Category Archives: run

Successful Day in the Life screening!

 

Thanks to everyone who came out for the first ever Day in the Life screening. Over 70 people joined us! Many thanks to The North Face for not only providing the space, but donating 2 $50 gift cards to the raffle. Just by showing up you had a 1 in 35 chance of walking away with $50 to spend at The North Face! We’d also like to thank Veggie Grill for giving us a great deal on the delicious food and Golden Saddle Cyclery, Moth Attack Bikes and Ergon Bike Ergonomics for donating to the raffle.

 

Chris Kostman/AdventureCORPS photo.

 

As I’ve said before, we are so fortunate to have been there to capture Donovan’s experience running 100 miles. Sasha’s short film is so damn motivating! Everyone had smiles on their faces when it ended and we had a number of great questions about veganism, ultra-running, filming and our project. The excitement in the room makes me think we need more events like this. Thank you again to everyone who came and participated in one way or another- we could not have done this without you. If you missed it and still haven’t seen it, you can always watch Day in the Life episode 5 online. Meanwhile keep your eyes out for our next episode!

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Day in the Life Screening April 15th

I am so stoked to announce our first ever Day in the Life screening! On Sunday April 15th at 630pm at The North Face in Beverly Hills [map] we’re showing a special edition of Donovan’s episode where he runs his first 100-mile race. A Q&A with Filmmaker and co-creator Sasha Perry, ultra-runner Donovan Jenkins and myself will follow.

 

Details

-Free food samples from The Veggie Grill! Both The North Face and Veggie Grill have been super helpful in making this event not only great, but free. These will be samples, not a meal. Looking at you Jack Lindquist.

-Raffle for all attendees! Prizes from Golden Saddle Cyclery, The Farmhouse Conf 2, The North Face and True Love Health.

-It’s the night of CicLAvia, which you should definitely also do that day.

-The Q&A should be super fun because we’ve planted people to ask all the pressing questions like, ‘where do you get your protein?’

How you can help

Share the above flier and the link to this page with running and vegan forums, meet-up groups, organizations, etc. Your own connections can really help to get people there!

Use this printable pdf of the flier for running stores, vegan restaurants and other places.

Join and share the facebook event page.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you there! If this is a success there’s talk of a mini-tour where the three of us travel to do screenings in other cities.

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Day in the Life 5; Ultrarunner Donovan Jenkins Attempts a 100-mile Run

First off, a big thank you to those who supported our successful Kickstarter. Because of you we are able to continue making these Day in the Life episodes with vegan athletes!

The Javalina Jundred course is 6 15-mile laps run 'washing machine style': each lap in the opposite direction. The 7th lap is a modified 10-mile loop.

Are you ready for this? You’ve had a preview of today’s episode because I posted about my experience filming with Donovan as soon as we got back from the Javalina Jundred. I mean, can you imagine running 100 miles? ONE HUNDRED MILES ON FOOT! And while 100% vegan. Donovan’s story is a truly remarkable one and it is a pleasure to share this with you. Enjoy!

How stoked are you right now? Don’t you want to turn off your computer and run to the farthest place you can imagine? Donovan really came through on this and I can’t thank him enough for the stokedtivity that he’s giving the world. Wow, just wow. If you truly are ready to take the next steps toward running an ultra, see his personal tips below.

Donovan’s tips on running your first ultra

Make it public—Enlist friends to run with you and tell people about it. When others know what you are doing it can give you a little extra motivation to get out the door and train on those tough days.

Follow a plan—Pick a training schedule appropriate for your race distance/terrain and stick to it as much as possible. Being consistent and gradually building up to your goal are essential for staying injury-free and having a successful race.

Keep records—You can’t follow a training schedule without paying attention to the numbers. Keeping records provides you with valuable information that can help you maximize the efficiency of your training and avoid over-training injuries.

But be flexible and keep it fun—Don’t be too obsessed with those numbers. Listen to your body, take time off, and cross-train as needed. Don’t let the numbers ruin your race or your life.

Spend extra time on your feet—In addition to the training miles and racing, one of the best ways to prepare your legs for a race that can take 24 hours is to spend extra time on your feet every day. If you walk/run a couple miles to and from work, spend all day on your feet, walk to the store, etc., you can easily spend 10-12 hours on your feet a day. Every little bit helps!

