Will see how it goes

Day 97

No big plan this weekend compared to the last one. I did a short run last night, about 3 or 4 miles. I was going to do 10 but my mom called for dinner, so I put my plan away. My heart was not in the run. By the end of the dinner, I didn’t want to go back out.

My body was a little better than on Tuesday. My shins still have a bit of ache. Not sure how long it will take to recover. All other parts of my body are in good condition.

I have a race tomorrow. Afterward if I am still fresh, I plan to hike/run on a trail. It would take the whole Saturday. Tapering will begin next week or a week after.

Sunday will be quiet. Maybe attend the early service and then run the rest of the day.

Recovery

Day 96

I spent last few days on recovery. Basically no running. Nothing much to say. Today is the fourth day but still I feel tired. I have not recovered 100%. I feel it is a little over 50% and maybe at 60%. I am glad to be healthy though. I should be ready for the next race. I haven’t taken this many days off from running since maybe 5-6 weeks ago.

I had a quick short run last night. It was my first run after the half marathon. My muscles were screaming after a mile in. I kept on for couple more miles. I might need tonight off. That was a good feeling. I haven’t had that kind of stress on my legs for a long time. Surprisingly running the Half wasn’t painful as my recovery run was. I know pain is bad but I think I know what I am doing. It wasn’t the kind of pain that need a doctor. It was just the muscles were tight. I didn’t stretch before running.

This week is supposed to be another 40 miles week. I will see how my body reacts. I will be lucky to get in 20 miles.

Then there will be 3 weeks of tapering. I felt I haven’t work out that hard, so really not sure how much to taper off. I probably will limit myself to 30 miles total. Or I will push my max training for another week and limit my tapering to only two weeks. My marathon is a little less than a month away. I know the next three weeks will come by fast.

One of the first

Day 95

This is one of the firsts that I showed up And found out I’m not registered for it! There was something wrong with my registration because I used a race coupon and it wasn’t effective for this race (they took my coupon though), hence I didn’t know it didn’t go through. I didn’t check for a confirmation email.

Anyway things worked out, I decided not to run the 10K due to over-doong it yesterday. I need a day to recover. Hearing the registration didn’t go through was a good news. Earlier I woke up cursing to myself why I signed up and pulled myself together to get to the course. It was raining (misty). Just a relief to me. Now I can go to church! 

My weekend ended up to be Plan A – the original plan. No craziness of run a back to back race or doing a marathon. 

Hiking was fun though. Here are couple pix.

Snow and fog turned everything to black and white
Snow covered forest

Fun and Rest

Day 94 / weekend half marathon

I had one of the best races ever. I say that to every race though. But this race I set a PB. I didn’t upgrade to the full marathon and that was a very wise choice. I knew my previous record was 1:49 (hh:mm), so I lined up behind the 1:50 pace group. I was assigned to Coral 3, but the  pacing team actually lined up at the end of Coral 5. We had wave start and Coral 1-5 were part of the first wave. With a couple minutes delay between each coral. Boy did they started out fast. They knew they were going faster than pace. I followed the last pacer of the 1:50 group. He was saying if we want to finish at 1:45 we have to run at 8 min pace. And I checked my watch we we’re running at 7:45 and he agreed. He said the other pacer of the 1:50 group was even faster than him, and laughed. Later on I think after 5 miles I couldn’t keep up with them any more. I told myself I have to run at my own pace. I had no hope of breaking a record. They finished probably at 1:40. They totally left everyone behind!

My legs were heavy from the start. I think my calves were still in recovery. My breathing were surprising under control. I wasn’t breathing hard at all. I slowed down a bit at mile 5-6 because of a big hill (400 ft?). No good. I couldn’t climb it. I know next marathon is all hills 2000 ft of them. 5 times higher! That is only a month away. I got to the top and got back into my pace.

I was slowing down again at mile 11. Luckily I saw someone, and she gave me the strength to speed up again. I caught a second wind. When I crossed the finish line and looked up at the clock, unbelievable, it was 1:46 and a Personal Best (PB).

First half I had 53:10 and second half 53:33. I stopped my watched a 10 seconds late. However, still I didn’t run a negative split. 

I celebrated this by going up on the mountain in West Virginia, the Big Schloss.

The race though was in downtown DC, and there was no snow there. It was cloudy and a very decent temperature for running (3-5C?)

Meaning

Day 93 / still waiting

One of the reasons I started blogging is to record my races and the training I do. Because running races is what I live for. But on a deeper level, I was trying to find meaning and truth in all my activities we call life. I believe our lives have meaning  even if it is not apparent. On the surface, every day seems to be the same. I wake up, go to work, run afterward and go back to bed. On a weekend, I might be lucky to find a race or two to run or if not, it is one long training for the weekend. Some days like what I mostly been doing the last  few months when I don’t feel like training, I ended doing nothing but sitting in my room staring at the ceiling. That is part of life too.

It does not mean life is not exciting. Last few months were to me jumping through one crisis to another. I might be a bit extreme to call it crisis but it was like the end of the world! I feel somehows going through one storm after another. And it was very exciting.

