Hello, and thanks for visiting my page!
I am embarking on my very first RACE SERIES, in support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). Now, I am not a professional athlete; I'm not fast or strong, I'm 40-something, I've had some injuries in my past, and I reeeeeeaaally love cookies. But - I possess certain qualities that every determined racer needs: I'm stubborn and hate quitting things, I have a high pain tolerance, and - I am all heart :)
Speaking of heart - let me tell you about someone whose compassionate heart touched thousands of lives. My uncle, Dr. Jayaraman A. Rao, was a powerful influence on me, generous with his wisdom, balance, and trademark humor. He also happened to be a brilliant researcher and physician who specialized in Parkinson's Disease, and held the Carl Baldridge Endowed Chair of Neurology at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine.
We lost my beloved uncle in October 2019, and will miss him forever. To honor his memory, I have decided to join Team Fox to raise money for Parkinson's research and support.
I have playfully named my fundraising effort the "Run Buchandi Run!" Race Series. What's a buchandi?! Want to know what that means? I'll be sharing that here on this site, as I update you about my training and progress!
Parkinson's affects more than six million people worldwide, and is the second most common neurological disorder. There is no known cure. MJFF is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's today.
If you choose to support me by donating for ANY one of my race events, I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Whether you give me $1 per mile, a $13.1 donation for my half-marathon, or an amount of your choice - when you donate, 100 percent of Team Fox proceeds go straight to MJFF’s programmatic efforts. Thank you!
Hi everyone, and welcome to the month of July! Yes, its been a weird year - the days seem to be dragging, and yet the months are flying by. I'm excited to share another "event" I have on my race series calendar. As you know, the planned events that I set out to complete at the start of this endeavor have had to undergo serious modifications and creative adjustments, given the circumstances of the pandemic. But I'm determined to do two things: a) continue demonstrating my gratitude and love for my dear uncle by setting and achieving new active goals, and b) fulfilling the promises I make to MYSELF to keep moving! It seems now more than ever, its important for us all to take good care of the bodies, health, and lives we have been given. Remaining active is a big part of that. I will fully confess to you all that for most of my adult life, I've been what I call a "cardio junkie." I find it relatively easy to start up on a steady, moderately-paced cardiovascular activity like running, and just keep chugging along with it for awhile. Sometimes 25 minutes, sometimes 30, sometimes 50, sometimes over an hour... at my baseline, I'm a slow, steady endurance kind of person, not an intensity kind of person. In recent years, I have had to work hard to challenge myself to develop new relationships to movement and activity. I took up Thai kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu about 3.5 years ago, and I really fell in love with it. These forms of movement are VERY different than slow and steady cardio - they entail shorter bursts of very high intensity activity. Think 2-3 minutes of activity at the HIGHEST, most gut-busting pace you can imagine, followed by a period of rest, only to start again... phew! I also began doing a lot more intense strength training, characterized by HEAVY weights and high intensity strength work to develop functional fitness. This is all REALLY outside my wheelhouse, especially upper body strength work - but its been good for me, physically and mentally. My newest EVENT for my MJFF fundraiser series is intended to speak to these aspects of fitness. So - - drumroll! - - I am embarking on a special project for the month of July 2020 that I call "77 for Babu Marley's 77th!" My goal this month is that everyday, I will do 77 reps of TWO different, intense strength or HIIT (high intensity interval training) movements. I am going to use this opportunity to honor my uncle's memory, because one of the greatest things he did for me was to always boost my self-esteem and validate the things I'd take on in the interest of bettering myself. This is an area of fitness that doesn't come easy for me, and that I often feel discouraged about - but I am going to channel his positive language and affirmations each and everyday, and GET IT DONE :) I'll try to post a weekly synopsis of my different 77 combinations - perhaps some of you might like to try some!!! :)
Race #2 done! Greetings friends - happy to report that despite recent health trials and tribulations, I successfully completed RUN TWO of my “Run Buchandi Run!” Race Series for Team Fox! WOOT! Any of you who happened to be awake at like 4:45 am EST yesterday and on my page, might have noticed a tiny game-time change in my event schedule. I had mentioned earlier this week that I’d switched out of a half-marathon distance to a 5K distance. I actually switched from the half-marathon, to a 6K race that ran concurrently entitled the Susan G. Komen “Run for the Pink” 6K. The same race organizers did have a 5K too, but it was on Saturday, and I wanted to run Sunday. And I figured an extra K wouldn’t hurt ;) So how’d it go?? Very well! The course was beautiful, and mostly traveled along Ft. Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard, which has tons of cute and eclectic shops and eateries. It wound around an old and very picturesque neighborhood for a short time, then traveled over a beautiful drawbridge over a canal with tons of cool-looking million-dollar yachts, before then turning off onto the A1A along the beach, for a spectacular sunrise view over the ocean at the finish line. It was a VERY flat course, on awesome, smooth, well-paved roads (my ankle is grateful). I had lots of fun! It was uncharacteristically chilly for a Florida run (52F) but one a way it was kind of nice to be in a sweatshirt, running at a good clip but not sweating profusely as one usually does in South Florida. I’m posting pics of my stats and some other highlights momentarily. But for now - thanks to all my family, friends, and supporters for your grace in accepting the slight change of plans with the race I ran. I’m learning as I get older that life is what happens when we are busy making other plans; the important thing is to be flexible, adjust, but never get discouraged and quit moving. Keep going, however you can!!!
