I am a few hours away from starting the run. As of right now I just woke up and still am very comfortable on my bed in the hotel near the airport. By the way, after having been of other city airport hotels, this is one of the best! It is comfortable and inexpensive and you don’t hear the take offs and landing or airplane flying over. How do they do it? I found out they originally were a Motel 6, but they renovated it and upgraded all around. It is on the level of Comfort Suites. It is part of the Quality Inn chain, but the quality I am getting is way higher than all the Quality Inns I stayed at. I just love the hotel and want to sleep in. I paid for four nights, but tonight I won’t be there!
Ideally I should have started the run yesterday because it was cooler and the chance of encountering rain storms during the run was lower (30% chance only), but today and tomorrow, my chance of running into a storm is around 50%. They are leftovers from Cat 4 Laura that made landfall in the Texas/Lousiana region couple nights ago.
However, I was not ready yesterday. I had not reviewed the map then and had not decided on the starting time. Since the starting time would determine the ending time, it needed to be chosen carefully.
Last time, I started in the evening at 6 pm and was aiming to finish at 4 am two days later. I thought of doing so again and maybe moving up the starting time by a few hours.
I woke up late and had company’s work to do. It was my day off but I didn’t finish those stuff on the day before my trip (computer issue kept me from doing them – it decided to run an update when I tried to do my work before my flight! My frustration level was through the roof). So I spent the morning doing my work. I was not done until 2 pm. I then went for lunch. I knew the run was not happening because I had not packed yet! I got everything laid out, but still did not have my runner pack in a final ready to go condition. 100 mile requires careful consideration of what to take a long.
Then I decided to go to Walmart to get a watch (you know the cheap one that have a stop watch feature?) but as I got there, I forgot all about getting a watch but instead got a lot of stuff for dinner and food for the run and food to eat after the run! I brought $30 worth of junk food. I probably wouldn’t finish them all – 7 cans of spagetti, lot of fruit cups, oreo cookies, packs of juicy fruit candies, instant cup noodles, package tunas and more. The watch would let me calculate the interval (time of a shorter distance, say 10 or 20 miles) during the run because I don’t want to mess with my main watch since that will track the overall 100 mile distance. Not having a spare watch is not a problem. I could still do it in my head and with paper and pen, it just a lot burdensome.
When I got back to the hotel, I separated the food that I will take along into 6 ziplock bags. The goal is to eat a bag for every 6 hours (6 bags for 36 hours). I counted up each bag to have around 850 calories. I have six of these. This is much better than my last attempt. Last time, the whole run I only carried about one bag calories of food and ended up only eating about 10% and the rest of my calories came from sugarly drinks and I felt it affected my performance. First not enough, so I was dying halfway. I remembered my heart was racing crazy from the energy drink yet I didn’t have the power to run, and I was drained. I was so scared that I didn’t want another Powerade. It was not fun when your heart was about to explode and the lung was collapsing. Breathing hurt that time. I hope to avoid that mistake.
Because I will be carrying so much food (6 meals), I am bringing my big bookbag. They won’t all fit in the smaller pack. It is a daypack from my hiking trip. It is heavy. Very heavy. I don’t like running with such a heavy pack! But I need the food, unless I have someone to carry them for me. This is why I wish I have local support crew (aid stations). Otherwise, I could leave all the food/drinks with my crew and they just have to show up at a given interval and give me the food. Last time I was hoping the stores along the way would be my aid station. However, drinks were easy to come by but not food! They had candies but no real food. Real food were out of the way and I didn’t want to take a detour.
I think the food I am bringing along will be enough. It still is less than what my body will consume though. Every 6 hours my body will be burning 2000 calories and I am giving back only at most 1000. I plan to buy muscle milk and yogurt along the way, they will add couple hundred of calories. No more sodas this time around. They have to be high caloric drinks. I know I will still shutdown after halfway, but at least I hope it will give me enough to press on.
I checked the map afterward packing. I am not too worry. I wish still I had memorized the turns. We do what we have to do.
As for start time. I’m moving it up real early to 9/9:30 AM with the aim of finishing at 7:30 pm on Sat night.
