Day 229

I filed my taxes today! My office manager helped me. I can do it myself and I used to do it myself but for last six years, it was my manager who helped me. One less headache.

It is safer to hike/backpack with a friend. That was a big idea I had while on the trail last weekend. I took several tumbles (more like a dozen times) and I could have been seriously hurt! Sometimes though it is hard to find someone to have the time to hike with you.

Tonight message (from my pastor’s preaching), was mind-blowing when I started applying them to my running. What I distilled from my pastor was 1. Got to be transformed 2. image – we are transforming to conform to an image (a model) 3. breaking out of our present mold (reality) to glory. 4. meaning giving up something that is holding you back. There were more but I didn’t catch them

None of these were new to me but it was like a wake up call. Like why did I not see it before? Now my running will definitely improve. I know my pastor means changing our life and walk closer to God for eternal good in doing what God wants us to do in our present life. Yet what is more practical for me is about improvement on running. I was no longer falling asleep at this time through the sermon but was wide eyed. Preach more pastor! I want to be a better runner!

What this all mean to me is how to get out of my stagnation. I feel I am in a hump (really!) and am ready to change – breaking out. I want to get better at my running and I am not satisfied with my current progress. I feel my runs has stagnated. Because I have fallen into a rut and at time being complacent with my training. I know back in 2016-2017 I would set alarm to wake up at 4AM and run! That was some dedication. Even at 10 PM when my friend would call me, if I want to go to the gym, I would immediately say yes, count me in. Let’s go! I lack that kind of enthusiasm now a day. I prefer let me sleep in a bit more. A lot of junks (bad habits) have creeped into my life too.

How do you deal with not being the same as before? I have been running for 3 years and what do I really want to accomplish? If I want to run faster, I really have to reach that goal. Maybe I am getting older and so I am getting slower. This calls for a need to transform. But how do you do that?

One needs to see what is happening and change it. Truth. We need the truth (to see what we did not see before) and the truth will set you free. Truth is revelation. We are constantly learning. Take in and evaluate. Sometimes it comes in a dream. We need to start dreaming. I get my inspiration about my running while I am on the trail, and listening preacher’s sermon. I need to use my off days to learn!

Ask yourself what do I have to change. Change is hard because we have accepted what we currently are doing is right and we have to see that it as not right. We have to turn things up-side-down. We can’t do things the same way and expect to have a different result.

-Thought#2 – embrace change. That was the biggest breakthrough I had tonight. I hate change. A girl has turned my life up-side-down too and it was too much. I wanted my sanity back and what I am comfortable with. No more craziness. But just as I decided to take the easier path and the calmer choice, my pastor preached about change. Why changes require taking the harder path? Looking back the changes I have been making were rather small!! I need to embrace bigger changes boldly. Doing things differently. It could me losing myself in the process! It will no longer be the me I know afterward.

This means we are willing to take some pain. Not so much physical but it means sacrificing comfort and ease. Giving up time of doing certain other things we like. It means certain areas of our life have to be cut back. Priority. Someone told me recently, we see our priority in the things we actually do, not what we say we want to do.

Objectively, we do something because we like it. I secretly want to run faster each year. Realistically though, I will improve but I will never be out-of-this world fast. This brings us to set a reasonable goal or expectation.

visioning/image. We can do it only when we can see ourselves doing it. We have an image of what success is for us. We push ourselves to change/evolve to match that image. I have been doing that each season. Changing our expectation to a new reality.

I feel each quarter or each year, I am making myself new again. Three years ago (summer 2016), if you tell me to run a marathon, I would have laugh at you silly. I did not run then. A mile maybe, but not a marathon.

Things have become too easy for me lately. After 3 years of training, I need to step up again. Change starts today!

At the end of each service is an altar call, where we rededicate ourselves to do good once again. It is usually most uplifting time of the worship. You feel you could take on the biggest struggle! I need that each week. A time to reaffirm I can do the run. I can put down my distraction.

-No more half heartedness effort but a full commitment


vision & mission

Day 224

Goal: Key ideas usually come to me while I am running. I have been trying to have some kind of goals for this year. At first I was not so into the new year resolutions this year, which I usually made one in the past for all my adult life. It was probably all the ‘destressed’ /breaking in period from coming back from Chile. I was going through a time of mini depression but now better after finishing another marathon (Carlsbad). So I am back in the swing of things.

My last few weeks of training have been going great! I put up double digit back to back. It was even better than last fall when I was struggling with all the training and non-training activities, plus the stress from work. That was a mouthful.

Life was looking great! But I am not satisfied where I am. It seems too haphazard. It seems things are too random. Suddenly everything in life flows together where few months ago it was rough and tumbling.

I want control! So looking at my life, what do I really want to do this year? There is not anything ‘exciting’ I want to do. I am pretty much happy of where I am at.

This is not a resolution but pretty much a plan. I will get to the resolution later.

1. Running more ultras. I enjoys running so much and I think I am actually overboard obsess with it. Excessive is what can described about me. I don’t know why I was so down back in January. But running is what I like. This year I have signed up so many races! Incredible races and not sure how I will be able to do them all! see races.

2. I want to run fast! This should be a year I was trying to get a sub 3 marathon. However, this dream will be deferred for a few more years. I hope I can get a sub 4 marathon time or somewhere close. This will be very challenging. As of now, I am not confident if I could run a 4:30 marathon time.

3. Do something exciting! (Travel). Planning year for next year. I know I don’t have much money to travel any more for this year. But I should plan for the following year. Some exciting things are to travel to Everest! The group I usually travel with is going there this fall. A fall back option is, I would take Mt Kilimanjaro. I also want to run Rim-Rim-Rim of the the Grand Canyon. Basically you run across the Canyon to the other side and then back again. People plan this a year in advance!

4. A Hard Camping/BP trip. This is already happening but I am still quite nervous about camping by myself. A trip or few trips I want to do is Black Forest Trail in PA, Hut-to-Hut at Presidential Traverse, NH, and Andirondack the Great Range Traverse, NY. These hikes made my great leader/grown-man/women cried. I want to experience the same.

5. Be more open to people. Singleness. I am single and in many ways great because I am enjoying the single man life of running/hiking/traveling. Yet being single is not for me. It is definite a resolution item to get myself out there and meet more women who want to share a life together. My goal is to share myself more. Ah, how hard this is for me. Don’t laugh.

6. What would be good to have! Pacer. Running is mostly a solitary thing for me. As I tackling longer distances, I wish I have a training buddy, a coach, a crew and some pacers. I am actively seeking and recruiting pacers for my first 100 miler. I already put down the race I want to do. C&O ultra. I probably can do this without a crew or pacer, but it would be really nice to have one or two!

Back to topic. Yes these were what I am currently doing any way. They are in no way what I call a resolution. A resolution is something I must do differently.

As I was running on Thursday night, I realized I need an aim or focus. One thing that can give me an aim is to have a mission statement: what do you want to accomplish? vision statement: How do you see yourself when you reach your goal.

I really don’t have one written out yet. I have been running on auto pilot. Mostly to run and to run a lot and to run fast etc.

To enjoy life. To do something I don’t think I can do. I have been breaking a lot of mental barriers and did a lot what I couldn’t do five years ago!


asking myself why / vision stm

I know perfectly well why I do things like running a marathon or backpacking over the weekend. People around me think I am suffering when I am really