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life

Day304 feeling defeated

I am feeling a bit deflated. Maybe it is just a natural progression after a long weekend trip.

I drove up to PA to meet with couple guys who were running a section of the Laurel Highlands Trail. None of the people in my group was running the whole thing that day but after I got home, I saw on Facebook some other people did do it, the whole 70.5 miles.

The 8 mile section we did was tough. We only did it once when originally we (mostly me) wanted to do it twice and at night with very little of sleep (in a delirious state).

The run was harder than I anticipated. I hiked the trail before and I thought I have improved a lot since then and I could take on running it. How hard can that be? It was hard.

I ran with couple hard core ultra guys. Those guys didn’t even sweat and I was out of breath the first mile. Then came the climb. They could run uphill but I could only run downhill. I got a blister on one of my toes from it. Dang it. Later on at the last three miles I rolled my ankle. Did it twice. Run was over for me. What a disappointing end, as I hobbled back to the car.

One of the guys, he was the fastest in our group, and the guy who invited me to run with him, shared about his DNF (Failed to finish) of his last race at the Black Forest Ultra. He said he tried his best and still could not make it to the last cut off time. He was over by a minute. He shared how he was in a funk since then.

That kind of put things in perspective for me. I don’t want to fail in a race. This guy I thought he is my idol and fast and there is a race out there, and he couldn’t make it. The race he failed was also one I wanted to do.

I am trying to find the motivation in me to run. My past weekend trip helped me to see how much more I must train to get ready for the real thing. The weekend was like a practice run and my wheel came off. The real race will be taken place sometimes in September – the race date hasn’t been set yet due to the coronavirus.

Categories
life

Day302 crawling

The day is crawling by.

I was caught in the rain last night. I got my move back and ran 10 miles. It started raining at mile 5 and I had to head back. I checked the forecast then and it was showing the heaven is going open up. So I took shelter in the bus station and double check how long it would last. It was showing going last until midnight. I told myself, I am not sleeping in a bus station, I am heading home.

So dashed into the rain and ran as fast as I could. Luckily the rain was not as heavy as forecasted. After a mile or two the rain was gone and I arrived home. The heavy downpour didn’t start until midnight.

Thursday and weekend starts tomorrow. My camping trip is canceled. I am itching now to go to PA to do the 70 mile run on Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail (LHHT). Couple runners might do it but no one has committed. I don’t have a crew and it will be tough to take on. 22 hours to get from one end to the next. For me the problem is what to do once I reach the end. There is no signal to hail an uber and I will be 70 miles from my car and no town nearby. Jonestown is a bit away, if I must, then got to hike to the nearest town in the middle of the night.

I haven’t thought it through.

Or I stay local and run my 70 miles here. Or drive down to Tennessee border and do my long run there.

My GVRAT race has less than 90 miles to go. Then I would finish the 1000k challenge. Hoping for another 10 or 15 miles to knock off some of those miles.

Categories
life

bit of everything

Day 238

I am a bit sleepy so I will try to make this quick. I feel if I don’t write something, I might never get to it.

This weekend is everything I want it to be. I totally exhausted myself. I did a 50K on Saturday (the full report will hopefully available some day). I love it a lot. Challenging and fun.

Then on Sunday I had my normal long run. Let me tell you, I almost did not survive the run. Five miles into it, the temptation was there to call an uber to pick me up. I in the end struggled through. It was one of my slowest long run…finished in 3.5 hrs.

Any way, I also did another race in the morning – a 10 miler. I really want to write a report for this since it was only possible from the tax refund I received earlier last week. I thought I was running fast, but I finished of a time that was’t that impressive. But I had my thrill. It was a hard race though.

Moving on, next weekend I will go back to PA for Laurel #2 run. It has been one month since I went there. Time is moving so fast. I will write more about Laurel #2 in a separate post. I just want my readers to know I am happy and can’t wait to get there for another training run.

More news. I booked my flight for Bolder Boulder Race (in Colorado). The ticket was not cheap at all. Many were saying no one flying any more, so in theory you can get cheap airflight. (I will write more about Boulder Trip).

There you have it.

