Categories
running

day287 50K around Centreville

[old post] I wrote this up to recap last weekend run. Boy don’t they come fast. Happy Memorial Day!

I did a 100k the week before, so it was no surprised I tried a 50K the following weekend. I started to be more familiar with the roads around my neighborhood and a few nearby neighborhoods as well. I am always searching for a new place to run.

I did a virtual marathon couple months earlier when we first started the shelter in place Centreville [Marathon]. Originally, I had no name for this 50K, but Centreville 50K seems appropriate, though the race went through Chantilly and Fairfax as well. It was not a virtual race, I didn’t attempt any virtual race when I started out. I have started to run high mileage, and so hearing 50k doesn’t daunt me as they used to be. A 50k was just another run.

I started to enjoy the longer runs more because I am not dying during a long run. There is this point they call it the wall when your body is out of energy (glycogen) and it has to either convert your muscle cells to energy, which is typically the case or to convert fat cells (as I read it somewhere) to energy. It hurts and you can’t run fast and if you are dehydrated, you can’t think well either. You feel really mess up. So most people hate hitting the wall.

But now, not every long run will cause me to experience hitting the wall. Maybe I am better at constantly fueling the body with high sugary drink and food. That is a great feeling when you could run indefinitely and not feel tired. Quite a contrast from before. If you read my first couple virtual marathons, they were a struggle to finish. Now, it is like running a 5k or 10k for me. Well almost.

It was a low key 50K run. I knew it would be a long run 20+ miles but I didn’t know how long it was going to be. My weekend plan like any other weekend was to run until I drop.

The mind is a funny business. If I feel a hard run is coming up, I would avoid doing it. I woke up pretty early. Thinking back, there is no need to fear a long run. However, I was putting the run off the whole weekend. I was going to go out at 7-7:30 and have it done but it took me the next five hours to get myself out. First I told myself, I had to have breakfast. Then I did various stuff including uploading my blog. I delayed further by browsing on the facebook page. There are so many people showing various places of where they were running and I could not separate myself from it. Then I started to feel hungry again, so I said I need to eat again, since it would be a long run, you need a lot of food for energy. Ended up, I didn’t step outside until 12 pm.

Luckily I had all my runner pack and snacks all ready the day before because I wanted to do the long run originally on a Saturday, but my body didn’t feel ready. The 12 miles on that Saturday was a struggle. How I hated that run. This run though was a breeze.

Sunday run was totally different even though I started late. I knew it the moment I started running. Usually I need 2-3 miles to warm up to pace. There was no struggle at all, I was in my rhythm and on pace right at the beginning. It is a long run so my pace was slow but it was not dragging slow like on Saturday. You can tell. My breathing was better. I was not struggling for air. My legs were fine. They were not heavy. There was no pain or discomfortable anywhere.

The idea was distance. I need lot of them. This one was to rack up ton of mileage (I am in a 1000k virtual race and need a lot of mileage during the weekend to keep my standing). With the late start, destination run was out of the equation. I wouldn’t have the time to finish the run if I were to head for Reston or to Springfield unless I am willing to come home the next morning and the next day is a work day, so it was out of the question. My boss wouldn’t be pleased if I had showed up half dead. Destination runs would take more than a day. I decided to just run a boring loop. In the end it was a hybrid. I combined the routes of the last three weekend runs together. It was a mini destination run to my old neighborhood. The idea hit me while I was in the run itself.

I ran down on Stone road as I usually do. It was quite familiar to me, having done so many times in the past two months. Stone road became West Fields and then became Walney until I reached Lee Jackson Memorial. While from time to time I would make some loops into the neighborhood, which I also quite familiar now, to rack up the mileage. I was able to turn what normally a 4 mile run into a 12 mile run, that takes skill! That was my first leg. That was quick impressive to make a run three times as long in a relatively short stretch of the road. Apparently a coworker of mine saw me on the road, and she later emailed me about it. At the time, I was totally focused on my run.

