Tag Archives: Greek vegans

Documentary about the Vegan Joggler

Thanks to a very talented group of students from Bronxville high school for producing this short film. Although I kind of liked being this mysterious figure and this makes me a lot less of one, I’m still glad I got to share my story since a lot of people find it inspiring. I was very impressed with the finished product, especially the music. I rarely mention the horrible backstory that lead me to take up joggling because it was eons ago and now my joggling is so intertwined with my veganism that I almost forget how it all started.

If you like stories about passion and perseverance, then this is for you. All credit for the documentary goes to Ohto, John George, and Scott; I didn’t film or edit this, that was all their work. There are no special effects. I hope all you fit-freaks and even non-fit-freaks around the world find it informative and inspiring.

3 amazing vegan blogs

Every now and then I discover a vegan blog that really grabs me. The kind of vegan blog that sings and sizzles everything vegan, with delicious recipes, new approaches to vegan activism, and vegan lifestyle tips. The 3 vegan blogs I love the most these days are:

The Friendly Fig – Can’t really beat this blog when it comes to content. Not only do they have some of the best vegan recipes out there, they live up to their names. Lots of friendly Italian recipes, because 1/2 of the Friendly Fig is Italian, and if there is one cuisine I can’t live without it is Italian. Check out their Very Vegan Lasagna recipe. Also has health tips, travel tips, and some fantastic photos. Did I mention that they are friendly?

Greek Veganista – Finally an awesome Greek vegan blog! Sure there are other Greek vegan blogs(I’m not sure if mine counts), but this is arguably the best. Not only does it have a lot of helpful information for animal activists, and interesting travel posts, it also has many mouth-watering, delicious classic Greek recipes, all totally veganized! I often wish my blog could be more like Greek Veganista’s, but I’m not that great of a cook or that great of a designer.

Italian Vegan Way of Life – That I love Italian food is an understatement. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always loved pasta, tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, mushrooms, basil, and even broccoli. While there are plenty of other Italian vegan blogs out there, this one is in a class by itself, due to all it’s incredible, nutritious recipes. It’s in Italian and English, so I learn a little bit of Italian every time I visit. Everything from main meals to deserts and appetizers can be found in this Italian vegan paradise. Also has occasional travel posts.

 

Photos from the Brooklyn Marathon

Here are some photos from the rainy Brooklyn Marathon last month:

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Thanks to Ken Shelton at Ken Shelton Photography for the photos! In case you are new here, yes, I did juggle the entire time and finished in under 4 hours(3:52:33). I think I am about 95% recovered from this marathon. I already did a 20 mile run last week without much difficulty. Thanks to my friends and followers for your advice and inspiration!

My post marathon progress

I hope everyone is having a terrific autumn and is ready for the Holiday season. Many of you may be wondering how I am doing after last week’s marathon, which was 6 days ago. So how am I doing exactly?

  • About 95% of the soreness is gone
  • I’ve run about 25 miles this week

To help me recover I’ve been eating a lot of fresh blueberries and other fruits, and drinking a lot of tart cherry juice to deal with the inflammation. I can’t say for sure if they have helped lessen the inflammation, but at least they provide carbs, vitamins, and minerals. I’ve also been doing strength-training. This has almost certainly helped rebuild the muscle that was damaged during the marathon. For some reason, I was more sore after this marathon than after the hillier Yonkers Marathon. I suspect it may have been due to not doing enough leg strengthening exercises before(and maybe not getting enough sleep). I read somewhere that it may not help or may even hurt your marathon performance if you do strength training very close to a marathon, so didn’t do it for a week prior to the Brooklyn Marathon, while I did strength training a few days before my first marathon.

I also didn’t run until 3 days after the Brooklyn Marathon, compared to 2 days after the Yonkers Marathon, and then have been doing short, easy runs, nothing beyond 9.5 miles yet. On the days that I rested my legs, I did some heavy ball juggling for cardio.

I will resume running longer distances next week. Thanks to everyone for your tips and support!

If you ran a marathon recently, please tell us how your post marathon training and recovery is going.

Back in business!

