Day348 here I go

This was written in mid August as I was trying to get my body back in shape. I had stopped running for the longest time, about 6 weeks. At first I thought only couple weeks off after running the 100 mile. Once you stopped, it was hard to get back on the habit of daily running.

I had a lot to post then, this mini post didn’t make the cut. By the way, I finished the 1000 miles GVRAT. Enjoy.


I did my ‘first’ half marathon after a long break. It was ugly. 3 hrs. I walked the last two miles. For perspective, I used to run it in 2 hours or less.

Why the rush to rack up my mileage? I am still in the GVRAT race to run 1000 miles this summer. I am at 795 miles. So about 200 miles left in two weeks.

Secretly I want to do 2000 km (that is for this race 1270 miles). Realistically that is kind of out of my range to run 500 miles in two weeks. It means about doing 35 miles a day. I am struggling at even running 10 miles a day. Originally, it was very doable, to run about 6 miles a day, but I goofed off for about two months. Here I am, being so behind on my miles.

Today the first five miles was mostly running. I had it that I only walk only after every mile. I try to keep my walking short (30 sec to a min at most) then run another mile. This is almost an interval training. By mile three I was into it. I wish I could be back in shape and to able to run without stopping.

By mile 6, I reached my high. I felt shiver running across my skin. Yike.

By mile 10 I hit the wall. Normally this occurs at mile 18-22. All I could think of at the time was a nice can of soda. By mile 13, all hope is lost. I couldn’t breath. I was hyperventing. I walked all the way home.

Now had a nice cold shower and my body is refreshed.

Oh my body is aching all over. It is like back to what I used to be. My left ankle is also giving me trouble. I thought with two months of resting would get it to be as good as new, but there is something wrong. I rolled it back in June.

Will I see a doctor? No… I’m stubborn. I will limp and run on a bad ankle.


Day346 back to normal

It felt weird, now things are back to normal. Couple days ago, I was in Atlanta doing this run. It was not really my life goal. Yet I poured in energy and time for whole summer. It could have been the capstone for this summer.

I don’t know what to think of it but to move on. It was a nice experience. I learned more about ultra running when I thought I knew already so much.

It is different from doing ultra training runs in my own neighborhood than going to a place like an actual race and do it. The stake is higher. Everything before was a test run and this time is for real.

They say to train your run like if it is a real event. Mental barrier is real. It is hard to fool the mind.

What all the rambling is about? I don’t know, they are a bit of reflection on the Alanta run. I have a race report 99% done. While I ran last night, I discovered a few more things that I want to incorporate into the report.

A preview of it, is the previous blog entry I wrote immediately afterward. It is the shoes, but I found deeper things/insight than that. It has to do with training and preparation.

A thought too, there always plenty of reasons for why something didn’t happen. I could write a book on it – like the Fall of Rome. Eventually, I got to move on.


Day267 run summary


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.


weekly run summary

Day 251 / week 9

I reread a year of my blog posts over the weekend on my training runs and it was funny that I always say I don’t run enough and that my training plan is derailing, but I always pulled through in the end for my race. I am always a crutch runner. Training plan doesn’t work for me.

I feel like I am at the point that the training is going off the rail about now. Isn’t it always around week 10? This time around I don’t have a schedule to follow. If I get off, I won’t know where to get back on.

There’s nothing to brag about this weekend. I supposed to go for a hill run, since literally I had nothing to do or nowhere to go. My face was glued to the screen, Facebook, Youtube, news sites, and it was hard to pull myself away. Finally, I made myself out the house around 2 pm on Sunday to at least put in a decent run.

total 62 miles

Monday: rest

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday 13

Thursday 12

Friday 11

Saturday: 0

Sunday: 26.2, a virtual run. What does that mean? I ran by myself.

Why a marathon this weekend? I signed up for the DC rock n roll (was 3/28) but of course it was canceled due to the coronavirus. I knew I have to do a marathon either this weekend or the next as part of my training. Since I felt fresh, I decided to do it a week early. Also who knows if the government will issue a lockdown order in our area. I read about people running a marathon on their driveway or balcony. I wouldn’t want to do that unless there’s no choice.

Also, I want to get a feel for the next virtual race. I signed up for the Blue Ridge (double) Marathon, which is to run a marathon twice, 52.4 miles. That too was canceled and we were encouraged to run it virtually on our own.

The farest I ever did was 50 miles. It will be a challenge.

