Limitless

I should have titled this “weightless” or “weightloss” or something to do with “weight”. But limitless has more drama. Plus that’s how I feel lately. download (1)

I go to a group workout, bootcamp, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. Through Vida Fitness, the #1 gym in DC. Wednesdays there’s a bootcamp in the evening as well which I just started going to. Yes, 2 bootcamps, 1 day. Typically I burn over a 1000 kcal during one of those 50 minute sessions. Easily. BTW, my badass trainer Katie runs these bootcamps! raising-hands

About 5 weeks back, I started on a path to eat better. Yes I am a plant based athlete but it does not automatically mean I am a healthy eater. I am one of those *junk food vegans* (JFV)! Yes, it’s a thing. Well, lemme say, I WAS, a JFV. Enter the two new beautiful human vegans. Around the same time! They started “addressing” my bad food habits. Got called out on the following:

I don't like most vegetables (I know <roll eye>). 
Love me all the fried stuff. Samosas, fries yumm... 
I snack all the time. 
Cupcakes and donuts - all of them! emoji5
Potatoes: All.the.way.
Bread. Bread. Bread.

Long story short, I dropped 8 lbs in less in that 5 weeks. Probably the healthiest weight loss in history. Hit me up if you like to know the specifics.

Wait…

I drank more beer in that same 5 weeks than the entirety of last year. Honest! Then how…? c60e666a9af7bcd1a7b887437b3520c3_384 I know. 4 out of 5 of the recent weekends, I burned 6000+ calories, each (Saturday and Sunday combined). Work hard play hard, right homies? Run, bike, HIIT, yoga, and wait for it….

Zumba!

I’m a Zumba bitch now. emoji-cool-guy-pillow-with-cool-blue-hair--82F6B28D.zoom

I am not trying to be a role model here. Nor I am trying to tell you anything good about approaching workouts and weight loss. A lil bragging? May be. emoji-happy-thumbs-up.jpg

This morning, it was 78° – 80° during bootcamp. It was just me at the group class so Katie worked out with me. SeaMoji-boom I love working out with Kaite, my favorite sessions. Something extra in the way she pushes me as a workout partner, from a trainer!

OK OK, back to the story. It was so humid, the heat index must have been 85ish. Plus it was one tough workout! The old Saiju would have burned, like, 1200 kcal but I only burned about 900! img_5553 Even a minor change in body weight plays a big part in your performance! Truth. On Friday, I ran 3.5 miles with Katie at about 8:40 / mile! That’s a big deal. Yes, I am lighter on my feet, more agile, have more energy. Plus all the beer!

You know I am diabetic, right? I set an aggressive fucking goal for myself. I will reverse diabetes by the end of the year.

There.      Accountability…      created.

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 2018

IMG_4383.JPGI asked Katie on Thursday about cancelling our core training session on Friday, citing my 10 mile race on Sunday. “Come, lets do some (foam)roll and stretch and prep you for the race. Your legs will thank me on Sunday.” Since my hipflexor-only-training-full-marathon was entirely made possible by Katie, I couldn’t argue. Then again, I shouldn’t have worried about the race much because I was running with Deepa, who is a new runner, this being her second ever race, last year’s Cherry Blossom 10 Miler being her first, so naturally I will be running slower than my pace,

(Not taking anything away from Deepa, she being a mother, spending 9 hours at work every day with a 2+ hour commute, and not having trained well for this race, thanks to unusually cold weather)

although running slower than your comfortable pace is harder in a certain way. Easy peasy right?

My bladder (not the water, the crotch) started threatening (audibly) “gonna go right now” even less than a mile into the race!

Fuck.

I told Deepa I’ll catch up and to keep running, as I ran towards a potty. The people in front of me on the potty line must all have been #2 because it took an eternity to get my biznezz done and start running again. I was going at full speed but I can’t see Deepa. I told her to stay to the RIGHT SIDE of the crowd so that I won’t miss her. WTF Deepa! I thought you said you didn’t train for this! Finally, after mile marker 4, I see her, on the LEFT SIDE OF THE CROWD! Bravo girl! praying-hands-emoji

I probably got a 5K PR, right there! I think this is where Katie’s race-prep workout, all of a sudden, turned out to be significant!

Easy peasy my ass!

The rest of the race was uneventful. Except for the beer stop at mile 8, which I double-fisted! Did I mention that the Cherry (Blossom) trees were in full bloom? And that most of the race course were through Cherry (Blossom) trees? And that it was a gorgeous day to run? Started off at around 32° (butt ass cold) and ended at around 40° (nice and pleasant)! raising-hands

My friends Thenna and Komal ran the race as well. We all looked like we are about to rob a convenient stores, not run (well, it was a coldass fuckin morning).

#thugs #indianthugs

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Deepa’s 4yr old daughter was waiting for her at the finish (how did a 4 yr old get to DC from Vienna?) Amazing! 12675130-Illustration-of-a-scared-yellow-emoticon-isolated-on-a-white-background-Stock-Illustration

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Post race late brunch was marvelous, with my favorite peeps, Catie and Amy, at Meridian Pint, one of my fav brunch / watering spot in DC. My #BFF Amy and I have this thing. She loves avocados. And dislike potatoes. I hate avocados 800px_COLOURBOX20556388. And LOVE me some potatoes. So we trade (the best trade in trade history). Even with this trade, with a few kilos of roasted potatoes on my plate, I was worried about not having enough food to eat, got a side order of fries. Oh my Goat, it was large enough to feed a small country! (See exhibit A below) IMG_4381

And beer.

What next!

I started training for this race in mid January of this year. It’s been a roller coaster ride until after the race. It was really cool to have something to focus on, something that is so demanding. Now, I’m completely lost. Historically, I put on a lot of weight soon after a big race. This time, I’m hoping, with the help of Cat (my awesome dietitian) I can maintain the (lost)weight.

