100-Mile Bike Ride to End Cancer, and I Need Your Support

OneGoalEndCancer-Moundbuilders-General-DentistryI am happy to announce that I have committed myself to participate in Pelotonia this year to raise money for cancer research at OSUCCC-The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, and I am asking for your support.

I will be riding my bike for 100 miles from Columbus to Gambier, OH in August with the objective of funding much-needed, life-saving cancer research and personalized medicine. In little over six years, Pelotonia has raised $82 million dollars. Its operating expenses are generously covered through funding partners so that every dollar raised goes to research.

UntitledAs I embark on this rather ambitious journey, I will be thinking of every cancer patient and riding for those who are fighting, those who fought, and the many survivors out there. My research in breast cancer have taught me that cancer cells are notorious, competitive, and relentless; but so are researchers and physicians. Every day, investigators around the world – and at OSUCCC specifically – are discovering new proteins, mechanisms, and targets to put an end to cancer growth and metastasis. We have gone so far since The Jimmy Fund in the 1940s thanks to donations from people like you over the years. But we have more work to do.

I need your help to reach my fundraising goal of $1,800.  I am counting on the support of my family, friends, and coworkers to help me not only finish those 100 miles, but also to help patients the world over.

You can visit my online fundraising page that is secure and easy to use to donate today: http://pelotonia.org/mbasree

To make a donation by check, select “check” from the “I will be paying by” line on the donation page. After submitting your donation, print the invoice that automatically appears on your screen. Please mail your invoice and check made out to Pelotonia with the address exactly as:

Columbus, Ohio 43260-3454

Or, you can mail out a check made out to Pelotonia directly to the above address.

Together we can make a difference in the lives of millions of patients here in the US and abroad. Once again thank you for your continued support. I may not beat Armstrong’s PR, but either way I believe I am in a winning situation biking for OSUCCC. DSCN0419

Marathon, Checked!

That’s right, people! I ran my very first marathon this past Sunday in Cleveland. It was incredible! Some minor problems happened like body giving out at mile 20, not having breakfast the morning of the race, and some serious chafing. But I crossed that finish line!

Crossing the finish line was emotional, exhilarating, and all out beautiful.

Crossing the finish line was emotional, exhilarating, and all out beautiful.


Although my time was not necessarily that good, the experience was! Weather was perfect except for the sun decided to come out and keep us dehydrated around noon. There was some rain in the beginning which ended up being like mist and some drizzle.

I signed up for another marathon later this year🙂

Zoning in on Pace and Motivation (Week 8 Updates)

We meet again, minions! Can’t believe it’s been two months since I embarked on this exciting journey!! The week has been fantastic all around from work to running to even traveling! That’s right, I’m thinking about flying across the Atlantic to Dubai to relax and connect with relatives I have not seen in about 7 years now. I’m stocked!! Work has been nothing but perfect; happy boss + not-so-needy patients = happy me! And running, oh boy, has not been as much of a struggle as it had been in prior weeks. I’m not going to say that I have been running 6 min-miles but still. My goal is to finish the race!

Who would not want to trade cold and snow to sun and warmth? I’m visiting Burj Khalifa!

Let’s start by following-up on last week’s goals:

  • I was not able to log the 23 miles set in the protocol *sad face*. Saturday run was supposed to be 13 miles except the trail was not marked where I needed to turn. So I just stopped at mile 6ish and returned to “base.” I contemplated the possibility of going to 6.5 miles if I had a GPS watch or something with similar capability (my phone’s battery would die when I turn on GPS for some odd reason). Somewhat a good excuse, no?
  • I have been stretching pretty good lately! Except Saturday because I returned to Columbus Running Company’s store so I did not stretch as long as I wanted.
  • I incorporated more conditioning exercises like sideway and backward running when possible. I did it maybe once this week. Also, I did two cardio sessions on Monday: 4-mile easy run + spin class. It was absolutely great! I felt rejuvenated and hungry. So hungry.
  • I broke my Monday and Wednesday runs into pieces to shake things up a bit. I did some warm-up running, some sprinting, and back to slow running. It helped. I felt like I was more in control of my breath. Also, I did not walk!! Those times when I’m tired or leg hurts a bit I just reserved to light jogging in lieu of walking.
  • I’m still trying to phase out music from my runs, just because.

