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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Problems When You Go Too Fast

Faster is better right?  That's very true, but there are points where you can go too fast, and in turn destroy what you've build thus far.  Last night, as I was working as a dishwasher at Linderhof, I was asked to slice up over a hundred little red potatoes.  At first, I did it the way I was used to, but that was a little on the slow side, so I had the chef teach me the proper way of cutting which would reduce the time.  He showed me and so I looked and made it my own.  I started cutting faster and faster, which was good, but at some point, I was cutting it too fast, almost chopping my fingers off with that sharp knife.  Before it became a problem, I stopped cutting fast and worked on cutting it at a speed I could handle.  It's important to do things at a speed you can actually handle, because in doing it at a speed you can handle, your body will in turn work more efficiently, and without you realizing it, you will actually get faster because your body understands what you're doing.  As a very efficient system, your body is made to learn and improve and reach a higher efficiency rate, and when you do things consistently, your body will in turn level up that certain skill.

Whether in relationships, chopping potatoes, or running, there can be consequences of going too fast... so instead of risking it, it's a lot better to take your time and improve slowly and steadily, so that you'll be able to progress at a healthy rate.  Better to go at a healthy rate than to risk hurting something.  In life, you might be tempted to take that risk to get closer to your goals, but think about it for a moment and ask yourself if the risk is worth taking, or would it possibly negatively affect you for the rest of your life.

Remember that it's not going fast that's the problem.  It's going too fast.  We get tempted to go faster and faster at times and before we know it, we cross that threshold and have entered the domain of too fast where we somehow injure ourselves in the process.  Things can end up pretty nasty if you do go too fast so make sure that you take the right steps and focus on your healthy growth.

Today... was one of those exciting days.  I was able to go through the whole day memorizing bones and bone parts, as well as talking and eating dinner with my dad.  However, at the end of the day, I was able to play a little over 2 hours of floor hockey, where we had some hard core games going on.  I didn't get to go running... but I did manage to get my anaerobic exercise and also work on my recovery rate.  Pretty sore by the end of the day... but hey, I had a ton of fun.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Don't Wait til it's Too Late

Once upon a time, not too long ago, I got sick.  Now... I NEVER got sick, so I refused to believe it and chose to man through it.  I knew that I could handle sickness by myself.  What I didn't know was that I was trying to man through strep throat... I went strong for a couple days, my throat getting more painful and painful, but I felt like if I kept going, I would be able to make it through.  Gradually, I started getting a massive headache, I had a harder time breathing, and my fever went up in my head and the rest of my body was just... messed up.  I went to the doctor and after waiting for an agonizing hour, they confirmed that I had strep throat, gave me two shots, and told me that if I had waited any further... they might have had to do some sort of surgery to help me breath...  Not the greatest experience.


I was lucky that I caught myself before the situation went out of control, but think about it if I waited just a little longer.  In other situations, people have waited until it's too late and have had to suffer with the consequences.  For example, there have been many people that changed their lifestyle, and started to gain weight.  Unless they're obsessed with checking how much they weigh, they won't notice the pounds that they put on until they have a heart attack or something...  It's so easy to gain fat... and it's so hard to lose fat.  If you wait until it's too late... you're in a predicament.  A lifestyle needs to be changed and you need to work hard to get back to where you need/should be.

It doesn't matter what you do in life because your lifestyle affects who you become and what you are.  Should you choose to pay attention to what you need to do, you can prevent quite a few things from happening and you'll be able to continue on in life without any of those things slowing you down.

Over the last few days, I've been running quite consistently (I don't know where to start because I don't remember when the last time I wrote a blog...) but in the last 3 days, I've run 4.01 miles, 5.84 miles, and 5.07 miles.  The last two was under the 7min/mile pace and the first one a little over.  It seems like as I consistently run, my body is able to run a lot faster (but I still need to slow down because I'm training for a 100 miler.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Making the Best Choice

Running is good for me... and so is sleeping.

