4th of July

The other day I saw Picky Runner did a ‘day in the life of’ blog, so I thought I would follow suit on today.  As a veteran this holiday is especially important to me, it is a time to remember those who fought for our freedom and are still fighting for it.

0530:  Alarm goes off, snooze twice

0549:  Finally wake up and get in the shower and get ready for the day.

0616:  Make breakfast.

Quick, easy, healthy, and filling breakfast!
Quick, easy, healthy, and filling breakfast!
0633:  Filled up the fountain as I left the house.

Daily Routine
Daily Routine
0641:  Walked by my friend’s house, who is setting up for his annual 4th of July Parade.

Phil's house at the top of my street, he gets ready early!
Phil’s house at the top of my street, he gets ready early!

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People place chairs out to make sure they get a spot for the 4th of July parade.

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Grand Stand and Dundalk Main Street
0654:  Arrived at Parade start line; since I am President of the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, I get to walk and represent the organization.  We also have one of our volunteers who likes to dress as ‘Uncle Sam’ ride in a convertible.

Just a few people starting to get ready.
Just a few people starting to get ready.

Gov. Hogan's campaign bus is here.  I find that odd, considering he won the election months ago.  Perhaps stop campaigning and start governing.
Gov. Hogan’s campaign bus is here. I find that odd, considering he won the election months ago. Perhaps stop campaigning and start governing.
0708:  Lead runners pass parade start line.

Lead Runner in the Dundalk Heritage 6k
Lead Runner in the Dundalk Heritage 6k
0710:  First Ladies pass in group of 3.

Tight race for the women!
Tight race for the women!
0714:  Marching Ravens arrive.

Marching Ravens, a piece of living Baltimore history.
Marching Ravens, a piece of living Baltimore history.
0715:  My best friend and his wife, pass by on race course.

John and Marisa Olszewski on the course, Marisa running for 2!  She pointed out she was running and I was not! ;)
John and Marisa Olszewski on the course, Marisa running for 2! She pointed out she was running and I was not! ūüėČ
0841:  After over an hour of waiting and wondering where the car for the Parade was at, it finally arrived and the parade started.

Our car and 'Uncle Sam'
Our car and ‘Uncle Sam’
0842:  Parade starter dropped her pen, so I picked it up for her.  When I handed it to her she said, “Oh, you probably shouldn’t have touched that I am really sick.”  Great hope I don’t get sick!

0847:  Someone in the crowd boos ‘Uncle Sam’ because Uncle Sam is the one who raises taxes…only in Dundalk.

0915:  I always see people I know along the route, one person I always look forward to seeing is my second grade teacher, Mrs. Shatz (pronouned Shots) and her husband.  I also saw my high school librarian, Mrs. Kimos and her husband in the same spot.  Oddly, they don’t know each other, other than from seeing each other at the parade each year.

0950:  The rain starts but we are close to the end, just a light rain, but I’m not looking forward to running in the rain again.  After walking the 3 mile parade route and started and stopping, I’m pretty tired.

1010:  The parade is over we pack up the decoration from the vehicle and I walk back to the DRC and then home.  During the parade I always make sure to shake every Veteran’s hand, at least those that are easily identifiable.

1025:  I arrive back home, it started raining pretty hard so I had put on my Lululemon Pack-it jacket, during the walk.

Glad to be home and out of the rain!
Glad to be home and out of the rain!
1040:  Make a sandwich and relax.

It doesn't sound good but it is delicious!
It doesn’t sound good but it is delicious!
1050:  Called my parents since forgot to call them back from earlier in the week.

1056:  Catch up on DVR’d shows.

1245:  Woke up from a nap, still don’t feel like running. My legs and feet are so tired after the last few days.

1319:  Started my run, today was 6 miles at ‘race pace’  I wanted to run a little faster but I ran an 8 min pace.  Around mile 3 I saw a truck that had a Confederate flag on it.  It really bothers me that people fly that flag, on a day like today.  Probably not for the reasons you think.  I’ll write more about that in another blog.

