Day397 Top 10

I am a bit vain this year to do a top 10 of 2020 of my runs.

2020 compares to 2019, let’s see. 2019 had tons of going on. I ran my first 50 miler plus going to Chile afterward for Patagonia and did many other stuffs. Thought can’t top that, can I?

But 2020 was not a dud. Still I am kind of scratching my head trying to think of what did I do in 2020. What happened there. So here go boys and girls, the top 10 of 2020 Antin’s running report.

10. I had Carlsbad Marathon (plus attending a wedding). Yes what was I thinking? It was a 007 operation

9. Seneca Greenway 50K. This was pretty dope. We were on the edge of having that canceled due to Corona. We got through by the skin of our teeth. We ran it before masking was required. Yike!

8. GVRAT. The rat race. Awesome in its own way. I ran 1000 miles. Never done anything like this. I ran across Tennessee virtually.

7. GSER. I went to Atlanta-Georgia twice during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic to do this virtual run and both times DNF-ed (failed to finish). We could label it as GSER1 and GSER2. Unbelieverably hard and risky. There were BLM protests and all (I saw more police than protesters though). It was one of the epicenters of what 2020 is about (as you know still ongoing with the elections). I had the boots on the ground! I can say I was part of history. Hey, we take that — both the good and the bad.

6. CRAW. A virtual race across the world and is still ongoing. We ran over 5,000 miles. The fun never stops. 31,000 miles is the end, so 26,000 miles to go. We will definitely be crawling. Are we an airplane though?

5. Camp Anderson. Another virtual event but WTF, everyone showed up in-person and we cumbaya at the camp… true, glad it was just 10-15 of us and not 150-200. It was still a WTH moment. I had a good 6-hr endurance run. Never was a run so hard. Great people though

4. Gettysburg Marathon. Thought all in-person races were canceled? I was able to “sneak” across the state line to do this one early morning (I didn’t tell my family). At the time they were not strict about needing a rapid corona test. Love this race though

3. Rock N the Knob. RTK. half marathon. Awesome trail race. Nuff said. Hardest of hard freaking race…”I need a sherpa”…who came up with a trail and a trail name like this? I will go back for a second. Yup, already registered it for 2021

2. Stone Mill 50. SM50 stressed me out like no other race. We started in the dark and finished in the dark. Way finding wasn’t hard, but I was worried the whole time of getting lost since “those” trails were not on any maps and the RD kind of handwaved that they were there. We did it that I got to say

1. Devil Dog the Lite version. 50K. Hmm. It was the last race I did. In December. Pog! Just a 50k but it has a “heritage” and I felt like I ran the 100. This means I need to do the real 100 miler version some day to earn it – a true devil dog

(Meta: I’m too lazy to post the links to the journal post of the runs I did …maybe some day I will go back to add them. By the way, just go to my run history page, it has the same thing)


Day327 MCM canceled

It is official. There won’t be a Marine Corps Marathon this year.

Not disappointed at all since this has been the pattern of last four months. Kind of expecting it because MCM is a big event and there is no way to host any race over 500 people people in this period much less the MCM usually draws over 30,000 just runners alone, not counting volunteers, law enforcement officers, street performers, vendors, and spectators. You are probably looking at a crowd twice to three times that size.

I still have couple more fixed (known) races, like the Richmond Marathon, Grayson highlands, Laurel Ultra, Highbridge Ultra. All those are really iffy now whether they will be held. All these have smaller crowd maybe 100-150 people except for the Richmond Marathon. Highbridge probably has even less (50 runners?) but Richmond likely is going be canceled (It has several thousand people).

Other than this I was kind of optimistic on Old Glory (November) and another ultra – something Lake. I have not signed up but waiting till the last possible minute so as not to be disappointed.

Just the other night, I was debating whether to run the JFK again, they accept 1200 runners! It is a big race, and I decided to sit it out this year. JFK is also very expensive ($300) and I didn’t want to sign up and get the email later saying it will not be taking place.

I have high hope for a Fat Ass run (Philadelphia). I didn’t get to do it last year due to my trip to Chile, so I will try not to miss it this year.


Day319 Back to normal

Things are back to normal for me. I am scratching my head what to write.

I have not started back on my regular run. I should be able to run. I feel healthy. 100M /100K, did not sap me of my strength. At least, I don’t think it was that damaging to my body. I am much relieved.