We sometimes have to choose one or the other... so how do we choose?  Simple really.  All I do is listen to my body and do what needs to be done.  Should my body tell me that I ought to sleep because I haven't been sleeping too much lately... that means I ought to sleep.  However, if the body agrees and says that the run is more important, obviously, I would go for the run... the harder decision is if your body is confused about what directions you're suppose to be going.

Sometimes, life isn't black and white... but gray instead.  When that time comes, it's just as important to trust your experience as well as your intuition.  The gray areas are hard to make good decisions from, so listen carefully and try to make the best decision.

Tonight, the decision for me was to run or to go home and sleep.  I chose the latter, because it was a long day.  I was working from 4-1 and it wasn't exactly the most fun time.  Standing around doing dishes was a little bit of a physical feat, but I'm pretty used to doing that now.  Although I wanted to run, I had previously run 5 days in a row, so resting on this seemed like a good idea.

Life isn't always that easy.  Sometimes, you'll get mixed up when you make decisions.  However, the most important thing is this...  Do your best to make the best decision, according to what you know.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Overcoming Fear

When trouble comes along, people get scared.  When you're crossing the street and a car suddenly comes towards you with tires spinning, you get scared.  When you're climbing a tree and you slip, you get scared.  Fear is a normal reaction when something dangerous occurs, and there's nothing we can do about that reaction.  It's nice to know more about the situation at hand so that you're not overwhelmed, but no matter what we do, we will always have that fear.

In my life, I've had a lot of things that freaked me out.  I've cut open my thumb when I was in middle school and thought that I was going to die because of the amount of blood that came out of my thumb (long and hilarious story for another time).  I've lost control of my car going down a ramp onto an interstate and nearly slammed into a bunch of cars.... but one of the most scariest moments of my life was when I ran my first 50 mile race.  I trained a little bit for this race, ready to finish it... never having gone this distance before.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but after a couple marathons, I figured it shouldn't be too hard... but I was wrong.  At the 28 mile mark, I took a little break because I needed to get some energy back in my system, and feeling as good as new, I raced off again, only to be hit by a sudden lack of energy at mile 35.  I still had 15 more miles to go, but I really had no energy.  I was on the trails, the next aid station was about 4 miles away... I didn't know if I could make it.  All this time, I've always finished my races... and at this point, I was scared that I wouldn't be able to finish.  I was very prideful at this point and didn't even consider the possibility of a DNF (did not finish) and at mile 35, I was terrified at the thought of possibly not finishing this race...

Fortunately, I didn't die from blood loss and my aunt and mom took me to the hospital and now I have a great story.  I also didn't crash into cars while skidding down the ramp but managed to somehow get the wheels to catch the road and continue on my way...  and FINALLY, after a long time on the trails, I did finish my first 50 miler, managing to somehow get to the finish line.

Fear was a factor in all these instances and in overcoming these fears, I was able to take a step forward.  However, things don't always have a happy ending...

When I was in 6th grade, I decided to do something I've never done before.  I wanted to become a part of the student council.  I wanted to become the treasurer... so I had everything prepared and was ready to make a speech in front of the student body... but as soon as I got up there and everyone's eyes on me, I got scared.  I couldn't move.  I couldn't talk.  In fact, when I read what I had written, I stuttered so much that I was embarrassed.  To make things worse, after the day was over and I was going home, a 7th grade girl came up to me and started to make fun of me by imitating my speech and my stuttering, laughing with her friends.  I felt like crap.  I tried hard and didn't get anywhere.  For the rest of my middle school and high school days, I never again tried to be a part of the student council because of my fear of talking in public.

Fear is a reaction that we can't exactly control.  What we CAN control is our reaction to fear.  Instead of reacting, the proper terminology we should be using would be to be proactive.  In being proactive, we can control the situation we're in.  Should we let fear control us, we won't be able to amount to much and remain as we are... but should we control the fear, then we can learn and grow from it and go forward.  Fear is natural so don't fight against it.  Instead, use that fear to become stronger.  Overcome that fear to grow.