That was the main reason I couldn’t set off yesterday. I was already behind the start time once I figured I wanted a morning start instead of an afternoon/evening start.
Having an extra day, physically was a good thing. My poison ivy infection is getting better. My left leg is almost completely healed of the ivy reaction. My right leg started to get worse on my flight to Atlanta and yesterday the bumps (30+) started weeping/oozing, that is good, it means they will be healing soon. It was what I was concerned about that the blisters from the ivy will break during my run and the friction from repetitive foot moment will agitate the wounds and they would get infected. Now they broke while I am still at the hotel. I washed and cleaned them with the poison ivy specialty soap. I should be ready for the run. I believe they will dry out during the run.
Only last concern is my cardio aerobic performance. It degraded a lot compare to last time. Those who have been following my blog know I was struggling with my runs. My feeling is I can only do 13 miles at most and probably drag it out to 26. I don’t know if I will even reach 50, much less get to 100. That is a realistic assessment. I know it is bad luck to envision failure even before starting.
I do want to get to the 100. It is a long shot. Even when I was in my peak, that was very hard (in the realm of impossible) thing. Now I am four times worse. Only way to find out is go out and try. I am very nervous.
I am not ready, but I am going. About 7 weeks ago (July 1/2), I was in Atlanta to run the Great Southern Endurance Run (GSER). I was only able to do it halfway and vowed I will be back to finish it.
Here goes, this weekend I will be there to redo the run. However, I feel totally under-prepared.
I am not as frantic as the last trip there. I don’t know why. I am even less prepared than the last time. I reread my blog of my trip last time…and I said I will do better in term of preparation, like taking the week off before the trip…change my sleep time to adjust for overnight running, pack the stuff I need for the runs (last time was last minute packing and I forgot certain things like lipbalm, sunblock lotion), get a better map and turnsheet, laminate the turnsheet, and many other things.
I have done none of that. I am just showing up to wing it! I told my friend I probably give up at the 13th mile this time around.
Any way, I will be flying out soon in couple hours. My run will probably be tomorrow. I could start at any time (it is a virtual race), but once it is started, I have to stay to finish. I am picking for the best day to start…Thursday or Friday? I am also thinking for a day time start instead of a night time.
I want to lean toward a Friday start. I will check the weather tomorrow and then decide.
It is sad to see an empty airport here at Dulles International! Just like last time. I bet though Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International will be crowded.
Worries? I have a lot. Mainly it is the D*** poison ivy. I am much better. The blisters have stopped oozing. I am using a type of soap that basically said take 2 days to heal. I am on the 2nd day. They still itch but much less (90% less). The itch drove me crazy before the medication. But still, yesterday, a whole bunch of blisters/boils popped up on my other foot. I applied the medication. They have not started oozing yet. It might take two more days for this foot to heal. However, I will be in the middle of the run by then…so the blisters might get infected during the run. Right now they are about to pop, so I am very nervous to run with a bunch of those. It is very uncomfortable. I would take a picture, but it will gross you out! That is my worry.
I had a history of bad allergic reaction to poison ivy. This time the overcounter medication seems to be able to suppress it. However, I hope it won’t break out while I am in Atlanta…ya, the last couple times I had poison ivy, I had to go see my family doctor for antibiotic to stop it. I won’t able to do that while in Atlanta.
Coronavirus: Virginia number is half of that of Atlanta (Georgia). It has come down a bit but the number is like last time when I went to Atlanta (on July 1). Riskwise should be the same as last time.
How do I feel? Not stressed. I felt I have to do it, like an obligation. So I will face all kind of ‘adversities’ and get worked up, and interfere with many other people (coworkers) to have this trip done. The truth is its not. This is a pleasure trip.
On a happy note…for me at least, is when I get back I will start the next wild thing. We will run across the world! (virtually). I am really looking forward to that. For a week (3 weeks actually) I thought no one would want to run with me, but I found 9 random people yesterday (well not me, they found me) and we are doing it! We are running as a team, and we need 10 people because that was a requirement. They are from all over the places, some from Texas, Florida, England, etc. I couldn’t keep track of all their names.
