Marathon Training [05/16-05/22]

Taper week 1 is over and complete! I have not lost it yet!

I feel just like everyone said I will, so that brings confidence to the outlook on the race. I feel phantom soreness and on alert to falls or niggles. I still have my large appetite and have been keeping the carbohydrates up. I have noticed my craving for dense fruits like bananas and dates has increased so I’m listening to that. If my body wants carbohydrates, I’m giving it that.

One thing I’ve learned through this marathon season about nutrition is that usually (not all the time) when I think I need a dense piece of cake, my body does want sweet things, but it will be satisfied with a whole food source. Instead of diving into a piece of brownie or cookie, having dates and nut butter (the best dinner after Ragnar!) or banana ice cream topped with nuts will satisfy my craving and be even better for me.

Ok, enough nutrition, let’s talk about training!

Training Log

Monday: 7.5 miles @ 8:00 pace

Tuesday: 10.7 miles @ 7:19 pace

Wednesday: 15.4 miles @ 7:45 pace

Thursday: 11.6 miles (45′ easy, 3×1 mile reps, 1 mile c/d)

Friday: 11.8 miles @ 7:45 pace

Saturday: 8.7 miles @ 7:22 pace

Sunday: 

Total mileage:

This week I said goodbye to two of my running group. One is only for three months as she’s done with school for the semester and the other is for a long time as she is moving to Korea with her husband. They are a military family.

On Monday I ran comfortably on the treadmill as it was the first run post Ragnar. It felt good and not sore. Tuesday I got back outside and ran a nice pace even though it felt relatively easy. Wednesday was my favorite run with my women’s group. I will miss them very much!

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Thursday I did some marathon effort miles, but honestly I think my fitness is where it needs to be. Anything faster increases the likelihood for burnout and injury. I feel good right now so I’m just riding the fitness out.

Friday and Saturday were easy runs ending with a lot of mobility and dynamic movements. I think keeping up those routines is important for recovery as when I am not running this week, I am still on my feet at work.

This upcoming week, I am going to practice my mantra: relax, relax, relax! It got me through Ragnar, so it’s what will help me get through Buffalo.

I also got a couple pictures from the Ragnar race website of one of my exchanges. I look happy, but this couldn’t be further from how I felt. Sometimes, you just gotta smile for the camera and fake it till you make it.

Taper week #1 is done! One week till the @buffalomarathon #vegrunchat #marathontraining Click To Tweet

How was your week?

What is your favorite mantra?

I am linking up with Meg for Week In Review, so head over there (after leaving me a comment of course!) and see what everyone else did last week!

Running Links [05/22/2016]

Good morning everyone!

This morning I am feeling a bit sore in my abs (specifically my obliques) and that’s kind of out of left field. I was hoping to avoid soreness this week and the next, so I guess the little core I’ve been doing is either too much or I’m not recovered yet from the ab circuit I did Friday.

From my experience, I need to eat a bit more and try to stretch/relax. The only problem with the second part of that is the business that is CTB this weekend. My job requires a bit of healthy stress to function. Oh to be a professional runner and literally run, eat, rest and run again. That would be wonderful this week!

Actually, reading about the lives of elite athletes sounds boring sometimes. I love having days off, and it would be ideal not to have more time to rest, but honestly, I like that my job gives me some stimulus where I don’t think about running. It’s a nice break and provides a sense of accomplishment I enjoy.

As I enter into the final week of taper before Buffalo, I feel ready in a sense that I want to run 26.2 miles. I am confident that I can finish it and that is alluring. No matter what happens for time, the build up to this point gives me confidence that if the race doesn’t go my way, i can train for another. I have made it up to this point. I am fit and ready.

After this race, I will have the confidence to do it again (or realize I don’t like marathons and not do another).

