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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

It’s been too long since my last post!  Ever since I ran the half marathon, it feels like I just have not been able to catch up.  My runs became shorter or not at all. Work was busier, I was tired, it was very hot, too hungry, too tired, too dark outside, or just couldn’t get my ass outside to run.  I have not done a long run since my half marathon. All my runs have been anywhere from four to ten miles.  I don’t know if it’s because I experienced my most difficult run at the half marathon and feared that it would be worse or if I just did not have the mental energy to continue.  My time was limited to very early mornings at 5:30am or very late evenings after 9:00pm because of the heat wave we have been experiencing.  Work hours increased because it is now my busiest time of the year with events.  It is now 16 days before I have to run 26 miles. Ah!!!!!

I started asking myself why am I doing this?  What am I trying to prove?  What is my goal?  Am I doubting myself? I’ve never been a quitter but reality started hitting and my training schedule had fallen apart. So I kept running whenever I could but my runs had changed. I was out of breath a lot, my muscles were always tight, and I was too tired to run too long.  William motivated as much as he was able to but I think this was something that I had to figure out on my own. I had hit a brick wall and did not know how to break it down.

I just came back after a one week trip from Alexandria, Virginia.  I went with my mom to visit my brother and his wonderful family.  They live right by Mt. Vernon and if you know Mt. Vernon, you will know that there is a beautiful scenic trail along the Potomac River.  The weekend that I was there was my weekend to run 20 miles.  I only managed to do somewhere between 8-9 because I had to turn back and go to the bathroom.  Yup it still happens!

I was disappointed at myself for being this behind in my training. William always tells me that I beat myself up too much. I couldn’t help it. I felt so triumphant after my half marathon and somehow I felt I began to fail right after it.  Being in Virginia and visiting my brother, his wife and his 22 month old son made me think about a lot of stuff.  I looked at my brother’s life and how he has spent about 17 years of his life in the ARMY and observing the end results: a beautiful family, great home, visits from the grandparents…I can imagine they are pretty happy.  And then there is my mom who struggles each day with her life at home but yet her happiness is seeing her children happy.  I look at my life and see how I live in a fast-pace world full of chaos.  So yes, my mind was in different directions and I guess I was just trying to figure out how to get back on my feet and find out why I got myself in this situation.

Before I had left to Virginia, William had shoved a book to read in my suitcase. It’s the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. William warned me how this book was going to change my life and especially my motivation about running. So I started reading this book on the way back to Los Angeles in the airplane. I was hooked immediately. It has been a while since I’ve read a good book and this was perfect.  I recommend everyone to read this even if you are not a runner.  It’s basically about the Tarahumara Indians and a man knows as Caballo Blanco (white horse) and their running skills. The Tarahumara Indians, which I grew up hearing about since I was child, are a tribe that live in one of the most hidden and lowest parts of the Earth in the Copper Canyons of Chihuahua, Mexico.  They are known for their running. They can run all day any day.  They live simple, eat pinole and drink chia water. There were also other people in the book like Caballo Blanco and Ann Trason that can run 30 miles in day as if it was an hour workout.  I know this is not what I am trying to do but reading this book started to put things in perspective for me.

When I first decided to run a marathon, I did it because it was on my “Health/Fitness” category to accomplish some day.  I also like to inspire people. But inspire them to do what exactly?  I like to help people not give up.  I am where I am today because I don’t like to take no for an answer.  One of the reasons why I don’t get a long with my old-fashioned-traditionalist father is because I don’t listen to him or his unrealistic ways.  I don’t like to be stopped. I like to explore, I like to live my life at my fullest, I like to help and encourage other people.  This marathon is a part of that.  It’s a way of saying “you can do anything if you put your mind to it. ”  Fuck the challenges.  They will always be there trying to pull me down but my mind is a lot stronger than that. I know it.  All of a sudden I have my mental strength back.  Yup, a book did it for me.  It was a reminder to me that there is always going to be something trying to stop you, but at the end of the race, it takes yourself to cross that finish line. I began to envision myself running in Maui. Power walk up the hills and pace my run during the flat surfaces. The Tarahumara is in me. We all need one. Yes, I know I have not practiced my long runs at all and it’s 16 days away. But it’s not about my physical strength anymore, it’s what I can do with my mind, like it’s always been. I’ve always had the faith that I can get through anything so why stop now?

