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life

Day359 random friday?

I will just leave a bunch of stuffs here. Never mind I usually do that any way.

I signed up for a marathon! Not going to say it for fear of jinxing it. But yes there is a real marathon! There will be social distancing and stuff. I signed a waiver saying I won’t sue if I got Covid19 from it. I am excited. Yet just like Rock N the Knob I have to stay quiet! There are spots left…People if you are reading this go sign up. It is a real race except I try not to be too hyped about it.

Did I finish the report for Rock N the Knob?

I had this plan you know – I need a lot of miles and now my workplace has moved closer to where I live, it only takes me 45 mins to get to work instead of 1:20 min, I am thinking of running to work.

I haven’t planned it out yet. This is likely what I want to do. Take the bus in, and then run home at the end of the day. I am looking at a 18-20 mile run. It is doable. I get home before midnight.

My training also is calling for a night run. Someone on a local cycling group posted a 70 mile route in my area. I kind of want to try it. I have done part of it over the summer when I went for a out-and-back 60 miles. This is a loop course, so I want to try it one Friday night. My workplace is nearest to the trail head, so I am thinking of driving to work and leave my car there then head for the trail at the end of the work day and run 70+ miles. I should be done by Sunday and either sleep in my car or attempt to drive home in the wee hours. One of the problems I could think of is will they let me leave my car at work over the weekend? It would be a bummer at the end of my 70 mile run and my car is no longer there and have to run another 20+ miles home.

Laurel Highland race is this weekend (Tonight actually) for those who are doing it. They will get to the bus stop by 3 in the morning. I already defered my entry. Still I wanted to attempt a 70.5 mile run this weekend. I know it won’t be as hard as the Laurel run since there won’t be any elevation here in the city. But this weekend is pretty booked. I got work being spilled over (end of the fiscal year). I really want to do the run though even if it is a local run.

Yes, I need to focus on my rocky raccoon training. Week 1 is over and I have done about 13 miles so far.

remind me – I need to get a training plan in place.

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running

Day338 some boring stuff

Two more weeks until the end of August.

Why is that important? It will be the end of the GVRAT – the Tennessee virtual race. I finished the 1000k challenge back in June and have been dallying around trying to get to the 2000k. For the last two months I put in around 100 miles only and I am about 500 miles away from the finish line… probably not going to make it in two weeks. Well there is an incentive to reach a 1000 mile mark, which is just about 200 miles away for me (205). I think I could do that. A hundred this coming week and another 100 the following. Easy right?

2. GSER – The Atlanta Virtual race. I booked my plane ticket to go back to do this by the end of summer. Am I ready for round two? I don’t think I am, but will see. I have been struggling to run 13 miles much less to do a 100 miles in one shot. Will see. I know I don’t have to do it. RD has extended it to end of September when the weather is cooler to run. I am going to do it at end of August any way.

3. Fall will be here soon, meaning the start of Fall training. Even though many of Fall races have been canceled or gone virtual, there are couple ones that will be taking place. It means training time! I am excited. Several races are in the work, and will share once they come.

Relating to this I have been moving my races around. Got the news that DC Rock n Roll won’t be happening, so I plan to transfer my entry to Savannah Rock n Roll 2021. Looking toward to get my marathon in Georgia.

Laurel Highland Ultra – the race that has consumed me this year will be happening, but I put in my deferral to next year. The race will be held but will have a lot of restrictions (basically old school ultra – with very little support and you have to carry all the stuff on you; there are drop bags, however it is best to lug everything), so I don’t think I am up to the challenge to do it. RD allowed me to defer till next year. Hell yeah, I’m running it next year. I had my schedule next year exactly like this year! All the same races.

4. CRAW – And and I will be doing a new virtual race called the CRAW – circumpolar run around the world. This time will be done as a team/group run. 50,000 km total or something. The number of miles are beyond what I can count around 30,000 miles, but someone did the math, it is about 8 miles per day per person. We have until December 31, 2021 to finish. We can have up to 10 people per team. It will be done over 12 stages. Each stage as if a new race. I am still forming my team, wich is hard to do because not many people is willing to commit a year time. I don’t want to be stuck in a slow team… but I don’t also want too much pressure from my teammates to have to run gazzillion miles every day. I plan to try for one stage at a time. The first stage hopefully done by Nov. Race starts on Sept 1.

