“Kristie is a California girl who fell in love with New York, but somehow lives in Seattle. When not traveling the world to eat at ridiculously hyped restaurants, or to run half marathons over exotic locales, she spends her time with her partner Ricardo and their three pugs: Le Mops, Lola, and Lenore. Having only been running since 2011, she has completed 12 half marathons, mostly in November of 2013, and countless shorter races. She is an Energybits brand ambassador and Half Fanatic member (#4730). Kristie’s fridge stays stocked with avocadoes and pepitos, and she is always willing to share.”
What got you interested in running?
I injured my foot and couldn’t wear shoes, so the gym wouldn’t let me in and I couldn’t ride my bike. That led me to running barefoot.
Are you Vegan or Vegetarian? For how long? Why did you decide to give plant-based a try?
Vegetarian, but I have also recently given up eggs. I have been on again off again Vegetarian since I was 16 for various reasons. I love cheese and chocolate milk and my body can tolerate dairy just fine. After being on a doctor prescribed elimination diet, I try not to avoid food my body tolerates and I love without a personal reason. Limiting yourself arbitrarily or to follow a trendy diet only allows you to survive rather than thrive. I prefer to thrive, and have found a healthy dose of Kale allows me to do that.
When I started training for races, I found a plant based diet made the most sense for me during training. I was able to provide myself with all the needed nutrients and energy. After discovering the No Meat Athlete, I knew my choice was the correct one. I had just convinced my partner to try occasionally eating meat for the first time in 18 years when I announced we were going Mostly Vegan for training.
I travel quite frequently and will always try exotic local specialties when served to me, even when not plant based, but have always found that my choices lean vegetarian when choices are available regardless. I don’t really believe in limiting myself, as I said, or labeling myself. I make choices that work for me and that happens to be a plant based training diet. And with my race calendar, I am always training!
What keeps you motivated?
I run once a year with Team Challenge, raising an average of $10,000 a year for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. My mom was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and it’s incredibly debilitating. I will keep running until there is a cure.
Do you have a favorite race length?
If you could run with anyone (living/dead), who would it be?
Bart Yasso. I bet he’d make me laugh through any wall I may hit! He seems like a generally good natured runner!
What is your all-time favorite race? Why?
runDisney Wine & Dine Half. I love night races and Disney. Plus it’s in the middle of the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.
Do you have a favorite pre-race food?
Rice and Beans. It’s my perfect protein combo. I do sometimes do CousCous instead to change it up. I also pop some Energybits about an hour before long races and just before the start.
Margarita! I guess that’s not really a food. As for post-race food, I love some potato dumplings to get some carbs back. Pepitos are also an easy to grab treat I love post-race.
What piece of running gear could you not possibly live without?
I’m not that attached to my running gear. I know that’s not a very “runner” answer, but despite owning a ton of gear, I could live without all of it. I could even live without my minimalist shoes I’ve started wearing because of the wide variety of races I do each year.
What do you tell yourself when you are struggling?
That it’s better to struggle than to not try at all. I have been struggling quite a bit with my running since back to back arm surgery and then cyst removal. I remind myself that at least I’m not in pain anymore when I run and that a margaritas is waiting at the end for me! There is always a margarita no matter how slow I finish!
Do you have any current goals? Races?
I’m flying thousands of miles to run in the arctic circle in January, so I might be a little nutty. My next race is the Polar Night Half in Tromso, Norway in January. I have been training to run in snow and ice. I expect to be slow because of the conditions (and I’m usually slow anyway), but it will be the experience of a lifetime.
After that, I plan to start ramping up to longer distances and plan to do the Marathon du Medoc in 2015. There will be dozens of races before then and I hope to break the 10 minute mile mark again. The road to recovery has been slow in every way.
What advice would you give to someone who’s new to running?
Don’t overthink it. If you spend all your time focusing on breathing and form, you’ll forget to have fun. Plus, you’ll psych yourself out and probably end up forgetting to breathe all together. Most of all: HAVE FUN!!!!
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