What happened to March…?

It’s recently been brought to my attention that my posts have been lacking…not just once, but twice in the last 2 weeks. All right already. I had no idea my updates were in such high demand!

But seriously…it’s been since the beginning of March, and I’ve been busy nearly every weekend. So here’s the short of it…no time for the long version.
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March 9th was the Race Director’s Race for Forget the PR at Mohican. I ran the 50k option with my friend Amy, and her husband Scott. I love Mohican, and only slightly less after this weekend…kidding! Recent snow and ice had caused some of the trails to be closed this early in the season…no Little Lyons Falls, and no hand over hand climb.

Whomp, whomp.

The sadist awesome Race Director Rob Powell had a better plan for us. We would run two 25k loops, and ascend Big Ass Hill twice. Thanks Rob! My first BA Hill experience, and I’d get to do it twice in one day. What a blessing. He’s so thoughtful, isn’t he?

The additional 4 inches of snow that fell overnight actually prevented the trails from getting too muddy…on the first loop anyway. It was cold, so we kept moving the best we could. Amy was training for Umstead (her first 100mi…congrats by the way!) so we kept the pace slow and easy. I didn’t mind at all. Most of my training had been on the treadmill, and I was still having nightmares about my last run at Mohican (remember the hulk hand?). No falling allowed!
Plus, Amy knew the course…and although getting lost in the woods is appealing to me, this was not the day for it. We followed the footprints for the most part, until the snow had melted and we were on our own, save a few flags. We only had one issue…the snow covered a creek bed on loop one, and it looked completely different on loop two. But we made it! All 50k and the three of us earned this sweet buckle. (Congrats to Scott on his impromptu first 50k!)

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My Skora Forms worked out just fine in both the snow and mud…but I barely had the time to dust them off before my next event:
Seamus O’Possum 30km Footrace at Delaware State Park. Stay tuned!

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Race Week!

Is it Spring yet? Nope! It snowed this past weekend (AGAIN!), and I’m thoroughly over Winter.
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I’ve spent countless hours on the treadmill over the last two months, and it’s about time for an update now that I’m headed into race season. Race season? THAT’S going to be ugly! This winter has been rough for much of the country, and Ohio was no exception. I used to not-so-lovingly call that torture device in my basement a dreadmill. No more! I love that thing. Without it, I’d be in trouble! My job is also keeping me pretty busy and active. So much to be thankful for!

As you may (or may not) recall, I’m keeping a paper log this year. No fancy online records, though I have been using my watch or phone to record some of these. I’ve really cut down on how much I talk about running online as well, save an occasional post when I think it might motivate others and myself! It’s been long enough…so here it comes…stop reading now if you don’t care, or don’t want to know just how boring my life really is. 20140303-191258.jpg
By the numbers (for the nerds):
January 2014
Running: 130.44mi
Walking: 65.3mi
Total: 195.74mi

February 2014
Running: 134.66mi
Walking: 63mi
Total: 197.66mi

To some, that might not look like much. To others, it’s a lot! I wasn’t sure either way, so I looked up the numbers for January and February 2013. 137.96 and 108.97 respectively, running and walking combined. Sounds good!

This weekend I’m running my first “race” of 2014. A 50k at Mohican. It’s not a timed race, so I’m not nervous at all. Maybe I should be? Nah!

On April 12th, I will have the pleasure of volunteering at a great race…Forget the PR 25k & 50k. You can find the link on my Need a place to race? page. 20140303-191457.jpg
As a favor to his volunteers, the RD holds a Volunteers’ Race before the event, so we can all run the course, earn our shirts and get a buckle. It helps him out as well…to point out any potential issues the trail may have encountered over the harsh winter. Plus, we get lost so on race day you won’t have to! Isn’t that nice!

I plan to run that day with another friend I’ve really missed seeing this winter. I don’t think we’ve run together at all since October. Good thing we’ll have a lot of time to catch up.

I only have one concern: Big Ass Hill…x2! Where is the setting on the treadmill for this? 20140303-191504.jpg

Oh well…Sunday is fast approaching, and there’s nothing I can do about it now. Happy trails!

Healthy Habits

Can you believe it? It’s March? When did that happen?

Spring is almost here…or it would be, if I didn’t live in Ohio. But alas, it’s March 1st, and we’re expecting a huge snowstorm tonight into tomorrow. Have I mentioned I despise hate tolerate love snow? No? Right…because I don’t! Snow is pretty when all you have to do is cuddle by a fire with a cup of tea and a good book. Otherwise, I’d just as soon not have it at all.

