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Accountability Post Revisited

I posted something very similar to this on via my Facebook page and wanted to add it here (with some embellishment) to not only announce it here, but to share the link for this project.

In February of 2019 I turn 45.

I’ve had this thing the past couple years (since turning 40) that I attempt some ridiculous physical goal. In 2015 I attempted (DNF’d after 20 hours) the Winter Death Race put on by Peak Races in Pittsfield, VT. I finished my first 50k (TARC Summer Classic) trail race in 2016.  In 2017 I didn’t do anything super crazy but I did two Ragnar Relay races; one on the road in PA and another in trails in Wawaynda, NY.

In the Spring of 2019 I am going to run from the Sagamore Bridge to Provincetown, the full length (65ish miles) of Cape Cod!! It’ll be my first 100+k run!

I just received my training plan and start preparing for the Vegan Power 50k TODAY! I can’t wait to get back out there and run.

I’m working out how supported it’s going to be, as well as having some pacers join me on different sections. Since I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago I have had a bunch of people reach out to want to be a part of it.

I’m going to start reaching out to some companies I believe in and see if we can’t agree on some sponsorship opportunities. I’ve already had my first one courtesy Jess Ryle over at Vegan Outdoor Adventures; I am more than appreciative for her support! If you would like to sponsor/ support me get in touch. I will be adding a gofundme soon to cover some expenses and to raise money for causes I believe in; this is a great opportunity to spotlight those so look out for that soon.

If you want to know more, look at the menu above and click where it says “Run Across The Cape” (or just click that link)




Squeals, Bleats & Cackles: Jess Ryle from Vegan Outdoor Adventures

I’m excited to share this chat I had with Jess Ryle from Vegan Outdoor Adventures. I’ve known Jess for a very short time but I can tell you she is extremely dedicated to the values she holds and lives the life she says she does; with pride, kindness and compassion. She is one of the most welcoming people I’ve met in the vegan community and I think you would also agree if you ever have the opportunity to meet her. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

logo-small2VCG: Say hello to my friend and vegan running cohort, Jess Ryle! I greatly appreciate you taking time to answer some questions and chat. A good amount of the vegan outdoor community know who you are, but for those still in the dark tell us a bit about you.

J @ VOA: I’m Jess, born and raised in Upstate New York. I absolutely love the mountains, so living here is perfect for me. I live with my boyfriend Andrew, along with our dog and five cats. I get outside as much as I can, hiking year round, running and camping. And I work at a vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant. People eating at the restaurant are always surprised to hear that I’m vegan and assume I won’t eat anything there. But I live on rice, beans & avocado! What else do you need in life?

I went vegetarian in 2003 after working at a seafood restaurant and being upset by the lobsters being steamed alive. I didn’t know any vegans and didn’t have the online community that I do now, so I didn’t really know how to go vegan. Finally in 2009 I went for it and have never looked back. I always say that my veganism is my favorite thing about myself.

Vegan Outdoor Adventures is an awesome site. I’ve used it a few times prepping for races, hikes, etc. When did you start it? What were your hopes for it when you started and are you seeing those hopes/ goals coming to light?

J @ VOA: I started VOA at the beginning of 2014. It came about from a combination of looking for a passion project to work on and trying to find new hiking boots that were completely, for-sure, 100% vegan. It was a way more frustrating task than I had ever imagined. My boyfriend Andrew and I were talking about it and the idea for VOA was born.

Initially it was going to be just something to keep me occupied and matched my morals; a resource to help other people with the same hiking boot dilemma. I never imagined that I could make money through it or that it would grow to what it is today.

My original hopes were to get the word ‘vegan’ on the radar of major outdoor gear companies and to build a community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts. I’m happy to say that both of these have happened. Some companies were already vegan-friendly, but others didn’t know that there was a need for vegan gear. And I’ve also met (both online and in person) so many wonderful people through the site.

VCG: Speaking of VOA, you just started doing seasonal boxes packed with all sorts of goodies. How did the first one go? What has the reaction been like? What made you think about doing these?

