Day 384

I am back to my usual of trying to scape together enough content for a post.

I finished the 48 hours run. It was not much to say except for the lack of sleep – but I cheated a little with an hour extra sleep one night during the graveyard shift. I think running a marathon is harder than doing this 48 hour of running. Actually it is only 44-45 hours because you don’t run at the final 48th hour. Because I was able to catch some snooze, I was not too overly tired.

I think for me, what would be the right level of challenge if it was running a 10K every 4 hours for 24 hours straight or 24 hours of 5K at every hour (Pembleton — I really want to try that next year).

Anyway, since I finished the 48 hour challenge, every 4 hours there is the residual urge to go out and run. I woke up at every 3 hours thinking, oh, did I miss a run and told myself no, go back to sleep.

Not feeling any particularly tired today. Yet I told myself, better be safe than sorry. Even though I could run today, I decided to stay put and rest up. Monday is my normal rest day. So I have to force myself to rest.

Nothing particularly insightful gleaned during my run. Time just went by quickly. Run, then changed, clean up, record the run, eat. do laundry and rest about couple hours and then start the cycle over. So I remember was Run, Eat, and Sleep. Time went by so fast.

It was a run I always want to do. It was like a mini camp for running. I read about people (two highschool runners – forgot their names) went to Kenya and ran with the elites there. They wrote about everyday was running. I was jealous of them to have such an opportunity. So the past weekend was like that for 48 hours totally gear toward running. I had a total 13 sessions. It was great. It was 13 sessions of tempo run. It was like a dream comes true.

Though I ran 50+ miles over the weekend, I was not exhausted. That I found fastinating.


Day383 training cont

I started this fad training since Friday that has been a circulated the running community this spring called 4 by 4 by 48 (4x4x48) run. David Goggins, a famous ultra runner, (he did many other notable things too) came up with the idea of running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. Rumors had it that he himself used it for his ultra trainings.

I was training for my 100 miler and I thought why just as well to try it. The run itself was too easy for me since I am now am able to run a 50 miler without dying. This 4x4x48 basically spreading a 50 miler over two days. So this is too easy.

What I found challenging was waking up in the middle of the night to do the midnight and the 4 am run. I started the run at 4. So all my runs occur at the 4, 8, 12 interval. The first night I already was struggling with the 12 am and 4 am. The second night I totally blew the midnight and 4 am run. I set alarms for them but over slept the 12 am by an hour. As for the 4 AM one, I heard the alarm but couldn’t will myself to get up. It was a battle of will. Finally after half hour of self talk and struggle, I convinced myself to get up and got out to run it. It was not bad once I started running.

Lucky that the second night the temperature was much milder. I hate cold. The temperature was around 50F instead of 42. So once I was out the door, I was not freezing to death. It was quite comfortable to run.

Another thing I found about the graveyard shift runs was I was hungry most of the time. But when I got back inside, I was too tired to eat anything but went straight back to bed. I slept on the second night. The first night I couldn’t sleep but second night, I needed all the sleep I could get. Constantly feeling that sleep deprivation.

I don’t know if I will do it again. Night runs are fun but they are too brutal. This kind of thing is not for me. I rather run in the day time than to miss sleep to do night training.

So my sleep dep training did not work out as I would expect because I went to bed. As for the 100 miler, I am not too worry because just losing sleep one night is not too bad. I can pull it through. But for 200 miler, not sleeping on the second night will mess me up.

Just few more runs today and I am finished with this 4x4x48. The hard part is already over.


Day382 training

I have not been training specifically for the Rocky Raccoon 100. I like the name. I have been calling it the Raccoon Race. I wanted to have a plan for training this race. I downloaded one from the internet but have not followed it.

I know I am much behind on many runs. We when training have certain miles and goal to reach for each week. It supposes to build up your fitness and endurance over the course.

I know I am not in too bad a shape since I have been running on and off. I did a marathon not long ago in October. I just did a 50 miler. It gave me a sense of where I am. The 50 miler was supposed to be a limit test. I was hoping to see how it compares to my strategy of doing the first 25 miles in 5 hours and the next 25 miles in 6 hours. Total of 11 hours.