One thing I have been struggling with the past week was staying motivated. I just feel like my mind gives up faster and quicker than my body. That’s a problem because physiologically speaking I could be running, but my mind tells me that no I need to slow down or even stop. So to circumvent this I stayed conscious of it. Whenever I “feel” tired, I think: “no I’m not tired. That’s just my mind giving up. Body is not going to cave. Keep going.” And I go. I push. I make those strides, and my body happily goes with it. I still need to find some ways to keep my mind off running to log in those long miles…to be continued!

This rings home. Sometimes on my long runs I find myself asking why I’m doing this. And then I remember how satisfied and fulfilled I feel after the run. It’s necessary to log those long miles and not to skip hell workouts!

Oh, oh, oh. I got myself some new running toys J! I cannot wait to put Garmin Forerunner 15 and Asics Nimbus 16 to run!!! I will let you how they feel next week but for now I can say this much…I will run out of excuses as far as logging those miles.

Garmin Forerunner 15 (www.garmin.com)

Asics Nimbus 16 (www.runningshoesguru.com)

Week 8 Running Stats:

Monday 3/2 4 miles (+ strides)= 43:13m, pace= 10:48 min/mile

  • Good run on a treadmill! I was not trying to go fast. I actually forgot about pacing and focused mainly on form and preventing leg pain. I succeeded at that for I went ahead after the run and did a spin class with my favorite gym instructor.

Wednesday 3/4 6 miles= 1:04:07h, pace= 10:41 min/mile

  • As good as the Monday’s run! Like Monday, I rarely walked if ever. I set the speed to 4.0-4.5 to lower my heart rate and rest. Instead of briskly walking at this speed, I jog lightly for ~0.25 miles before running again.

Saturday 3/7 12 miles= 1:55:27h, pace= 9:37 min/mile

  • I started out slow to prevent crashing or cramping in the first miles. I did not walk until probably mile 4? There were two water stations set up at mile 2 and 4 and I stopped at both. I did stop my timer the first round but let it run the second round on my way back. Overall, it was a very good run. I tried running with another CRC member. Still cannot decide if I like running with someone or not. We’ll see maybe next week.

Next week is going to be rough- 26 miles to log. Between the new shoes and the watch (oh and day light saving) I’m excited to give it a try. Now I can actually run outside that the brisk, dark winter is passed to let the warm, bright Spring break in. Until next week, runners.

That's right!!! The one and only, Arnold, as he left the Arnold Classic events today. He looked a tad old :D

That’s right!!! The one and only, Arnold, as he left the Arnold Classic events today. He looked a tad old😀

Higher Mileage, Not-so-high Drive (Week 6 and 7 Updates)

I’m ramping up my mileage this week up until next month. In fact, I will be (hopefully) logging 18 miles last Saturday this month and going up to 20 second week of April. This is the part of the training where I have to be not only physically fit and ready, but so as mentally. I have to have my psyche up and ready to face those miles. It is not going to be easy. It is not going to be a walk in the park. But it sure as hell will be damn satisfying. So, new month, new goals. Oh, and a new haircut. I just got one today!! Oh^2, I’m done with my cadaver book. It was a fantastic read, albeit a tad creepy.

Working hard @ work

Working hard @ work

I have been thinking that maybe, just maybe, my legs are trying to communicate with me. Maybe achy knees and painful legs = old shoes? I have had my shoes since October. The midsole is not flattened or compressed. They do look slightly worn out but nothing strikes my unexperienced eyes as off. But maybe all I need is a new pair of shoes and I should be all set? I’m thinking about buying a new pair and rotating them with the old ones I have now (Brooks Ghost 7).

I did not write any updates for Week 6 because, well, it was not so great. I had a lot of leg pain and achy knees. I was not there mentally either. My run on Monday was a drag with an overall pace of 10:30+ min/mile. Wednesday was not all that much better. Saturday was super cold that I skipped my group run and went on one myself logging only 50% of the assigned mileage. My body felt heavy. But it’s okay. Going into this I realized there will be times where I did not want to lace up. There will be tough times where I would hate running. And other times where every muscle, ligament, and bone hurts. I think I’m past that now. I will need to do some mental exercises to build running stamina.