In my most recent 50k, after running 40 kilometers, I was scared that if I pushed too much, I wouldn't be able to make it and my body would be cramped up and I wouldn't be able to finish strong.  However, at the same time, I understood that if I didn't push myself a little bit harder, I wouldn't be able to catch up with the guy in front of me.  Fear is a tool meant to protect you, and if I had ignored that fear and ran recklessly, I would then end up having muscle cramps and failing to get a good time.  However, due to the fact that I understood what I was being afraid of, I was able to run in a way that I would be performing at my best without going too hard.

Don't let fear restrain you.  Instead, let it help you know more about yourself and where you are.  When you're going for your goals, you don't want to go in recklessly.  You also don't want to let it control you and keep you from your goals.  Let it help guide you and keep you in check, so that you can achieve your goals in a good and proper way.

(Yesterday, I went for a 3.95 mile run in 29:37, an average of 7:29 min/mile.  Today, I went out for a 6.1 mile run and finished that in 47:23, a 7:46 min/mile average.  Little by little, I'm getting into a good and healthier lifestyle...)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Look Straight Ahead

Running is simple.  All you do is to look straight ahead and just run.  There's nothing complex about it.  Whenever you have a goal.  There's a path to get there.  There's a course.  And the only way through it is to run that course, looking straight ahead at where you're suppose to go.  In an ultra marathon, that course is filled with twists and turns, switch backs, and river crossings.  The distance is long and the course is hard, but there is a path to that goal and should you follow it, you'll reach the finish line.

Sometimes it'll seem impossible, but as long as you look straight ahead and run, you WILL finish.  It's funny how sometimes we forget that simple act of looking straight ahead helps you get to your destination. Whether it be running, career, or anything else, looking straight ahead will result with you getting there.

Find your goal.
Look Straight ahead.
Then go for it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Past Few Days

Since I've started to rebuild my foundation from scratch, I've been running but not AS hard as I would have liked originally.  I'm making sure that I'm running at a healthy rate where I'm improving myself in not only fitness but in health.  The last 3 days, I've run a little faster but not... too fast.  On Monday, I ran 4 miles in 28:49, an average of 7:12 min/mile.  I definitely wasn't pushing that, but was going a little harder than what 'easy' would be.  Tuesday, I went out between classes and ran for 34:58 min because I was running out of time and had to get to class.  In that time, I ran 4.97 miles, and because I hurried a good bit on the way back, my average was 7:02 min/mile.  Finally, today, I went out for a nice run between my classes, running 5.92 miles in 47:55, an average of 8:05 min/mile.  I definitely wasn't pushing it, but I wasn't slacking.  At the moment, I'm trying to work on my aerobic threshold, and in semi-pushing myself, I'm able to get to that point of improvement, I would build a more efficient body, allowing myself to not only work more efficiently, but also make it so that when I train and race, I would be less likely to get injured.

The past few days have been days of building a foundation.  It's important to have a good, big, solid and stable foundation because it helps build you into a stronger individual.  Find the path to building a stronger individual and continue to work on it as you progress.  The progress is gradual, but the person you mold becomes that much more stable.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The 4 Stages of Confidence Building

Interesting thing I learned in class today.  What physically happens when you cut yourself is pretty interesting.  There are four stages to regenerate your skin.  The first stage is called Inflammatory Phase, where bleeding occurs and blood clots happen which protects the skin from getting infected again.  The second stage is called the Migratory Phase, where damaged cells are replaced and we have things called macrophages patrol damaged area in the skin and eat the debris.  The third stage is called the Proliferation Phase where the fibroblasts get together to repair the skin with scar tissue (skin with extra collagen, which is why the scar tissue has this shiny look) and while that's all going on, the clot breaks down from the inside out, leading to the final stage.  The last stage is called the Maturation Phase.  By now the scab is gone, the skin is fixed up and now we have scar tissue growing over the epidermis.

You learn so much in class and I'm so very grateful.  It's interesting to see how your body works because the more you understand about yourself, the better you can work with your physical goals.  The healing that takes place in the body when you're regenerating is the most efficient way the body can do it.  We can always help the body out with stitches, bandages, and other things, but by itself, the body is pretty darn good at patching itself up.  We are very complex and how we do things are pretty awesome.

