Hiking the East Coast Trail, Part 2: Calvert to Burnt Cove

Pretending I am in a Newfoundland tourist ad.

Pretending I am in a Newfoundland tourist ad.

Check out part one of my east coast adventure (Cappahayden to Calvert) here.

 Calvert: Part one ended with us camping in a church parking lot, exhausted and low on water. Our first priority the next morning was to find water. The fishing wharves were nearby, so we asked the first person we saw where we could get water. Apparently, our only option was to knock on someone’s door, but this lovely fisherman drove us to his house (which was near the trail head!) and let us fill our water bottles before our big day of hiking. He had a thick accent and remembered Newfoundland “before Confederation” and was generally delightful. We never got his name.

 

Boats!

Boats!

 

Cape Broyle Head Path: This path (which is 18.3km) was the WORST. There’s no other way to describe it. We have taken to calling it the “conifer clusterfuck” because for several kilometres, we were pushing past fir branches, unable to see the trail or what lay beneath the trees. Often, it was tree roots or rocks or some combination of both. I wore my sunglasses, not to protect them my eyes from the sun, but to prevent branches from poking me in the eyeball. This trail is in desperate need of some TLC. We stopped at the Long Will camping site en route (about 11k in) for the night. It took us seven hours to hike 11 kilometres, that’s how difficult and mind boggling the trail was. There weren’t a lot of great views, either, the trail was mostly inland. However, it was the first time we saw other hikers — a group of 30 kids were doing some weekend hiking education class and we shared the campground with them. (Day 5 total: 13k). The next day, we continued beating our way through the trees, scrambling over rocks and doing dangerous ups and downs. We ran into a guy doing the trail the other way and he confirmed that Cape Broyle Head “sucks” but promised us it would get better from here. We had faith.

(Note: just don’t do this path. It really sucks. We had great weather and felt relatively refreshed and even in ideal conditions, I don’t think it’s worth it. The conditions are too dangerous and the pay-off isn’t there.)

 

Our Cape Broyle campsite. Don't mistake the look on my faith for contemplation -- it's pure exhaustion.

Our Cape Broyle campsite, after we completed the trail. Don’t mistake the look on my faith for contemplation — it’s pure exhaustion.

 

Cape Broyle: And it did get better: a giant grocery store (well, it felt giant) greeted us just a few minutes from the trail head. We stocked up on groceries, disposed of garbage, picked up drugs (at this point, I had developed a head cold) and were, in general, just grateful to buy Skittles and ice cream and Gatorade. We splurged. Then we walked further into town and came upon a restaurant, the Riverside. We had lunch there, which wasn’t all that great, but I didn’t care. We had tables, chairs and a place to charge our phones (although, I didn’t get reception at all during this trip, so charging my phone was probably a waste of time.) Refueled, we walked to the end of town (which took forever and involved a pit stop at Home Hardware  so I could buy the world’s largest air mattress. This town has a hardware store! It is basically heaven) and set up camp around 4pm (Day 6 total: 18k). This was possibly our best campsite of the trip: it was sunny and calm and had a great view and I spent several hours napping and reading Night Film by Marisha Pessl and living the life I expected I’d live on the entire trip, not just for a few fleeting hours.

 

trail

 

Brigus Head Path: This was the path where we felt things would turn around. It was a “moderate”  6.5k and we powered through in a couple hours, saw a handful of other hikers and, in general, really enjoyed the morning. It had challenging elements, but was the clearest, best maintained path we’d seen yet.

Brigus South: This was the best community link of all, mainly because it was pretty and was less than 500 metres long. We ate lunch at a picnic table by the ocean.