Yesterday was a very busy day at work. It was my second day back at work and still trying to catch up. William and I were supposed to go to the beach after work to run but by the time I got out, it was late.  So we headed home and ran in my neighborhood. My run was different. There were some knee pains I had but my mind was calm and I was in the zone. I stopped focusing on my body and was just thinking of keeping my mind at peace.  We ran a little over four miles because it was dark and I did not want to trip and fall again.  It was a good run.  I am not going to worry about it anymore. I’m just going to try my best and forget the rest.

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The half marathon was great and gave me new confidence for a while.   Now I feel behind again…

It took me a few days to recover from the half marathon.  My body took a hit with those uphills.  I ran the half marathon on Saturday and then ran again on Tuesday the 24th for four miles.  I then ran Friday for five miles. They were two difficult runs.  I was suppose to do three runs for the week but because of work and recovery, I was not able to  run the third one.

This past weekend I was suppose to run 15 miles on Sunday. Time flew with other things on the agenda and had to leave my run for Monday.  I tried to run it after a meeting I had at the Pasadena Convention Center that ended at 6pm.  I started my run on Green Street going west.  Immediately my legs felt like they were pounding heavily on the sidewalk. I was also carrying a small backpack with my meeting papers and that was not helping at all. It was a difficult run. My body did not feel loose at all.  I also got lost somewhere in the residential areas of South Pasadena.  There were a lot of downhills as well that created pains on my right knee. By the time I was about two miles from my house, I was starving, tired, and frustrated. I don’t even know how many miles I accomplished but I was out there for close to two hours.

I can’t afford to screw up my long runs!  I’m about a month away from the marathon and I need all the energy and training that I can get!!!

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Oh July, how painful you have been!  July has been a big challenge for me. My work schedule has been getting in the way of my training. I’ve had to work every weekend in July and when I do that, it’s usually a heavy offsite where I’m working a 14 hour shift on a Saturday on my feet non-stop.  This means that I instead of running my long run on Sunday, I run it on Monday and do a lousy job because I’m still recovering from the offsite. This also puts all my other runs during the week behind.  William and I also decided in July that we should sign up for a half marathon the weekend where I need to accomplish 14 miles, which happens to be my birthday weekend as well.  Why not start my birthday with a half marathon accomplished!  It was perfect. This way I got a little experience from an actual marathon and it also made me stay on track for July with my training.

We registered for the Run Montecito-Summerland 1/2 Marathon.  It’s a 1/2 marathon that William found online that would take place on July 21st right up the Santa Barbara area. One day before my birthday. It was a perfect plan. We would drive Friday night, run Saturday morning, wine taste Saturday afternoon, have a lovely dinner by the wineries, go to the beach Sunday morning, and return Sunday evening.  We were able to book two nights at Hotel Indigo right on State Street near Stearns Wharf and downtown Santa Barbara.  It was a last minute decision that we didn’t really plan early but we were both excited to make this trip happen.  We were also trying to get friends to go but last minute plans for everyone else did not work out.

Like I said earlier, training this month was very difficult.  My 10 mile run that I had to run on a Monday was difficult because I was super tired from a wedding I had worked on Saturday. Since it was a weekday, William decided to run from work to the house to accomplish the 10 miles. I had the day off so I ran from my house and met William at the fifth mile and run the last five miles together towards the house.   I remember my legs were tired and I did a lot of walking the last three miles of the run.  I was able to finish the 10 miles in two hours and 32 seconds. Not the best time, or at least not the best for me.

Running on Fletcher Street

The following weekend I was supposed to run 12 miles. It was also the weekend before the half marathon. This meant that this 12 mile run was very important to finish.  However, I worked both Saturday and Sunday!  Saturday I worked for about 12 hours and Sunday I worked about 8 hours. Both dates were me being on my feet. It was awful and I was very tired.  William was very good about giving me back and leg massages to release some soreness from my body. I knew skipping the 12 mile run was not an option.  But how was I supposed to run it when my legs did not have the energy? Monday came along and I was super tired and still in pain. My lower back was not at its best.  William texted me at about 5:20pm to ask me if I was ready for my run.  I responded to him that I would start it closer to 6pm. I did not know how I would accomplish this but I got dressed and made myself go out there.  I walked  the first half mile to get my body warmed up and then started running after the half mile.  My back was killing me and my legs were very tired.  By the time the mile ended I was walking again. I thought about my options and knew that I did not want to turn back and quit. I also knew that running 12 miles was not going to happen. I thought of how I’ve told myself before that I would try my best at whatever I do and at that instant, my best would be to walk until I met up with William.  I tried running a few more times but by the 2.5 mile I was walking again.  I walked all the way to Silverlake and got to 4.2 miles and still no sign of William. I did not want to continue walking too much because I should also be recovering and give my legs some kind of rest.  I thought maybe I missed William somewhere so I decided to turn back.  While I was walking on Fletcher, William came from behind me and found me! I guess he had started to walk on Silverlake thinking I was close by. I turned a little too early.  He agreed that it was the right thing to do was to walk miles instead of nothing.  Somewhere a long the way, my left calf to my achilles tendon started to hurt really bad. I tried to stretch it out but it wasn’t helping. By the time I got home, I was limping.  I was not sure what I did but I figured I would wait a day and find out where this pain was going.