I have been eating super healthy (for the most part) during my training. Now I can’t eat super oily (read super delicious) fried awesomeness anymore, it is messing up my stomach! I can’t drink wine either, in fact the only things I can drink without fear of hurling is whiskey and beer. Is that a positive thing? I can’t decide.

What next, you ask?

I wanna go back to Iceland and complete the race without DNFing any stages and earn that medal. When? Not sure now, will have to plan that. I also want to do more multi-stage, multi-terrain ultras. Because I am a glutton for pain and misery. Hehe… For the time being I have plans to run a full and 2 half marathons for the rest of the year. I wonder if I will be able to run without a heavy pack on my back. 😛

What else? I sent my thank you notes already, before the race. And I will miss hanging / working out with George!

Check me out wearing a shirt that I bought 8 months back but could never get in to because it was too small. While you are at it, take a close look at me kickass kicks too!

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Stand by for pictures of Ellen and I (with a couple of puffins) digging into the Icelandic alcohol loot this weekend. 😀

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The Race!

What happened in Iceland is slowly sinking In and I am beginning to believe it actually happened! I wrote up about the race based on what I remember. I regret not taking more, strategic pictures.

Day 1 – Monday August 29, 2016
Bright and shiny outside, totally freaking out inside! Completed the day which included a humongous hill but mostly OK terrain. Lake, lots of volcanic ash and lava. My pack was too heavy, over 32 lbs and my left shoulder took the brunt of it. Get patched by the med team in the evening. The same camp as last night, by Askja the volcano.

Day 2
Miles and miles of lava rock terrain. Was it a mistake, or did they mean it be the course! There were some beautiful mountains along the way. The highlight of the day being seeing Herðubreið, the “queen” of Icelandic mountains. A lil bit of rain towards the end of the day didn’t hurt much. But it was cold.

Day 3
Hypothermia. DNF. 35 degree, rain all day, 2 glacier river crossings (about 50ft wide each, about knee deep water). That was the day. The camp was at the most expensive camp site in the world, inside a broken volcano! Saw some Northern lights. The whiskey flask I was carrying with me with some 15 yr old Glenfiddich made my tent mates happy!

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About to go into a fetal position….

Day 4
Sunny and beautiful day. Severe shin issues as a result of walking through some super unfriendly terrains, limped my way to the camp for about 15 miles off the total of 30 miles. Walking on volcanic ash is like walking on a beach! There was this beautiful waterfall (it is the most powerful one in the northern hemisphere) with a rainbow framing it where I spent some time just admiring it. Saw more, brighter, bigger Northern Lights!

Day 5
Toughest terrain, the first (almost)12 miles were through Heathland vegetation. My already injured left leg was completely mad at em for doign this! At the first checkpoint, I decided enough is enough, time to stop for the day. Not an easy decision but I had to. The truck drove me straight to the natural hot bath thigies, right next to the camp! Dipping in that spring was one of the best experience ever! After that, where I was sitting, the wind kept bringing steam out of the springs.

Day 6
The race director would not allow me to race today, citing my injury. So I went on a limping run / walk for 10+ miles on my own, without the pack, just a bottle of water and a bag of roasted chick peas (I regretted not taking my phone with me when I walked past “boiling mud” pits!). It was fun, why couldn’t I do that the whole time! 🙂

Coming up, more Iceland shit, with pictures. Stay tuned…..

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!

Another (incomplete) race

Registered for 50K, ran a (almost)marathon.

Does it matter that I was carrying 20 lbs on my back? Well, my back and shoulders thought so! And that the terrain was kinda run-unfriendly? super-sad-emoticon

Dahlgren Heritage Rail (in King George, VA) was a pretty decent race. There were ZERO hills! What!? And they had PBJ on the race course (may be that will explain why I couldn’t go all the way, too full to run – yes that’s a real condition)! There options at the end of the race, a medal or a koozy or a drinking glass. Guess what I took?

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Oh, and no points for guessing how far Ellen went. But the best part of her race (I’m guessing) was the fact that she finished just 15 minutes after I did, after running 6 additional miles!

20 days to go! Fuuuuuuucckk….

PS: Watch this space for a lot of whining on what I could not accomplish during this training season.

Tougher than the toughest!

Coastal trail runs is a Bay Area based group that organizes running events throughout the year. I ran one of their races, Lake Chabot trail run.

After running Blue Ridge marathon earlier this year, I was confident that the toughest race EVER is behind me. Not at all. I am not even gonna attempt to describe how tough this course was. The hills that felt like there needs to be a rope line to go up and down, the lose soil, the jagged edge of rocks sticking out….. OK, the things that are out of my control, right?

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(But the course was gorgeous!)

What about when I filled my brand new RaidLight Ultra Raid 30 pack with random shit the night before to make it heavier, or when I was too lazy to break in my new Altra Lone Peak 2.5 and had to run with it first time at the race, or when I didn’t spend time learn how to cinch(?) my pack to avoid doing the boogie-woogie bumble while flying down the hills. I have no one to blame but myself for not attempting run the second loop and shutting down the operation at a half marathon. Yes I was registered for a full.

Shout out to my friends Sona and Rajesh. Sona’s amazing home cooked vegan food is the reason, I think, I didn’t collapse half way through some of those fucking hills. And Rajesh, for putting up with my schedule, chauffeuring me around while having great conversations! And their kids are a hoot, love them. I’m gonna work on them to make them runners!tumblr_static_95p88l86si88ks4w4wws04wk8

And I had one of the best carb loading ever at Malabar, an Asian fusion, vegetarian / vegan restaurant in Santa Cruz CA!

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And I really earned this one IMG_3545.

And the free beers after the finish!