I think I am getting a hang of it now after five days of running. Might be sixth? Who is counting? I started some time last week. I know I want that finish of 500 miles by end of August. I know how many miles to run each day and I am very much behind. So I started running.
In the beginning, I was only able to put out about 5 miles and then upped a bit to 8 and then 11. Friday I didn’t run. Saturday and Sunday I added a bit more 13, then 14 and today 15.
I do wish to push out 20-30 miles a day in order to reach that 500 miles. Right now I have 450 miles left. Which mean 250 miles this week and 250 next week.
Today while running, I had a plan. Run 150 miles during week and 100 miles during the weekend. Each day I try to do 15 miles during the evening run. 5 miles during the morning run. See I can do it. 20×5 = 100.
I’m still short 75 miles. I will see how I fit that in. I might have to take Monday, August 31 off to fit that in. It will be very hard.
My body has hurt less than before. I run a bit better now. I could do 6 miles without stopping and I got my half marathon time (13.1 miles) down from 3 hours to 2:50. There is still much to go. Hopefully I can get back to running 13 or even 20 miles without stopping.
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.
There will be probably a bunch of fillers from here on out to Day 300 because I just need to fill up the gap and there is not much going on.
I guess those in the US all focusing on the civil unrest taking place. I have not much to comment on it other than I need to watch out for my own safety. I have been feeling safe in my neighborhood, as you readers know, I take long runs that sometimes last whole day 8-12 hours or longer. My usual daily run now typically last 3 hours, doing somewhere between 12-20 miles. I run from both sunrise to sunset and to late hours into the night.
I have been feeling pretty safe. But now I have to watchout for myself. People don’t care if I am a runner. I might get caught in bad situation. Also law enforcement might not care if I am just a passerby, I might get identify as one of the rioters. I have seen even a CNN reporter was arrested on TV for doing nothing, but reporting the situation.
I haven’t been out to DC at all. I have heard protest been going on for 5 days and police trying to clear the people out.
Our president was trying to gather the troop as a show of force, but seems to fail spectacularly. Virginia has refused to send their national guards for the task. This is unheard of. I have never seen chain-of-command being failed to honor. The commander is chief is calling his troop and his soldiers refuse to obey. This is unheard of. I see a lot of politic going on. Virginia governor doesn’t see the protest in the capital a threat to the nation survival.
But any way, I said my piece. I think we as a nation is comical to the world.
Tonight run was one of my best run. I put in 18 miles. I was light. The first mile/first step always was hard for me. Before I went out I felt very sleepy and I laid on the sofa and slept until past 7 pm. Normally I go at 6. Maybe the nap help. I was an energizer bunny and was out on the road until 11 something. That is 4 hours!
I feel very awake now. I could probably run another 3-4 more hours out there.
During the run, my mind was mostly on the protest. I read many different things. Racial tension is not something new in this country. It relatively new for me. I remember growing up hearing about the Rodney King’s incident. Subsequently other similar stuff took place, and many more occurents in recent times. Charlottesville incident was something closer to home for me. All this was crazy to process.
I thought back to my trip in Chile. There the protests were much more frequent (daily) and much worse. They had the popular support. Everyone would bring out their pot and pan and started banging.
I don’t see we here will get to that level soon. This time there are a lot of popular support but it is not at anarchy state like Chile.
I see America is changing. The constant theme of the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is so much more true today than when I grew up. I have seen reports supporting this. Real wages stagnant while expenses and cost of living go up. We have people now working two jobs and still could barely make end meet. At one point it reach a breaking point and society will unravel like in Chile.
Today, I was talking with my manager at work. He was telling me how in China they don’t have credit card. People can only spend what they have. They now switch to digital currency similar to bitcoin. He said we can’t have something like that here because it would kill all credit cards. Our economy would collapse without credit in the system. But then it is matter of time – like inevitably we would switch to a digital currency. He said that is a scary thought.
I don’t know what to think about that but he is right on one thing that we as a society rely heavily on the availability of credit.
That’s it for now. I will think of something to write tomorrow.
