Running, Eating, Thinking: A Vegan Anthology

I’m proud to have contributed to a new book called Running, Eating, Thinking: A Vegan Anthology.

The backstory: Martin Rowe, president of Lantern Books (and a runner and vegan), noticed the ubiquity of vegan runners these days, and asked, why? Suspecting there was something to the phenomenon beyond simply the idea that a plant-based diet is beneficial for performance, he sought to pinpoint that something.

So he asked 15 of us to answer the question, “What does being a vegan runner mean to you?”, and Running, Eating, Thinking is the result. I’m not big on the word delightful, but to me, that’s what this compilation is. A perfect bridge between the ideological and the easier-to-approach health and environmental sides of this lifestyle — presented in a series of digestible, single-sitting essays.

Today I’m sharing an only-slightly edited version of the first draft of my original submission — which, it turns out, was not what they were looking for; they used my What It Means to Be a Runner post instead. This first attempt is a little all-over-the-place, but it was an interesting stretch for me, and I’m glad to have found an opportunity to show it the light of day.

Following the essay is a link to the latest episode of NMA Radio, where editor Martin Rowe was my guest. We had a great conversation about the new anthology and what exactly it is at the intersection of running and veganism that has helped so many people find joy.

Hope you like it. And I hope more than anything that this post, the podcast, and the book inspire you to think about what’s at the core of your own identity — and that somewhere, you’ll write or speak or sing your own version of what it means to be a vegan runner.

What Being a Vegan Runner Means to Me

It takes only one word, really: this lifestyle, to me, is a practice.

I use the word in the way it’s commonly employed in the context of meditation, yoga, philosophy, or even religion — where “practice” means an activity done for its own sake, something that is not at first pleasurable (and in fact is often quite difficult) but that is unquestionably worthwhile for the foundation of character that it builds. Worthwhile, ultimately, because it purifies the soul.

Many runners run for the joy of running. Many vegans, since coming to this diet, have discovered a love for food and cooking they didn’t know existed. But neither of these describes me.

Read more »

35 Comments

 

Dominating Your Day with Jeff Sanders of the 5 AM Miracle

Podcast Radio2I’ve written a lot about accountability and how it can help you achieve big goals.

From signing up for a race before you’re even close to ready, to paying someone 25 bucks every day you don’t write (done them both), I’m a huge believer that accountability is the difference between goals that get achieved and goals that get forgotten.

Jeff Sanders, host of the popular 5 AM Miracle podcast, is my personal accountability partner. Every Friday morning, we get on Skype for half an hour to talk about our plans for the coming week — and whether we made good on our commitments the previous week.

Jeff is into waking up early, productivity, and everything else you’d expect given his podcast name, but he also eats a high-raw vegan diet and is a many-time marathoner. A big part of Jeff’s approach to staying productive and creative is having the energy to do so — which, of course, comes from the diet and lifestyle. And that’s why I’m excited to introduce you to Jeff in this week’s episode of NMA Radio.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The drastic physical and mental changes Jeff noticed after going plant-based
  • What to do when your partner eats differently than you do
  • Why early morning hours can be your most productive
  • How to set productivity habits that stick
  • Motivation and the power of accountability

Click the button below to listen now:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or:

If you’re a fan of NMA Radio, we’d greatly appreciate it if you’d leave us a rating and review on iTunes. Thank you!

Links from the show:

PS — Good luck to co-host Doug in his first 100-miler, this weekend!

1 Comment

 

Being Okay (with Being Just Okay)

shutterstock 159102473

Last week I went on my first long run in months. Long, here, is generous.

It was six miles, a shortened version of a mostly flat (for Asheville) route I ran dozens of times when I was training for my hundred last summer.

Twice I stopped to walk. It was hot, but that’s not much of an excuse.

It was defeating to realize just how far I’ve slid since the hundred last July. It’s like when you go back to the gym for the first time in months or years, and struggle under a bar that’s a fraction of what you used to lift for double-digit reps. Or when you get on the scale after months of avoidance and see a number that quantifies how much you’ve let go with your diet and habits … and just how far you have to go to get back.

But something was different with this six-mile run. There was no guilt, no frustration, no overwhelm at the size of the task of getting back into marathon or ultra shape.

Because I’ve been on the roller coaster enough times now to know that this is how it works. Three different times I’ve started over in the gym, sliding back to 140 pounds after bulking up to almost 160.

More than once in my seven-year quest to get to Boston, I went six months without running — sometimes frustrated, sometimes injured, sometimes both. Once, I was pretty sure my days as a marathoner were over.

And from the time I first signed up for a hundred-miler to the time I actually ran one, I went through a lull in running where running 100 miles seemed a mere fantasy. Or perhaps a monkey I’d have to learn to be okay with carrying around on my back.

This, I realized, is the price of shunning moderation.When your approach to doing big things is to so pour yourself into them that you don’t want to think about them again for months or years, this is how it has to go.

Read more »

58 Comments