From Chicken-Fried Steak to 26.2 Miles on Plants: Wendy’s Story

wendy oct 2011 722x1024It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of this year, Wendy Fry was a gluttonous, lazy slob. (Her words, not mine.)

From just the email interactions we had as she trained for her first marathon, I knew there was much more to the enthusiastic, motivated woman I was talking to than those words conveyed.

And there was: Wendy, back in 2006, had made some drastic changes to her diet and fitness level to get ready for a 48-hour dance marathon to benefit pediatric cancer research (The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, aka THON).

To get in shape, she ate a pescetarian diet (that’s vegetarian + fish) and exercised regularly by walking 4-5 miles every day and doing some cardio and light weightlifting. She even cut caffeine out of her diet.

It worked — Wendy successfully completed what she had trained so hard for. “It’s the healthiest I had ever felt in my adult life up to that point,” she says, “and raising so much money for pediatric cancer research was the best part of it all… I felt really accomplished and maybe even a little invincible.”

Back down to Earth

If you’ve experienced the feeling of accomplishing something like this before, you probably know that this sort of thing has the power to — no exaggeration — change the course of your life. You set a goal, you work harder at it than you knew you were capable of doing, and you discover something in yourself that you never knew was there. And when you actually achieve what you’re working toward, you become addicted to that feeling.

As Wendy enthusiastically told me, “I felt like I could do anything after those 48 hours!” But, as you might also have experienced, sometimes the people close to you aren’t ready for you to change.

“I started telling friends and family, ‘I think I’ll run a marathon someday,’ but I wasn’t surrounded with the cheerleading section I anticipated. “One person’s response was, ‘Yeah, right. Go drive 26 miles down I-95 and then tell me you can run a marathon.’  I felt discouraged, deflated, and defeated.” And so Wendy gave up on that dream. “I let it go,” she told me, “and I moved on with my non-marathoner life.”

Fast forward a few years, to 2008…

It’s funny how quickly you can slip back into a rut after what should have been a transforming experience. Just two years after making so many changes to her health, Wendy had officially become the “gluttonous, lazy slob” and her marathon goal that had held so much intrigue for her before was now just a distant memory.

After college I moved from my healthy little college bubble, with a local farm, lots of fresh produce, and plenty of healthy whole grains, to Atlanta, the capital of fried chicken and waffles, cheese grits, ribs, pulled-pork, and so on. I planned to remain mostly vegetarian after the move, but I found myself so tempted by these new foods.

I allowed myself excuses: I can’t die without trying a chicken-fried steak! I quickly ignored all I had learned about healthy eating, and this, paired with the stress of a new full-time career in a new city… I just let it all go.

My roommate and I used to frequent Waffle House, not just for Sunday hangovers but for stressed-out weeknight dinners. I ate Chinese food at least once a week. I also ate school lunches almost every day (I’m a teacher) and we all know how ‘healthy’ those school lunches can be.

I’m hesitant to use numbers because I don’t think they’re always the most accurate measure of good health, but in my opinion it’s safe to say I was 15-20 pounds overweight.

How Wendy started running

April 2011 CroppedBut somehow, somewhere, Wendy found the drive to get back to the healthy, energetic life she knew she was supposed to have. And so she started running.

In her emails with me, Wendy put “running” in quotes. Why? “I call it ‘running’ because it was really like this: jog a bit, get a cramp and walk, jog a bit more, get tired on a hill, walk home. Total distance: 0.9 miles. “By the end of the summer I could sort of run/walk a whole two miles. It wasn’t great, but it was an improvement.”

We’ve seen this one before. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, right?

If you’re out of shape, the solution isn’t to go outside and try to run a marathon, or 10 or even three miles. That’s overwhelming, and when you think what’s required will be so difficult and painful, you won’t do it. The victory is getting yourself out the door and moving for 5 minutes. Then come back the next day and build on that.

“Over the next two years I sort of ran a little here and there, and did a couple 5K’s.  I was starting to enjoy the early morning relationship I had with my treadmill.  It felt pretty good logging two miles before work a few days a week.”

What finally caused “the switch to flip”

In 2010, Wendy had discovered at a routine physical that she had high cholesterol, and had decided to make some changes to lower it. A year later, in January 2011, when Wendy was scheduled to go in for her next physical, she realized that she had done nothing to improve the situation.

