Lady Saiju!

April

There is was a new Facebook group called DC Vegan Pickup Baseball. The idea is was to play baseball without any animal products involved, which means no leather gloves or regular baseball of softball. We play with tennis balls. And bare hands.

I met up with a few team members at our first event, but we couldn’t play baseball due the overwhelming number of tourists and protesters at the National Mall in DC.

Crap. sweat_emoji

The founder of the group, Corbett,  asked me if I can take over as admin of the group. I gleefully obliged. I suggested we play pickup soccer, which means smaller field and more doable. Success. Name of the group changed to DC Vegan Pickup Sports, we don’t wanna get sued, you know.

The plan is to get together every weekend and do something. Soccer, volley ball, biking, baseball, hiking, rugby (15c16cf39f5ab5b857081a285b1c2ecd--innovation-emojis.jpg), and as someone suggested, even pizza eating. Of course vegan pizza. (Personally I do not like vegan cheese but I’ll play)

The group is growing rapidly.

Prelude

My personal trainer George, at Vida Fitness, is a total badass. 6% BFP! Scared-Emoji I literally be begging for mercy at the end of each session. HIIT, core, iso, plyo… all of it.

I am the captain of DC PETA Pack running team that is racing at the Poplar Springs 5K which benefits Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary, in Poolesville MD. I am training a few first time racers as well.

I wake up at 4 AM every day. Then I go to the gym for a personal or group session. Or run. My friends are like “you are certifiably insane”. I’m like “awww thank you”. Needless to say I’ve never come met anyone who can match my energy or wake up at 4 AM or wanna do “things”, like, all the time. My experience is me begging my friends to do stuff and get a semi-yes then… nuthin. <sad violin emoji / bitmoji>

Kelly

I met Kelly through the new vegan group.

She wakes up at 4 AM to workout (so do I), like potatoes (so do I). She is vegan (so am I). More than enough reasons to celebrate a fellow human’s existence.

I took her to my HIIT session with George. And no, she wasn’t begging for marcy at the end of it (I was tho). She did not look like she was gonna collapse and die (I did tho).

She joined my PETA Pack team for Poplar Springs 5K. And she will join Catie and I at Navy Air Force Half Marathon in September. Yes, that is another PETA Pack race.

It these weren’t enough, for her to climb to the top of my list of favorite peoples,   ……

She hates Star Wars. images

SO DO I! download (1)

Kelly is the female Saiju.

Or what Kelly said “your are the male me”download

Run a marathon with no run training

#HowTo #DIY #HipFlexor

Start hip flexor training about 30 days prior to the race

Strengthening workouts exclusively on your hip flexor,  twice a week with your trainer

Learn home hip flxor strengthening routines from your trainer (and try to do it at home at least once before the race)  download (1)

Stretch extensively, like, all the time  (learn from your cats)

Get a stand-up desk at work

Increase the number of training sessions to 3 per week, 2 weeks prior to the race

Eat K. Eat a LOT OF K. Dates, Bananas, coconut water, Nuun…..

Yoga 4 times a day week

No alcohol until the race (then make up for lost time)

Dye your hair fiery pink/orange/yellow (it helps,… serious)

DO NOT RUN UNTIL RACE DAY
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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….

rnrcert

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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

No training marathons

2011

It never rains in L.A. But on March 20, 2011, it rained the whole day. No, it poured like the super heavy monsoon rains in India.

Why, how, you ask?

Because I was running my second marathon. See, my first ever marathon was in Estes Park, Colorado, on June 2010, which happens to be the highest paved marathon in the US. Why would someone living in flat fucking Florida run his first marathon at 9000ft+ elevation?

Stupid

Anyhoo, what was supposed to be a nice spring 70ish weather turned out to be (on and off) freezing rain and sleet, till about mile 23.

But I feeneesh.

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Less than a year later, L.A. understood me. L.A. knew exactly what I needed to run a marathon – Rain.

Hmm… Why am I telling you this, now?

Well, I’m running DC Rock n Roll Marathon on March 10. Wait… I’m registered to run…. So I might as well. How much training did I get? None, until Feb 9. I’m gonna go and pretend to run this anyway.

See my L.A. Marathon training was a disaster. I got IT band syndrome on week 4 of my 18 weeks training. So I ran that race with no training run for 14 weeks leading up to the race. Cold, wet, knee pain, through it all, against all the odds, I finished.

219019_10150147314466886_3943385_o (2)I’m hoping to wondering if I can pull the same magic out of my butt again on March 10. This time, there was the 4 week long flu, 6 week long headache bullshit and some laziness – hence no run training.

The only hope, to not have to be carried off the course on a stretcher, is my HIPFLEXERS ONLY training with Katie from now till the gun goes off on race day morning. Continuously. And yoga.

If I believed in prayers, the only thing I had to do was to be on my knees, crying, praying, until race day.
Some significant people from 2010/2011:
Brad - partner in (running) crime
Alyssa - trainer
L.A & Mike- trainers and hosts in Denver
Shantanu (& Sonali) - host(s) in L.A. And keeper of sanity
Mercedes & Luke - greeters at finish
Rajesh & Sona - party people

 

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!

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….