Making a lifestyle change: veganism?

I met an interesting woman, Diane, and her dog, Molly, while I was working today. I work for a natural dog food company so we were talking about good things we should be putting into our dog’s bodies. She mentioned that she puts flaxseed oil and chia seeds in her dog’s diet. I thought that was interesting as I use chia seeds here and there as well in my own diet. She also mentioned she was vegan…

She was a very toned woman and looked great. She was dressed in sporty attire and running shoes, so I asked if she was a runner. She chuckled a little and said yes, but more of a trail runner. I was more curious of her being a runner AND being vegan. Oh, and she is certified in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University. She explained that there’s this misconception that you can’t be a runner and be vegan, but mentioned two books by ultrarunners that are on plant-based diets. I had heard of both these athletes, but have never read their books. One is by Scott Jurek, “Eat and Run”, and the other is by Rich Roll, “Finding Ultra”.



Here are a few links to read more about these athletes and their diets -


She explained that she used to be a body builder and would find that when her blood sugar would drop, she’d have to eat quickly. Since being on a plant-based diet, she said this doesn’t happen to her now. She doesn’t have the low blood sugar problems anymore. This is interesting to me because I know if I have not eaten in a while and can’t get to food when I’m hungry, I get really agitated and need to eat soon or I’ll get really cranky. I wonder if being on a plant-based diet would minimize this?

FINDING-ULTRA-COVER-FINAL1One of my concerns with being vegan is getting enough protein. As a runner, I need protein and if I haven’t had enough, I get hungry quickly or I’ll crash. I eat chicken, fish, lots of veggies and beans too, but if I were to take out the meat sources, I’d be left with just beans all the time? Could I manage that? (I’d probably be farting all the time too!)

She said that there are so many things you can eat and that she incorporates kale, spirulina, raw cacao, chia seeds, lentils, hemp seeds, avocado, brown rice, and lots of other protein sources into her diet.

It takes a lot of time and preparation to get whole foods (not processed foods or processed vegan foods), organic foods, getting the right things for your body, and switching to the lifestyle change. But I can see that there are a lot of great benefits. And after speaking to this woman today, she has seen great results as well. She has converted a lot of her clients and she said they PR all the time.

Prior to meeting Diane today, I had only seen a documentary called “Vegucated” and at the time I had wondered how I could make this transition being a runner. I really thought it would be impossible. However, I’d like to incorporate more of this plant-based diet into my own diet. I can’t say for sure yet if I will cut out chicken and fish all together, but we’ll see. Maybe I will cut it out little by little and see how I feel. But this really opened my eyes more to the diet and how it can improve your overall health and fitness.

What do you think of veganism? Do you think you could make this change?

Sweet sweat

I have been chasing my marathon PR of 3:40:43 for a few years now. I have read blogs or know people who PR all the time or make running 3:15-3:30 marathons look so easy. I guess it’s not that easy for me.

After my last marathon in March, I decided to incorporate even more strength training into my daily regimen to reach this goal faster. I’m so close, but I just need to shave off a few more minutes (more like 10-12). A fellow runner and ultramarathoner started going to my gym about a year and a half ago to get personal training sessions to help build endurance and help him increase his speed. After five months of additional training, he was able to shave an hour and a half off his 50-miler race time!

My gym owner also does personal training and offered to give me a few training sessions for free. So far we’ve only done one session, but I use the list she gave me with all the exercises and do this at least once a week.

training 4Last week I moved and had a crazy week (I was pretty exhausted), but was able to get a few runs in. On Thursday I did a short 4 mile run, then did another 45 minutes of strength training. This extra circuit training makes me sweat! I did step-ups, sissy squats, split squats, v-ups, Bosu pushups, planks, and shoulder, bicep and tricep exercises.

I was sore on Friday AND on Saturday! But a good sore in my quads, chest and abs. I’m only about 3 weeks into this additional training, but I’m excited to see what results come of this. I like that I am sweating even more than I already do. I am hoping I will be faster by the time I get to Berlin in September, which is also known for it’s fast course. I am hoping I will qualify for the Boston Marathon at this race. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and all the sweat that comes of this as well. Ha! #runforboston