Now the important part that I'm going to talk about right now is how the body heals itself and how I apply it to my running.  It's important to me to be able to understand how the body works because of its efficiency.  The body is very capable of doing so much and works in the best possible way.  So how can I apply this knowledge to running?  Simple.  Take the physical and make it psychological.  The most important thing the runner has to have in being able to do well in races is confidence.  A runner without confidence... without guts... can only go so far.  It's up to those that push themselves forward to get to their goals.  Sometimes, with injury or defeat, a bad race or whatnot, we lose that confidence and we backtrack.  So how can we build our confidence back up?

Think of the 4 steps of Skin Regeneration and apply them directly to your confidence building.  First, you have to stop.  Just stop.  Think about what led you to where you are and think about what you're going to do about it.  Know where you are will allow you to get yourself to where you want to be.  Second, you have to rebuild all the broken confidences by adding new things to be confident about.  Things that aren't easily broken.  Since you've stopped and are ready to move forward get rid of all the extra stuff that gets in the way and eats at you.  Removing the doubt will definitely improve your regeneration because keeping it inside is just keeping junk.  Thirdly, you need to begin rebuilding what you need to be confident in.  Your successes, your training foundation... yourself.  Finally, at this time, you're ready to go out again, ready to take on the world after rebuilding yourself up in the most efficient way possible, getting rid of everything you didn't need in the first place, focusing on the things you're made of... because you aren't confident in what you've done.  You're confident in YOU.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Everyday Exercise

I've heard a few coaches talk about how they run 3-4 times a week and become a better runner.  However, elite runners don't just do 3-4 times a week.  They pretty much do it every single day.  Why is that?  That's because their health and fitness level is considerably different from ours.  Also, when we exercise like that and do every other day, it helps us recover.  However, to the elite runners, they're used to that regiment and lifestyle and it's just how they live.

Let's look at an easy example.  We walk every day.  We don't get tired and just take a nap for 24 hours to rest for walking during the day.  Our body is a lot stronger than that.  We can adapt and get used to standing up for 8 hours each day at work lifting boxes.  We can also adapt to our running. 

How can we adapt our running?  Simple.  Just do easy runs every day and continue.  Simple right?  You see, most people still believe that in order to achieve something, you need to get hurt, sacrifice something... but they don't understand that a lifestyle can get you where you need to be.  As a crazy runner, that is my lifestyle, so as a 'not yet elite runner' I'm going to work to get to run longer distances and build myself up through time to become the best I can possibly be.

Today, I ran 4.17 miles in 33:51, an average of 8:06 min/mile.  My heart rate was a little higher than I'd like, so next time, I'll have to make sure I don't go too fast.  I want to continually push my aerobic threshold so that I could naturally run faster and more easily.  Steps are being taken, and I've still got a good 180 days til the Leadville 100 so I'm hoping to build a good foundation by then. 

One step at a time.  Exercise daily.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


We all make excuses.  I do it all the time.  And if the excuse wins, that tells me that I didn't want to do it to begin with.  When dealing with what we do... we only do what we do.  Excuses are what comes up when there are two opposing sides to it.  What IS important?  What DO you really want to do?  Do you really want to go run outside in the rain or just stick around in the house and watch a movie.

I was stuck with that dilemma.  I wanted to sit around on the couch and just chill the whole day... but at the same time, I knew that I needed to run.  If I took a step back, that would be counterproductive and I wouldn't be going towards my goal, so I chose to run.  It was a nice and easy run, but I felt good after I finished.  I ran 4.07 miles in 34:01, an average of 8:21 min/mile.  The good thing about it was that I felt like I put in the same amount of effort as I did yesterday.  Every day is a new day and should you push yourself just enough each day, it brings progress.