5. Realistically, my body hurts. Everything hurts. Bad ankle from previous injury. I am going to suck it up. That is pretty much the end of summer. What did I do during the summer? I watched lot of videos and run virtual races.

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life

Day324 up ahead

These two weeks have been a pause to life. There was nothing to do. More like nothing I want to do.

After the race, all the pressure is gone. I looked back at it a bit. There is a guy who is going to attempt it in six weeks (last weekend of August). I too am going to try it again. I booked my hotel and flight. I saved a bit money this time because of the price drop for flight. I could have saved much more on the hotel but I messed that up. If I booked my flight first I could get 20% on my hotel, but I booked the hotel first then the flight, so no 20% for me, that would have been $60 off. Still this second trip is already a lot cheaper.

It is silly for me to think running is a form of pressure. I think it is the good kind. I don’t like pressure I get from work with deadlines and worry about career path. If I could live and not have to work at all, that would be ideal, but unfortunately, I am a mortal like everyone else, working is a fact of life. Even millionaires work. I guess I wish I can do the things I can enjoy, like spending my time to program stuffs.

Just a few more days before my quarantine period is over – 48 more hours. I have been resting my body. For the first time, there is no ache or anything. They are all healed.

Actually, I don’t think my body took that big a damage. I can say, I am 100% back to normal and ready to do it again.

Enough digression. For next six-eight weeks, I plan to go to PA, WV, PA, and then a family camping trip.

Next weekend: would be the virtual run trip to Camp Anderson. I need to get that done in July.

The following week (last week of July), I would either rest or try Laurel highland or Seneca, in West Virginia.

Then August, I need to make a trip to Laurel Highlands. Have to start training again.

Then a week (first/second week of August) to rest up or do a local run (such snicker gap). I will leave a week unplanned. I could go down to grayson highlands if I am up for it.

Third week in August would be family camping at Buffalo Park. Really don’t want to take a day off for this even though I have plenty of PTO available (20+ days)

Fourth week of August would be my run in Atlanta again.

There is not much time. Summer is passing quickly. I need to get back to speed.

Constant high paced life and over commitment is not good. But sometimes it just can’t be helped.

PS. I have been monitoring the Covid-19 situation in Atlanta. It is not good. Based on current available projection though the end of August should have some improvements. It is possible that Atlanta would have a lower Covid-19 count than here in Northern Virginia by then. Hopefully, they won’t require me to go into quarantine once I get there.

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running

Day315 race day

By the time this post is published, I should be near the end of my run, probably 24 hours into it. There will be a proper race report after I get enough sleep – either I finish it or I DNF (not finish) halfway.

Pretty much the same theme from previous posts. I couldn’t really sleep during the day time. My Hotel is comfortable. It is one of the better inn and I got a very good deal, something close to 50% off, granted no one is traveling at this time…, or you would think. I couldn’t resist not sleeping the night of and ruin my Friday morning :(, ah, got to suffer tonight.

Atlanta airport is completely different than Dulles (IAD). There are so many people. ATL being one of the busiest airports is no joke. Stores are closed but they have vending machines in the airport! I was thinking earlier where would people going to eat, for those who have to transfer. I can say it was so much more crowded here!

Weather was OK, not too hot, granted it was 9 pm. There is a chance of rain on Saturday afternoon. I should be OK. Will let you know. I probably passed it or in the middle of it.

Altanta in what we call a phase 3 so I shouldn’t have problem getting food. However, I am kind of annoyed by Walmart closing early! I thought they are open late, but I think they now close at 8pm. They are still operating under a phase 1 reopening! Well probably a good thing.

Most of my run will be during night time. The morning stretch will be going toward in the suburb and remote areas.

Still going to do according to plan. Going to head up the trail around 6-7 in the evening. There is no rush. I have a window from 6-midnight, in order to not rush and catch the flight home after finish. I need to be back at the airport by noon. So I need to finish no later than 10:30 on Sunday. Meaning 2AM is the latest time to start (still within a safe margin), and anything after that is tempting fate and I have been getting a series of bad lucks for this trip of days leading up to it. So the earlier the better, so I could finish at sun down too around that time the following day. The later I start, means the less time to sleep after I’m done and also increase the risk of DNF. Will see if this was a smart move.