Race!—The best way to train for a race is to run shorter races. The more you race the better you will be able to pace and run your own race and know how hard you can push yourself. You also gain valuable and often overlooked knowledge about when to stop and what to eat at aid stations, how much water you need, what you should put in your drop bag, what clothes to wear, etc. There are fewer unknowns as you gain experience. Shorter races are great; learn from them and consider them hard training runs.

Eat the right foods—Reduce high fiber foods for a few days leading up to the race and during the race. Too much fiber may upset your stomach and cause extra bathroom breaks during the run. Also, for a more constant and steady energy source, stay away from the candy and refined sugar. I have better luck and bonk less often when I stick with fruits, potatoes and other real foods, like burritos.

Slow down—Most new runners run their easy runs too fast. Weekly long runs are for conditioning your legs to run long and if you push the pace it’s essentially racing, which is counterproductive if you don’t have the time to properly recover. If you are doing speed work and faster, shorter runs you will be better off keeping your long training runs slower than you feel like you need. Save the long, hard runs for races.

Run your own race—Don’t get carried away trying to keep up with a competitor. The person you are chasing up that hill may be running their first ultra and not know how to pace themselves, or it may be Scott Jurek! Whichever the case, if you stick to your plan and run within your abilities your race will come together as it should. My worst races have been those where I ran too fast at the beginning trying to keep up with someone when I shouldn’t have. If I had slowed down and let them go, there’s a good chance I would have caught them and passed them later in the race. Don’t let those around you determine your actions. It’s your race, run it as you have prepared to run it!

You may be asking, ‘where’s Donovan’s recipe?’ I requested one and what I gathered from his response is that his daily life is a lot like a 100-mile race: he snacks on fruit, nuts, coffee and burritos all day long. He did send me this photo of his work locker:

donovanslocker.jpg

Maybe if we pester him enough we can get an actual recipe-leave your requests in the comments! You can also harass him on twitter: @Donorun

Lastly, a huge thank you to Donovan for spending the day weekend with us, Aravaipa Running Race Director Jamil Coury (who is also vegan!) for letting us film, all the runners on the course and again our Kickstarter donors who made this possible. See you next time!

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Filed under Day in the Life, off-road, race, run, vegan

The Los Angeles I Love

9-mile trail run in Griffith Park, a short walk from my friend’s place. I love winter in Southern California not just because it’s not cold, but also because it’s so green and clear. At a party the night before a guy who had hike Mt Luekens that day said he had 100-mile visibility! Epic.

I won’t say much about the run except that I need to run more! These two dropped me on every hill…

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Javalina Jundred and My First Time Supporting a 100-mile Racer

I’ve spent a lot of time at endurance races, but almost all of them have been bike events. I’ve officiated at the Badwater 135, so I’ve some idea about ultra-running, but what I experienced this past weekend at the Javalina Jundred 100-mile foot race was completely new. I went out with my friend Donovan to film our first Kickstarter funded episode of Day in the Life so I can’t give away too many details….but let’s just say he wasn’t the only one to walk (limp?) away more stoked on ultra running than before the weekend started!

Donovan out on the course in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.

Watching runners come through the start/finish all day and then into the night was really something else. The course is a 15-mile loop with each lap run in the opposite direction. The last lap is only 10 miles to make 100 (101 actually!). We had gotten there earlier enough on Thursday to snag a camping spot right at the start/finish so we were embedded in all of the action.  In true Swarm! fashion we camped each night (many people set up their camp and then stayed in hotels) and cooked all of our meals on camp stoves. And keeping with the Burro Schmidt Running Club tradition started at the Calico 50k earlier this year, we cooked pancakes and beans. How cool is it that the athlete we film is down to camp and to be cheap before his first 100-mile run? I don’t know how we keep finding these people!

Our base camp. Photos courtesy of Donovan's mom who flew in from Montana for the race!

I’m going to have a full post with the Day in the Life episode where you’ll learn more about Donovan, his unbelievable path to veganism and what it was like to run his first 100-mile race.  Meanwhile I just couldn’t wait to mention this race and the awesome time I had out there. If you have the opportunity to do support at an ultra event please do take it. Being a part of an accomplishment like this is really gratifying; you don’t even have to run it! Discovery wrote about this year’s race if you’d like to get more of an idea about it.