My 50 miler was great I finished in 12.5 hours. Not great in term of my strat for the Raccoon but it is where I am right now. During the 50, the two guys in front of me were blocking me the whole way, especially near the end, so I did not really able to go full out. However, I do not regret about it. We should not go full out unless it is the one race (which Rocky Raccoon will be). Reason being is I am still in training. The Stone Mill Ultra was part of that training. They say don’t go full blast or else it takes a long time to recover. Those two guys helped me to perserve my strength for the Rocky Raccoon.

This weekend I am doing the Goggins 4x4x48. I miswrote in my previous blog saying it is 48×48. 48 miles in 48 hours. Same thing. 4 miles every 4 hours for the next 48 miles.

I started early at 4 pm. I already did 3 runs. The next run is in the middle of the night at 4 am (an hour away). I can’t fall asleep so I might as well blog.

First run went well. It was cold initially. I think 62 deg was cold, but it got warm as I started running. I did four miles no problem. It was nice doing it before the sun set.

My second run was after I got home from work. 8 pm. Again, I felt cold. The temp had dropped 10 deg to 52. I warmed up in no time and had to shed my layers. I finished it a bit faster. It took a bit more time though because of traffic lights.

My third was at midnight. I really did not want to do it. I had gone to bed early. By 10 ish I usually am sleepy. So I slept till 11:30 and forced myself up. I was cold again. The temp had dropped another 10 degs, now at 42 and will stay steady through out the night. I went out reluctantly. Once I got going it was not too bad. There was no wind and night was calm and brisky. I quicky warmed up and had to ditched two layers. I was down to a Tee and it felt good. I love the cold. I finished it a bit slower pace at 12 min mi. Not bad.

And have been waiting for my 4 am run since. I tried to catch some close eyes but not happening.

I started to feel the fatique in my muscles. There is still long way to go (2 more days – Sat and Sun) before finishing.

4x4x48 really tested the sleep deprivation and how the body adjusting to the reset.

That’s it for now. If I have time, I will update on my progress


Day376 small run

I had one of the best runs last night. It was just 10k. Just nice distance. I ran too many long miles and those were slugfest. I like short and fast runs.

It felt fast to me though the time showed otherwise. I felt I ran the fastest ever. Zoom Zoom. Due to corona virus, there have not been any 5K or 10K in the area. I use 5K and 10K as a stress test, that is, to run my heart out. For some reason, I could not run fast if I feel it is a ‘training’ run.

Normally last couple weeks, I did not have the motivation to do night runs. Either I was hungry, tired, sleepy, cold, or just wanted to watch youtube videos. I was slacking. The fear of lack of training for my race could not move me out of the door.

Yet last night, I faced with all the same situation. I was cold after leaving work. I was wearing three or 4 layers and was still cold. I had not eaten dinner. The sun has set (we turned our clock back so now it gets dark after ,5:30). Funny story, I think the construction people in the area forgot about the early darkness, they were still doing road work in the dark! I thought that was funny! Oops.

Any way, we had the coldest night so far. I made up my night to suit up and stepped out. I did a loop around my house. Did not feel like I was doing it. Feet did not want to run. However, my body started to warm up. So I stopped at my house and delayered. I dropped my two jackets. Took off my long sleeves and only have a tee on. I wrapped a glow jacket around me and headed out the second time.

The cold evening air felt alive! I loved it. I stretched my legs and ran. It was cold but alive at the same time. Originally I wanted only to do 3 miles but it was not enough. Halfway through, I decided to stay out a bit longer.

People at a church gave me a chill for a different reason. I did not expect anybody therrle but then cars started pulling in. They had an evening prayer virgil for the election today. The place was dark and it was just spooky as I ran across it. I felt better once I made the connection that they had a special prayer night. My church also sent out similar announcement – to pray for our nation (I think mostly so that Prez Trump would win). There though kind of panic in our area of fear of rioting. Stores in DC were boarded up. Though Virginia is calm.

I turned around and ran back home.

