I am a No Meat Athlete.

 

I started running seriously around the same time I went vegan. I had incredible anxiety around the protein question and if I could get all that I needed on a vegan diet and still be able to run (there was the stereotype in my brain about those "frail vegans" that I imagined weren't getting enough protein). 

 

A google search turned up the website NoMeatAthlete.com by Matt Frasier. Quickly- after reading the blog posts and listening to the podcast- I realized that I had so many misconceptions and that maybe I too could "Run On Plants". 

 

I used guidance from Matt's site to fuel my runs, plan my training and not get horribly bored during my actual runs, thanks to the podcasts. 

 

I was a member of an active running club already* but frequently had questions or issues that my non-veggie running buddies couldn't relate to and I had no vegan friends in real life for support. (Why is there always greasy pepperoni pizza at the finish? Are those vegan gels any good? Are my running shoes vegan? etc etc)

 

I can't remember what race I was spectating, but I saw a no meat athlete jersey on the course a couple of years ago and my heart lept! I immediately related to this stranger but never met him other than cheering "me too! me too!" as loud as I could... Since I was still having an argument with myself about whether or not I was a real runner (turns out I am) I was really hesitant about wearing a NMA shirt of my own, but I went ahead and bought one. I didn't want everyone to see a slow vegan runner and think "I'll stick to meat, thank you very much". I went for it anyway and rocked my shirt and knew then that it was my new "running uniform". I connected with all sorts of veggies on the course and was cheered on by spectators, "GO NO MEAT!". (Of course there is always the one "bacon" comment too). 

 

Imagine my delight when I found out about the launch of No Meat Athlete Running groups!!!

Groups have formed around the world and I am proud to be a part of an amazing group in Virginia Beach (read about our group here). We aren't about labels or preaching. There's lots of vegan food. And running. And support in our zany (yes I said zany) facebook group. 

 

If you are interested in learning more or finding a NMA running group in your area, check out the link here.

 

I've completed 2 full marathons, 11 half marathons, a lots of shorter races. My favorite distance is the half marathon- it's long enough to have to put in the training time but not so long that it consumes my life. I can't wait to get back to sporting my NMA gear in races, but until then I will happily cheer on all of my running friends, near and far. 

 

*Join a running club! I found the free running club Moms Run This Town (for all women of all abilities) and hooked up with my local chapter almost 3 years ago and because of the support of those women I kept at it and I've met friends that I will carry in my heart forever. Go to momsrunthistown.com to find your local chapter.