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!

Marathon Training [05/09-05/15]

What an amazing week it has been in terms of running, racing and having a community.

This morning at around midnight, I returned from Ragnar Cape Cod completing 200 miles and 3 legs around the coast of Maine with my racing team, Strong Hearts Vegan Power.

The results are in and my team finished 5th with a time of 23:15 unofficial. It was quite a weekend!

I start tapering for the marathon today and quite honestly, I’m so sore and tired, it will be an easy first few days to scale back. Before I jump ahead to that, I want to first look back on my training this past week.

Training Log

Monday: Easy Run

8.4 Miles, 7:18 pace

After running a faster 13 miles on Sunday, I took it easy Monday and circled the parks. I saw a hot air balloon land in the inlet by the lake. Those things are so big!

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Tuesday: MP work

12.2 miles, paces ranging from 8:34-6:40

I had to work early this morning so I ran a bit on the treadmill. I am not going over MP again for a workout outside of Ragnar, so this felt ok although I was tired. Closing Monday evening and then waking up early is a struggle, but I’m happy to have gotten this in.

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Wednesday: Group Run

13.6 miles, 7:45 average pace

Another great group run. It was still 40 degrees when we started, but I wore shorts anyway. I think my legs are fine for colder temps, but gloves are a necessity. I didn’t run long like usual because I don’t really think it would provide me any benefit. I also had to work at 9AM, so I chose breakfast over more mileage.

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Thursday: Longer Run

AM: 16 miles, 7:27 average pace

Today was slope day and also the night I head to Cape Cod. I felt good despite some fatigue in my legs. Cornell campus smelled terribly of alcohol for 8:30 in the morning. Those kids are ready for summer

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PM: 6.3 miles, 50 minutes

I needed to wake myself up before driving to Cape Cod. This also helped loosen my legs up for the drive. It felt good.

Friday: RAGNAR!

I’ll post a recap of this later this week. My legs in total accumulated to 22 miles. My fastest mile was 5:56 and I think my slowest was probably 7:30ish. It was grand!

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My last peak week of training me around 90 miles. It’s taper time!

What does the last week of my marathon training look like? Check it out! It's taper time!!! Click To Tweet

I am linking up with Meg for Week In Review! Head over there for more weekly recaps!

Have you ever done a relay race?

What is the most unique thing you’ve ever smelled on a run?

Running Links [05/14/2016]

Good morning everyone! I am essentially dead to the world this morning (or hopefully) and sleeping in my bed. After a long weekend at Ragnar Cape Cod, I need at least part of Sunday to recoup.

I imagine I’ll fill you in on the race sometime this week, but check out my Instagram (on the side bar) for tons of great pictures with all the wonderful people I don’t see enough. I really am blessed to have this community and feel so loved. As for links this week, my favorite is the one from Salty Running about marathon taper guilt. I will be dealing with that for the next two weeks and I know it’s going to be a hard road.

Another article I enjoyed was an interview with Phoebe Wright. That girl is DA BOMB! I wish she was my best friend. If you don’t follow her on Twitter, that is a mistake. She is hysterical, candid and speaks the truth. She even writes about her own adventures and thoughts on her blog. Check that out as well.

Well, that’s it for me right now. Have a great day!

Running Links

Interview With Phoebe Wright via Belle Lap

Working Out Shouldn’t Hurt via Nia Shanks

Marathon Taper Guilt via Salty Running

What To Do When You Miss A Workout via Hungry Runner Girl

Lessons my XC and Track Coaches Have Taught Me via A Run Around Life

Why Attention To Times Is Killing Our Sport via Science of Running

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