Montag, 26. März 2012

Vegan NY/ trying to cook "Eiernockerln" + training this week

One pic from the book

Vegan NY is a set of images in a photobook shot by a friend of mine while she was in NY hanging out with parts of the vegan community in NY. The book covers different aspects such as social life, demonstrations, etc. Check it out!

I have also tried to cook "Eiernockerln", which is an austrian recipe and usually made with loads of eggs. MY grandparents came from Transsylvania and I guess while Transsylvania was part of the Austrian-Hungarian-Kingdom the recipe made its way there.
Anyways... I altered the recipe to make it vegan.

"Eiernockerl" with strawberry jam

Training March 20th - 26th
20th: Went swimming 3.4km early in the morning at the Aquapark Oberhausen
21st: Went 83 min running in total 19km incl. 10x1km in 10km racepace, stretch Yoga in the evening
22nd: 52 min running: 11km, then Yoga (toning and stretch) in the evening
23rd: 3.2km of swimming
View from the "Haniel Halde", a slag heap of 156m height
24th: 1h core training, then 100 min running incl. exercises, sprints, uphill running on the Schlackeberg (Haniel Halde) in Bottrop ca. 18.5km, also played a show with GID in Wetzlar in the evening.
25th: 85 min running incl. 4 sprints: another 18km, so in total 66km running this week + 6,6km swimming and some cycling
26th: Cruising around in town with my daughter, visiting my father in hospital, and soon some Yoga!

View to the last level of the "Haniel Halde"

Montag, 19. März 2012

Interview with the dutch vegan runner Jan Albert Veenema

Jan Albert and me got into contact through a dutch hardcore messageboard I used to promote my blog and he reads occasionally. We sort of knew each other through HC shows and just found out we got a common passion and the only inspiring, almost cruelty-free (VEGAN) lifestyle. So I wanted to interview him since he's such a good runner and might also inspire you. He definitely has inspired me, since I might try some of his track intervall trainings and we'll be running a race together soon!

Interview with Jan Albert Veenema, questions by me, pics under permission by JA Veenema.

How long have you been vegan?

I have been vegan for about 15 years now. Before that I've been vegetarian for a year, but in that time I started reading a lot about veganism and concluded that I wasn't consistent enough. Also listening to bands like Earth Crisis and reading books like Animal Liberation and Diet for a New America contributed to my beliefs.
I actually became vegetarian through an ex girlfriend who turned vegetarian during our relationship, so I kinda got used to it and started eating more meat-free myself. The actual point for me to turn vegan was made by a friend of mine who stayed at my house for a couple of days and taught me how easy it was to cook vegan. From that point on I basically never ate animal products again. I can still remember the first time I said no to cheese: on my fathers birthday a bowl with snacks was presented to me and I said no. That was the also the first time I had to explain to my family what veganism stands for, and a lot of explaining is still necessary.
Me turning vegan kinda went together with me becoming straight edge. The only thing I did (a lot) was smoking weed and after watching a dutch documentary about animal liberation (Zembla- brandende dierenliefde, in english: burning love for animals) I decided it was enough and stopped my addiction because I thought there was something that needed my attention and that couldn't be done while sitting stoned on a couch.
I'm not straight edge anymore, I'm occasionally enjoying a beer but I still respect and honor the values. I just can't understand why "sell-outs" start drinking like crazy once they drop the edge. For me it stops when the alcohol takes over my concentration or control. I want to keep control over my mind and body and not want a substance to take over.

When did you start with sports. what is you sports biography, so to say?