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The Pull of Habit

The statement, ‘we are creatures of habit’ is an understatement, and as much as I love newness and change, this is still true for me. And a huge part of my profession is teaching behavior change!

I ride a lot. Most of my friends probably figure if I’m not working, eating or interneting, I’m out riding or running. And this is true, sometimes. Only when I’ve created that habit.  It is as true for me, someone who aims to ride 800-1000 miles a month, as it is someone training for their first organized bike event. Same with running.  If you are not in the habit of running, training for a 5k is just as hard as training for a 50k. When I’m out of the habit, I can’t imagine devoting 2 hours or more a day to getting on my bike or strapping on my running shoes. And if you are reading my site, then I know you’ve had the same experience (if not, you are a special human being and I am envious!).

I’m writing about this now because failing at the Arizona Trail Race really knocked me out of the habit of riding. I just didn’t want to. In behavior change psychology we say that the new, healthier behavior must appear more rewarding than the old behavior. When you don’t feel like riding, sitting on the internet just feels better. Why go out and do something you don’t want to do? What’s the benefit to that?

But there is benefit. And I’m not talking about physical benefits, but mental and relational. So many great conversations with friends happen slightly out of breath on the bike saddle or while running up trails in the wilderness. Not to mention the ideas that come with the clarity of movement and being out in the world. This is what I have to convince myself of.

Over the previous week I did 7 rides in 7 days. Nothing spectacular. Nothing super long or super fast. Just riding in order to create the habit of riding. Everyone, no matter what crazy events they have done, need to start anew after not training or riding regularly.  My advice for anyone trying to ride or run more often or at all, which is partly professional, but mostly personal, is to first work to create the habit. Just go. No structure or plan beyond making the time for it. If you are one of those people who signs up for an event, prints out a training schedule and follows it exactly for 8 weeks, this does not pertain to you. But for the rest of us, just getting out there is huge. Our biggest critic is our own brain- we tell ourselves we aren’t running long enough or fast enough and it’s just not worth it. Ignore it! Just get out there.  After a week or two of just doing the activity you are into you are in a much better position to plan and focus. It’ll come, you have to trust that.

So for the first time in a month I’m thinking about what events to sign up for this summer. I’m obviously not racing the Tour Divide, but I know that is for the best. I may do an 8-hour mountain bike race, which will be a nice change from doing only 24-hour or 100-mile events recently. May also do a few double centuries, since I didn’t do any all of last year. And maybe some shorter runs like halfs and marathons? What are you doing this summer? No matter what it is, if you are changing your behavior and pushing yourself to do more than you’ve done in the past, it is awesome. I get as stoked on friends’ first 5k as I do for their 100-mile runs! Just get out there.

Lastly, thanks for all of the AWESOME feedback from the A Day in the Life videos (if you haven’t seem them you should! Part one and part two). We’ve already filmed episode two and should have it up within a few weeks. I’m super stoked on this project!

 

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Day in the Life 1; Endurance Athlete Brian Davidson

I am so incredibly stoked about today’s post. This project is over a year in the making and today it finally goes live!  I’ve been working closely with friend and videographer Sasha Perry on a ‘Day in the Life’ video series: I spend the day with a vegan athlete training, cooking and learning the ins and outs of their veganism.  Athletes have the most demanding nutrition needs and if veganism can work for them, it can work for you. I’m in a unique position as a Registered Dietitian and an athlete to both professionally evaluate their meals and to attempt their workouts. And it’s fun!

The first athlete in our series is a good friend of mine, Brian Davidson. This guy is incredible.  He’s an airplane mechanic, who spends the day on his feet wrenching on airplanes, yet still finds time to bike commute and train.  He does everything from water polo to iron-distance triathlons and has finished the 500-mile Furnace Creek 508 bike race twice. His Stokedtivity Levels are not only off the charts, but contagious!  He was nice enough to share his training and eating with us while we figured out how to make this show work. Thanks Brian, you rule!

Without further ado, here’s the 10-minute glimpse into Brian’s vegan lifestyle.  The recipes we make are below, along with nutrition information.

Are you stoked to eat and train? Here’s how you can eat like Brian:

Brian’s Super Breakfast Smoothie
5 bananas
½ cup peanut butter
1 ½ cups frozen blueberries

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend! Add water as needed. Drink.
Make sure your teeth aren’t purple before you go out.