Anyway…
I’ve been busy. Work, run, sleep. Repeat. Busy, but not doing a whole lot. I’ve also been making some pretty big changes in my life, and I’m terrified excited about them. Some you’ll hear about further down the trail, as they are both private and still fresh enough to have me a little on edge. But let’s talk about the new healthy habits I’ve picked up.
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Writing. Keeping a consistent writing schedule has always been difficult for me. I have a stack of product and company reviews I need to write, and that all feels like work. The problem is I love to write, and once I get going, I can feel the words flying onto the page with rapid force (hence this post). But it can’t feel like work. I started another writing project last week, a journal of sorts, that I may publish in the future. It’s related to that sensitive topic (Please forgive my cryptic prose. I’m not ready to be so exposed.) The point is I’ve been writing, every day for a week, in fact. To my surprise, it’s been quite easy to set aside ten minutes each day to write. Isn’t it amazing how, when there’s no agenda, we can enjoy the things we once loved? That is something I hope to apply to other areas of my life, and hopefully my running. I’m still going to journal every day with that project, but my goal is to post something here on days I don’t work. Some days it won’t be much, and I’ll try to work in those product reviews over the next few months.
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Nutrition. I’m continuing with my whole food plant-based diet, but just like anything, it needs a tune up. My job has made it easier by providing tons of healthy, vegan options, but, after spending a day at a grocery store, the last thing I want to do is shop. My healthy habit for March sounds easy. I’m going to start each day with 20oz of clean water. First, I’ve been waking with migraines lately, and some of that has to do with hydration, or lack thereof. I can’t control the weather, specifically the barometric pressure…trust me, I would if I could…so I’ll start with water. Second, I’m hoping extra hydration will help curb some of my appetite issues, including my new-found sweet tooth. It’s worth a shot. Sounds easy, right? Drink up!

So that’s it! I’ll have a running post up in the next few days as racing season starts up soon. I’m tapering (read: keeping my fingers crossed) this week for a 50k next weekend. That’s going to hurt a bit. Better save that tale for next time.

What healthy habits are you starting this month? Let’s hear them!

Life goes on…

Real life change isn’t glamorous.
It isn’t sexy.
No one is writing a television show about it…unless you’re some famous person who has fallen off the wagon for the umpteenth time.
And even then, half of the audience is watching only to see you fail.

Ahh…”reality” television. That’s entertainment? Please.

I’ll admit, I haven’t watched television in over a year. I don’t miss it. Not at all. But that’s a whole other topic.

You are not going to see my life featured in a season of the Biggest Loser, or an episode of Extreme Home Makeover. I don’t have a trainer, a hair stylist, a makeup artist, and a budget.

Real change isn’t that easy.
It hurts. It seems impossible. It doesn’t have a fairytale ending and a gorgeous prince.
Wouldn’t that be nice? Probably not….I guarantee that prince cares more about his hair than my goals and aspirations anyway.

What’s this post about?

Some of you may have read on Facebook where I mentioned stepping away for a while. You also may have noticed that I’m “around,” just not actively posting. There’s a reason. I’m changing me. It has nothing to do with you, or anyone else. It is selfishly only about me. I mentioned in my last post a book I want to talk about…and I still do. As soon as I’m done working through my steps, I will. And this is all part of that.

I often gather ideas on long runs, recalling bits and pieces of podcasts I’ve heard and books I’ve read. Here’s my most recent insight:

Rewrite your story.
Write it from here, letting go of the parts of your past that don’t contribute to the story.
What would a person who lived the story you write, do?
Do it. Forget the rest.

So I’m writing. And doing. But the story is unfinished, and it makes me uneasy.

I’ve always thought if you feel a lot of resistance toward something, it’s worth exploring. Fear of something new is typically a sign of change that needs to happen. I’m not suggesting you run, headfirst, towards your fears. We’re afraid of bears for a reason. Bears will kill you. Maybe think about the source of that resistance. Walk cautiously towards it. Live in that awkward space until it feels less uncomfortable. Then move ahead.

Just try it…will you?

Absence makes the heart grow lonely

Hi. Remember me? It’s quite possible you don’t…I’ve been gone a while.

