Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 2018

IMG_4383.JPGI asked Katie on Thursday about cancelling our core training session on Friday, citing my 10 mile race on Sunday. “Come, lets do some (foam)roll and stretch and prep you for the race. Your legs will thank me on Sunday.” Since my hipflexor-only-training-full-marathon was entirely made possible by Katie, I couldn’t argue. Then again, I shouldn’t have worried about the race much because I was running with Deepa, who is a new runner, this being her second ever race, last year’s Cherry Blossom 10 Miler being her first, so naturally I will be running slower than my pace,

(Not taking anything away from Deepa, she being a mother, spending 9 hours at work every day with a 2+ hour commute, and not having trained well for this race, thanks to unusually cold weather)

although running slower than your comfortable pace is harder in a certain way. Easy peasy right?

My bladder (not the water, the crotch) started threatening (audibly) “gonna go right now” even less than a mile into the race!

Fuck.

I told Deepa I’ll catch up and to keep running, as I ran towards a potty. The people in front of me on the potty line must all have been #2 because it took an eternity to get my biznezz done and start running again. I was going at full speed but I can’t see Deepa. I told her to stay to the RIGHT SIDE of the crowd so that I won’t miss her. WTF Deepa! I thought you said you didn’t train for this! Finally, after mile marker 4, I see her, on the LEFT SIDE OF THE CROWD! Bravo girl! praying-hands-emoji

I probably got a 5K PR, right there! I think this is where Katie’s race-prep workout, all of a sudden, turned out to be significant!

Easy peasy my ass!

The rest of the race was uneventful. Except for the beer stop at mile 8, which I double-fisted! Did I mention that the Cherry (Blossom) trees were in full bloom? And that most of the race course were through Cherry (Blossom) trees? And that it was a gorgeous day to run? Started off at around 32° (butt ass cold) and ended at around 40° (nice and pleasant)! raising-hands

My friends Thenna and Komal ran the race as well. We all looked like we are about to rob a convenient stores, not run (well, it was a coldass fuckin morning).

#thugs #indianthugs

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Deepa’s 4yr old daughter was waiting for her at the finish (how did a 4 yr old get to DC from Vienna?) Amazing! 12675130-Illustration-of-a-scared-yellow-emoticon-isolated-on-a-white-background-Stock-Illustration

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Post race late brunch was marvelous, with my favorite peeps, Catie and Amy, at Meridian Pint, one of my fav brunch / watering spot in DC. My #BFF Amy and I have this thing. She loves avocados. And dislike potatoes. I hate avocados 800px_COLOURBOX20556388. And LOVE me some potatoes. So we trade (the best trade in trade history). Even with this trade, with a few kilos of roasted potatoes on my plate, I was worried about not having enough food to eat, got a side order of fries. Oh my Goat, it was large enough to feed a small country! (See exhibit A below) IMG_4381

And beer.

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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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.

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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

 

1% Effort

1% effort
10% training
50% injury
100% passion

That’s my running, for now.

1% effort huh? Not because I have become so good at this and it is effortless to me now, or anything.That’s how lazy I really am to get out and do something (running).

The last 2 races. First, the Rock n Roll DC half and then the Cherry Blossom 10 mile race, 3 weeks apart, were truly testing my limits. 2:24 for a half, injured, is acceptable (not a fast runner, to begin with). The CB 10 was running with a first time racist (racer? whatevs), so that doesn’t count. She did awesome for her first race tho. Running through the cherry blossoms was just amazing! IMG_8174

Then there was one training run with Deepa for about 5 miles. What used to be a less than 4 miles loop, which I’ve run many times before, from my house to The US Capitol, to The Washington Monument (through The National Mall), to The White House to back home, somehow grew in the past few months to an even 5 miles! Yeah, WTF, is right! Route.PNG

Remember, how I Injured my groin few weeks back? So, I can’t run like I normally would. I have to realign the landing on my left, and shorten my strides in order not make the injury worse. But it’s worthwhile to incorporate these workarounds to keep running. Especially because I wanna do the 55KM race in Iceland in July (I think).

Related news – remember how I am bling ho?

(I am.)