Servings-2
Calories-740
Calorie breakdown- Carbohydrate 50%, Protein 10%, Fat 40%
Carbohydrate- 94g
Protein-20g
Fat- 34g
Fiber- 15g
Iron- 1.6g

Nutrition Analysis- The simplicity of this smoothie is gold. Easy, low-cost, nutrient and calorically dense ingredients. It is very high in fat at 40%, but for someone like Brian who requires 4,000-5,000 calories a day eating a higher fat diet makes sense. I also like the flexibility of the recipe- you can sub another nut butter- almond, sunflower seed, cashew, etc or any frozen or fresh berries or fruits. And it’s a great use of over-ripe bananas!

Vegan Cashew Chicken Salad
16 ounces romaine hearts and/or salad greens
¼ cup cashews
2 roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup sliced carrots (optional: saute)
4 ounces vegan chicken strips, sauteed in a small amount of oil
2 tablespoons ginger miso dressing (optional: homemade dressing, recipes below!)

I love a slightly warm salad. Toss all of the room temperature ingredients and then add the vegan chicken and carrots, if sauteed.

Servings-1 big ass salad
Calories-825
Calorie breakdown- Carbohydrate 33%, Protein 15%, Fat 52%
Carbohydrate- 63g
Protein-29g
Fat- 45g
Fiber- 25g
Iron- 10.2g, 57%, Calcium- 343g, 34%, Vitamin C- 80mg, 148%, Vitamin A- 500+%

Nutrition Analysis: This is a giant salad that’s packed with good nutrition. Twenty grams of protein! Take that, stupid naturopaths that say you can’t get enough protein from plant foods. Like his smoothie, this is very high in fat, a whopping 45 grams, mostly from the avocado and cashews. These are great polyunsaturated fats- heart healthy! Brian’s theme is adjustability- even though we asked him to have recipes and ingredients ready for the show, he actually did just make it up when we got there. And so can you, if you keep healthy ingredients on hand.

Brian ate mostly raw vegan for many years and he was cool enough pass on a few of his favorite raw dressings. Like Brian, these recipes are creative and flexible.

Raw Tahini Dressing
1/3 cup seseme seeds
1 clove garlic
1-2 fresh squeeze oranges (add or reduce for consistency)
(Sometimes I just use water and add until I get the right consistency)
Blend & enjoy!

Servings-1
Calories-395
Calorie breakdown- Carbohydrate 38%, Protein 10%, Fat 52%
Carbohydrate-  41g
Protein- 11g
Fat- 24g
Fiber-  10g
Iron 7.2g, 40% Calcium 566g, 57%, Zinc 3.9g, 26%

This dressing is not playing around- look at those numbers for iron, calcium and zinc! Sesame seeds are also a great source of B-vitamins. One note about the calcium is that this is for unhulled sesame seeds- most of the calcium is in the hull of the seed (see this note from a colleague).  They are sometimes labeled as ‘natural’ and raw ones are more likely to be unhulled. A benefit to making your own tahini dressing? Most tahini is made with hulled sesame seeds.

Raw Herb Dressing
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 bunch cilantro (or parsley, mint, thyme, oregano)
1-2 fresh squeezed oranges (add or reduce for consistency)
Blend & enjoy!

Servings-1
Calories- 210
Calorie breakdown- Carbohydrate 56%, Protein 10%, Fat 34%
Carbohydrate- 32g
Protein- 6g
Fat-  9g
Fiber-  8g
Iron 1.3g, Calcium- 119g, 12%

While this recipe is not the banger that the tahini one is, it’s still solid. Also a good source of B-vitamins, like Folate and B6 and vitamin K. Also has significantly fewer calories.

Next week comes part two, where we join Brian in Death Valley to see how he fares in his 200-mile race. Without giving too much away, let’s just say he made veganism look good. Like really, really good!  We’ll also include more details of his training, including a plan for you to ride your first 100+ mile event.

Thanks for watching and please pass this on to anyone who says, ‘You can’t be vegan and an athlete!’ We’re here to prove them wrong. Also, do you know a vegan athlete we should profile? Or other suggestions for our series? Please leave your comments below and thanks for watching!

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Filed under Day in the Life, run, vegan