What happened? Life. Actually not that much, but I haven’t had the desire, or frankly the time, to sit down and write. It didn’t seem that long to me. But I guess it has been a few months. Eek!

People have been asking…are you still running? What’s your next race? How’s your training going?

I’ve been hesitant to answer those questions. No one wants to hear me ramble on about myself. Right? Snore….

But maybe I should explain why I stopped writing. Hopefully this will give you some insight, and where the blog is headed this year. You might even pick up some hints on where I’m headed.

First, yes. I’m still running. That is not likely to change. Not ever. Fingers crossed. My perspective on running, specifically racing, has changed a bit. And a lot of that has been related to my transition to ultra. I made some pretty big changes to my professional and personal life recently, and that has influenced me as well.

But why? First, in October of 2013, I switched to a 100% plant-based diet. Yes…I’m a vegan…of sorts. I’ve heard all the jokes…

How do you figure out if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

Consider this your notice! I’ll use the term “plant-based” more often though, because I consider “vegan” to be an ethical decision. Suffice it to say, I don’t eat meat, eggs, and dairy. Outside of that, I’m not making any statements.

Shortly after, I started working in the food service department of a healthy supermarket. This was a great fit for me, and my new diet. Not only do I have access to great food choices, but I have the opportunity to talk to others, in person, about how food changed my life. It’s a great thing! The bad thing is work consumed most of the time I used to use for writing…and running…and sleeping!

And we’re back to running…
I decided at the end of last year that I would train for (mostly) trail runs this year. My heart is in the woods, and I want to spend as much time there as possible. I’m currently training for a few popular Ohio races, and training is going really well. But you’re not going to find me rambling on about training runs and mile splits. I’m not going to tell you how many miles I ran last week. Trust me, you don’t really want to know. If you follow me on twitter, you might see me talk about a key workout here and there, or my progress in some challenges I have with friends. I’m taking a much more “zen” approach this year, starting with my running log. It’s paper, and I made it. That feels natural to me, more than any electronic device strapped to my wrist, or data floating around the interwebs. That’s what I’m going for. Natural. (Stay tuned for more of this, and a great book recommendation if you’re interested in that approach.)

Ironically, I will be using one piece of technology a whole lot more. It’s one many runners dread, myself included.

The treadmill.

I know…I said I wanted more trail running. The truth is I am a single working parent with young kids. I can’t explain how hard it is to run outside these days. I’m not afraid of cold weather, but when my only available training time comes in the middle of the night while kids are sleeping, you do what you have to do.

Long hours on the treadmill do not conjure the stories blogs are made of. More snoring! But there is another reason for my departure from writing. A friend of mine recently told me something that has weighed heavily on my mind. It went something like this:

A great runner doesn’t have to talk about their accomplishments. Others will do it for them.

So true. There are many runners I “brag” about. I’m honored to call some of them friends. But upon meeting them, you’d never know they were runners (unless that meeting is on a trail!). You won’t hear from them how they faired in their last race, what their 50/100mi PR is, or about that time they qualified for Boston. Some of their coworkers don’t even know they run! You will hear about it…from others who look up to them. That is something to which I aspire. Running is something I do, but it doesn’t define me. But I’m torn. I don’t want to let down those that find inspiration in these posts. That is my sole goal…to show others that with hard work and determination you can do anything. If I can, anyone can.
It’s hard to explain, but I’m going to keep my training a little more private. Not because it’s some big secret that I wouldn’t share willingly with everyone. (I love talking about running.) I want to be known for the person I am, not some statistics on a web page. I’m going to call it the “ultra mindset,” but it’s not indicative of all ultra runners. Some of the runners who have been around the block a few times will understand what I mean. It’s not always about the competition. Sometimes it’s enough to just be. There will be more about this in future posts as well.

The focus of my blog is going to change over the next few weeks, and I hope you’ll bear with me. I will be discussing some new brand partnerships I’ve established, and reviewing some products I endorse. They’ll be on separate tabs with links…fingers crossed. I also will post race recaps for the big stuff. Expect the first installment in March.

I want to share more, but we have time for that. Because the truth is I miss writing. It’s cathartic for me, but it’s also the way I interact with the world. And I’ve been lonely without it. Until then…be well.

Momma was wrong…always Run With Scissors!