As usual I made a pit stop at my mom’s place. She was home and I was able to top off on food and water and I stayed maybe 20-30 mins.

By then I already had in mind where I wanted to go. The time was after 3 pm. It was late but not too much. I was not pressed for time because now the sun doesn’t set until 8:30 and doesn’t get dark until after 9 pm. I have plenty of daylight. I wanted to head to my old place where I lived during my high school years. It is about 4-5 miles away and I planned to do loops there (at least once) at the ‘government center’, that is what that area is called. It started as the Fairfax county government center but now it has been redeveloped as a commercial and hip residential place. I feel our county is rich enough to rival our state government, that it even has it own district, very similar to our nation government district (in DC). I grew up running loops in this place (of course back then it only had only one road and now it is a whole maze).

That was my aim. I knew I could get 15-20 miles from going this place easily.

I took a new way there by using the county parkway. Instead of strictly following it like the previous week when I ran to Springfield, I took some turns. At first I ended up in an unfamiliar neighborhood since they had redeveloped the place. The street name was familiar though. I ran down Monument drive. After couple miles I came out to the area I recognized.

I drank too much water before the run and I needed to make a pit stop. Only store I could think of was to go into the grocery store. At the same time I could refresh myself with drinks and snacks.

I ordered a cold chocolate mocca, but because I had my face cover on, the lady gave me a hot one instead due to the confusion of the word ‘ice’ and ‘white’. Beat me how that two words get mix up. The outside temperature was pretty warm and I was dripping with sweat. Oh well let not give her a hard time. She did repeat my order couple times, it was like do you really want this drink and I thought I’ve heard her but in the end she still got it wrong. Maybe because people don’t drink coffee that late in the day. Hot and cold though was in a different catagory.

There marked the end of my second leg. I was hoping a quick in and out to use the bathroom and then top off with some liquid and calories and be on my way. Now I had a big cup of hot liquid in my hand. I couldn’t run unless I drink some of it and it was too hot to just gulp it down. I went out. They had a park nearby with benches. I sat on one of them and watched the traffic and enjoyed my hot brew. It was most relaxing part of the run to say the least.

Once my coffee was done, I hit the road again. Spinned around the government center. I used the old 5K race (PR birthday bash/Run Your Hear Out) route there. I finished in the shopping center and there were a few employees from a restaurant on break and they clapped for me as I went by to the invisible ‘finish line’.

By then it started to get late and I headed back home following almost the same way as I came. No stop for a 2nd cup of coffee. My mom was no longer there to answer my call either when I passed by her place. I was a bit disappointed. I carried enough water on me though. I zigzagged the remaining miles to get 31 miles out of the run.

At the last couple miles, I passed by a thai restaurant. It has been my habit to eat at a Thai place on my run. So I went in and ordered the usual Tom Yum Soup and Thai icetea. I really need to learn how to make these. I saw you can order the powder on Amazon. Any way I told the guy, I am going to run home and come back with my car. So I finished my last couple miles in my fastest time and it was the most motivated mile ever! I wanted to take a shower too when I got home, but I didn’t want my food to get cold.

I mentioned in another post the down side of having the long run on Sunday was there no time to wind down afterward. I got my food around 8:30. I went and did grocery shopping and I think I didn’t get to eat until 9-9:30. Then with stretching and showering and cleaning up, it was midnight by the time I went to bed.

The worse thing was that late afternoon coffee kept me up until 2 AM. I don’t know when I felt asleep, but I felt I was awake the whole night. Luckily I was fine the next day. I was a bit tired in the morning but it was a satisfying run.

Watch data with map. 7:47 hrs and 31.5 miles

[Marathon] https://antin.blog/2020/03/29/day254-virtual-run2/

Categories
running

day260 random walk around the neighborhood

I took the suggestion of exploring some of the neighborhoods around me I am not familiar about.