J @ VOA: The first Seasonal Sample Box was great! It was definitely a learning experience because I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’m really happy with the way it came out and it was received really positively by subscribers. It was so exciting seeing people post photos on social media when they received theirs!
The Seasonal Sample Boxes came about while I was trying to think of a way to share my favorite items with people. It’s one thing to write a review or post a photo on social media, but actually getting products that I use and love into the hands of readers was really important to me. And subscription boxes are a huge hit right now. There are outdoor boxes and vegan boxes, but I hadn’t yet seen a vegan outdoor box so I think there’s definitely demand for it.

It’s been a really fun process, deciding what to include and promoting brands that I really connect with. We’re working on the winter box now and plan to release it in January.

VCG: Having grown up in the Adirondacks, how much of the range have you hiked/climbed or run?

jess2J @ VOA: Yes, I grew up in Upstate New York, just south of the Adirondack Park. I love it so much here. It’s beautiful and there are so many opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature. I’ve hiked many of the mountains surrounding Lake George, many times each. They’re very close to my house and the views of the lake and surrounding mountains are gorgeous.

The High Peaks near Lake Placid are my favorites though. They’re the highest mountains in New York State and it’s a different world when you’re on top of them. I’ve hiked 12/46 so far, many of them multiple times. Gotta get in gear and hit the rest of them to earn my 46er badge!

VCG: Besides VOA what are some of your other passions?

J @ VOA: Mountains are definitely one of my passions. I absolutely adore the mountains. I feel so peaceful and at home when I’m hiking in the mountains. I also love cats; I’m a total cat mama. Well, I love all animals really. And I’m also a gigantic fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, the Game of Thrones book series. I’m currently re-reading them all.

VCG: I know running is one of those passions because you are one of my awesome teammates from Strong Hearts Vegan Power! How did you find out about SHVP?

J @ VOA: Yes, I love running! And I actually got more serious about running after finding about SHVP and wanting to join the team at Ragnar ADK last year.

I found out about the team through some of my Facebook friends who were on the team. I would see them posting photos and updates from Ragnar races. Then after Ragnar Cape Cod ’15, there was a Strongest Hearts episode about the team and I just knew I had to join.

VCG: SHVP’s last Ragnar was in the ADK and a bunch of us got to hang at your place for the night. How amazing were those homemade vegan Big Macs eh?

J @ VOA: They were so good! I had never had a Big Mac before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. They were definitely amazing.

jess-3VCG: What are your thoughts on activism within the vegan community? I know there are all forms, heck even this interview can be considered activism as it brings your story about veganism to light. What do you do as your form of activism?

J @ VOA: My main form of activism is living my life as a vegan. Everyone I know knows I’m vegan. And a runner. I just do me and live positively and in a way that reflects my morals. I’m friendly and approachable and I think that goes a longer way than pushing people toward a certain lifestyle. Many people have asked me questions throughout the years and I’ve had a few people tell me I was a big help in their own journey toward veganism.
I think all forms of activism are important though. I’ve always said that having people working at all angles is important. From lobbying to protesting to liberation. We’re all working to help animals.

VCG: If you could change one thing about the vegan community and it’s message what would it be?

J @ VOA: I would love for the vegan community as a whole to work together and be more welcoming.

VCG: I want to thank you for taking the time, Jess, to answer all of these questions. I can’t wait for readers to get to know you better and understand just how awesome you are as well as your work with VOA and for animals.

J @ VOA: Thank you for including me, Nate! Good luck with everything on VeganCableGuy.com and I hope to see you soon!

Make sure to check out Vegan Outdoor Adventures at http://veganoutdooradventures.com/

Race Recap: Ragnar Adirondacks 2016

img_1565“It’s been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song…”

No this isn’t a rendition of Sinead O’Connors “Nothing Compares 2 U” but it is an ode to those that have become a part of my family, the Strong Hearts Vegan Power team.

You see, this past weekend I ran my third Ragnar Relay and second with the team. Rather than it be on Cape Cod like the previous two, and be on familiar territory being a native and all; this one was held in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. Nothing could have prepared this flat-lander for what was to come, but my training had as many hills as I could find and the incline was always on when using the treadmill.

img_1467We had an early start for the race, 6 am on Friday morning, so many of us came into the area early to get some sleep. A group of us was staying at Jess and Andrews house (thank you for the hospitality) and while we were all headed that way it was decided we would try to concoct vegan Big Macs. We were all given certain things to pick up on our way and for what ever reason we still ended up with extra Chao cheese.