I knew when I signed up for this race, it was only 5 weeks after North Coast. I knew that meant I didn’t have time to train specifically for a trail double marathon. I knew I’d have to rely on the base I had built, and just keep my fingers crossed that I didn’t get hurt. I’d have to go out on a limb. I’d need faith. I asked friends, and they all assured me it would be ok. I wasn’t looking to race the double, only finish. I could do that. Oh my…what have I done?

Run With Scissors, hosted in part by Medina County Road Runners, had made some changes to their course and events this year. And though I hadn’t run in years past, I heard only positive comments from long-time participants. In 2013, the event offered half marathon, full marathon, and double marathon options to runners, all contained within the trails of Hinckley Reservation, a Cleveland MetroPark just West of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 20131103-182717.jpg

The course itself was 13.1 miles, and runners would complete 1, 2, or 4 loops respectively. Each participant is given a pair of scissors to carry while running, fulfilling that childhood dream that your mother forbid.

Why scissors? Books were strategically placed in remote areas of the course and you had to cut a page from the book to prove you ran a section. At each aid station you’d turn the page in, grab some snacks, and move to the next section.
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Held the last weekend in October, costumes are encouraged, and foliage is at it’s peak in Ohio. All proceeds from the event go to charity…the event literally starts with nothing every year. As with the other Ohio trail and ultra races I’ve participated in, the volunteers were top notch and aid stations were well stocked Run with Scissors was no exception! It is only because people travel far and wide to volunteer that the race happens at all. The race energy was fantastic, and I hope to make it a regular part of my schedule.

So here’s my recap:

I woke up on Saturday and I didn’t want to run. I thought it was just the anxiety hitting me, but it was more than that. This was supposed to be a fun race. I had signed up for two reasons. First, my friend Mark had highly recommended it. Second, I wanted a backup race in case North Coast went badly. But it didn’t. So there was no pressure at all. Maybe I need a little pressure. I don’t know…

I decided to ride up with my friends, always knowing I didn’t have to start. Or I could run the half and call it. Same thing with the marathon. You see, at this race you can drop to a lower distance after the event starts. But start the next loop and you have to finish it, or take the DNF. So that became my plan. Run one loop…or two, and decide. Realize I knew the whole time that once I started, I would finish all four loops. Anything short of leaving in an ambulance and I would finish.

We picked up our packets on Saturday afternoon on the way to a friend’s house where we spent the night. The most important item in that bag? Scissors! Thank goodness they were safety scissors, because I have a propensity for tripping! (Amazingly, I only tripped once, and didn’t fall…just caught my toe on some air!)

I slept well, to my surprise, and got to the race start without incident (Thanks Chad and Mike!). After a quick safety brief…and “pep talk”…we were off. It was pitch black at 6am, and I was happy to have a few others around me for the start. I met Christen that morning, but quickly lost track of her. And that wasn’t the only thing I lost! Within the first two miles, I lost the trail. Twice. It was awesome! No really. It was. I was with a group of 4 or 5, and we missed a major turn in the dark. Sometime during the first wave of folks, an arrow was likely bumped and landed face down. That meant reflectors weren’t…well…reflecting. I knew something was wrong when we ended up in the same place a mile later. Luckily the trail we did take looped us back on the course. It could have been much worse! We picked up some bonus mileage here, but the group I was with was in good spirits, and we laughed it off.

There were two aid stations on the course (4.5ish and 8.5ish) plus the start/finish area at 13.1…ish. It was already starting to lighten up when we reached the first aid station, and I was happy to see familiar faces (Thanks Dan, Steve, Angela, and Anne!). At this point I caught up with Amy (she had done some bonus mileage as well!) and I was happy for the company. We pushed through the aid station quickly, and kept going.

Up until this point, I had no idea where we were. This trail was all new to me, but I did know there was a large lake we had to circle coming up, and then “the Ledges”…whatever that meant. The lake was gorgeous…nice fairly flat trail, a refreshing change from the up and down of the first section. The Ledges came just after the second aid station, and I didn’t know what to expect. We hiked up a tough hill, and then traversed the rocky section that covered the next few miles.20131103-181958.jpg Although there were small runnable sections, most was not. So we ate, and walked until we hit the grass and road sections. I didn’t like them now, but later (in the dark) I would really appreciate the sure footing.

The final trail section wasn’t too technical, just some small gravel, and the third water crossing. Yes…12 crossings for the double folks! Amy and I made it back to cabin, shed our headlamps and started loop 2. I guess I’m in for at least the full!