The Sweat Life
The Sweat Life
1417:  Shower

1432:  Walked to my friend’s party.  (see earlier pic)

1526: Left party to eat at the Heritage Fair before my shift at Stouten’s snowball stand starts.  I help them out every year.

1529:  Arrive at the Heritage Fair, Phil lives pretty close and it is a quick walk.

People getting ready for the concerts.
People getting ready for the concerts.
1538:  Ate two slices of really greasy pizza, thank goodness I ran.  There isn’t much for vegetarians to eat at the fair.  I did see a sign that said Veggies and got excited, but when I got closer I saw they were deep fried veggies, sort of defeats the purpose.  Then again greasy pizza can’t be that healthy either.

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Probably not the best thing to eat, but my options were limited!
Probably not the best thing to eat, but my options were limited!
1600:  Start my 6 hour shift working at the snowball stand.  

Best snowballs around!
Best snowballs around!
2000:  You could hear what was suppose to be the big band called ‘Merica’. Only in America are we to lazy to pronounce America. 

2200:  Shift is over and my legs and feet are throbbing from being on them all day.

2213:  Arrive home!

2220:  Shower

2245:  Sleep!

How did you spend your 4th of July?  Happy Independence Day!!!

-Veggie Fueled Runner

The Year of 32…

In mid-October of 2014, since my clothes were getting a bit snug, it was time to buy a scale. ¬†When I stepped on the scale for the first time it was a bit of an awakening for me. ¬†In the three years since I had started¬†running again, I gained back the weight I had lost and then some. ¬†I’d never seen that high of a number on the scale before and I wasn’t happy about it. ¬†No one ever said anything to me about the weight I had gained, it was just the pressure I put on myself. ¬†It was time for a change, but I had said that before and didn’t do anything about it. ¬†Running was infrequent, maybe once or twice a week, and my eating habits were not ideal. ¬†More often then not it was fast food, high sugar, carb-loaded foods that were slowing me down and adding to the waste line. ¬†The change needed to be serious this time.

Made this myself!  Was eating to much of these types of things!
Baked this myself! Was eating to much of these types of things!

When I turned 30 I did a year of ‘yes’. ¬†It was fun, but I felt a could have done a lot more, but I digress. ¬†With my 32nd b-day approaching, it would be a good time to start something new and dedicate a year to it. ¬†Why a year? ¬†Because I’ve never done anything for a year, and it seemed as good as any arbitrary time. ¬†So what would I do for a year…the last year running had become tedious for me¬†and I was just going through the motions to try and stay in shape, I wasn’t enjoying running like I had in the past. ¬†I had backed out on two marathons, and had only entered two other races, the year before that I had done 18 races. ¬†Perhaps it was burnout, but I needed to focus on running again. ¬†There is something therapeutic about running, that I had almost forgotten about. ¬†That is when a year long running streak popped into my mind. ¬†Quickly, I looked up what constitutes a running streak and Runner’s World¬†(basically a runner’s bible) stated for their¬†streak you have to run at least a mile a day, so that would be my¬†minimum to keep my year long¬†streak going.

My Brooks could hold up, but could I?
My Brooks could hold up, but could I?

But was running enough to shed those pounds? ¬†In my mind…no, my eating habits needed to change. ¬†One of my very good friends is a vegetarian and so again, arbitrarily, I decided being a vegetarian for a year would be a challenge as well. ¬†How do you go from eating meat your entire life to giving it up? ¬†I just decided to stop and see how it went.

On Oct 25th, I started the run streak and Oct 26th, cut meat out of my diet. ¬†Two big changes at once! ¬†I was a bit nervous that I would not be able to do either for a year, so I didn’t tell many people what I was doing at first. ¬†Rarely (even when I was running more frequently) would I ever run three days in a row, let alone 365. ¬†Some people immediately said, if you are going to run that much you need to eat meat…you need protein. ¬†I would quickly retort you can get protein from other sources, i.e. eggs, nuts, soy, etc.

The streak started in NYC during a trip for my birthday.