The reason I have not been outside is just out of concern of my fellow neighbors. Virginia as I know, unlike New York, does not have mandatory travel quarantine. But out of abundant caution, I am stayimg indoor and away of other people for at least two weeks since I came from a state that was considered one of restricted states (by New York). Don’t be selfish.

I had a race this coming weekend. Cat50K. However, I already wrote to the RD saying I won’t able to make it, doing a self quarantine. It would have been the first race since the this Covid19. I will miss it a lot.

We don’t have many races to the end of the year. Many races will continue to be canceled.

I am thinking of signing up a virtual race in July once my quarentine period is over. It will be in Pennsylvania. Mountain running.

In the Fall, I signed up the Marine Corps Marathon but it is very iffy if that it will take place.

I am looking at JFK 50. I have not signed up.

There is also the OGU, and Farmville 50K.

As for normal marathon, I am thinking either Gettysburg, and Portland, ME Marathon.

I have Richmond Marathon. But any big marathon is iffy.


Turkey Trot

Day 199 misc

Some of friends asked me to show them my medals from races. Here are the couple recent ones.

from left to right: Old Glory, MCM50k, and JFK50. That’s an Old Glory Patch, underneath the JFK medal, just received this week from the mail.

Not all races give all medals. I think it is less frequent for ultra to give them out. MCM and JFK are exceptional. I actually have too many medals from my marathons. I prefer patches, where I could stick them inside a notebook.

I love all these three races. It has been spectacular to able to do all of them.

I might not go back to do them again. I love Old Glory the Best.

After a few days of rest from finishining the JFK, I started to sign up for races. I just placed my name in for Laurel Highlands Ultra. This time, I will run the whole trail. My friend and I hiked it during May from End to little past the midway for 50 miles. The whole thing is 70 miles.

My entry isn’t guaranteed. They will pick 135 out of many entries. I hope I will be able to get in. However, if I don’t, I won’t be heart broken. I had several other races lining up as alternatives.

Letting my readers know, I originally was waitlisted for Grayson Highlands, but this week I got in! The race will be in may. I will be running the 50 miler.

Grayson Highlands is another of my favorite. My friend and I went camping/backpacking there two summers ago. We sweated tears and blood on that trail, which is also part of the AT (Appalachian Trail). AT runs almost the whole eastern side of US from Georgia to Maine. I don’t think the race will be on the AT but trails around the area. It will be fun and challenging.

I don’t know how hard either of them will be. People are saying Laurel Highlands is hard. I have personally hiked at both places. I can’t put it in perspective yet to run either of them. For Backpacking we took 4 days to do but with running, we are limited by time. For the Laurel Highlands, I am aiming for under 20 hours. For Grayson Highlands, not sure yet but within cutoff, maybe 15 hours. Need to read up on the race.

Then all is left is training. Both races are in the mountain, so hill training is a must.

Today I am doing a turkey trot. Last Thursday of November is Thanksgiving Day for us in the US, a national holiday to comtemplate the days of the pilgrims and God for this wonderful country where worshippers have freedom to worship without being oppressed by kings or government, something like that.

Traditionally – well modern tradition now, is ‘everyone’ go and run a 5k or 10k. A lot do. I am doing a 10k today. The weather is warm around 45-48F. Maybe 15 in C? Perfect runner weather.

I wrote up this post, so that I can get to day 200 to do my summer-fall review!


Two for one

Day 123 / York & St Michaels

I did a half marathon and a full marathon in one weekend. It was amazing. Looking back it doesn’t seem that hard because I have done hikes at that length over a weekend, but I was fearful when I signed up. Granted hiking and running is not the same thing.

For one there is no time pressure for hiking but with running I am on the clock! I could ignore the clock but I never willingly run a slower time on purpose.

There are too much to talk about. I won’t able to say everything. First, location, St. Michaels is a small historical town founded in the 1600s somthing. It has that quaint old feel. It supposes to be very beautiful but I didn’t get to see the harbor/ or pier where they keep their boats. We ran through some remote part of the island with a lot of trees. So only saw trees. The route is pretty boring. Whatever lacking in attractions was made up with the runner atmosphere. There were tons of people running this race. They had to use four different waves. There were thousand plus runners. So hotels and inns were all filled. I camped out and it was a pretty nice experience but I didn’t get much sleep because by the time I got to the site it was late and I slept after 10 and woke up at 3:45 to start packing. I was afraid to get caught in small town traffic with a thousand cars trying to get to the start line. The race started on time at 7:10. I finished in 2 hours.