For a 52-53 mile run, I am not sure if I would find the strength at the end. I will write more about when the time comes. I plan to do it on the weekend after Easter. It will be on the same course as this weekend run (planning to be out for 12-13 hours). As a virtual run, it could be hard or it could be easy. We’ll see.


Monday run summary

day 245

The week has been distracting to say the least with the coronavirus news. I only had one marathon canceled on me so far but it dealt me a major blow and I haven’t really run much. It shouldn’t affect me emotionally. I know I should run with or without the race, but it really took all the motivation out.

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 3.5

Wednesday: don’t remember. 0 mile

Thursday: 8. group run canceled

Friday: 0 traveling

Saturday: 20 walk/run in 6 hours. Rolled my ankle again and walked mostly the last two hours back to the car

Sunday: 0. I was a bum, sleeping at home

total: 31.


Laurel #2 review/lesson

Day 244

The trip was almost a mirror of the first trip but with better luck. I was able to leave from work on time and with lighter traffic than usual from the COVID-19, I was able to get home within an hour.

The clock started ticking once I got home. I decided to cook my own food for this trip instead eating the dehydrated meals, because it was just too expensive to buy and with the CoVID scare, there were not any to buy. It was my first time cooking for a trip but nothing scare me. Just do what I got to do is my mentality. I didn’t have pasta so I went with my go to rice with hotdogs and eggs and honey. I brought some nuts too. I will leave the shopping part later – it was insane in our area. A little healthier than my nornmal hiking meal but not by much!

I still hadn’t pack because I was lazy. really lazy and busy the past several nights. Work situation didn’t help when I had to stay late to make sure everyone could work from home. Couple people less tech inclined people needed more help. Also we had to make sure our company technology infrastructure could handle. Friday was off without a problem. We sent everyone home accept me, my manager and couple of colleagues who wanted to go in.

All in all, I finally got going around 9:00 pm and I had to fill up my car with petrol. It would be a 3 and half hour driving if I I drive fast, but I was sticking to the speed limit. I ate while on the way. After the meal, around 10-10:30 pm I really needed a nap. I had to stop at a McDonalds to get a coffee. Luckily, they still had some. It didn’t taste too fresh but it got me staying awake. I got to camp around 1 am. Set up and closed my eyes by 1:30. I needed a good rest for the next day.

The air was cooler than expected. I did not bring my 10deg (F) bag this time but opted for a 32 (F). I had a long sleeves on but was in shorts. 32F didn’t do justice. I had no cap on. I was bordering uncomfortable cold. I woke up couple times trying to shift my postition. It got warmer when the sun came out and I sleep in till 8. It was nice for a change. Normally with camping, you get up when the sun rises. My friend, the drill master was not with me and I could be a bit lazy.

I woke up and quickly packed and headed out to my car with was about half a mile away. I left my food in the car the night before. It was still cold out and I didn’t warm up my food. Honey over rice and and broiled eggs would be my breakfast and lunch. I wish I brought some avocados but ran out of time.

Any way, I dropped my hiking pack in the car and swapped for my running sling. I didn’t have my hydration pack but opted for 3 8oz bottles. They were enough. I didn’t pack lunch but carried some candy bars. Off I went and the time was around 9-9:30. I hoped to get back around 3.

The trail was nice and dry this time. There were some muddy sections but was not as bad as the first time. It was very runable. This time without a 35-40 lb weight on my back, I indeed was running. I was not really flying down the trail but was cautious and also conserving energy for the next day.

Half way through though, I rolled my ankle – my left again, unlucky I was. So I walked for a few mile. I was thinking now what? I am like 6 miles from the car. Should I head back or press on? I was here to run. What with this limping?

I pressed on and see how my foot would take it. I got to mile marker 9 before heading back. My orginal goal was to try to get to marker 4-5, but having calculated the time it would take, I wouldn’t be back to my car until 5 or later and I might be caught in the evening rain when I headed for the second camp.

So I turned around. I got back to the car by 3:30. The temperature had dropped. The moment I entered my car, it started snowing. I didn’t anticpated that. Car was like 10-15 degrees warmer. Still I felt cold. It was too cold to go back out to hike to the second camp. I took out my lunch and ate hoping the snow would lighten up. I was still cold, actually very cold. I decided, I didn’t want a second night out and I rather wished to be back home. It was an easy decision, and to home I went!

Lessons: gas was cheap in west virginia while pa and md were not. no, lesson #1, was night running was hard. While hiking in I could barely find or see the trail, if not for me having been there before, I would have a hard time. It could be my eye sight was failing. So Laurel #3 and #4 has to be a night run. But day time running was so much better.

