The “Athlete” Part

I just got back from a 12-mile run, and I haven’t even showered yet.  That’s commitment to you, dear readers!

It occurred to me as I was writing yesterday’s post that I haven’t written much about running, and that this has kind of become an all-food blog.  That’s not my intention at all, but with the amount of rest I’ve had to take for me knee, it’s been hard to be sufficiently excited to write interesting running posts.

Smoothie in BlenderThe good news, though, is that today’s run went great. I started the day with a pre-workout smoothie, and this time I added some fresh greens to it, something I’ve been wanting to try ever since  Jenna, the author of the blog Eat Live Run, told me that it doesn’t affect the taste Smoothie in Glassmuch.   And it was good!  I noticed a fresher, greener taste in the first sip or two, but after that I didn’t even notice a difference.  Perhaps most importantly, it didn’t turn my smoothie into the vomit-inducing grey-green color that using powdered greens does.  I used organic spring mix and put what amounts to a small salad in; this is something I’m going to keep doing as a way to get more fresh leafy greens every day.

Even though the IT band pain in my knee is gone, I’ve still felt some disconcerting stiffness in it recently.  But I decided to try this hilly 12-miler today anyway, since I’m running the Maryland Half Marathon two weeks from today. And the run went phenomenally!  I ran the 12 miles in 1 hour, 38 minutes (about an 8:10 pace) with no knee pain and without really exerting myself much at all.  I was really surprised at how easy it was, considering the terrain and my limited training in the past few months.  It’s hard to convey how fantastic this renewed faith in my body’s ability to run feels, but if you’ve experienced recovery from injury before then you must know what I’m talking about.  I did make one critical mistake with this run– I again forgot to lubricate all over with Body Glide.  And now it feels like someone stuck a banana in my pants and turned a monkey loose.

Because I’ve had to limit my running in the past few months, I can’t really say how not eating meat has affected my training.  There’s no reason to suspect that it has been a hindrance, and given today’s experience, I’m tempted to say that eating this way has helped me to maintain fitness during my relative hiatus from intense training.  But maybe that’s wishful thinking.

Erin waitingBut while I’ve felt like a lazy bump on the couch for the past few months, Erin has done something that I consider incredible.  In March she bought a road bike, just before getting really sick with some awful robo-cop roto-virus that sent her to the ER for one night and kept her from doing much of anything for about a month.  She had already signed up for a 62-mile bike ride to benefit diabetes research, and the doctor told her that it would be pretty much impossible for her to do it.  But she trained all throughout April, leaving me in the dust on a few 10-15 mile rides and gradually increasing to 30, 40, and 50 miles.  All on her own, and never having Erin ridingridden before!  And last Sunday she completed the 62-mile diabetes ride, to my endless astonishment.  I was so proud of her.  That’s my girl!  Who says you can’t do amazing stuff without meat?

That’s all for now, the potatoes for gnocchi-making are just about finished in the oven.  And nobody will want to eat that if I don’t shower before getting my hands all up in it!

And if you’re wondering about Michael Pollan last night, his talk was really entertaining.  I’ll get a post up about it in the next few days.



Dig this post?
Spread the word!

Keep in touch:

The 7 Foods Worth Eating Every Single Day

wooden signpost near a pathOur 7-Day Kickstart Plan is unique in that it focuses on the highest quality whole foods (including the 7 foods worth eating every day), to make sure you get everything you need on a plant-based diet.

The Kickstart Plan includes:
  • A 7-day meal plan, built around the foods worth eating every single day
  • 14 of our favorite recipes that pack in the nutrition, taste great, and are easy to make
  • Focused on simplicity and speed, to minimize stress and time commitment
It's the best way we know of to get started with a whole-food, plant-based diet, for just 7 bucks. Learn more here!


  1. Great stuff & excellent blog. I’ve recently started adding greens to smoothies as well – also from a friends suggestion. I use frozen spinach and toss that in there with my usual berries, bananas, etc. I honestly don’t taste much of a difference.

    Andy Campbell’s last blog post..HP 5K

    • I just got some spinach (fresh) to try for smoothies, since it’s actually a lot cheaper than the spring mix and other blends I’ve been buying. I can’t believe frozen spinach doesn’t taste like anything in there; it has a pretty distinctive taste when you eat it alone.

  2. Your smoothie looks delicious! I like to add baby bok choy to mine because it’s so healthy and you can’t taste it in the smoothie. 🙂 I’m curious about the no-meat train too… wondering if it really does decrease inflammation. Good luck to both of you with your training!

    jessica~’s last blog post..Spicy Peanut Coconut Sauce (with no actual peanuts)

    • Baby bok choy is so good! Whenever I cook with it, I snack on it the whole time. I didn’t know that it’s one of the really healthy ones. Then again, I don’t know too much about greens except spinach.

  3. Colleen says:

    Way to go, Erin!! What an accomplishment!!

  4. Great pictures of Erin. You go, girl!

  5. You know what you should try is a chocolate banana smoothie!
    I make mine like so:

    2 whole bananas
    1-2 tablespoons of Amazing Grass Chocolate Powder
    Then I ad a bit of almond or hemp seed milk, sometimes just water (I add just enough to get the stuff turning)

    Not sure what greens powder you use, but I use one made by All One and it doesn’t turn my fruit smoothies a green color at all.

    Caleb’s last blog post..You better bring your lead head

    • That sounds really good. I’ll have to try that Amazing Grass Chocolate Powder. Sounds much better than the Barlean’s Greens I was using before. And boy do I love almond milk now.

  6. Hey, have you tried using a foam roller to stretch your IT Band? I use it on some of my clients and they all love it. A quick google search came up with this demonstration…

    • I love foam rolling, when I can get myself to do it! But actually for IT band, the rolling I do is on a tennis ball. I’ll check your link to see how to do it with a roller.

      My biggest problem (and part of the reason I think my IT band got inflamed) is that I always put off foam rolling and never get to it. I guess because I don’t watch much TV, so it’s really boring to do it for a half hour or whatever. This is definitely something I need to get back to though. If only TV were better!

  7. Congratulations on your run! I’m glad it came easily to you. Also big congrats to your wife! 62 miles- that is awesome!!

  8. Congrats to Erin! You’re amazing!

Leave a Comment