I repacked my pack once arrived at my hotel. I brought a bigger pack 18L in addition to my normal 6-8L. It is big for running. I tossed this in the suitcase at the last minute. It is a day pack for hiking, so running might be a challenge (I did use it to run a few times before). Since I am expecting most places to be closed, I am lugging my own food supplies with me. I tossed in a water filter too just in case I couldn’t get water and will rely on nature to provide. I study the map, there is a few places that open 24 hours, so I am not too concerned. It is a tough to run 100 miles while carry such a pack. I pretty much decided to use this bigger/heavier pack though.

I have about 2500-2700 calories packed for 34 hours. Not a lot but will be sufficient to pull me through. Most of them are sugary, such as candies, beef jerky, and bars, so not sure if they can starve the hunger. My math might be wrong, in my mind they look more 1000 calories at most.

I have not calculated how much calories I will be burning, maybe over 30000 and probably closer to 5000-6000. Hopefully I will get some supplements on the way. The choices I had were not ideal since I couldn’t get to Walmart and now is a bit late to do things. I wish I have real food. They got to do and hope there will be real food along the way.

I brought some food too, to leave behind at the hotel to eat after I finish. I might go to a McDonalds or Wendys once I’m done, unless it is midnight.

Just when I was about to finish this post, I came across an article of a planned protest at Centennial Olympic Park, which is my finish line. I couldn’t find the time. It will be evening during my finish time (7-9pm ish). Out of all the luck…this is probably the worse. Yesterday, I was even imagining heading into Atlanta with the full fireworks display in front of me as I triumphantly finish my first 100 mile run. Such romanticism. Now I have plan around to avoid the protest. I can’t control the course, but I can control the finishing time. Oh by the way, I just read, no fireworks this year due to covid19. bummer.

Edit to add: I quitted the race a little over halfway point when I don’t think I could finish. I still got 40 miles to go and about 10 hours to do it, however I was moving at 2 miles an hour. I was hoping the darkness will give me the umph, but it didn’t come. So why suffer for another sleepless night. I will hopefully write a report why. Called an uber, and hour later, I am back at the hotel.

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running

Day313 – last minute

Nothing much was done today. All that I planned didn’t come into fruition. I’m racing against the clock on many fronts.

FedEx print center, last night I checked they were open late but tonight I went there they were closed. They have the new limited hours from 10-6. So I will have to go there tomorrow to have my turnsheet laminated.

I gave up laminating the map. I looked at it. It was too big. The streets were too tiny. I might as well memorize the path and rely on my phone from time to time and trust my turn sheet.

I tested my GPS. It is a piece of crap. Like previous experience, it didn’t do jack. I should have brought a more expensive model.

I did some shopping today. I think I know what I will eat. I will go light on the calories this time. Just barely enough to get me through. In the past I ate too much and it slowed me down. I need to find the sweet spot.

I was able to read one of the runners most recent race report. He finished it last week. The report was very helpful. He failed to meet the cut off at the Stone mountain before they locked the gate. He got in but couldn’t make it out before the gate closed.

I wouldn’t want that to happen to me. I am not that good in scaling fences in the middle of the night especially when I am half dead after doing 62 miles.

So at least I should push my start an hour earlier so looking at 3 AM start at the latest.

I have been rethinking the start time a bit. I might going to do a night run by pushing the start time even earlier starting at 6-7 PM, so I could make it to Stone Mountain in the morning, 8-9 AM instead of in the evening, the gate should be open by then. This will get to finish around 12-1 midnight the next day.

Doing a night start completely mess up all the gas station stops because likely they will be closed most of the time I am in the city because it will be in the middle of the night. I will be in downtown Atlanta around 2-3 AM when all the eateries are closed. By the time they are open I will be doing the last 40 miles on the Stone Mnt trail. There does not seem to have a lot of places to get food on the trail until I get back into the city and by then it will be 8-9 pm the following day.