Excuses happen because there are two sides to what you want to do... so what do we do about it?  I say keep it simple.  What do you want to do with yourself?  Figure that out and see which direction you'll go.  Finding out what's important to you will definitely help you make the best decision for yourself.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Burn the Fat Off

When you run fast, you use a lot of energy, but do you know that you're actually using a lot of energy that comes from carbs?  The thing is that our body likes to use carbs as a source of energy because it can easily convert to energy.  Through glycolysis, the carbs we consume gets used and we're able to use that energy in our daily lives.  However, we have to continually eat in order for the carbs to be used.  It's a never ending cycle since we consume carbs... but what about fat?  How can we burn that?  Well the process in which fat burns is called lipolysis, and it's a little more complex than that of glycolysis.  It gives you more energy, however, it's harder for the body to do that, and the body would rather go with glycolysis than lipolysis.

So how can we then turn the switch on so that we can use energy through the burning of fat instead of carbohydrates?  Well, to me, the easiest possible way you can do that is through cardio workouts.  As a runner, it's important to be able to run at a pace that focuses on burning more fat than carbs because it helps my body able to last longer in long races.  Should I use glycolysis only, then I'll run out of energy because my body can only hold so much.  However, lipolysis creates 4 times the amount of energy compared to glycolysis and therefore can be more efficiently used for longer amounts of strain.  However, because it takes a long time for the body to jump into fat burning, you can't do an intense amount of exercise, because it'll automatically trigger the body into using glycolysis instead of lipolysis.

Simply put, low amounts of exercise will allow the body to use a good ratio amount of fat and carbs and will end with a good result.  Overall, more energy would be burned from both should you decide to go with an intense workout, but that would mean that you'd have to couple intense workouts with large quantities of food.  If you want to maximally make your body as efficient as possible, it's important that you just stick with the lower intensity workout which promotes a balanced and efficient use of what you have.

As you work on that aspect, you'll improve your health level to catch up with your fitness level and be able to grow that much more.  Small consistent steps will go a long way, and when you persistently follow a proper plan, you'll see amazing results.

Today, in order to condition my body to balance lipolysis with glycolysis, I purposefully ran slowly and ran 4.01 miles in 34:56, an average of 8:42 min/mile.  It was slow, but I felt like I was taking the step towards the right direction.  I was pushing myself and improving my health as I ran towards my goal of being as healthy as I am fit.  One small step for me this time around, but many more to follow, allowing myself to sculpt my body in the way I want it to be... the only bad thing I'm doing today would be going out with friends and playing an indoor soccer game... that's totally an anaerobic workout... doing the opposite of what I want to work on... but hey, it's just this once, and I get to hang out with friends.  Let's give those fast twitch muscles a little work.


We are all limited.  We are limited in what we can do because we are all bound by time.  There are 24 hours in a day and we can only do so much in 24 hours.  We're bombarded with homework, work, family, friends, food, sleep, and other various activities.  Our day is filled with things to do, and we don't have a lot of time to run towards whatever goals we want to achieve.  A few of us are lucky and the life is revolved around the goal.  However, the majority of people have too many responsibilities in different areas that they have a hard time achieving their goal.

My goal is to become a world class ultra runner.  However, I don't have the time to train for ultras because I need to earn money to live.  I chose to go to school to learn more so I can get a degree that would allow me to take my next step in life.  I need food and sleep because without them... I'd be dead.  With a lot of other various things going on, it's hard to find time for me to run... and sleep too (haven't had too much lately).  So in order to combat that, I've been able to give myself small bits of time in order to train.  Between classes, I'll get anywhere between an half an hour to an hour and a half to train.  Sometimes it's between classes and work.  Sometimes it's after work and before I go home.  I put myself in that position so I'm able to run and forge my body.  Same with sleep.  Some nights, I stay up late because I have so much to do.  However, if I find 20 minutes where I can just take a nap, I jump right on it.

We're limited with what we can do in one day, but at the same time, we still can find little bits and pieces to go on towards our goal.  Finding those opening can be hard, but if you truly want to find a place for your goals, you'll be able to find it.

Today, I had a wonderful 20 minute nap before going to church, and after church, I went over and did an hour and a half of floor hockey... mostly anaerobic stuff... but still so fun.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Health and Fitness

Today, I saw a wonderful youtube video that explained some of the difference between health and fitness.  Phil went on talking about how one can train under their aerobic threshold and improve themselves.  In doing so, it helps keep the body in check, allowing it to grow continually without hitting any sort of walls.  Listening to what he said, I can understand the reason why.

