Heidi the Vegan Half-Marathoner

I picked up my race package for the Vancouver Half-Marathon I’ll be running in tomorrow (May 5th, 2013). Lucky for us, the typically rainy and cold weather has abated for the week in exchange for gorgeous flip-flop worthy blue skies. Race day calls for a high of 24 degrees C, totally clear skies. Perfect!

Backstory time!

I’ve been running for about 3 1/2 years, 3 as a barefooter, and this will be my second half-marathon. I’m not fast, but I definitely take training seriously, and push myself to do my best. This year I thought I’d share a little bit about being a vegan runner, and also about some of the things that have influenced me over the years.

I’ve been overweight my entire teen and adult life, and since shortly after I realized I was chubbier than my peers, (about age 12) I’ve been trying to lose weight. You’ve probably heard loads of stories about girls growing up with weight issues, dieting, trying to be ‘normal’ etc, and my story is pretty classic. One thing that’s a bit different is going vegan in my senior year of high school, and finding that while it didn’t completely solve my weight problems, it sure helped keep it under control.

I have depression, but in 2009 I tried running to kick it, and it worked. (for the most part)

Nowadays I still have to work really hard to prevent weight from creeping on, but I’ve learned to love exercise, and I must say, I’m no slouch! I’ve become fully committed to a low-fat, mostly organic, gluten-free diet too. (Celiac disease is a pretty strong motivator!) Even though I’m no supermodel, I’m super proud of myself and wouldn’t trade my body for anyone else’s. Thats a big step from my teen self. The biggest internal change for me happened when I fully let go of my dreams of having the mainstream idea of a ‘perfect’ body, and traded it for what I imagined what my body would look like if I got really strong and fit, I took that idea, and went for it. Heck, sure I’m a bit on the heavy side, but I’m a kick-butt cyclist and runner, and can go way farther than any slim, but out of shape girl. Not to mention muscles look pretty good on me. (I love checking out my sweet quads). : ) Woohoo!

Ok, so, happy story! Here’s down to some everyday basics.

My OCD self, (of course I have more recently been diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder, hah, just add it to the list right?) would like to share (almost) everything I’ll have on me tomorrow on race day.

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Of course there’s the requisite spandex, then from the top left I’ve got a space blanket (handy for while waiting for the race to start, since its usually freezing), gloves, Merrel barefoot trail shoes (I train on trails), some coconut water for hydration (to drink on the way), tunes, phone, bib & time chip, some ID & money just in case, athletic tape to tape up my feet to prevent blisters, sunscreen, Vega in a jar (to drink on the way), and some veggie gummies for sugar when I need a boost. Oops, I forgot sunglasses and a hat. Anyways, you get the idea.

Ok, now its time for beans, lentils, rice and veggies-fest, and then early to bed. Wish me luck!!

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2 thoughts on “Heidi the Vegan Half-Marathoner

  1. Yay, good luck tomorrow!! I can so relate to your struggle with body image/weight/etc. I was 12 too when the idea that something was wrong with me became planted in my head. I can still remember biking down the street and being called names and being confused that they were talking about me…I felt great on my bike haha! It’s a long process to repair the kind of damage that young girls face….good for you for coming so far!!

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  2. How did the race go?? Love the idea of barefoot running. Makes sense to me since I love barefoot dancing. Feels much more grounded.(no pun intended) As for body image – NO ONE is satisfied with themselves. I have never heard a woman express that her body is just right the way it is and really really mean it. Good for you for coming to terms with this issue along with your other health issues!!

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