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 

Runner’s World [A Day In My Life, May 2016]

Distance runners seem to be creatures of habit. I know that’s certainly the case for me. I like going to bed each night with a general plan for the next day. Here and there I have days where anything goes, but that’s not the norm.

Right now, my job is really busy so I work 6 days a week. On my day off, I am more relaxed about timing, but I need to get all my errands done on that day, work on the blog and spend a couple hours training. Days off are a break even if that seems like a lot.

As I come to a close in my marathon training, (less than 3 weeks out) I am pretty dialed in. I have one focus and my life sort of revolves around that. Training takes priority, then nutrition, then recovery and then my job and this blog. Here is a peak into a normal day for me right now:

6:15AM: Alarm goes off. I feed my cats, strap on my Garmin and head out the door. I usually run for about an hour and then do 30-45 minutes of easy stuff like mobility, core or weight lifting. This change day to day.

8:15AM: Grab coffee from CTB on my way home from the gym.

8:30AM: Make breakfast while playing with my cats, eat breakfast, do some social media for my blog, read my bloglovin feed and watch YouTube videos (current favorites are Plantriotic, Obese2Beast, Chelsea Lifts, drewlikesrice and Brian Turner)

[microwave peanut butter-chocolate banana bread, topped with B Happy apple cinnamon peanut butter and Jiff salted caramel PB]

9:45AM: clean up my breakfast/previous nights dishes and head back to the gym

10:00AM: work on my blog/read on the bike. This is not a workout, but a slow spin that gets out any soreness and increases my leg turnover

11:00AM: head home from the gym, shower, work a bit more on my blog.

12:00PM: start work at CTB

3:00PM: Eat lunch, check Instagram (oh shoot I need to post that picture!)

[Tofu khan, black beans, peas, cucumber and squash]

3:30PM: back to work

8:04PM: finally clock out at work

8:15PM: make dinner, talk to my cats

[another peanut butter, banana, protein bowl of some kind with nuts mixed in, bowl of greens, extra banana]

8:25PM: eat dinner, read blogs, work on my blog, check Facebook/Twitter and respond to comments

[eat a couple more spoonfuls of nut butter]

9:30PM: Get into bed, lie there for a bit and go to sleep.

The end!

This is probably my most frequent day when I have to work at that time. If I do a longer run in the morning, I don’t bike but try to do some type of mobility work at home on the mat. If I do a longer run, I also nap before work. Naps are key when working 6 days and training for this race.

I am linking up with WIAW this morning to show a day of eats.

Any other questions about my day?

What time do you work each day?

Basic Chocolate Vegan Protein Cookie Dough [gluten-free]

Who doesn’t love a simple, nutrient-dense, delicious breakfast that only has three ingredients? Naturally sweetened, vegan and gluten-free, the inner athlete in you will become obsessed with the first installment of Vegan Protein Cookie Dough. Plant Fusion has kindly sent me their products to sample and create recipes for all of you to fuel your next workout or run. Let me know in the comments if you have any flavor recommendations or recipe ideas! 

Plant Fusion

I remember when I first started running more than 10 miles at a time. I would be a wreck all day. My body simply was not used to that training. I also was not prepared to fuel it afterwards. My breakfast, although delicious, we’re not adequate for what I was doing. This caused me to be tired and slow moving all day.

As I’ve matured as an athlete, I realized that in order to run like elites, I needed to fuel like elites. Through my research, I saw a few common themes:

1.) Protein AND carbs AND fat are all important

2.) Refuel within an hour of finishing the workout

3.) Eat what you can stomach and tastes good

Athletes need all the foods to perform their best! #carbs #fats #protein Click To Tweet

From then on, I was on a mission. I knew what kinds of foods I like. I knew what foods my stomach can handle. I knew what foods were vegan. Put those things in the shaker bottle that is my brain, and out popped these recipes.

Bananas (satisfy all three criteria)

Protein powder (see above and also a fast nutrient mix)

Nuts (see above)

You see, I don’t like to spend much time making my meals. I’d rather spend time eating them and doing other things. Where does that leave me? Foods ready to eat.

I’m not talking pre packed stuff, I’m talking whole foods (mostly) and nutrient dense sources.

I know, I know, protein powder is not a whole food. However, it is a great supplement for your active life. I really only use protein powder when I’m training. Why? I don’t feel like measuring out flour and sugar to make the same basic thing. It takes less thinking to make breakfast. It also has a quicker nutrient punch, which I could get from whole foods, but that would take longer to eat. Who has time to spend all day eating and digesting food?

Long story short, this Vegan Protein Cookie Dough series is what I’ve eaten for the past few months after workouts and training sessions to get the biggest nutritional bang for my buck that takes little time to prepare.

So I can spend my time on my butt recovering for my next session or my job.



Basic Chocolate Vegan Protein Cookie Dough

1 large ripe banana

1 scoop Plant Fusion protein powder

1 T cocoa powder

1 T coconut flour

Mash the banana in a bowl unless thoroughly mushy. Add all other ingredients. Stir until combined. Pour into another bowl or use the same. Top with your favorite nuts or nut butters.

Note** If your banana is small, add a bit of almond milk until you get the consistency you desire.

Vegan Protein Cookie Dough, new recipe series using @PlantFusion protein powder! Click To Tweet

What flavors would you like to see?

How do you refuel after a hard workout?

Marathon Training [05/02-05/08]

I’m hitting the final stretch in my quest to finish 26.2.