Running Links

All in all, I’m in a good place. Enjoy the links today guys. There are some good ones!
17 NutritionL Tips For Vegan Athletes via Running on Real Food

Let’s Talk Body Image via Belle Lap

What To Do Between Training Cycles via Suzlyfe

Current Feelings On Ultra Training via The Athletarian

Mental Freakouts via Tina Muir

Training Talk: Things I’ve Learned About Myself by Training For A Marathon

Well, the hay is in the barn guys. That’s exactly what my dad would say at the end of the summer when the work was done and all he had left was to make money.

Applying this to my marathon next weekend (!!!) the training is done and all I can do it watch it unfold. Whatever happens, I will be happy with it. This past 6 months have revealed many new things about myself that had I not gone through this training, I might not find out.

1.) I Am Tough


Cough, cough, Syracuse anyone? Running a half marathon in a blizzard was probably the cumulative effect of the training I did this winter and I was ready. No, it wasn’t pleasant, but I could run in those conditions. Actually, I don’t think that race was the worst weather I experienced in terms of how I handled it. I remember my first 17 miler of the training cycle where it went from bad to worse. The rain poured, I cried and finally realized that nothing was going to get better. I had to endure the suck and finish the miles because no one was going to save me. I will remember that in the final miles next Sunday. Those crappy runs made me strong and resilient.

2.) I am not ready for a coach

I had a coach for three months and it didn’t work out. There were many factors, but I am glad I stopped that even if I wasn’t happy at the time. I am not ready to be coached. I need someone who is right for me and with my limited resources, I don’t have the time or funds to get that. I am serious about my training, so I cannot settle for a coach who, although brilliant, might not be right for me. That’s just how it is.

3.) People want to see you succeed


I remember in college when every girl competed with every other one in the gym. How fast they were going, how much they could lift. I always felt like I had to be better and everyone else was trying to sabotage me. As I’ve grown up and matured, I realized that people want you to do well. One of my training partners basically gave me a training plan, advice and encouragement it was like a coach you didn’t have to be accountable to. She offered advice, but if I didn’t take it, she didn’t care. She knew we were different and all she wanted was for me to do well. I realized I felt the same way about her and everyone else I run and compete with. Sure, I train to race hard and want to do well, but wanting myself to do well does not mean I want others to fail. I want everyone to do well.

4.) Being Vulnerable Doesn’t Make You Weak

It must be remembered that this is with the right people. I could never share my worries with people like my family, but my friends at work and other running friends were really supportive when I shared my fears. They gave me such encouragement and positivity and I was able to release pent up emotions and talk it out. Sometimes they didn’t have anything relevant to add, but would remind me how long I’ve trained and how prepared I am. It was a cool head and perspective that I needed in the moment and it was given to me.

These things have been made obvious through this training cycle and now I move forward in life holding onto them. I have grown so much during this experience. I am able to trust more, talk it out and see myself as a strong, motivated person giving it her all.

One week till my first #marathon! What I've learned from 6 months of training #runnerbliss #veganrunner #tough Click To Tweet

I can’t wait until next week!

What has been revealed to you at some point in your life?

What hard things have made you stronger?

What I Ate At Ragnar Cape Cod

Before I start this eats recap, I want to thank all the companies that donated food to our team. Everything was delicious and kept us fueled, focused and happy. Our sponsors were:

Cocobeet dandies logo

kale chips veggie galaxy

And of course the PRETZEL BUNS!

Thanks to @purecocobeet @mydandies @veggiegalaxy and @RhythmSuperfood for donating to @SHVeganPower #WIAW #vegan Click To Tweet

Outside of all the running, the most fun thing about getting together with my team at Ragnar is sharing food and meals together. I automatically know I can eat everything! Vegans love to eat and this relay was no different. Not only is it 48 hours of running and sleeping, but there is also a ton of food. My van coordinated the food we were going to bring this time so we had some variety and enough.


Let’s be honest, we always bring too much, but one thing I noticed last time was that although everything was delicious, by the end, I craved veggies and fruit. We had many great things and I love vegan cheese as much as anyone, but because processed food is not a huge part of my diet, after a while, my body was telling me I needed real food.