What I got out from the race was it is good to have a coach! I was running with someone who was behind me with her trainer. It was very distracting to have the guy constantly motivating the lady. I just couldn’t run fast or slow enough to get out of their ear shot. But I wish I have a personal trainer who would tell me how fast to run at a certain portion.

That was that. St Michaels is a good race. I might go back there if they have a full marathon.

Now about the York Marathon (YMCA race), it was more than I expected because it was on the PA Heritage trail and it was beautiful. Running a trail marathon always beats a road marathon. It was flat. It was really a road marathon but on a less used trail. We hardly see any other people from the general public. The trail is 23-mile long and there are mostly farm land on either side. So it was a heavenly place for runners.

The race supports were great. They had radio team (probably there was no cell coverage), and they had profession road crossing crew. There was a water stop about every 2 miles.

The race was long because I ran slow (not by choice either because my body refused to run any faster). I kept mostly around 10 mile pace and was targeting a 4:20 finish. I finished at 4:24. I was hungry by the half way point. They don’t have food at this race only water and Gatorade. There were gummy bears at one station though I am not sure if it was provided by the race or was it from a bystander. I was too tired to care and just took them.

I hit the wall at mile 18 and didn’t really recover. There were a lot of strong runners. It was a Road Runner club qualifying race or something. We got to see some really good looking runners. Amazing!

I finished it was what I can say.


When nothing to do

Day 117

When I have nothing to do, I read up on races and what races to run. I came across a funny race called Flying Monkey Marathon. I won’t able to do it this year but this race attracted my attention.

I have been too overly concerned about a race course being certified, but this race has none of that. It claims running for running sake and not about time and getting qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. I like the snub it gives to other ‘toughest’ marathons. This one seems pretty tough. There are rolling hills. It is probably as tough as the Roanoke Marathon, which claims to be the toughest road marathon.

It got me thinking, that next year I should do all the marathons with flying in its name. So Flying Monkey will make the cut and Flying Pig too.

I also came across the Rocky fatass run. I think it is a 50k. It is interesting to run to all the spots in Philly as shown in the Rocky movies. I learn about what it means when a race calls itself a Fatass race. It means no support and is informal.

Edit to Add: Another race that caught my attention is Crazy Horse. Not related to flying, but hey, the name sounds cool.

Also the Air Force Marathon is related to the flying theme.


Misc – Random Thursday

Day 101

I signed up for few more races. Now don’t remember what I signed up. The biggest race was JFK 50 Miler in November. I wrote about of not doing this race because I might not recover in time for December hiking /trek. Couple things, Earth shattering thing happened in my life last week, what do they call it? YOLO? I felt I have a new leash on life and what I immediately did was registering for this race. If I don’t do it now, I might never ever do it. There you have it

I signed up for Crystal City 5K. They will host a 5K ever Friday in April. I also signed up for Mother’s Day 4 miler. Originally, I was going to go out of town that weekend to do some training run in the mountain, but decided to stay put.

I learned from a few things from my friend B, who is doing some fitness courses with me. I was motivating to think on one worse part of my body and do something about it.

Action. Action. I got a new watch! Garmin 235 something. It was an upgrade from my previous Garmin 35? Something like that. The newer watch has more function like I could read my email / notification on the watch. It buzzed a lot through out the day.

Weekend! I live mostly for the weekend. This weekend I will head out to the mountain, Doing somewhere from 10-20 miles hike with a full pack. We not sure where will will be going. The original site Torry Ridge seems to have some road work and we might not able to get to the trailhead. White Rock is our back up plan. Will see.

I started running again, few miles at a time. I did about 15 miles this week. Yes, it is a far cry from 40 mile week.

Locally the cherry blossoms are blooming. There is a kite festival this weekend. My friend brought a kite of a whale and she is going to fly it. It is humongous. I will be out of town though. My Cherry Blossom 10 miler race is next week. I will be looking forward to that. Then another week, I will be doing the first marathon for the year.

That’s it.