The report scared me. I am afraid of pain. I never push myself beyond my pain point. The guy wrote that at mile 80, he felt the pain and blisters and everything including tireness from lack of sleep. I don’t know if I can handle that. I ran 60 miles before. At that time I knew I still had enough in me to push on. However, mile 80 is something I never experience before…and I don’t know if I will be willing to push on. I know it will come…I read many reports about it. No one is an energizer bunny. I am afraid I might break.

conclusion/decision. Start time has me worry. Most likely it will be an early start at 2-3AM. Alternatively I sleep in on Friday, and run at night at 5PM. This is very high risk because who know if I can sleep during the day. If I can’t fall asleep during the day, I will be screwed. To force myself to sleep in the day, then I shouldn’t sleep on Thursday night. This will also hamper my ability. In the end, I am still running out of time. I wish I knew it earlier and readjust my sleep time several days ahead. This is part of ultra learning curve.

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life

Day302 crawling

The day is crawling by.

I was caught in the rain last night. I got my move back and ran 10 miles. It started raining at mile 5 and I had to head back. I checked the forecast then and it was showing the heaven is going open up. So I took shelter in the bus station and double check how long it would last. It was showing going last until midnight. I told myself, I am not sleeping in a bus station, I am heading home.

So dashed into the rain and ran as fast as I could. Luckily the rain was not as heavy as forecasted. After a mile or two the rain was gone and I arrived home. The heavy downpour didn’t start until midnight.

Thursday and weekend starts tomorrow. My camping trip is canceled. I am itching now to go to PA to do the 70 mile run on Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail (LHHT). Couple runners might do it but no one has committed. I don’t have a crew and it will be tough to take on. 22 hours to get from one end to the next. For me the problem is what to do once I reach the end. There is no signal to hail an uber and I will be 70 miles from my car and no town nearby. Jonestown is a bit away, if I must, then got to hike to the nearest town in the middle of the night.

I haven’t thought it through.

Or I stay local and run my 70 miles here. Or drive down to Tennessee border and do my long run there.

My GVRAT race has less than 90 miles to go. Then I would finish the 1000k challenge. Hoping for another 10 or 15 miles to knock off some of those miles.

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life

Day296 holding pattern

I’m still in a holding pattern, being lazy to do anything on everything.

Next Next Friday is supposed to be my June race in Pennsylvania, which was already canceled, but I plan to go and run the trail any way. It is supposed to be very hard.

Yet, I have done zero planning. Where will I sleep and when will I sleep. How long will I run. Where will I get food. The whole 70.5 miles trail is in the woods far from any stores, so only way is to stash supplies along the route. Water and food. More importantly water. I have done absolutely zero on thinking it through.

I signed up also for the Atlanta race. I know, I need to buy a map and sit down and draw out turn by turn and have it memorized. Yet , I am sitting on my butt. If I am driving down to Atlanta, I should think about the scheduling. 10 hours going down and 34 hours running. I need 2-5 hours resting. Then 10 hours back. 60 total hours of required operation time over a four days weekend. Plus have to build in 8-10 hours of sleep. Not sure if I can pull it off. Yes, need to think things through. 60 hours is 2 and half day. Technically it is doable. Ya you don’t want me to be on the road driving a 10 hour trip back after 3 days with very little sleep. A recipe for disaster. I was thinking about flying … but possibly corona infection is a concern.

I like doing things and thinking of the big picture, but when planning for the operational stuff, I get paralyzed and indecisive. Simple decision like plane or drive…is taking me two days thinking about it and still no solution. Ya, I know, best if not go at all.

Third trip. I wanted to head down to Tennessee to finish my GVRAT race. I have 200 more miles to go. I think I can run the final 100 miles over a weekend. Yet I am paralyzed with when to do it. The thing stopping me is I don’t want to do it myself. The drive would be long 6-7 hours, one way. Run a 100 mile and drive back 6-7 hours. 50 hours operation. Not including sleep. Need minimum three days to do it. Technically, could leave work a little early on Friday, and do a long drive. Start the run at very early on Saturday, Will finish by noon on Sunday and make the long drive back before midnight. Very tight schedule and also very little sleep. 2-3 hours on Friday. And lucky if 2-3 hours before the drive back on Sunday if I finish the run early. Wish I can get a friend to do the driving for me.