Why I wrote about the run? I had a thought this morning while in the shower. (Oh my the way, I was freezing once I got back in the house. I had to put back on 4 layers of clothes and were shaking in my bed.) My thought was our life consists of tiny events like a run here and there. It is like those tiny gears in a mechanical watch. The tiny gears drive the bigger gears, and those drive even larger gears so forth.

I have been only blogged about ‘big events’ relating to my runs but forgot about the smaller yet boring daily runs. Maybe because I felt they were not as important.

I actually have something I wanted to write but did not get a chance. On Sunday, I got my act together and went out to the Seneca Trail to preview the course (part of it) for my race.

I glad I went because I spent about three hours looking for that one turn off that looked weird on the map. I traveled about 8 miles back and forth at that particular point searching it. Some people pointed me here and there. I actually got in my car and ‘case’ the neighborhood to find where the trail ends. Glad no one called the cops on me. Eventually I found something I thought that would be it and decided to go home. I ran into a local trail runner and I popped the question if she knew where the course turns. She said yes, she will be running in the race two and she knew exactly where I was talking about. She said she volunteered at that turn in a previous years and noted some people missed the turn. She offerred to lead me there. I went with her and indeed, it was sneaky because it was not a path and unmarked in any maps. The whole point of this narative is I felt a bit relieved, I resolved one suspicious turn for my race!

I might write why this is important in another blog post about the seneca run.

OK that is all today. Outtake: I am looking forward to a big race so I can write about. Sometimes though a small nightly run is a gem.


Day375 Signal Knob

update: A bit worn out from the hike and run yesterday at Signal knob. Not sure if I will run today. Bye bye seneca. I will just have to risk it on race day without checking out where the trail goes at certain spots. (I read Benrunsonbeer’s report on his race and it got me worry. I am experiencing about the same thing)

I expected a cold morning yesterday with the temperature fell to mid to high 30s for the first time in our area this Fall. There were ice forming on my windshield.

I was slow in getting myself ready in the morning. I had a breakfast and tossed a bunch of food into my lunch bag. Got a bunch of clothes too, by the time I left the house it was 8 o clock. The drive took an hour and I set the wrong location to the trailhead without realizing until I showed up at the wrong place. I realized when I pulled into skyline drive, that this was not it. I had to reset the GPS to the real place and so got to the trail by 9-ish. Originally I wanted to be out there around 7-ish am to do one loop first before the kids arrived.

Kids! They were my sister’s and family. We were going to do the day hike together and in the afternoon I would run some more. They showed up at 10.

I ran there last year. It was challenging but not as bad as Wild Oak. The loop is shorter between 9-11 miles depending on the trails you take. You have a choice. The elevation gain is maybe 1000-1500. Oh, it is 2200 ft. But Wild Oak is twice to three times as that. still a loop at signal knob took me about 4 hours. I am slow. My goal is to run it in 2 hours.

As a matter of fact, we came across a guy four times on the trail. He was there when I started and he finished at 4 pm while I was just about to start my second loop. Amazing. He was going very strong when he passed me on his final loop! 36 miles in what 7 hours? Crazy! Did he even stop for lunch? If only I could run like him 🙂 It was a training run for him because the way he was hitting the strides, he was not straining or putting in sweat, while I was like a wheel has fallen off.

I got my run in though. The last lap for me was iffy. The time was four pm and I was unsure whether to start the second loop because sunset is around 6:30 and I don’t want to be on the mountain after dark. I experienced that a few weeks ago. Nope not going to repeat that trying to descend from the mountain with a tiny candlelight flashlight.

I did start hoping I could finish it in about 2 hours. So I went for it. Then came the hill climbs. My feet were jack. I couldn’t run uphill. Yes I need to work more on the hill climb. I literally hiked up the mountain. I ended up getting caught in darkness.

