Non-Running Travel Recap: Adventures of a Vegetarian in Japan!

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Sooo I’m still not allowed to run after my bulging disc diagnosis.  But I’m trying to have fun anyway.  The latest: a trip to Japan!  My husband had wanted to see Tokyo and Kyoto for years, and before traveling to anywhere new that I wanted to go (like the TMB, planned for September!), we decided to check this one off his bucket list.  I was interested in experiencing Japan but I had one major concern: the food.  My husband eats most meats and fish, but as my readers know, I am a vegetarian.  The Japanese diet is very meat heavy, and especially seafood heavy, with fish broth — dashi — showing up in what feels like every. single. dish.  Plus, the concept of a vegetarian, I’d learned when doing my research, doesn’t exist in Japan.  Buddhists are sometimes vegan, but the ovo-lacto vegetarianism that is common in the U.S. doesn’t seem to have taken hold in Japan.   To cater to the small number of vegetarians that do exist in Japan, both Tokyo and Kyoto have some fully vegetarian and vegan outlets.  However, because my husband eats meat, that wasn’t going to be an option for every meal.  And I wanted to eat Japanese food, not just vegetarian food.  So I developed three food goals for the trip:

(1) Experience Japanese culture

(2) Eat food that tastes good

(3) Eat food that is nourishing.

In other words, I didn’t want to fill up on plain white rice or French pastries (which are everywhere in Japan!) or Japanese desserts (also everywhere!).  So here’s what I learned and ate on our trip, including my favorite picks for best vegetarian foods in Japan.

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Mt. Hood 50k Recap and Review ((Ultra)marathon 25, State 20 — Oregon)

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Race:  Go Beyond Racing’s Mt. Hood 50K

Location:  On the Pacific Crest Trail and around Timothy Lake, in Mt. Hood National Forest, about 1.5 hrs from Portland, Oregon and at about 3,225 ft above sea level

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Big Sur International Marathon 2017 Recap and Review (Marathon 22, State 17 — California)

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Race: Big Sur International Marathon, a race that some regard as the most beautiful marathon in the United States

Location:  Point-to-point course from Big Sur, California to Carmel-By-The-Sea, California; approximately 2 hrs south of San Francisco

Time of Year:  6:45 am on a Sunday at the end of April, when the flowers are in bloom

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Non-Race Travel: The Best of St. Moritz, Florence, and Rome

IMG_3321Better late than never on this one!  My husband and I were fortunate to be invited to a wedding in St. Moritz, Switzerland in mid-January this year.  I honestly had never heard of St. Moritz, but as soon as I Wikipedia’d it, I was pretty pumped, even if I mis-pronounced it for several weeks until someone correct me (Mor-RITZ, not MORE-itz).  We also decided to extend the trip with stops in Florence and Rome, Italy.   Here are some of the highlights.

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Mesa Phoenix Marathon 2017 Review and Recap (Marathon 21, State 16 — Arizona)

IMG_0209What:  The BMO Harris Bank Mesa-Phoenix Marathon, aka The Phoenix Marathon, aka The Mesa-PHX Marathon. (There were approx 17 different hashtags associated with this race at various points — a little bit of an identity crisis, I think.)  (Not to be confused with the Rock ‘N Roll Arizona race, also held in the Phoenix area.)

Where: Mesa, Arizona, just a few miles outside of Phoenix.  Race started in Usery Mountain Regional Park and ended in the Mesa Riverview shopping center.

When: Saturday on the last weekend in February.

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Year in Review 2016

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Dear readers,

2016 has been a doozy — filled with epic highs (emotionally and in terms of altitude), big life questions, one terribly disappointing election, and many miles in the air and on my feet.  You can check out my goals for 2016 here  and my upcoming goals for 2017 here.  Thanks a million to all of those who supported me and brought joy to my life this year.

To recap, here are a few facts about 2016…

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The Best Tips for Healthy Vegetarian Eating While Traveling

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I’ve been traveling a lot for the past few months, commuting between DC and Colorado each week for work.  I’ve spent a lot of time in airports, and a lot of time hangry on airplanes.  But I’ve figured out a few tricks for how to eat healthfully (and as a vegetarian or vegan) while on the road or in the air and avoiding that gross-I-just-ate-a-ton-of-junk-and-now-sit-the-rest-of-the-day-on-an-airplane feeling as well as the I-am-going-to-eat-my-luggage-because-I-am-so-hungry feeling.  Here’s what I’ve learned.

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