Winning Plant-Based Diet for Runners (Part 2)
Precisely halfway through the day’s event, with 12.5k under my belt and that much more to go, my Achilles tendon suddenly began to ache.
My pace automatically slowed. The red-shirted guy I was trailing started pulling away. Knowing the tendon might be torn, I had a decision to make.
Push through the pain and go faster? Or hobble the rest of the way to the finish line?
For well over two years, I’d been eating plant-based. And on race day, I was eating a simple plant-based diet for runners.
From the greens and plain potatoes that started my morning to the antioxidant-filled berry smoothie I’d just downed, my body was running on the goodness of plant-based fuel.
Confident that it had what it needed to battle the inflammation, I chose to push through the pain. I began making up the ground on the red shirt.
Quickening my pace, I looked beyond him and saw the lead female runner 200k ahead. My Achilles tendon protested with every stride – but if I were going to run with Navy Seals, I needed to act like one!
Focusing on this thought, I passed the red shirt. Ten meters ahead was the girl, with blue yoga shorts and an untied shoe. I hoped she wouldn’t trip!
Another 1k flew past. As we crossed the finish line for the third time, the announcer called out our names together. She stopped to tie her shoe, and I limped over to the Fruitive tent.
My family was concerned about my heel, so my daughter did some specific Achilles tendon stretches with me.
Winning Plant-Based Diet for Runners – Meal Four:
Despite feeling sore, I did another MESH and finished my spinach and mixed greens. Even though I’d run three races, I wasn’t as hungry as I’d been earlier in the day.
So I waited a bit before joining my brother Bruce to enjoy a bowl of squash soup and some of Fruitive’s vegan chili. Throughout the day, our only sustenance was WFPB from Fruitive and extra fruits and veggies.
Bruce likes to call himself a “gratefultarian.” As a mostly plant-based vegetarian, he’s grateful for every piece of food he puts in his mouth.
For race day, he was more than content to enjoy nothing but WFPB from Fruitive!
My fourth 5k was about to begin. I was trying not to limp, but my leg wouldn’t cooperate. So I limped up to the starting line and spotted the red-shirt guy.
But this time, I’d follow the lead female who was faster.
While my heel concerned me, I figured that having run through the pain once, I could do it again. After trailing her for about 500 yards, I decided I could go faster.
So I found a spot on the trail where I could pass her while maintaining 6 feet of social distancing. Occasionally, I took a backward glance to see if she or the red-shirt guy were gaining on me.
But I didn’t see them for the remainder of Race 4.
Winning Plant-Based Diet for Runners – Meal Five:
I craved berries but had to satisfy myself with another bowl of squash soup, more chili, and a few housemade sourdough bread slices.
Then, another MESH routine: mediation, pushups, stretching, and water. By that time, all the runners were looking pretty worn.
The red-shirt guy complained, “I’d rather just run the entire 50k than this start-stop @#$ all day.” He vowed never to do a race like this again.
I was definitely in pain! But, as I say to my children, “a sore life is the best life.” Soreness indicates we’re staying active and pushing our muscles to the max.
Being sore has a satisfying element, as long as I can recover quickly. And the best tool I’ve found to reduce soreness and inflammation is the plant-based diet for runners.
At 5 p.m., the final 5k was about to start. I’d been wearing a thin race shirt and shorts , but it was cooling off. I threw on a light jacket, hobbled to the starting line, and focused on matching my Race 4 pace.
I started strong, but… my body wouldn’t obey!
When I tried to pick up the pace, the response wasn’t there. Halfway through the race, both the red-shirt guy and the lead female passed me.
Annoyed, I tried all my little mental tricks to stay with them. But they kept pulling away. Each kilometer took me from 30 to 60 seconds longer than in my earlier races.
My legs refused to accelerate.
Then I saw the lead girl move ahead of the red-shirt guy. I wasn’t the only one struggling. We were all slower.
I pushed on and crossed the finish line for the fifth and last time.
Winning Plant-Based Diet For Runners – Meal Six:
When we picked up Fruitive for dinner, I specifically asked for a bowl full of berries. The Fruitive team made me a bowl of fruit topped with a smiley face!
They also sent word that they were very proud of me for completing the race.
After finishing the berries, I downed a couple of pieces of Fruitive’s oil-free plant-based pizza. Then I filled the bathtub with hot water and soaked for an hour.
We’d have to wait until Sunday night for the final race scores, but I was satisfied with my effort. I knew I’d given it my all.
My entire body ached,- not only from the race but also the 1,000 pushups. But I was sure that my plant-based diet for runners was already helping my Achilles and muscles recover.
After my bath, I texted the race’s management:
“Great day! So happy we could participate in multiple ways. We loved working with your team and are definitely open to doing it again next year.”