The same time I decided to start my year long challenges a friend of mine started selling one of those cleanse packages and convinced me to try it out. ¬†It was a 4-week cleanse and I was worried, especially since I was changing my diet so drastically, that I would not have enough energy to run. ¬†To my surprise I think it actually helped with the transition from being a meat-eater to a vegetarian¬†(cleansing my palette) and I lost about 8 lbs. over the 4 week period. ¬†My energy level stayed the same and I may have had¬†even more energy then before starting the cleanse. ¬†I never had a craving for meat at the beginning of the challenge and haven’t to date. ¬†The cleanse was a jump start (I call it a gimmick) it wasn’t a way of life. ¬†The challenge would begin by maintaining a healthy vegetarian lifestyle after the cleanse was over.

When I reached day 7 of the run streak I was overjoyed and decided to start sharing my challenges with friends and family. ¬†Seven days is a long was from 365, but even after a week I felt accomplished and knew support from my running friends and family would be helpful. ¬†Some of my friends teased my about the barrage of run-selfies that began appearing on my instragram, so I’ve cut back and tried to take¬†‘more exciting’ run photos (or at least ask someone else to take the pics of me). ¬†Having support along the way has been really helpful in both my challenges, today will be day #229 of the run streak, the encouragement and motivational pep talks from my friends have been very helpful.

One of my many selfies, this was Day #9 of the run streak.
One of my many selfies, this was Day #9 of the run streak.

There have been many challenges and new experiences in the last 228 days that I’ll be sharing with you, but I’d like to hear about goals you have set for yourself, challenges you’ve had, what you have accomplished, and what motivates you, and is there any way I can help you reach your goals?

-Veggie Fueled Runner

You’re a vegetarian now and you’re running everyday?…

Yes!

That is the simple answer, to those ask. ¬†Let me give you a little background about me and why I decided to start blogging. ¬†I took up distance running about three years ago on a whim. ¬†I was sitting at my desk at a 8-4 job and was gaining weight. ¬†Looking back 10 years and almost 30 lbs. ago I needed to do something to get healthy. ¬†On a whim I was signed up for my first marathon. ¬†My training wasn’t as serious as it should have been but my weight was down and I was feeling much healthier. ¬†The Baltimore Marathon was my first, I’ve completed two more since then and will be running again this year after skipping last year.

The next few years would be an on again off again relationship with running.  Then on Oct 25, 2014 I decided to get serious about running and a healthier lifestyle!  The previous year had been pretty bad in terms of running; dropped out of races, poor training, and started to put on the lbs. again, mostly due to unhealthy eating habits.  Stepping on the scale was becoming scary and something needed to be done to get back in shape, all my running friends were getting faster and I was struggling to stay at the same pace.

On Oct 25, 2014 my run streak started with a friend in Central Park, NYC. ¬†We had decided to visit there for my birthday. ¬†We were both hungover from a party at her house the night before but we really wanted to run. ¬†I didn’t tell her till the next day I was going to start a year long running streak or that I was going to become a vegetarian (after 32 years of eating meat and loving it), that came the following day. ¬†She was a vegetarian and a bit surprised when I told her I would be giving it a go, one of the first things she said to me was “You can be a vegetarian and still eat unhealthy, you need to focus on eating healthy as well!” ¬†Until then I didn’t think of it like that and would need to take her advice into consideration; thinking about it there are plenty of things you can eat that don’t have meat but are high in carbs, sugar, sodium, fats, etc. ¬†So I started to pay attention to those things as well.

The run streak and becoming a vegetarian (at least for a year, but not sure if I’ll go back) was really about the challenge myself to even see if I could do it. ¬†So far it has been a great experience! ¬†The other day one of my friends, KBT (mentioned on¬†another blog site), who runs with me and dates Picky Runner¬†said I should blog about my experiences, so here I am. ¬†I’ll do my best to keep you entertained and hopefully give you some motivation to get out and run or achieve your own goals. ¬†Since I’m on day #228 of the running streak this blog won’t always be chronological, but I will do my best to make it easy to read.

I look forward to sharing my experience with those who choose to read my blog and maybe see some of you out on the streets logging some miles!

-Veggie Fueled Runner