Jimmy D 5k, 9/1Today, I ran my first race rocking my Team ASPCA jersey: the 9th Annual Jimmy D Memorial 5k, helping support burn survivors. (I found the race through Active.com; subscribe to emails and they’ll periodically send you info on races in your area.) Running has become a passion of mine. I typically run rocking animal rights message shirts, so I thought it would be great to join a team and raise money for animals. Chocolate was the name of my rescue kitty growing up. She’s not here anymore, but I still think of her black fur and the little butterscotch patch between her ears. The funds donated to the ASPCA benefit their NYC shelter, as well as providing much needed funding across the country, via grants. (Please donate to my Run for Chocolate!)

Race recap: The course was a pretty flat out and back so I was hoping to clock a PB; I was a little nervous, though. I ended up running in 26:59.05; just off my personal best. However, in previous races I’ve run, your time began when you crossed the start line; here it did not. Numbers don’t lie but, factoring the temperature difference from April as well, I really think this race marks an improvement for me.

It’s bizarre for me to think about all the numbers. I started running a little over two years ago with the goal of running Central Park. Come on, tell me you haven’t seen it in the movies and on tv. It seemed like a necessary NYC experience. So I set out to make the city my gym, as one MTA ad read. I’ve run Central Park numerous times now. Except for the horse-drawn carriages, I love the park.

Since growing into veganism over these last couple of years, I’ve become more aware of the stereotype of vegans as weak or being vegan and athletic as challenging (read as ‘impossible’). While training for my first half marathon, I encountered a trainer at a well-known gym still pushing the idea of mixing your proteins at every meal. (A theory since recounted by it’s author, Francis Moore Lappe.) Seriously, I’ve been meat-free for more than a decade; I’m not withering away. Forget the vegan factor, just being healthy in today’s modern world is tough.

So, today was the kick off for me. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon, which I’m raising the money for, will be my fifth half in just over a year. It’ll be kind of a tune-up race though. My major goal for this year was a marathon so the countdown to Philadelphia begins!

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