Food = Energy

Food = Energy

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Incredible 1st Portland summer (not over yet either!)

Nothing tops this 1st summer in Portland. I mean, I do miss thunderstorms. Like, a lot. But how Val and I have enjoyed this summer has just been blissful. Let's let the pictures and captions speak for themselves!

On July 4th, I celebrated Independence Day by running the Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon out on Sauvie Island just a short drive from Portland. It was only my second half marathon, not having run my first (CGI Unite Half Marathon at Rutgers) since spring 2010. The race started around 6am and it was already a whopping  70 degrees at that time, hence me drenched in sweat in the photo above.


Portland has been absolutely phenomenal for running and for vegan food. What is more wonderful is that the more I run, the more fuel I need. There's not much like an incredible stack of pancakes (Harlow's featured here) after a hard run or refreshing soft-serve on a hot summer evening.
Ran two ultramarathons this summer (if you include the 50k in May) and both were organized by a great group, Go Beyond Racing. These photos are from the second ultra, Pick Your Poison during which I ran for 12 hours around a lake, completing 64.2 miles (my longest run ever!) Oh and remember, this is a vegan...eating a vegan diet...without meat, eggs, whey protein...and able to depend on my body to get me through very arduous experiences.
Ashton Eaton                                                               Galen Rupp

        Nick Symmonds                                                Shalane Flanagan

The above 4 photos are from the first ever FloTrack Throwdown that was held in Portland just 1.4 miles from my apartment! It was a super-festive environment with amazing talent. Shalane Flanagan didn't compete, but it was such a pleasure meeting her on our (Val joined me for the event and she can attest to how euphoric I was for those precious 2 hours of competition!) way to the car.


More FOOD!!! I'm all about good food. Correction: WE are all about good food. And Portland delivers. Blossoming Lotus brunch with tempeh, potatoes, tons of veggies, and Val's french toast tempeh sandwich (top-left), Thai curry and pad thai (top-right), Veggie Bento with rice and veggie skewers and coconut curry sauce (bottom-left), and yes...more ice cream (Bottom-right).

This plus, various odd-jobs and lots of running have made me stray away from blogging and for that, I apologize. I love writing this blog and I'm returning (Again) to doing so moving forward. There are so many exciting things happening and I can't wait to write and share them all with you.

I know good writing should not necessitate a line such as, "The point of this article...," as the main point should be able to be derived without it being explained; so maybe this post wasn't one of my best ones! Nevertheless, I shall explain what I wanted to stand out here: I follow a vegan diet (Val too, let's not forget!), but that doesn't mean I only eat fruit, vegetables, beans, and rice. I mean, yes, I love these foods...very much so. But being a super-healthy and all-about-proper-nutrition-and-training kind of guy doesn't mean I don't live a little (or in my case, a lot!). I love going out or stopping for ice cream in the summer and treating myself to a delicious coffeecake for breakfast every now and then. I relish these moments and if I didn't splurge because I'm in training, then I'd never taste ice cream or breakfast pastries again!

Eating healthy doesn't mean never eating unhealthy foods. Val and I went through this period early in our relationship. We rarely ate anything after dinner which was around 5pm. If we ate anything after, it was a WASA cracker with the thinnest layer of honey or jam. We didn't eat desserts and were counting every single calorie we consumed and every calorie we burned via more than one iPhone app that enabled us to seemingly have complete control over our diet and habits yet was causing us to lose control of our minds! This was going on for several months and I don't know what quite got us out of it, but I'm so glad we moved past it into a much more comfortable way of living.

This is a topic that I'll likely come back to again and again so forgive me if some of this gets repeated. Again, the pictures were to show that I'm enjoying the heck out of this summer. Eating the way I eat has allowed my running to flourish and I can't wait to see what new goals I can accomplish in the remaining months of 2015 and beyond. For those of you struggling with running (or other cardiovascular exercises) and recovering (being able to exercise again the next day or two after without pain or discomfort), I'd love to chat with you about your experiences.

This is something I haven't done before but I'm asking that if anyone has any questions or comments to PLEASE comment here or message me via twitter (@thatveganrunner) or Facebook (search Wilfredo Benitez). I'm so ready to interact more with whatever audience visits this blog. Talk to me!!

Until next time.

Happy Running!!

1 comment:

  1. Epic post! I like what you say about eating, and indulging from time to time. I think too many people give up fitness and training for the perceived extreme self-discipline required. I've always erred on the side of too much self-indulgence, but I'm gradually improving over time (decades)! You have indeed had quite an eventful time in the Northwest so far! Congrats.