Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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/

Categories
camping running

LH3 / LH4 plan

Day 247

mileage and campsites of Laurel highlands

Not even sure if there will be a race but the Laurel #3 over night trip is definitely canceled. I got words that Pennsylvania state parks no longer allow camping for the duration.

I might still go now my race schedule for April and May has pretty much free up. I might go as a day trip. Like last weekend, I arrived early Saturday morning (1AM) and left in the afternoon.

LH#3: I have options. But simplest is to camp at RT30, and run from RT 30, covering 10 miles in each direction. Possible date would be April 4. It probably during the peak of the outbreak, so the trip will likely be canceled. I haven’t picked another date yet.

LH#4: Night run of the last 10-15 miles to the finishing line. Possibly LH#5 if have the chance. Definitely needed. Last weekend, I found I did poorly in the dark. My night time vision is really bad, not sure if it was my head lamp battery was running low, but I couldn’t see the trail. When you can’t see, you can’t run.

Just toss this out there. I will refine the plan when the day get near. Of course, now I don’t have to worry about camping and lugging that huge pack any more.

Categories
life

Random Friday sort-of

Day 233 / weekend

A plug for my friend Isaiah Day who started this blog Player Development for athletes. I am anticipating his interview with an ultra distance runner next Tuesday 3/3 @10:00 ET.

More info about the interview can be found on his group Facebook page. ah…it is hard to link to FB.

Other news: This weekend probably won’t be much different.

Saturday! I will be hiking with my buddy K. No running… otherwise I would intimidate her. Actually I have seen her hiking faster than I can run on the trail. She is a downhill specialist.

We will be going to BuckHollow. It is one of my training destination. I have been lonely training for last five weeks and I have a partner to join me this weekend.

Sunday: Running the Pot of Gold 10K, which I wrote about in the previous entry. I am excited.

Rest of the day, I hope to squeeze in some long run.

There is actually quite a lot of things to do. Weekend is too short.

Categories
hikes running

The boring stuff / trip Laurel#1

Day 226

I left several things hanging in previous posts, because I ran out of time. Usually I write my posts either going to work or traveling home. I try to squeeze everything in before I ‘pass out’. I have motion sickness, so if I stare at something too long while in motion I get dizzy. It is always a race against the clock.

This coming weekend, I plan to head out to PA (Pennsylvania, did I spell it right?) to do the first of four segments of the Laurel Highlands Trail. I will run a 70.5 mile race there in early June. I plan to go out at least once a month in order to cover the whole trail. The last trip there will be a night run.

This first trip will be from mile 0 to mile 18. I will stay a night at mile 18, then run to mile 6 and spend a night there. If have time and ability go to mile 0. Then on Sunday I will go back to mile 18 for another night. Monday being a holiday, I could do some more hiking/running.

Depend on the ground condition, I plan to go to mile 23 too. My car will be parked at mile 18 the whole time.

I have been checking the trail condition. There is high chance there will be snow somewhere on the trail and possibly on the whole trail. Forecast for the weekend will be cold. I checked the one few webcams there and it was showing 6 inches of snow since last week. I am expecting temperature on Friday to be 17 or lower. Up on the ridge, I can expect possibly in single digit. I have a warm sleeping bag, 10/15F I think. Got to check. I might bring a second one to double up.

I am excited. I still don’t know how I can run much with a full pack on my back. I haven’t work that part out. I am balancing between safety and weight. The less I carry the faster/more I can run but I would be endanger of freezing myself at night. Best solution would have a ‘mule’ (that what they are called in the running world of your support crew who carry things for you – having a mule in a race is illegal though) who carry all my gear to the camp and I would focus on the running aspect. Unfortunately no mule for me on this trip. Who know? Maybe a miracle or an angel will show up. My hike leader won’t be coming on this trip.

It is the first or one of the few trips I am planning on my own. It was always good to have my hike leader do all the planning in the past. All I did was show up. This trip has this added component of planning. Not that I hate it, but I like to just wing it.

I could also carry my pack to camp first, drop the pack and then do the running. But how much time do I have left for the run? I don’t know but will see.

Another option would be carry my pack there on the first night. Camp and drop pack at camp, then run back to the car (12-18 miles). Take my car and drive back to the first camp and pick up my pack and drive to the second camp. All my camp spots were already booked. Otherwise…I just camp two nights at one place. This idea seems doable. I did not think of it when I booked the campsites.

Well a 12 mile hike wouldn’t take whole day even with snow on the ground. Probably 5-6 hours for me, which means I still have time for some running before night fall. (9-3 pm, 2.5 hours before dark).

I am excited. It would be my first camping/backpacking trip with a run component.

What I will actually do will depend on the situation once I arrive.

Categories
life

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!