 

 

lamanchebridge

 

Flamber Head Path: And this is where Day 7 went straight to hell. Flamber Head Path is  14.5k of “difficult” trail. And it was difficult — we did quite a bit of bouldering and climbing. I fell twice, jamming my knee the first time and bruising my sacrum the second. (It’s been a week and both still hurt.) But what made the day a bad one was that rain was coming and we really didn’t want to be scrambling over wet rocks. When we reached the camp site, Roaring Cove, where we planned to stay at for the night, at 1:30 in the afternoon, we knew what we had to do. We had to keep going to try to beat the rain. It was supposed to come at 7pm. It came at 3pm. I spent the entire rainy afternoon terrified I was going to slip and fall or that the wind would blow me over. The trail was beautiful — mossy landscapes overlooking imposing cliff faces — but I couldn’t enjoy it. I wanted to be done and be safe. When the trail ended at La Manche Village (above), we were disappointed for a bunch of reasons: everything was wet, there were no interpretative signs explaining what the village was, and we still had to hike at least 2k to get anywhere. This trail ends, literally, in the middle of nowhere. Somehow, I managed to convince JK to push on, with the belief there would be space at a hotel in town that night. There was. 2k turned into 5k when where we wanted to stay, the Whale Watcher B&B, was not right by the trail head. But it was bright and cheery and warm. It had food we could eat, beds we could sleep in, and a washer and dryer we could use. (Apologies to our fellow guests for the rank smell we brought inside with us.) It was a magical, wonderful place and for $99 a night, I highly recommend it to any aspiring East Coast Trail hikers. It saved us, in more ways than one. (Day 7 total: 25k)

 

In sum, I’d say the second part of our trip had some of the highest highs and lowest lows we experienced. We saw some of the best trails and some of the worst, had loads of energy and felt completely depleted. These three days probably encapsulate the entire trip better than any other. And they proved that there is nothing better than emerging from the wilderness to civilization, whether it’s a roadside grocery store or teeny B&B with room for two more.

We’re raising money for the Nature Conservancy of Canada — the hike may be over, but the fundraising isn’t. There’s still time to donate! You can donate to our campaign here. And if you’ve already donated — thank you!

 

 

Hiking the East Coast Trail, Part 1: Cappahayden to Calvert

The beginning! We had so much energy and hope.

The beginning! We had so much energy and hope.

JK and I got back yesterday, after 14 days of hiking the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland. It was a long trip, filled with highs and lows of the emotional, physical and literal kind. To keep this recap manageable, I’m breaking the trip up into four parts: Cappahayden to Calvert, Calvert to Burnt Cove, Burnt Cove to Petty Harbour and Petty Harbour to St. John’s. And I did’t keep a journal (I had to throw it out, Cheryl Strayed-style to lighten my pack) so if I get any details wrong, hopefully JK can correct them in the comments. I’ve also estimated our daily walking totals, which includes backtracking and mistakes we made along the way.

First up: Cappahayden to Calvert!

Getting there: We flew in late on Saturday, August 3rd and stayed at the dorms in Memorial University. Southern Shore Taxi came recommended by the trail association and on Sunday morning, $220 got us a ride from MUN to Canadian Tire to pick up camping fuel, Dominion to pick up fresh fruit and bagels and down to Cappahayden to begin our adventure!

Island Meadow Path: We were on the trail by 12:30. The first path was the Island Meadow Path (10.1k), ranked moderate by the ECTA maps we bought. We powered through this trail easily. It felt like a solid starter trail, not too hard, not too long and not too dangerous.

Renews: We took a break in Renews to stretch before powering through town. Renews has nothing — we saw what might have been a convenience store, but it was closed. About halfway through town, it started to pour. We decided to hike as far past the town as we could and find a camp site for the night if/when the rain let up.

Bear Cove Point Path: We camped on this 11.6k path about 2k in (Day 1 total: 17k), after scrambling over some wet cliff faces — the first of many times I thought we could possibly plunge to our deaths. Finding a decent campsite on this trail was tough, as it went through a lot of dense, uneven forest. We camped, completely wet, and woke up in the morning to more rain. Our Day 2 plan was to finish this path and see about getting dry when we got to the next down. The path continued to be muddy, dense, hilly and uneven — more than once we asked “THIS is moderate?” We emerged around noon, soaking wet, in Kingman’s Cove, where we encountered our first trail angels — Jenny, Don and Eileen.