Loop 2 was exciting. We got to see the first section in daylight, and crossed paths with the marathoners and later the half marathoners. Occasionally people would ask us as they passed “Full or half?” and we could shout “Double!” in response. I’ll admit, it felt pretty awesome to say!

When we got to the lake, we noticed the paddle boats resting up against the bank. We tried to convince a few others in our group to cross the lake rather than circling it, and they “promised” we would on the next loop. In an effort to NOT be banned from Hinckley, and possible incarceration, we decided against it. But it didn’t mean we didn’t consider it every loop after that. It’s good enough for Western States, right?

The highlight of this loop is possibly my favorite moment of the race. When we reached the road section towards the end of the loop, it was really warming up. We slowed down to an easy jog, and I took advantage of the stable surface to remove my long sleeve top, leaving only a tank. Out of nowhere, Amy and I hear a man’s voice “beat boxing” a risqué tune. You know the one… I turn to find, who else, but Jay Smithberger encouraging me. Oh Jay…you so made my day. Thank you and congrats on another fantastic performance.

Amy and I planned to change socks and shoes after that loop , which worked out great since I landed with two feet in the creek a mile from the cabin. With a marathon complete, we had a big decision…we’d have to complete two more laps to the next distance. We’re doing it!

The start of loop 3 wasn’t that exciting. I felt great, and talked Amy’s ear off as much as possible. She probably hates me by now. (Note: I saw her today, one week later, and she hugged me…so I guess we’re good!) Around mile 34, we started laughing. At everything. I call these the “silly miles.” It’s kind of like being punch drunk, after staying up all night…yeah. And it couldn’t come at a worse time…the Ledges.
First we saw this (avert your eyes if you’re offended by…whatever this is):20131103-182608.jpg I swear we didn’t do it, but come on…that is funny.

Then there was this one crevice you had to jump across, or fall 50ft…possibly to your death! Ok…probably not death. Maybe just maimed at the bottom of the cliff. Amy “joked” about falling, and I offered to shoot a movie of it with my phone. When she got stuck she could amputate her own arm to survive with the only sort-of-sharp item we had…safety scissors! I was low on battery life though…so she’d have to make it quick! See? Silly.

And the last loop. We picked up headlamps again, and switched to warm hats and gloves. I didn’t want to be out past dark, but I was glad to have a buddy. I still felt great, and was ready to rock that last loop out. Roy shoved us on and warned us we had to finish or take the DNF. Got it chief!

Shortly before getting to aid station 1, my legs started to tighten up. Amy needed to walk more, and I needed to run, but I had no plans to leave her. We had gotten this far together, and I was having a great time. I took the short out and back section before the aid station to really stretch my legs…and I ran hard, for the first time all day. It. Felt. Great! I made the turn back expecting to see Amy, but I didn’t. I was worried. She had stopped on the way out and called it a day. I was crushed. I can’t explain the emotional roller coaster that a race this long can be anyway. But this had me reeling. I could do it without her…but I didn’t want to. And I cried. I let myself take a 2 minute tantrum, and then I had to go. It was getting dark. It was just me. Have I mentioned that I’m both afraid of heights and the dark? How about heights IN the dark? EEK!

A short while later, I passed Kaitlyn on an out and back I knew she was the only runner behind me…everyone else had finished or dropped. I told her it was just the two of us now, and she was still positive and smiling. During the last 9 miles I both wanted her to catch me, and keep her at bay. I didn’t mind being the last finisher, but it motivated me to keep going. With daylight fading, I ran the next section as hard as I could. My stride really opened up, and I felt like I was flying. Around the lake, grabbed a page and tore into the aid station. They were expecting me…but not yet. They refilled my water, and I left. I had to get over the ledges before dark. I took a second to enjoy a gorgeous sunset though the trees. If I hadn’t run with Amy, I might have missed this entirely. Thanks girl!
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I leapt over the crevice one last time and made it down off the rocks. I got to the field and road section and didn’t need my light with the open sky. A car pulled up behind me and I panicked…but it was the local police just checking on me. Yup…still running hard. Almost there.

I had to use my lamp for the last woods section…luckily it was fairly straight and wide. It seemed like it took forever, though it was probably a mile to the creek, and another mile to the cabin. I was scared, and refused to look into the woods…I didn’t want to know about all the eyes watching me. Finally I hear the road! The cabin! There was Roy, loading cones into the pickup at the end of the driveway. I turned in and he followed me up, honking his horn to let them know I had arrived. I did it. And that last loop was indeed my fastest all day!

