Fuel to fire
Diet has always been a challenge for me, battling the mindset of, 'I trained or raced therefor I can eat whatever I want.' I have struggled over the years, trying to find the 'quick fix'; that magic pill or drink mix. There isn't one! Now, being vegan, I'm concentrating on whole, real foods, with little or no processing (unless it's processed by me). Freshly pressed juices have become a passion of mine. Raw fruits and vegetables fuel me now, and sugar cravings have ebbed (the struggle was real). Nutrients that not only fill you but fuel you is key, and that's what I'm focusing on now.
As I said, committing to a healthy diet for me has always been a struggle. What can I say, I like to eat! I have dabbled in almost every type of diet there is, from your basic 'meat and potatoes' to vegetarian to pescatarian, all the way to keto. Veganism was always on my mind to try, originally for the health benefits. I don't believe we need to eat animal protein, especially in the exaggerated amounts most of us eat. But what was the final push? Her name is Christie Lee Manning, and she is the love of my life. Her story to veganism is heartbreaking, and not only do I want to support her, but I want to live a long and healthy life with both her and my daughter at my side.
chasing the challenge
The most challenging part for me when preparing for a race is th endless hours of solo training. It's being on the trainer in my house grinding away, or the long treadmill runs during the winter, or that black line on the bottom of the pool that says, 'Hey friend, good to see you. Are you sure you want to keep going?' However, the most rewarding part about racing is putting in the time to get your mind, body, and soul to a place where you know you can do it. There's nothing like that feeling of accomplishment when you finish, and being able to share that experience with family. Having my daughter at my races is my inspiration.
word of advice
Don't be afraid to try. If you're overwhelmed with the idea of racing and where to start, ask a knowledgable friend or get a coach. Everyone starts at the beginning. Don't look at others and wonder why you aren't as fast or strong. Use them as inspiration. I remember when I could barely run around the block. Now it takes me 5km to warm up! Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid of not trying at all.