Having been in the area for almost all my life, I am familiar with most places, or so I thought. There are indeed many neighborhoods that I have never been i , but only passed by in a car. We have mostly nice neighborhoods here in Northern Virginia because we are one of the top 10 or 20 richest counties in the nation, and probably the most dangerous neighborhood is the one I am in, because I am just more familiar with it with constantly hearing about crime reports on those neighborhood apps, such as Life360 or Nextdoor I’m part of.

Yesterday, having nothing more important thing to do, I got myself out the house, just to wander around. I wanted to run somewhere far. So I randomly started off in one direction without having a fixed route in my head. Normally I do have a route in mind – a practice of mine since college – like today we are doing Route Alpha, or Route Charlie, so forth. I gave my routes names. Well I was going to do the same route I have been doing the last few weeks, namely to run down on Stone Rd to Westfield, to Walney, Poplar, then Stringfellow, and turn on Lee Hwy, and back to Stone Rd. It is about a 10 mile loop and I usually add couple miles here and there and would do the loop twice to get 26.2 – a marathon.

This weekend though I didn’t feel wanting to do a loop twice. Having the confident in my ability that I can run anywhere under 50 miles and not get stranded midway, off I went. I didn’t bring water or food except an slurp bar (Science in Action); it is like yoplait but for endurance althletes.

The day was beautiful. I was not in a hurry. I got to Walney but instead of turning to Poplar, I went straight, to a strange road. I was feeling courageous today. The past two years, if I go off to a new route, I would first get into my car drive the route to measure the distance but more importantly to check the trails if it runable. Many times during halfway through a run, you discover that the sidewalk ends where you least expected. So having drive around first, kind of help you to make those safety decision of to turn around, like if the car traffic bad, the road/median does not have enough room on the shoulder, and how long do you have to be on the side of the road if you have to be on the road, stuff like that. Runners have to pay attention to those. Going into a place without first checking it out is not recommended.

Having lived in the neighborhood for 30 years did not really give me an edge. I was not a runner back then and was not much aware about whether a place is runable. This was actually the first time to have a boot on the ground even though it is “my neighborhood”. My impression of my neighborhood changed.

It was a joy to explore a new place. Being in the car in the past, did not give a sense of the how big the world is. I passed through ‘world’ upon ‘world’ today. Walney is a place where they would toll our cars to if we illegally park on the street or certain spots in my neighborhood. I had my car tolled to there once, no twice, couple years ago. I had bad feeling about the place. At that time, I thought it was so far away. My girlfriend drove me there to recover my car. As I ran past it, the light in my head light up. That where this place is. It was just 3-4 miles down where I live and I alway thought it was on the other side of town. 3-4 miles is no longer part of my vocabulary for far.

Then I got to the Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy and I said, oh, this is where we go to the airport. There were many beautiful neighborhoods I saw. One was the Fields of Chantily. I said as went I passed by, I didn’t know there a residence behind all these commercial buildings and shopping centers. Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy is a busy street.

Boy, no one was staying at home at all. Like on my previous three runs, today was no different. Lee Jackson was full of cars zipping by. I bet half of them or even three quarter of them were not essential workers. We were just enjoying being out for after lock-in for a full week.

I never ran on Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy before. I know where it leads, but running is a totally different ballgame. Luckily the entire way was mostly paved. There is a part where if you are not careful you could fall into an uncovered manhole and a 15 foot ‘ravine’, but it was obvious. Just don’t run there when it is dark outside. There is a neighborhood where they have their mailboxes across the street from their house and I thought that is the weirdest thing. Normally, people put their mailbox on their lawn at the curb and not the otherside of the street.

I think by 8 miles, I got to my old neighborhood where I lived during my highschool years. I haven’t been back there except for couple races I did in that area. Again, I felt proud of myself to have ran that far. All these years, I always thought this place is so far to get to. You could say I haven’t really been back to explore around.