Some conditioning and xfit moves that got my heart rate up. I'm just chilling on the side dying a little.

Some conditioning and CrossFit moves that got my heart rate up. I’m just chilling on the side dying a little.

Week 7 has been way better. Monday’s run was not necessarily great but not bad. I have been trying to go a little bit slow on myself given my leg problem and everything. I do have a doctor appointment this month to have it looked at. In the interim, I will go slow. Again, it’s ok. Slow pace may actually help in building more robust cardiovascular system and increasing my lung volume and capacity. I did invest in a hand-held 10oz waterbottle and it’s great. Hands were awfully cold because, well, it’s freezing out; but again even without the waterbottle they will still be cold. I also bought a whole box of those energy gels GU!! Can’t wait to tackle those 13 miles next Saturday.

Week 7 Running Stats:

  • Monday 2/23 4 miles (+ strides)= no exact time, pace= 10-10:30 min/mile. >> Rough run! Leg was slightly acting up. I did walk quite a bit to relief some pain.
  • Wednesday 2/25 4.83 miles= 48.41 minutes, pace = 10:04 min/mile. >> Little rough. I used orthotics for the first time in my brooks- did feel very weird given the shoes high midsole support. But it definitely helped. Leg was perfectly fine after.
  • Saturday 2/28 8.05 miles= 1:20:51 minutes, pace= 10:03 min/mile. >> Great run outside. It was slightly cold so my hands weren’t so happy. I used up all of the 10oz water by mile 6? Basically I was bored, out of water, and hungry so I didn’t log 10. *sad face*
Back squats PR 295lbs (134kg). I had a spotter because I did not want to break my back. It was not as awkward as I thought it would be. Oh, also that kid creeping in the background is famous now.

Back squats PR 295lbs (134kg). I had a spotter because I did not want to um break my back or embarrassingly drop the bar. It was not as awkward as I thought it would be.

Aside from running, my strength training program has been coming along very nicely. I do not feel like I’m overtraining or over-taxing my body. I’m not losing muscle and I’m only getting leaner and bigger. I usually give every major muscle groups ample time to recover before hitting them again. As far as legs go, I follow 1-2 workout programs: one is heavy strictly for growth and strength and another light focusing on running exercises such as one-legged squats, sideway running, core and lunges varieties with the main goal of conditioning muscles that are prone to injury. Nutrition wise, I have been eating 2500-3000 clean calories/day, alternating between protein to carbohydrate heavy weeks.

I currently stand at 153.4 lbs and have percent body fat (PBF) of 8.6%.

Goals for next week? Well I have a few:

  1. Try to log in as many miles as the protocol says, no slacking;
  2. Try to stretch more before and after running! I stretch after, but I need to do more before as well;
  3. Do more conditioning exercises like sideway and backward running when possible. Walking lunges and side lunges;
  4. Maybe break my runs into two halves or like three pieces such as warm-up, running, and slowing down?
  5. I have been trying to phase out music from my runs, just because. I still have to put earbuds in, my ears are not ready yet. Maybe I can sync my breathing with # of steps taken? I read somewhere that that can get your mind off running and strengthen your psyche to tackle long miles.

Ambitious, but making part of that list will still be success, though part success. If I complete 50% of the list, then I’m 50% better than this week!!

As always, minions, happy running!

Love running in this trial. It's beautiful even in freezing cold temperatures!

Love running in this trial. It’s beautiful even in freezing cold temperatures!

Eating and Drinking While Running? (+ Injury Update and Week 5 Summary)

This week’s runs have been fantastic! I approached all of them with so much motivation, gratitude, and excitement. I was motivated to be fitter, healthier, and faster! I was incredibly grateful for my body, both mentally and physically, for not breaking yet. And the nerd in me was very excited knowing that with each extra mile I log, my little capillaries of increase in size and bifurcate; thus building more efficient circulatory system. So here’s to those little colonies of muscle fibers and neurons for delivering excellent results this week!