I run these races for those medals. Funny story, I registered both Deepa and myself for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler together. Unlike ALL the races in the world, you have to fucking pay extra for the fucking finisher medal. Of course I fucked up and did not buy a medal for Deepa. So what would a generous, kind, experienced, has-more-than-50-blings-in-his-possession-runner would do?

Yup She’s wearing MY medal. 6acefa4e02697bd009f844d9dbfa6c0e

But not before getting a picture of me wearing it. 🙂IMG_8187

We are all winners. 17504224_10154777950466886_8754943196921356868_o

Worlds collided!

Remember when I went to Iceland to do that multi stage race? That was a tough mofo, right?

Could there be anything tougher?

The core team that prepared me to run that race consisted of my nutrition consultant, personal trainers, nurse practitioner, rolfer, massage therapist and yoga instructor. I managed get all of them to come to my place for a thank you party.

Yes, that was definitely tougher.

My boys ushered everybody in : “Welcome contestants. Let the hunger games begin.” img_5931

We gathered at my rooftop just as the wind picked up momentum. A few minutes later, while most of us were still eating and drinking, “just a lil bit of wind” gained hurricane force, started blowing food off of our plates and the tables and we had to abandon ship. Meaning all 11 of us (hmm… actually 13, sorry tango and Fox) had to get into my teeny tiny apartment where we pretty much had to take turns to sit.

Mostly because Tango (the axe cat) decided to keep a whole seat for himself. img_5932

We played Rockband 4 on my PS4. Fascinating, how, not more than one of us could play at the same time. Epic fail on the host. But one at a time, we played.

Oh, here is my awesome team14963191_2903562399422_7934598157229271738_n

From left : Amy from OK, Lisa, Michael, George, Nate, Alex, Saiju, Amy, Ellen and Chelsey.

And a million thanks to Cat for taking this picture.

Because between George “the lightweight” getting drunk and being hilarious after ONE drink AND Alex super patiently explaining “I’m whiskey”* to Cat AND me successfully escaping an attempt to make me retell my “undie story” AND all the “thats what she said” situations where I could not even make eye contact with Alex without bursting into a laughter AND Ellen’s funny and interesting stories (as usual) AND Cat and Nate and George playing RB guitar one small note at a time and their honest attempt at a high solo score…. HilaArious!

My point is, I was so into what was going on, it did not even occur to me to take pictures! The social media ho / diva / teenage girl / hairy Irish man in me is completely devastated! teen-girl-face-crying-facial-expression-cartoon-vector-illustrations-yellow-background-red-haired-emoji-79901552

And amazingly, they all liked the vegan food I got from my favorite South Indian restaurant, Woodlands!

Well, there were more than just Samosas and deep fried snacks but no pics <sadface>

I could write a post about each member of my team! May be after the next party… 😀

WORLDS COLLIDED! 

 

*  I introduced my kitties Tango and Foxtrot and said “that makes me Whiskey”. Cat had NO CLUE what that meant and Alex had to explain  the WTF *facts* 15037340_2903563079439_1666844468912705311_nAlex (L) and Cat

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.

An idle mind ….

As a regular runner and as someone with a highly active lifestyle, what would you hate the most?

Yes.

Not being able to workout / run daily has its super negative consequences. First, I took a 5 week break, thanks to my tendonits. Got back in action by running back to back Sunday full marathons. Felt like Mr. Rich Roll.rrp-listen

Then a back injury.
I haven’t run in 3 weeks now.

Oh, the super negative consequences – I started hanging out with some awesome friends again (who I missed a lot during the height of my training), which means drinking alcohol, late nights, waking up later than 5 AM… eh…

No.

The worst is – I had my eyes set on a (more than one) girl(s). I asked one of them out. Then the next one… then another… So far 3, with a 100% success in getting ….

REJECTED.

Rejection is OK. It keeps you grounded. And makes you hate all women.

Seriously! WTF, ladies?

PS: I may or may not have cried on the morning of Seattle marathon, which I had to cancel. I live every moment about a race, starting from the Expo the day before to crossing the finish line. My hands sometimes get pretty sore, high-five ing spectators.