Casey popped the burgers into some pans, I created the “special sauce”, shredded some lettuce (after Caseys valuable tip) and sliced some buns up. We had a variety of patties to choose from such as Field Roast, Gardein and even some Beast Burgers from Beyond Meat. I love those one’s so my Big Mac was merely ginormous and was super filling. We had also brought stuff for s’mores but by the time we had all gorged on vegan Big Macs we were full and people were starting to think about bed. That was a great idea since we had to be up early so we all crashed.

img_14753:45am-4:00am came waaaay to soon but we were up and at em and headed off to the starting line. It was awesome to see so many people I had met from the Cape Cod Ragnar and to meet people who were coming in for their first race with the team. We all found our teams, were given our race gear and plans were put into motion about how the next 24-30 hours or so would play out. At this point, after chatting and catching up with teammates, it was time for C team van 1 (Rachel, Evan, Christine, Jeanine, Molly, our driver & Captain Melissa and myself) to head over to registration and get checked in, watch the safety video and prepare for our first runner to get going.

Originally I was supposed to be runner 1, but due to an unforeseen injury from a fellow teammate, I switched to her leg which was six. She then had to pull out completely so the legs were arranged a bit and we took on another runner as she moved into the van driver role. The way this team, Strong Hearts Vegan Power, operates is amazing. Even when the most minor thing happens, or major, it gets ironed out quick and is given no more thought; it just gets done. We had runners on other teams go down and again, the slack was picked up and it went off without a hitch.

img_1494After seeing runner 1 off the race was officially on for us. If you’ve never run a Ragnar this is where the fun, and chaos, begins. We swiftly got back to our van and headed of to the next exchange. When our van was on the clock this is how it would go. Drop a runner off at an exchange and then drive to the next where the nest runner would wait for the slap bracelet to be handed off and then on to the next. Each van had 6 runners and 1 driver. After the 6 from that van ran, the slap bracelet was handed off to the second van of 6 making 12 totals runners per team. When our van was off the clock we would head to the next major exchange to chill, clean up, eat, recoup or whatever it is we needed to do.

After our first leg, we had an injury. Rachel had rolled her ankle at one point during her leg. Sam taped her up and we were unsure if she could continue on. Somehow she muscled through and ran her second leg, even claiming two kills in the process. After that though it was decided that she was out and we would have to figure out what to do for her last leg. In order of runners, Christine ran before Rachel and I after. Christine and I decided to split her last leg in half and share it. So how easy that was, we got it done!

img_1644How did my legs go? Amazing! My first run was just a bit over 6 miles and I just kind of took it easy as I knew I had a nearly 9 mile run later that night. The Adirondacks are beautiful so the run was relaxing. My second legs had a few hills, quite a few actually. It killed me running up them but going down? I set new records for myself. I have never run anything faster than a 7 minute pace for more than 20 second sprints. As I was bombing down a hill I peaked at my watch and saw I was going 6:24! What?? So I grabbed my phone and took a pic, at that point I had slowed to 6:37 but that was still way flippin’ faster than I had ever run before.Of course I’m not an elite runner, so keeping that pace was a dream. I went back to my usual 9:00-9:30 pace and settled in.

My third leg was just in the morning. It was just about to hit 7am and that was when you didn’t have to wear all the night gear, I was grateful for that. Again, I settled in to a good pace and powered through my last run. There were some absolutely gorgeous sites to see as I ran this leg. It seemed that the trees color was changing a bit more on this side of the Adirondacks so it made it even more spectacular. There was a spot that had a great downhill and I miraculously achieved another sub 7 pace for about 30 seconds and that felt refreshing as the morning was quite chilly. I’d have layered up but by the time the 6 miles was up I was sweating and would not have wanted to carry a sweatshirt with me the whole way. After my leg, we handed off to van 2 and then headed off to the finish line to wait for all the teams to come in.

img_1523The finish line was in Lake Placid where they held the Olympics some time ago. There was still signs that they were held there as the ski jump was still up and even the spot where the Olympic flame was lit. It was probably even more beautiful than, in its Olympic glory and all. It wasn’t too shabby though and was the perfect place to have a Ragnar party!!