[long post] Back about a month ago, I went on ‘a walk‘, which was really a long run but I was very under-motivated at a time and was too ashamed to call it a run. All my races were being canceled at the time and my training for my biggest race of the year (June 13/Laurel race) was derailing faster than I can blink, since I want to train in the woods for that race but couldn’t do it because all the parks were closed (and we were supposed to stay at home) – led to no LH#4 trip. I know I could have sneaked into the woods and no one would care or be able to find me. Virginia has a lot of woods and national parks. Rangers can’t cover all of them. There are places no one would go to.
The walk ended up being a 24 mile run, but was short of a marathon which was what I truly targeting, since the last few runs earlier were virtual marathon runs. This one fell short and couldn’t be used as a virtual marathon.
The cool thing about it was I got to see my neighborhood – the big neighborhood what I normally don’t get to see when traveling in in a car. I experienced how big my community really is. It is a new perspective knowing it is big, yet also feeling good that I could walk around it. If you look at the map, the path I ran has a triangular shape.
Near the tip of the triangle, is where Main Street intersects Lee Hwy and becomes Rt 236, and I decided to turn back at the time because I never walked across that street before (crossing over to Main). I felt that was a new frontier. It was like in the Lord of Ring, when Frodo and Sam said after taking one more step, they would left Shire behind. I was there not daring to cross it that day, because it would have taken me outside my zone (neighborhood) and into Fairfax city.
Well, this past weekend, I crossed the street and continued on much further, in fact all the way to my former high school. I spent the afternoon exploring that new area, basically running up and down on Lee Hwy and Fairfax Blvd (same street but their name changes along the way).
I got to my high school. It was remodeled after I graduated. It looked a lot different. I have been back maybe once or twice to watch a play and at another time for a football game (something I didn’t experience while I was in school, it was all 20+ years ago). Funny how time flies. I felt it was just yesterday I graduated. I was feeling though, that this run was like the first time being back. I was wondering whether our senior class gift to the school is still there (most likely not). This moment was strange too since school is out due to the pandemic. There were a few people around. Some were running on the track. One father was taking picture of his daughter who was in her graduating gown. There were many signs posted along of the side walk congratulating the seniors because they were denied of a formal graduation ceremony.
At the time though, I wanted to see if I could run to my university, which was another maybe 5 miles away. In the end, I was hungry. It was about 6 pm in the evening. I scratched the plan to run to my college, since there are fewer restaurants near the college, because it is outside Fairfax City.
So I continued down on Rt 236. Got my dinner. There are a bunch of asian stores in that area, where I was. Annandale is known as Korean town (now Centreville has taken over that title; or has become K2, 2nd Korean town). No, I didn’t get to Annandale yet, but its influence can be felt.
The sun was hot. My pace became a walk. I walked for the next couple hours after dinner basically around a 6 miles block, by turning on Pickett Rd, and again on Fairfax Blvd, which took me back to my high school, after passing Fairfax Circle.
The rest of the journey was uneventful. I saw a beautiful sunset as I was heading west. Fairfax Blvd becomes Main St. I stayed on Main Street, which later becomes Lee Jackson Memorial. Once I crossed back onto Lee Jackson, the rest of the run was like the previous ones. I was in a familar territory, my neighborhood. Funny, a month ago I wouldn’t have considered that to be familar to me.
Why am I going into all these details? It can be a little dry even for those who know the geography. Get to the point, right? I passed through many sections of my “big town”. From Centreville, to Chantilly, to Government Center, and Fairfax Corner, into Fairfax City. Fairfax City is not small.
Centreville and the surrounding areas have been blooming like crazy for the past 20 years, even last 5-10 years, the place has become unrecognizable. They are still building it and transforming as we speak. To me that is very exciting, because I live in a dynamic city. For example, while growing up, Centreville was not a Korean town. There was only one Asian store there. Two actually, a Pho place. However, over the years, now almost every store has become Asian, mainly Korean, exaggerating a bit here. The best things are they stay open late into the night (pre-pandemic). There was once a Korean restaurant that opened 24 hours. I never went out that late, but my friends said it is typical in Korea.