On my way home, I was using the scenic route and I could see every turn perfectly. I drove the same route there on the way in (rt 29 and MD51), and several times I thought I was going over the edge. It was quite scary experience. I did not want a dent in my truck. How different it was. My night time eye vision maybe failing me.

Top concern for the race is my ankle might not recover in time if I keep on rolling on it. Also I might roll it during the race. The chance is high.

Have a food bag for the race. When I come into the aid station, I could horde (with moderation) the food into the bag and eat them while on my way.

It is probably ok to be last on the first 20 miles. Real race start after the 20 mile. Just make sure I don’t get DQ.

Hopefully coronavirus would not ground my travel in two weeks for Laurel#3. I might defer Raurel#3 until May.

camping running

Laurel #2 – planning

day 242 Weekend plan

With last week reports out of the way, I am ready for tomorrow. Again apologize for bombarding so many long posts. I am training for the Laurel Highlands Ultra in PA taking place in June. My training plan has been weekend runs locally and test/training runs on location. This coming weekend will be my second attempt going out there. (I blogged about my first training run a month ago, link will be provided if I get to it).

After the first weekend out on the Laurel Highlands Trail, I have greater confidence that I could run the 70 mile race in June. It won’t be easy but the trail is almost like running on the road in most places (or like the C&O Canal). The hardest part would be the beginning 6-8 miles climb, I think. I already have a general plan how to tackle the race, even without a need of going back out to the trail for more training. I will discuss my strategy after my final trip there in May if chance allowed. COVID-19 might make a mess of thing for my April trip or even my May trip.

I do plan to keep mostly with my original plan, that is, to go out with three more times. Each time tackling about a 20-mile segment. It would allow me cover most of the trail. The dates for the next several outings are:

  • 3/14/2020 – Laurel #2 – early segment run
  • 4/4/2020 – Laurel #3 – daytime tail end section of the run?
  • 5/16/2020 – Laurel #4 – night time tail end run?

The second trip, Laurel #2 will be a modified of Laurel #1, since I hardly run on my first trip due to the slippery trail condition and the heavy pack I was carrying. This time, I am dropping my bag at camp#1 and run first then pick up on my way back.

Friday night: camp at Mile 18 (RT653). hope to arrive before midnight this time.

Saturday AM: run south out-n-back to Mile 11 (or 7) (total 14-22 miles) (3.5-4 hrs) (8.0a-12p) (or 3pm)

Saturday PM/Sunday AM: run north out-n-back to Mile 23-ish (8-10 miles)(to Camp Grindle Ridge) (2.5 hrs) (1-3.5 pm)

Saturday night: camp the 2nd night at Grindle Ridge (mile 23). Ya, I have to figure out how and when to get my pack out to mile 23. Do I do the run first and come back to my car to lug the heavy pack to camp? It is at least 5 miles away from my car. Also , Sunday, how will I get my pack back to my car? Logistic is a bear. I know I wish I have a human mule to carry my things. It would have made the run easier.

Sunday AM: run Mile -0.5 to mile 7 and back (14-15 miles) (4:20) (8:-12:20) if have time. This is a hard run though. I might swap Saturday with the Sunday run.

Sunday AM (option #2) run north from Brindle Ridge for about 7 miles out then run back to the car. Again, what do I do with my pack? Do I carry two packs – one for running and one for camping? Do I bring my full camping gear or swap for a UL (extremely light and basically carrying nothing)?

We will just have to wait and see. Last trip, I basically gave up the run on Sunday because it was so hard lugging the pack.


weekly run summary

Day 235 / week 6

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 4 mi

Wednesday: none

Thursday: 4

Friday: 14-15

Saturday: hiking buckhollow-hanzel river loop – 20 mi (ran about final 2 mi downhill); completed in 7 hours

Sunday: 10k race

total: 28 mi + 20 mi hiking

Due to various reasons mainly tireness and being lazy, I didn’t run over the weekend. The hike was mostly compensated my run. It was not strenuous, but my ankles had a very good workout. The pace was good. I had done this hike twice before and in the past it took me 8 hours at a much shorter distance (18 miles). I know now I have improved a lot since. Couple massive hills during the hikes were nothing to me; I didn’t break a sweat. My partner though was panting and we took couple short breaks on the way up; she said she was out of shape. I didn’t think so. We ran the last two miles downhill.

20 miles is still 20 miles. Though I felt I could have an even harder workout if I ran the thing, I was tired by the time we left the trail. I slept through the drive home, then the whole next day…basically skiping my long run on Sunday. I felt I might able to do the long run if I pushed myself…but the extra day of rest should help me next weekend.

