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!

Fuck you diabetes

I got diagnosed with diabetes a few years back. At the time I was running / biking 3-4 times a week!

I have some super enthused coworkers (Thenna D, Komal P) who want to start racing (running). One of them have the same situation as me, not losing weight or his gut in spite of running, like, A LOT. Then one of them found this article.

Wait.

What the crap?

[Since you didn’t read the article, here is the skinny. It says, when you are at an aerobic workout for an extended period of time, cortisol stays active in your system, fucking up your insulin functions causing your blood sugar to shoot up and eventually making you diabetic. Oh, and your gut growth goes on overdrive.]

Yes, this is also a thing. Upon further research by yours lovingly and my RNP Amy S (who has dedicated her life to keep me as a diabetic endurance athlete) and my awesome dietitian Cat T (who (unwarily)happily accepted the mountainous challenge of working with a vegan, diabetic, endurance athlete), it was established, I have that crappy body type where regardless of what I do, I will remain fat, FOREVER. Some of my wise coworkers immediately dropped all plans to run.

Me?                 me

Umm… But I ….

“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” –The Buddha

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I started some HIIT (big up George C, my kickass trainer), speed training etc, to supplement my slow, long distance grinding. Let’s see how it pans out!

More on this fucked up “condition” – http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/111609p38.shtml