In contrast, Fairfax City, while is still ‘expanding’, as I ran through it, has kept in its historical state. There is of course much history behind, since it was established 1869, but has existed long before that. I would say, the residents or local government has put a halt on it being transformed too quickly, because in the 50s, the surrounding area was growing at 60% [wiki] in population. That is quite a scary number (from 299,000 to 489,000) of people for the region in 10 years time. I think Fairfax too struggled to keep up at that pace. Things have slow quite a bit, especially the heart of Fairfax (the city).
Note, we have Fairfax City which is inside of Fairfax County. Sometimes they seem to be synonomous, but Fairfax is self-ruled, I think (and is separate from the County). While many other municipalities like Centreville does not have self-ruled, and is under the County’s management.
I felt I have walked into the past as I traveled down Fairfax Blvd. It was how it look maybe 30 or 50 years ago. It was just a weird feeling. Having been living in Centreville, and also working in downtown DC, I have come to expect new buildings and the modern look. But as I ran, I was saying huh, how come there isn’t any tall building here or there. Or why is there a strip mall here? There were a lot of ‘huh’ moments. It seems the locale is 20-30 years behind time. It is changing, but it is not doing as fast as out in the extended suburb. There are not many buildings/houses over three stories. Most of them are single story, flat. There are a lot of “green space”. All the surrounding places around Fairfax City has exploded with ‘high density’ this and that, but it seems Fairfax City is still a low density area. The image I had in my mind was like New York City Central Park being surrounded by all the skyscappers. I’m not complaining though, but that is how it comes across to me. I get the residents’ sentiments. People want to feel their root, how things look when they were a child here.
I came across a ‘house’, but it was like a farm to me. It might have been one. They kept all the land and now zoned as residential. There is a house at the very far end of the long driveway. This is rare in a city. I have not come across a lot of houses with a driveway, and one that is long, where you almost couldn’t see it. I said wow, I never expected a farm to be inside a city. Centreville and Chantilly used to be farm land too but now you can’t find any. You could if you drive a bit out to the next division/county over, e.g. to Cox Farm, where my sister loves to bring her kids there. We still have the street name called “Centreville Farms Rd” or Franklin Farm Rd, but no farm there.
To me, it seems people don’t want their neighborhood to be changed too quickly. Yet it seems also they are being left behind.
I was thinking, how come our city is not like say New York, or LA. Of course no one wants to be like them, at least not to have their troubles. But there is a good side in how ‘efficient’ city is when it is planed or organized. I have spent most of my running time, running in DC, or around my house in Centreville, and I just love the inner city feel (at least the rich part). I felt Fairfax or Centreville is missing something. It seems they lack a ‘vision’ of having a coherent master city plan. DC is a planned city. Yes, we have ton of growth. And Yes we have people who don’t want changes. But as I ran through the city (Fairfax City), I felt things got built or placed randomly. We do have zoning laws, but it doesn’t seem being done right.
Another thing we lack is an identity. We don’t have something to make Fairfax City unique. We have a lot of streets named after Confederate Soldiers/generals. This little history too I think one day will disappear because there is a movement to push back anything that has to do with the Confederate because of its tie to slavery, and the negative aspect (white supremacy), as seen in recent years’ protests, and antiprotests, and racial killing.
In DC, we have a lot of statutes and monuments and museums and government buildings to showcase – a tourism magnet. But in Fairfax, when someone speaks of Fairfax nothing really comes to mind. People make fun of it by saying we have Bulgogi (Korean Bbq). There is a video out there on Youtube made a few years ago comparing Fairfax with Arlington. Arlington has Starbucks. I think we have more than that!
I felt the city should have visible symbols that they can be proud of. We have a Fairfax Museum. I have been there, but it is nothing anything close to being like a museum in DC. There is nothing we can be proud of. Our identity mainly stems from being a suburb of DC. Fairfax City is even less developed than its surrounding. The whole city is underdeveloped, which is not neccessary a bad thing.