The Safeway store is still around. There are many new codominium. They started building those when I moved out. I swinged by my own apartment. It was sad the church Centerpointe Assembly of God is no longer there. The mall across was closed due to the coronavirus. That was a disheartening sign, to see the big mall parking lot completely empty. I only see such a sign in the past when there was a snow storm, even then, usually they would clear the lot of snow by the next day.

As I continued on the run, I swinged by Fairfax Corner. This is a newly developed area. A misnomer. It is in the middle of the city and they call it the corner. More like a corner store, but man it is not just a store. They cleared the woods, hundreds of acres of land and built the whole neighborhood up during my college years. This place is huge. I came here the last couple years for my 5k races. It is a new development area, high density, mixed zone development. This has been a hip word here in our area. Instead of separating commercial, business, offices, now they build everything into one gigantic place – mixed zone – constant traffic – always people. You have high traffic shopping in the center. You build parking decks and condominium all around it. And they have towering offices surrounding that. It is a whole world inside. Funny thing is there is no school, post office, police station, firehouse in sight. I always wonder where are the schools. They cram maybe 5000-10000 residents in the place and have no school. I’m sure they have done their environmental studies. But if you build it, people will come indeed is true. People really like the place. So Fairfax Corner is like that – a busy place. I saw a lot of people around as I passed.

I continued and headed for my gym, getting back on the Lee Jackson Hwy. Gym closed of course even if the sign says open 24 hours. Note, normally I would be in my car in this stretch because this section of the highway is not runner friendly. It has overpasses and cars going 60 plus mph. There is just a lot going on here. I hated this place even if I am in my car. Yes, lived here all my highschool years and drove this section to school every day. I was thirsty at this time for not bring my usual runner pack. I opened my yoplait-like slurp. It was still wasn’t enough to cure my thirst. Luckily there was a gas station ahead. I stopped there and brought a Gatorade. Yup talk about violating social distancing. Gas station is a high traffic area for the spread of the virus.

I reached the end of the Lee Jackson Memorial and it became Main st. It became Main St after all those crazy overpasses. There was a sign that says 1.3 mile to city center, (Fairfax City that is). I did not continue to the city center. I hated crossing that big street Lee Hwy. We have so many St naming after Civil War generals. It was like a six street intersection there because the four roads coming together at an angle. You have such weird streets at many places in the Northern Virginia area and they created huge traffic mess. All these years, you wonder can’t they straighten out the street? So staying on myside of the street, I turn right on Lee Hwy without crossing it.

This part of Lee Hwy was also new to me. I had never ran here before. There is not a lot of businesses on Lee Hwy. No residence either. There are, but they are all hidden behind out of sight. Luckily they have sidewalks for most parts. I guess this is where the wealthier residents live. It reminded me of being in the redwood forest as I ran through this section of the neighborhood. Surprisingly this part was where I had a lot of uphills to climb. They were not as steep as in DC, but they gave me a decent workout.

Lee Highway was shorter than I expected. I reached back in Centreville around at mile 18. I was disappointed that I still had a bunch of miles left. At this point I hit my first wall (extreme tireness). This is the worst part because when you hit the wall, only thing you want to do is to stop running. And usually my goal is to push to the end. Today, there was no specific end point for me to focus on. Instead, I had to plan on where and how I get in another 6-8 miles. I am familiar with Centreville. From one end to the other is only 2-3 miles. So there were not a lot of running room so to speak. It is like the airplane being out of fuel and you can’t land yet but keep circling around. That what I had to do.

I made a turn into Trinity Center. This is a business park / residential area as well, and has been recently built maybe within the last 10 years. I have been in there once or twice. I was surprised how big it is. It is unlike Fairfax Corner. It is ‘high density’ – well in fact all Centreville is high density, but it was not high foot traffic unlike Fairfax Corner. Centreville back in the early nineties still believed in zoning. We zone all our restarants to one location (outside) and residential on one side separated by a highway. The corporate center though is something new. There were like four business parks in there – parks is really just large parking lots without trees. Large parking lot is like Pentagon large. You only have these kind of lots outside of the city. Oh, they have water fountains and manmade lakes. I am pretty sure they are manmade because those were not around in the past. Horay! It is beautiful though. I love looking at modern business buildings (way better than what you find in DC cement blocks – brutalism).