I did the 10K. The time was acceptable. Finished in 53 minutes. My fastest 10K was in 48 min. 52-53 is around my average / 8:30 pace. It was still an improvement from my last few 10K. This was after a long hike from the day before. I really didn’t feel fresh that morning. To able to pull a reverse split was something – I didn’t really plan for that either, I only ran at the pace my body felt comfortable and as the race went on, my body and legs became easier to run.

I didn’t put up big number this week. I could have, but I had no regret to switch up the runs with a hike. I was grateful for my friend who canceled her weekend backpacking trip to hike with me on Saturday.

14 more weeks left before the Laurel Race.


weekly run summary

Day 231

This starts getting fun and I’m looking forward writing it.

This would be my fifth week. I have 15 more weeks before my Laurel Highlands race.

Total: 56-58 miles

Monday: rest. I didn’t want to rest because the week before I only did 9 miles* (plus 20+ miles of hiking), so I had fresh legs. In the end I rested anyhow because I wanted to put up big number again. Trust the plan, I told myself.

Tuesday: 4 mi. first day back running. It did feel heavy, not tired heavy but heavy from not haven’t run for a long time.

Wednesday: church and rested too because of time constraint. Ah, I know I need to wake up earlier so I could put in a run. Try again next week.

Thursday: 4 mi. second run for the week. Started to feel very good. Didn’t want to stop.

Friday: 13-14 mi. felt great and didn’t want to stop. Started the run early at 6 pm and finished by 8:30 pm. I would have ran some more but I had some work left at work to do and had to head back.

Saturday: 20 miles. I went back out to Buzzard Hill-Ashby Hollow. At first, I thought I wouldn’t able to do the whole thing because I got up late again, but lo, I was much much stronger this time. I could actually run some miles. At least for couple miles I could run under 17 min per mile! That’s the goal. I am still pretty slow though, 18 miles in 6 hours, that’s basically fast hiking (3 mph)!! I need to get that under 5.5 hours (race cut off speed). I double checked, my watch was showing 6k ft of elevation gain, so I had 12k ft of total elevation change. That’s a lot.

Sunday: 16 mi. Arlington/airport loop. The usual. Running on trail embarrasses me (frustrating too). I had to get back on road to feel that I could run. Running on trail now is still more like hiking than running. It was good feeling to know you could run and run fast. What a big different between trail and road!

I don’t hate long run now. Sunday has always been my best day. I do want to do Ashby Hollow again this weekend but also want to go somewhere else. Thinking about doing the Peak! Also The Little Devil’s Stair is cool too.

This post is already long enough, but while out on the trail, I met a volunteer who helped out at my last big race, the JFK50, he recommended me to try running up the Priest. This place is a bit far away, but it peeks my interest. I haven’t been there though (I was at the foot of it last time) could have gone up last year if not for the lyme desease.

Sunday Arlington Run – I love this route. Miles 7-11 have some big hills. My hill training out in the woods helped me finally able to run up on them
Buzzard Hill & Ashby Hollow. My training ground. 2nd attempt. Hope some day able to run the whole thing in 5 hours, even 6 hours is good enough for me (currently took me 7.25 hrs to do)
Friday run, Rock Creek to around Haine’s Point. I haven’t gone this far south for a long time. Very quiet place, but popular for cyclists during warmer time. My watch ran out of battery after mile 9 (I added our club run normal square route then to make it a 13 mile run). Haine’s Point is also part of the route for our local marathons and big races (DC RnR, Marine Corps, Air Force Half, and Cherry Blossom 10 miler)


Day 218

Finally got my training started for this season. Maybe when I have time I will post why it took two months to get it off running. I blamed it on Post-Marathon Blue.

I will cheat a little and count the Sunday in San Diego as my Day 1/ 0.

-Sunday: 26.2 miles. ran the Carlsbad marathon

-Tuesday: 3 miles. group run. recovery run. was difficult since all my muscles were hurting.

-Thursday: 0 mile. Probably the Tuesday run got me sick. Fever on Wednesday to Thursday, and then the coughs.

-Saturday: 6 miles. felt like a new man. Did not have much sleep on Friday night due to all the pain from my cold and not from my running. I felt like an old man with pain at no matter which position I turned. But the run relieved all the tensions and tightness and the pain gradually dissipated.

-Sunday: 16 miles. Arlington/Airport loop. Realized not completely recovered from my marathon. Deep muscle pain.

total for the week: 51 miles.