My Jouney to the Boston Marathon
My best friend looks at me and says, “Ok are you ready to go?” I reach for the last few French fries and dunk them in the honey mustard sauce and say, “almost I have a few fries left”. After I shake out the remaining of the crumbs from the French fry box hoping to get the last little crunchy bite which could not be left behind I say, “Ok let’s go”. We grab our empty burger and fry containers and head out the door but not before refilling our soda cups with some refreshing Mountain Dew for the ride. I search through my purse for my Marlboro cigarettes before we even get through the door and quickly light one up. Jump in my car while still puffing on cigarette and drive off discussing what kind of pizza we were going to order for dinner.
This was about 10 years ago and if anyone told me back then that I would be running the Boston Marathon today I would have laughed at them and said, “What’s a marathon.” Wait what? 26.2 miles… I don’t even want to drive that far!” I wish I had a dime for every time I have heard that phrase now. Although I was never overweight, I was an unhealthy skinny. This was my lifestyle back in my 30’s and I smoked for 22 years and ate convenient easy processed food most of the time. If I was cooking it was some kind of meat and boxed add water and microwave meal. I didn’t know any better. I took life for granted and as many other people didn’t think about the consequences of this lifestyle to not only me but the animals and the environment.
Over the years I have learned a great deal in my journey as a vegan and an athlete. In the beginning I was what you would call a junk food vegan. I indulged in chocolatey fudgy creamy peanut buttery brownies, baked banana breads and cakes ate chips and frozen burgers and other “fake meats”. As I quickly learned along with a few extra pounds, this was not the road to health. I started to learn how to cook my own meals from scratch, buying tons of books and gathering recipes on the computer. Then throughout all my research I started learning different diets or the latest and greatest fad diet. Yup even vegans have fad diets that claim to be the best for certain goals.
First, was the popular 80/10/10 diet which is mostly carbs and the rest protein and fats. Most carbs came from pasta, bread, and fruit. Then there was the fruitarian diet which was all fruit except dinner at night that was mostly salads, soups and other veggie dishes. I became the banana addict filling my carriage at the store with 100 bananas. Then I discovered the power of juicing, I juiced every fruit and veggie out there but, that quickly began to empty my bank account. Oh then there was the raw diet which only lasted a short few weeks, I simply liked cooked foods. Of course there was organic and growing my own wheat grass (which I still love to do). I have learned how to track macros for certain events I am doing and have learned so much from my trainers, my athletic friends and many resources. Sometimes it worked and sometimes the only thing it did was cause me to buy a lot of air fresheners. Today I have learned a balance between what foods works for me, which ones simply make me feel like I am ready to give birth at any time. Today I am eating a combination of fruits, lots and lots of vegies, love salads, I do eat tofu (love it so much), some grains, nuts, seeds and keep gluten foods to a minimum. I love to cook and make my own condiments and I still bake and make the occasional treat. I don’t eat much “fake” meats and cheeses but don’t eliminate them either; I save them for cheat days along with a good peanut butter brownie.
My journey as an athlete, I have done well over a hundred races, threw in some bike runs and even competed in a body building competition with my vegan team. I have had my share of injuries some minor and some major landing me in the hospital for one. I have ran across finish lines feeling my worst wondering why I even run to begin with and have finished feeling like my new name is Wonder woman and many somewhere in between. I have finished in the top of my age group and some not so on top. Every race I have done has brought me through beautiful sights and not so beautiful sights. I have run through perfect weather, rain, snow, ice, extreme heat and some pretty in heavy winds and storms. I have met some amazing people in the running and bodybuilding world who are now my friends. One of which is now my husband where we met a race, got engaged at a full marathon, and got married at the start of a race. After 9 years of so far an amazing journey, with some amazing experiences I find myself in the final taper week, preparing for the Boston marathon, a race that I could only dream about when I started my journey 9 years ago. I have reached this goal through some very hard work (even on days that I didn’t want to), dedication, perseverance, motivation and passion for what I do and believe in.
What’s my plan after Boston, well I will switch it up again and focus more on making some new athletic gains in the body building world. My diet may shift a bit to a lower carb and higher protein but, I have to say that through my entire journey with my diet and training there was always a staple that has been always part of my life. It is as much part of my existence as the sun, water, and air is to life. All hale my green smoothie. It is pretty rare I go without it. I have this smoothie at home, at work, on vacation, in my car, and on the train, although it is not allowed on a plane I did dehydrate it one time to make smoothie chips for a snack and I must say it was pretty good. It is jammed packed full of all the nutrition that I need in one shaker cup. There are hundreds of ways to make them but, this one is pretty regular with me and only tweak it depending on my training season. For the past several months this one is pretty standard although there might be a different fruit here and there. I have a half shaker cup after working out with some Vega recovery thrown in and a full shaker for brunch or lunch. Also, keep in mind; you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from the tons of nutrition that is healthy for your body. This smoothie is packed with fruits, greens, super food powders and protein. Super easy, convenient, quick, creamy, and delicious that will not break your bank.
Super Green Boston Smoothie
Note: I don’t measure exactly each ingredient but, here is the best estimate
Time: 15 min
Yields: 1 full shaker cup plus another half.
2 cups water (or any nondairy milk for added calories)
2 fresh kiwi
2 cups fresh spinach
A couple of pitted large dates
½ cup frozen pineapple (or fresh works)
1 tbsp. each of wheat grass powder, spirulina, maca, chia seeds
1 scoop Vega sport chocolate protein
Blend on high powered blended!
Note: I make them the night before during the week for next day but, I would not make them any more ahead of time than that.