Kingsman’s Cove/Fermeuse/Port Kirwan: There IS a convenience store in town, but we didn’t need to go to it, thanks to Jenny! We emerged from the trail just as they were getting home from an adventure of their own, took pity on us and invited us inside to dry off and have some tea. Tea turned into lunch, which turned into dinner, and when the rain wasn’t letting up, turned into an invitation to stay overnight. Everything we owned was soaked, so this was so, so, so appreciated. (Day 2 total: 10k) The next morning, Jenny filled us up on her son’s power porridge and even drove us to the next trail marker! This was an amazing turn of events and I can’t thank Jenny enough for the warm food, bed and great company.

Berry Head!

Berry Head!

Spurwink Island Path: Our third day began with perfect hiking weather, which was good because we had a big day ahead of us: we wanted to get to Aquaforte and camp there for the night. Spurwink Island Path (17.1k)was the first “difficult” path on our trek and difficult it was — the trail was very up and down, was wet from all the rain and was hard to navigate. When we weren’t in the woods, we were hacking our way through bushes. The ECTA markers (white triangles) aren’t as frequent as they should be, but someone — smartly, thankfully — posted neon tape more frequently. This trail went inland a lot, but it had enough highlights (Berry Head, Bald Head) to make it almost worthwhile.

Mudder Wet Path: Spurwink Island Path ends near a highway, but there were a lot of clearings for decent camping. We were low on water and it was too early to stop, so Mudder Wet Path (2.9k) was next on our list. The “easy” ranking this trail gets is a LIE. It involved a high climb and hacking our way through more bushes (there are a billion blueberries in Newfoundland — I recommend picking to save berries on any trip. We had blueberries in our oatmeal almost every morning). It didn’t help we were exhausted from our long day.

Aquaforte: Aquaforte is teeny. When we realized how small it was, we collapsed in a field across from the house. (Day 3 total: 20k) The family in the house saw this and invited us in — we filled up our water bottles, took a quick shower and got permission to camp in their field. The next day, when walking through town, we found a convenience store and bought a Gatorade. It was magical and delicious. We missed the trail head and ended up walking about a kilometre past it before we realized what we did — let’s pretend we were just making up for the kilometres we missed thanks to Jenny’s ride.

Sounding Hills Path: This 5.5k path was less up and down than others, but the conditions still sucked — narrow pathways, mud everywhere, exposed cliffs and high shrubs made it an adventure.

Ferryland: Ferryland is the first town with stuff. There was a Foodland, a few B&Bs, a tea room and picnics at the island (which we didn’t get to do because you need to make reservations months in advance). We had lunch at the tea room — it was okay — and filled up our water bottles. We were confused as to where the Foodland was (it was before the trail) and didn’t want to climb a giant hill, so even though the next trail started right by the tea room, we opted to keep walking through town in an attempt to find amenities and shorten our day. When we realized we were 2k PAST the Foodland, we had to backtrack. Which we did. But the fresh fruit we acquired was worth it. I think.

Caplin Bay Path: This “easy” 5.2k path was confusing and a waste of time. Some of it is in Ferryland, some of it takes you through the woods along the highway and some of it we could not find. It got so confusing around the school and the cemetery that we said screw it and walked on the highway for a bit. When we found the trail again, the 2k of trail we did end up doing wasn’t worth it — there were no ocean views and a huge climb at the end.

Calvert: When we finished the Caplin Bay Path, we were exhausted. The hiking wasn’t the most challenging, but we were super low on energy. (I don’t think we were eating enough and had yet to reconcile our expectations with reality.) We just wanted to find some water and a place to camp. Calvert is another town with no amenities (stock up in Ferryland!) and we ended up camping in a church parking lot because the thought of hiking 4 more kilometres to the trailhead seemed overwhelming (Day 4 total: 15k).