On Tuesday, the pain did not go away from the achilles tendon area. I know hurting your achilles tendon can be very delicate and sometimes it can take a long time to recover. This is the last thing I wanted and were just a few days from the 1/2 marathon.  Tuesday night I worked a long day.  I still had the pain on Wednesday and still limping at work.  That Wednesday night, William rubbed my calf and leg.

By Thursday morning the pain was gone!  It was just a tight muscle that I had and William was able to release some pressure I had there.  Thursday evening we had to get another run in between the marathon. Besides my 8 mile walk on Monday, my last run had been on Friday the 13th for 6 miles. It was time to get another one in.  We ran only 5.3 miles because we also wanted to save strength for the 1/2 marathon on Saturday.  I was feeling confident that I was going to do good in the half marathon.

Friday morning we were both very excited. We packed, went to work, and started our drive to Summerland at 5pm. We made it there just in time to pick up our bib and shirt.  The location where we picked up our bib was Cafe Luna which was also the start and finish line.  This is when I started questions.  It had just hit me that I did not bother to ask how difficult this course was or how many people were involved. We asked the volunteers there how many people were registered for the 1/2 marathon and they responded that there were only 160 runners.  Yikes!  This was going to be competitive! I had not realized how small the group was of runners. I finally started to get nervous about the race. What if I would be the last one finished!  I did not want that.  What if I had to stop and go the bathroom a lot of times? I started having second thoughts about the race and started thinking that I was physically not prepared for this.  I had not even accomplished 12 miles yet!  My farthest run I had done was 10 miles and the last week I only got in a 5 mile run.  I was in panic mode.  That Friday night we went to bed early at the hotel so we would have a good night sleep and wake up at about 5am to be at the location by 6am. I also had to wake up early because I had to do a 5 minute run before the marathon so I made sure I went to the restroom.

The whole night I couldn’t sleep. My mind never went to sleep. I kept dreaming that I missed the marathon or that I was very behind. Finally the alarm went off and it was official.  The half marathon was just two hours away and I was wide awake.

 

 

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Getting injured during training can be very frustrating.  After I ate it on June 12th, the training became a little difficult.  The next day after my knees were badly bruised, my body was very sore and especially my back. I think it’s because I hit my left side of my body against a wall as I was falling down.  I felt like I had been in a car accident. Luckily it was my rest day and I had also made an appointment with my chiropractor. I went to the appointment after work and I described to my chiropractor my fall and she said that I had been whiplashed.  I receive a 50 minute massage well needed!  At one point I fell asleep and snored a little. It was relaxing. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a massage.

The following day on Thursday was my my 4-mile run.  I thought I was going to be ok with it but it was very painful on my knees. They were very swollen and it caused me to stop a lot and walk instead. I still managed to finish the run in 42 minutes.  On Friday I went to work and my knees hurt the whole day.  Friday was supposed to be a 3-mile run. After work I decided to instead take a walk instead of a run. What I did not want to do was to baby my knees too much but I also knew that they needed to heal. At this point my left knee had a huge scab that cause my skin to tighten up. It hurt every time I had to straighten my leg or bend it.  I was able to walk to Fresh and Easy which was about a total of two miles.  It was the first run I’ve had to skip since I started my 16-week training. I was bummed about it and worried that I was not able to run over the weekend.  Fortunately Saturday was a rest day and relaxed the whole day.

