After years of being a vegetarian I finally made the leap to eating a vegan diet. Being vegan was always the goal anyway. I simply lacked the confidence to go all the way in the beginning and for years after. After being vegetarian for years and not really missing meat I realized that I was really just making excuses for not being vegan.
Taking on a vegetarian diet really helped me get myself to a level of fitness and health that I had never been in before. But, after being used to it for a while I began to get complacent. A big part of wanting to be vegetarian was about being healthier and eating healthier, but now I was eating lots more cheese and dairy than maybe I ever did as an omnivore.
As we are becoming more aware of the potential health impacts of the Corona Virus it is becoming clear that we will have to adapt and change our behaviors and out lifestyles to some degree for the benefit of society as a whole. I big part of that is the cancelling of events and gatherings. I know many of us plan our lives around going to things or doing things that involve lots of people gathered in one place and now we won’t be able to do those things. It is frustrating and may make us sad and even angry and that’s ok. Feel those feelings. Allow yourself that. There is nothing wrong with that. But do not unleash your feelings on others. That helps no one. No one wants to be making these decisions. No one wants to be cancelling events. No one wants to have to be worried about the health of our communities like this. But this is where we are.
When you are a runner you eventually become enveloped by an amazing community of people.
Near the end of 2019 a fellow runner created a Facebook page for a group challenge of running or walking a given mile each day and it was going to go from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Participants could choose a distance they wanted to maintain through the challenge from a minimum of 1 mile a day to 3 miles a day to 6 miles a day or more. The goal was to keep our running community motivated to run through what can be a tough time to keep it going with holidays and sub optimal weather in our region.
I spent some time volunteering with the Southern Tier Running Club‘s youth club SOAR at their monthly kids fun run providing photography. It is always nice to see all the kids, parents, coaches, and SOAR athletes that come out for these fun community events. Enjoy the photos.
Last year the Southern Tier Running Club launched its first trail running event. I was so excited for this and I had to participate by running in the first ever STRC trail race. This year the STRC is launched its second brand new Trail Running event: Trail Fest at Pinnacle. I was equally excited for this event as well. I love seeing our running club grow and provide more events for our members and the rest of the running community. I did not run this event. I was able to be part of it in a different way.
I have written often about how running has really been this synergy for me that has allowed me to combine many of the things I enjoy together in new ways. I have always loved getting out into nature, but previously I did not know very many people that loved getting out into nature the same way I did. Now that I have connected with and made friends with so many runners who enjoy nature the way I do it has opened up a whole new world of experiences for me. I can now spend hours and hours outside moving through nature with friends.
Previously I decided I wanted to challenge myself to go out on the trails for a long trail run that ended up being 31 miles (For that story you can link here Finger Lakes Trail Run/Hike). I went alone, because I didn’t know anyone else who I thought would enjoy that. After spending more time getting to know other runners. I decided I wanted to go out and try it again and invited some friends for a 26-mile adventure. It went from a solo adventure to a party of three.
I picked the location where I camped for two reasons. One it was close to most of the other things I wanted to do while I was on vacation. Two it had a trail leaving directly from the campground to a nearby mountain, Scar Face Mountain. I wanted to have a place I could go without having to really travel anywhere. That way I could hike or run a trail whenever.
I scouted out the trail and asked for information regarding it from the staff at the campground on the day I arrived. I wanted to go check it out early the next morning. I was determined to go for my first mountain run. I woke up early grabbed my GoPro and headed for the trail. After getting a little confused finding the trail head I was on my way.