 

In sum, the first four days were wet and tiring and lacked basic amenities to keep our hopes and energy up. We didn’t hike as far as we originally planned on ANY of the days. The the trails were in rough shape and the views were too few and far in-between to make these muddy slogs worth it. We also didn’t see ANY other hikers in these first few days, and felt very isolated. However, Jenny and her family saved the day, kept us dry and filled with hope that the rest of the trip would be filled with magical moments.

Tomorrow, check back for the recap of Calvert to Burnt Cove.

We’re raising money for the Nature Conservancy of Canada — the hike may be over, but the fundraising isn’t. There’s still time to donate! You can donate to our campaign here. And if you’ve already donated — thank you!

 

Summer SUPing had me a blast

Mandy and I being SUP rockstars!

Mandy and I being SUP rockstars!

Everyone knows that summer is the time for fun, getaways, vacations, amazing food, and sometimes if you’re lucky a little summer lovin’ may find it’s way to your heart. I’ve found love this summer in the Beaches. A little thing called stand up paddleboarding! Ya you may have heard about it especially if you’ve been following the blog lately. It’s all I seem to talk about these days. That or running. But let’s face it we’re all entitled to change and I really don’t want to bore you to death with how much running I’m doing. I’m running all the time! I too needed a break and stand up paddleboarding seemed to be just the thing I needed. Yes, it may have been taking me away from some of my Saturday training runs… but I’m okay with that! I deserve to enjoy the summer… or what’s left of it. It sickens me to think it’s almost over. I may cry.

Last summer I went stand up paddleboarding with Jackie for my first time ever at the Harbourfront. It was right around (what I thought then) Jackie’s permanent departure from Toronto. She talked about SUPing a lot and I decided I needed to try this so called SUPing with her before she left. The first time I went I didn’t really stand up. Actually I hardly did at all! It’s rather intense your first time, finding your balance and the sweet spot on the board. When I went with Jackie I had no idea what I was doing. So this year, after meeting Jenn, I decided a real lesson was in order. When I took my friend Mandy to the Beaches last month I hardly stood up again! I was a bit of a baby. The sky was cloudy and dark and the water was wavy – not my ideal SUPing conditions. However, we stuck it trough and once again I quickly realized how much fun this sport can be! But rule number to really let go and have fun: stop fearing falling in! If it happens it happens, so what. I let loose the second time around and that’s when I really had a good time.

My second trip out to the Beach was much nicer and calmer than the last. It was the perfect day! The sun was shining the water was picturesque and I could not wait to jump on my board and go! This time I stood up like a pro and paddled all over. The wind was just right, so we literally could have gone anywhere. A good chunk of our time was spent playing. We practice yoga moves, attempted balancing postures, and just enjoyed the fact Toronto is a city where you can escape within it. That’s if you really want to. Jenn can show you the way!

A big thanks to Jenn for the pictures!

A big thanks to Jenn for the pictures!

I went out for my third time last Saturday once again with Marianne (hi, Marianne!) and plan on getting in a few more rides before the end of the month. I’m addicted. I can’t help it. When you start to get god at something it’s really hard to stop.

There are many places in the city to try stand up paddleboarding all the way from the east end to west end. It’s a good work out and a lot of fun all rolled into one. You may recall JK’s guest post when she went last summer with SUPGirlz. I know that Jenn, from Big City Boards, plans on paddling up until the end of August. Get your last summertime fix in while you still can (sunrise and sunset are the best)! At the rate the weather is changing we might not have summer for much longer! That’s too sad to think about right now.

Jill’s Marathon Training Week #6

We made it to the Beach! We're almost there!

We made it to the Beach! We’re almost there!

Does anyone else feel like training makes your week just fly by?! Literally. I have know idea how the summer is half over, July is gone and the August long weekend is here. It doesn’t make any sense. So how did I spend my long weekend? By running of course!

Monday was another double teaching day, but this time I did not have to work the desk. I taught the community class in the morning then a Free Class with Jill! that evening to a colleague (hi, Val) and her friend. I stuck to my Monday plan of practicing yoga, but this particular Monday I ended up practicing twice. That’s what happens when you make yoga dates with friends and hang out at the studio all the time. I found out afterward Darren Hall was playing his crystal singing bowls for the 8pm music class. I had to stay.

