Day256 musing

Achievable Goals

I have been searching for a goal for this year. I am mixing the word goal, resolution, mission statement together here. I know they mean different thing and serve a purpose if they are treated separately.

Before the COVID19 epidemic, I was going through the motion with my runs. I had a plan or a set of plans to run my races. I find my ‘life’ and fulfilment through running, specifically in racing. I scheduled a bunch of them that should each build on top of one after another to get me to my big finale, the goal race in June. I thought I was on track. Things were set into motion. I have been doing this for the last 3 years. What could go wrong? You don’t need a plan when you are on autopilot.

COVID19 is a big hiccup in my plan though. 4 of 5 of my races were canceled. Yes all but one. I haven’t run or do the training on my own much since then. Tailspining still reeling from this. All my plans have gone out the window. Yes, I was caught unprepared. Dealing with the emotions from all this too. I experienced rage and depression – some say is the same thing on both sides of the coin. I was dealing with those. A dream crushed. An impossibility. madness. I experienced on some level the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and hopefully acceptance. We really have to call it out for what it is, so as to better cope with it.

While it is easy to just say do what you got to do, it is not. Not sure how I can ovetcome it. One way is to look at what do I really want.

Since the new year, I have been looking for something more for this year. It has been just a habit of mine to set a goal (resolution) for the year. I have been doing it for the last few years. I have trying to push myself to a new level.

The underlining theme is change and a change that leads to a transformation. I am no longer the same and I don’t want to be the same. Sometimes I just like the attention changes bring. But truly I want the good chamge. I seek changes because I am facing my limitation, inadequacy and maybe even something seriously wrong with me. I can’t stay like this any more or remain what I am now. It is the survival instinct to get out. Urgency to be different. Changes is needed to rise up to the challenge.

What I like to do is from time write/list out some of the things that give me joy (posted here), things like running in the rain, going camping in the dead of winter, or just taking a cold shower on a hot day. hmm. I see a pattern here with all being involve with wet and cold. I also like to make bucket lists (posted). What one thing I want to do before I die, I would ask myself. Of course to run in all fifty states for one. Many are frivolous and probably I won’t miss much if I don’t do them but some are really what I am passionate about, like run a 100 mile race, run across the US, hike the Appalachian Trail, and stuff like that. There are couple guys I followed on Youtube who have done or are doing some of the things I mentioned. They are ones for inspiration (Kerryward-fulltiltward is one).

Yet this few weeks, when I am in need of motivation, my list of things to do, did not provide me the uplifting I was looking for. They seem to be a scatter sort of disjointed things. Nor the heroes I look up to. They do say motivation got to come from within.

What dawn on me…ah maybe again from listening to Governor Cuomo briefing each day, while there is no one else to listen for inspiration since I can’t go to church any more at this time. As I mentioned somewhere, I like to listen to my pastor preaching (his live sermon) because he usually brings things to my mind that would make me think and get me going.

So Gov Cuomo said, we trying to do the achievable goals in NY, not his exact wording. He was explaining where he got the numbers of COVID ICU beds he will need at the peak of the epidemic. He said there are models out there used for the projection, some give a high number of beds what they will need and some the low numbers. New York will aim for somewhere in the middle. Because he knows if they shoot for the high model, it would be just an impossibilty to do, more like wishful thinking. We all try to reach a realistic and achievable goal. And it has to be within a specific time frame. He also said we don’t need the beds or ventilators two months from now. We need them now at the apex.

I do dream big. But sometimes I have to ground myself in reality. Like I can’t plan my yearly race expenses like I am a millionaire. I am not. That would be insane and unrealistic. Yet, there are goals that are hard, and might not be reachable at this point in time, but I can still see myself working toward it.

I want to work toward running in all 50 states and it is an achievable goal. Running across the US though is a bit unrealistic at this point in time. Running a 100 miles is hard but I can see myself doing it.

I am ending this blog post without finding that one goal that will get me going. Maybe I am thinking too hard on this mission statement. Maybe next time. It was a good brainstorming session.


vision & mission

Day 224

Goal: Key ideas usually come to me while I am running. I have been trying to have some kind of goals for this year. At first I was not so into the new year resolutions this year, which I usually made one in the past for all my adult life. It was probably all the ‘destressed’ /breaking in period from coming back from Chile. I was going through a time of mini depression but now better after finishing another marathon (Carlsbad). So I am back in the swing of things.

My last few weeks of training have been going great! I put up double digit back to back. It was even better than last fall when I was struggling with all the training and non-training activities, plus the stress from work. That was a mouthful.