Why? We all just want a peaceful life… I did not write about them. Looking back though, I  survived. Always, every day I am entangled with something, and they definitely distracted me from running. Maybe something I didn’t do at work or something I didn’t do at home. I had a crisis with my training plan when I consistently putting up only 7 miles per week for the first month. I don’t know what happened there.

I had a clear thought this morning while driving into work. As I looked back at the past week or the past month, I kind of see a pattern of something greater than just routine going through the motions of life. I saw maybe a glimpse of what life is worth living for, (life is always worth living) something that was truly uplifting. Now the thought is gone. I am grasping if I could, bring that light back. It was like a mundane thing transform to extraordinary.

This weekend I will run the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon (hopefully – Lord willing as my friend loves to say). Few more hours to go.  I signed up for it almost a year ago. It doesn’t mean I was hyped about it. This would be my third time running it. I signed up early to save money. The price now has doubled if I walk in and register today. I also already signed up for next year.

I could run it without much emotion. There are not many races I would re-do, but this one is one of them. My friend calls it a subscription service if I run it year after year. But then I can attach so much meaning to it. It is one of the best marathons to do in this area. I have ran many (6) marathons and many half marathons (4-5). Rock n Roll is always the best! It is big! It was my first marathon as well as the first Half Marathon that I signed up (though didn’t run). I have so much memories of it unlike some other races. 

My running involved with friends and my best friend at the time when I did the first marathon was in that race. That was all i needed for meaning. Thinking back, I was running through the whole course looking for her only in the end found out she started at a later time because I told her to switch to a Half and she listened, but I had my PR that day and my first ever fastest time, even to this day 3 years later, the time is still very hard for me to top it. I have no reason to beat my time tomorrow. 🙂 Even if I run my fastest time tomorrow, I won’t be able to meet up with my best friend who is out in the woods hiking somewhere.

I am rambling on. Today is another one of those waiting time, waiting for things to happen tomorrow. Doesn’t life is like that? Waiting…and then kind of miss it when life shows up? That is some kind of truth regarding life I am seeking.

I think meaning for the things we do or things happening is like turning on a light in a room. The things we do is  the same, but how we look at it is like having the light on or having the light off. Just a thought. 

Waiting

Day 92 / decided

I woke up this morning and gained a better sense what I want to do this weekend. I want to run. So I signed up for the Pot of Gold 10K for Sunday as a safe bet. 

By the time I got out of work today, I wasn’t sure if I should upgrade my Saturday Half Marathon run to full one. But on my way to the Rock and Roll bib pickup convention, I ran into a friend of mine and I asked her if should upgrade. She said I shouldn’t because after the half, the second had of course doesn’t have that many people I. The crowd. Also the cost for me to upgrade is like 140-140 dollars. That is a lot. I just registered to run for next year paying on 70 dollars. So it doesn’t justify to pay double.

So I got my bib. I will run both Saturday and Sunday.

I was late for the club run tonight and ended up running by myself. I put in four slow miles.

I am waiting for the weekend to start.

Forward

Day 91 / lent

Midweek is when I look toward the weekend. Not only because I can’t wait to finish my work but because what I will do on the weekend will determine what I should be doing today. Like if I have a big race coming up, then I should rest up now. It is either run or not to run and how many miles. There are still plenty work left, I can assure you that. With weekend only couple days away, I got to decide what to do now.

This coming weekend, I am overwhelmed with choices. 

Plan A: stick with the plan. Go out and run the Rock and Roll DC half marathon on Saturday, which I signed up like a year ago and then enjoy the Sunday off with my loving friend and go for a hike in the afternoon and dinner at night. A full day of worship.

Plan B: Same as A, but add a 10K run/ race on Sunday – Pot of Gold 10k. But the cost is I will miss worship unless I go to the 11 o clock service, but doing that will bump my Sunday class, which I enjoy attending.

Plan C: upgrade my half marathon to a full one and run on Saturday, basically not much time for anything else. C is for Craziness. I am definitely not ready to  run a marathon. Should I believe myself go run a marathon? And do A/B of Sunday.

Plan D: D is for Don’t run at all on Saturday but instead go on a hike with my friend on the North Mountain. On Sunday, I could do A/B.

Likelihood of doing each decreases as goes from A-D. 

I really can’t decide without some value system or goal. I might as well flip a coin and leave to chance. Truly I guess I am conflicted with between running and see my friend. Three of them was about more running and the last choice is no running.

If the way to evaluate is based on passion, I would pick either C and D. If I pick based on logic then it will be either A or B.

I have been doing my runs during the week but I haven’t completely recovered (since last Wednesday). Not sure why it is taking so long. Normally, just a good night sleep would bring me back to 100%. Plan D is a good plan because I’m tired and need the rest. My friend going say I am disobedient again, because I know I shouldn’t run but is going to run.

Last night, I ran 8 miles. I finished 4 miles with the club and did an additional 4 on my own because I thought I lost my head buff. So I was retracing the steps but couldn’t find it. I only discovered I had it over my neck the whole time when I got home and started undressing. I wouldn’t have run the extra four miles if not for this. It was really cold and I didn’t even realized the buff was on me.

This morning woke up with a stiff calf. Ya, I didn’t stretch after the run. I will take it easy tonight, no more running. Got to honor the day of rest.

I noted that lent has started. It is a time for some reflection.