ParkRuns and Plant Powered

I hate running! Or at least I used to hate it. All I recall about running is pain inflicted upon the body and mind. My sole thought after my first 5km run was : “Now I know why people invented cars!”

However this opinion of my mine has radically changed over the past few months. I now appreciate running as something quite rewarding. I now see why people like it so much. Let me tell you what happened.

Exercise Sabbatical

Within a few months of of going vegan, I very quickly noticed that I was crazy lean. In fact my body was starting to look like when I was twenty; very lean, very light and very toned. This was a hallelujah moment for me. The first thought that ran through my mind was “I ain’t never going to gym again!!” For the next three years that’s exactly what I did and I was loving it.

However recently I noticed I picked up some weight which I wasn’t too pleased about. Around the same time my mom started going for the MyRun events(very similar to Parkruns). I decided to tag along and I was stunned. My body actually performed Great!

This was a complete surprise to me because I hated running! I hated it!!

I remember hating running when I was a kid and I would get stitches. I remember hating it in school during cadet training. In particular remember hating it when I did obstacles courses. I hated running.

However, now it was easy! The only thing that changed was that I went Vegan. Simple as that! I was already familiar with the science because I researched plant based whole foods extensively a few years back. Although to see it in action was completely another thing. I knew that the spinach had already improved my vasodilation. I knew I had no plaque on my arteries so now my endothelial cells were pumping Nitric Oxide. I knew that the Amla powder was reducing arteriole stiffness increasing my performance, but to see in action is something else entirely.

It’s stunning to rock up to run after years; take it nice and easy and see great results.

Run Consistently

I’ve been running every weekend now consistently for the past few months and even at the gym on a treadmill. My times have been steadily coming down.

I first started out at about 37 minutes for a 5km run and now I’m down to 27 minutes as a personal best; and this is without pushing myself hard. My goal is to keep running consistently for the rest of this year and get those times down to 20 minutes.

I am really digging the Parkruns and the MyRuns because I can take in the beautiful view, pace myself and navigate the course with ease. Whereas previously, as a meat eater, there wasn’t a single moment of joy to be had. It was all about mentally forcing my body to push through the pain barriers. That approach wears you out after while. Personally I’d rather enjoy things now.

There are so many beautiful Parkruns around Johannesburg and I’ve been to a good couple now. It’s so much fun to get a chance to explore these different areas and get fit at the same time. I’ve even heard of people doing Parkruns whenever they travel abroad which sounds very cool indeed.

Conclusion

Being Vegan, and in particular on a plant based whole foods diet has opened new avenues that I thought were closing to me. I always thought that as you get older opportunities and options dwindle. I don’t think like that anytime more.

Instead, I feel like there’s much more potential out there; much more to be had. I feel like I can dream a little bigger. I now know the race is just beginning. I’ve got my laces strapped up, my body warmed up and I’m ready to enjoy the view on this super fun journey. See you at the finish line.

Photo by Nathalie Désirée Mottet on Unsplash


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