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Of the 66 (I think) people registered for the double, 43 finished. That included 8 women. The other women on that list include some fantastic runners: multiple 100M finishers, women I look up to, and aspire to be. And how funny…this race doesn’t give AG awards, and seeing as how the 1st place woman came from my AG, that would make me the 1st place Woman 39&under. Not bad for “not racing.” I’ll (not) take that! 20131103-181932.jpg

My Food Journey…The Middle Miles

Great. You’re still here. Let’s continue.

So I’m a vegetarian. This was pretty easy for me…and I kept it up for five years. Granted, at the start, I wasn’t the best at it…I did what most people do: I subbed meaty things for fake meaty things and ate the same way I always did.

Note: I understand that many people become vegetarian or vegan because of the cruel way animals raised for food are treated. I understand and respect that position. This didn’t play into my initial decision at all. Sure…I love animals. Sure I wish they could all be treated nicely. I didn’t stop eating them because they weren’t though. Over the years, my opinion of this has changed. I’m still not an activist, and I don’t ever plan on becoming one. But I am more sympathetic to the animal rights cause. Maybe it’s because I’ve just been more exposed to the facts and people who are more involved. I’m not sure. It is true that those people you surround yourself will influence you.

As you read in my last post, I started running again. First that 5k, and then a Half Marathon later that year with Team and Training. 20131028-150122.jpg
I was satisfied at that distance…for a time. I ran the half a few more times, and in 2011, I toed the line at my first marathon…crazy. 20131028-150307.jpg
I was still eating my mostly healthy vegetarian diet, which included eggs, milk, and cheese. Occasionally I’d crave a good meatball like my Grandma used to make, but most of the time I didn’t miss meat. Not even bacon.

My weight hovered around 150 lbs…my Army weight. I had just trained for and ran a successful marathon. Maybe this was my “natural weight.” Where I should be. I was in the best shape of my life (so far), but I wanted more. Becoming a vegetarian was never about losing weight for me…it still isn’t. Honestly, neither was running. I just wanted to feel good. To be my best “me.” And I wasn’t…not yet.

I ran another marathon in the spring of 2012, though I had a nagging injury. If the race didn’t include a trip to see my parents in Utah and the fundraising for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, I might not have done it all. But I did. The race brought it’s own challenges, but I didn’t feel any better. And I knew the problem was still my diet…but I was in denial.

It was soon after that I found ultra. None of my friends at the time were doing anything like this. (Oddly enough, most of my friends now are! Surround yourself with greatness, right?) And that’s when healthy eating really started making an impact. You mean I don’t have to count calories? Or suck down those nasty gel things? I can eat real food while I’m running? No way! Trust me…it’s true.

In 2012, in addition to 2 marathons and countless shorter races, I ran my first trail race…a 60K ultramarathon. I had no idea what I was doing.

All I knew was this: Keep drinking water, keep eating, keep going!

That was my whole plan. And it worked. I left that race, one of only a few finishers and with a First Place AG award. What? A month later I ran the Columbus Marathon for a second time, with a 27min PR. Hmm…maybe there’s something to the healthy eating thing after all. 20131028-153144.jpg
What changed? I started reading food labels. Granted, in the beginning this was time consuming. I quickly learned which products were worth buying, and which things I was better off making myself. I experimented with making my own bread, tomato sauce and salsa. And then I started buying more things that didn’t come with labels…namely a lot of fresh produce. Whole foods. That was the key. I didn’t own a scale (I still don’t), but my clothes started feeling looser. I went to the store where I always get my jeans. Instead of the size 8s I always bought, I could comfortably fit in a size 4. A 4? I didn’t wear a 4 in high school! I took my son to the doctor shortly after that, and stepped on their scale. 135lbs. I was shocked. I wasn’t trying to lose weight. It was a natural result of treating my body well. I could get used to this!

To finish out the season, I took on the Goofy Challenge in January of this year. You can read about in an earlier post. I ran both the half and full marathon while eating real food, and felt fantastic after each. 20131028-151801.jpg
So is that the end of the story? Not exactly. I still wanted more. I read about many vegan athletes and wondered about how much influence their diet had on their performance. Then I quickly dismissed the thought. I’m Italian. I LOVE cheese. I can do without eggs and milk, but cheese? That would be torture. Or would it? I guess you’ll have to wait and see…