It does have an university, which was actually built outside the city because it couldn’t find enough land in the city (or that people doesn’t want anything to change within), that was where I was going to run to, but changed my mind as I was heading there.
Our county too lack a distinct identity. We are known as having one of the largest school system. We are supposed to be a pretty rich county, something like top 10 or even higher. We have tons of trails, for which I am glad. We have couple well known towns, mainly Reston, Herndon, Tysons, Vienna, Centreville, and Annandale. I leave out Alexandria and Falls Church for a reason (they have their own thing – self rule). I felt we can do better in term of having the infrastructure to support ‘future growth’.
Another example: The county has now a place for all its adminstrative building (in Fairfax Corners). But it seems to be a half baked idea. Not all the government functions are located there. I felt they should. We zoned it as such, why not make it a full blown the seat of the government for the county there? But we have too much money. We have three or for four different locations for the county HQs (headquarters). Might be a good thing. We have divided the county into “areas” by number internally, e.g. Area 1, Area 2, Area 3. Is there area 4? There is the north county, and south county. The government center, is on the west county, but we don’t call it as such. Weird, it is neither north or south. Don’t ask me which area it belongs. The area number seems to be labeled as such by construction people or some engineers/city planners (internally) and was never a name supposed to be used by the public. Schools though are divided by area number (weird right?).
It brought to mind as I ran, that DC has Wards (political sub division). I felt our county would be better if we are divided into wards, like DC. I don’t know why it is better, but at least I felt each Ward then would have its own identity. Ward 1, vs Ward 10. It is a bland identity, but at least it is something. Yes, voting wise, we have district – I am belonging to the Springfield congressional district even though the actual Springfield area is 20-25 miles away! They gerrymandered my area into theirs for historical reason. Don’t remember how many years ago that was. It is meaningless. I don’t vote for Springfield issues. There is probably some wise man, saying I got this wrong.
Another similar thought on identity is we should bid for an olympic event in our area. This actually came up last year or the year before when we tried to submit a bid – I think Baltimore did, they tried to get the Washingtonians to join them, though a lot of people I talked to were laughing at the idea – horrible idea to bring an olympic here to DC with our high security concerns. But we should make the place ‘tourist friendly’, and a successful olympic bid would do that. Also we should have a stadium or two, with at least one for the university. We should help our university to get into div 1 for its football program. Yes everything is about sport, especially football, in our nation. We should have national standing, and even internationally if we have an olympic here. The Washington Redskins were looking for a practice facility. We should have built one for them. However, many people opposed it. Not in our backyard, they say. Imagine every weekend tailgate party; the noise and mess of 40,000-80,000 fans streaming through your quiet neighborhood. No way, they say. I have attended a ‘big’ school with a football program. Ya, you can’t sleep or study with a game on.
I have traveled to couple other countries. I saw how they arranged their cities. There is some desire for my local area to be like that. Fairfax county/city right now feel a bit of being in the backwater.
Those were just some silly reflections. Not sure if they will ever get any where. I am not a politician nor have plan to become one. I see it as quirks or wrinkles of my locale. No one has tried straighten them out. Maybe some did and failed.
I got home after the sun has set. It was a long 41-42 miles run. My watch battery was low and I had to stop the gps tracking 6 miles short.
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. 
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!
Is it week 10 or 11 of my training? I lost track. Usually by the 10th week, everything fall apart. This time is no different.
I wrote this entry last week but lost it as I was about to publish and now finally found it again. How do you lose an entry? Ask WP. At that time, I didn’t know how, but now I found it was in the webpage folder instead of the blog post folder. So weird, you can’t move a post from one folder to the next. Does that make sense?
Bear with me if it seems to be the same stuff I wrote last week. I have short term memory.
total mile: 26
Monday/Tuesday rest: 0
Thursday: forgotten. probably 0
It has been another crazy week. This week was worse than the last. I had ton of time, yet very little running done because of the coronavirus.
Now I don’t have a 3 hour commute (roundtrip) every day. It is almost a vacation I always dream about. Every day is a Saturday. Almost. Yet, the reality of being stuck at home is no fun. I didn’t get to do what I need/want to do. No one to blame but me, for being too obssessed with the news.