Sunday the 17th was my first seven mile run!  William and I wanted to run it in the morning and not wait around. We had oatmeal in the morning and by the time we got out of the house it was about 10:30am.  The day was clear and sunny with a nice California breeze.  Immediately when I started the run, I felt very heavy and tired. It wasn’t necessarily my knees that were hurting, it was just very difficult to run.  I wasn’t even lasting a mile without stopping! William was way ahead of me and did not seem to be having the same challenges I was having. I didn’t know why it was so difficult. I was so tired.  Then it started getting hot and felt that this run was taking forever!   The run was towards San Pascual and instead of stopping by the trail, this time we had to run to Arroyo Blvd and stop at Madeline Drive and come back. I didn’t realize that Arroyo Blvd was an uphill.  I was in hell!  This has been the worst run ever.  My body was rejecting every second of my run!  William was not being soft on me either. He kept pushing me (which I think helped me finish it) not to stop.  On the way back, probably on my fourth mile, I got very emotional and teary-eyed.  Too many emotions started running through my head and felt very frustrated and restrained from everything.  What a painful run.  My knees also began to hurt and felt like they were very swollen.  I don’t know how I made it back home but finally did. I didn’t even complete the seven miles. I only accomplished  6.23 miles. I don’t know what went wrong this time. Was it the time of day? I’ve been running only in the evenings after work. This one was my first morning run in a long run. Maybe I didn’t have that much energy in the morning, but I had my oatmeal!  Maybe it was the heat getting me tired.  I don’t know. I just know that it was awful! I was very disappointed with myself.

My fourth week of training started on Tuesday the 19th.  My knees were still bothering but I felt I did not feel I had room to slow down, especially about going through that dreadful run on Sunday.  It was only 3 miles on Tuesday and knees did begin to hurt by the end of the run. It was very had to run downhill.  My knees were getting pounded on the downhills and I don’t think it was helping the healing.  Wednesday was rest day and Thursday was five miles that I did a lot better.  I still had to stop to rest my knees from the pain but did manage to finish 5 miles. My running has been looking good now!

 

Tomorrow will be my first 8 mile run.  I’m a little nervous and I need to make sure that it’s nothing like last Sunday.  I hope I do better!

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Yesterday was the beginning of my third week of training. I’ve been very excited since I started the 16-week training schedule and proud to be done with two weeks. Yesterday was supposed to be an easy three mile run. I came home late from work yesterday and was not real motivated to run but knew I had to get it out of the way before it became any later.  William decided to run with me and also carry 5 lb weights with him.  The great thing about this point in my training is that my runs are getting easier.  It used to be difficult for me to start a run. My legs would feel heavy and it would take me about ten minutes to adjust. Now when I start a run, I feel great and can easily finish the first hill of my run without any problems.  So the first five minutes of my run yesterday, I was feeling great and pumped up.  My pace was nice and steady.  William realized that it was more difficult than he thought to carry weights with him but managed.  I started to throw punches in the air like Rocky style to  motivate him with his weights and to do something different in my run. I figured why not?  My cardio was steady and I was having fun with it.

I think I have mentioned how uneven the sidewalks are around my neighborhood. There are a lot of trees on the sidewalks causing them to create little stacks of concrete throughout the area or hills.

 So far I’ve been careful not to trip over any but yesterday was different.  As I was throwing punches in the air, William was running right behind me. Then it happened. My foot got locked in one of those cracks and I flew forward.  Everything after that happened so quickly.  I flew forward in full force and started to land. My knees hit the concrete first, then my hands landed on the ground. I didn’t stop there, my body still was going forward so then my left shoulder hit the wall that happened to be there for the house in front of us.  And then my left side of my head hit the wall.  I felt like a church bell where all of of sudden I had been banged up for the seven o’clock hour.  I laid there  shocked and saw William coming towards me with his weights.  Everything hurt and was I was shaking.  Or maybe my head was still vibrating from the crash to the wall. I kind of wanted to cry but I did not want to.  I did not want to be a baby about it but at that moment I did not know how to feel. My knees were pretty banged up and I didn’t want to get up right away.  Immediately William wanted me to go back home to ice my knees. I became angry at the streets!  Stupid streets!  Why were they so uneven! I was already almost up to a mile into the run and then this happened.  So we started to walk back towards the house.  A few minutes into my walk everything started to hurt. William felt really bad for me because he saw everything happened. He described it as being slow motion and saw the order of each body part hitting something and had no time to help me. Not only that but I was loud!  My bones are loud! We remember hearing each body part hitting something.  It was like if somebody had dropped a trash bag full of bones out in the sidewalk. That was me.

