Never too early to say thanks….

Remember, it takes a whole city(apparently) for me to get ready for this race. I’ve mentioned a few people before, who have been part of this journey from the beginning. I wanna make sure that I give them proper credit!

Ellen – my race partner, who is to blame for this mess. 12-face-with-stuck-out-tongue-and-winking-eye.png She has been inspiring me from the beginning with her performance. And how humble she is about it! And front-ending all the logistics associated with this race. And for all the whiskey and beer and deelish food during our planning sessions! And driving me to race after race after…

Cat – my fabulous dietitian. She gets to be on top of this list because she has made the biggest positive change in my lifestyle. For starters(SWIDT?) I eat vegetables now, not just potatoes. She made me check the nutrition levels in my body and I find out that I have severe D deficiency (that will explain a lot of my physical problems including my eye issues – more on the eye later). Even crazier that she is not vegan herself but now knows everything about vegan diet and a (vegan)diabetic athlete!

George – he makes me smile, throughout every (tough)core training session at VIDA. And remembers every race I do (there was a fucking lot of them – even I couldn’t keep up) and checks with me at the end of every race.

Deepa – you spend a LOT of time with your coworkers. When you have someone you can call a BFF at work, it’s precious. I have no idea how she still manages to keep a smiling face and offers worthwhile responses everytime I am down. And whining.

Shantanu – my bro from anotha mutha. Puts up with all my bullshit (it’s a lot) still welcomes me with open arms everytime I visit LA(which is alot) and picks up my call everytime(again, a LOT), regardless of what time it is. Being a neuroscientist, he dukes out some seriously solid advises that you should never question, but I always do.

Dr. Salcedo – I haven’t said a word about Dr. Salcedo until now, though we have been working together since March (and her lovely assistant Virginia). She is my physical therapist and a tremendous resource for an athlete with her wealth of knowledge. She fixed my tendinitis and my injured back, quickly, like a boss. I learned a LOT about performing like an athlete from her! You can go see her at Chirocentric. Tell her Saiju sent ya!

Lisa – I have not mentioned Lisa either! She is a Rolfer extraordinaire, who keeps my body parts from separating out (or something like that). Cat connected us and it’s been awesome! I cry everytime during the session but feel AMAZING after!

Amy – my RNP who has been on *it* to keep me running and do other crazy things in spite of my diabetes and a slew of related and unrelated shitty issues!

Michelle – I have known Michelle for over 15 years now. I have been talking to her about racing recently and we are going to run a marathon together in October. Talking to her made me pay attention to a lot of minor details that will make a major difference. There are a bunch of them, which I might write about later.

Sumit – my bro I’ve known since 1990 (that’s a whopping 26+ years)! When I was not sure of running this race in the beginning, he talked to me in such a way that made sense to me to push my limits and pursue my goals! Bonus points to him for not using the term YOLO.

Amy (from OK) – my partner in crime, lately. Huge emotional support provider (because I am emotionally weak and a big time whiner), who told me “you are not shallow, you are discerning” which was a revolting concept for me! Bonus points for being an excellent yoga instructor.

Sonali, Rajesh and Sona, Rajesh and Sreeja, Rajesh and Kavitha (haha, they make it easy for me to remember their names), Santhosh and Lekshmi, JK, Tripti, Komal, Thenna…. some way or the other were there for me.

And then there is lovely Stephanie. My kitties love her and so do I. I can go away for races peacefully without worrying about Tango and Foxtrot thanks to Steph being there for us. And she is ALWAYS smiling.

Here is to hoping I won’t let my team down.

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.

Half-ass Training

I don’t train properly. Ever.

So what if I don’t follow the training plan well for a marathon or a century bike ride or a Tough Mudder? I may perform slower. Goals not met. NBD. But Fire & Ice Ultra is different. Lack of training may kill you. Or give you a permanent injury.

I lost 5 weeks about half way through my training season due to a tendinitis. Then another 4 weeks due to a back in jury. So about 33 weeks of the training season is now 24 weeks. The target of 700+ miles of running is standing at about 300+ now. 2 20 hr. days planned never happened.

Am I ready to get thru this fucking race? I’ll find out in about 3 weeks.

Panicking? Who da fuq you call panicking?

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A whole city…. oi

How do you manage this schedule?
Run : 2-3 times a week
Core training : 3-4 times a week
Yoga : 3-4 times a week
Rolfing : 1 time a week
Deep tissue massage : 1 time every 2 weeks
Nutrition consulting : 1 time every 2 weeks
Physical therapy : 1-2 times a week

Meditation : 0 times a week

I told my Fab Dietitian Cat : “it takes a village to get me thru this race”
FD Cat : “in your case it takes a whole city”

Touché

Do or Die

Back in the circus (the one with no animal acts) again! Running, core training, yoga, Rolfing, physical therapy… the whole thing. What does one do before getting back into “it”? Meet a good friend (Amy from Oklahoma) for a drank and dinner but spend 3.5 hours, get shitfaced, get sleep deprived, go through a tough core training session in the ungodly hours of the morning, throw up.

Win.

No more bullshit. It is nut up or shut up time. 6 weeks to go.

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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.

Old friends and wine, or alcohol, in general

You know that saying “old friends are like (vegan)wine…… “?

I don’t know either.

But the fact that it feels like the friends you grew up with, through your defining years, have certain rights to your life, is real! Again, the reason why today was possible is my injured back.

Ever heard that saying “one momentary lapse of form leads to amazing experiences”?

Me neither.

Been hanging out with friends from school, completely off my food restrictions, sleep schedule, just about everything that was *normal* for the past 6 months. It was liberating. How good an idea is to do this so close to my *big race*? Only time will tell. I am not a yolo(yuck) kind of guy but I do recognize the fact that some events and people are just too good to postpone in your life. I am not a believer, and only (may be)semi-spiritual but I do count my blessings.

What is the reason behind this oodles and globes of love, you ask? Always loving (growing-heartTripti and Sumit) like an oak tree in my life, and the most well-connected man in the universe and fellow runner (JK), Princeton, Philadelphia, Trenton, Amtrak….

And super cutie Jackie who I asked out at the restaurant, who did NOT (fuck yeah) say no. Amtrak, you are going make a shit ton of money off of me on trips to Philly from DC, until I fuck it up with Jackie.