I dreaded going back to the doctor and hearing bad news again, so I changed my diet. No more fried foods and no fatty meats… which eventually turned into no meats or fish… which eventually turned into no animal products. I didn’t sit down and say ‘I’m going vegan today.’ It was gradual process that just made sense, and it felt great.

The week I officially gave up dairy I dropped 5 pounds. In one week. It was like magic.

When Wendy finally did go in for that physical, she got some great news: she had reversed her high cholesterol (which supposedly was genetic and therefore difficult to change). And so a little part of that marathon dream woke up again, and she asked her doctor, “So, do you think a marathon might be in the cards for me?”

Seems Wendy’s doctor was just as supportive as her friends had been when she first floated the idea of a marathon past them — he was very skeptical. But after an EKG cleared Wendy’s heart for it, her doctor said that marathon training would be alright. Then Wendy took the step that she hadn’t taken before, when she had let her thoughts of a marathon fade away: this time, she took action.

How Wendy went “all in” (the key to making yourself follow through)

July 2011 Cropped

In Wendy’s words:

I was Googling ‘marathon training’ like crazy, looking for as much information as I could to start coming up with a serious training plan. I also knew I wanted to stick with a vegetarian diet because of all I had learned about food and health (Food, Inc. and Forks Over Knives really impacted my dietary decisions) and low and behold… there was No Meat Athlete with a marathon training plan for vegetarians… lucky me!

I went ahead and downloaded the Marathon Roadmap and read it cover to cover. I even printed it out and put it in a three-ring binder so I could write my goals in where it tells you to, as silly as that sounds.

I also printed all sorts of things to keep in this binder (a course map of Savannah RNR, confirmation and hotel information, etc). I signed up for a few 5K’s and a half marathon to keep my training on track, and I kept all of my bibs in the binder as a reminder of how far I’d come.

The first chapter of the Marathon Roadmap is all about commitment: pick a race, decide — and I mean really decide — that you’re going to do it, and then take action that seriously commits you, like signing up for the race. And that’s exactly what Wendy did: “I chose the inaugural Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon as my target race, and reluctantly reserved an expensive hotel — I was all in.”

What training for your first marathon is really like

I really enjoyed the long runs. I started to notice that each week when I’d build, the mileage from the previous week would feel so easy. Your body really does build endurance and tolerance for the miles as you train.

I live in a really hilly area so sometimes I would skip the hill workouts (my least favorite) and just run around on the hills. I love the speed workouts because that’s when I sweat the most, so I feel like I’m really working my body to its maximum. I usually do those on a treadmill. I also like tempo runs because it feels sort of like a race, and I feel really accomplished when I’m finished.

For cross-training I mixed in swimming (which was a great break for my joints), weightlifting, and yoga. I especially like doing hot yoga the day after a long run because it forces me to really stretch. I skipped a few runs here and there when my knee was bothering me, or if I had too much going on, or if I just wasn’t feeling up to it that day… but the key is to not beat yourself up over that… just realize that tomorrow is a new day, and you will cross that finish line if you just keep doing your best (and don’t skip the long runs).

Training was tough, but it happened. There were a lot of sacrifices; I’m not going to lie. It’s a huge time commitment to train for a marathon, and I realized that early on. If it were easy everyone would do it, so you can’t go in expecting it to be easy. But it is possible. That’s what you need to remember.

No surprises here, I hope. Training for a marathon is hard work, and that’s why it means so much when you do it.

As for being a southerner with a plant-based diet…

Eating vegan was hard too, and still is. Especially when you’re eating out with friends and your burrito comes with cheese and you have to embarrassingly send it back. But, people get over it. I was a waitress so I get that it’s annoying to have a special order, I just try to remember to tip well and smile. That helps, just smiling and being friendly about it.

I was not nearly perfect about my eating, but it’s really important to watch your nutrition when you’re training. I found that the smoothie for breakfast, salad for lunch (or dinner) was a huge help in keeping me nutritionally in check.