William was just happy that it was not worse and I did not have any fractures. It was just bruises and scratches.  We finally made it back home and we iced my knees for a while.

I then felt the pain come afterwards but I know it won’t be that bad.  My head felt better  afterwards.  I was disappointed that I did not get to finish my three miles.   I guess I still cannot throw air punches and run at the same time. Stupid sidewalk.

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I stated on my last post that I started to panic about the marathon. Just a few months away and I feel that my progress is very slow.  I don’t mind the running, it’s finding the time to run that has been the biggest challenge for me. I wake up in the morning usually before the alarm wakes me up at about 5:30am. I’m one of those people that wakes up when there is daylight.  But just because I wake up so early does not mean I have the energy to go outside to run.  I was able to do this at the beginning of the year. It’s just very difficult.  I wake up, go to the bathroom and as I’m sitting there peeing, I start feeling the cold and the stiffness of my body.  So I crawl back under the bed sheets and tell myself “just ten more minutes under the sheets” and then I will go run.  I do that for about half an hour and before you know it, it’s time to get ready for work. I’m an early bird but not an early runner. I need to warm up for about an hour before I decide to go run in the morning.  I know I will need to change that because I know I do not always have time after work to run. I think this has been part of the reason why my progress has been slow, because I count on the evenings for my training.
So as my worries began about my training, Coach William came to me with a solution to all of this. He gave me a sheet that he researched online that is a 16-week marathon training schedule.  It was the perfect timing for this. If I get on this schedule now, I would be on my 2nd week of training which is not bad because I basically did week one with the miles being a little different.

My training schedule

I started week two on June 5th.  If you read the chart above, the week starts on a Monday but I will actually start the week on a Tuesday. This is because I would rather have my rest days on Saturdays instead of Fridays or Sundays. In my daily schedule, I usually always keep my Sundays free so this would be a good day to do my long runs instead of Saturdays where I usually work for my job. If I keep this training schedule, I should be able to finish exactly on the day of my marathon.  Week 16 will be Hawaii week!

When William showed me this, I became very excited. I think each brain is different and I do better with visuals and calendars. I guess what was missing was some set direction. Before this, I knew I had to run shorter runs during the week and longer runs during the weekend, and be able to increase it every week.  Now that I have a chart, I know exactly what I need to do and when to do it. Also, it came at the perfect time. If I don’t follow this schedule, I won’t be able to run the marathon.  This chart makes sense to me and so far I’ve been able to follow it.  So far I finished week two without any problems.  Week three starts today!

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In the beginning of May I decided to add hikes to my calendar to mix it up a little and not get so bored of running. Plus, hikes will help build strength when I have to run up hills.  When I go hiking, I usually go to the mountains where the elevation can get up to 8,000, sometimes even more.  So in May, William and I planned two hikes for the month with my brother Ray.  The first hike took place at Mt. Baldy on May 12th.  Mt. Baldy happens to be the highest in the San Gabriel Mountains or the highest in Los Angeles County reaching an elevation of 10,064.

We started our day by waking up very early in the morning and met up with Ray at Duarte.  We rode to the mountains and started our hike at 8:57am.  The weather was neither hot or cold, the skies were clear blue and the pine trees and chipmunks were waiting for us.

The beginning of the hike, about 6,000 ft elevation

At the start of the hike my body felt good. My heart started pumping right away and I felt the burn on my butt as I took each step.  At one point we stopped for a second to drink some water and I was able to feel my heart pumping out of my shirt!  It was a great feeling because I did not feel tired. I was very excited to be surrounded by the mountains.

We only had a total of two backpacks between the three of us.

They consisted of the essentials for a hike: lots of water, food, snacks, and some miscelleneous items.  Just from William’s backpack, he was carrying four liters of Smart water, two Vitamin waters, six meat lovers sandwiches (that I made at the crack of dawn), and trail mix.  I did not get to carry a backpack but I know I eventually will have to. It’s a pain but I know it’s necessary if I will want to do more hikes.

As we hiked, the switchbacks increased and the steepness did as well.  

The views just got better too. As you can see from the above photo,  we were in the middle of magnificence.  There is no better place than to be with nature. It is such a great feeling to be away from the every day life and city. It’s peaceful and tranquil, just what everyone needs to decompress from the hardships of our every day lives.

If you see in the background, there is a man who was trailing behind us who had his skis with him!  We were so curious of where he was going to use his skis. The only areas of snow were ice patches that were scattered in random places where they were melting.  It was not enough to ski but we thought it was funny that this man was hiking with his skis.