(some minor post editing)

Categories
life

Random Friday sort-of

Day 233 / weekend

A plug for my friend Isaiah Day who started this blog Player Development for athletes. I am anticipating his interview with an ultra distance runner next Tuesday 3/3 @10:00 ET.

More info about the interview can be found on his group Facebook page. ah…it is hard to link to FB.

Other news: This weekend probably won’t be much different.

Saturday! I will be hiking with my buddy K. No running… otherwise I would intimidate her. Actually I have seen her hiking faster than I can run on the trail. She is a downhill specialist.

We will be going to BuckHollow. It is one of my training destination. I have been lonely training for last five weeks and I have a partner to join me this weekend.

Sunday: Running the Pot of Gold 10K, which I wrote about in the previous entry. I am excited.

Rest of the day, I hope to squeeze in some long run.

There is actually quite a lot of things to do. Weekend is too short.

Categories
running

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)
Categories
running

weekly run summary

Day 225

I ran 56 miles last week

Monday: usually rest day, I rested

Tuesday: 4-ish miles with the group. I showed up in three layer shirt and did not realize it was 60 (15 C). Hot night.

Wednesday: rest night

Thursday: group run canceled because of rain and no one showed up. I ran 4-5 miles at least I think. I forgot. Cold and wet night.

Friday: 9 miles. cold and windy night. 37 F (3 C) when I started and tried to finish as fast as possible to avoid being out in the 20s.

Sat. 14+6. beautiful day, nippy in the morning. I finally went out on the trail. Woke up late and got to the trail by 11 am (I was 3 hrs late). I did 14 miles in about 5 hrs. So ended up mostly hiking. I was supposed to do more; Buzzard Hill + Ashby Hollow. This place was where I planned to do two weekends ago. Better late than never. By the time I got to Ashby Hollow, it was 2 pm. I decided to turn around, otherwise I might not get out of the woods until 9 or 10 pm. I only ‘ran’ 7 miles then and it took me 3 hours. I decided to hold off Ashby Hollow segment for another weekend. That should be only 5 more miles / 10 miles for out-and-back. I saw a couple at that point, who was probably doing the whole thing that day (24-25 miles for them). We passed each other when I started out and we were passing again at Ashby Hollow – well they could have been tailing me the whole time. They went on ahead into Ashby Hollow.

I got 2000+ ft of climbing in that stetch of about 7 miles (4000 ish at the end of my out and back). They don’t call the section the roller coaster for no reason. It was a lot of ups and downs.

I got home by 5 pm and decided I need some real running and did 6 miles in the neighborhood. It was so different to run on flat pavement. I could actually run and breath. Trail running really took my heart out of me. I thought I could run, but out on the trail, I was just like everybody else.

Sunday: 3.1 (5K) in the morning. 16 more miles in the afternoon. I did the airport/Arlington loop again.

How do I feel? I feel the miles started to get to me. Even with two days of rest in the week, I started out with tired legs on most of the runs. You know the feeling. Legs were heavy. This is my third week of putting up 50+ miles of training.

But I got 3rd place in my age group on my 5K race “Run Your Heart Out 5K”. My 2nd time being on the podium! I ran mine out. I was not fast (26:30) at all but the people who usually beat me were not there. I had run a 24 min time before and still not get a 3rd place, so I was glad to be on the podium this time!

Arlington Loop. Glad I have been doing it for third staight week. I won’t be running it next weekend because I will be out of town.
About two miles north of Ashby Hollow Trail Head, near a campsite (behind me). All of AT in Virginia looks the same: browish color. But can you believe it? This is only 45 mins from my home! Lucky me to have such good training ground. Still, I wouldn’t want to run out there in the dark if I don’t have to!
Categories
running

running summary

Day 222

It felt good to be able to do long runs. I ran the same routes as in previous weekend. Many thoughts passed through my head. What gave me hard time while running two miles last July, now seemed like nothing at all. I was amazed after running even 16 miles and did not feel tired. I was only limited by time available, otherwise I would keep on running.