So is it worth it?

transformation 1024x451 You can decide for yourself. Here’s what Wendy has to say about how going plant-based and running a marathon has changed her life:

Nov 2011 2Two Saturdays ago, I crossed the finish line of the Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon with a smile on my face and 5:19 on the clock. And about 6 of the miles were on the highway… which made me giggle, because of what Mr. Negative told me in 2006 about driving down 95 before I decided to run a marathon.

What I think is truly the best part of all of this is the way I’ve changed. My body feels so much lighter and healthier. I rarely get sick anymore, my acne is gone, my chronic sinus infections are gone, seasonal allergies are gone, frequent stomach upsets are gone, and I’ve lost almost 20 pounds (I’m only 4’11, so that’s a lot for me)!

I also feel changed mentally… I’m much happier, less stressed and anxious, and overall I feel more connected to the world around me. I just feel great!

So, in about 6 months I went from a gluttonous, lazy slob to a vegan marathoner! If I can do it… anyone can!

You read that right. Anyone. I hope you believe it. They call the marathon “everyman’s Everest,” because running 26.2 miles isn’t reserved for elite athletes. If you want it badly enough, you can do it too. Just like Wendy. Huge thanks to Wendy for sharing her story with us. Leave her a comment to congratulate her on her amazing transformation!

Disclosure: Wendy now works for No Meat Athlete, bringing her enthusiasm and knowledge to help to manage our Community site. But she used the Roadmap and participated in this case study long before she started working at No Meat Athlete.

116 Comments

 


Dig this post?
Spread the word!

Keep in touch:

How to Train for Your First Marathon on a Plant-Based Diet



Ever wished there was just a roadmap to guide you to the finish of your first marathon, starting from where you are now? The No Meat Athlete Marathon Roadmap covers everything you need to know to train for and run your first marathon on a plant-based diet, including:
  • 18-week training plan that shows you exactly how safely increase your fitness and endurance
  • What to eat before, during, and after your workouts to maximize their effectiveness
  • Sample meal plan with 17 high-energy plant-based recipes for marathon training, so that you'll know you're giving your body everything it needs
  • 6 audio interviews with plant-based athletes and experts
Click here to learn more »

Comments

  1. Inspiring. Love stories like these. Congrats Wendy!

  2. Congratulations Wendy! Your story is wonderful and inspiring, especially with so many people being un-supportive. I agree 100% that anyone can run a marathon, but not everyone does – so you are amazing! :)

  3. Congrats Wendy, that’s an awesome story! Love the idea of a marathon training group – I think the support is key!

  4. I LOVE this! Mazal Tov Wendy and thanks for sharing your inspiring story!!

  5. This is a great story! Congratulations Wendy, and thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I have chills reading this story! I love it! I’m only 54 days out from the Disney Marathon (my first) and I can’t wait to have that feeling of accomplishment!

  7. Everyone should have such motiviation. Great accomplishment.

  8. Thanks Wendy, I really needed to read this story for inspiration this morning. Congrats!

  9. I love your story! I just ran my first marathon last month as well. As a vegetarian-mostly vegan (sporting my NMA shirt too!) it felt awesome crossing that finish line knowing I was powered by plants and not by thousands of defenseless animals! Congrats girl…keep running! :)

  10. Great story! Way to go Wendy!!!

  11. Sherry Cooke says:

    Matt, thanks for sharing. What an awesome story! I also shared on FB. Trying to convince as many as I can that plant strong really is the best way to live your life!

  12. Such a fantastic story. Thanks so much for sharing Wendy and Matt.

    Despite generous support from family and friends I still chickened out on running the marathon I had planned for this spring…but I know it’s always there. Waiting. Waiting for me to get my butt back into gear (and smaller clothes). Thanks so very much for the reminder–it certainly touched my inner runner hidden way down in there. :)

    • It all starts with a single step… like Matt said! And it doesn’t have to be a marathon! It can be a 5k or a 10k or a half… whatever the goal is, once you set it, it’s much easier to work towards it! You can do it Lorinda! :-)

  13. Congratulation Wendy!!! I tried to complete one last month, but unfortunately I hurt my knee at the 15km, almost 10 mile mark. I was NOT going to drop out but I quickly became the last runner, so I walked and jogged the next 6 km to finish at least a half marathon passing the 21 km mark! Now it is on to train for next year and now with some physical theraphy I am building the muscles evenly so my knee will not feel the stress. It was so thrilling and exciting so now I have even more motivation.