It was a happy week indeed. Even my celery were happy!!


That has been said, every body has limits, and mine was stretched pretty extensively. Last week’s mild discomfort in my right leg materialized into a full-fledged pain- though one that can be managed with NSAIDs. I suspect it being some inflammation in the peroneal muscles (longus and brevis). I went my scheduled physical therapy appointment only to find out that my stupid insurance does not cover PT. It would cover 70%/visit only after I pay my deductibles- which is a big number.

Peroneus longus is where the pain and discomfort.

Now, even though it has not interfered with my training schedule I decided to take things slower starting on Monday. I ran 20 miles last week. I, like many runners, am used to pain. I’m used to popping Tylenol or Aleve before running or day after running. After reading this article on Runner’s World, I decided to cut back. Just this Saturday I took three Tylenol pills prophylactically to prevent pain during the run. Little I knew that those pills will raise my blood pressure, dehydrate me, and pretty much does not prevent pain. I pretty much got cramps and pain 2 miles in. I was limping few hours post-run. The mechanism by which those pain killers work is disrupted during running. So I decided to man up and suck up the pain. I did a lot of stretching after the run; I utilized my compression sleeves as well. That seemed to do the trick. Leg is slightly better- though still painful.

I’m set to run 13 miles next week: 3+strides, 4, 6 on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, respectively. In light of the new leg drama I decided to cut that short by 60%: 1.2, 1.6, 2.5 on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. I will reassess the following week if I have to change my scheduled 20 miles. So fingers crossed I won’t have to!!


Okay, I'm not there yet. Imma sucker for cookies!!

Ahh cookies!!

Since I was set to log 10 miles on Saturday, I decided to eat while running to keep my body happy. I also did not want it to chip away at my muscles! I worked so hard on those and would hate to see my body munch on ‘em. I usually wake up 1.5-2 hours before the run to have a good hearty breakfast. My pre-run meal is comprised of 2-3 scrambled eggs (toast optional) + a medium-size banana.

So I used those little energy gels called GU! I figured they’re packed with carbs and vitamins which is typically what I need while running. They also don’t have any fiber or protein which may upset the stomach or at the least take forever to get broken down. Indeed, while running throw away your favorite dietary and healthy tips!! You want carbs! No protein. No fiber. No something you cannot pronounce. Get your good ole sugar and carb up. Your belly is working so slow while running since your body is shifting attention towards working muscles: legs, arms, etc. Protein will take long time to be processed. Fiber will simply fill your belly with unwanted gas. Last thing you want on a run is to poop!!


It was great. I got zero stomach issues. I ran for ~1:40 hours and used up one gel. I divided it into three portions; basically wherever there was a water stop. I took the first 1/3 after 20m of running and washed it down with a cup of water. At first, it felt weird. Then I forgot about it. I did get some cramps in my legs that made me walk for a good minute but I don’t know if I attribute it the gel. Anyways, I took the second gulp after ~45-50m on the road and washed it with a cup of water. This time, for some reason, I felt better. I could feel it sitting in my belly for a minute then it’s gone. Last dose was after 1:15ish hours of running + water. I was not tired or unmotivated towards the end of the race. I honestly was not looking forward to end the run (maybe my legs were like c’mon, but mind was high!!).

My experience was fantastic! I ordered a whole box of vanilla been gels. I did not want to try different kinds because I’m the most indecisive person in the world. I was afraid I won’t be able to decide which flavor was better.🙂

Week 5 Running Stats:

Monday 2/9 4 miles (+ strides)= 42:19 minutes, pace= 10:34 min/mile

  • Rough run! Leg was slightly acting up. I felt heavy for some reason. Could be whatever I ate that day?
  • Wednesday 2/11 1 mile= 8:17 minutes, pace

  • Okay run just to see how the leg feels.
  • Thursday 2/12 5 miles= 49:19 minutes, pace= 09:51 min/mile

  • Fun run! Definitely the longest on a treadmill.
  • Saturday 2/14 10 miles= 1:38:45 hours, pace= 09:52 min/mile

  • Few couple miles were very hard. I had to walk for quite some time until mile 4 maybe. Then pain subsided and I was able to run comfortably for the remainder of the run. Towards the very end I felt slightly exhausted and some very minor discomfort in my quads.