This time I decided to be smart. I brought peanut butter, nuts, fruit and veggies to eat along with all the other stuff for some balance in what we ate. To be honest, the body does just need calories, but having nutrient dense calories is always preferred over the processed stuff.

Today I’m sharing what I ate over the relay (some pictures are blurry, sorry). I feel like I did do a better job of fueling this time. I did however wake up starving the next day, but that might have been the dehydration and sleep deprivation causing a higher metabolic rate and therefore more calories were needed.

After looking at this post, at the next race I will make a point to drink more.

Meal 1: Lemon-blueberry scone from Whole Foods, Apple and coffee

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Meal 2: 2 bananas with peanut butter, green beans (this was right before my first leg), water

Meal 3: Field roast deli slices, and hummus sandwich, lentil sloppy joes and carrot sticks, coconut water

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Before my next leg I also drank half a Monster energy drink, kale chips and had an apple it was 1 AM

Meal 4: 2 bananas with peanut butter and granola, kale chips, carrot sticks/green beans and hummus and a few dates. I also drank coffee (this was like breakfast on day 2 and after my last leg)

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Meal 5: weird corn nut things from the race expo, rest of bag of carrot sticks, dates stuffed with peanut butter, more kale chips, pop from the race expo

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My last meal was consumed over 3 hours while I attempted to drive home.

Take-a-ways and things I noticed:

I need to drink more water. I tried to sip it throughout the day, but I don’t think I drank enough. I can tell this because I woke up Sunday morning so dehydrated my belt was able to be clasped one loop tighter. I also woke up starving. I was hungry when I got home, but I was so tired I just went to bed. I choose rest over food always, and I had the next day to eat all day, so I went to bed.

It is hard for me to eat and try to drive when I am exhausted. Driving home was really hard on me, which also took a lot of energy and could use some more calories.

Luckily, I had the next day to essentially keep a bag of dates and nuts with me, which I ate all day in addition to meals. I also attempted to drink more, but I’m really bad at this. Tuesday I still felt a bit dehydrated, but better.

Check out what keeps vegan athletes fueled for over 200 miles! #vegan #WIAW #SHVP #tothefront @SHVeganPower Click To Tweet

So there you have it, how I ate at Ragnar.

How do you fuel for races?

What is your favorite post race food?

Ragnar Cape Cod 2016

This race is an ultramarathon. I am writing this the morning after we finished the race on that beautiful coast. I feel like I got hit by a truck and then thrown under water. Yet, I can’t wait to do it again.

Team Photo 2

Getting together with more than 50 vegans from all over America proved yet again to be an incredibly exhausting experience, one I will never forget.

I think it will be easier to write a recap in sections, so that’s what I’ll do.

1.) Getting there

I left Ithaca, NY at 1AM on Friday morning. It was a relatively slow start and after working that Thursday, I was not rested getting little sleep. After about three hours, it was increasingly challenging to keep my eyes open, so I pulled into a text stop area and napped for a half hour. I felt a surge or energy, got a coffee, put on some tunes and the rest of the journey was relatively easy.

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6 hours in total of driving got me to the Rockland Park and Ride bus stop where the team was meeting. A couple vans were early like me, so we went to Whole Foods to grab breakfast. It was here I finally met The Vegan Zombie himself, Chris Cooney. Check out his YouTube channel, it’s rather awesome.

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Getting back to the meeting place, we divided up into vans and made for the start of the race. There were so many of us! I was introduced to Micah Risk, who you will recognize as a Runners World cover model and “the girl with the vegan socks”. She was actually on my team, so I knew we would be going fast! Next to her is a new SHVP guy named Sam who basically looks like he could bench press a bus, but decided to come run around with us.

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After sending our team off, being in van 1 of team A, we left to get to the next exchange. I was the third leg so I had about an hour to get ready to run.

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2.) Leg 1: 8.5 miles

I was nervous for this, but looking at the elevation profile, the rolling hills didn’t look too bad.

Ha. Jokes on me.

