Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Mile

I cannot stand having nothing on my race calendar! So I have put the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Mile on the schedule. I threw together an eight week plan to get ready, but I reserve the right to drop down to the Golden Hills Trail Marathon

I have also introduced the boys at San Francisco Running Company to MAP. If you want them to carry it, let them know!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nutritional Ketosis: Less Beer Less Fun

I would hesitate to use the word miserable. Once my energy returned I felt pretty good, actually. I found myself sated on fewer than 2000 calories per day and I got to eat as much meat and cheese as I could stomach. However, from the moment the first Michelob Ultra hit my lips, something was amiss. My late uncle's words rang in my head: "If you can't enjoy the things you love, what's the point?"

I faltered last weekend after successfully implementing the low-carb/high-fat diet for ten days. I came close to optimal blood ketone levels (1.5 mM - 3.0 mM), maxing out at 1.2 mM. Lethargy came and went, and then came beer. Lots and lots of hand crafted beer. Good friend Dave Cowie officially opened Three Forks Brewery and Bakery on Friday. I did well staying away from the breads, pizzas and pastries. Dave's spectacular brews did me in. I even chose to sleep in the next morning, skipping the Kellerman 5k/10k. I made another go at it this week, but have decided to abandon the experiment for now. I believe the diet has benefits, but is not sustainable. I have a good idea of what is necessary to achieve ketosis in the future, and plan to use it strategically. I will most assuredly try again; likely in the lead up to a big race.

It wasn't even really the beer aspect that made me change my mind. I started craving orange juice. I have long been a fan of smoothies and fruit juices as training fuel. While coconut and almond milks were refreshing, they did not provide enough quench. Of course, I do hear a double IPA calling my name...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Nutritional Ketosis: Week One

They told me I would feel this way: lethargic, low-energy, dull. The symptoms set in on day 6. I had planned to indulge in a nice easy ten mile run, but every time I stood up, I would feel faint. I gobbled fat and protein, trying to raise some energy, but was unsuccessful. 

How I have felt for two days now

Keeping my daily carbohydrate intake below 50 grams has not been difficult. I've even managed to squeeze a couple beers in between handfuls of pepperoni slices, hard boiled eggs and string cheese. My blood ketones rose quickly, breaking the 0.5 ppm mark indicating nutritional ketosis by day three. Since then, my daily measurements have been 0.5 ppm or greater save for one measurement of 0.2 ppm.

This period of adaptation and lethargy could last up to a month, although I am hopeful that it will pass soon. My rapid blood ketone response may indicate a predilection  towards fat metabolism. Four days a week I am hitting the TRX trainer for about an hour. The sessions leave me wrecked. I lack the energy to run most days. By the time my energy returns, I will have to start over at a meager volume and build up to whatever trail race ends up on the schedule for this fall, likely the Golden Hills trail marathon in October. I may drop down to the 5k this weekend at the Gold Country Grand Prix event benefiting the Kellerman Foundation.

Stay tuned for another ketosis update in another week. I'll be posting some examples of foods I've been using, along with some weight/carb intake/blood ketone data. In addition, I am writing a review of the "Medicine and Science in Ultra Endurance Sports" conference held at Squaw Valley prior to Western States last June. It is where I learned about nutritional ketosis and many other subjects such as hypo-natremia. I will do my best to summarize the material for you.

We are all an experiment of one!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Starting Over with a 10k

I lasted 6 weeks with no races scheduled. It was a liberating limbo. My focus is still strength conditioning and nutritional experimentation. The ketogenic diet is manifesting and my core gets stronger every day. It was time to put a local 10k on the docket, giving me an excuse to push the pace on my infrequent runs.

Batwa Pygmy bracelet age group award

The Kellerman 10k is one of my favorite Gold Country Grand Prix events. The age group medals, made by the Batwa Pygmys in Uganda, make it impossible to use this race as a training run. Despite a serious lack of chops right now, I'll be toeing the line, chasing another Pygmy bracelet on Saturday August 16th! The course has changed, and I have no idea how much elevation it entails. It feels good to be flying by the seat of my pants. Been a long time!