    Saucony came to CRC and had this wall of "I run because.."

    Saucony came to CRC and had this wall of “I run because..” Responses were hilarious!! All good reasons to take on running this year🙂

  • All in all, great week. I look forward to next week’s scaled down run. Hopefully legs will be sweet and ready for the following week’s 20 miles of running.

    Happy running, minions!

    Week 4 Summary (And Potentially Shin Splints??)

    Marathon training is still on! Despite week 4 being less than terrific, due to pain and discomfort in my legs, I soldiered on and did 2/3 of my scheduled runs. On the bright side, I no longer have car issues (yay!). My mechanic hooked up a new engine (new to the car, lightly used though) and a radiator.

    That's how Mike gets everybody's attention to start his pre-run speech!

    That’s how Mike gets everybody’s attention to start his pre-run speech!

    Monday’s run was a little challenging probably due to eating so much pasta and whole-wheat bread!! It did seem to help the night before my long run on Saturday but definitely not the day of my runs. I seemed to lose focus, feel heavy, and get cramps faster than if I go pasta-free. I’m so bumped for not being able to run on Wednesday- I did ~2 miles and stopped due to shooting pain in my left leg along the lateral side of my anterior tibialis. Saturday’s 9-mile run was filled with tingling and numbness in my right foot and some serious cramping after mile 5 in both of my legs. I’m still feeling some discomfort as I write this.

    Enough negative Nancy, and onto the bright side, I did see my doctor for leg pain and scheduled an appointment on Friday for physical therapy. Given that I have a history of shin splints, I figured I’d skip sports medicine and go straight to physical therapy. So fingers crossed this will pass and I will be able to run like the weeks before.

    Some things I would probably need to implement to have a better running week would be staying

    Fire department trying to be funny!

    Fire department trying to be funny!

    hydrated- especially for long runs! I was not adequately hydrated for my Thursday run L. I often felt thirsty on Saturday as well- but there were few water stops on the route. The stomach empties out the water roughly every 15 minutes, so maybe shoot for rehydration every 15-20 minutes? If I feel water sloshing around then probably bump it up to water every 30-45 minutes or so.

    With the exception of Saturday’s long runs, I run on the treadmill. While research shows that running outside is pretty much the same as running on a treadmill with 1% incline, I’m starting to feel that treadmills are harder to run at. Do they offer less shock absorbance and maneuverability when compared to running outside? Probably not. Could it be that my brain just thinks it would be easier to run outside? Probably yes. I wish I could incorporate more outside running but because of work schedule (7am-5pm) it is rather challenging. I thoroughly enjoyed running on Saturday as everybody I passed was happy and had big smiles on their faces.

    Week 4 Running Stats:
    Monday 2/2 3 miles= 27:38 minutes, pace= 09:12 min/mile (woohoo! Fastest pace since I started training!)
    Thursday 2/5 1.95ish miles= did not record time but it was slower than Monday’s.
    Saturday 2/7 9 miles= 1:30:02 hours, pace= 10:00 min/mile (despite awesome scenery, it was a slightly difficult run with serious walking between miles!)

    This was a ~5 mile course. It was boring at times, immensely fun at other times when I forget I was running.

    This was a ~5 mile course. It was boring at times, immensely fun at other times when I forget I was running.

    Hopefully next week’s runs will be better both mentally and physically! I have been slightly concerned about losing muscle while running so I have focused rather a lot on building muscle and neglected endurance training. I will need to incorporate that more often in the next weeks.

    Broken Car, Muscle Loss, and Awesome Running Week! (Week 3 of Marathon Training)

    Some snowy trail it was!

    Some snowy trail it was!

