If you were reading our blog posts back in September, you might remember that we wrote about being plant-strong athletes, and specifically covered Tara and Craig’s triathlon race. Last week, they took on their next athletic endeavor: the marathon!
For the past four months, Tara and Craig had been training for their first marathon. As you may have read in our recent morning workout post, we prefer to exercise with, or before, the sunrise. Tara and Craig were up at 6am every day doing hill workouts, mile repeats, fartleks, distance runs, and pool workouts. Sunday, May 5, (right smack dab in the middle of finals week), was the day they had been eagerly anticipating all semester. RACE DAY!!
They loved it. Running a marathon was the most exhausting physical exertion that they had ever put their bodies through, but also one of the most fun and definitely the most exhilarating things they have ever done. As the saying goes, “pain is temporary, but pride is forever”—totally true, totally worth it. After three hours and forty nine minutes of running through the “City of Bridges,” Tara and Craig crossed the finish line, plant-powered victors. The notorious 26.2 had been conquered
Both Jenna and Craig’s dads also ran the Pittsburgh marathon that day! Craig’s dad, Roy, was also a first-timer to the race, and finished with an awesome time of 4:16! Jenna’s dad, Gary, was the experienced marathoner of the bunch. But this was his first time running a race since going plant-based, and he PR-ed with a (boston qualifying!!) time of 3:19!! WOOHOO plant power!!!
You’re all probably wondering what we ate to fuel for the race. During training, we just ate our typical plant-based meals and snacks (no extra protein or special “superfoods”), and based our intake levels on appetite. During distance runs (longer than 15 miles), we fueled with either medjool dates or bananas. The night before the race, we had “E2 black beans and rice extravaganza” (swapping out water chestnuts for diced mango) to power up for the big day, and in the morning we had big bowls of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit! During the marathon, we passed by all of the “gu” and Gatorade stations and went for the water, and carried a few dates along that we had packed from home.
For the race, Tara and Roy both wore their “No Meat Athlete” shirts to sport their plant-passionate enthusiasm This was really fun because not only did it promote the plant-strong lifestyle, but it also enabled others in the plant-based community to come together and support one another. They both got lots of shout-outs from the crowd, and from fellow runners as well!
Overall, the race was an exciting and exhilarating experience, and an amazing accomplishment. And we’re already looking forward to the next big race!
You don’t need animal-products to be a good athlete. In fact, by fueling with plants, you can be an even better athlete! Plants provide optimal nutrition, no exceptions. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Case closed
ALL HAIL THE KALE!
-The College Greens