Week In Review – 23 Sep 2018

It has been two weeks of transition from my marathon in Erie, PA to off-season, a time typically marked by gradual healing, reflective soul searching, and occasionally a sense of nullness.

I say “typically” because this time I applied my Erie marathon result to the 2019 Boston Marathon registration. The application itself adds a whole dimension of waiting, anticipation, and anxiety to the transition process.

Six weeks is what it usually takes for me to move on and transition back to off-season life, depending on when the marathon took  place.  The Fall marathon could range from September, October, to November.

The later the marathons the easier is the transition for me.  Because they are closer to the traditional holidays of Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.  Which consumes and absorbs my attention.

The Erie marathon however is the earliest Fall marathon I have ever ran.  To help re-focus my transition, I fall back on the tried and true principles of centering my life: what is lifewhat makes me happy? and what it takes to do well?

Have a nice week!


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What Makes Me Happy?

Retirement makes me happy, because I get to spend time on things I wanted to do.

Running makes me happy, because it keeps me healthy and free.

Practicing yoga makes me happy, because the movement is good for my mind, soul, and body.

Spending time with my family makes me happy, because I am loved and supported by them.

Blogging makes me happy, because it captures pieces of my life and share them with others.

What makes you happy?






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2019 Boston Marathon Registration Closed!

When I checked the Boston Athletic Association website yesterday, its headline reads:


What a shocker.  Apparently, a higher than normal number of qualified entries have been submitted this year (my application included).  The flash registration time has raised the bar and making the race entry even more limited.

While I await for BAA decision on my application, I can confidently say that I have no regret in terms of my training, preparation, and execution.  Of course, I love to go back to Boston. But if in the unfortunate event that I don’t make the cut, I would  simply try harder the next time.

Meanwhile, I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed.



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Aging Well

I enjoy good health and have been fortunate thus far in life without major hiccup.

When I went for my annual physical checkup a few weeks ago, I asked the doctor that given my age (retired)  am I out-of-the-woods as far as major sickness is concern?  Meaning, all the bad things that would happen, should have happened by this age.

Her answer is: not so fast.  Cancer for one is an exception  Case in point, age is the single biggest risk factor for cancer.  Many types of the cancer are discovered later in life. When our genes mutate, the normal function that regulates cell division and growth is disrupted, normal cells begin to grow uncontrollably.

Therefore as we age, we are prone to more carcinogen exposures and weakening of our immune system.  What can we do?  The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute article suggests increasing exercise, healthy diet, and good sleep as ways to help minimize cancer risk.

The same hold true for aging well.

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Recover Better

It has been ten days since I ran the Erie Marathon, and I am still recovering.  The 6 miles I tried today feels tiresome.  Not just the legs, but my lungs and heart are also laden.

Looking back to my past marathons, I realize the recovery is a long process, proportional to the intensity of the race itself.  Throw in the age factor to be more accurate measure.

All these means I need to focus on active recovery to get stronger and run more.  Time notwithstanding, yoga, nutrition, and sleep are my tools of choice.  When I will get back to my baseline depends on how well I execute my recovery.

What recovery routine works for you?

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What Is Life?

“The way I see life is that it’s the time we’re given to interact with the world [emphasis added].”    ~ Bjarte Bakke

Life are moments.  Moment of truth, joy, sadness, anger . . .   Or it could be a blur.  How do we choose to interact with the world that we are in determines our life.  And by extension, the quality of our life depends on the choices we make.

Don’t feel pressured or compelled to examine every bit of your decisions.  Those micro-moments are important in the grand scheme that they make up your life.  But sweating over unimportant details is a waste of life.

My favorite quote on this is from Lin Yutang, a Chinese Scholar,  “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.  The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.”

So what will it be?  How are you going to choose your life so it can be meaningful and satisfying?

What is your take on life?

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2019 Boston Marathon Application

Submitted my 2019 Boston Marathon application online today!

In its reply email, the Boston Athletic Association, painstakingly, and in no uncertain terms, sets the expectation that my application does not guarantee my chance of running in the race:

It is important to note that your Reference ID does not constitute entry into the race, but does confirm that your application for entry has been received by the B.A.A.


While it is good business for BAA when the demand outstrips the supply (in this case the field size limits), I have to wait until after this Wednesday when the deadline for this wave of applications closes to find out if I will get to re-live my Boston experience from 10 years ago.

It is a nail-biter all the way.

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Week In Review – 16 Sep 2018

A post-marathon week, lots of reflections and contemplation, recovery, as well as waiting for the massive Hurricane Florence to make landfall.

My Erie Marathon took place last Sunday.  I finished the race with a time of three hours thirty-five minutes and nine seconds (3.35:09).  Three external factors contributed in achieving my goal:

1) the flat course  – Lots of marathons advertise that they have a flat & fast course and Boston qualifier.  But the Erie Marathon is the flattest course I have ever run, ever.  And last year, 44% of the Erie participants qualified for Boston.

2) the weather – it was forecast to rain on the race day, but as luck would have it the rain held off until after the race. The sky was cloudy and the temperature in the 50s during the marathon.  Quite ideal for running.

3) the race organization – the Erie marathon took place on the Presque Isle State Park, twice around the loop surrounding the park.  A small marathon (a field size of 2,200) and water stop/ portable toilet every mile made the logistics friendly.

And with that, my 20 weeks of marathon training comes to an end, and my attention, like many on the East coast, is drawn to the arrival of hurricane Florence.  While I am grateful the hurricane spared the Capital region, the folks at North Carolina are feeling the impact.

Have a nice week.

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Erie Marathon Afterthought 2

Almost a week since I ran the Erie marathon, my body is still recovering slowly.  Besides the two 3 mile recovery runs during the week, today’s 7.5 miles is the longest distance I have attempted post marathon.

I say “attempted” because in spite of the seemingly relative ease of moving my legs, the fatigue accumulated from the marathon remain deep inside of my joints and connective tissues.  My legs are neither fresh or “bouncy”.

Certainly, 26.2 miles is no laughing challenge and fatigue is normal consequence for anyone attempting such feat.  But I believe if I had hydrated myself better during the race,  my body would not be as depleted and possibly avoided the cramping feeling.

The Erie marathon had water-stops at every mile which is wonderful and double the  norm.  I chose not to drink at every stop because I thought I did not have to on the account of the cool weather (high 50s).  I was fine during the early miles but . . .

A bit of hindsight but also room for future improvement.

Ever being too busy driving and forgot to get the gas? 

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In Case Of Emergency

Where would I go?

With hurricane Florence hitting the Mid-Atlantic, I am getting lots of alert notifications from all sources.  Sources like the governments, phone company, bank, well intended friends, etc.

Being a retired government employee, I am acquainted with the concept of Emergency Preparedness. It is one of the mandatory drills that the agency has to prepare and practice.

So, even the hurricane is away from Washington, DC,  I decided to comb through the various alert notification and see if there is anything important that I missed.

And lo and behold, I come across this one – decide where you’ll go if evacuated.

I never thought about if shelter-in-place is not an option where would I go?  Obviously that decision would depend where the disaster is and travel away from it.  But besides that, where would I go?

Nearest safe relative’s, friend’s, or hotel’s location?

Where would you go in an emergency situation?

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