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Weeks 15 and 16 of Marathon Training. Race Day is Almost Here!

Sharon Stone reportedly once compared her expectations of working in a movie with James Woods to the expectations of a pregnant woman: at first she’s very excited, sometime midway she feels like she’s made the biggest mistake of her life, and towards the end she just wants it all to be over.

Well, I have neither worked with James Woods nor expected a child (yet), but at this point I have very similar feelings towards training for my marathon. Which is only three days away now!

(Warning: this post might seem a little cheesy at times!)

Training Plan

Fridge art: the training plan I was very loosely following. More like, kept an eye on. As you see, at least I was able to finish most of the long runs.

What can I say? I’ve embarked on a challenge to train and then run a marathon while eating a plant-based vegan diet to show that it can be done healthfully. All along, I enjoyed seeing my endurance soar and my muscles getting more defined. I was able to power through some pretty demanding speed workouts on the track and strength training sessions at the gym. My diet contributed to faster recovery between workouts. Another nice bonus: I was able to wake up much earlier than ever before (some days before 5 am)and feel energized right away!

Then the vacation happened (week 10 of training). Followed by a 3-week-long trip to Seattle, WA area (weeks 11, 12, 13). During one of my runs in Washington, I pulled a muscle in my left foot, which lead to no running for a week, making me miss the most important long run of my training. I slowly got back into my routine after buying new shoes. Last week (#15) I was sick with a cold, which lead me to miss even more workouts, but I still was able to power through a 10-mile run on Sunday. This week (#16) I’m still battling the remainders of that cold, hoping to overcome it by the time my marathon rolls around on Sunday.

So how am I keeping my spirits up three days before the marathon? My built-in optimistic outlook helps a lot. I’m trying to convince myself that all is not lost, and that all of the good training I had in the first half of my marathon preparation can’t be completely lost. As long as my left foot doesn’t fall off, I’m hoping to cross that finish line, however long it may take.

Even if it takes me longer than it took last year when I ran the same Pensacola Marathon in 4:04:45, who cares? My point is to show that vegans can complete marathons just fine. My point is to prove that a plant-based diet works for active people, and even though so many great athletes (professional and amateurs alike) have done it before, average people like myself can greatly benefit from fueling with plants! And if marathon runners can thrive on a vegan diet, imagine how much it can help people who are only moderately active?

So this is why I’ve embarked on my #VeganMarathonChallenge. The training is completed, however imperfect it may have been in the last few weeks. Now it’s time for the actual race. Pensacola Marathon on Sunday can’t come fast enough!

Oh, and please wish me luck. I’m going to need a lot of it! I’ll reward you with lots of delicious vegan recipes afterwards!

author avatar
Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats
Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Eventually she embraced veganism as a way to be kinder to fellow living beings and the environment. Alina hopes that this blog helps its readers on their path to becoming vegan and making this world a better place.

Sue Walker

Thursday 7th of November 2013

Alina you will do fine!!! You have worked really hard for this, you go and enjoy the atmosphere and the people.. You'll do great! Like you said who cares how long it may take, I can't say that I have ever ran like that before! Good Luck!! Miss you! Sue <3


Friday 8th of November 2013

Thank you Sue! I'll remember your words on Sunday!