As you can see from the above caption, there is no place to ski!

Our resting point was going to be at about 8,000 ft of elevation where there is a small green house located in the middle of some trees.

The little green house

The little house was closed but there were some benches and tables to take a rest. Conveniently there was an outhouse right behind it.  We stopped to enjoy a lunch.  We had already hiked more than hour, probably two hours by now. The hike up to the house had not been easy but we managed.  I know that if I had not been running before this, we would have taken longer and maybe not even had made it this far.  I have to mention the satisfaction of eating during the hike. Food does not taste any better than when eating it at a hike.  Every bite is delicious and savory.  Those sandwiches that were trapped in the backpack since early morning tasted like the best sandwiches ever on the planet.  They were simple too. They had three kinds of meats: peppered turkey, roast beef, and ham. They each had one slice of cheese with Veganaise and mustard.  Simple but the best!  Food just tastes different when you have been hiking non-stop for a couple of hours. It’s a great feeling.

Once we rested, we gathered our belongings to continue to the summit of Mt. Baldy.  We were high up in the mountains close to the clouds and navy sky.

I forgot how beautiful it is to be that high in altitude, where the sky is darker and you feel you are close to the outer universe.

Off we went to the peak and everything got difficult.  We were in the 8,000 ft of elevation or probably higher by now and the breathing began to change.  It was harder to catch my breath and difficult to hike.  The inclination was almost a flat wall and somehow we were climbing this wall that was no longer a trail but instead loose rocks everywhere.

Almost seems we were climbing the wall to Mt. Baldy’s summit

I don’t know if I had gone this high before. The highest I have hiked was a few years ago was in the San Gorgonio wilderness in the mountains of San Bernardino where we hiked about six miles up from 6,00o ft in elevation to 9,000 ft in elevation.  It reminded me of a hike like that but Mt. Baldy was worse because we were getting up to 10,000 ft in elevation in less than two miles.  It was a beast!  It was a hiker’s high I guess. It was a thrill where the end results was a satisfaction feeling that cannot be described.

Once we reached the summit, I made sure to take a picture of the evidence that we made it!

Highest point in Los Angeles County

It was quite an accomplishment and it felt good to be up there.  We did it!

Everywhere we turned we saw beauty.

On top of the world

A great moment that will not be forgotten.

At peace

A moment of happiness.

We stayed at the peak for a while and enjoyed the 360 views.  We scoped out the areas and found an area where it looked like someone had skied in a patch of snow. Minutes after we saw the same man with skis going up the snow. We had lost this man when we reached the green house. It looks like he took another trail and found the his snow. This was so funny.  This man hiked up Mt. Baldy in the left over snow. Here he is resting after he reached the summit.

The man with the skis

Good for him!

Once we absorbed the greatness of the summit, we decided to hike back down.  A minute into the hike down the summit, my legs were trembling. It had not occurred to me how much more difficult and strenuous the hike would be on the way down. By this time, the legs were tired but we were using different muscles to hike down but it didn’t matter.

Going down very slowly

I wasn’t able to feel my legs and I couldn’t control the trembling and weakness they felt! It was awful, very awful. I fell about four times because my legs gave out, or maybe I was just slipping easier because I had no more strength to give. It seemed to take forever to go down.  I was the slowest of the pack. The trails looked so different going down.  I kept asking how we managed to get up!  This trail all of a sudden seemed impossible!  All my steps were slow and careful. I was trying to use the surrounding rocks to hold on to for balance.  It seemed there was never a break.

Rocky finish

We rested a few times a long the way but it never got better.  I had not experienced this kind of work to my legs before.  No matter how many breaks we took, my legs were not recovering and I knew there weren’t going to anymore for the rest of the hike. There was no room to quit either.  I just had to tough it out and pace my steps. Every single step was closer to our destination.  Even when reaching the 7,000 ft and 6,000 ft elevation where it wasn’t as steep, I was still having a hard time.  I wondered if this was the way I was going to feel for the marathon.  At least I was catching glimpses of the reality of the marathon.

At last, we reached the bottom of the mountain.

I couldn’t be any happier to reach the end of trail. If you click here, you can view the recording of me reaching the end. I was not exaggerating when I said I was slow. Even it seemed flat, it was still difficult. By the finish point, I had spaghetti legs. We finished the day with a total of about ten miles.  It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do more!

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