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Soooo many races!

Navy Air Force Half Marathon in September and Marine Corps Marathon 2018 in October rounded up my year. More details on those later.

There was a small but beautiful New Year’s Eve party at my place.

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Before that I got myself this calendar.

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Somewhere along the line, it occurred to me that I need a new challenge for the new year. What better (read dumb) idea than running EVERY DAY! Thus born #RunEveryDay.

Run every day of the year and have at least 1000 miles at the end of the year and even try to get 1500 total miles for the year. It was going well. 260+ miles until March 25, not a single day went without a run. #Brilliant, right?

Then…..

I ride my bike all over DC. My mountain racer, GT Avalanche 10. Her name is Heather. DC is supposedly a bike friendly city but there have been some biker deaths lately. Also depending on where you are in DC, you need to decide to ride the bike lane (or lack of one) or the sidewalks. 16th street NW is where “villagers” speed thru, coming into town to enjoy all the amazements this beautiful city has to offer, or speed thru to get back to their homes after trashing my lovely city. No way I ride the bike lane there. Anyhoo, I was crossing the street and on to the sidewalk and I found myself kissing the concrete. Got up, rode back home, went for a 5 mile run. Got back and I was taking off my compression socks, it was wet. From blood. Arm is hurting a lot. And limited mobility. I remember I landed hard on my right hand. Chain ring cut through my right calf. There were a bunch of cuts, 2 of them deep.

Next morning, I go on a 3 mile run. More blood on my socks. Also my doctor later said there might be a fracture on my elbow. #RunEveryDay – dead. 2 days later at the Orthopedics’s office, I got the wonderful news that there is, in fact, a fracture at the head of the radius on my right arm. My right arm is on a sling now.

A few days later, there was a 10 mile race – Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. On a Sunday. The Friday before the race, I had dinner with Amy. She was telling me her injury stories and how I need to be very careful with mine. And that I need complete rest.

I agreed.

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler was a beautiful race. As it is, every year. I can’t find words to express how cool it is to run through full bloom for most of the race. And it is a flat course. But running with an arm in the sling was frustrating to say the least. But getting compliments from strangers for running while injured was pretty dope.

 

Amy did not talk to me for 10 days.

More to come……..

And the medal goes to….

Katie! img_3152

Have you ever dedicated a race to your trainer? Neither have I, until now. Seriously, I am still in denial that I finished! And the only reason I finished is, all the hip flexor training, and nothing but the hip flexor training. With, and designed by, Katie.

Did I mention I did could not do any run training, AT ALL, for this? Oh, OK then.

The report from the field:

It was a crisp pre-spring morning in DC. 0° (c) at the start of Rock n Roll DC Marathon, at 7 am. I went in, mentally prepared to take a DNF, I was there just for the love of running. (OK OK OK, I wanted to show off, as a vegan athlete, I can run a full marathon with ZERO training).

You are on your 16th marathon. Although you haven’t set any time goals, you just want to finish, running mile 6 at 5:56 is NOT OK. That’s actually worse than a rookie mistake! That’s outright dumb. (I don’t think I was that fast, I think the tracker app fucked up, but I did run super fast every now and then during the first half). At half way point, I was headed for a PR. But then I paid handsomely for it.

The last 8 miles tho….

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My PETA Pack shirt got me a nice conversation and some high fives while running, with another vegan runner. She showed me her custom bib which read “Vegan 4 Animals”. Mine said “IRun4Animals”.

And all the cheers for PETA!

A girl in a chicken costume, with a megaphone, on the course, stopped me and wanted to play with my hair. She ran her fingers thru it and I was thinking, “fuck, you are messing it up”.

BUT she actually fixed it! See before and after! img_3154

 

My friend Lia, who is from Philly, who I think runs this race every year, who is also a vegan athlete, passed me right after the half way mark, just after I started getting severe quad cramps (didn’t even know it was a thing, never experienced it before) but not without some small talk.

The first time ever, I did not consume anything other than gatorade and water throughout the race! Of course I carb loaded at dinner the night before and had a piece of bread and coffee prior to start.

There is this killer hill along the course, about 10 miles into it, which is also part of my usual training route, which is also part of MCM and other local distance races. So I have traversed the hill mountain at least 10 times in the past few years but never ran up the whole damn thing. No, this time it was different. This time I ran the whole thing up and continued till next water station,which was more than a mile after! Booyah….

And I had to stop for a moment and pose for the finish line photographers, during “finish strong” last-quarter-mile-sprint.

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And like a total moron, I finished through the half marathon finish line!

End of report. 

Less than a week before the race, at an attempted, failed inversion pose during yoga, I messed up my back, big time. For the next couple of days, I even thought I may have to sit this one out. But no, my friend, and massage therapist extraordinaire, Chelsey, by use of her her excellent magical hands, cured it!

A couple of days prior to that, my hip flexor muscle had some issues and I had to go see my lovely and super knowledgeable NP, Gretchen. It was still bothering me a bit on race morning. At the end of the race tho, everything was hurting, so no biggie!