My hope was to chase the kids as they literally were doing 40-45 mins a mile. They had about 6 miles to go when I left them. I was hoping by running I would caught up to them. Nope, I took the wrong turn and ended up doing the longer loop of 11 miles instead of the 9 miles. I arrived at the separation point at about 5:20. We were there having lunch at 2 pm when I said I would run and hope to catch up on my 2nd lap. I know I was 3 hours and 20 mins behind them and they had only 6 miles to go. I was hoping they would slow down to 1 mile an hour. I have about 1 hr ish to catch up. They texted me later that they finished. I thought so too that they should be finishing around 6:30. I knew I had an hour left and 6 miles to go. If it was on flat ground I could run 6 miles in an hour, but we were on the mountain here. Looking at the stat now, I was moving 3 mi an hour – yes very slow!

I got their message that they arrived back at the car around 7 o’clock with me having a mile-ish left, maybe 1.5 miles. It was good though because once I got their text message, I relaxed. No longer was I chasing them. I took a water break, got my gu gel in me, to restore my energy. They called this a reset – to reset your heart rate. The sun had completely set by then.

I could still make out a bit of the faint outline of the trail using my god given spider sense. Then I told myself let not break a leg and need to turn on the flash light. Flash light actually made it worse because now my night vision ability was gone. The faint outline of the trail was completely gone. The flashlight did not help in seeing the trail. I felt more blind with the light on than without the light, but it was too late to turn off the light now, a little light is better than none. All I could see is the immediate steps in front of my shoes! You don’t run by looking at your feet! You have to gaze ahead. Basically that was the end of running for me. I hiked the rest of the way out.

I had a flashlight on me but it was hard to see the trail. I went by feel and trusted my feet would find the path. The last two miles were in darkness. The final mile was iffy because I was not sure if I was on the trail or some other terrain (it felt like I was on a dry river bed). I could not see the blazes at all. There was that fear I might be lost in the forest with half a mile to go! I finished around 7:15 pm. The kids left me their birthday cakes (It was one of them birthday). They said so long by messaging and was long gone when I arrived at the parking lot. I hopped in my truck and out of there.

The reason that it was kind of scary was I was wearing a tee and shorts and temperature would drop to freezing point in the night. So I didn’t want to be stuck out there. I have layers put away in my hiker pack but still, the thought of spending night out in the woods is no fun.

So that was my exciting adventure of the week. (voting too could be up there as the most exciting thing for my week, but I don’t write about that. I did the early in-person voting the past Wednesday. Running in the dark though, you can’t beat that)

life running


I didn’t go camping. Instead I had a lazy saturday.

I injured my foot last weekend while running. I didn’t notice anything wrong at the time, but it probably was from over straining my right foot. You know the whole body hurts after running the marathon and my right foot was hurting. I didn’t pay much attention to it but through out the week, the top of my right foot continued to hurt. I stopped running by Wednesday to let it recover. By today, it still hurts.

I googled on foot pain. They had several reasons. I am scared of having foot fractured. They said it would take 4-6 weeks to recover. It means no running.

I can’t be sure unless I go see a doctor. They said even with the x-ray it might not show up. Only advice is to rest and use ice/heating pad. I don’t know. I massaged it every day and night. I hope it will be better soon.

So because my foot is bad, I was thinking to go camping to rest a bit from running. That though probably not a good idea either since I usually carry a heavy pack on me when I backpack.

In the end I didn’t go. It was not for my foot but because I was too slow in getting my things together on Friday night.

By noon on Saturday, I was still only partially packed, I decided to abandoned the trip but to go to a park to run instead. In a couple weeks I will be running a 50 mile race. I signed up on a spurt moment early October. There is finally a race being approved in my area. So I signed up. I have very little training for it. It finally sank in now I need to train.

So I went to Seneca Park – well not exactly there but an area south of it. My race will be the whole thing at the park and the surrounding region. I did a race there this spring and already know part of the trail. So today I went to explore the part I have not been to. The trail is called Muddy Branch, but luckily our fall is quite dry and I did not get muddy.

I did a six miles out and then back. Ended up with 13.1. I reached 13 miles when I got back to the car, but I wanted the extra .1 to say I did a half marathon today for a training run.

That’s all. Originally, I wanted to do my birthday run too, which means a lot of miles because I am now into my 4th decade. I backed out of that. I would not want to be out running the whole day. A short few hours of running was enough.


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.