Vegan Experiment - T Minus 1 Day

I’ve just emptied my fridge and cupboards of anything containing traces of animals, including the spider that has been living there for some time. All this food is now sitting in a pile on my kitchen table waiting for my housemates to dive in.

I have just been shopping and bought some of the vegan foods that I would normally ridicule. Soya milk, tofu, carrot batons and so forth. Luckily there are lots of foods that I really like in there. Pringles (Lime and Chilli flavour), falafel, hummus, coco pops etc. I’m currently finishing off the chicken I have left and then that’s it.

I have decided to attempt 3 months eating as a vegan. During this time I plan on running more than I ever have done before and the 3 months will cumulate with the Spartathlon; a 153 mile road race in Greece.

This is something I put about 20 minutes thought into on Wednesday morning before I decided on doing it. I’d just been reading “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougal and was getting ideas about how to enjoy running more. He made a great case for saying that humans are naturally able to run long distances and without having to eat animals to do it. A year ago I would have laughed, now I really want to put it to the test.

Why Not?

I decided to do this before I really thought about why. All conversations I’ve had with people since are demanding answers to this question. “Why not decide what you want to achieve, think of all the options, weight up the pros and cons and then make a decision?” is the usual response I get. Instead I’ve made the decision and feel I have to retrofit a justification. There obviously was some reason, conscious or otherwise as to why I’m doing this. Some thoughts that don’t quite add up to a proper explanation are;

· I can’t think of a time this year so far that I’ve really enjoyed a run. I can think of lots last year, regardless of time where I’ve actual just loved the fact that I was running. This year everything has been a disaster just because each run I have done I’ve wanted nothing more than for it to finish. I suspect this has something to do with the shit I put into my body.

·I want to lose some weight. I am 13.5 stone and want to get down to 12. I’ve admitted defeat in every being able to “moderate” anything. I know I can’t just “cut down” on fatty foods, booze or sugar, I need to have some strict rule that eliminates this. I still plan on eating a lot and drinking a lot too. The last thing I want to do is curb my drinking. I hope that by completely changing my eating habits I can do this.

·I kind of want to prove a point made in the book. The author suggests that we don’t need meat and the best ultra-runner in the world would agree. I could read more books about it and talk to more people about it, or I could just experiment on myself. If nothing else it will at least be an experience.

·I want to nail the Spartathlon.

The best that could happen is that I could lose 2 stone, feel healthier than I ever have done before, run better and enjoy it more and have a great race in September. The worst that could happen is that I mess up my race and feel a bit miserable. Small price to pay. Actually I am aware that this may make me ill, or just look like a dick but I’m not too worried about that.

The Bonehead Questions.

Since running long distance I have had to suffer a constant stream of stupid questions. Maybe stupid is a bit harsh but I get fed up of answering the same things over and over again...

1. Isn’t it really bad for your knees? - NO
2. Don’t you get bored when running? - NO
3. You must get through lots of trainers? – Well, yes. Obviously.
4. What was your average pace in [Insert trail ultra here]? – Dunno. Don’t care really since “average” does not really mean anything here.
5. Do you stop to eat and go to the toilet? - Well yes obviously. No actually, let’s say no. I just carry on running and shit myself to save a few seconds.

I feel like I’ve got the answers sussed to these, however I am now being exposed to a new series of questions for which I don’t yet know the answers. I’m confident that the answers are there though. So far I’ve had...

1. How will you get enough protein?
2. How will you get enough energy for all the running you do?
3. How will you get enough nutrients?
4. Won’t you get bored?

So..... Day 1 tomorrow. I’ve already cooked my tofu/pepper/rice thingy to have for lunch. I’m looking forward to it.