Tuesdays, so far, have been a good day to run for me. I’ve noticed after a day off my body really takes flight the following day. Sometimes I feel heavy and the run isn’t the greatest, but mentally I know I have a job to do, so I go out and do it. I must say being in the office does help get me going. But please note there is a big difference in my feelings towards running early in the week to later. I think it’s hill training day where the mental switch happens… most likely. Wednesday Julie and I scheduled another running date after I taught the morning community class at MYD. We made our way to Poplar Plains and ran the 4 legs up and walked back down. It wasn’t fun, but running with Julie made it seem better than it was.

Thursday evening I had plans with Cecilley, so I ran at lunch once again, and missed the evening clinic. I didn’t quite make the 10k I was supposed to get in, but seeing how I ran extra the day before – my warm up to meet Julie, the warm up to the hills, then my run home – I didn’t really care at this point. I ran and that’s what mattered.

Friday was a complete off day. I, for real this time, did absolutely nothing (minus puttering around the house and doing random things). Saturday was another day where I didn’t run. Like I said last week, I discovered a new love and I spent the day on the beach paddleboarding with Jenn (Big City Boards) and a fellow Moksha teacher Marianne (hi, Jenn! hi Marianne!).

Look at me!

Look at me!

Yes, I fell in Lake Ontario and no nothing bad happened to me… at least not yet. Maybe some sort of mutation from the lake will make me a super runner? Or, I’ll keep dreaming! Jenn took Marianne and I out to a sweet little cove where the water was still and the bottom was nice and sandy. We paddled around did some yoga on the boards and attempted various balancing postures. Some where successful others not so much. But either way, it was so much fun!

And then I fell in!

And then I fell in! Thank you Jenn for the pictures.

After a second week in a row of sending my Saturday not running and on the water instead, I felt ready for the longest run of the clinic yet – a 23k route to the Beaches and around the east end then back to the store. Alice told me this part of the training is what really counts, when we begin running past half marathon distance. This Sunday Julie and I finally had the chance to run a long run together so I decided to try and have fun with it and run with the 4:30 pace group. Right away it felt okay. Don’t worry, I was shocked too! It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and the company was great – all things necessary for a successful long run! Julie and I even took off near the end and felt strong enough to run ahead of the group. We finished strong and together!

We decided next week we’d drop down a pace group and see what the 4:15 will bring. Given this was my assigned pace group maybe it’s time to actually run with them! 26k will be the real test. Wish me luck!

Making my own sport things, Vega style

You know what, this whole Being Healthy thing is actually quite easy. Ha! I can say this now coming from a place where I feel confident in my training, settled in my work routine (for now) and my fridge is stock with nothing my Thrive Diet approved ingredients. But I have yet to purchase a food processor, so making a lot of the recipes I want to where completely eliminated for my first attempt of making Thrive Diet things. With my first long run with the Running Room a few Sundays ago (remember back to training week #5) I wanted to be ready. I needed to show everyone I will be well hydrated, I need something to carry my gels in, and above all that I needed my confidence and that feeling of being ready to run. I’m not going to lie 19k with these runners had me rather nervous.

So after finishing the Thrive Diet from cover to cover I flagged all the things I want to make – basically everything – but to start it all off I thought a pre workout energy drink would be easy enough. Not only do I still need a good processor I am also still lacking a few key ingredients ie. hemp, hemp oil, chia seeds etc. Again, my options were limited. But! I settled on making the Mint Carob Sport Drink. It was weird at fist, but after refrigerating it for a day it got better with time. For the following days I drank a bit of this before each run and I felt great.

The Mint Carob Sport Drink. It was weird at first, but got better with time.

The Mint Carob Sport Drink. It was weird at first, but got better.