In my younger days I played a little soccer, but never played a game. It was because my friends went doing it so I had to do it as well. When I quit I've always continued playing soccer in the streets for fun though.
Later on I went on rescue swimming which included grips to get drowning persons out of the water, swimming with clothes on, swimming underwater and also diving to the bottom of the pool to collect rubber mats or a big plastic lifesize puppet.
I always enjoyed the gym classes at school but never took any action to go on another sport. My parents never pushed me to join a sport, but nowadays they're the most loyal supporters ever!
When I was about 23 years old I occasionally went to a fitness centre but quickly figured pumping weights was not for me. I enjoyed the cardio stuff way better, and did a coopertest (12 min run) on the treadmill. I forgot about the distance I ran by the way. Two colleagues of mine did a 7km run twice a week and they asked me to join them and it went really well. After doing that for a couple of weeks another colleague told me about an organised 10km run in my hometown and I ran 41 minutes, on my Air max shoes, so a pretty fast time. Based on that he began writing schedules for me and then everyting went pretty quick. Still I didn't really know what I was doing which resulted in running a marathon half a year after that first 10km race, a crazy thing to do especially since I didn't run any more than 20km in training but still completed it in 3.40.
Totally wasted afterwards but found enough energy to go to a Napalm Death show in the evening.
After about 2-3 years of unguided training I joined the local athletic club where I started doing intervals twice a week, and from then on things went even faster.  
So it's been 13 years now and I don't think I'll ever stop running. An advantage I have is that my girlfriend is also a runner (I infected her with the virus) and if you can share such a passion it's so great you can do it together.

Have you been active in the animal rights movement or in hardcore (the common bond we know each other through)?
When I went vegan I did a lot of flyering, did some distro for Animal Truth (Cindy Frey's foundation) and the dutch vegan society, and ofcourse immediately joined organisations like Peta, both the dutch and british vegan society and also the dutch vegetarian society.
Sometimes I went out at night spraypainting "meat is murder" here and there but never got involved in any "real" criminal activities. I must admit that I used to be more extreme and outgoing, but I will never give up veganism and never avoid discussions.
Maybe it sounds strange if I tell you that I grew up as a metalkid, and am totally into black metal. But gradually discovered lotsa other styles which I loved as well such as grunge, hiphop and hardcore.   
The hardcore "scene" is where I feel at home. The people, the shows, the ideals (although they doesn't seem to be as important as back in the days) and ofcourse the music is what attracts me.
I also go to metalshows because I want to see my favorite bands on stage but I like the atmosphere at HC shows way better.
As far as the HC activism concerns I did a magazine once (in the year 2000, it was called Truce and had interviews with Shockwave, Spirit 84, actually the first Heaven Shall Burn interview and more). Never been in a band but a very regular visitor of shows and buyer of records.

What is your week like? How much, what, when and how long do you train?
That depends on where I'm training for but mostly I'm doing 5 sessions a week, divided in 2 track sessions, a short (8-15km) and long distance run (>20km) and a race or forest/hill training.
The average kilometrage ranges from 60-100km and sometimes even more.
It takes a lot of my time but that's what hobbies or passions do and I couldn't imagine living without running.
Here's a recent week from my log:

mo 12km 58min
tu   track training 6x1000m in 3.35 with 400m recoverytime after each one. Also long warming up with stretching, groundwork (core-stability, push ups and sit ups) and running technique. Total 16km, 2 hrs. I always run to the track and back home which is 3,5km one way.
th  track training 3 series of 400m-300m-200m-100m in 75sec-56sec-37sec-18sec. After each tempo 200m pause and in between series 400m. Again long warming up. Total 15km, 2hrs. 
sat  10km race personel best time 33.27, 8th place overall. Total 16km
sun  32 km long run for marathon. 2hrs 20min.

So that's a weektotal of 91km divided into 5 sessions.

What do you usually eat or what is integral part of your nutrition? Any "secrets" you now want to share?
I'm a pretty conventional eater so to say. Lotsa potatoes, pasta, chinese noodles, curry's, beans and so on. Anything rich in carbohydrates is good. Also any kind of vegetables suits me fine and I try to eat carrots, spinach, sprouts and so on for the necessary nutrition.
I'm convinced that a vegan diet can replace a meat/dairy based one without a problem, as long as you eat healthy and varied. And if you compare the diet of any pro athlete with ours there are way more similarities than differences so that means we're on the right track!
I'm taking some B12 vitamins on an irregular basis, but I've never experienced any sufficiency of any kind and also a sport test didn't conclude in a shortage of anything. I think my body adapted to eating vegan and sporting so much.
The day before a race I always eat pasta, maybe that's a mental thing but it never proved me wrong. During long runs or races I take gels, any brand will do, but lately the SiS ones are favorite here. Also their sportsdrink is very nice.
After racing my stomach can't take too much sweet drinks or food, I've experienced some breakdowns after finishing, once even resulting in first aid help. So I wait until my body is kinda calm again before refilling my energy.
Being not straight edge anymore I really can enjoy a nice Belgian beer, but no more than two, because I just can't handle it.

