Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring is heeere!

The upcoming month is looking kind of awesome.  Things I have going on:

  • May 7:  I'm a race volunteer for Cap City Half Marathon which apparently has 14,000 runners this year (insane!)  So I'll be out there at a water stop, not sure which one yet... I'll find out on the morning of the race.
  • May 14-15:  Cleveland Marathon expo on the 14th, race on the 15th!  One of the runners from my group who's been training with me is going to do the half, so I'll have someone along with me for the drive and also for the first 13 miles.  This is awesome.
  • May 22:  I discovered that Columbus has a chapter of Girls on the Run, a program for pre-teen girls to encourage self-esteem and healthy living.  The girls go to workshops and train to run a 5k, and that 5k is on May 22.  And I volunteered to be a running buddy--which means I'll get to do this 5k while coaching along and encouraging a young girl who's doing her first 5k.  I'm so freaking excited about this it's unbelievable.  Maybe this girl will get to discover running while she's young and it'll stick with her, and make her life awesome. So May 20-21 I might do a session of packet pickup, and then the 22nd is this 5k.  (5k only 7 days after a marathon...we shall see..)  Seriously though I feel so lucky to have found this organization.
  • June 4:  I have tentative plans to run the Sunburst Half in South Bend, IN.  I'll be in town that weekend visiting family and etc, so I may as well.  I haven't signed up yet because I wanted to do the marathon and make sure I'm still in one piece, but I have my fingers crossed.
Somewhere in here I also need to keep getting work done and I have the tentative goal of finishing a whole polished chapter of writing by marathon weekend, so I can relax and enjoy.  Send some positive writing vibes my way!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things not to eat before running:

  • Raw broccoli.  Omg, I've never felt so sick.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eatin' on the run... well, not literally. (AND BANANA BREAD!)

I've been so ravenously hungry lately.  Like omg I want to just keep eating everything I can get my hands on hungry.  Like I just had a meal and I want another meal hungry.  Like the other day I went out to eat and ordered two entrees hungry.  Like all-you-can-eat Indian-food-buffets-are-losing-money-on-me-hungry.

It's becoming a real problem in the mornings, because this quarter I'm on a morning work schedule.  I'm notorious for not planning in advance for meals, ever.  I've had terrible on-the-go breakfasts the past few work days... the usual thing I'll do is throw 3 pieces of Ezekiel bread in the toaster oven and make the world's sloppiest triple-decker pb+j sammich.  It's not very delicious and is usually a burned, sticky mess.  The other option is my sugary triumvirate:  clif bar+soy yogurt+banana.  That breakfast is so sugary I can hardly get it down that early in the morning (and I don't even WANT to be eating sugar... those are just easy grab-n-go things that I can buy.)  As I sat in my dark, cold office this morning choking down bites of clif bar I realized things can't go on like this.  I have to come up with some other grab-n-go prepared options that I can take with me to work, and better snacks to have around.  Adding to my grab-n-go problem is the fact that I don't have or use a microwave.

I asked some internet vegans, consulted my Food Guide for Marathoners book, and did some creative thinking, and here's the options I've come up with so far.  I was looking for things that are very low prep/no prep, not super sugary, easy to take along, and high in calories/filling if possible.  I'm also not restricting myself to just breakfasty foods... I'll eat whatever if it's portable enough.  Smoothies aren't making the list because I never leave enough time to make them.  If you have more ideas, please leave them in the comments!  We'll see how this works out over the next week or two.

  • Ok so my desired ideal breakfast would be overnight oats like these.  I can't ever even be bothered to prep oatmeal in advance overnight, so this isn't a real option, but it's staying on the list so I remember it exists.  I need to get a few more tupperware containers to make it happen.
  • pb+j sammich (I'm sick of it and it's terrible, but it's the easy fallback).
  • protein shake in blender bottle (again, less than ideal, but in a pinch... I'll remember it exists as an option)
  • pre-filled quart-sized baggies containing raisins, almonds, and granola (where the heck can i get vegan granola?  maybe I should look into making my own??  that seems hard...)
  • a couple tortillas, each spread with refried beans and rolled
  • pre-sliced bagels, thawed overnight and spread with hummus
  • sliced apple with pb packed to-go (this is borderline too much prep... slicing apples sucks, but I have this thing where I hate biting into apples.  Weird, I know)
  • pre-filled quart sized baggies of trail mix (pretzels, nuts, dried fruit)+something else cus I'll still be hungry
  • Amy's burritos (there is a microwave at work I COULD use if i wanted to... if things were desperate.)
  • start making more dinner food and packing some of it for breakfast (again, this requires prep and also requires that I cook the night before...)
  • someone pointed out Freeland Foods Go Raw snacks, and two stores nearby carry them.  They look pricey but way healthier than the usual sugary bar, so I might check it out.
  • someone also suggested that I get some vegan jerky.  I constantly crave salty stuff instead of sweet stuff, so I'd way rather eat jerky than a granola bar... but I'll have to check out the nutritional content of various jerkys too.  I could do like... jerky and toast on the side or something, maybe.
While I'm at it, I want to share with you what has quickly become one of my favorite recipes of all time:  a banana bread recipe I got from the Food Guide for Marathoners book.  I don't think I've shared it before--at least it's not showing up under my "food" tag.  

This banana bread isn't too sweet and it's dense enough to be really filling, and it's REALLY easy to make.  We're talking "dump everything into a bowl, stir, put in pan, bake."  I like to slice it into thick slices and eat it with pb.