Prepping for a self support run is a lot of work. You have to think way ahead of where you will be at any given moment, to plan for contingency – bail out points, support points. Emergency and stuffs, but I’m so lazy of doing the homework.

Tennesee trip would be a go if I have it on the 3rd weekend of June. This is planning. I need to set a go-no go poll.

Anyway. My hiking buddy is asking if I am free the second weekend of June for some backpacking. I miss backpacking. Yet I want to do the running too. She found another guy to do the hike with, so my interest in it wane a bit. I know the guy. Not jealous or anything, but it was more like ‘a polite or formality’ in asking me, and like I was expected to decline the invitation. I am in a holding pattern. I wanted to go, but didn’t give my yes. Any way, I should do the PA trip myself since it was ‘planned’ since who knows when.

I wish I am more decisive. If it were not for the pandemic, I would have all my weekends planned out…with this race and that race and I hardly have to decide on anything. They all fall into place.

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running

day280 Fall plan, 24 hr run likely

I got another email of a race being canceled or moved to a virtual race. I elected to do it virtually.

This race, Parks Half Marathon, is scheduled for early September, but the race organizer couldn’t secure the necesssry permits for it at this time due to all the closings. It is possible that by September, things start to ease up, but when you plan a race, it is usually a few months to a year in advance. As of right now, the location of the race is on MD park and MD recreation and parks has no foreseeable date on the reopening.

This is in a way a good news for me because after signing up for the Parks Half Marathon last year (I signed up my races a year in advance too), another race director, whom I truly enjoyed his events last year, revealed about hosting a 24 hour race and I really wanted to do it except that it falls on the same weekend. I follow the policy of first come/first serve to avoid all the ‘drama’ of shifting dates around – so if a race is on my calendar, I try not to move it. I believe if you move it once, you gonna move it twice, so it is better not to move it in the first place. I have gazzillion races on the calendar, moving one will neccessitate of moving a bunch of other stuffs, someone will cry when that happens.

Someone will definitely cry. We (couple of my running buddies) have an annual 9-11 memorial 5K run that weekend too, so if I am shifting my races around, I won’t be making to that run either. We will see. That race draws a huge crowd, and so it is likely to be canceled too, then I have a perfect excuse to skip town 🙂

The cancellation of the Parks Half Marathon opens up for me to do the 24 hour race. I am excited because I always want to test my limit and I have not done one before. I am on the wimpy side and need my sleep every night. I too am easily fall asleep, even if while standing up. A 24 hr will indeed be a challenge for me not to fall asleep. The race director even offers saying there will be a ‘resting’ area for those who want to take a nap, that is just too tempting.

Other fall plans: Run the JFK 50 again. This time I am not scare. People have started to train for it (24 weeks out). Another race is the Philadelphia Marathon on the same weekend Nov 22, I think. My running buddies are doing that and very tempted to join them. I am also thinking of Gettysburg Marathon on Oct 18. Very tempted to sign up. In the past, I would already have done so, but now, with the virus around, all traveling plans are on hold.

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running

Day267 run summary

Week14

Nothing spectacular this week. I ran less frequently than I should. I couldn’t remember what held me back. Maybe, because my running usually occurred during dinner time and this week I lost it to my appetite. I have gained couple pounds.

I really need to push my running to the morning.

Monday-Friday: none

Saturday: 27 to Reston

Sunday: 13 miles around the neighborhood

It is official that my race in June won’t be taking place. I won’t have to train for it any more. It was a good thing because I was way behind on my training.

So my next race will be in July. There is uncertainty if the race will remain. July race is a 50K so, not really something I worry about.

I plan to run a 50 miler in August. I haven’t signed up for that. Will see how the coronavirus turn out by then.

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life running

day262 midweek look

I hope to do a post over the weekend, so this is more like a mid week posting for me, but to you readers, it is weekend already.

Time flies. While in college, my roommate used to tease me whenever I said time flies. He would ask me to show him how does it fly or something like that, because he likes to be very literal — since both of us were majoring in engineering, we were literal and only say things with precision.