  14. I actually went to high school with Wendy so this story is even more exciting and inspiring for me. How cool to see her featured here. Congrats, Wendy!!

  15. Wow. Reading your story really made me think about all the things I am not doing to care for myself. It’s long-overdue for me to get my butt in gear, like you did. (My internal runner is trying to get noticed.) Congrats on your accomplishment.

  16. Yea Wendy! It’s shocking how discouraging people can be when it comes to diet and exercise. I’ve had a goal to run a half-marathon (and been sidelined by injury, boo), and I was always surprised that the response was something close to “You’ll never make it.” You must be so proud that you made your goal! Also, as an Atlanta resident and a vegan, I can sympathize…this community doesn’t offer much support for healthy habits.

  17. Awesome! Well done <3

  18. An inspiration!

  19. LOVED this article. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story! I just started running a year ago after never thinking I could, and signed up for my second half-marathon this month. I’m also new to the veg/vegan diet. It’s great to see such enthusiasm and positivity – and that you did it in spite of the Negative Nellys in your life! Rock on!

  20. Wendy this story is truly inspiring. I’ve been thinking about doing a half-marathon for a long time now but recently have become severely overweight (due to a medicine I take) so I’ve felt like I can’t do much. This just gave me the motivation to break out of my shell and hit the pavement. I’m going to give myself plenty of time to train and hopefully will find success. Thanks for being inspiring Wendy and CONGRATS!

  21. Chanda M. DeFoor says:

    Whoo hooo!! Good for you, Wendy! It was cool to see another veg*n from Georgia — I had lots of friends running in the Rock n Roll last weekend. :)

  22. Love this! Very inspiring :o)

  23. Amazing Job Wendy! Perhaps I’ll join No Meat for my first in DC!!!

  24. John Warner says:

    Congratulations, inspiring story!!!

  25. You are truly an inspiration to all and I love and support you and all you do!!! I’m more than proud of you and this huge accomplishment. My LOVE and RESPECT ALWAYS!!! Love MOM

  26. Congratulations!! I love your picture, running with a big smile :)! That’s joy and well deserved pride in such an accomplishment! Here’s to health and more runs!

  27. What a fantastic article. I’m currently in transition to the vegetarian lifestyle. Not even by “choice” necessarily. I read an article that totally grossed me out and now I can’t even eat meat if I wanted to. You look fantastic and your accomplishments are amazing. What an inspiration!

  28. Congrats girl! Such an amazing accomplishment! Did my first half this weekend on a vegetarian diet. I’m transitioning to vegan and looking for a Marathon – hopefully I’ll see some NMAers in DC for my first vegan marathon! Thanks for the inspiring story!

  29. Aikirunner says:

    Congrats on both the move to the plant based dietn and the marathon success. I’m still struggling on getting the diet right. Cheese keeps whispering in my ear.

  30. You go, girl! Thanks for sharing your journey with us…I never get tired of these inspirational stories :)

  31. You are awesome Wendy! So proud of you.
    What’s next??……triathlon!! :)
    Not only are you doing great things, you look fantastic at the same time. Really, you are amazing!

  32. Wow…so inspiring…I am really glad I took the time to read this today.

  33. Right ON! Great story and so inspiring! Thanks for taking the time to share with the world

  34. Mary Ellen says:

    Awesome story! Way to go Wendy!!! :)

  35. Congratulations for an amazing accomplishment. I can’t wait to show Tom this article about you! Way to go!!!

  36. Terrific job Wendy! I loved the highway part – I hope those people who were so doubtful are the first to congratulate you.

  37. Way to go Wendy!

    I’m already registered for the DC RnR marathon (my 3rd) and would LOVE a training group!!! Can we have a NMA get together pre/post-race too?

    Awesome!

  38. Congratulations Wendy!!! I’ve been trying to motivate myself to begin running again and reading this post got me to finally order the Marathon Roadmap and begin to seriously think about signing up for another marathon. After I ran/walked one last year, I’ve been wanting to train again to do better than my 6hour time, but haven’t been even running much at all. Wendy, you have totally motivated me to get out there and start running again. Thank you to you and Matt for posting your story!