They had some of their sponsoring vendors there such as Nathan and Nuun. Each runner gets a meal ticket and we were blown away that there was a veg option that we didn’t have to ask for anything to be changed or taken out. I even had a coffee at the pop-up cafe and they offered me coconut milk; the world is changing folks!

While we waited for our van and the others, A team came blasting in with a time of just over 22 hours garnering them 3rd overall and 1st in their division. Who said vegans were slow and unhealthy?? From what I can tell on the prelim results the other van results are:

C = 30:31:46 (my team)
B = 31:06:38
D = 31:28:05

I loved running this race and couldn’t be happier with those that were selected to share the van w/ me. You guys are all my dear friends from here on out, thank you for the laughs (#jesusjumpedup) and thank you for the amazing memories.

teamcfullWhile I’m writing my thanks let me add to it some of the most important folks and that Joel, Laura, Dana and any other admin that helps to set all of this up. After creating and helping admin an enormous OCR team I can only imagine what you guys are doing between registration, collecting money for that, gear order, getting contributions from vendors, etc. You guys are all amazing and we do what we do because you set it all up. We couldn’t do it without you. We couldn’t spread the message of ethical veganism the way we do unless we had you standing behind us. Thank you!

I’d like to also thank all the businesses/ companies that sponsored Strong Hearts Vegan Power. Your support is amazing and the team is proud to be partners with you!

Financial Sponsors

Little Anthonys
Louisville Vegan Jerky
Our Hen House
Sweet Earth Natural Foods
Vegan Outdoor Adventures

In-Kind Sponsors

GU Energy Gels
Healthy Living Market & Cafe
Health Warrior
Munk Pack
Louisville Vegan Jerky
Natures Bakery
The Herbivore Clothing Company
Primal Strip
Skinny Pop
Sweet Earth Natural Foods
Raw Revolution


Squeals, Bleats & Cackles: Peter Nussbaum of Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary

Tamerlaine_Farm_Logo_111014I’m still putting together stories from the various experiences I had at this past years Ragnar Relay here on Cape Cod. There are many things left unspoken, especially those moments in the van at 3am… But, that’s another story; or not! One thing is for certain, this story is one I am excited to share. I recently had a lil e-mail talk with Peter Nussbaum, one of the founders/ owners of Tamerlaine Animal Sanctuary

Usually I’d give an intro about the person I’m interviewing, but that’s where all the questions come in. Although I did meet Peter at the race, our encounter was brief. We met at one of the stops in the relay. Anyone who has done a Ragnar knows some of these stops are “in and out” types of stops. But, having seen the shirts the team was wearing, over and over and over again, I had to ask. First, I asked where I could get one, but was told it’s secret squirrel shit so… But, Peter did mentioned some of the other team was “over there” (and he pointed) so I went to chat with them as well. Anyway, onto why you came here… Read more

Incorporate these exercises into your run, you might thank us!

James Horgan, a card carrying member of the MA Spahtens, suggested we come up with a few exercises to incorporate into a running routine. The hopes was the exercises be practical, and that you would not have to carry anything to make them possible.

So, we came up with a  list of ten that we think will strengthen the WHOLE body only using your body weight. The idea is, after every mile (more than likely on a three mile run) to run through a set of these. There are no particular reps you HAVE to do, just do what your body says you CAN do. This list may change, nothing is static, change is inevitable. We hope that with these exercises, you will feel that change.

These exercises, and video links, were compiled by Eric Matta, another card carrying member. Thanks for your work Eric.

1 – Burpees (full body)

2 – V sit Crunches (core)

3 – Lunges (quads, glutes)

4 – Divebombers (shoulders)

5 – Pullups, find a tree, bench, ledge.. (back)

5 – Squat jumps, elbows to knees (full body)

7 – Russian twist (core)

9 – Air Squats (quads)

6 – Plank (core)

10 – Pushups AMRAP (chest, arms)

Let us know how it goes, we’d love to know how you incorporate this into your lives. AROOO!!!