The 247 Pound Vegan and What’s Your Workout?

Two articles caught my eye in Friday’s Wall Street Journal. One was about a 247 pound vegan football player for the Kansas City Chiefs. The other was about a fellow ultra-runner who considers a 50 mile run short. Why would I be interested? Well, those who know me know that I am a vegetarian (not a vegan) and an ultra-runner (though barely). Vegetarianism is a mystery to most people, especially those in the US. It is helpful to understand vegetarian definitions because most people are unaware of the different types. I originally chose to be vegetarian about 15 years ago for athletic performance reasons. Now, I am an ovo-lacto vegetarian for many reasons, including: health, athletic performance, taste, animal rights, environmentalism, reduced consumption, etc. We are all vegetarian in our household and we read a lot about the subject. We don’t lack protein and we aren’t weak or overtly liberal like most people would assume! We aren’t crazy or righteous. We are just focused on nutrition and living as healthy as we can.

The football player featured in the story is Tony Gonzalez, one of the best tight ends in the NFL. This past season, he experimented with being a vegan, and it is working for him. He read a book, The China Study, that we have not read, but is on our Wish List. The book is about how changing your diet can result in reduced risk for cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Gonzalez read the book and was inspired to make some major changes in his diet. Good for him, and good for others who make a concious effort to improve their health.

Another person who improved his health was ultra-runner, Brian McNeill, who was featured in the other WSJ story, a regular column about business people and their workouts. He began running long distances 10 years ago. He has had his fair share of injuries (he needs to cross train  more!), but overall, he is a healthier man than when he was on the road all of the time, not exercising, and eating lousy food. I always enjoy reading about ultra-runners. We are an energetic bunch of people who are often deeply philosophical. Long hours on the trail and roads are conducive to contemplative thinking. My longest ever run is 33 miles, but my wife, Debbie, has a full resume of races at the 50km, 50 mile, and greater distances. I don’t desire to run much longer than 50km because my body type cannot take it. Because of my genes and 20 years of cycling, my leg muscles have developed in ways that make running, especially downhill, torture for me. Still, I love it. The ultra-running community is wonderful and there are worse things you could do for your body (e.g. eat trans fats, drink soda, drink hard liquor, watch TV, inject heroin, etc.) than give up eating meat and running long distances.

1 Response to “The 247 Pound Vegan and What’s Your Workout?”

  1. 1 Football » The 247 Pound Vegan and What’s Your Workout? Trackback on 27 January 2008 at 1:22 am

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Little D passed her second of three #taekwondo #blackbelt tests. The third, and biggest, is in October. #tkd #sunset #md90 🌞✈️ #echoamphitheater #carsonnationalforest #newmexico Stopping to stretch our legs and use the potty was the best $2 I've spent in a while. I even borrowed a nickel from @trailrunningmom and got rid of the 95 cents in my pocket. Amazing #durango #colorado trails. These are the #HorseGulchTrails near @fortlewiscollege which has an amazing #cycling culture. When I raced collegiates @bcclubcycling & @bucycling in the early 90's, it wasn't anything like what's happening with the powerhouse @flccycling team. What an amazing backyard. Imagine rolling out of your dorm and onto this landscape. I would never go to class! Don't tell my kids I said that! #mountainbiking #cyclocross #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #horstspikes 🚵‍♀️ @trailrunningmom finished in 41 hours and 1 minute. #hr100 #hardrock100 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning #ultrarunning #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom left the Chapman Aid Station at 2:10 P.M. I paced her from Ouray (56.6 miles) to Chapman (82.2 miles). @ultramarathondan will take her to the finish of the @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 Most importantly, she is in good spirits and despite the altitude, is moving OK on the climbs, albeit slowly. As for the descents, her legs are trashed but she is still bombing them. Finish could be in the 40-42 hour range if all goes well. Who knows? Lots of variables! Fingers crossed. I have tons of photos to go through, so I selected one of our crew with Deb as she headed out for the final 18 miles. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports We finally reconnected with @trailrunningmom She arrived at Grouse Gulch, 42.2 miles at 8:33pm and departed at 8:50pm. She was soaked to the bone after climbing her first ever 14,000 foot peak. Handies had lots of hail and rain. She changed every piece of clothing and shoes and felt much better. The drive to/from was white knuckle insanity with our rental. @ultramarathondan is with her now. It will be a long night. I'll see her in Ouray. Our kids  have been awesome. Mom just wants to finish, but a long way to go. @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 #trailrunning #ultrarunning 🏃🏻⛰

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