Fuck you diabetes

I got diagnosed with diabetes a few years back. At the time I was running / biking 3-4 times a week!

I have some super enthused coworkers (Thenna D, Komal P) who want to start racing (running). One of them have the same situation as me, not losing weight or his gut in spite of running, like, A LOT. Then one of them found this article.

Wait.

What the crap?

[Since you didn’t read the article, here is the skinny. It says, when you are at an aerobic workout for an extended period of time, cortisol stays active in your system, fucking up your insulin functions causing your blood sugar to shoot up and eventually making you diabetic. Oh, and your gut growth goes on overdrive.]

Yes, this is also a thing. Upon further research by yours lovingly and my RNP Amy S (who has dedicated her life to keep me as a diabetic endurance athlete) and my awesome dietitian Cat T (who (unwarily)happily accepted the mountainous challenge of working with a vegan, diabetic, endurance athlete), it was established, I have that crappy body type where regardless of what I do, I will remain fat, FOREVER. Some of my wise coworkers immediately dropped all plans to run.

Me?                 me

Umm… But I ….

“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” –The Buddha

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I started some HIIT (big up George C, my kickass trainer), speed training etc, to supplement my slow, long distance grinding. Let’s see how it pans out!

More on this fucked up “condition” – http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/111609p38.shtml

Recovery time? What recovery time?

Being a plant based runner is just right.

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I remember walking like a zombie, days after finishing the pregan marathons. My first vegan marathon however, the day after, I tied my shoe laces, kneeling down, and came up to a standing position, all by myself, LIKE A BOSS! Yes, recovery time (or not needing any) is the biggest difference I have experienced after going vegan.

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Meeting other vegan marathoners and listening to Rich Roll talk to elite vegan athletes – we all agree. there is no “recovery time”. It’s a thing.

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Bikes runs yoga alcohol…. dude!

Started my serious “come back” training in March of 2015. Biking. Lots of biking. For RAGBRAI. Me and Ela(my super awesomest full carbon road racing Kestrel crotch rocket, she is Eleanor but she like being called Ela) were one with each other. March thru July thru RAGBRAI, 2000+ miles, 41 local Iowa brewskys in 7 days – lost 5 pounds, the lightest I’ve been since school days. Capture.PNG

What went wrong? Run training from end of July thru Marine Corps Marathon thru Golden Gate Half in SFO thru Christmas – back to fatness.

I know why. And it is science. But that’s later.

Yoga – going back to play a yogi is just awesome.

Wait, alcohol. I (almost)stopped drinking when I started training earlier in the year. May be once every week or 2 weeks, only when I go out with a bunch of friends.

OK, back to yoga. Remember the vegan yoga retreat after Christmas? 6 days, drank more than the last 2 years combined and yet did yoga every day and even ran a couple of times, including on New year’s morning, completely hung over, wearing the party outfit from the night before.

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Now, that was what I needed, to start elevating my performance – personal training, eating stuff other than potatoes and breads. Above all to take running and my diet seriously.

Cut to the airplane – whiskey drinking scene.IMG_2634

Why

I think I can do this. Not going to care whether I am losing weight or my fatness has changed.

I need to do this.

Why do I need to do this?

I have not always been vegan. In my “pregan” days, I have run 3 marathons and a couple of duathalons and a few long distance bike races and one RAGBRAI and countless other races. I was part of an elite group of athletes. We did awesome shit together. All of us, except me, were BIG meat eaters, some even paleo. When I became fully plant based, there were skeptics. I was warned by some well wishers how I will drop my performance and even become a non-athlete.

Oh, the horror.

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And then there is always the lack of … ugh… protein. 9725c7cac72b47e5b82d55683bf1e7cc230f190916e138f38900c1a46cd0584c

Vegan. I had to do it. If I never race again, that’s ok. But animals rights is first in my life. I took more than a year off from “athleting”, also due to a diagnosis as being diabetic (lovely, thanks mom for this gift that keeps on giving).

Diabetic athlete – an endurance athlete that is – does not exist. More on that story later.

I can see clearly now…..

Scotch makes things better

As I was sipping my 4th Glenfiddich 12 from the tiny airline bottle (I pretend I am a giant whenever i hold those bottles), it hit me. What the fuck am I doing? I am supposed to run a full, trail marathon in 7 days.

Why am I in an airplane, drinking Scotch? distance

I made a new friend, Ellen K, who was introduced to me as a crazy (in a very admirable way) person on Christmas eve, 2015. One of the first things she asked me to do was to go check this site out (Fire & Ice). I did, that night, and thought – whoa! I must do this!

Off to a vegan yoga retreat 2 days later, where I was surrounded by beautiful ladies, I run my big mouth, announcing my plans to run 250 KM, in 6 days, with all the required living supplies on my back, in the northern part of Iceland (yeah, the country) through unbelievably tough terrains that includes a (active)volcano.

Fuck! Now I have to do it! loudly-crying-face

Back on mainland, signed up for core training with a personal trainer, and a nutrition consultant, in a sad attempt to minimize the (likely)scenario of me running to my death in Iceland.

4 months later, I have not lost a single pound, my body fat % is the same as when I started the training and my gut still enters a room a couple of seconds before my body. I needed to do something to break out of the rut. What do we, as “westerners” do?

Go to India. IMG_2326 (3)

Now you know why.

I did not run that marathon.

But I am running that multi-stage ultra in Iceland, late summer 2016. Hence this long story.