My primary care physician, Dr Loomis, who is also vegan, who is also a runner, ran a half marathon in November, faster than my PR, he is almost 60! I went to see him with an irregular heart beat issue the day before the race. My EKG was normal so I got the green to race!

Here are a lot of pictures of me running, from same and different angles. I know you live for this shit.

 

And…. not the least….
Thank you Katie, Chelsey, George, Dr Loomis, Gretchen, Becca(for those awesome songs and the early race day morning message)

And Ellen, Catie, Adam, Brianna, Amy, Chelsey for the “party”.

And as always, Shantanu!

#RnRDC #DCRocknRollMarathon #VeganAthlete #VeganRunner #NoRunTrainingMarathon

The Shitshow

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This picture says it all.

2017, the shitshow comes to an end.

0 marathons, 2 half, 1 10M, 1 10K, 2 5Ks. The last race was in May, Lace Up For RAINN 5K in DC. Had to defer MCM to next year. Missed 2 registered marathons, Virginia Beach and Running For The Bay.

Ran coldest race, 17° at the start of Rock n Roll DC!

Let’s recap. Had a minor adductor injury in Feb. Decided to get a Ph.D on tearing-just-a-hyper-stretched-muscle by running and HIIT. Races in March, April and May. Continued HIIT till November while rehabing.

The reason I finally decided to take complete rest is some unexplained headaches. Like getting hit by a hammer on my head when I land on my foot, every step, while sprinting. An MRI showed unmistakable presence of BRAIN (woohoo) with no major issues but some “white matter” in it. I am pretty sure that is just a high concentration of extra IQ but I am forced to consult with a neurologist, first week of Jan.

Fine, I’ll play.

Doctors – necessary evil.

What learned was it is hard for me to get up and train / run, without a goal! But Katie helped big time (yes still training with Katie), without her I’d be a complete slob, gained extra 20 lbs etc.

Thank you Katie.

What did I do with all the extra time by not running, you ask?

Well, I got much more involved in Animal Rights activism. To the point PETA had to lol-emojipresent me with the following:

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Thank you PETA! I feel honored.

Also elevated my alcohol game. Still haven’t put on any extra pounds, surprisingly!

Tentative plans for next year? (Provided, no more playing macho while injured)

MCM
Rock n Roll DC
At least 1 ultra (I have a couple that I have my eyes on) 
At least 1 trail marathon (yes, I know which ones(s))

1% Effort

1% effort
10% training
50% injury
100% passion

That’s my running, for now.

1% effort huh? Not because I have become so good at this and it is effortless to me now, or anything.That’s how lazy I really am to get out and do something (running).

The last 2 races. First, the Rock n Roll DC half and then the Cherry Blossom 10 mile race, 3 weeks apart, were truly testing my limits. 2:24 for a half, injured, is acceptable (not a fast runner, to begin with). The CB 10 was running with a first time racist (racer? whatevs), so that doesn’t count. She did awesome for her first race tho. Running through the cherry blossoms was just amazing! IMG_8174

Then there was one training run with Deepa for about 5 miles. What used to be a less than 4 miles loop, which I’ve run many times before, from my house to The US Capitol, to The Washington Monument (through The National Mall), to The White House to back home, somehow grew in the past few months to an even 5 miles! Yeah, WTF, is right! Route.PNG

Remember, how I Injured my groin few weeks back? So, I can’t run like I normally would. I have to realign the landing on my left, and shorten my strides in order not make the injury worse. But it’s worthwhile to incorporate these workarounds to keep running. Especially because I wanna do the 55KM race in Iceland in July (I think).

Related news – remember how I am bling ho?

(I am.)

I run these races for those medals. Funny story, I registered both Deepa and myself for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler together. Unlike ALL the races in the world, you have to fucking pay extra for the fucking finisher medal. Of course I fucked up and did not buy a medal for Deepa. So what would a generous, kind, experienced, has-more-than-50-blings-in-his-possession-runner would do?

Yup She’s wearing MY medal. 6acefa4e02697bd009f844d9dbfa6c0e

But not before getting a picture of me wearing it. 🙂IMG_8187

We are all winners. 17504224_10154777950466886_8754943196921356868_o

Man Down

Well, man down, for now.

I injured my groin muscle while maxing out my dead lift. The worst feeling ever! Who the fuck knew you would use your groin muscle even for such unrelated things as coughing!

Dafaq!

I mentioned my trainer Katie before (the best and most compassionate trainer ever). She has been a godsend, especially now that I’m injured. She has been studying rehab techniques and making me do them during our sessions. Plus her pep talk. The only reasons I am not going completely insane. Thank you Dr. Katie! Emoji-heart-eyes-face-free-printable-3

In other news, my half on March 11 (DC Rock n Roll) and 10 miler on April 2 (Cherry Blossom run) are iffy.

And I still don’t know what my big event for the year is! Faaack….

In more other news, this happened!

Cupid’s Undie Run is a charity event to raise money for children suffering from a debilitating genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis (NF). As it says on the undie itself “I take my pants off for charity”. And I (we) did! The run was a short half mile but the party was over 3 hours long! Injury schminjury.  bahaha!