When we push ourselves really hard, we tend to push our limits and in going beyond them, we injure ourselves.  However, if we were to control that and continuously work at a slightly harder intensity, we can improve ourselves, because our body will adapt and become stronger, which means that the pace would go up, since you're constantly improving your running efficiency.  As your body adapts, you continuously push yourself and with consistent training, you're able to grow properly and not only become fit, but healthy.  You won't be hurting yourself by pushing yourself to improve.  Rather, you'll end up growing in both fitness AND health.

Most people don't take care of themselves when they're pushing towards their goal.  They see the goal and rush towards it... but sometimes, it's important to be able to take your time and do the deliberate and correct steps that gives you a solid foundation as well as the growth.

Once again, balance comes into place, as we work towards the end we desire.  Balance is essential in order to safely achieve our goals.

Today, my little run between classes took only 29:48 out of my day, running 4.29 miles, an average of 6:57 min/mile.  It's always nice to run shorter distances like that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


It's not talent that gets you to where you need to be.  It's courage that takes you to the next level.  Courage is something where you take a leap of faith, pushing yourself forward in order to improve yourself.  Without courage, you can't get things done, you won't go forward, and you'll end up weaker.

It takes courage to sign up for an impossibly long race.  It takes courage to go for that job interview.  It takes courage... to do a lot of things.  It's the initial move, the most important move that impacts the path you take.

Today, I went out for a nice run, running 5.82 miles in 40:02, an average of 6:52 min/mile.  It was a decent pace so I'm pretty glad I'm there.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get even faster and run a PR at the next marathon.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Some people love to complain... and I wonder why they do that?  It's a futile thing to do... but I guess it does somewhat helps them to feel better about the situation... or maybe just make it worse.  Either way, it's important to be able to understand where you're at.  In understanding where you're at, you're being productive and not complaining.  When you complain, you waste the valuable time you could be using, and instead of going towards your goals, you'd be walking backwards away from it.

Instead of complaining, do something about it.  Think about the next step instead of where you're at.  Complaining doesn't change anything, and so forget about it and improve your situation.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Sometimes, we don't feel like doing things and end up wasting a lot of time because we spend it all complaining or doing something else.  Instead, try to get through the 'problem' and go on with your life.  The more you do that, the less time you'll waste, and the more productive you'll be.  Today, my moment of productivity came when there was a 2 hour break in between classes.  I brought my things with me and I went out for a run.  Running for 1:00:44, I made it 7.72 miles, running at a 7:51 min/mile pace.  Now as my first run since the race, I think that this was a pretty decent pace.  At this point, I need to start to train at a faster pace during my shorter runs, so I'm going to work into my training schedule a shorter and faster workout (definitely doing Wednesday night hockey). 

Making each moment count, we get closer to our goals.  It's what we do and what we don't do that makes a difference in our lives.  Make sure to do the productive thing and don't waste time.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Charlotte Ultra Run

Whew, it's been a long time since I've blogged.  Need to jump right back into it.  Anyway, February 2nd came along and I did a 50k race in Charlotte, NC.  The course was a 10k out and back course on the greenway and most of it was on a path, 4k was on gravel, every kilometer was marked out so it was a lot easier for me to see what pace I was running at.  The course itself was pretty flat so I didn't have any problems with the fast pace that I was running at.  The aid stations were placed about a mile and a half from the start, at around the 5k mark, and of course, at the starting area, so it was easy to keep yourself hydrated during the run.

Before the race, I made sure that I drank a bottle of water with chia seeds to give me enough energy to last til the end of the race.  I got myself 2 bottles of Pedialyte to make sure that I would have enough electrolytes to last the whole race so that my muscles wouldn't cramp up from the lack of salt in my system.  Drinking a little Pedialyte before the race, I was ready to go.

