The Post Marathon Blues?

It has been four days since my first 26.2.

SHR trail

Four days since I’ve run, breathed hard or moved very fast. I really can’t remember the last time I took more than a day off in a row. Running and movement are just part of who I am.

Honestly, I do get thoughts in my head.

What if I lose all my fitness?

What if I stop liking running if I don’t do it?

What if I eat too much?

What am I supposed to do with all this time?

Well, any rational person can see these things are ridiculous, but I still think about them. I want to dispel these thoughts right here and show what I combat them with if they ever come up. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it helps to actually think up the appropriate argument against that demon in your mind.

1. What if I lose fitness?

That is the point. It is not healthy to be at peak marathon shape all year. I could feel in the last couple weeks that I was about to peak. This feeling is exciting but it also rides a very fine line into overreaching. The potential for injury is great and increases with mileage and fitness. If I kept going, I was on the one way path the overtraining and injury. No thanks. This marathon has proved I can train for 6 months and complete a goal. Losing fitness means nothing because I will get it again.

2. What is I stop liking running so much?

I know I will run again. Sure, walking and yoga is great to give my mind and lungs a break, but I miss the euphoria running gives me to. I miss the sweat, the highs, the lows and how it makes me feel. The fact that I am asking these questions means I will go back to running after this break.

3. What if I eat too much?

Again, this is the point! I probably eat the same amount of calories in my meals as I did when I was training. I do not find myself hungry after a huge dinner like I did when training. After dinner during training I would always open the nut butter jar and eat about 3 spoonfuls downed with milk. I do not do that anymore as I am not ravenous, but if I did want something like that, I am satisfying a need, so I eat it. I trained for 6 months. 6 months filled with ravenous hunger somethings and workouts that destroyed me. All of that work? It’s still getting repaired in my system. I still need the same amount of calories. End of story.

4. What am I supposed to do with all this free time?

Luckily, most of us work an 8 or 9 hour day, so that takes time. Other things I do with my time are blog, read, take a walk, take pictures, network, see people I don’t usually see and take time for myself. I nap and sleep for many hours hahaha. I started doing yoga in the mornings from YouTube (because I’m too poor to go to a class and I can choose the length of time) which eases my mind. If you want, think of your relaxation as a necessary part of your next training block. Your putting in the base recovery now so you can go hard later. Quite honestly, this is the hardest one for me because the last year of my life has been running and job, but I’m working on it. I am still an introvert, but I get out and see things which is important even if it’s by myself.

I hope that this helps anyone out there who is struggling with the post race blues. Just remind yourself how hard you worked, how often you went to the pain cave, crushed your workout and then still went to your job. Thinking about that makes me tired and want to kick back.

SHR trail 2

For two other posts about this read Hollie’s Blog and Tina’s Blog!

How do you deal with the days after a race?

Any suggestions four men?

Final Marathon Thoughts

This will be my last post before my race on Sunday. In order to not go completely insane, it think a mind dump is in order here.

I’ve learned so much in the past six months and wrote about it here.

That’s not what I want to talk about today. Today I just want to bare it all.

To be honest, I’m not as anxious as I predicted I would be. I get anxiety a lot actually, but I’m good at holding it in and coping. I know what to do when I get anxiety. As of right now, I only feel one thing:

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Excitement.

I just want to get out there and run!

My runs this week have felt fine. Nothing good or bad. I think that is a sign that I want to race. I want to run 26.2 miles in one go, cross the finish line and smile.

I have a time goal, sure. But I think what I keep remembering is that this is my first marathon. I am not putting as much pressure on myself as I used to. I feel relaxed about this. I know I am only 24, and have many running years left. Nothing rests on this.

I also have decided that it’s ok if I do not like this race and choose not to do another one. It is ok if I decide that my favorite distance is something shorter (or longer and slower). I have freed myself from needing to be a marathoner. I can be a one and done person.

My plans for this race are to enter the pain cave, but manage it. My friend and SHVP teammate said this of the marathon:

“It’s like, the longest distance where you have to go fast.”

I agree with this. I will have to push for 26.2 miles and hope it doesn’t go to shit. There are a lot of opportunities for it go to hell. There will be low points, high points and mental battles. I know I can physically run the distance and I feel confident and mentally strong. However, that does not guarantee success. I will have to race longer than I ever have before.

Shit show or not, it will be epic.

I have fears (not practicing nutrition enough), doubts (why am I entering the elite field again?) and just general worries (what if I get lost?). But what keeps me from going down those rabbit holes is the confidence I have in what the past 6 months have showed me and the wise words from my running mentors about my chances.

I’m not going for any other reason than to finish 26.2 miles with a smile.

Let’s talk post race. I’m already getting emails from fast women in my community about XC season or other races. I have decided to put all those thoughts on the back burner.

I am not ready to think about after the race. Regardless of how it goes, I am taking a 1-2 week break from exercise and my pretty good nutrition plan. Even if I end up only jogging or don’t feel tired, I need this mental break. I have been focused on this goal for 6 months (plus all the base building beforehand). I tuned my diet in, I slept as much as I could, I prioritized recovery, I ran hard. I need the time off.

Then and only during those weeks after will I even think about what’s next. I will not entertain too much thinking about this or commit to anything before I am done with the goal at hand. Running will be there after the two weeks.

So that’s what I’ve got today guys. That’s it. I’m ready. I’m going to do it.

What do you think about 3 days before a race? Read my pre-marathon mind dump here! #vegan #runner #marathon Click To Tweet

No questions. Thanks for reading!

The Seasons of my “Diet”

If you eat, you have a diet. I’ve long stopped seeing the word diet as a way to lose or gain weight. I feel the need to preface this post with that.