Centreville has one hotel, well probally two. Springhill suite. I had always wondering who would stay there. It is a nice place, but we do not attract enough tourists here. Not until I saw the corporate parks it dawned on me. Yup for them.

By this time, I still had six more miles. I made a figure eight loop. It might seem small on the map but that was like four mile run. I ran to my sister’s house on the other side of Centreville – also I rarely traveled there. She lives on the south side. I hate crossing the big highway, Sudley Centreville Road. Luckily, no one was home – or they kept strictly to the social distancing as they should and didn’t open the door – good for them. I shouldn’t even be tempted to go there, you know. They (general advice) say no visitation for nonhousehold member.

Then I headed back home as the sun was setting. I was thristy again. Sorry for myself of not bringing my own water. At that time, I was struggling with my second wall, and it was worse than the first. I couldn’t stand up at the moment. It felt as if ants were crawling on the back of my legs. I stopped to walk for a mile or so. It was only mile 22. The legs got better after resting. I almost thought I couldn’t make it home. Two miles away and can’t make it back is unbelievable after having run 22 miles.

I got better as I sighted the street Stone Rd on top of the hill. I did not want to get 26.2 miles so I stopped at mile 24.5. It was pointless to go for two more miles just to say I ran another marathon this weekend.

Something can be said about geography and its significant to us as we attached meaning to it. I ran about and saw various places where I grew up in. I saw the place where they impounded my car, the place where I had my first car accident, then the place where I had my second car accident. Is there any happy places? They are places where it leaves a strong impression in me. I love my car as you can tell! Yes, it was very nolstagia when I passes through places I hasn’t been to for long time. Or places where they changed so much in the past few years like the Fairfax Corner or the Trinity Center.

Map of my run in a pizza slice shaped. The left edge of the triangle is Stone Rd/Westfield/Walney – the same road changes name three times. The top edge slanting down is Lee Jackson Memorial. The Bottom is Lee Hwy. Fairfax Corner is the little notch near where the top edge crossing the bottom edge. The figure 8 (with three circles connecting) is part of the Trinity Centre. In Centreville, word center really messes me up – it spelled centre here to match the name of our city.
Categories
running

day254 – virtual run#2

Day 254 race report “Centreville Marathon”

I used my first virtual run I ran on March 21 for the Maine Coast Marathon.

I didn’t post about it but I think on Tuesday, I got an email from the race organizer about the race being canceled. Not a surprise at all after getting so many of this kind of emails for the last two/three weeks. Boy we are in the third week already of staying in place. Anyway, the race offered a virtual run, no swag. It was a cry fest on its facebook page. I guess all the big races were already canceled the first week CDC released its guideline about social distancing. This one was a bit far out in early may (May 9), so there was no word until this week. I have been checking its facebook page daily. Other people have been asking the same. A little can be said about the communication process here – share early and be direct. Yup, it erupted on its social media page. The community was not too pleased. You can read the anger people had. I can’t believe so other races, runners took it in stride, but this we just pour our anger at the race management – not really their fault, but we want them to hear us – “Enough with this Covid virus thing: we are angry and we won’t take it any more”. I just shrugged it off and moved on. I elected the virtual race option.

So I went out again this Saturday and did my virtual marathon run. People think, virtual mean we run it on the computer or internet. No. Distance-Running (like distance learning) is a better term. We literally run 26.2 miles. Some do it on the treadmill, some on their balcony, some in their yard. Luckily, I could do mine in my neighborhood.

