Fjalladrottning

Queen of the mountain or Iceland. That’s what it means.

Got here this morning. From DC melting pot to 8°C, instant frozen nuts. So far…
. Had the most delicious coffee

. Ate vegan pizza

. Drank the delicious local brew Thule

. Met a few awesome athletes

. Race kit got approved

. Got the race bib

. Almost everyone I came across was staring at me. Is there a bat in the cave?

And lava…. Lots and lots of old solidified lava…. You drive on lava, you walk on lava, you piss on lava… LAVA
And it rained ALL DAY!

Starting today….

Flying out to Iceland tonight.

I had some painting accident last night. File_005

Just kidding, my awesome stylist, Cat, designed a fire and ice themed hair style for me to wear during the race! How cool, right? Here’s me with the designer! File_004.jpeg

This morning I went to see Cat (my dietitian) and George. This happened. File_008.jpeg

Here are some key players at VIDA who was there with me throughout this journey.

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From L to R: Cat, Saiju, Saiju, George, Gabe, Saiju

Gabe is in charge of the Fuel bar and he hooked me up with the most delicious recovery drinks every morning for the last few months!

From now till Monday  morning when the race starts, will be hell! Do they have whiskey in Iceland?

The Intern

What does Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson(who?) have in common?

There was a Caturday night party at my place with me and the boys. We watched the movie “The Intern”. Twice. (this is a clue to the answer)

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As it gets closer to my race, more and more of my body is being converted to just nerves. What is the best way to remain calm? Yoga? No. Meditation? May be. Whiskey? YES! (but i can’t) facebook-sad-smiley-facebook-symbols-and-chat-emoticons-Do1w2U-clipart Anne Hathaway? Perfectly.

I used to watch Devil Wears Prada over and over and over… to feel better when I am anxious. Now it’s “The Intern”. Why these movies, you ask? They have Anne Hathaway practically in every frame in the movie! (Now you know the answer to my original question)  There were some waterworks during the show (mostly my kitties, they are weak) but feel good movies always make me happy. This movie has plenty of such moments. It is the lil things!  960.jpg

I am the guy who can’t get a good night’s sleep even if it just 10 mile race the next morning. images So you can imagine how a 250 KM race can keep me up the whole week leading up to it. PSA: Find something that works and easy to do, to stay focused, eliminate freak-outs.

Yes, it is happening in just 7 days!

Am I ready?

No.

Had enough training? NOOO. Packed? Somewhat. Food schedule? Thanks to my awesome dietitian, Cat, its almost there.

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How do I feel? Nervous and excited. In related news, I have never felt stronger ever before (I think).

And watching The Bangles live last night was amazing. They haven’t skipped a beat. Spirits lifted, good distraction on the nervous energy. Good company that was Amy (from OK).

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I wanna marry Susanna Hoffs.

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Training and cowbell

Now that the running part of this training is done, let me see how much I can bitch about what was not accomplished.

My training started on the second week of January this year ~ 32 weeks
No of races planned (20+ miles)                                 17
No of races registered                                                   14
No of races completed                                                  8
longest distance planned                                            40 miles
longest distance raced                                                 26.2 miles
Major injuries                                                                  2
Time lost due to major injuries                                 9 weeks
Minor injuries                                                                ~1.2 million
time lost due to minor injuries                                  seconds

Did I get enough?

There is no such thing, training is like cowbell, you always need more.

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wah…. download.png

All your money are belong to mine

I started a fundraising campaign in connection with my race. The money I raise will go to PETA.

PETA is the largest animal rights organization, in terms of membership and global presence. They are the only ones who can get a seat at a boardroom of a big corporation. I like grassroots movements, but to make a real difference, there needs to be someone who can take on the giants in the meat / fashion / entertainment / animal experimentation industries. That’s what PETA does. I can go on and on and on about PETA but here is where to go to find out more about what they stand for.

If you like to contribute to my fundraising to help animals, here you go. I will match every penny, upto $1000.

My fundraiser

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Never too early to say thanks….

Remember, it takes a whole city(apparently) for me to get ready for this race. I’ve mentioned a few people before, who have been part of this journey from the beginning. I wanna make sure that I give them proper credit!

Ellen – my race partner, who is to blame for this mess. 12-face-with-stuck-out-tongue-and-winking-eye.png She has been inspiring me from the beginning with her performance. And how humble she is about it! And front-ending all the logistics associated with this race. And for all the whiskey and beer and deelish food during our planning sessions! And driving me to race after race after…

Cat – my fabulous dietitian. She gets to be on top of this list because she has made the biggest positive change in my lifestyle. For starters(SWIDT?) I eat vegetables now, not just potatoes. She made me check the nutrition levels in my body and I find out that I have severe D deficiency (that will explain a lot of my physical problems including my eye issues – more on the eye later). Even crazier that she is not vegan herself but now knows everything about vegan diet and a (vegan)diabetic athlete!

George – he makes me smile, throughout every (tough)core training session at VIDA. And remembers every race I do (there was a fucking lot of them – even I couldn’t keep up) and checks with me at the end of every race.

Deepa – you spend a LOT of time with your coworkers. When you have someone you can call a BFF at work, it’s precious. I have no idea how she still manages to keep a smiling face and offers worthwhile responses everytime I am down. And whining.

Shantanu – my bro from anotha mutha. Puts up with all my bullshit (it’s a lot) still welcomes me with open arms everytime I visit LA(which is alot) and picks up my call everytime(again, a LOT), regardless of what time it is. Being a neuroscientist, he dukes out some seriously solid advises that you should never question, but I always do.

Dr. Salcedo – I haven’t said a word about Dr. Salcedo until now, though we have been working together since March (and her lovely assistant Virginia). She is my physical therapist and a tremendous resource for an athlete with her wealth of knowledge. She fixed my tendinitis and my injured back, quickly, like a boss. I learned a LOT about performing like an athlete from her! You can go see her at Chirocentric. Tell her Saiju sent ya!

Lisa – I have not mentioned Lisa either! She is a Rolfer extraordinaire, who keeps my body parts from separating out (or something like that). Cat connected us and it’s been awesome! I cry everytime during the session but feel AMAZING after!

Amy – my RNP who has been on *it* to keep me running and do other crazy things in spite of my diabetes and a slew of related and unrelated shitty issues!

Michelle – I have known Michelle for over 15 years now. I have been talking to her about racing recently and we are going to run a marathon together in October. Talking to her made me pay attention to a lot of minor details that will make a major difference. There are a bunch of them, which I might write about later.

Sumit – my bro I’ve known since 1990 (that’s a whopping 26+ years)! When I was not sure of running this race in the beginning, he talked to me in such a way that made sense to me to push my limits and pursue my goals! Bonus points to him for not using the term YOLO.

Amy (from OK) – my partner in crime, lately. Huge emotional support provider (because I am emotionally weak and a big time whiner), who told me “you are not shallow, you are discerning” which was a revolting concept for me! Bonus points for being an excellent yoga instructor.

Sonali, Rajesh and Sona, Rajesh and Sreeja, Rajesh and Kavitha (haha, they make it easy for me to remember their names), Santhosh and Lekshmi, JK, Tripti, Komal, Thenna…. some way or the other were there for me.

And then there is lovely Stephanie. My kitties love her and so do I. I can go away for races peacefully without worrying about Tango and Foxtrot thanks to Steph being there for us. And she is ALWAYS smiling.

Here is to hoping I won’t let my team down.