  39. Congratulations!
    A marathon is a major accomplishment… I was inspired reading about your journey.

    I’m in the middle of running 4 half-marathons in a 10 months’ time (doing the 3rd of the 4 this Sunday in Philly) and I’ve been eating a vegetarian diet for almost 2 years now and feel better than I ever have. If I finish the 4th half in Disney in February feeling good, I plan to run a full marathon next year. And all this after almost losing my life and my leg in an accident and having doctors tell me, they don’t know if I will ever walk again.

    So thanks for sharing your story and for inspiring me to keep on, keeping on!

    • Wow Janet! You are a true inspiration, thank YOU for sharing your story! Keep it up girl!

    • Did you run the Disney marathon this year? That is the marathon that my husband wanted to join. We are Disney fanatics and you know those kind of people.. Crazy crazy.. well not really me but totally my husband. I am looking any event in 2013 since we will be back in the states on Jan 2013. Can’t wait!

  40. Great story Wendy…love that you proved the nay-sayers wrong!!

  41. Jon Weisblatt says:

    Wendy you hot ticket! Congratulations. Keep up the great work.

  42. Sandi Vasoli says:

    Wendy – You ROCK, girl !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe what I just read ! I am in awe and inspired by you!

    Looking forward to seeing you and Greg at Christmas!

    xo,
    Cousin Sandi

  43. So inspiring! I’ve been veg for about a year and a half now, but have hesitated to give up the dairy. I LOVE cheese. But maybe that’s the key to getting over the hump. You’ve inspired me – i’ll give it a shot!

  44. Wendy- Congrats on your first MARATHON and going VEGAN!!! WOW.. I loved reading about your personal journey. I have a similar story and about to run my fourth marathon being 100% Vegan. My energy, mood, endurance have all increased from going to a plant based diet. You should be SO Proud of how far you have come. Peace & Veggies, Marina

  45. First of all congrats- huge accomplishments here in this post. Secondly, I feel like everyone in the blog world ran the Savannah Marathon last week (me included!) I cannot tell you how many people’s blogs I’ve read after the fact and am like, YOU WERE THERE TOO!? So cool. Thirdly, I’ve recently began transitioning my diet to be more plant-based and have been operating now at about 85% vegetarian/vegan. I feel incredible and am looking forward to translating that feeling into more PR’s!

    Lastly, kudos to you again, Wendy. Keep rockin’, dude.

  46. Uncle Jackie says:

    Wendy: Great accomplisment!! Shows an inner strength, commitment and goal oriented personality. Great qualities for a teacher. You can tackle anything in the classroom!!! Talk to cousin Traci, she ran the Washington Marine Corps marathon. Can share/compare notes. Looking forward to seeing you and Greg at xmas. Again, congrats!!!

    Uncle Jackie

  47. Wow congrats your such an inspiration!the power of vegan go veg!can’t wait to run a marathon no meat athlete gonna hook me up ;)

  48. What a fantastic read!

    It is a story that many of us can relate to. When I first stumbled onto this blog, I was very overweight, I was sick all the time and I knew at 34 it was time to make serious changes.

    That was the tail end of 2009, since then I have lost 70 pounds, completed two halfs and hundreds of miles in training.

    You can see photos of the weight on http://www.runningonjuice.com/about/

    Posts like this just motivate me to stick my name down for a marathon.

    Keep up with the great work on this blog Matt, you are changing peoples lives for good!

  49. You are all amazing – I love reading your stories!!! Keep up the great work people! Seriously, if I can do it, ANYONE CAN! Your future starts today… DECIDE what you’re going to be, and BE IT!

  50. Becky Richardson says:

    Way to go Wendy. I did my first endurance race in Sept as a vegan and could not believe how much energy I had after 24hrs, 4hrs sleep and 20 miles of running! I did a 200 mile Ragnar Relay D.C.

  51. Your story is a huge inspiration for me. How many times have I told myself that I could never do that. Thank you for showing me that I can!

  52. What a fantastic story, congratulations Wendy! I think we can all relate to overcoming the nay-sayers. What a great accomplishment!

