What This Vegan Ate to Train for a Marathon Part 16
Hello and happy Friday! Well, I did it. I ran twenty miles last Sunday and I lived to talk about it. That's me above at around mile 12, happy and squinting from the bright sunshine reflecting off of Lake Michigan. The coordinator of the ALZ Stars group that I'm running for was popping up throughout the race to take pictures in her purple tutu and making us laugh. Notice how nice and tall my posture is at mile 12? I was feeling pretty solid at that point, and then I reached mile 18 and I felt like I was going to lose my Clif Blok chews. After a couple of minutes of walking and deep breathing, I started running again at a slower pace and finally made it to the finish line.
Notice my posture? I was leaning forward, and I just wanted it to be over. Yes, I'm smiling, because even though I was done, I was so freaking proud of myself for not quitting when I really wanted to. It helped a lot that I met another ALZ Stars runner before the run started and we were in the same pace group. She was awesome and we ran together the entire time. I tried to get her to keep going and not wait for me when I walked for a bit, but she wouldn't hear of it. Thank you, Toni, you're the best!
Speaking of ALZ Stars and running for the Alzheimer's Association....
If you want to support the cause and help find a cure, I'm running to raise money for this incredible organization. My dad died of Alzheimer's two years ago after a ten year battle. He was diagnosed at the age of 63. Far too young. He is the one who gets me through every difficult mile. Every dollar I raise goes to the Alzheimer's organization. Thank you. ♥ Click here to donate.
It's hard to believe that I'm almost at the end of this journey. Only two weeks until my USTA tennis team and I compete in the National Championships, and the next weekend I'll run the marathon. Where did the summer go? How can we already be looking at October? As hard and incredibly time consuming as all of this running and tennis training has been over the past several months, I know that it's going to be a huge let down when it's over. I guess I'll just have to look for another marathon to run. Right?
I've learned so much about myself and my body this summer. I've also learned a lot about nutrition. As someone who has always eaten healthy and is a rabid label reader, this adventure has made me look at food in an entirely different way. I've researched foods that help with inflammation, foods that will give me a quick burst of energy, foods that will metabolize slowly so I maintain energy for a long period of time, foods that have iron, protein, potassium, folate, and the list goes on and on. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've become mindful of what I eat and when I eat it, and I listen to my body more than ever. It knows what it needs and if you listen and abide, it will reward you.
Here's a look at what I ate in a day this week.
As always, I started my day with lemon water and a cup of coffee with almond milk. I had a piece of toast with strawberry preserves and a banana, and then I went for a six mile run. When I came home I drank a pineapple cherry smoothie with coconut protein powder, and about an hour later I had a bowl of oatmeal with steamed spinach and tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper. All of the running and tennis makes me hungry for savory foods
I ate the rest of the steamed spinach that I made earlier and I had a handful of cashews.
I made a simple pasta dish the night before with cashew cream sauce and green peas, so I had some for lunch. I finished about three quarters of that bowl.
I had an apple and a cup of tea.
I made three bean chili with zucchini, so I had a huge bowl of it with a piece of whole grain bread and a glass of red wine. I sprinkled vegan Parmesan on top.
How Do Vegans Get Enough Protein?
When people find out that I'm a vegan, and an athlete, they always ask me where I get my protein. I used to roll my eyes, but I don't now. It's a legitimate question because we've been taught to believe that we need a lot of protein, and that animal products are the best way to get it. It's not true, but that's what our government and big agriculture wants us to believe. I'm here to tell you that it's BS. I'm healthier and fitter than I've ever been in my adult life. I'm 52 years old and I'm running my first marathon and playing singles tennis against people half my age, and I'm winning. I'm not tired, or weak, or any of the things that people would assume that a vegan athlete would be. I feel AMAZING!
This is how much protein I consumed on this particular day.
1 cup of coffee = .3 grams – 1/4 cup of almond milk = .25 grams – 1 banana = 1.3 grams – 1 slice of 7 grain bread = 5 grams - 1 cup pineapple = .9 grams - 1 cup of cherries = 1.6 grams - 1/2 scoop protein powder = 5 grams - 1 cup of cooked oats = 6 grams - 2 cups of cooked spinach = 1.8 grams - 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes = .8 grams
Total grams of protein for breakfast = 23 grams
2 cups of pasta = 15 grams - 1 cup of peas = 8 grams
Total grams of protein for lunch = 23 grams
I'm already at the recommended daily allowance of 46 grams for a sedentary woman. But I'm not sedentary, so I need a bit more protein in my diet.
1 and 1/2 cups of beans = 59 grams - 1 cup of zucchini = 1.5 grams - 1 slice of whole grain bread = 3.6 grams
Total grams of protein for dinner = 64.1 grams
How Much Protein is in Plant-Based Food?
On this day I ate 110 grams of protein, not including my snacks. Enough said.
Total activity for the week:
Friday - 2 hours of tennis and a 2 mile dog walk.
Saturday - 5 mile run and a 2 mile dog walk.
Sunday - 20 mile run and a 2 mile dog walk. Yes I did. The dogs have to walk.
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 6 mile run and a 2 mile dog walk.
Wednesday - 2 hours of doubles tennis and 2 hours of doubles and singles tennis.
Thursday - 1 and 1/2 hours of singles tennis and a 2 mile dog walk.
Friday - 2 hours of doubles tennis and a 7 mile run, plus a 2 mile dog walk.
Total miles run: 38 miles
Total miles walked: 12 miles
Total hours of tennis played: 9 1/2 hours
This series will end in four weeks. The last post in the series will be fun, I'm going to tell you how many miles I've run over the entire training period, show you all of the different meals that I've eaten so you can see how much variety is in a healthy vegan diet, and I'll give you a play by play of the marathon. Stay tuned!
Have a wonderful weekend! See you on Monday!
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