La Jolla Half Marathon… and more

Pacific West Coast 

I go to LA a few times every year. My best friend and his family live there. They are like my family. In fact, they are my family. So last week I decided it’s time to go to LA again. The timing couldn’t be better because there was a protest against the cruel, unnecessary animal experimentations (more on this archaic “science” later) that occur in UCLA. I could join the protest. And I did. Here’s my new activist friend, Michael and I. 18034235_216115568876071_5141022368381432664_n

I looked for a race to do while I’m in LA, you know, as one would. I found one in San Diego! La Jolla half marathon. More on that later in this post.

I landed in LA on Thursday. Friday morning I did my first SHFT training session. I stayed in my target zone for 46% of the time! (Fuck yeah!) Then Shan and I went to a running store in Santa Monica for him to buy his first pair (of running shoes). It happened to be the venue for the packet pickup for a 5K (Leslie Cohen Law 5K) happening the next morning, by a beach. Did I walk out of there without registering?

Saturday morning : Ladies and gents, we have a first time racer, Shan! IMG_8496.JPG

La Jolla Half Marathon           I have done over a 80 races since 2008. This race course was one of a kind! (Oh, I bought the Spectacles by Snap last month and I wore them during a race for the first time at this race.)

It was one of the most beautiful courses I ever raced.

 

This race course was also one of the toughest, yet. The hills just kept on going up and up and up…

 

Luckily the sun was in hiding until after the finish! Plus there were high fives and water guns!

 

And the downhills were amazing! The last quarter mile to the finish were all downhill and was able to Finish Strong.

 

Then there was one McLaren MP4-12C!

 

And then I finished at the beautiful La Jolla Cove!

 

And then there were seals and sea lions!!!

18056062_10154839126461886_5440057302426119336_oThat’s Rocky, who knows he is the dabom, giving me some attitude. And I did not invade his personal space, I was respectful of his privacy and kept a safe distance.

BTW, I’m still injured!

More stories from LA comin up….

 

 

Official race pictures

Iceland – a humbling experience

What happened in Iceland, does not stay in Iceland.

What I mean is, 10 days later, I’m still limping around, haven’t gone out on a run etc. BUT, I’m limping around on cloud 9, you know, that one. Every time I retell my race story, it feels like I’m making it up! Even in the worst possible moments, I was able to come up with something that helped me go on! Whenever I thought I couldn’t dig any deeper, I did! It was only my physiological limitations that stopped me. I’ve cherished even the darkest moments.

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

I was screaming (more like rawr-ing, very primal) at the top of the my pitch, in the middle of the nowhere, for no one to hear, many times, many days. It is liberating, I totally recommend it.

When I landed in Iceland, I was very scared, struggling to focus on the upcoming (humongous)task, I failed to notice anything and everything. After getting back to civilization, post race, I noticed that Icelandic women are just gorgeous! And soooo friendly! I wanna go back to Iceland to explore more of …. you know… the scenery! 😉

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…..

The toughest 6 days of my life, yet!

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Fire & Ice Ultra, Iceland’s toughest foot race, is done! In the end, I ran / walked 130ish miles in 5 days. Came short of my goal but the amazing memories that I will cherish, forever… This race, and the preparation leading up to it, which started in January 2016, changed me as a man, forever. I don’t even know where to start, to talk about all of it. All the amazing people that came into my life because of this is a huge plus. In the next few days, I will try to breakdown the little details of the whole trip to Iceland. And more heartfelt thank you notes to follow. Can’t wait to get home and be with my boys, Tango and Foxtrot! 

Training and cowbell

Now that the running part of this training is done, let me see how much I can bitch about what was not accomplished.

My training started on the second week of January this year ~ 32 weeks
No of races planned (20+ miles)                                 17
No of races registered                                                   14
No of races completed                                                  8
longest distance planned                                            40 miles
longest distance raced                                                 26.2 miles
Major injuries                                                                  2
Time lost due to major injuries                                 9 weeks
Minor injuries                                                                ~1.2 million
time lost due to minor injuries                                  seconds

Did I get enough?

There is no such thing, training is like cowbell, you always need more.

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wah…. download.png