Running in Central Park

It finally happened.

What would an out of work, bored, runner would do on hump day?

Go to NYC and run in Central Park (I’ve been wanting to do that for such a long time. Finally happened). CheckIMG_8222

Then spend the rest of the day in the city. And walk for over 17 miles, hit at least 3 vegan restaurants. Check

Not to mention, miss the 4:45 AM train and then find out the next train is sold out and the one after that has been cancelled, then buy an Acela ticket for about $300 and get to NYC half an hour earlier than the original train and get an early start to the awesomeness that followed. Check 

OK, full disclosure. I am preparing for my next certification and I was supposed to study all day. Anything to avoid studying.
Right?

I wanna say Acela was the highlight but it wasn’t. Freedom Tower or Brooklyn Bridge walkway? Nope. It was the Korean vegetarian restaurant Hangawi.

In the morning I got out of the train, walked straight to Terri, the cool vegan joint, then walked to Central Park, ran 4 miles, then walked to Penn station, got may bag out of the storage, walked to Hangawi, stuffed myself with vegan goodness, subway-ed to Brooklyn Bridge, walked to Brooklyn and back, went to the top of Freedom Tower, walked to Urban Vegan Kitchen, stuffed myself with more vegan goodness and cocktails, walked to Penn station, caught the train back to DC.

I definitely recommend these restaurants:

Hangawi – Korean, vegetarian, wonderful ambiance, delicious food. Most dishes are vegan.

Terri – Vegan fast food, quick service, tasty plates.

Urban Vegan Kitchen – As the name implies. Amazing food, pricey but totally worth it.

DC vegans got nothing on NYC vegans. le sigh….

When I’m not running… part II

My friend Michelle is NOT a runner. She started experimenting with running, like a year ago. She asked me things about running and I was helping her out with the things I know about running. Then she expressed her interest in running a marathon! Never say no to someone who whats to run a marathon. I said I will help her plan the race and that I will run it with her. We registered for Running For The Bay Marathon together.

That was before Fire & Ice.

I injured my back last Monday. Wish I had a great story behind it, like, it happened while I was saving a drowning dog or rescuing a kitten stuck on a tree etc. No, it was a stupid mistake involving a super heavy bag of kitty litter and early morning and lack of sleep etc.
Although Michelle may be fully capable of finishing the marathon by herself, I felt super shitty about not being able to keep my word. If it was just my stress fracture, I would run but with the back in jury… I can’t.

Fuck me, right?

I talked to Michelle and let her know that I won’t be running but I will be there at the start and finish to cheer her on. She said that means at least one of us will be at the finish!  lol-emoji
So I met her at the start, waved her off, on to the race. After hanging out with Scott (Michelle’s better half), we met her at mile 12-ish. We walked with her for a mile-ish. The worst part of the whole race is just up ahead and I offered to walk that part with her. She didn’t say no. At the end of that stretch, which was a 4.5 mile long bridge, I decided to finish the race with her!

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There were dolphins, pelicans, seagulls, butterflies and other runners along the course. Minutes after the race, I drove 6 hours, back to Atlanta to catch my flight.

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I was wearing my jeans and T shirt, you know, as a spectator, per original plan. BUT I had my running shoes on. Never leave the house without your running shoes. Because you never know…

Can I get a medal please?

The Myth of Humane Meat

Hu·mane / hyoomáyn / adj. 1. having what are considered the best qualities of human beings; kind, tender, merciful, sympathetic.

I attended the Future of Food Conference organized by The Humane Society of the United States on Friday and Saturday. There were some really good panels and some amazing vegan food. And Peter Singer. I “broke up” with Mr. Singer after I found out about his comments on bestiality. But after listening to him speak on Friday, I’m back on the wagon with him. I even got a picture with him.