  53. Cindy Davis gale says:

    Fantastic job Wendy! So impressed with your accomplishments! You deserve a huge bit of recognition and this article was wonderful. Keep on running! Cindy Davis-Gale

  54. Stacey Dougherty says:

    Wow Wendy!! This is so wonderful. You are inspiring! I want to go try it now too!

    Congratulations girl!!!

  55. Aunt Carolyn says:

    So proud of you!!! Great article!!!!! Love you!

  56. I have shared your story with many friends,it is inspirational.Now,if you would eliminate oil,as
    suggested by,Dr.Caldwell.Esselstyn,you would be assured,a healther,.lifestyle

  57. Kathy (Stevie's mom) says:

    Wendy: Congratulations! You have so much to be proud of. This was very inspirational…I will have to remember your story when I’m dying at the gym and want to get off the treadmill! Good luck in all your future marathons.

  58. Cathy Pepin says:

    Hi Wendy. Roseann sent me this article. CONGRATULATIONS!! You are an inspiration, you should be so proud of yourself! Keep on walking….!!

  59. Trisha Drake says:

    WOW! I love No Meat Athlete! Ihave gotten inspiration, recipes and ideas from you. And I have to say, this is the first time I cried while reading a post. Thank you for choosing Wendy’s story to share, she is an inspiration. I know I’ll think of her when I sign up for my first 1/2 marathon. Really great story!!

  60. Cindy Serratore says:

    Wendy,
    What an awesome accomplishment! Although I never saw you as a “gluttonous, lazy slob” it is exciting to see how energizing this was for you. You are a real inspiration!

  61. Emily Trottier says:

    The sky’s the limit Wendy! Keep it up and way to represent!

  62. Good work Wendy! Way to go!

  63. Wendy,

    You will NEVER know who strongly this impacted me today! Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  64. Wendy, you are something else! I’m very proud of you. I fell short of my goal to run a marathon but now I can say I know someone who did ! Go, You Girl !
    Love you…db

  65. Tom Giammalvo says:

    Congrats Wendy!! I just ran my first on Matt’s plan! Amazing!! It’s a fun ride. Keep it going!

  66. I love vegan success stories! You look great and so healthy! Congrats! :)

  67. Thanks for sharing! You’re TINY!! The vegan diet sounds so great…yet so difficult to do with three kids and a husband to feed! I’m a runner, but am desperate to cure my seasonal allergies, painful acne, and chronic sinus infections. Can I really do this with kids, affordably?!

  68. Thank you for sharing such a motivational story. I moved from super health conscious pacific northwest( Washington Sate) to the “deep fried” south as I like to call it. After moving to GA I also gave in to the super tempting super high calorie southern food. I gained 100+ pounds and now I have recently gone vegan and plan to start running. So many people around me are telling me that I cant run, I wont stop eating meat, and that Im fine the way I am. I refuse to let them stop me, if they dont want to change there life FINE, just stop telling me I cant change mine!!!

  69. Running Mama of One! says:

    Wendy, this is exactly the inspiration that I need to get back on the healthy food wagon! I’m trainIng for the Myrtle Beach marathon in February. I’m a new mommy to an almost 5 month old and have been struggling to get my full workouts in because I’m always so tired. Your story was a great reminder that my eating habits directly effect my energy levels. Congratulations on your accomplishments!!!

  70. This is an awesome story and I really enjoyed reading it!!! VERY INSPIRING!!!!

  71. Wendy – very inspiring story! Congratulations on running the marathon! I’ve been thinking about taking this leap myself…so far I’ve only run a few 5k races, but they were so much fun. Finishing a marathon must feel amazing, and you look great. Clear a plant based diet works wonders. Keep up the good work!

  72. wow! i’m so inspired by your story. great job!

  73. Wow! what a great story and it is just like almost mine. Started to run a few weeks ago and a vegetarian few months ago. Aiming to run in a marathon which I did not sign up yet. But I was so happy that I run yesterday for 4 mile fun run. It came out okay since I finished the line in 47 minutes which is not so bad.

    Keep it up the running, there are people runs at ages 60 to 70 and they look fit.

  74. love your work! you are an inspiration, congratulations.

  75. Keya Bailey says:

    Great Story!!!!!!! I have been vegan for three weeks…. Thank you for the encouragement!!!!!!