On Saturday I was dragging me feet to get out the door. I was going to do 26 miles in the mountain but ended up just running 16 within my neighborhood. I missed the hill work-out. It was 1 pm by the time I stepped outside. I did not really get into my zone because I made a stop at my mom’s place and that pretty much ruin the rest of my run. I was hungry and stopped there. Ate. I went back out though but couldn’t pull a 26 mile. I didn’t finish my run until 6:30. It felt really really long. I stopped at my mom’s place for dinner thinking to finish with a four miles afterward. My mom ended up driving me home. It takes strong resolution to say no. Non-runners think they are doing you good of offering you a ride…and keeping you from the element, but to me training when I am tired, cold, and at my weakest is the most helpful thing for my up coming ultra. Any way, I gave in to the luxury of a quick ride home, even though I knew if I went back out for that four miles it would really shape my willpower of not giving up. I need to do better next weekend to avoid making a stop at my mom’s place.

I did better on Sunday. I was in my element and had a good time.

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: 4 miles. group run

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 4 miles with the group.

Friday: 8 miles. late start and got lost in Georgetown. Was going to do 12 miles.

Saturday: 16 miles around my neighborhood. long day. 1-6:30pm. caught in rain. Had a long lunch break (45 min).

Sunday: 6 miles (10K race) and 16 miles afternoon run. Arlington loop. Finished in 3 hrs.

Total miles for the week: 54 miles.

Categories
running

Should be back in shape

Day 221

I should be back in shape. Not yet at peak condition but should be ready to tackle some hard training this weekend and the next few weekends. I have not put together a solid plan. Actually I prepared one while I was still in Chile in December, but since coming back with 5-6 weeks of not running, that plan is pretty much useless. So I have to adjust. I have about 12-16 weeks of training before my big race (Laurel Highland 70 miler)

My next few weeks if weather permits, I will be heading out to a trail every weekend.

Though tomorrow weather is not looking up but it has improved quite a bit. I think the rain will hold off and I plan to head to a trail. I plan to do Buck Hollow/Buck Ridge, but if the weather will be poor, I will head to a nearby trail – Ashby Hollow / Buzzard Hill.

I plan to have a solid run tonight and maybe 26 miles tomorrow and a 16 miles on Sunday. This will give me around 40-50 miles for the week. Ambitious I know.

Categories
life

Lazy weekend

Day 195

I had a lazy weekend. I did a small 9 miles hike up to Old Rag on Saturday. It took whole day but it was not because the hike was hard but because we had to wait at several times before we could ascend in the crowded section. We might have lost couple hours waiting. Serious hikers don’t go up on Old Rag for that reason.

Also, I could have done it in four hours if we ran down, but the person I was with is not a runner. It was kind of her first time hiking in a long time. I had a great time nonetheless.

I slept mostly whole Sunday from the afternoon into the next day. I felt lazy. I also caught up on anime, I might have binge watched for at least 8 hours and slept 14 hours.

People asked if I am ready for my 50 miler race. Yes I am! I still have ache and pain in various places but I should be ready. I wish I could sleep 14 hours right before my race, but I have to work on Friday.

Categories
hikes

game on

Day 181

Though I don’t have much to say, this weekend instead of running the High Bridge Ultra (50k) I will be heading south and west for a backpacking trip. I will probably the last one until Patagonia.

I will be packing tonight once I get home. I have a bit of running to do beforehand. The weather has turned cooler now, and we might face near freezing temperature up on the mountain. I will have to dig through my stuff to pull out the winter/fall gear for the trip. Also the food situation is not good. My mountain house dehydrated food packs won’t arrive until Friday. I am thinking I might have to run to Walmart tonight to get some food otherwise I might be hanged high and dry.

I hiked the the McAffee, Tinker Cliff, and Dragon Tooth loop previously but that time I was a completely noobie. This time around I should know what to pack and have a little bit more sense of direction.

For the trip, we are leaving from Arlington around 6:30pm. I think it is a 4 hour drive. We have to hike couple of miles into camp, so we probably won’t arrive until midnight.

The next day, I heard we are planning to do 18-20 miles, to the other side (North Mountain). On the last day we might skip Dragon Tooth, but still there will be something close to 15 miles before we are out of the woods. It will be 30+ miles total.

I am ready.