Run, yoga, eat, wait..

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Well, it's official (or as official as it can be without an actual visit to my primary care physician).. there is something wrong with my knees. I tried to complete another run after my last failed attempt at an LSD, and ended up only running a measly 1.5 miles. As I walked back to my car, worried about hurting myself further, I was at a pretty low point. I want so badly to run a marathon this summer, but I'm not sure that it's in the cards for me. Anyway, that's why I've avoided posting for a little while.. I'm just disappointed and didn't want to log on and see all of the other running blogs that I follow.

I have a PCP appointment on the 12th, so I plan to ask for a referral to a sports medicine doctor or a physical therapist to see what they think is going on. I assume that they'll tell me that I can't run for a few months, or that I have a tear, or something was overworked. I am also hesitant to do yoga now, because there are a lot of table poses and things that involve my knees that I probably shouldn't be doing. Since the temperature is hot in my yoga classes, I feel great at the time and tend to limber up a lot but I usually end up extending my knee a little more than I should.

So I am thinking all of this, on and off, and I'm writing it now.. but I can't help but think that I sound pretty selfish. There are plenty of people who will never have the chance to run or walk even, and here I am complaining about not being able to do a marathon. I hope I can find some happy medium with my health and my thoughts on this whole situation.

On a lighter note: I went to visit my fiance and took a trip to Whole Foods for my semi-monthly haul of 'vegan goodies I can't get in my hometown.' :)

Not super healthy of me, but still very happy to grab all of this stuff:


We also made a trip to the Eastern Market (my first time), which was fantastic. I can't wait to go back and pick up some flowers and veggies in the coming weekends. A farm-to-truck food truck was set up, and I enjoyed a huge vegan falafel wrap that I keep thinking about...

I will likely be indulging in some of these WF goodies at some point, doing some reading, and watching Revenge on Netflix because I can't. get. enough. Happy weekend!

Veganism & the Environment

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Click the graphic to view larger:

Veganism by the numbers.

LSD Run, Part 1

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I was supposed to complete my long slow distance (LSD.. anyone else call it that?) run today, but my knees were starting to bother me so I finished a measly 2.85 mi. I shouldn't say that my knees were bothering me per say, but I was definitely conscious of them and thought that they seemed tight/uncomfortable on and off, so I elected not to run the entire 8 miles to play it safe. The marathon plan I'm following suggested running 8 mi today, but I was going to just do 6 if I was having trouble. I immediately stopped at the drugstore after the run, picked up some anti inflammatory pills and some new inserts for my running shoes, then came home to ice my knees.

Overall, I'm pretty disappointed with how my body felt this morning. I was prepared for a great run (wearing my new windbreaker helped my mood!) but it didn't end up like that at all. It's funny, because I ran cross country my senior year of high school and basically loved everything but the actual running part. I loved the friendships, the support, and the race atmosphere. I wasn't the best though, and even though I went to the state championship meet, I am running MUCH faster times now, some 6 or 7 years later!

Something happened to me after I graduated college and began running as more of a hobby - I became addicted to it. I kept chasing distances mostly, and times, and now all I can think about is wanting to run a marathon. I was devastated when I injured myself before that marathon last summer, and I kind of felt worthless. I know I'm not, and I know I'm exaggerating about this because I'm very healthy in every other way, but it's a hard pill to swallow when you work your mind up into believing you can complete something and your body doesn't allow you to. I'm going to rest my legs the rest of the night and try my LSD tomorrow...

The Ghosts in Our Machine

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I had the great fortune of attending a screening of The Ghosts in Our Machine last night. It is a film that highlights the ways humans use animals for food, fashion, research, and entertainment. The film's protagonist, Jo-Anne McArthur, is a photographer who works to show that animals are sentient beings and are deserving of much more than filling the role of property or commodities. In the film, McArthur photographs animals in these settings in the U.S., Canada, and Europe over the course of a year. The film is truly moving and I encourage everyone to watch it. I got teary-eyed several times, but I get emotional easily and I don't believe that it's impossible to get through (in contrast, I had a very hard time watching Earthlings the first time I saw it). 