Life was looking great! But I am not satisfied where I am. It seems too haphazard. It seems things are too random. Suddenly everything in life flows together where few months ago it was rough and tumbling.

I want control! So looking at my life, what do I really want to do this year? There is not anything ‘exciting’ I want to do. I am pretty much happy of where I am at.

This is not a resolution but pretty much a plan. I will get to the resolution later.

1. Running more ultras. I enjoys running so much and I think I am actually overboard obsess with it. Excessive is what can described about me. I don’t know why I was so down back in January. But running is what I like. This year I have signed up so many races! Incredible races and not sure how I will be able to do them all! see races.

2. I want to run fast! This should be a year I was trying to get a sub 3 marathon. However, this dream will be deferred for a few more years. I hope I can get a sub 4 marathon time or somewhere close. This will be very challenging. As of now, I am not confident if I could run a 4:30 marathon time.

3. Do something exciting! (Travel). Planning year for next year. I know I don’t have much money to travel any more for this year. But I should plan for the following year. Some exciting things are to travel to Everest! The group I usually travel with is going there this fall. A fall back option is, I would take Mt Kilimanjaro. I also want to run Rim-Rim-Rim of the the Grand Canyon. Basically you run across the Canyon to the other side and then back again. People plan this a year in advance!

4. A Hard Camping/BP trip. This is already happening but I am still quite nervous about camping by myself. A trip or few trips I want to do is Black Forest Trail in PA, Hut-to-Hut at Presidential Traverse, NH, and Andirondack the Great Range Traverse, NY. These hikes made my great leader/grown-man/women cried. I want to experience the same.

5. Be more open to people. Singleness. I am single and in many ways great because I am enjoying the single man life of running/hiking/traveling. Yet being single is not for me. It is definite a resolution item to get myself out there and meet more women who want to share a life together. My goal is to share myself more. Ah, how hard this is for me. Don’t laugh.

6. What would be good to have! Pacer. Running is mostly a solitary thing for me. As I tackling longer distances, I wish I have a training buddy, a coach, a crew and some pacers. I am actively seeking and recruiting pacers for my first 100 miler. I already put down the race I want to do. C&O ultra. I probably can do this without a crew or pacer, but it would be really nice to have one or two!

Back to topic. Yes these were what I am currently doing any way. They are in no way what I call a resolution. A resolution is something I must do differently.

As I was running on Thursday night, I realized I need an aim or focus. One thing that can give me an aim is to have a mission statement: what do you want to accomplish? vision statement: How do you see yourself when you reach your goal.

I really don’t have one written out yet. I have been running on auto pilot. Mostly to run and to run a lot and to run fast etc.

To enjoy life. To do something I don’t think I can do. I have been breaking a lot of mental barriers and did a lot what I couldn’t do five years ago!


Becoming something

Day 158

It seems I complain a lot as I embark on this this new season of training. Depending on how you count it this should be my seventh or ninth season (if you count three seasons a year, spring, summer, and fall or just two winter and spring). I’m not really counting but it is like I have been through this training thing quite a few times already. Things should be easier, you would think.

I am writing because, I see myself as a normal person. To others I might be a crazy person who run all the time, but I too struggle with my training. I would avoid running and exercise if it can help. I have to self-talk and bribe myself into running. Only thing is once I start to run, I don’t have regret. I then enjoy it. Having a goal help too.

Last three years have developed me into a better runner. I have reached far beyond what I originally imagined myself of doing. I initially only wanted my marathon passion not to be a one off event. But now I ran more races than I ever dreamed of. I have been to 5 states for my races and I am proud of it, and hopefully could do the remaining 45 states. I have done couple of ultras and they were unbelievable, you add in the word, incredible challenging, yet fulfilling. I wish though I have done more.

Each race led to the next with hoping one day to do the one by BAA, the crown of all marathons. Will I reach it? Who knows. I met a guy who was like me and he did it. I hope to do the same.

Anyway the point was, each successive year, my goal got bigger and bigger.

Ya, I have bad days too with my running.

Today I woke up, and my right shin is definitely has some sore. Shin splint. The muscle around my whole shin is tight. It is affecting me even as I walk. Should I call the day off from training?

I am proud of the my last week of the miles I put in. Not bad for the first week of training.

Monday: day off

Tuesday: club run 3.5 ish miles

Wednesday: run in the park. Trail. 1.5 miles

Thursday: club run canceled. Ran 8 miles

Friday: 10 miles Rock Creek and DC

Saturday: 20 miles – Manassas Battlefield

Sunday: 12 miles – Leesburg W&OD

55 miles total.


asking myself why / vision stm

I know perfectly well why I do things like running a marathon or backpacking over the weekend. People around me think I am suffering when I am really