  76. Thanks for sharing your story Wendy. I found it inspiring. It gives me hope that I may be able to get off my lazy butt and make some healthy changes in my life too!

  77. woohoo!! keep it up

  78. Wow! This is exactly where my mind has been today…focusing on what I can & not on what I can’t do. Thank you for sharing your story. You are truly an inspiration. By the way…I’m also a teacher…I just ran my first 10K yesterday. I guess it’s on to a half next and now you’ve got me inspired to shoot for a full marathon.

  79. Great story Wendy! the hardest thing, after dealing with and trying to minimise the pain in your knees ankles and calves, is overcoming the beliefs of others, raising yours and ignoring the put downs of those who have given up on themselves. I am not a typical runners build, look more like a rugby player (american football). I was 17 and a half stone at my heaviest and have lost almost 2 stone and am working hard to get my weight down to its ideal lowest although I have very strong sugar cravings. As a teacher my running helps me deal with and overcome daily stresses that would otherwise drive me to the whisky. I smoked for 12 years and managed to give up 7 years ago, i couldn’t even get into a steam room without finding it very hard to breathe. I never wanted to or saw the point of exercise, and then remembered a long time ago the freedom I felt setting out on 3 mile cross country runs at school and decided to recapture that hope. In two months time I am doing 2 half marathons on a non meat diet that i’ve stuck to for over 5 years. One day I intend to follow very slowly in the footsteps of Scott Jurek and complete an ultra!

  80. Wow!!! That is an amazing story and so inspiring. I have recently started running…I can do a 5K and will be training for a 10K in April. This really gives me the inspiration I needed. Along with going vegetarian!

    Thank you.

  81. Congratulations! I am so happy that I read your story. I am running my first Half Marathon next week and your testimony is very inspiring. Job well done!

  82. What a great story thanks for sharing. I blow people away at my crossfit gym because I don’t eat meat, but I’m still one of the strongest members.

  83. Yeah!!! Thanks for the amazing inspiration! I’m just starting my journey vegan and plan to run my first marathon in Nov! So awesome to hear your story, it makes me think..hell yeah I can do this!!

  84. That is SO inspiring, I also want to train for a marathon (I can do 8km now after 6 months of training), but thought a timeline of two years was about right. She did all that in 6 months?!!! Amazing.

  85. Wendy! You rock! I’m also 4’11″; a brand spanking new vegan and have just completed my first half-marathon on Saturday and through your story, will not hesitate to complete the full marathon that I have been planning on completing in November. Thanks a ton sista!

  86. Congrats, Wendy!
    That is really a huge accomplishment and I know exactly how much you must be smiling all the time right now. :) I finished my first marathon just a month ago and I am still smiling! Hehe…
    Now, I will become a vegan, too. It’s tough, I have to admit that. But when I can run 26.2 miles, I can become a vegan, right?
    You did it, too! That motivates me!

  87. Aweosme job wendy, its inspiring and just further sends the message home- how we can change our lives for the better :) cheers,
    ZAC

  88. Wendy :-) says:

    Hey guys! Wendy here! Please consider donating to support my next race. It’s one of several in my “comeback” season since I had a horrible injury last summer. Two surgeries and lots of PT later, I’m back in the running game! (A little slower, but back nonetheless.) Your support means the world to me! Thanks! http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/wendyfry/team-vegan-philly

  89. Congrats, Wendy!!! Come to NYC and run 2014! It’s an unbelievable experience!!! :) We should get a NO MEAT ATHLETE running team!!! The more, the merrier!
    What do you think, Matt??

  90. fantastic! what an inspiration.

  91. Thanks, Wendy for sharing your story. It’s amazingly inspiring. I’m most inspired my your many small action steps toward your goal. I too hve done lots of research: couch to 5K, what to eat and even the best foot wear. Thanks again. I’ll be downloading the marathon guide you mention today.

  92. What an inspiration you are!! Thank you for sharing your story and your remarkable timeline!

  93. Very well done, Wendy!

Trackbacks

  1. […] work up to running? Or working out for more than 15 minutes a day? Or going vegetarian? Or vegan? This normal, everyday woman (who’s a teacher, so she works like everyone else), proves that you can and the benefits are […]

Leave a Comment

*