Here is the trailer for The Ghosts in Our Machine: 


video

On a lighter note, I went to a great vegan place in Ann Arbor and destroyed this carrot cake whoopie pie:

Now I'm off to do my 3 miler! Today is technically rest day for me but I skipped my run yesterday because my knee was hurting. Yesterday's workout consisted of back, biceps, and some hip ad/abductions. :)

A good run, a good outlook

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I decided late last night that I am definitely going to take training seriously and work toward a July trail marathon in northern Michigan. I had looked at Hal Higdon's marathon training plans before, but didn't follow it exactly, thus ending my training with an injury. Even though I've done several 5K's and an 8K, and feel very comfortable with the actual act of running (sounds serious huh), I'm going to do the Novice 1 program simply because it (like the website says) eases you into the long distances. I just don't want to screw up my body again.

Today was my 5 mile pace run in the first official week of the plan, since I did a breezy 4 miler yesterday. I was nervous about running this far on the road because after I last ran 6 miles on pavement, my knees hurt the next day. I think the combination of weight lifting (more on that in a later post) and religious icing/elevation of my knees set me up for a stronger run today - I ran 5 miles at 8:26 pace!

Pictured: my awesome tights that I am obsessed with.

As for my "healthy eating" today (and any day) - I'm not going to be one of those people who counts calories or posts every meal on this blog because frankly, I'm lean and happy about the metabolism I've been given. I did make a conscious effort to eat a small meal before I ran this morning which I think is SO important. I've almost passed out during a morning run once, simply because I didn't eat anything beforehand. Scary.

Pre-run breakfast of 1/2 smashed avocado and sea salt on flax toast, and black iced coffee. Perfection.

I like to eat about an hour before I run. Other quick pre-run meals that I like include: coconut milk yogurt, a small packet of oatmeal, a plant-based protein shake (I like Arbonne), or a banana. I've found that drinking a cup of black coffee about an hour before my workout helps perk me up, too.

Here's my evening to-do list: finish my ab workout, do delts and calves at the gym, maybe hop on the elliptical then do some studying! Happy Wednesday :)

Simple and Filling

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Bell Pepper Gnocchi, courtesy of The Vegan Stoner

Shots of Today

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Post-workout kale salad feat. snap peas, Beyond Meat, nutritional yeast cheese sauce, and black pepper

Some TLC for the knee

Happy Earth Day! Use less, get outside more. This is a blue spruce seedling. :)

Some ramblings, an intro.

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I've decided to keep better tabs on my vegan lifestyle (always evolving) and my path to running a marathon by writing about it. Besides these life choices, I am a 24 year old female who is discovering things about people and the world I live in every day. In trying to live as my "best self" (ha), I figured that checking in daily on a blog would be a good form of accountability. And hey, it allows me to follow other like-minded folks, too!

I'll start with where I'm at now: I went vegetarian when I was 18, after discovering that one of my friend's girlfriends (who was maybe 16 at the time) was vegetarian. Right then and there, I thought, "Well if this 16 year old can do it, I can do it." I've always loved animals and had thought about making the change before, but had plenty of excuses each time. We happened to be in the Burger King drive-thru, so I ordered their Gardenburger (I know, not the best...) and the rest was history. To go along with that first veggie BK meal, I wasn't the healthiest vegetarian. My diet through college consisted mostly of Boca Burgers, mac & cheese, french fries, cheese pizza, and pasta. Looking back, it's kind of funny that all of these things are pretty much yellow and brown. Yuck. Anyway, I went vegan in the summer of 2012, around the time that I took a job in Virginia. Eating vegan has forced me to incorporate more veggies and good things into my diet, but again, there is always the temptation and ease of processed substitute meats and pre-packaged meals.

With my move to Virginia last year, I also signed up for and began training for a trail marathon. Long story short, I went on a 14 mile run about halfway through my training (shouldn't have done it!) and ended up injuring my knee and not being able to run the race. I am back on track now, with new shoes and a more realistic attitude about marathon training.. I hope to run one this summer, but it all depends on my knee.

I've decided to focus more on my physical and mental health this summer for a few reasons, which include those mentioned above. I also know that I can't keep making excuses for working on my best self. Life is too damn short, and I am so lucky to have my health. I have no excuses not to run and smile and be outdoors and eat good things. I read blogs and see posts about people making healthy choices, running races, following their passions, and I'm no longer going to sit back and simply click through other people's online journeys... well, I guess I'll still do that. I'm just going to join them!