I like to run when I was in middle school, for two reasons. I was not too bad at running, in fact I won a few track medals for 200 meters and 4×100 meters relay. I failed pretty bad in the 800 meters race (in my grade, one grade has 4 classes). But I am probably one of the fastest running 800 meters in my class, and I felt good about it 🙂
But I don’t always like being woken up and run in the winter mornings. It’s called 早锻炼。I don’t always dislike it either.
And 早锻炼 is still encouraged in college, although it’s mostly involves wake up, walk near the soccer field, wave to the 学生干部 who does rollcall, before heading off to student canteen for breakfast. Once, I recall our counselor who is a lady and she was only 4 years older than us, and she came to our dorm in the morning and tried to wake us up and go to the morning jog, and I was not up that day. The teacher’s name is 张圆圆, and I regarded her as a big sister: at one time I recall she asked me if I know another mutual friend of ours (and her dance partner). But unfortunately I learned in recent years that she passed away due to illness.
My weight gain over the years
I think back in year 2011, I hiked in the trails in the Power Valley with a friend. It was at that time that I suddenly realized I was out of shape after I looked at the photo of myself. I was 40 years old then, and our older daughter was born one year earlier.
It took me some more years to start running and joggling in the hope of control my weight. In year 1997, when I came to the USA, I probably weighed 105 pounds. Fast forward to year 2002, I gained some weight, probably at about 135 pounds. I lost some by doing Tae Kwon Do at World Martial Arts Academy between year 2002 and 2005 (mainly 2002 to 2004). I went to the location at Telegraph road, near highway 55 and 270.
Fast forward 10+ years. I finally decided to give running a try in year 2017. It went to the J for swimming sometimes, but I gained some more weights, probably at 155 lbs (pounds). I recall one of my college friends could not recognize me when I was in Shanghai in summer 2016 (both due to my aging and weight gain). I could barely run 200 meters in year 2017.
Races in Saint Louis Area
Frostbite series is organized by the St. Louis track club, and they have a short and long series, and has 5 races spanning over 10 weeks (2 weeks between races). The race is always held in the Forest Park on a Saturday morning.
Snowball series has a distance slightly longer than the Frostbite short series. It’s also held on Saturday mornings. The day doesn’t conflict with Frostbite. So in theory a person can do both series. I ran Snowball series before pandemic.
Races I have run over the last 5 or 6 years
I run mostly school, community related races; including once girlsontherun with my old daughter (when she was 2nd grader?)
The only race I won something (JCC labor day 5k run, it seems the record below has some error?)
Again I did the two series I mentioned above: the Snowball (before pandemic) and Frostbite series (post pandemic).
The longest distance I ran is half Marathon: I ran 4 times so far, once right before pandemic shutdown (03/07/2020) and it was also the only time I ran with 2 hours 30 mins. I signed up the same race for March 2024, and my 1st goal is to beat the 3/22/2022 time (12:56 minute per mile). A bonus is to run the race under 2.5 hours.
My races results over the years
Athlinks (google social login, goes back to year 2018). Results are shown below. This seems included most of my races. The most important column is probably the pace: mile per minute.
Two more websites that have my race results: both are not as comprehensive as Athlinks above.
raceroster (my FB social login, goes back to year 2019)
RunSignup (results goes back to year 2019)
That probably summarized most of my races. I have many memories from races, mostly are fun ones.
I saw two incidents happened right before my eyes at Creve Coeur park. Once in the snow ball series, the snow was melting, and a small portion of the paved trail (under the 364 extension bridge) still had quite a bit of water (maybe a foot in terms of the depth). When I ran there, I was thinking: gosh, now I am like the horse that had to cross the water. And I saw a gentleman who may be a bit older than me, fell, and blood coming from his legs. The full length of the paved trail is about 3.6 or 3.8 mile, so all in all, this is not too bad. I don’t think the runner’s life is in danger in anyway. It’s just looked a bit scary when we ran through the 10 meters or 20 meters of the water.
Another time Also at the Creve Coeur lake park, the half marathon, a gentleman, who seems in his 70s, fell down right before my eye at about 11 miles mark. Fortunately it’s right the 1st aid station is, and people rushed to help.
Last but not least, if you only interested in walking or hiking, I have a blog post on St. Louis Area Nature Trails.