Now from the beginning of the race, I had no idea what I was going to finish the race in, but I thought that it'd be a good idea if I just kept each 10k at about 50 min, so I went out fairly easily.  I continued on at that pace and my first 10k I came out a little under 45 minutes.  I figured that that was a pretty decent time, and decided that I'd do two 10ks at that pace and then do the rest at 50 min.  I found out that at that point, I was running at about 3rd place, so I was pretty stoked about the whole situation but didn't let that get to my head.  After walking a little bit and drinking the Pedialyte that my friend Aaron gave me, I just went back to running and I just kept on going.

The second lap, I felt like I needed to keep my pace constant, but inconveniently, I needed to relieve myself of this excess liquid from the drinks that I had before the race.  I nicely asked the people about the porta-potty, and they told me that nobody was inside, so I asked to reserve one of those for me... and when they laughed, I just went in, did my stuff, came out, got ready, ate a banana and left.  Because of the rest stop, I was passed by a number of people, and I probably ended up at about 7-8th place.  I felt like I needed to make up for the lost time and so I picked up my pace a little bit, and went back to cruising at 3rd place with the 4th and 5th place runners right behind me.  I finished my lap, walked a bit as Aaron gave me Pedialyte, the two runners went passed me and I let them.  I still had a whole bunch of running to do.  This was my chill time.

The third lap, I was feeling pretty good and just kept going at that 4.5min/km pace and continued on my way.  I ended up passing the guy in front of me so I stuck around 4th place, seeing the 3rd place guy every once in a while.  It was a decent pace and I still had a couple laps to go, so I wasn't worried about my speed, just about my endurance.

The fourth lap was the same as the third lap and I just continued my pace.  The 3rd place runner actually stopped a little bit to hydrate or something, so I 'suddenly' caught up to him, but away he went as I walked and drank my Pedialyte.

The fifth and final lap was the most exciting lap.  I was 4th place, and I knew that if I wanted to get on the podium, I would need to make sure that I caught the guys ahead of me.  I had kept the 45 min average and so by then, it had become a little tiring for me, but I kept at it, knowing that I only had a little more to go til I finished.  During the first half of the run, the 2nd place runner had hit a wall and slowed down a lot, and so both the 3rd place runner and I passed him, and knowing that I was top three, I was happy... but not satisfied.  At the turnaround point, the current 2nd place runner had about a 2.5 minute lead on me, and so I knew I needed to do something to catch him.  I corrected my running form because I had become a little sloppy during this whole time.  I leaned forward and pushed myself onward and felt that I was going faster, but he was still nowhere in sight.  4km left and I was anxious.  I wanted to catch him so bad but I didn't want to push myself so much that I would use whatever energy I had left... 3km left and I still didn't know what was going to happen so I went a little faster, pushing harder and harder but not too hard... 2 km left and I hadn't caught up with him.  I felt like giving up, but at the same time, I knew that in giving up here, it would eliminate all the chances of me catching him.  Instead, I persevered and went onward, pushing myself.  I was almost at the 1km mark when I spotted him a ways ahead of me.  I knew that I needed to catch him fast or else he may start sprinting at the end and beat me, so I continued my fast pace, matching his cadence but making my strides bigger.  At about 500m til the end, I caught up with him, and with the momentum built up, I pushed passed him and charged on ahead, not daring to look behind me.  I chose to do this only because I needed to make sure to crush his spirit and at the same time, push myself to the limit and get a good time.  At the final stretch, I was at a dead sprint, and crossed the line at 3:44:28.7, an average of 7:13 per mile.  The guy behind me finished about 50 seconds later.

It was an epic run (even though I didn't get 1st, haha) and I really enjoyed that race.  I was able to give it my best and was able to continue at a pace that I didn't know I could do.  This race has definitely given me more confidence in myself and where I stand in regarding speed.  I believe that my final test would be the Knoxville Marathon, where I would do my best and get a PR, going for 1st place.  I have 2 months to train for this Knoxville Marathon and my training starts tomorrow.

Knowing where I am now, I can't wait to see what's going to happen in the future.  With consistent training, I'll be able to mold myself into the runner I want to be.