Plant Powered Running – a year in review

It all started with Meatless May.

It was the weeks leading up to a marathon where I was trying to eat clean and my husband and I opted to cut back on /try to eliminate our meat consumption as well.   And come May 1st, I decided to see if I could go a month without meat.

Meatless May has so far lasted one year and 2 days.  And is still going strong.

Granted, I am not a vegan.  And that’s mostly due to a) my love of cheese and b) my gluten allergy.  Because you know what most vegan proteins are made of? Yep, gluten.

What I am…is a celiac pescetarian.   (possibly the most annoying eater on the planet.  LOL)  I eat fish, and sometimes eggs (organic, free range), and sometimes cheese (preferably small farm local or goat cheese).

My only ice cream in the past year was a banana split during Disney marathon weekend, But that was a situation where I didn’t have a lot of options at the restaurant.  And I only ate half.  And it was amazing.

I also eat kale, and spinach and lentils and beans and tofu and edamame and all kinds of amazing stuff.  Is it weird to say I love tofu? Its a challenge being a runner and not eating meat, because protein is essential to my way of life.  But there are a lot of plant based sources.  And I love the Vega company – their bars and shakes are delicious and convenient.

So has this new way of life affected my running skills?  I’d say it has…for the better.

And I mean granted, I am not saying that giving up chicken, pork, beef, etc made me a better runner.  But I think when you are focused on what goes into your body in a healthy way, it affects other aspects of your training – like committing to strength training and proper run fueling and hydration.

So lets look at what i’ve accomplished in the past 12 months:

  • May 1, 2016 – Providence Marathon.  Ran the entire thing.  Every single step.  My 10th marathon, but the first one I didn’t walk any of.
  • August 19-20, 2016 – Anchor Down Ultra.  12 hours of non stop running / walking. 44.1 miles.  My new distance PR.  And 9th female finisher.  Wow…
  • November 24, 2016 – Gobble Wobble 5k.  25:20.  a 5k PR.  And 6th in my age group.
  • January 5-8, 2017 – Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.  5k & marathon (Goofy Challenge 1/2 was rained out). Most fun i’ve ever had at a marathon.  And got my favorite race photo ever at mile 25.
  • April 23, 2017 – Blackstone Valley Half-marathon.  Fastest half in 2 years.  2:00:12 at the 13.1 marker and a 2:03:22 finish (13.47 miles).  Even hit a 57:00 10k.  Holy crow!

And next on the docket is the Maine Coast Marathon.  May 14th.

I’m not saying I have a shot at a marathon PR… but I might just.   Because you see, Sunday was my final LONG run – a 21 miler.  And it was the fastest i’d run an 18-22 mile training run since April 2015.

We’ll see what happens in 12 days. And yes, i’m going to spend taper freaking out and coming up with my real race goal (and backup goal) and checking the weather and questioning my outfit, just like normal.  But i’m also going to trust that may, just maybe as I approach marathon #12, that I finally know what i’m doing.

And I’ll have faith that if the amazing things I have accomplished this year are any indication, Maine Coast will be epic.

 

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Goodbye 2014… you’ve been a good year.

Goodbye 2014… you’ve been a good year.

We got off to a slower start, as I’d only been allowed to run for a couple of months and was still getting my ‘sea legs’ back. But, we did accomplish some pretty amazing things.

We completed the Goofy Challenge in mid-January on minimal training and not really being allowed to run the two days in a row we had to. But we made it happen anyways.

In fact, we finished three marathons, a 20-mile race, 5 half-marathons and several smaller races, including our first obstacle race.

We took back Boston.

We set a marathon PR in Falmouth.

We added some serious weight to the medal hanger this year. Some pretty impressive bling of all shapes and sizes.

We commemorated our achievements with a marathon hummingbird tattoo. As a reminder that we can accomplish anything we set our mind to, and come back from serious injury and be better than ever.

We got a new Garmin, a shiny purple one, so help us on our quest for speed and distance. One that syncs immediately and easily with the iphone to help us brag and commiserate quickly. One that gives us awards at the end of runs for speed and distance. And we earned a lot of those.

We killed a few pairs of sneakers along the way. RIP to the ghost 6’s, the glycerin 11’s, the gtx 5’s. And to the glycerin 12’s that are on life support, we’ll miss you too.

We worked hard and rebuilt some speed. In fact, our long runs at the beginning of the year were between 11 and 11:30 paces. And we got them down to 10 – 10:15 paces. Our short runs got faster too. We set Garmin records of an 8:04min mile and a 56:23 10k.

We learned the value of running with friends, at their pace and helping them achieve greatness. The best gift you can give as a runner is encouragement to another runner. We all started as beginners once.

And sometimes, we need friends who are willing to do that for us.

We logged 1,460 miles. And we earned every single one of them.

So hey, 2015 – are you ready for a challenge? Because as amazing as 2014 was.…I think we can do better. Wanna try? 🙂

Happy New Year’s everyone. And happy running!!