I have the running bug again!
Over 30 years ago, I participated in cross country and track in high school and never in my wildest dreams thought I would be a competitive runner again.
At 48-years-old, I had my gut hanging over my belt, weighed 228 pounds and found myself winded just walking up and down the stairs. That’s when I decided to lace up the sneakers and started pounding the pavement again.
It was a slow comeback during the Winter of 2011. I started off running a mile on the treadmill. A few weeks later, I was up to 2 miles and before I knew it, spring had sprung and I was able to run 4 miles.
I wasn’t on the return to running journey on my own. My wife, who had never been a runner, wanted to get back in shape after having 2 kids and decided to take up the activity as well.
To help motivate us, we signed up for a race. Our goal, to run the Portland Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5k Road Race. Out of 2,459 runners, I finished in 1,224th place with a time of 30:28. Not like my glory years in high school, but hey, after a few decades of not running on a regular basis, I was really just happy I ran the whole race and didn’t pass out.
I ran a few more races, continued to train during the Summer and Fall and saw my 5k time get a little better, but I wanted more.
During the Winter of 2012, my wife and I made the decision to become vegan. By not eating meat, dairy or eggs and continuing to run, I lost around 50 pounds and all of sudden I round myself running longer and faster. At the 2012 Portland Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5k Road Race I finished in 420th place with a time of 24:50. That’s an improvement of 5:38 from the 2011 race and I finished 804 places higher.
In 2013, I ended up in 290th place with a time of 24:21 and just last month at the age of 51 in the same race, I ran the 3.1 mile course in 22:36 and finished in 135th place.
I am a firm believer that being vegan and continuing to run on a consistent basis have helped me become very competitive on the racing circuit. When you look at my race times, it’s hard to argue that my new lifestyle isn’t the reason I have become stronger and faster.
Running and eating a plant-based diet isn’t for everyone, but it definitely has been for us.
That’s why my wife and I have started training for a marathon. That still sounds crazy to me. A marathon? Just a few years ago, my wife could barely run a block and I got winded climbing the stairs. Now in October, we will be running 26.2 miles.
After that, who knows what will be next except continuing to enjoy that vegan thing.