For my during activity fuel I made the Coconut Carob Gel with protein – these do not require a food processor, you can use a blender! Perfect. I do have a blender. These looked like sludge. I didn’t have them right away (Brendan swears they are best served fresh) but I wasn’t running for a few days. I kept them in the fridge and boy when I finally took it out on a test run it was so yummy! Proof you can’t base a book by it’s cover (or in this case gels on how they look). I love dates and the bit of chocolaty sweetness from the carob bits was delicious.

Coconut Carob Gel with Protein (the protein is hemp protein). These look awful I know.

Coconut Carob Gel with Protein (the protein is hemp protein). These look awful I know.

And last but not least I attempted a different smoothie – I’ve been stuck on the Vega One (natural flavor) and adding a half a banana, water, ice, some almond milk, and a scoop of almond/peanut butter for days – for the “drink a nutritious smoothie each day”. I actually took a break for like a week because I was having this way too much. So finally I broke the habit and made the Chocolate Almond Smoothie. It was an excellent choice.

And I drank all of it!

Have you attempted making your own drinks and things? Or have an amazing smoothie recipe I need to try? Tell me about it!

Jill’s Marathon Training Week #5

Sam Sykes talks about hills. Hills are fun and hard. Yay, we'll see about that!

Sam Sykes talks about hills. Hills are fun and hard. Ya, we’ll see about that!

Hills. This was the theme of the week as we mentally prepare for the week to follow. Hill training will commence on Wednesday from now until god knows when. But, according to my training schedule I began hills two weeks prior, so really I should have nothing to fear. Ya right! Does anyone know how hilly the County Marathon is? Not that it really matters, there is no getting out of hill training with this running group. And not that the hilliness of the route really matters to me, I’m one of those people who will not look at the course route before a race – it’s information I don’t really need. Or rather want to know. I have 42.2k to worry about running, thinking about the route will just add to my reasons to worry.

I did do my hill training during week three – just as my program told me to do – and was very proud of the fact I actually did it. 4 x 600m done. And thank goodness I live so close to Poplar Plains. It makes running hills not feel as bad because knowing I don’t have far to run to get there kind of makes the process seem less daunting. Kind of.

Week 5 was, I think, my first solid week of running. I took Monday completely off from running, but this was not a off day to do nothing. Monday was a full on day at the studio! I taught the morning community class, worked the desk, practiced, then taught the evening 6pm class. It was busy! Tuesday I got the required 6k in during lunch – another day at the office another solid run on my own.

Wednesday I went running with Julie (hi, Julie). Both of us had to miss the evening clinic due to work, so we planned a running date for the morning. It was the perfect day to run. We both felt great, we had a steady tempo going and the hype of the other runners wasn’t there to intimidate us. I think this is why we had so much fun! That and trying to figure out where the heck we were going for the most part made the run that much more interesting. But that’s the thing you have to love about running in Toronto there is so much to see and too many random places you could end up, but you’ll never really get lost. We got our 10k in and I was feeling super good about it. I even ran to meet Julie then ran home, tagging on a few extra kilometres. Even better!

For far at this point in the training, for some strange reason Thursdays are not my day. I’m usually tired, I run slow, and I hate the idea of running each time this particular day rolls around. Thank goodness I had Julie again to get me through – we struggled, but we buckled down and got through it. I hate it when 8k feels long. And just like that it was Friday (my favourite day!). I had zero running to do and an event that evening I was really looking forward to attending. Alice was hosting a Yoga for Runners fundraiser where she and another mentor of mine, Vanessa Montenegro from Flipswitch Studio, tag team taught a kick ass yoga class (literally it kicked our asses!). There were prizes to be won and lots of Vega treats to be consumed, it was a good night in my yoga books.

So I just realized now that week 5 was not a solid week of running. Bummer… I did not run on Saturday. But I went SUPing (or Stand Up Paddleboarding if you will) for almost 2 hours Saturday morning. The water this day was a bit rough for my liking, that combined with my fear of falling in the lake the entire time, made me a timid SUP’er. The water looked cold, and the weather wasn’t the greatest. So I held back, just a bit.

But SUPing is my new love. I really do love it! Interested? Check out Jenn at Big City Boards and she will take you.