Time does fly. Oh Boy. I can’t believe a week has gone by. Not just a week, but a month. Five weeks I think of being stuck at home, 40 days to be exact since we have the first coronavirus case in the DC area. Why does it matter? Like everyone because of it, our lives – my life has been turned up side down. I know, I can’t consider myself suffering – having read and saw on the news of those who lost someone in this pandemic. Or those whose job was lost from the all the closings. I read a sad posting of a runner losing her father to the virus on here WP. Not sure if it is alright to share it, because it is not my story. Yet, it was very touching because it brought the virus to a personal level and not something I read on the news. [1]

My personal experience during these five weeks was not bad as all. As I wrote in other entries, it was more like a dream vacation. I am working from home of course, so it was not like a vacation-vacation per se. But it can be as relax as it can get. I won’t go into the details, but you can imagine. I do dress up each day and treat my work as if I am at the office from 9-5. I have a separate area just for work. However, all work is hectic and burdensome – real pain in the butt – if I have the choice to retire, I would, except I am still too young. Everyone say I have 30+ years to put in my due. More on retirement in another post – I try to be one of the FIRE, google it.

So working from home is not coasting at all. There are a lot I can say about it. My stress level is through the roof, yes coping with the virus plus just normal business cycle, we have a lot work – not a down turn at all for us, plus our company is in a transition to a new ownership, and plus a relocation of office. Yes, everything is through the roof. Virus thing and closing regulations are not helping when you need to get certain things to happen by a certain date. Things go wrong when they are not supposed to go wrong. I think like an engineer you know. We should have everything in control. I won’t get into it, but that is the stress of required me(or my company) to do the impossible each day.

I keep saying each day is like the day before and each week is like the week before. The only thing changes is how the coronavirus is spreading. In our community, we have over 1000 infections (1375). We have about 1 million people in our county. So it is 1375/mil, and can be thought of roughly is 1 in 1000 (my neighboring state and/or county is double that even though we are identical in every way – I will write in a separate post why that is if I get to it – make you think how the statistics is being counted). What this means is there is likely within a typical week, I would run into one person who has it. And this is the known infections (what is counted). They say the unknown (unreported) numbers of infection might be has high as 10 times that, so at 1 in 100.

Well I don’t think I would come into contact of 1000 people in a week especial now in a lockdown mode or else I am not locking down. But think with me, would a store or restaurant (carry-out) has 1000 customers in a day or in a week? I do go to the store at least once a week. Granted that those who know they have the disease would be in isolation. However, the spread is still ongoing even after a month, meaning there are still those who are carriers but don’t realize it. So 1-1000 is not farfetch at all. The window of me come in contact at that brief time is small, but in the back of my head, it is telling me, some time during today or this week, someone with the virus has passed through here!

The scary thing is I read about a store that was rumored to have 16 infections with many coming from the store employees – and the store is still open. This is a store I used to go to when I was still at work, but I haven’t gone there now since working from home. If readers want to look it up, search for Logan Circle, DC and Whole foods, infection. I won’t provide a link. This is the one that was published in the national newspaper. But the point is, how many other stores also have ‘cluster of infections’ like this except we just don’t know about? I suspected many stores are like this one and this particular store is not an exception but the norm. Hence it is still open and operating as normal!

If not for the virus, I can say with certainty what I will do over the weekend. I do have plans, but nothing is certain. Ha, this is reason for this post. Not about the virus, but my life. Yes, let get on with it and be safe about it.

One of the plans is to run a 50 mile this weekend. If I could pull this off, man, it would be one hell a weekend. It might be a 15-16 hour run. So I was thinking of starting at 3 am and finish around 6-7. I wouldn’t want to finish in the dark. I rather stsrt thr run when it is dark than finishing after sun is set.

I haven’t decided which day to do it on, Early Saturday or Sunday morning?

Also, would I quit when it becomes too hard? Last time I did it, there was no option to quit halfway because I was in the woods and usually 10-15 miles to the next aid station. The only option at the time was to run and tried to reach the aid station. Now, it could be very tempting to quit any time before the finish because the house wouldn’t be too far to get to and there is always uber (ya coronavirus etc, bad not social-distancing), but bailing option is available if ever comes to that.

I might be too chicken to do it this weekend and would have to defer to the following week or even one after. Any way, Happy Friday!

[1] https://ariruns.wordpress.com/2020/04/12/this-wasnt-supposed-to-happen/