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I started off feeling good and fast. I averaged sub 6 miles for the first three and passed a runner. Then the wheels came off. The hills were not rolling. They were long uphill and steep short downhills. I knew I was in for some pain. Honestly, after the third mile, I was feeling really desperate. I felt stupid for taking the first miles so fast. I also felt hopeless because the up hills did not end. Seriously they just did not stop. I almost cried once or twice.

I returned to my mantra of “relax, just relax,” and it worked for a few miles. When I hit the last huge uphil around mile 6.5, I was in so much pain, I actually practiced my sorry speech for my team as to why I was so slow. I shouted out loud that this was for the animals, and just pushed it to the end.

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Pain was real folks and I was humbled by the hills yet again.

I ended with a 6:18 average time (not as slow as it felt) and made the decision to take the next to legs very easy.

Leg 2: 4.2 miles, 7:15 average pace

My night leg went really well. It was short, flat and straight. It was just what I needed to recover some confidence from the last one. The sidewalks had an odd melted texture, but I’m not hating. I finished relatively quickly, happy and ready to eat some food!

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We had a lot of food again this year, but also a larger variety thanks to Samantha and Sean sort or organizing it. I remembered that by the time night rolled around I wanted fresh fruit and veggies, so I made sure to bring that. I also brought a large container of peanut butter, which I’m embarrassed I made such a dent into.

My teammate Jason brought lentil sloppy joes and fruit salad, which we had alongside pretzel buns sandwiches. It was delicious! After the feast, we realized our car battery was dead, and it started raining. Cue panic.

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Because most of the vans at Cape Cod were rentals, no one else had cables either so we couldn’t get a jump. We called triple A and got them to come, but luckily found some before that happened. I have to give major props to Suzie Jo, because she was a boss during this time. She knew what to do and got us back on the road. #GirlBoss

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Leg 3: 9.45 miles, 6:48 average pace

My last leg started at about 6:30 AM. This is my prime running time and the weather was beautiful. I decided to run with a podcast and just take it easy. The hills were rolling again, but felt easier as I wasn’t pushing too hard. The last 6 miles were on a bike path similar to the ones I run in Ithaca, so everything felt familiar. It was my favorite leg and the pace spoke for itself.

I feel confident for Buffalo now. I think I maintain that pace for a while.

The rest of our van finished and each of us really kicked it in at the end. Sean, our team captain had the most beautiful finish over a bridge and was going so fast I almost missed it. It was cool to hand off to him for every leg like I did at Ragnar ADK.

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Post Race:

After the race, we did what all great vegans do, feasted, relaxed and talked about vegan food, push-ups and ultramarathons. I think I’m one of the only people not have done one, and I’m terrified of them so that’s completely fine.

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We had a long time till our second van finished signaling the finish of our team. The post race party was fun and soon enough our last runner came in like a bullet, passing a whole team at the end. He was SO fAST and this sprint finish was faster running 10 miles.

Team Photo

We ended up with a time of 23:15, breaking 24 hours.

Final Score

Unfortunately I had to leave soon after because it was 2:30 and I had a 6 hour drive home. After napping the team picture, my two teammates Alan and Jason and I took our van back to the park no ride, where I picked up my car to begin the journey home.

Part 5:The Ride Home

This is where the ultramarathon er in me comes out. The first three hours were ok. I ate while listening to podcasts. Soon I felt myself fading and having to go to the bathroom. I figured I would stop at the next station. However, there was nothing to be found, and it started torrential raining. My eyes were so tired, but I knew I had to be sharp.

Honestly, this was the hardest part of Ragnar. Keeping my stuff together and focused on the road.

I counted down the miles and finally found a bathroom 5 hours into my journey. The last hour was a mix of really cold AC and yelling 80s hits to stay awake. I can’t believe I got home.

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Today I’m sore, majorly sunburned and eating everything in sight. The way it should be after an ultramarathon.

A bunch of #vegan #runners take on @RagnarRelay in Cape Cod! Check out the recap! Click To Tweet

I’m ready for the next one!