Banana Bread for Marathoners (and anyone who loves delicious banana bread!)
from Nancy Clark's Food Guide for Marathoners
3 large bananas, ripe
sub for 1 egg (I do a couple spoons of ground flaxseed and some water)
2 Tbsp oil
1/3 to 1/2 c sugar (I've subbed agave, and I also tried applesauce for the oil and some of the sugar... it's pretty hard to screw up this recipe.)
1/4 c. milk sub
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour (half white, half whole wheat)
Preheat oven to 350F.  Mash the bananas with a fork.  Add the egg, oil, sugar, milk, and salt, and beat well; then add baking soda and powder, then blend in the flour (stir until just moistened).  Spray a 9x5 pan with cooking oil and pour it in.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
If you cut it into 12 slices, 140 calories per slice.
Oops, gonna try to post more regularly... but anyway, here's what's been going on with me running-wise:

Had a couple of bad training weeks, on the back of a really awesome training week.  So, I had this week where I did a 17 miler on Saturday, 5 miles Monday, then 11 miles of speedwork on Tuesday, and 13 miles of speedwork on Thursday, all of which was a lot and really awesome.  But by the time I got to that Saturday I did only 8 and it was the worst run ever... I thought I wouldn't make it.  I think I overtrained and all of that speedwork was just too much.  After that terrible 8 miler I fell off of the program and did some shorter runs here and there but nothing too intense, and I took the next Saturday a bit easier.  I think this Daniels plan is kicking my ass a little too much.  I'm thinking for the next race I might go back to Hal Higdon and maybe do one Daniels-style speed workout mixed in per week.

Had to replace the shoes.  Somehow my shoes were already up to 400 miles so I got a new pair of the same (Brooks Ghost 3).  I tried to get fitted for something lighter and more minimalist, thinking I could try to train in something not quite as minimal as the Vibrams but not as huge as a regular trainer, but they told me at the running store that the lighter the shoes are, the less mileage you can get out of them.  I tried on the lighter model of Brooks shoes, and they didn't even feel that much lighter and would wear out twice as fast, so I decided to just stick with what I have.  Also, the Brooks Ghost are pretty darn light as it is.

I got interested in the light shoes thing because a couple Saturdays ago there was a Saucony rep at our group run and I ran 6 miles in some Saucony Progrid Mirage (pictured left).  These shoes weigh under 8oz (to compare, the Ghost are about 11-12oz) and it was a noticeable difference.  But, I don't need correction for pronation and the outsides of my feet were aching a bit by the end of the run.  The shoes were awesome though--they're a take on minimalist shoes that still have some arch support (which kind of renders them not minimalist at all...but they were still really light).

Something about shoes that I learned:  Apparently, if you alternate between two pairs of running shoes, you can get the wear life of 3 pairs of shoes out of them.  I wish I had known that sooner!  Letting the padding decompress between runs makes them last longer, which is where alternating shoes helps (gives each pair time to rest).

Did a 20.5 mile run on Sunday, and it went really well.  I struggled a bit around miles 14-16, but after the run I felt really good (no pain!!) and the rest of the day I wasn't that wiped out.  Yesterday I wasn't that sore, and today I feel basically perfect.  I'm really, really psyched about this--the first time i've EVER done a run of that distance and not felt crappy afterward.

So the race is in 33 days and I think I'm nearly ready to go.  I'm not convinced I will break my terribly slow first marathon time of 5:09, but I'm hoping I can at least go sub-5 even if I don't run the 4:30 I was hoping for.   I'm hoping those lazy days after that really intense training week didn't totally bankrupt my training efforts, but I felt good on the long run and I suppose that's the real test.

I'm hoping this week's training goes ok.  I took yesterday as a rest day on purpose since I'd just done the 20, and today was going to head out but it's pouring rain and i'm not sure I have the gumption right now.  Life is doing its best to keep me from getting work and training done.  My aunt passed away unexpectedly 3 weeks ago (she was only in her 40s, and had a random blood clot) and my grandma passed away Sunday after having a stroke last week.  It's really been a lot, and later this week I have to drive back home for the funeral.  Running has really been helping me cope... in fact one night last week when things were really bad, my bestie vegan runner buddy John went for a run with me at midnight in the rain so I could get out for a bit.  Thank goodness for friends who are willing to do completely nutty running things at absurd hours.  But I am hoping the travel and everything else this week will still let me get training in.

Shout out to my awesome running buddy and friend who did a freaking 100 mile trail race 2 weeks ago and finished in 25 hours, 36 mins (3 hours ahead of her goal pace).  Talk about inspirational and amazing.

Friday, April 1, 2011

For my Columbus vegans out there...

I want to say a special thanks to the folks over at for featuring my blog on their homepage!  Because of this (and because, well, I may as well share the vegan Columbus love) I just added a special tab to my blog geared specifically for Columbus-dwelling vegans that details my favorite places and things to eat around our city.  I will also eventually add some more details specifically for Columbus runners to that same page.

My hope when I started this blog was for it to become a resource:  a resource for vegans who want to be athletes, a resource for vegans in general, a resource for first-time marathoners and new runners, etc.  And now I'm also hoping it can be a resource specifically for Columbus vegans and runners as well.

And incidentally if you are a Columbus vegan you should leave me a comment and say hi sometime... I know so few vegans around here!  And I know you must be out there.... :o)