What I’ve noticed in the past two years of my running and blogging life is that the only factor that has stayed constant in my eating is being vegan.

I’ve often felt the allure of being in a vegan camp (cult?). How neat is it to have a little tribe of people eating the same way, sharing recipes and believing they have some secret to well being and happiness that everyone else is too dumb or weak to use? I am completely guilty of this even if I’ve never said it out loud.

I remember going raw for a month and loving it. The new recipes! The people telling me how amazing I was! It was an adrenaline rush I’d never experienced. Honestly, it felt good. I didn’t find going raw hard or annoying. It was just something I was trying.

I remember being in the high carb, low fat camp and again getting pulled into that mindset. There were others like me who were on the same high. It felt good to be labeled in this way. I liked the label. It was almost as if being vegan wasn’t enough. I wanted to be vegan. It wasn’t good enough to not eat animal products, I had to also be fruitarian, organic, carbing the fuck up or whatever those people say.

Then I started eating more nuts, avocados and coconut oils (because they sounded good and I was tired of the high carb community and their dogma) and suddenly I wanted to be some fat adapted person. I was again falling into the labeling camp even though the reason I stopped the other one was because I hated it.

I don’t think I went overboard this time with a label. I never claimed to be ketogenic or denounce carbs, but in my mind I was eating a slew more fats, so I basically was fat adapted right?

Now I find myself enjoying more fruits again and raw nuts etc. Oh my God what label can I be now?

Well guys, I don’t have an answer, because I don’t want one.

Last week I posted about the things I’ve learned from marathon training. I specifically did not address nutrition, because if I’ve learned one thing about that it’s that my diet has changed and will continue to change throughout the year. It will want higher carbs or raw foods at certain points, and more fats at other times.

My diet goes through seasons.

The Seasons of my #vegan diet through #marathon training Click To Tweet

I wanted to write this post to be transparent, but also to have a record for myself when I start getting interested in labels or specific vegan diets again. It’s not worth it to label myself a certain way, because I listen to my body. If my body is telling me to eat a certain way for a period of time, I will listen.

Being in the vegan community is amazing. There are so many great people, campaigns and recipes. However, just like any community, there are problems and if exploited, can harm you or the movement.

It’s almost like school. You can go to the best college or prep school in the country, but there are aLeah’s problems beneath the surface. Drugs, drinking, cheating and violence are all there regardless of the academic standards or money.

The vegan movement is like that for me. I’m in the best school, but if I’m not careful, whenever I have a problem (like a bad race of running) I am susceptible to other diets within the vegan community to solve my problems.

“Recover faster only eating dates and bananas!”

“Being fat adapted teaches your body to not bonk!”

These things are so attractive to someone like me. I am not professional or elite, but want to be faster so badly (not bad enough to dope of course), that what worked for one athlete I admire must also work for me.

This is so false I cannot believe have fallen and continue to fall for it time and time again. It will probably cross my mind again to get into a certain camp, but the next time, at least I have an arsenal of tools to prevent it.

I’m not high carb, low fat.

I’m not high fat, low carb.

I’m Ellie and I’m trying the best that I can.

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I’m linking up and sharing meals for WIAW

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[strawberries and cream protein cookie dough&apple] [dates, banana chips, cashews&unpictured smoothie]

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[bowl of greens&rocky road banana ice cream]

What are some diet camps you’ve accidentally fallen into?

What is the allure for you? Why would you choose a label?

Don’t forget to check out this post and leave a comment to win some B Happy Peanut Butter!

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?

Training Talk [Running A Relay With A Team]

When you read this post, I will most likely be on my way to Cape Cod to endure sleep deprivation, exhaustion and 22 miles of running.

I can’t wait!

Strong Hearts Team

No matter what happens or how much of a struggle work will be the best day or two, driving 6 hours to meet a bunch of crazy vegans to run 200 miles never sounds better. I’ve thought a lot recently about why I am so excited to run this race. Honestly, when I described it to my coworkers, they thought it sounded awful. Granted, they are not runners, but they have a point.

I will be smushed in a car for 72 hours.

We still don’t know what food were going to eat.

I have to race, then sit, then race, then sit and then race again in less than 24 hours.

We all smell after the first run.

This is no small feat. Another contributing factor is that my team is the competitive team. We want to win. I am going to race each leg as best I can. When you don’t sleep, that’s a struggle for sure!

Why I do this to myself is because I am part of a team. I am part of something bigger than myself. We are part of a bigger movement advocating for animals. It just makes sense to me.

The pain.

The sleepless nights.

The uncomfort.

I thrive in that. I live for it. I can’t wait!

I think I’ve narrowed down a couple things that make being on a team worth it for me and why I think everyone should at least try it once.

1.) Less Presure

There are others on your team who share the burden of success/failure. In a normal race, it’s all on you. On a team, you help each other.

2.) Encouragement

I have never felt more amped up to run than when I have other people invested in my success. They want to see me do well in the most affectionate way. Whether it’s playing “slayer” music when they drive past or catching me before I fall into a pothole at the handoff (thanks Alan), I never have felt more cared for.

3.) Common Interest

This is a big one. I don’t know many people like me in my community. I don’t have close vegan friends. Close vegan running friends? No way! Being a part of a team, the Strong Hearts team, has given me a family. I feel completely safe and at home when I am crammed into that van for 48 hours. It’s a feeling that I would never want to give up because I don’t feel it often.

Running on a team is great! Here are my reasons why @SHVeganPower Click To Tweet

Running used to be something I would do to get away from it all. Since I’ve matured through many different stages in life, it has become so thing that has given me a community. Being part of a team, whether it’s an actual team, a group run or even a social media group, has given me that support I need to be happy and content in my crazy life.

Have you ever ran on a team before?

What keeps you returning to the pain cave running can be? To