Greetings, after a long hiatus - and a very belated HAPPY NEW YEAR to all! I apologize for not updating my fundraising page the last few weeks. Life has thrown me a few curveballs of late, so I thought I'd come here and open up about it a little, since you've all been so supportive of me. I'll try to be brief. Last month, over the Christmas week, my family and I went on a vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando. We had a wonderful time! It was an especially memorable trip, since my parents came along with us. Everything was going swimmingly, till the final day of our trip, when I started experiencing what I thought was the early stages of the flu virus. Bummer, but not ordinarily a big deal. Well unfortunately, over the next few days, I got pretty sick, and I wound up being hospitalized for 4 days. The turn of events was quite a shocker! I may not be a human specimen of perfect health, but as a committed Buchandi, I have been working out a LOT, eating well, attending to my brain/mind/body connection well, and I *thought*, in as good of health as I could possibly be. BUT - an alternate reading of events might be, THANK GOODNESS I was in as ideal health as possible, because it helped me bounce back from what must have been a very virulent strain of the flu. I am still undergoing medical tests and check-ups in the wake of being sick. I didn't expect all of this to happen, and I'll admit that the physical recovery has been the easiest part - but the MUCH harder part has been mentally adjusting to the fact that I had to slow down my race training, adjust my expectations of myself, and learn to acquiesce to the medical professionals on an appropriate time frame for me to begin increasing my activity level back to normal. I have days when I'm patient with this, and days where I confess I'm not so thrilled about it, and have a grumpy/whiny attitude. But I am trying to grow in this area. All of this is my way of leading to the next update. It kind of breaks my heart to write this down here, and to be honest I've been avoiding it.... but here goes. I'm going to have to adjust my race schedule a little bit. The saddest part is, I won't be running the Ft. Lauderdale A1A half marathon on Sunday, January 26th :( I am pretty disappointed about this, but trying to adjust my mind and heart, knowing this is in my best interest long-term. The good news is - I am going to try to attend this event, and run the concurrent 5K race. I'll be adding a half marathon back into my race schedule at a time that feels comfortable to my own training regimen, and my doctors' green-lighting me. I will be updating about this as time goes on!!!! I want to thank you all again for your support here. Many of you have sent me encouragement and love through this unexpected experience, and it has meant a lot to me. Big hugs to you all :) Lastly - I want to thank my special angels up there in the Great Beyond. Babu Marley, I know you were looking out for me, like you always have. You were literally right there at my right hand, where I couldn't miss you. How lucky I am to have you in my corner. And Grandma, I know you were there too. Thanks for sending me that sign to buck up, while I was feeling sorry for myself - it didn't go unnoticed. Love you both forever <3
WOW!!! I just want to say a humongous THANK YOU to all of you who have shown such support for this fundraising drive thus far. As of today, we are at $1,401 raised for the MJFF. I am bowled over by your kindness - and it motivates me to keep going! Big holiday hugs to all!
One down!!! I just completed the FIRST event of my race series this morning - the 2019 Miami Lakes Jingle Bell Jog 5K. It went well! The starting line of this race is only a 5 minute walk from my house, plus it goes through my neighborhood, on streets where I train everyday, plus I ran this event last year as well - so I set myself up for punctuality and success by picking this one as my first event :) The signature of this race is that all racers are provided a free Santa Claus suit and bells for their running shoes. Since I am a team player, I decided to follow their requests and I complied with the costume. That being said, PHEW - it was HOT in that Santa suit. It would more aptly be called a SAUNA SUIT. But thankfully its only a 5K distance, so the sweltering only lasts for a short time. I am a VERY slow runner, always have been - - but PR'ed at this race last year, to my own surprise, running a 9:26 average mile pace. I was unable to repeat this today (boo - I blame my bionic ankle) - but I did run at a 10:20 pace, which is nearly a full minute under my current training pace. So I'll chalk that up as a victory! And I suppose it goes without saying that I'm grateful to be running at all, a mere 7 months after fracturing my ankle, having emergency surgery to put in a stainless steel plate and five pins, and then going through months of recuperation, rehab, and training to get to where I am today. Here's to focusing on the positives, people.... anyway. Posting photos in just a moment.
Now, what is a Buchandi??? Some of you may be curious, what on earth is a Buchandi? And why have I named my endeavor the "Run Buchandi Run" race series? The word "buchandi" means something like a "possessed zombie-woman" in the Indian language of Kannada, which happens to be my family's mother tongue. My maternal grandmother was rather partial to the word as her own personal term of insult/endearment, depending on the circumstances. She would often invoke the word when, for example, she wanted us to comb our hair: "your hair is a tangled mess! Go and comb it, you look like a buchandi!" This was often followed by a laugh and a twinkle in her eye. Once, as my grandmother made this same appeal to me to comb my hair, my uncle Babu (aka Dr. Rao) interjected light-heartedly, saying that no matter how messy my hair got, "I'd always be a beautiful buchandi to him." I guess the memory just stuck with me <3 Anyway, as a person so uninterested in styling my own hair that I have now cut nearly all of it off, I feel like the Buchandi is my perfect spirit animal. So in my toughest moments of race training, I often cheer myself along by mentally chanting "Run Buchandi Run!" :)