The Best Stuff I Read This Week — Boston Marathon Edition

It’s hard for me to believe, but I’m less than 13 hours away from standing in the starting corral at the Boston Marathon.

The weekend has gone by in a blur, and the overwhelming feeling I’ve taken away from the days leading up to Marathon Monday is that this really is something special.  Walking through the streets and just hearing people talk about all the famous parts of the race — the craziness of the start at Hopkinton, the screaming Wellesley girls near the halfway mark, Heartbreak Hill, and the finish in downtown Boston — just makes you realize how much history, tradition, and prestige are wrapped up in this greatest race in the world.   (And how fortunate you are to get the chance to be a part of it, even if just one time.)

With Scott Jurek, vegan and one of the world's greatest ultrarunners.

With the new qualifying standards, there’s a good chance this is it for me.  All that work, to get to run this 26.2 mile stretch once.  And that’s why I’m going to do everything I can to soak up every last bit of magic from this day as I can.

As if the weekend couldn’t get any better — and surreal — I found out last-minute that Chris McDougall, author of Born to Run, was holding a “Naked Run” for barefooters and anyone else in Boston on Saturday.  And guess who “anyone else” included?  None other than Scott Jurek, ultrarunning god and, as you probably know, vegan.  So I got to run alongside Chris and Scott for a little while, which was just about as cool a pair as I could imagine running with.

Though some did bare all, I didn’t go naked (barefoot).  I wore my Brooks Green Silence, to at least maintain some semblance of street cred among all these barefooters, but I think I’m going to try out a new pair of New Balance Baddeley 890’s for the marathon.

So that’s it… tomorrow’s the big day.  Until I get a chance to check in again, I’ve got a bunch of great stuff for you.  Read and be inspired to do something kickass.

How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon — No Meat Athlete

Yep, this one’s from me, but come on, give me a pass today.  Here are the most important steps I took to take 103 minutes off of my marathon time and get into Boston.

Do Something. Do Anything. — Nerd Fitness

Good stuff from Steve Kamb, in line with my recent “Just start” obsession.

Conclusion: There is No Such Thing as a Vegan — Il Post

That’s not really the title; the truth is this article is in Italian and so is the headline.  But this is the caption of the infographic, which is entirely in English.  Maybe the point here is to discourage vegans — someone who speaks Italian will have to let me know — but I actually felt the opposite in realizing that perfection is impossible.

Simple Ways to Be More With Less — Be More With Less

Courtney Carver’s new ebook.  It’s sort of about minimalism, much more about simplicity.  I read it in one night and woke up the next day feeling more inspired than I had been in a long time.  Not an affiliate link, just something I love and I think you will too.

How to Be Vegetarian and Not Gnaw Your Arm Off — Healthy Tipping Point

A good one to read if you’re veg-curious but worrying about being hungry all the time.  I totally agree with what Caitlin says about faux meats, protein, and eating fat at each meal.

You Know that Shit You Hate? — Advanced Riskology

One of my favorite posts from my friend Tyler, because I’ve only recently really begun to understand what a terrible waste it is to spend time on anything you hate.  Read this one if you find yourself doing that.

Discover Why Intermittent Fasting is the Secret Gateway to Superior Health — Ridiculously Extraordinary

Okay, the headline oversells it a bit, and I can’t say I’m on board quite yet.  But a lot of people I trust are behind this idea of periodic fasting, and I’m intrigued.  Given the difficulty of my first few experiences with a juice fast, it’ll be a while before I try it again, but I will say the challenge of depriving oneself of food for just a little while is something I’m not finished with.  After all, I think the challenge of being vegan is a small part of why I find this lifestyle appealing.

Alright, that’s all for today.  The next time I talk to you, assuming all goes well, I’ll be a Boston Marathon finisher!  Thanks for being with me on this journey.



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  1. Good luck tomorrow, Matt! Nice meeting you and your family.

  2. Good luck tomorrow Matt! I’m so excited for you and I can’t wait to hear all about your experience. You have earned this day! Enjoy your run!

  3. Have an amazing time tomorrow! I’m bringing a couple of Kenyans from my lab to watch the start. I probably won’t be able to see you in the crowd, but know that you’ll have more running carrot vibes coming your way in Hopkinton!

  4. Congrats again, Matt! You’ll have to run a wicked good race for me, since I can’t be in my old stomping grounds to cheer you and the rest of the field on.

    Is “kick its a**, sea bass” appropriate encouragement for a vegan? Maybe I should say, “Kick its a**, soy grass?”

  5. wohoo good luck & congrats for making it this far already! i hope you enjoy every minute, every mile!

    and double wohoo for running with scott! awesome!

  6. Hey Matt, Wish you luck for trrow’s race! 🙂

  7. Good luck tomorrow Matt!

  8. Good luck for the marathon! I hope it’s everything you want it to be.

    Thanks for the links. I always find something really great in these posts of yours. This time it’s Advanced Riskology – exactly what I’m doing at the moment.

  9. GOOD LUCK TODAY!!! I’ll be cheering at the finish line! Woooo!! 🙂

  10. Have fun today Matt! Good luck to all the No Meaters out there!

  11. Good luck with the marathon, and thanks for the links. The ‘You know that shit you hate’ one really hit a nerve…

  12. Good luck today, and congrats on making it so far!

    A side note: I’m currently taking Italian, and as far as I can tell, the article is indeed about how incredibly difficult (and perhaps impossible) it is to use no animal products whatsoever. It’s like the post you did a while back on foods that you may not have known are not vegetarian.

    • I was about to write a short translation of the article (I’m italian) but the idea is exactly the one exposed in the previous comment!

      The article comments are indeed quite stupid, if you have a chance to read them you’ll know why being vegan and living here it’s not easy at all, surrounded by these nice people and cheese everywhere =)

      The wine is quite good, though!

      Good luck today and congrats!!

  13. Have a great race Matt and soak it all in! My training to “requalify” for Boston begins in 6 weeks as I hope to lower my BQ by 5 minutes to hope to get in before the new lowered standards kick in for 2013! I envy your opportunity to rub elbows with two ultra greats while getting ready to run the most famous marathon on earth!! Very proud of your accomplishments! Wish I was there!

  14. Good luck! You’ve certainly earned a good run… Enjoy it.

  15. oh my goodness – good luck! I can’t wait to hear all about the race! 🙂

  16. I’m following your progress Matt!

    Great job through the first 15km. Keep up the great work!

  17. I”m sure as I type you’re kicking major assphalt and having the time of your life. I hope you enjoy every moment, you deserve it.

    Regarding the above mentioned Italian article. I understand enough Italian to get that it’s saying “it’s impossible to be a ‘perfect’ vegan” but I cannot tell the tone of the article based on the way it’s written. Let’s just say none of us can be perfect in any moral ideal we strive for, but that’s not a reason to not strive.

  18. Matt–so excited I just saw you just run by not to long ago (around mile 24) and just wanted to congratulate you. there’s no better feeling than finishing a Boston marathon. hope you enjoy my amazing city and CONGRATS!!

  19. Great run Matt! I was following you online. Congrats!!

  20. Great finish Matt!

  21. Too late to wish you luck, but congrats on the race — hope you had a blast and enjoyed every second!

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