To run or not run, that’s the question!

How many miles will you run before you quit in 100 degree heat?

For me it was 11 miles.

For Ellen, it was a fucking 50K!

We both were registered to run a 50K trail race at Upper Marlboro MD. After carefully evaluating (bahaha) the conditions, I decided to do just 25K. In the first 10 miles though, after wiping out FOUR times and losing my sun glasses and getting pissed at the sun etc. I decided call it quits at 11 miles. 5 miles short what I wanted to and 21 miles short of what I planned to do.

Shame.

It was a tough trail, an impossible amount of roots sticking out, some steep hills, mostly single track. If you took your eyes off the ground for a second, the roots will trip you up. What was inspiring tho, was to watch super runners finishing 50K in less than 5 hours in probably some of the worst conditions you can imagine!

Ellen is a beast. IMG_3602.JPG

And I got this! 13692519_10154145120246886_398989494296921252_n

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!

Running, again!

A Better World Running, a group in SoCal that organizes these nice, inexpensive, totally chill races throughout the year. I love those races, I did one in January of this year and one last Sunday.

Last Saturday night, I woke up in the middle of the night, on my way to the bathroom, a chair attacked my left foot with no provocation. No biggie, I thought. Wrong. I had to quit at around 10 miles of the 13.1 I was planning to run. But, it was on Santa Monica beach and beautiful weather. Totally worth losing a couple of toes.

My 15K medal! 13600248_10154115257531886_3078165497768272144_n

Animal Rights National Conference 2016 was going on in LA which I attended on Saturday and Sunday. Hung out with my PETA family and reconnected with a lot of good people from the Animal Rights movement, collected a bunch of materials, and a wealth of knowledge.

#VeganForAnimalsForever #VFAF

Even though the race as an after thought for this weekend, glad to be able to do it, in preparation for my first ever trail marathon in SanFran next Sunday.

I should move to the left coast!

PS(A): Never eat a large veggie burger with onion straws and fries minutes before your 5+ hour red eye flight. They probably had to decontaminate the damn airplane after I got off.

Destination Racing

July 1st. First day of the second half of the year.

I have run 6 marathons since February. More than that, I could not run 5 marathons and 5 half marathons that I registered.

In the beginning of the year, when I was freaking out about how to plan my training, my cool coworker (much appreciated, Deepa!) friend stepped in and created a spreadsheet for me that became an excellent tool to plan my training and keep my sanity in check. xlI carefully picked my races around the country, destination racing at its best.

Feb 15, Austin Marathon stated it all. When I told my friend Brittny H prior to the race, she goes “wow, that’s a hilly course”. I was like, meh,. But meh it was not. Plus I ran with a 12 lbs pack, for the first time. Long story short, I managed to survive that near death experience. Kudos to my poor (bro from anotha motha)friend RK, who took me straight to a vegan joint after the race where I failed to stuff my face with food, being too close to the end of a big race. But dinner was a completely different, feeding frenzy, story.

Next was my hometown race, DC Rock n Roll. My second fastest marathon to date, no pack was involved in this race and it was (mostly) a pleasant experience.

On to the next one which has a tagline “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” – Blue Ridge Marathon in Roanoke VA. And it was everything the tagline said it was. I had a tough time even walking up some of those hillsmountains. On the race shirt it says “You run hills I run mountains”. Hells yeah! BTW, my race partner *tricked* me into racing this. Sometimes I wonder if she has a death wish (growing-heart.png you Ellen download).

Ellen – this was her first marathon in ages (though she has done 2 multi stage ultras in recent years) and the first one this season. It was my third. Guess what, she had to wait for over an hour after she finished for me to catch up!!!

I am pretty sad about the ones I could not run – Golden Gate Headlands in north of SFO (course map below), Timberline (see the lake below) outside Portland, and Seattle Rock n Roll etc….

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“You never regret a run, you only regret the ones you didn’t”

That’s how I see it, after registering the slowest marathon to date. BTW, I heard this quote on Rich Roll podcast while he was talking to his guest, Robin Arzon. Two of my heroes!

I finished another marathon! 13343159_10154044050756886_843220479736512394_n

You are not up for a decent run, every time you go run. This one was hilly with one long ass continuous climb for more than 2 miles towards the end, with high heat and humidity. With one of my left peroneus(?) tendons screaming from start to finish, the only good thing (well, other than the feeling while crossing the finish line) happened, was all the compliments I got for my outfit.13417633_10154044050841886_525802991602645871_n

Also the dinner after the race with some Glenfiddich 14 (thanks Santhosh and Lekshmi).

Walking forever, the day after, exploring San Diego, was excellent, coupled with more good food and more alcohol. What was even better was saving all those beached red tuna crabs at Ocean Beach. 13346129_10154042221296886_7928804602156569631_o.jpgWatching them swim away when I put them back in the water was more satisfying than crossing that finish line, in many ways.

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