If you remember my post from october 19th, “13.1 mile run to Valhalla again“, I was much slower than usual. This was mostly due to donating blood 3 days before the run. It took me 2 hours and 18 minutes to run the 13.1 miles to Valhalla, while I can normally run this distance in a little less than 2 hours. I was slow pretty much all of last week, even on my 22 mile run(or better yet, “slug crawl”) to “Little Iran”.

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Shiraz restaurant in “Little Iran”, Elmsford, New York

Now, it appears my blood has mostly recovered. Today, 14 days after the blood donation, and 30 days after the marathon I managed to run 13.6 miles to Hastings and back in 1 hour 58 minutes. During the run, a cyclist acquaintance of mine tried to pretend he was juggling while cycling after he passed me. It was really funny, and I gotta say, he shows a lot of potential to be a good juggler-cyclist! Besides this, I felt like I was in top form during most of the run(even when running up hills), and didn’t feel totally exhausted afterwards. Right now I still feel very energetic, compared to how I often felt last week.

While the main reason I donated blood was to do a good deed, I was also interested in experimenting to see how much slower I would get and how long it would take to recover. Just as I suspected, it isn’t a big deal and I encourage all healthy people, athletes and non-athletes to donate whenever possible.

Now I am almost back to the way I was before, thanks to eating a lot of iron rich foods and supplements, and can work on improving my speed again.

How I did at the Yonkers Marathon

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A few minutes after crossing the finish line

First of all, congratulations to all finishers of the challenging Yonkers Marathon! And a big thanks to everyone supporting and cheering us as we raced!

Yesterday, I completed the hilly Yonkers Marathon while juggling, my first ever marathon. It felt spectacular! It took me 3:51:43, to complete the 26.2 mile(42.1 km) course. I wasn’t expecting completing in under 4 hours, not just because this was my first marathon but also because of all the hills. And some old injuries which occasionally give me problems. Most of the hills aren’t very challenging, the inclines are mostly gentle, except at the point where Main Street in Hastings-On-Hudson meets route 9 when the route loops back into Yonkers, between miles 4 and 5(17 and 18 during second loop of full Marathon).

The race was a combined full and half-marathon, so at the 8 AM start there were around 1,200 runners total, with only 196 doing the full marathon. Half-marathoners did one loop, full-marathoners 2 loops. My overall place was 86. It was really crowded at the start, in front of the Yonkers library in downtown Yonkers. Because I’m a joggler, I wanted to be toward the back and by the side, in case I dropped the balls. I dropped them 4 times.

The first few miles north on Warburton Ave were a breeze(it was 55 F or 12.7 C at the start) and is mostly a gentle incline. I decided to start slow, and it would have been difficult to pass many runners due to how crowded it was. At first the route is very urban, and kind of slummy, but it became increasingly suburban the further north we went. Between mile 2 and 3, there were some decent views of the Hudson(trees tend to block much of the view in the warmer months). Just after mile 3 it starts feeling rural, with lots of wooded park areas. Some of the houses in this area have great views of the Hudson. It was around this time that I had my first drop, all because I wanted to drink some Gatorade.

The Newington Cropsey Foundation art museum. It is one of the most interesting sites places the marathon route passed. It is located near the middle of Hastings.

The Newington Cropsey Foundation art museum. It was one of the most interesting places along the marathon route. It is located near the middle of Hastings.

A little after mile 4 and we’re in Hastings-On-Hudson. This is a picturesque small town just north of Yonkers with a Bohemian feel to it and some historical sites. By this time the crowd of runners started to thin out and I was passing a lot of runners. Some were impressed while others felt bad about having someone run faster than them who is also juggling. There weren’t a lot of crowds along the path, mostly just water and Gatorade stations where everyone cheered loudy for the passing runners and usually louder for me(this made me feel a little uncomfortable at times since I don’t normally enjoy being the center of attention). The staff from NYCrunners, and the Boy Scouts handing out water were very helpful and supportive. The police were also great at keeping traffic from interfering with the race(the route isn’t completely closed to traffic). I always thanked them as I passed.