I woke up late. Actually just poor planning. As you have read if from my other race reports, I usually take my race with upmost seriousness. Going to bed early. Layout all my clothes and gear the night before. Surprise for you non-runners, there are a lot of stuff to bring for a run like this: hat, clothes (layers) – undies, jacket, belt, watch, flashlight (for night run), reflector, socks, spares, towel, etc. Lot of lot of stuff. Usually I pack the night before. Not only that, you have to think food and drink. Since this is a virtual run, you would really have to consider what for each aid stop.

I didn’t prepare none of those until I woke up and said I will do a marathon today. My morning was actually interrupted by my boss, who had an IT issue and couldn’t wait until Monday. He called me and then my immediate manager. It had to be solved right now. So my blood pressure shot sky high. Not having eaten breakfast yet really put me in a foul mood. But the work got to be done. I logged into my work from my machine and fixed the issue. Everyone was happy but me. It was near noon by then.

I made lunch while also planning for dinner – with a virtual race still at the back of my head. Hey, you are going to run 5-6 hours and by the time you get back it would be dinner time. Then there is laundry too. Another surprising thing is when you work from home, shouldn’t clothes needed to be washed be less? I just did laundry like two/three days ago and now the hamper basket is full again. What give? I guess I have been running more while working from home!

Yup, another hiccup, there was no more food in the fridge. Wait before that, my most important piece of equipment for a virtual run, my gps garmin watch was low on battery. No watch meant no proof that the run actually happened. I forgot to charge it after my last run. It wouldn’t last for 5-6 hours out there. While that was being charged up, I made a quick drive to the market. Surprise, surprise. I brought everything but stuff for preparing my dinner. I only later realized this while running, what am I to eat after finishing the run.

During that time, I was filling up my water bottles. Prepared my one and only aid station (my house). I planned to do two loops around my neighborhood. On my second loop I would stop by my house to fill up and eat – have it set up like a real aid station. Really, by the time I left my house for my run, it was 3 pm. It was a late start. If the race would take 5 hours, I wouldn’t finish until 8 pm. Knowing it would take that long was demoralizing.

We were blessed with ‘nice’ calm weather. Sky was overcast. Orignally the forecast called for rain the whole day, even as late Friday forecast indicated. But rain had stopped by time I woke up. So the whole time I was out, was a cool 55F (12C), perfect running temperature. There were some mist, but I remained dry. I just hate running when it is wet and cold. I had one short sleeves and shorts. I didn’t lube up, and surprising did not get burn too badly. I had worn a normal underwear and it was rubbing the wrong way during the run, but I survived. Talk about lack of planning there.

Unlike the first virtual run, the whole run was slow and just draggingly slow. I went in the opposite direction this time to spice thing up. The loop I chose is really only 12 miles and so I would need to add two more miles to make it a 26.2. On the last virtual run, I did the two extra miles at the beginning. This time, I decided to add them in halfway. So it is more like a out and back. You add just enough so each loop would be 13.1. That what I did. I ran an extra half mile (out and back made it one mile to the Chantilly Library) in the middle of my loop.

One thing I did not notice on my first virtual run is how beautiful the neighborhood is. The cherry trees are blooming. The soft petals flow down as the wind blows. The ground is covered with white and pink petals. There is a lake. The lake reflects the trees and flowers. I could just stay there. No I got to continue on my run.

There were more runners out and about this weekend. Actually every day I woke up and I went outside and looked, everyone was staying put. But on Friday, half the people were gone (their cars were gone). On Saturday people cars were in their driveways but I saw a lot people being outside.

I generally love my run. I use the time to reflect on things. This virtual race was anything but peaceful reflection. It was more like when will this run going to end.

I saw the time elapsed. As usual, I tried to ignore and avoid looking at my watch too much. Half hour gone by quickly, then an hour and two. I got to ‘half way’ of my first loop around after 4 pm. I stopped for a break and my mom came out (she lives in the neighborhood) and took my picture. She didn’t get to see me on my first virtual run. I said she should be social distancing. She is considered to be in the at risk group – due to her underlining health issue and age.

