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 knowEye-roll.fw_-300x300). 
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.

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.

40007_414211656885_1846373_n (2)

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

 

The Shitshow

IMG_1424

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))

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….

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!