A little after mile 6 and I was back in Yonkers. I was still passing runners but not as much as before. Between miles 8 and 9 I mostly stopped passing runners, and the route went from pleasant suburban to ugly industrial. I tended to grab water or Gatorade every 2 to 4 miles, running while drinking(though not juggling, these breaks were always very brief).

From miles 9 to 10, some runners would pass me and I would occasionally pass some runners who decided to walk. It also became increasingly urban as the route approached downtown Yonkers. I started to feel a little tired by mile 10. The temperature was rising, and there was nothing blocking the sun’s increasingly stronger rays.

Miles 11 to 12 were very urban, and there were a lot of people out in the streets watching the runners and cheering us on. My right hip started to bother me around here though strangely started feeling better a few miles later. The route comes within a quarter mile from the Bronx(northernmost borough of New York City) which is to the south, and even feels like the Bronx at this point. The route then goes west on Valentine Street, and then turns north and away from the Bronx on Riverdale Avenue toward the area where the Marathon started at mile 13.1. The crowd support at the starting/finish line area was great, so many were amazed by the joggling.

The strange turn-around to do the second loop for the full marathon was a bit confusing when the head of the marathon explained it at the beginning, but luckily helpful staffers were able to show me and other runners the right direction to go in. I probably would have ended up in the Hudson river if not for their guidance.

The crowd support at the center of town, and the knowledge that I was 50% through the race was very invigorating. The crowd of runners had thinned out, since it was now only us full marathoners. It almost felt like I was doing a training run because of the few runners I saw ahead of me on the road, mostly in the distance. My speed improved and I passed several more runners between miles 14 to 18, but I would occasionally slow down to quickly recharge my batteries. By mile 18 I felt I had hit the wall, in part due to that steep hill on the edge of Hastings village I mentioned earlier. I dropped the balls a couple of times between miles 18 and 20, and was passed by some faster runners. Besides this, the temperature had risen to the upper 60s(20 C) and I felt it and started to sweat a lot.

It was pretty lonely after mile 20, with a lot of space between me and most other runners. I could barely keep pace with the runners 50 to 200 feet ahead of me, when I could see them, and walked for 1 to 2 seconds a couple of times in hilly areas. By mile 24.5, after one last incline, there were no more hills. It was all downhill toward the finish line!

I had my last sip of Gatorade and felt reinvigorated at around mile 25 when told there was just 1 more mile to go. My speed picked up. As I approached the finish line area there were a lot of people cheering me on. As I crossed the finish line I did one of my tricks, throwing a ball above the finish line banner and catching it on the other side as a coup de grace. The crowd loved it. Although I didn’t do it perfectly, I was surprised I could do it at all due to my tiredness. I don’t think I’ve ever been cheered for that loudly before. Of course, I am not the first person to joggle an entire marathon, this has been done countless times before.

As I approached the baggage area I felt like I was going to faint and a few staffers were concerned. I quickly recovered though felt very sore. I drank a lot of Gatorade and water and had a Cliff Bar.

I felt very sore after the marathon, and feel a little sore now. However, I managed to walk for a few miles after the marathon to get some exercise. I’ve been drinking a lot of tart cherry juice and blueberry juice to help me recover. I also drink some blueberry kefir juice, and I think drinking this the day before and the morning of the race may be why I had no digestive complaints whatsoever during the marathon. Ordinarily I would at least feel some stomach pain if running over 15 miles.

All in all, a great experience. Some people might like to believe vegans can’t run marathons. I had certain people laugh at me when I told them I would complete one – while juggling the whole time. Now, I am laughing at them. Of course, a lot of people laughed at me during the marathon due to my juggling, but it was more of a complimentary laugh. They were also laughing at the male runner dressed in a tutu, though it’s not a real marathon if there isn’t a man in a tutu running it. I laughed too, though laughed less and less when I realized how fast he was.

Alas, I couldn’t keep up with the runner in the tutu, but there is always a next time. I hope everyone does great at their races!

If anyone reading this has any good photos from the marathon, please email me.

Related articles:

Great Spirits of the Loch Ness Marathon 2013