La Jolla Half Marathon… and more

Pacific West Coast 

I go to LA a few times every year. My best friend and his family live there. They are like my family. In fact, they are my family. So last week I decided it’s time to go to LA again. The timing couldn’t be better because there was a protest against the cruel, unnecessary animal experimentations (more on this archaic “science” later) that occur in UCLA. I could join the protest. And I did. Here’s my new activist friend, Michael and I. 18034235_216115568876071_5141022368381432664_n

I looked for a race to do while I’m in LA, you know, as one would. I found one in San Diego! La Jolla half marathon. More on that later in this post.

I landed in LA on Thursday. Friday morning I did my first SHFT training session. I stayed in my target zone for 46% of the time! (Fuck yeah!) Then Shan and I went to a running store in Santa Monica for him to buy his first pair (of running shoes). It happened to be the venue for the packet pickup for a 5K (Leslie Cohen Law 5K) happening the next morning, by a beach. Did I walk out of there without registering?

Saturday morning : Ladies and gents, we have a first time racer, Shan! IMG_8496.JPG

La Jolla Half Marathon           I have done over a 80 races since 2008. This race course was one of a kind! (Oh, I bought the Spectacles by Snap last month and I wore them during a race for the first time at this race.)

It was one of the most beautiful courses I ever raced.

 

This race course was also one of the toughest, yet. The hills just kept on going up and up and up…

 

Luckily the sun was in hiding until after the finish! Plus there were high fives and water guns!

 

And the downhills were amazing! The last quarter mile to the finish were all downhill and was able to Finish Strong.

 

Then there was one McLaren MP4-12C!

 

And then I finished at the beautiful La Jolla Cove!

 

And then there were seals and sea lions!!!

18056062_10154839126461886_5440057302426119336_oThat’s Rocky, who knows he is the dabom, giving me some attitude. And I did not invade his personal space, I was respectful of his privacy and kept a safe distance.

BTW, I’m still injured!

More stories from LA comin up….

 

 

Running in Central Park

It finally happened.

What would an out of work, bored, runner would do on hump day?

Go to NYC and run in Central Park (I’ve been wanting to do that for such a long time. Finally happened). CheckIMG_8222

Then spend the rest of the day in the city. And walk for over 17 miles, hit at least 3 vegan restaurants. Check

Not to mention, miss the 4:45 AM train and then find out the next train is sold out and the one after that has been cancelled, then buy an Acela ticket for about $300 and get to NYC half an hour earlier than the original train and get an early start to the awesomeness that followed. Check 

OK, full disclosure. I am preparing for my next certification and I was supposed to study all day. Anything to avoid studying.
Right?

I wanna say Acela was the highlight but it wasn’t. Freedom Tower or Brooklyn Bridge walkway? Nope. It was the Korean vegetarian restaurant Hangawi.

In the morning I got out of the train, walked straight to Terri, the cool vegan joint, then walked to Central Park, ran 4 miles, then walked to Penn station, got may bag out of the storage, walked to Hangawi, stuffed myself with vegan goodness, subway-ed to Brooklyn Bridge, walked to Brooklyn and back, went to the top of Freedom Tower, walked to Urban Vegan Kitchen, stuffed myself with more vegan goodness and cocktails, walked to Penn station, caught the train back to DC.

I definitely recommend these restaurants:

Hangawi – Korean, vegetarian, wonderful ambiance, delicious food. Most dishes are vegan.

Terri – Vegan fast food, quick service, tasty plates.

Urban Vegan Kitchen – As the name implies. Amazing food, pricey but totally worth it.

DC vegans got nothing on NYC vegans. le sigh….

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

Pepper!

It’s been over a month since I ran my first race of the year. A half marathon on the beach at Huntington Beach, CA. Although the longest distance I ran until that point was just about 5 miles, I had a strong race. It was my 3rd fastest half! The weather was perfect, about 45° and sunny. I ran the first 5 miles without stopping at about 8:30 per mile! Whoa, right?

Right.

 

Then there was another half in Woodside, CA the next Saturday. I reach my friends’ place in Menlo Park on Friday evening, one thing (whiskey) led to another (whiskey), I decided not to run that race. Hey, there will be more races, but not much free-single-malt-scotch-excellent-food-good-company around.

Hydroplane. Thats what happened during my trip to SF from LA. Over 20 (TWENTY) times. With almost zero visibility. 12675130-Illustration-of-a-scared-yellow-emoticon-isolated-on-a-white-background-Stock-Illustration My rental was a 328 (the purpose behind that was strictly to show off before my friends) which all of a sudden became my life saver. I can go on and on but that one amazing machine. Here is Pepper (I had to name her)! 16266094_10154601730656886_2063570189866537222_n

More catch up sesh coming up soon.

 

Racing 2017

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See how I won’t be able to top 2016! Yes. I earned all of them in 2016. (Or like my 6 yr old friend Mira said “is that all you got?” “Touché”)

I used be happy with just going out for a run. Now it is as if I need the rush of a race to feel like I have had a good run. So here is the regularly scheduled programming for the next few….

Jan 14 – Winter Wonderland Half Marathon in Huntington beach CA (3 loops so I can quit early if need be)

Jan 21 – Crystal Springs Trail Half marathon in Woodside CA

Feb 14 – Bullseye Running 50k at (somewhere in)MD (5 loops… you know the drill! This is the one Ellen “made” me register)

Mar 11 – DC Rock n Roll Half Marathon (running with my dear friend Amy, her first)

Mar 19 – Yeungling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach VA (This is a deferral from last year when I had to skip it due to tendinitis)

Apr 2 – Cherry Blossom 10 miler in DC (Running this with my confidant Deepa, her first race!)

Apr 29 – Nashville Rock n Roll Half Marathon (supposed to be running this with Cat, but we’ll see)

Still thinking about the big one for the year. Or should I do RAGBRAI! Decisions decisions….

2017?

I can never top 2016. It was the best year of my life, ever.

I did 13 running races altogether, not counting the multi-stage ultra, Fire and Ice, in Iceland. 12 of them destination races. Plus travels not related to racing, which adds up to more than one out of town trip per month. The big dent in my wallet will take years to fix.

I ran close to 700 miles in 2016!

Good news is that I am fully healed from my stress fracture (I think). I’m now running 2-3 times a week, between 1 and 5 miles at a time. So far registered for 3 half marathons (LA, SF and Nashville) and a 10 miler in DC. Need to start low and make my way up. Oh wait, then Ellen made me (hehe) sign up for a 50K in Feb! Whoa!

BTW, Ellen is running another multi-stage ultra in April, in Nepal, organized by the same team that did Fire and Ice! Wha…!

On New Year’s Day, I went on a 5 mile run, an hour of HIIT with George and an Hour of Vinyasa with my new absolute favorite yoga instructor Jessica! Can’t get a better start for the year.