Sunday, November 04, 2012

a vegan runner's story and a favor?

Me running the Philly Rock and Roll Half Marathon in September 2012

Today, I ran the the Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge 10K, a 6.2 mile event starting in Camden, NJ, just across the river from Philadelphia. More than 4,000 runners braved the cold and sped across the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philly enjoying the view of the skyline [well, as much as you can enjoy it when racing uphill!]. Then, we ran back over the bridge and through the city of Camden. I finished with my best time yet: 46:47; 8:01 pace; 12th in my age group of 191 – top 5%! Not bad for a protein-deficient old lady [Read with tongue planted firmly in cheek]. 

The Ben Franklin Bridge as seen from Campbell Field, before the start of the Run the Bridge 10K

Today's race benefitted the Larc School. I much prefer races that are tied into a charity rather than for-profit events like the Rock & Roll Marathon series.

How I got into running races

Turning off my watch and relieved to be crossing the finish line at this year's Philadelphia Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon
Although I've been running for fun since I was 19, I only started racing two years ago at age 45. The depression I experienced as I was going through my divorce – perhaps the most trying time of my life – gave me the impetus to start training. I'd felt so down for so long, and desperately needed a pick me up that did not involve wine or chocolate. Running enabled me to focus on something positive that I enjoyed. That year, I ran my first 2 half marathons, my first 5K [placing 2nd in my age group, 45-49, much to my surprise!] and my first 10-miler. I was hooked.

Last year, I was forced to take 8 months off running because of a health issue and 2 ensuing surgeries. Not running was much harder for me than running ever was. But one week after the second surgery, I felt remarkable and went out for a 3-mile run! Running continues to be an important part of my life – and I daresay my identity, for several reasons. It keeps me:
  • Sane: I can be in the worst mood or down in the dumps, and a run will magically cure it – love those endorphin rushes. I've often regretted not going for a run, but I have never regretted having gone for a run. Running calms me.
  • Fit: The average healthy adult's resting heart rate is 60-80 beats per minute. Mine is 40, which according to the charts, is in the conditioned athlete range. Running and weight-bearing cardiovascular exercise is good for you in a number of ways.
  • Motivated: I'm 47 and can run 8 and sub-8 minute miles! Me? Really? Who'd'a "thunk?" Running and training is hard work, but in addition to the health payoffs, it also boosts your confidence and helps you connect with your physical and emotional strength and discipline.
Just call me "Crazy Hair!"

Go, Team Vegan Philly! Can you help me?

I wanted to put my hobby to good use, so I am now running with Team Vegan Philly. We are a group of Philadelphia vegan runners, and we hit the pavement to raise money to support the fabulous efforts of the Humane League, This great organization educates the public about the cruel realities of factory farming and the health, environmental and ethical benefits of a veg diet. We're running various distance races this Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, November 17-18. I'm running the 8K since this is my last race of the winter racing season.

I hate to ask for things, but I'm asking on the animals' behalf. Can you support me and/or any of the other Team Vegan runners? Anything you can spare – $1, $5 or $10 – helps raise awareness. Or if you are a business in the Philly area and want to sponsor us, please drop us a line.  My goal is to raise $500 -- pretty lofty since I just signed up and only have 2 weeks. 

Can you help Team Vegan Philly help the animals? To sponsor me, please visit my Team Vegan page right here.

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Veggie polyglotographer said...

Wow. That's great! I'll try donating something.

urban vegan said...

Thank you so much! That is so great of you! :)

Babette said...

You're good! 12th in a group of 191, I am very impressed! Good luck for the November race. I hope you'll do a little report here =)

Bianca said...

Yea!!!!!!!! So proud of you! I just started running a couple years ago too, and I am very, very slowly working my way up. I can run a 10K now, but I want to start training for a half-marathon soon. There is no better feeling than the one I have when I'm running!

Jennifer said...

You are my vegan running hero! I will be running the half that Sunday..good luck in the 8k and I hope my little donation helps you to your goal!

urban vegan said...

Thank you SO much, Jennifer. Kick asphalt on the half--you will have an awesome run! :)

hawkeyemaps said...

Awesome job on the 10k! I too am a vegan runner and really admire how you "put your hobby to good use". I'll have to look into joining or putting together a Team Vegan Buffalo or something of the like. Hope my small donation helps! I did my first marathon this past May, and am hoping to break 4 hrs come next memorial day weekend :)

urban vegan said...

Thank you SO much for your donation. I appreciate it and will run my best for the critters. Keep me posted on your next run!

GiGi said...

I will totally donate something. I just started running again in JUne. Yesterday I ran 6.5 miles and I am gearing up to do a half. Thank you for the inspiration! You go lady. Lookin good!

urban vegan said...

Thank you SO much, Gigi, for helping the animals! I just finished the race and am dying to see my team's results! Great chilly day :)