What are your personal bests so far?

3000m track 9.33
5km 16.33 (during 10km race)
10km 33.27
15km 52.37
21.1km (half marathon) 1.14.36
30km 1.52.58
42,2km (full marathon) 2.49.28
50km 3.45.27
60km 4.58.25

What are your expectations and goals for 2012?
My main focus in the first half of this year will be the "Slachte marathon" overhere in Friesland which is organised only once every 4 year and runs from point to point. It goes over an old in-land dyke and includes a few miles off road and two steep bridges. I'm training for a time sub 2.45 or even 2.40. But that also depends on the weather since it runs from east to west and if you have 42kms of headwind it gets difficult.
I have to say my preparation is going very well, since I ran personal best times on the 10km and half marathon lately so the main thing is to stay healthy, sharp and be in the best shape on june 16th!
This fall I'll probably be running another marathon and the 50km race in Winschoten as preparation for that. Next year I'll be starting for the second time in the "60 van Texel", a 60km race on the island of Texel and heavy as fuck! Last year I made my ultra debut in this race and it was one hell of a debut. The hottest easter weekend in 100 years and I decided to run 60km!
The course included about 12km of sand/beach, dunes, forest and endless-looking roads with constantly the burning sun on your head. The goal was to run 4.30 pace but after 5km when we reached the beach we had to let go of that schedule. Finishing was the most important thing and I managed to just finish sub 5 hours.
The training for it went great. I prepared with a friend and together we did a lot of training including a 4 hour beach run and a trainingweekend in which we ran the whole course in 2 days, so 30km on saturday and 30km on sunday.
The only thing you don't have control over is the weather so hopefully next year it is on our side!

What sponsors do you have and do they also know about your vegan way of life or even support this?
I've been lucky enough to get sponsored for my shoes and clothing by Running Center, a specialized running store, together with Mizuno sportswear. For an almost symbolic low amount of money I get 3 pairs of shoes and a complete outfit every year and lots of discount when I need accessories or sportdrinks. The sponsorship gradually grew since I was a regular customer and running pretty much upfront in races so they decided to sponsor me which ofcourse I couldn't refuse!
They are aware of my veganism but are neither judging nor supporting it. Thing is that if they didn't met me they wouldn't know any vegan, and same counts for my family and colleagues.
At least I'm creating some awareness.

Final words?
Go vegan and keep on running!

Dienstag, 13. März 2012

Win a "Veggie Athletes" Shirt or order one!

PETA2  has a feature about me. Post your comment there to win one of the "Veggie Athletes" shirts!
You can also order the shirts from and get a discount there after your next race (in case you're wearing this shirt).
So yeah! It is on! Spread the word, do your best!

Training March 13th to 19th: a week to regenerate
13th: 3km prework swimming (incl. swimexercises)
14th: running for only 56 min, then sauna
15th: 1.07h cycling, then 13min running real fast
16th:3.4km swimming
17th: 2.06h cycling around noon. Later playing a show with H2O, Madball, Devil in me, Strength Approach, Deez Nuts but couldn't see all the bands myself, because my daughter wanted to attend a Casper show with me and it was really amazing! Thanks to Ben for letting us in, although it has been sold out.

18th: 1h mixed strengthening workout, then 70 min running incl. sprints, loads of stairs, some jumps, pretty fast
had a big brunch later this day. amazing weekend!

19th: 48 min cycling outside hile the sun shone, then 30 min on my fitnessbike and stretch Yoga.

Here's a short video that had been made on the Rebellion Show on March 17th with Toby H2O and Freddy Madball in order to support the HHF, the organisation I also try to help out a bit.

