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

Piglet playing….

This video is from Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary in Victoria, Australia. Go to their site to see the amazing work they do to help farm animals. If you will, support them by donating.

So why the video? What do these piglets and I have in common?

If you didn’t know, I ran 4(ish) miles on Sunday. If you didn’t see me run, watch the video, my running was just like those piglets’. No run tracking, no headphones, no water bottles… Zero fuck was given while running that 4 miles.

The best part? No aches, breaks or pains. I spent the rest of that day planning my 2017 race calendar. Like 2016, it could very well be super expensive, destination races. Hold on to your butts, I will be posting my race calendar soon(ish).

PEACE

The Myth of Humane Meat

Hu·mane / hyoomáyn / adj. 1. having what are considered the best qualities of human beings; kind, tender, merciful, sympathetic.

I attended the Future of Food Conference organized by The Humane Society of the United States on Friday and Saturday. There were some really good panels and some amazing vegan food. And Peter Singer. I “broke up” with Mr. Singer after I found out about his comments on bestiality. But after listening to him speak on Friday, I’m back on the wagon with him. I even got a picture with him.

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I had a decision to make about dinner after the conference. To go with my vegan friends or with my non-vegan friends, both groups equally being fun and entertaining. I went with my non-vegan friends, as a good vegan should be. 12-face-with-stuck-out-tongue-and-winking-eye They were ethically conscious eaters and talked about looking for certified humane label when buying their food. I commented that certified humane is a myth. They asked me if I can give them more details about my comment, hence this post. Go to one or all the links below to learn more about humane certification and the propaganda put out by the meat industry.

I was watching Easy  last night and the vegan in me was fully committed to the show from the beginning of the second episode. Then came the end of that episode. What a complete disappointment! Check it out yourself.

Go here to get a comprehensive look at humane myth in all of animal agriculture.
http://www.humanemyth.org/

Another excellent resource for all “humane” labeling lies
http://humanefacts.org/

An excellent article on “humane” farming
http://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-ethics/a-comprehensive-analysis-of-the-humane-farming-myth/

Undercover investigation at a whole foods “certified humane egg” farm
http://theirturn.net/humane-myth/

PETA Prime article on “humane meat”
http://prime.peta.org/2010/12/the-myth-of-humane-meat

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

– Maya Angelou

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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Mountains 2 Beach Marathon 5/29/2016

The name says it all. It stated off on top of a mountain in Ojai, CA and finished at the beach in Ventura CA. Lot of downhills, couple of uphills and a lot of flatness. High 50°s to low 60°s with light mist the entire race and no sun. Perfect setup for a PR right?
No.

TENDINITIS.

But I finished, eventually. medalpng
With the help of these angels IMG_2841

Now back to tendon rehab, which sucks!

From going to the race packet pickup place in LA, only to find out it was the same day last week at this location, to racing (in my Audi rental, woot woot) 70 miles to the pickup place in Ventura before the cut off time, to then racing back to catch a lil bit of sleep because I need to get up at 2:30 am to be at the start of the race by 6 am, 80 miles away, to racing with an injury, to slow driving back to LA… it was all worth it.

Why?
IMG_2842This is the post marathon vegan dinner at it’s best. After all, this is what I run for. download

I visited Moo Shoes. The store where everything is cruelty-free. After this very pushy salesman, Maki ( IMG_2863), who wouldn’t quit, I had to buy a pair of shoes, even though I don’t need any more shoes at the moment. Good times!

And as always, I was sad to leave LA! Where I get amazing home cooked vegan food (thanks Sonali) and intellectually stimulating conversations and excellent(well, almost) chauffeuring (thanks Shan) and a lot of party time with my 2 favorite tiny lil friends.

And va who makes my travel to the left coast always a pleasant experience. Emoji-heart-eyes-face-free-printable-3.jpg

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