    Terrific training week as far as running goes! I far exceeded my weekly pace goal running an average of 09:40min/mile!! Aside from that, this week has been an emotional roller coaster. I started off the week a little mad because I did not have a car due to the engine acting up for some reason. I brought the car back on Saturday only to find out that it still has the same problem. What sucks even more is that I do not understand the science behind the problem- which really bugs me. I’m like a kid whose couple years old favorite Christmas toy is broken and he does not know how to fix it. Anyways, I just want it fixed so I can sell it and get something else.

    Apart from that, I noticed that I have lost some weight (both fat and skeletal muscle) since last year. It appears that endurance training has been eating away my sweet little muscles that I worked hard for the past couple years. While my legs look big, my upper body does not. At least I do not have chicken legs! Those are not aesthetically appealing at all. Starting tomorrow I will carb up to maximize my glycogen and hit muscles hard to build/maintain my musculature. I’m thinking of a diet along the lines of 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 20% fat with caloric intake of roughly 2500-3000. Earlier today I made some whole wheat pasta with spinach and garlic for work week starting tomorrow. I also baked some fish fillet with olive oil, lemon and garlic to get my protein. I may utilize MyFitnessPal to keep track of all that? Reassess in couple weeks. Currently, I’m 148.6lbs and have 10% PBF.

    My mechanic has a kitty, Tess, who helps him around apparently.

    My mechanic has a kitty, Tess, who helps him around apparently.

    As far as running goes I did not have a problem with any of my runs. The only time I walked was during my long run on Saturday. It was not even long, maybe 30 or 40 seconds tops. So yay me! I have this dull discomfort along the lateral side of my anterior tibalis, It goes away or is managed with a calf sleeve. I may utilize Ohio State’s Sports Medicine Department (who Columbus Running Company has graciously provided for us) to check that. Last thing I want is to be off running for couple weeks recovering from an injury!

    Obligatory post-run, pre-caffeine selfie.

    Obligatory post-run, pre-caffeine selfie.

    Last Week’s To-Do List Results:

    • I far exceeded my pace goal running an average of 09:40min/mile! Next week’s goal is to run somewhere between 09:00 and 09:25min/mile pace. So fingers crossed!
    • I have actually minimized walking to a great degree this week. I ran 3- and 4-miles non-stop on the treadmill. The only time I walked was on Saturday’s 8-mile run. I can’t decide if I was tired or bored. But I definitely made three stops, two for water and one when I saw a puppy! Could not resist petting the pupp.
    • As far as nutrition goes, I have been eating fairly clean and healthy following a 30-40-30 diet to build muscle and whatnot. I’m changing this to 50-30-20 because my priorities are slightly different now that I want to build up energy storage so that on my long runs my body does not turn to muscle to chew.

    Yesterday after I got back from my run (and had a grande pike roast coffee) and did yoga! It was a great session filled with plenty of stretching. Although the instructor’s voice was not particularly calming, I was able to zen and bracket out the week’s negative energy. I was there for me. My body needed it. I felt rejuvenated and more appreciative and grateful. Despite his deep voice, I liked the instructor for he allows people to do what they like and branch off of whatever he’s doing. I like to stretch a little longer sometimes or go deeper in a stretch or a pose. I think this will be my new ritual on Saturdays. I used to go to yoga on Mondays but in the past few weeks work has gotten in the way.

    Kubbah hamudh (or beef and cilantro stuffed rice shells). Each ball has lots of protein and carbs for my body to snag on.

    Kubbah hamudh (or beef and cilantro stuffed rice shells). Each ball has lots of protein and carbs for my body to snag on after a run.

    Week 3 Running Stats:
    Monday 1/26 3 miles= 28:37 minutes, pace= 09:32 min/mile (woohoo!!!)
    Wednesday 1/28 4 miles= 38:00 minutes, pace= 09:30 min/mile
    Saturday 1/31 8 miles= 1:20:45 hours, pace= 09:58 min/mile (great run, awesome scenery, and I got to make some new friends :))!

    Week 3 average pace= 09:40min/mile

    Lastly, it appears that we’re expecting a snow storm tomorrow morning. More snow, because we miss it you know? NO. Hopefully snow does not start falling until I get to work at 7am!! At any rate, I’m excited for tomorrow! New week and new page in the book of life..

    A little dry, cold morning.

    A little dry, cold Saturday morning!