run#2, to Springfield, 62 mi

–May 2: Long Run#1 to Reston, 42 mi.

–April 12 Long run#0, to Fairfax Border, 24 mi run

-April 4 – v race#3 – Roanoke Blue Ridge Marathon (virtual) 5:29, report, double marathon (5/9)

-March 28 – v race#2 – DC rock n Roll (virtual) 5:41, report

-March 22 – v race#1 – Maine Coast (virtual). 4:54, report


Lastly, I did the GVRAT (Tennessee virtual race). I should write up a report or entry for this. This race or event was epic. I felt so tired to sum it all up.

I don’t think I will ever do it, so I will write it here. It occured over the summer from May 1 to August 31. Basically, a race from a famous race director. I never dream to be able to run in one of Laz’s races. He is known as the creator of the world hardest marathon, called the Barkley Marathon. I have heard of it when I started running marathons (my brother-in-law kind of hinted this is what you want to do).

Then on May 1st, I got a facebook post from Bad Mike. I didn’t know Bad Mike or remembered him, but there was his facebook post, but I think I ran in one of his races last year (probably the one I really messed up on – I won’t say which one). I said cool, sign me up, I want to run across Tennessee. That same day, I got out during lunch and ran my first mile for it. It was a huge goal. I want to run across the continental US, so Tennessee is a good place to start. It was virtual.

So I started running. The race caught on by word of mouth across the US and the world and there were 19000 people signed up. He originally thought ony couple hundred people would do it (my bib was around 10000) and that was on May 1.

I am not saying it was easy, but in the end, I finished it in middle of June, way ahead of schedule. It was a relief. As I started running, it did not seem too daunting at all. We were required only 5 miles a day, and so I ran around 10-13 miles and were able to do it in less than half the time. There were people who could do it even in a week (Vol state) on a shorter course.

Many people started finishing early, and Laz added extra features to entice people to run twice or even three times across. People wanted to do it, Laz was just there to give it to them. There was one who did 7 crossings. For most though finished even 1 crossing was a huge accomplishment. We saw many non-runners attempted, your every day 5k moms and grandmas, and even pets (dogs). Sorry if I am being stereotyping. Laz said, the race is for them, your average joe to reach beyond what they think is possible. There were, of course, stellar ultra runners (I met my idol from BC, Canada, who did it).

For me, I only did 1 and half crossing (reached 1000 miles). This is the most miles I did in a year, and I did it over a few months! The last couple weeks I would have to run close to 500 miles to finish the double crossing. Originally, it was a cake walk to get a double crossing, but I laid low a bit. It was a scramble to do 250 miles in a week. My body was bad, due to a long break after finishing the first crossing, I had very little incentive to run. I was like 6 weeks inactive. Trying to get my body back into running shape was hard. Now about five-six weeks in again, my body felt better. I won’t say it was back to top shape, but it is near a running shape where I can do a half marathon easily every day. Well not easily, but getting there.

I managed to reach the 1000 miles.


Right at the end of GVRAT was the start of CRAW. There will be entries about the CRAW – this one is also Laz’s race, but around the world. The story has not ended. To be continue..


Day348 here I go

This was written in mid August as I was trying to get my body back in shape. I had stopped running for the longest time, about 6 weeks. At first I thought only couple weeks off after running the 100 mile. Once you stopped, it was hard to get back on the habit of daily running.

I had a lot to post then, this mini post didn’t make the cut. By the way, I finished the 1000 miles GVRAT. Enjoy.


I did my ‘first’ half marathon after a long break. It was ugly. 3 hrs. I walked the last two miles. For perspective, I used to run it in 2 hours or less.

Why the rush to rack up my mileage? I am still in the GVRAT race to run 1000 miles this summer. I am at 795 miles. So about 200 miles left in two weeks.

Secretly I want to do 2000 km (that is for this race 1270 miles). Realistically that is kind of out of my range to run 500 miles in two weeks. It means about doing 35 miles a day. I am struggling at even running 10 miles a day. Originally, it was very doable, to run about 6 miles a day, but I goofed off for about two months. Here I am, being so behind on my miles.

Today the first five miles was mostly running. I had it that I only walk only after every mile. I try to keep my walking short (30 sec to a min at most) then run another mile. This is almost an interval training. By mile three I was into it. I wish I could be back in shape and to able to run without stopping.

By mile 6, I reached my high. I felt shiver running across my skin. Yike.

By mile 10 I hit the wall. Normally this occurs at mile 18-22. All I could think of at the time was a nice can of soda. By mile 13, all hope is lost. I couldn’t breath. I was hyperventing. I walked all the way home.

Now had a nice cold shower and my body is refreshed.

Oh my body is aching all over. It is like back to what I used to be. My left ankle is also giving me trouble. I thought with two months of resting would get it to be as good as new, but there is something wrong. I rolled it back in June.

Will I see a doctor? No… I’m stubborn. I will limp and run on a bad ankle.