Racing has certainly done a 180 on me this fall. I originally had plans to do a few races leading up to JFK in November as training runs, but the universe had a different direction for me to take.

Starting with Escarpment, where I was very humbled and shaken, manifesting into a nerve issue in my butt at Green Lakes and then travelling to my foot, running this past few weeks has been inconsistent, then non-existent as I work to heal my foot.

It’s getting better, but not at where it should be right now. I understand that and realize that it’s not my fault per se, but another step in my running journey.

I received word this morning that I did not get off from work on the Saturday of the Watergap 50K. The gym I work at part time is small and there are only 4 employees. Two of them have families and the other has a massaging business taking precedence on the weekends. I simply did not find coverage.

Taking this as a sign, rather than push it and try to force another employee to give up their weekend, I am not going to do the race. I have not run in a week and don’t like betting on “being able to run” in a certain period of time. This includes JFK. I continue to see improvements in my foot, but if it’s not better by then, of course I am not going to race it.

Last week was very emotional as I processed facing yet another training setback. I felt like a failure yet again. It took some time and a lot of talking with my friends and other runners, but I have come out of the anger phase of injury. I am simply looking to move forward.

Most people ask what I’m doing different this time, so here is the biggest change…one that is still very hard for me, and one that I’m not sure will be forever, but needed right now.

I have started eating some animal products again.

It’s now out there. I’ve only confided in a few people, and they can see how upset I’ve been over this. They have been nothing but supportive in whatever I choose and I thank God for them.

How did I get here one might ask? After Green Lakes, I was upset with how that went, but then also noticed that even with resting after that, I was still tired, oddly off balance and just in a weird zone. I shrugged it off, and just rested more. However, I could not ignore the symptoms I was having. I say symptoms, not cravings. I was not craving meat, eggs or dairy.

I looked up what I was experiencing and there it was, classic B12 deficiency. I looked at my Inside Tracker panel, and was reminded that I was low in that nutrient back in April when I was tested. The first 3 years I was vegan, I didn’t know about supplementing and this past year, if I get busy or work early, I forget to take my vitamins.

Nothing I can do about that now, except change what I am doing thus forward.

So, I have started incorporating small amount of animal products, a huge dose b12 supplement and more balance work in my training. I’m thinking of this period as a supplement for my body. I just want to get those levels up.

What this time is not: this is not me renouncing my veganism. I still believe it is important to try to eat as close to a vegan diet for the animals, the planet and for your health. I think I should have made more sure to take a b12 supplement, especially because I am an athlete. I am not “breaking vegan” and am not advocating anyone healthy do so. I am doing this for my body and my health.

I am not going to overthink this any longer. I have been in emotional distress the past week over this and can no longer live in that state of mind. I’m following what my body is telling me it needs.

If anyone has any questions, please email me and I can try to answer.


15 thoughts on “Signs”

  1. You are much better at reading – or I guess, listening to – signs than I am. And for that I have eternal respect. I know this must be a tough thing for you to do – to have decided and to then make it public. But you know what your body needs. You rock girl. You inspire me to make the right decisions for myself, too.

  2. I love you and how mindful and thoughtful you are Ellie; I know that you are totally considerate and kind especially as someone who is vegan. There is no judgment coming from me here, and I know you are making the best decision to take care of your body. I totally agree with Cora; I’m thankful you’re doing what is right for you! Thank God for those different symptoms in our bodies that tell us what we need.

  3. I recently went from being vegan to being vegetarian (I have been pescetarian from ages 13-18 and then vegan from ages 18-21) because I am living abroad with a host family and don’t have control over my food and it has been SO freeing. I still eat mostly vegan food and I HATE the way animals are mass produced in the U.S. but I don’t think “all or nothing” is necessary. Plus, I could use a boost on my hormone health, and eggs/dairy feel so nourishing. Don’t feel bad about taking care of yourself!!!!! Best of luck

  4. I know this was not easy for you Ellie, but I think you’re 100% right in considering your health in this matter. When it comes down to it, listening to your body and feeding it what feels good is most important. I’m sure there will be people on both sides of this, but I’m on the side of nurturing your body for the future.

  5. i know that must have been a tough decision ellie, but i also know that you doing what’s best for your body is crucial in the long run. sending love and comfort during this time <3

  6. I’m proud of you for making this decision. I was never vegan, but did find that increasing my calories and expanding my diet reduced recurrent injury greatly (as did putting on weight, which came naturally with the caloric increase). I went from injury after injury, to not having been injured for five years now! (knock on wood). I attribute it entirely to an increase in calories, especially fat and protein, and to putting on a bit more padding. My mileage didn’t change (I was actually able to increase mileage), and my PRs improved. Well, my mileage is nonexistent now because I’m 9 and a half months pregnant 😉 but prior to that it didn’t.
    Being a vegan is admirable, but honestly, so is being able to take care of one’s body. We only get one!

    1. Thank you for this encouraging comment. I think the biggest thing was shedding the vegan label. At first I think being in a certain “group” can be great for morale for any change, but after a while it can turn into something, eh, not that great. I still feel very ethically inclined toward a plant based diet, and think that is appropriate for me. However I was over the community, the dogma and other things that just hindered my health.
      Wait…YOU’RE 9.5 MONTHS PREGO?!?!?!?! PUSH IT OUT GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAY TO GO!

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