Vegan Ultra Runner

Can a middle aged, slighty overweight smoker run 50 miles…Did I mention I was vegan?

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Nobody Cared What I Ate Before…

I was reading a post on Facebook by No Meat Athlete and it got me to thinking. Here it is.

NMA Marty writes: “Tough being a Vegan in San Antonio this weekend at R n R …..I actually had people BOO at me as I ran by. There was a team of 30 or so runners that had shirts made up that said “Fueled by Beef”. I represented proudly though wearing a shirt that said “Runs on Plants.”

Why would anyone BOO a runner in any race? Why do people seem to care so much about what vegans/vegetarians eat? Most people don’t care about what they themselves eat, so why should they worry about anyone else? It doesn’t bother me that people wear shirts that say “Fueled by Beef”, so why does it bother them if a runner wears a “Runs on Plants” shirt? I’ve seen other examples of people acting this same way.

Arian Foster is a prime example of how people react to vegans, especially vegan athletes. Foster is the running back for the Houstan Texans. Last summer he announce that he was following a plant-based diet, mainly because he felt it would help his ability to recover from workouts. I’ve read numerous comments about how he can’t eat this way and play football. Some fans have even said that they hope he fails this season. Even teammates have not been very supportive. One teamate said “I had a long conversation with him about that. I told him, ‘If this doesn’t work, I’m going to kick your ass,’ ” teammate Brian Cushing said. “I told him that because he’s going too far. He thinks he knows more than me, but he doesn’t, especially about nutrition. We have a good relationship, but I told him this better be right. We have a lot riding this year.” Foster seems to be handling it alright though. “Everybody cares what I eat now,” Foster said. “They didn’t care before, but they do now. Everybody is a nutritionist now and they’re an expert on protein. Every day, every single day somebody knows something new to do. I just smile and say, ‘OK.’ ” Oh and by the way, Foster is 3rd in NFL yards, 3rd in yards-per-game, and 1st in touch downs. Being vegan didn’t make him a great athlete, but it sure didn’t hurt either.

I’ve been pretty lucky, since I “came out”. My wife and kids still eat meat, but it doesn’t bother them if I chose not to. My 13 year-old daughter picks on me. She tells people I’ll go “all vegan ninja” on them. Of course, she also picks on me about losing my hair, so I’m used to it. My wife has even changed some of her recipes to fit in with my new lifestyle, and found out that they’re better without meat.

I waited about a month before I told they guys at work. I did catch some hell for it, but I work with firemen. Any one who has ever worked around a fire department knows that no matter what you do someone is going to have some fun at your expense. If it’s not me giving up meat, then it’s Jason doing Crossfit, or Roger packing on some love handles. There’s always something to laugh about, but no one means any harm. There is one person that does irritate me though. We’ll just call him… Jesse (mainly because that is his name). Everytime I see him he wants to tell me how veganism is unhealthy, how you need meat, or how his sister has had nothing but health problems since she quit eating meat. The problem I have with him is that he is very overweight, has multiple health issues, and makes no effort to change his lifestyle. Now I grew up with a father that has struggled with his weight for all of his adult life. I understand how difficult losing weight is. I just don’t need advice from someone who believes that the more protein supplements he eats the more weight he’ll lose. I don’t even know where to start on that nutritional strategy.

I guess I just don’t understand how anyone knocks someone for trying to become healthier. It’s like when people say that running is bad for you, or it will tear up your knees. Maybe running 50 miles isn’t good for me, but it’s better than what I was doing before. Nothing.

So as I slowly step down from my soap box, so as not to break my weak vegan bones, I’ll just say thank you for listening.


Officially Committed

I am now fully committed to 50 miles. I’ve registered for the Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi 50 Trail Run. On March 2, 2013 at 6AM I will be headed out for what will probably be 11 hours of running. It’s a little intimidating just seeing it in writing. At times, I start to think that maybe I have lost my mind (that’s what everyone who knows me thinks). Luckily, I’m finding that there is a lot of support in the ultra-running community. Runners who I have heard from on this blog and other sites all say I can do it. Maybe that’s because they have all accomplished 50 miles and more. They all know what it’s like to be driven to accomplish something that seems extreme to so many people. So as I start to ramp up my mileage, I want to thank everyone for the support, and say stick around. I’m going to need you.

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