Sonntag, 11. März 2012

"Easy to make" recovery meal/ Training March 5th - 12th

Mixed salad, mexican veggies, hash-browns, tofu, wheat germs, sprouted quinoa seeds, nutritional yeast (as in the big jar), soaked in buckwheat (in the bowl to the left) and a bloody orange for dessert. Easy and fast to make, yet a nice recovery meal (actually I ate two portions of this and had 2 wholegrain breadrolls before)
Training this week:
5th: mixed exercises for power with swissball, weights, own body weight for 75 min, then sauna and in the evening 75 min running.
6th: 2,4km swimming from 6.45-7.45 incl. some sprints
7th: playing football with my friends for 90 minutes here
8th: 70 min running incl. 3 sprints, then rehearsal
9th: power yoga 17 min, 2,8km swimming, stretch yoga 17 min
10th: 90 min running incl. spirints, exercises and high intensive sprint intervalls, 19km in total
11th: 5h cycling (144 km), then climbing at the "Bergwerk" (Which means "mine", it used to be a coal mine) in Dortmund here

Sonntag, 4. März 2012

Again media coverage in german: Peta2 Interview/ Running and climbing in Soest

This interview (Peta2) is in german, sorry for non-german speaking folks!

Training Jan 26th - Feb 4rth
26th: I got really sick. I guess it was a cold, so I went climbing at the Neoliet Indoor Climbing Center in Mülheim, but just safeguarded my friends and daughter. I eventually went climbing one route and bouldered a little. Couldn't eat much during the day but did eat more in the evening.
27th:  Still having a bad cold. Better to relax, no sports! Ate loads of vitamins through bloody oranges and other fruits t get fit again.
28th: Seemed to have recovered, so I went for a nice 40 min run in the morning at 7 and went on my fitnessbike in the evening for about an hour.
29th: Swam 2.8km early in the morning and went off to Soest to my qualification for lead climbing. So climbed a lot and did own body weight exercises while watching the german football team lose against france.
1st: Went running for 50 min with another sports teacher in Soest early in the morning before climbing the whole day at the Big Wall Indoor Climbing Center in Ahlen. Went to the bar "Zwiebel" which also brews beer and spirits. I just had a alcoholfree beer with banana juice and fries. Not a special vegan place but certainly nice to visit as it is a very old half-timbered house and wooden inside.
2nd: 55 min of running incl. running exercises early in the morning around and then through Soest. Soest is really beautiful and I saw many antique buildings. I ran alongside and on the middle ages city wall for a few meters. Glad I did take this different route this time.
3rd: Had to help a friend getting rid of almost a whole forest in his garden so no time for sports. Just did 35 min of Yoga in the late evening.
4th: 85min of running incl. 3 sprints with my girlfriend accompanying me on a bike.

City Wall Soest
At the end of the qualification in front of the climbing wall in a school

Freitag, 2. März 2012

SxE feature on german radio: SWR2 incl. Interviews with me 10.05 Cet

Only in german. Also wenn ihr Bock habt, checkt ihr am 1.3. SWR2 um 10.05Uhr. Bin selber gespannt, was daraus geworden ist. Infotext hier.
PODCAST zum downloaden.

The aforementioned HHF Showcase as a real success. We have made quite some money and the atmosphere was really positive. Looking forward to the next HHF Showcases.
Training Jan 21st to 25th:

21st: I did a mixed workout for strength (kettlebell, Therabands, body weight) and then cycled on my fitnessbike for 1h.
22nd:  Weather still bad, got home later, so I sat on my fitnessbike again for 1.20h and did a couple of sprints as well as strength endurance due to arder cycling.
23rd: Ran 63 min incl. 3 sprints, Power Yoga in the evening.
24th: Trained with my schoolswimteam, did 55 min running in the evening before driving to my gym for power cycling II and a sauna.

25th: Felt really exhausted already and could feel that I might get ill. Still wanted to run 60 min after our show at HHF Showcase in Belgium. Warmed up for the show with thera bands and push ups and played our set which is exhausting already, so I thought instead of planned 75 min running 60 ould do it. I ran from the venue in Wilrijk towards Antwerp city center. In Wilrijk I have discovered a temple of the Jains. Pretty interesting. I suggest to check the link. Impressive temple to say the least.

Got to Antwerp and ran back, but on the last street I took a wrong turn and have never used the routing function on my GPS. After getting into it, I got back on the ay to the venue, but had run 85 min. Was very tired, but could't sleep before 11 for ca. 30 min. Then we still had to handle the papers, etc and I was back home at 3.30 in the morning.