 

I wasn't doing a whole lot of standing this day. But I really can do it! The water was choppy.

I wasn’t doing a whole lot of standing this day. But I really can do it! The water was choppy.

Sunday was our long run and my first long run with the clinic. Arriving at the store was anything but relaxing. It was kinda bananas! There were so many people, different coaches pointing people in different directions, I just wanted out of there and fast. 19k was the planned route and because I couldn’t find my pace group nor did I know my pace group leader, I found the 4:00 group and ran with them. Oops. But not really! I really want to run a sub 4 hour race, but I know I should not let that be my focus for my first marathon. So I won’t think about it. The first leg of the run was awful, but getting the kinks out early on meant I left faster and stronger towards the middle and at the end. It was a much better run than I had anticipated that’s for sure. I was feeling very happy afterward.

And to end the week off right, I went to the studio for yin yoga with live music. In my training books I’d say week 5 was a solid training week after all!

Off to Newfoundland

Newfoundland - East Coast Trail

I know I’ve been quiet here. I hurt my back and couldn’t move very much this past week and I’ve been planning my East Coast Trail hiking adventure with JK. We leave tonight. 220km. Two girls. One tent.

I’ll give you the full update on my return. Until then, Jill will keep this blog busy with her marathon training.

 

 

 

Distance Learning Project #3: Be Healthy

Coconut Carob gel with protein. Yummy!

Coconut Carob gel with protein. Yummy!

For my Moksha Teacher Training Be Healthy project I have decided to incorporate a new found life goal with a new-found determination to be a healthier all-around more fit person. How appropriate for my Be Healthy project, right? I also love blogging about all the things I’m doing.

So if you don’t know by now, I am training to run a marathon (the County Marathon in Prince Edward County on October 6, 2013 to be exact). And while I train and run, and train and recover, and run more but really, really far I will be incorporating elements of The Thrive Diet into my everyday life. Over the next two months, plus however many weeks I have from now until my race, I will commit to Being Healthy in the from of actual physical fitness and by adapting a healthy way of training. Hopefully I will find the perfect balance between the two to share with you all. That is the plan at least!

So why the Thrive Diet? The Thrive Diet author, founder of Vega and a super human Triathlete, Brendan Brazier, is super knowledgeable in the art of food and proper training. I have been a fan of his since my first Vega experience. I can’t help but be attracted to individuals who are out to make the world a better place, with such determination and stride – it kills me! I want to be like Brendan, and the many people like him out there in the world, who have found something they absolutely love and have made it their livelihood. I’m still searching for my thing, but I do feel as though I’m making some progress. I’m also struck by the amount of information and knowledge Brendan has about whole foods and fitness. Who better to copy than a professional Ironman? When I picked up the Thrive Diet for the first time I was hooked (again a big thank you to Morgan and living in LA). And so I decided right then and there this would be my training bible. Already a vegetarian this diet would be perfect for me to explore.

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What we eat goes hand in hand with how we perform – which makes complete sense. The Thrive Diet breaks it all down in a simple and easy read, but the best part is the entire book includes recipes for pre and post-workout meals, energy gels, sports drinks and so much more! My plan is to make and consume all these things as I train for my marathon. The Thrive Diet – a diet revolved around only plant based foods – is also equipped with a full 12 week meal program making it that much easier to consume only plant stuff. As Brendan outlines in his book, it’s not for everyone (and that is important to keep in mind) and adapting to the Thrive Diet takes time and it should be done in moderation for best results. I will, slowly, over the course of my training and beyond, integrate his meals into my regime with a focus primarily on two of Brendan’s general principles: eat a big green salad everyday and drink a nutritious smoothie everyday. There are six principles in all which I will work up to, gradually. This is one thing I can’t jump full on into. Just yet that is. As mentioned before the main goal will be achieving proper hydration, fueling my body properly, and getting the necessary recovery needed to perform my very best!

This after all will be my first marathon ever. I want to make sure I do it right! Here goes nothing.