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Good Month

2016 September 17
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by Stanley Quan

It’s been a good month.

I entered what I consider to be my late twenties but haven’t turned back.

There have been concerts, good food, and walks in parks (exclusive parks, mysterious parks, ballparks).





2016 August 1

Yesterday, I ran the San Francisco Marathon!

About three months ago, I set my goal and trained hard. It finally paid off yesterday.

I almost didn’t survive the build up haha.

After building my mileage, I tapered my training a few weeks before the race. While my legs were resting, my mind raced. I kept wondering if I would “hit a wall” during the race and not finish.

The day before the marathon, I was as nervous as I’ve ever been. Tried carbo-loading some of that anxiety away.

But when the day came, I was ready. Got up at 4am, settled down, and made it down to the starting line.

The sun hadn’t even risen yet, which felt pretty weird.

sf marathon start

It was exciting to be among all the other runners though, all getting ready to take on a huge challenge together. There’s something about the runner community and spirit that is really inspiring.

At this point, the jitters were gone, and it was time to go.

At the beginning of the race, I started slower and warmed up, and then settled into a good, strong pace. I clocked in well after the first half marathon, and felt good.

That part of the course was very hilly though and I think it took it’s toll later on.

Around mile 17 or 18, I could feel my legs fading. At mile 20, I sort of hit that wall I dreaded and struggled hard. At mile 23, I think I hit an even harder wall. Those last three miles caused me to miss my goal time by a few minutes, but I’m glad I willed my legs to keep churning.

Many times during the race, the thought of stopping and walking popped into my head. Four hours is a lot of time to think. I fought through it though and kept on to the finish.


When I got to the finishing stretch, I muscled up my last energy, smiled a huge smile, and sprinted to the line. That was one of my happiest moments ever – seeing the finish and knowing what I was just about to accomplish.

After finishing, I immediately went into a daze, got light headed, and saw stars.

I was mentally and physically exhausted, and even passed out on the sidewalk for a short while after finding some friends.

But being tired couldn’t hide my smile. I did it! Joined the 26.2 club :)

sf marathon finish



2016 July 10
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by Stanley Quan

This morning, I got up at 5am to run 20 miles. My legs feel like they are going to fall off.

I’ve been following a three-month training program to get ready for the San Francisco Marathon on July 31, and it has been a serious test of my discipline.

This past week, I’ve been running with an uncomfortable sunburn. My legs are constantly sore.

I’m not a morning person, but shifted my long runs to the early morning to avoid the midday heat. It has been a struggle each time, and I dread it the night before and the morning of.

But I made a commitment to a challenge and to myself and I’m going to make this marathon goal happen, mental and physical pain be damned.

I just keep telling myself that it’s almost over and the accomplishment will be worth it all in the end.

Hoping to survive the next three weeks and proudly cross 26.2 miles off my bucket list.



2016 June 7
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This past weekend, I volunteered at the Edge Youth Leadership seminar, which brought together 160 high school sophomores from across California to grow as students and change-makers.

I’m glad my friend Michelle, who I met through Camp Kesem, invited me to come along as a team lead this year.

The seminar was hosted at Clark Kerr on the UC Berkeley campus, so it was fun going back to the old college stomping grounds. It was also a timewarp to stay in a triple in the dorms, complete with a rough twin bed and shared hallway bathrooms.

Going into it, I kind of expected an experience similar to camp, and there were definitely similarities but differences as well.

Singing cheer after cheer reminded me that my voice could be loud. I’d be the first to tell you that I’m not the most rah-rah guy.

I came away physically exhausted, but mentally inspired and refreshed. We worked through a busy three days, packed with keynote speakers, team building activities, reflection time, and breaking through barriers (both mentally and physically).

It was a lot of fun, especially my group, self-named the Crazy Californians. Our motto was “suh dude” and I couldn’t help but crack up every time we yelled it at roll call.


I think everyone was a little scared and anxious at the beginning (no one knew each other), including me, but everyone opened up and grew to care for each other as a family by the end.

One of my students said: “I can say that you are all my brothers and sisters now. I’m a single child, but now I feel like I have another family.”

My students and J-crew were wise, supportive, caring, and passionate. I am so proud of every single one of them for what they did at Edge, and am so excited to see the change they’ll lead in their communities.

Often, I think it’s easy to run through the motions in our day to day and forget about the impact we can make in small gestures. During the seminar, we all took the time to acknowledge when others did something great, however big or small, brave or quiet, and wrote care cards for everyone to take home with them.

A few that I received from my students and just read:

“Although you make me feel like a midget, you still were able to convince me that my voice is capable of being heard by many.”

“You’re different from all the other team leaders, but in a good way.”

These made me tear up. They were spot on in how I see myself and recognized that I was able to make an impact without fully realizing it myself.

I spent this past weekend trying to inspire a group of high school sophomores, but instead they inspired me.



Challenge Accepted

2016 May 30
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by Stanley Quan

I’m going to finally do it – run a marathon!

It’s always been on my bucket list and this past week, I signed up to run the San Francisco marathon on July 31.

I’ve been training for about a month, and there have been a lot of ups and downs, but decided to make the leap.

The training has actually been my biggest concern, as the miles pile up and I’m afraid of getting injured. If I’m going to do this though, now is as good a time as ever.

Honestly, the best time to do it was probably when I was in tip-top running shape during my high school cross country days. It’s just going to get harder as I get older.

I haven’t done a half marathon before, but I’m going to just go for the whole shebang.

So two more months of training, and then 26.2 miles of the biggest mental and physical challenge I’ve ever taken on.

Challenge accepted.