Hello! In a nutshell, I’m a 49 year old vegan who feels better than I did in my twenties! In 2007, health issues and long-term chronic knee problems forced me to change my diet. I could barely run three to five miles without painful inflammation in my knees. Now I’m pain-free and doing marathons and long course triathlons. Currently I am a 3X Ironman finisher with six 70.3 mile distance triathlons, five marathons, and a 50K under my belt. I’m headed to my second World Championship in the 70.3 distance in Nice, France this September. I’m also tackling Ironman #4 this July in Whistler, British Columbia, CA.
Here’s the longer version!
In the 1990s I was a very competitive cyclist who eventually raced on regional and national level teams. Long bicycle races over mountains were my passion back then. Sadly knee injuries and two unsuccessful knee surgeries ended my racing career for good. 1998 was the last year I would be on my bike for over a decade. I couldn’t do much physical activity during that time. I could run a little bit but never more than a few miles a few times a week. The pain and inflammation in my knees never seemed to go away. These were difficult times for someone who thrived on endurance activities.
In 2007 other health issues forced me to find a healthier way of eating. I became a vegan and slowly started to feel so much better with improvement in many areas including my knees. Eating a lot of organic, whole and raw foods and ditching the dairy products seemed to be the key. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life, but going vegan was the key to feeling fit and healthy. Hence I started doing more and more running with less and less pain and inflammation. I also got back into skiing, cycling and learned to swim. Going vegan helped me reclaim a healthy athletic lifestyle with my husband Scott (also vegan).
Who says you can’t start doing Ironmans in your late forties or your first marathon at age 41. Anything is possible!