Any way after the break, I added in the ‘bonus’ mile so I would end my first loop with 13.1 mile. It was way after six when I finished the first loop. I really did not want to run another loop. But I want that 26 miles. I told myself it is still not too late to turn around. I could have my dinner and we could attempt it on another day. How tempting that was. I arrived at my house. I was out of water in my bottle so I needed to top off. I grabbed an orange previously prepared to make it easier to peel while on the go. Off I went for the second loop.

I was not doing great with my time. I already calculated that it would be impossible to finish by 8 pm. With three hours on the first loop, I wouldn’t finish until 9 pm. I kept on praying, Dear Supreme Being, I don’t want to be out here till 9 pm. Have mercy. I was hoping maybe just 10 mins slower than my normal run. Passing my mom’s place the second time, but this time I did not stop. I continued to the Library for the extra mile. The sun started to set. It was a cloudy evening, so no pretty sunset. The cloud was so thick it was just a haze when you looked up. There was no golden glow. Just gray. I had my flashlight on me but I hoped it wouldn’t too quickly get dark that I would need to use it. 7:30, then 8 pm. I was counting down miles. 5 miles left. Five miles is five miles too far. On a normal day it means 40 more minutes. But tonight, who knows, it might be another hour.

I know the route well, completely had it in my head. I know if I get to that traffic light, I would only have about 2.5 miles left. I turned on my flash light by then. I did not check my watch but it got to be after 8 pm. I told myself, only way forward is to finish. To finish means I have to keep on running. Pushing on is the only way to finish. Surely my legs were hurting. Old wound too. Put that out of your mind. Got to keep running. I got to the traffic light. There was only a straight-a-way part now (rt 29 Lee Highway). Passed the sign that said 29th Infantry Memorial Highway. wohoo a piece of history. Never saw it there before. Now where is the sign of welcome to Centreville? The neighborhood became more familar because this is my hood! I ran passed all the stores. My house is outside the business district. Only a mile to go. There was still a hill to climb. It felt like downhill to me.

I imagined some of my last miles of previous marathons. Morgantown came to mind. I told myself, did you remember that crazy last mile? Or the JFK? It was dark and we (me and a lady) ran through the neighborhood just like this one. It was a joy reliving the moments of my previous races. But there was no actual finish line to cross for this virtual race. No one would greet me when I finish. No medal or celebration. It was just a virtual run. But I had to press on. Last mile.

I was so close. There the 26th mile marker I told myself. In reality there was none like that. Come on, only point two mile to go, I said. I got to get to the firehouse where I started. Can’t stop now. Yes the finish line was arbitrary decided to be the firestation. The last mile is always the hardest. There was no cheering as I reached it. I calmly stopped my watch. Good Lawd it was 8:40 something (actual time, not bib time). I did not look at the elapsed time. I was completely drained. No matter how tired I was, make sure that watch data was saved. I’m not gonna run this all over again. Now that felt like a real marathon. I haven’t experienced this for a long time (at least since January).

Imagine though running another marathon or even the third time with no rest in between, how would the body handle it. Yet I plan to do just that in couple weeks, I would do a 52 mile run (a double marathon for my Roanoke virtual race) and in June, if the race is still on, I would be doing a 70 mile run (8 miles shy of doing a marathon three times).

For naming – I haven’t decided which race I will apply this virtual marathon toward. For now it will be called the Centreville Marathon. Hey, we might make it an annual event. FYI, Centreville has no running club, and we don’t have our own marathon ever. Yup, this is the first.

map of my run. Time 5:41:09. Distance 27.19. 3218 Calories burned

Epilogue: my mom was at my house since 8 pm because she heard me saying I would finish by 8. The last virtual marathon (same route) only taken me only 4:45, so a 5-hour marathon finish is very reasonable estimate. She had prepared dinner and brought a lot of other stuffs, soy milk, pears for me too. I was dead tired though but did eat after a long relaxing shower. Then I couldn’t keep my eyelids open. That concluded the day.