As I’ve been gearing up for my next half-marathon, I realized the other day that this is my first one being vegan. I’ve done two other half-marathons and although I was vegetarian during that time, this will be the very first one where I’ll be running 13.1 miles solely on a plant-based diet. I’m excited about the race and I’m pretty pumped about running it completely on plant power, as the cool kids say these days.
Training has actually been going pretty well despite the gigantic hills and the high altitude in Colorado. I’ve found that I recover quicker eating a plant-based diet and I’m not as sore the next day after a long run. Here are some pictures of my training runs in the beautiful city of Colorado Springs.
Race day will be here in less than two months so I’ve kicked it into high gear with training to ensure no injuries before the half-marathon. I’ve been doing two short runs during the week along with some cross training (I’ve become obsessed with Zumba!) and long runs on the weekend. Using my knowledge and experience with training for past races as well as picking up some new tools, I hope to be all set for this race.
When I was at the airport a few weeks ago I bought a magazine for the first time in years. I was stoked to see the Runner’s World edition with Micah Risk sporting her vegan socks. The articles in Runner’s World are motivational and have given me some ideas on how to train best. I might actually subscribe to RW, which would be the first magazine subscription for me since my teen years of buying Bop (don’t judge me).
In addition to reading RW, I just started listening to – and am slightly addicted to – Rich Roll’s podcast. I read his book Finding Ultra, and have always loved his incredibly inspiring story. For those of you who don’t know of Rich Roll, he’s a plant-based superstar athlete who runs ultra marathons (hundreds of miles at one time) and did something called the EPIC 5. Look it up, he’s really quite amazing. Especially considering his back story of struggle with alcohol and drugs, it’s incredible how far he’s come. His podcast is very zen and has a namaste vibe to it, which I’m really digging. I listened to several episodes within the first week of tuning in…I told you, I’m obsessed.
One of Rich’s guest was John Joseph, lead singer of Cro-Mags and complete badass. He wrote Meat is for Pussies, which was actually this month’s book club for the Colorado Springs Vegan and Vegetarian Meetup Group! I read it within a weekend (that’s right, 2 days) and even though it’s geared toward non-vegan dudes, I really liked it! The book is hilarious and reminded me about a lot of the pros to a healthy vegan diet.
I’ve recently gone back to mostly following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian diet from his book Eat to Live, which is much of the same philosophy and way of eating that John Joseph talks about in his book. They both expand on nourishing your body with a whole-food, nutrient-dense, plant-based diet. And, honestly, eating this way makes me feel so good and I think that’s why training for this race has been going so well. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still eat the heck out of some cauliflower buffalo wings and vegan cupcakes, but eating a mostly nutritarian diet has restored my body in a healthy, positive way.
I’m looking forward to running this half-marathon on a compassionate vegan diet. I became vegan for health reasons, and I remain vegan not only to stay healthy but also for the animals. If you’ve read my blog posts before, you know how much animal advocacy means to me. I decided to make this half-marathon not only about accomplishing something for myself but also for the animals, which is why I’m raising funds for Mercy For Animals while training.
Mercy For Animals is an amazing organization that has done so much good in the animal rights community. They constantly reveal undercover investigations on animal cruelty and abuse, they’ve helped pass legislation for animal rights, and they have an incredibly powerful video called Farm to Fridge that has changed so many minds on veganism, among so much more. In the Spring of last year, I helped out at a booth for Georgia Animal Rights and Protection (GARP) that showed the Farm to Fridge video, which was the first outreach that I did for animal rights. It was an unforgettable experience. I want to help them continue their life-saving work and I hope you consider doing the same by making a donation of any size. Anything that you’re able to contribute will make a huge difference for the animals.