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I had a decision to make about dinner after the conference. To go with my vegan friends or with my non-vegan friends, both groups equally being fun and entertaining. I went with my non-vegan friends, as a good vegan should be. 12-face-with-stuck-out-tongue-and-winking-eye They were ethically conscious eaters and talked about looking for certified humane label when buying their food. I commented that certified humane is a myth. They asked me if I can give them more details about my comment, hence this post. Go to one or all the links below to learn more about humane certification and the propaganda put out by the meat industry.

I was watching Easy  last night and the vegan in me was fully committed to the show from the beginning of the second episode. Then came the end of that episode. What a complete disappointment! Check it out yourself.

Go here to get a comprehensive look at humane myth in all of animal agriculture.
http://www.humanemyth.org/

Another excellent resource for all “humane” labeling lies
http://humanefacts.org/

An excellent article on “humane” farming
http://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-ethics/a-comprehensive-analysis-of-the-humane-farming-myth/

Undercover investigation at a whole foods “certified humane egg” farm
http://theirturn.net/humane-myth/

PETA Prime article on “humane meat”
http://prime.peta.org/2010/12/the-myth-of-humane-meat

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

– Maya Angelou

Recovery time? What recovery time?

Being a plant based runner is just right.

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I remember walking like a zombie, days after finishing the pregan marathons. My first vegan marathon however, the day after, I tied my shoe laces, kneeling down, and came up to a standing position, all by myself, LIKE A BOSS! Yes, recovery time (or not needing any) is the biggest difference I have experienced after going vegan.

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Meeting other vegan marathoners and listening to Rich Roll talk to elite vegan athletes – we all agree. there is no “recovery time”. It’s a thing.

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Why

I think I can do this. Not going to care whether I am losing weight or my fatness has changed.

I need to do this.

Why do I need to do this?

I have not always been vegan. In my “pregan” days, I have run 3 marathons and a couple of duathalons and a few long distance bike races and one RAGBRAI and countless other races. I was part of an elite group of athletes. We did awesome shit together. All of us, except me, were BIG meat eaters, some even paleo. When I became fully plant based, there were skeptics. I was warned by some well wishers how I will drop my performance and even become a non-athlete.

Oh, the horror.

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And then there is always the lack of … ugh… protein. 9725c7cac72b47e5b82d55683bf1e7cc230f190916e138f38900c1a46cd0584c

Vegan. I had to do it. If I never race again, that’s ok. But animals rights is first in my life. I took more than a year off from “athleting”, also due to a diagnosis as being diabetic (lovely, thanks mom for this gift that keeps on giving).

Diabetic athlete – an endurance athlete that is – does not exist. More on that story later.

I can see clearly now…..

Scotch makes things better

As I was sipping my 4th Glenfiddich 12 from the tiny airline bottle (I pretend I am a giant whenever i hold those bottles), it hit me. What the fuck am I doing? I am supposed to run a full, trail marathon in 7 days.

Why am I in an airplane, drinking Scotch? distance

I made a new friend, Ellen K, who was introduced to me as a crazy (in a very admirable way) person on Christmas eve, 2015. One of the first things she asked me to do was to go check this site out (Fire & Ice). I did, that night, and thought – whoa! I must do this!

Off to a vegan yoga retreat 2 days later, where I was surrounded by beautiful ladies, I run my big mouth, announcing my plans to run 250 KM, in 6 days, with all the required living supplies on my back, in the northern part of Iceland (yeah, the country) through unbelievably tough terrains that includes a (active)volcano.

Fuck! Now I have to do it! loudly-crying-face

Back on mainland, signed up for core training with a personal trainer, and a nutrition consultant, in a sad attempt to minimize the (likely)scenario of me running to my death in Iceland.

4 months later, I have not lost a single pound, my body fat % is the same as when I started the training and my gut still enters a room a couple of seconds before my body. I needed to do something to break out of the rut. What do we, as “westerners” do?

Go to India. IMG_2326 (3)

Now you know why.

I did not run that marathon.

But I am running that multi-stage ultra in Iceland, late summer 2016. Hence this long story.