For running, I am doing the same route. There are tons of neighborhoods I can run to, but I have been sticking to running the boring same route of back and forth in front of my house.
By the way, our county finally closed all the public parks. We haven’t done so at the national level yet. It is getting there. They closed the parks for cars. There are parks I can still run to without driving there. Our quarantine enforcement in our area has no bite. There is no street closure. We do it in some places, but the idea is not to limit movement, but prevent people from congregate at a location. No one is being pull over by the police for violating the ‘essential’ travel only. That bother me when I look out at the street and see so many cars. Basically people still can go where ever and do whatever they want. That should be good for me, right?
Along with everyone, I just can’t wait to have it over with. On one hand, it seems impossible to get everyone following the quarantine order. The other hand, we have shutdown the city like never before. However, there are too many people deem themselves essential. It is a disease we don’t see affecting us immediately due to the long incubation period and the infected can be without any symptoms but still can spread to others, which many didn’t realize. It might bite them two or three weeks from now. We are not fighting today battle. What we do now affect in 2-3 weeks time.
So it’s supposed to last 2-3 more weeks according to the New York governor before it gets better. New York is taking the lead and all eyes are on them. Our area is now maybe a month behind them (4000 cases, to theirs 130000). NY seems to slowing their curve today. Our area is slowing a bit too, it is no longer doubling at every 4-5 days as before or even freaking every 3 days sometimes, so that is some good news, but it is too early to tell.
The cost of the policy to shutdown the state/country is huge. There is also a cost if we do nothing. Some states still do not have a stay-at-home policy due to the low count of infections in their states. There are some who question if it worth it. Mayor of New York, said yes. For each life saved is worth the economic cost.
There are some good news that a cure or vaccine might be possible. Hopefully, everything will be over when the summer comes around. Hopefully not too long, so we can all get back to work.
I guess I am not the only one affected but many people around the world too.
In this corner of the world since we had our first case on March 7, things are changing day by day. Our government at various level declared a state of emergency. They always added that not to panic, the declaration was done so they could access special funding from a higher level of government.
There was a kind of disbelief at first that this is in our city. Then there was the panic. I believe on March 7, I still ran a marathon. I glad the race was held. I know it was a hard decision. If anyone got sick from the race, the media would have been all over it.
As of last week (Wednesday), our workplace started allowing anyone who wanted to work from home can work remotely. I think 80% of the staff took the offer. I was one of the few who was still going into the officw until they banned the general public from using the subway.
Then last Friday, the word got out, and there was a mad dash to the mall/grocery stores. By then almost there was no toilet paper available in the whole city. People were stockpiling weird stuffs. I was at Costco thinking to buy their inexpensive rotisserie chicken for lunch. We couldn’t get through the crowd. The check out line was all the way to the back of the store. I left empty ended. I had Costco pizza instead.
I have been working from home the last two days. I tried to keep the same schedule as if I wad going into work. I got up, showered, dressed. Instead of commuting, I had time for breakfast, a real breakfast and not just a piece of bread I normally stuff in my month as I rush on the road, eating while driving. Nope, now I had a sit down breakfast.
The day was pretty normal. I worked actually longer hours remotely than when I go in.
I tried to go for a run after work. I worked until 6 each night. Tonight I had to work a little bit longer. Time seemed go by quicker. I missed the normal office interaction with my coworkers. Yes, it is a bit more quiet at home.
I was not as tired now, saving time from not having to go in to work is a plus. I could run longer. I had more time! Yesterday I ran about 13 miles in 3 hours. Not a fast pace but it was very enjoyable. Today I did 12 miles in 2:22.
I have a roomate who works in the food industry. His life is definitely affect by this since no one goes to eatout any more.
The coronavirus has caused all of us to stay put. In the coming days, it might get worse. I keep on imagining it would be like one of the scary movie like World War Z or Residence Evil. I don’t know. Or maybe I am Legend.
The last two nights, as I ran around the neighborhood, it seemed like the city empties itself out. It was such an eerie feeling.
I don’t know how to close this post. Let life goes on.
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.