This week I kept a relatively similar mileage without a significant long run. I simply don’t need to do another 20 miler before the race to gain anything. With Ragnar Cape Cod this weekend, I will be running a total of 22 miles in a 24 hour stretch so that will be enough to round out the training.

If you are unfamiliar with Ragnar, it is a 200 mile relay race where groups of 12 people run three legs each of about 3-9 miles. My legs are about 8-5-8 plus or minus a few tenths of a mile. We begin on Friday at around noon and finish Saturday at about that same time.

Last year at Ragnar ADK, I missed a turn on my first leg and ended up running an extra mile. It was no matter though, because we still got first in our division and 2nd overall. At Cape Cod this year we have another great group of people and I’m excited to get going.

My van is trying to be smarter this time and coordinate food. I think I’m bringing peanut butter and bananas, of course I couldn’t go too long without those staples.

Training Log

My training this past week went as follows:

Monday: Steady State MP Run

9 miles @ MP, 12 total miles

I am in the process of maintaining fitness and my base for the marathon without burning myself out. I felt uncomfortable, but safe during this run. Meaning I could maintain it longer, but it wasn’t a piece of cake. That’s good! I know I will suffer during the race, but I think I would at any speed, so I’d rather go faster. Make sense? I think taking a rest day on Sunday was a good idea as well. My legs felt fresh.

Tuesday: Easy run

13 miles at 7:32 pace

This run was uneventful. I did a bodyweight leg curculio afterwards of lunges, single leg squats and back extensions. This felt pretty easy when I did it, but it made so,e other runs this week a bit more challenging.

Wednesday: Easy Group Run

13.55 miles @ 7:52 pace

I decided to cut my usual long mid week run short for two reasons. The first reason is because I was hella-sore from the bodyweight exercises I did after Tuesday’s run and I had to work at 9AM. I could have made it home with enough time to change my clothes and get to work, but after a run I need a break to eat and sit for a second. No regrets.

Thursday: Easy Run on Sore Legs

10.44 miles @ 7:40 pace

I was super sore today still from Tuesday’s bodyweight leg session. I really don’t work out my legs outside of running and hip mobility work, and this did not seem hard when I did it, but boy! Two days of soreness!

Friday: MP miles

13ish miles w/ 6.73 @ MP

Friday was my day off from CTB so I did this in the morning, felt recovered from the soreness, and then out two hours of an easy spin on the bike later that day. Not too exciting except I wore a new bra and it was too tight even for ME! I solved the problem by taking the cups out. Should be fine the next time I wear it.

Saturday: Long Run w/ bike

16.07 miles @ 7:30 pace and 30 minute bike

Instead of running another 20 miler, I decided to stop after 16 and finish with a half hour spin. My ankle was bothering me and I forgot to wear my brace. I also had to close CTB that night and running long in the morning wipes me out all day.ninlike to do long runs on my day off for this reason. I did take a nap before work, which I find helps.

Sunday: Easy Group Run

13.24 miles @ 7:12 pace

I met a new runner this morning who is moving to Ithaca this August. She, my friend Bailey and I ran together at a relatively fast clip through some harsh wind. I didn’t feel at all tired today even thou when I close CTB on Saturday and get up at 6 to run, I sometimes slog around. I attribute this to the nap I took before work on Saturday.

Total mileage: 90 something

Another week of #marathontraining in the books! Three weeks till the @buffalomarathon Click To Tweet

My goals for next week are to do one MP run of 45 minutes and then everything else easy and not exceeding one 13 mile run. Ragnar is on Friday, so that’s where the work will be.

This morning I’m linking up with Meg for Week In Review!

How was your week of training?

Do bodyweight exercises ever make you sore?

YOUR FEEDBACK and Running Links [05/08/2016]

Good morning everyone and welcome to my new blog!

This morning I don’t really feel prepared yet to introduce new content (outside of a WHOLE NEW BLOG!) so I hope you’ll bear with me a few more days while I get things going over here.

A small update: running is good, recipes are coming and I’m still heading to Cape Cod next weekend with SHVP

I want this blog to both chronicle my running and vegan lifestyle, but I also want to hear from all of you. I don’t consider myself an expert in any way, but I am a person with a lived experience. I do have ideas, reasons why I do things and think that if more people shared their opinions we would all benefit. Some of the most influential people in my life have no medical degree, no data other than themselves, but have provided an experience that I can resonate with, so I took some of the advice they gave and ended up with a great result.

What do you like about my blog? What keeps you coming back? What can I improve? Do you want more specific, nitty-gritty training details? More quick meal recipes? More vegan information? I love it all, so I want to connect to you. My lived experience is just that, mine, but I think if you read it and get something out of it, isn’t that the point? Isn’t why we read on some level because we relate to something or want to relate to something?

Running Links

Well, with that call for feedback, I’ll leave you with some articles I read this past week. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

A call for YOUR feedback! What do you want to see? @theBGBcommunity #BGB #blog #running #vegan #recipes Click To Tweet

5 Reasons Why You (Yes, You) Need 1-2 Weeks Off After A Marathon via Tina Muir

The Race Process via Belle Lap

Let’s Talk About Rest Days via Blissful Lyss

That’s Not Fat: How Ryan Hall Gained 40lbs of Muscle via Runners World

Recovery From Any Race Like A Pro via Fit Bit Blog (Ryan Hall)

Check Out These #Running Inspired Links! Stories via @runnersworld @fitbit @tinamuir Click To Tweet

<a href=””>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>