Goodbye vegan. Hello marathon. Five days into the new year I have jumbled it all up again. I told myself I wouldn’t do any more big races and that I would just focus on different ways to incorporate healthy vegetables and alternate protein into my diet. That was the plan. Then today, at noon, I realized I HAD to do Disney. You know, the marathon that’s in 5 days? That one. It feels right.
It pains me to write this. I told my friends that it didn’t pain me as much to admit to dropping out of the marathon as it does to admit to dropping out of my vegan plan. Maybe it’s because a marathon is viewed as difficult whereas just committing to a specific diet plan should be easy. One drop out gets sympathy and the other gets “Oh, you couldn’t hack it eh?” Ok, nobody has said that to me but I say that to myself. I feel like a failure, but let me explain…
It’s because of the 16 miler I ran. My pace wasn’t good. I was disappointed in how hard it felt to me. And I realized that I would never set any PRs at Miami like this. I also knew the reason – my decreased training and my holiday weight gain. It’s like the perfect storm for suckville. Then I asked myself why I was dropping the marathon if I’m not saving myself for Miami (or Naples) anyway? Why not do both races and accept that they will training runs with no PRs? Then I realized I’m still too heavy for these races. I’m not anywhere close to race weight and it makes my running miserable. How can I drop some weight before race day?! Well it ain’t by throwing back bean and flour patties fried in oil I can tell you that. 😦
I love what I’ve eaten as a vegan this week. I made vegan fettuccine alfredo and vegan burgers and vegan cheesecake… ok obviously those aren’t low calorie things but at the TIME I wasn’t doing any races so I didn’t think I had to be rigid! I wanted to explore food substitutes without cheese, dairy, and meat. I loved the dishes and nothing in me craves anything else. I thought I’d be dying for other things but I’m not. But I also can’t drop weight and haven’t dropped a single pound this week even after logging mad mileage. I realized that if I’m going to do this race lineup in the next 3 weeks, I’m going to have to drop weight to help me out and that means bringing back fish and eggs and lean turkey. That’s what I know and I need a sure thing.
It’s all about the race now. It’s all about the marathon. I hope to pick up vegan another time and definitely incorporate it into our lives with the numerous vegan cookbooks I recently purchased. But, if I’m honest, I felt way way better doing the elimination diet than I have with vegan. It’s hard to do both because then you are too limited as a vegan (no tomatoes, peppers, onions, gluten…). Elimination allows me fish and turkey, while still keeping out dairy and the aforementioned inflammatory foods. I felt amazing on it and I lost weight. With this vegan diet, it’s great but it’s not great for the racing and for me right now. Obviously there are a ton of vegan ultra runners though and I really want to experiment with how to train just as well as they do while still being vegan, but I can’t try it full on right now.
So the NEW plan is that I am running Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday! I was so freaked out about it this afternoon that my hands started shaking. I read a few race blogs and it helped so much! It also helped that all Disney races are walker friendly. I hope I don’t have to walk much (or at all!) but the fact that it’s a nice understanding race helps calm my nerves. This will not be a fast undertaking. This will be slow and steady and have shake out walks for my ankle and knee. But I have to do it. I was really bummed about dropping it. I’m going to take it in and use it as a training run. And I’m going to try to get back to race weight. I’m not sure if they allow CamelBaks at Disney though but I pray they do. Where else will I stash my Tylenol and phone so I can call Orlando hospitals after finishing? I’m going to the race alone and it’s far away from where I live so my CamelBak is like my blanky. I NEED IT!!
Ugh, that paragraph was supposed to say “I’M SO EXCITED TO BE RUNNING DISNEY!!” and instead I just blabbed about everything I’m afraid of and am so negative. I AM excited to be running now! And damnit, I am still an ok runner and I’m getting better so there!
Oh and I may be doing all of this to take my mind off of school starting back this week. Anyone know the number of a good sports psychologist?
UPDATE: I haven’t given up vegan just yet. I am trying to make it work by adjusting starches and proteins and whole foods and figuring this out! If I have to run Disney as a fat starchy vegan then so be it. 🙂 I’m not quitting yet!