Half a year in the blink of an eye

Wowzers. Well I’m still on the diet but after months of daily measurements I can take a more laissez faire attitude and still stay deep in ketosis. I’ve been consistently running although have yet to turn out anything other than a mediocre race performance. I think that this is now an issue of not doing much speed work. Didn’t run NYC marathon which was my end of the year goal race. May race a 50K in Feb. Weight hasn’t budged one inch (or waist) in all this time in ketosis. I do think that my body composition is changing. There are subtle differences in the mirror. I did get some before pics so eventually I will take more and compare. Eating a ketogenic diet is no longer a “diet” for me but a lifestyle. I love everything about it the world is so much better and I feel so much better all the time. It is like turning on the defrost in your car and having the windshield clear up for the first time in your life.

I’ve fallen into a strange pattern of intermittent fasting IF. I had read plenty of things about it before and always thought it was a stupid idea. However since I’ve been eating only when I’m hungry it turns out I’m not hungry between 5:30 PM and 9 AM. I’ve been doing some workouts in the fasted state and they don’t seem to be a problem.

The latest development has been some right Achilles pain. I have my range of motion and no swelling so I don’t know exactly what is going on. I’m treating it aggressively since I’m in  a planned off season (well only one week left of that). I’ve been swimming a lot in my off time. Kept up with my strength training program on and off season and have been doing some sauna exercises to work on body alignment and heat training.

As far as strength work goes I’ve recently switched systems. I’m now working only on my creatine phosphate system by limiting muscle group exercise to 10 seconds. Then I after a 5 min break I will do the same muscle group again. Working other muscle groups in the intervening time keeps my heart rate elevated so it promote fat burning at the same time. The idea behind this approach is to increase the number of neruo-muscular pathways without adding the extra bulk that comes with the cellular organelles used in aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. I don’t want a huge upper body and the lower body gets tons of aerobic and anaerobic work running.



New Trail Shoes and Status Update

I got some New Balance MT00 wide shoes last week. I’ve only been on one 6 mi run with them so far. I used them sockless, as I believe they are designed to be used and in the last mile developed a hot spot on the top of my big toe on the left foot. This afternoon I will give them a try with thin socks.

I’ve continued with my odd ball diet. I think my weight is slowly going down by about 1 lb per week. My athletic performance is improving slightly each week. I emailed some experts in the field and was reassured to just keep at it for a few more weeks and I won’t be disappointed with the athletic results.

Instead of running this weekend I did a three day 200 mi bike ride. I recorded my highest beta ketone level over the weekend with 3.4 mM/L. Otherwise my levels continue to be depressed. I have several theories why.

1.) Too much dairy. Lactose is creating insulin response. -> Try to limit dairy to 1-2 servings @ 1 meal per day.

2.) Insulin sensitivity to trace amounts of maltodextrin and dextrose. -> Have just started to eliminate hidden sources of these ingredients.

3.) Too many calories / day overall. -> Try reducing the amount of oil that I cook with and fatty sauces and dressings. Since I am eating to hunger I can always snack more if I get hungry from reducing the overall calories in a meal.

While I’m talking about diet my food logs show that I am chronically short of protein. I should be consuming approximately 130 g / day but I have been having troubles getting above 105 g / day. The exception would be when I go to BBQs and pork out on meats. Then I’m sky high on protein and my ketone levels become super depressed the next day approaching ZERO! The worst part is I am not eating to hunger at these events.

I’ve ordered some running books online. I’ve been reading a bunch of them lately and enjoying them tremendously. Right calf is very tight today after 17 mi workout yesterday. Right achilles seems to be all better. Right arch which was feeling bruised before weekend seems to be all better now. Worried that the tight calf will start the whole cycle of injury over again just when my running is getting better.

All this hot weather is definitely giving me some good heat acclimatization.

MPW is growing

This weeks was the start of phase II of the Daniel’s Marathon Training formula. It is going to be interesting to see how this goes since officially I never completed phase I. I think that I will be able to manage my peak mileage goal of 80 mpw. This week 64 miles are scheduled with two quality days. I completed Q1 on Tuesday. In the last 7 days I’ve done 47.7 miles, but when you measure the miles for last calendar week it was only 24 miles. That seems like a terrible low number for jumping up to 64 miles this week but for the month I’m averaging 40 mpw.

I’m relatively injury free. Still some strange feelings going on in my right Achilles but I have full mobility of the ankle joint and I’m doing rehab exercises so I’m not terribly worried. The intensity of my runs is nowhere near where I would like it to be. I blame that on my wonkie ketosis diet.

I just received and read the book, “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance,” by Volek and Phinney. I’ve learned many interesting things about why I’m having so many troubles with my exercise on the low carb diet. Basically I need to got for 2-6 weeks without having a cheat day that bumps me out of ketosis. My brain and muscles are competing for ketones and the muscles need to adapt to running on lipids. I probably screwed myself eating out at an Ethiopian restaurant last night. I didn’t eat any of the angina, ordered a meat dish, and drank water. However, I did haves some spoonfuls of lentils, corn, other brown substance, cabbage, and a piece of potato (the potato was an accident.)

Some other mistakes in my diet has been having too many nuts per day, not enough protein, and eating dinner even though I haven’t been hungry at night. Yesterday before Ethiopian I had a B-Ketone level of 1.7 mM/L and the day before 2.2 mM/L. These are representative of the levels that I should be at on a daily basis if I want to reap the athletic benefits of the low carbohydrate diet. Most of the past few weeks I’ve been in the 0.5 – 1.4 mM/L range.

I’m about 1/2 way through the Haile Gebrselessie book and enjoying it tremendously.

Back on Track

I’ve been training consistently and building up my volume. Ran a 52 mile race last week. I’ve been very strict about my diet and have had fasting B-ketone values around 1.5 mM/L . While racing I consumed no carbs other than superstarch until the last 6 miles. Ran strong but didn’t have any high end. I have several hypothesizes why:

1.) Cannot consume enough Superstarch in aqueous form to sustain high output for long duration. (Next time I will try making my own gu from it.)

2.) Just haven’t been training enough the past 2 months. (~25 mpw trying to get my Achilles fixed.)

3.) Giving blood every other week leaves me weak.

4.) Don’t have the mental toughness right now to push pus push in races or training.


Current Status:

My Achilles is much better now and I’m doing exercises to even out some imbalances to help prevent this from happening again.

I’ve been keeping up with cross training to stay aerobically fit.

I’ve been reading running books to help get me back into the competitive mindset. (I still love my run every day.)

Can’t seem to lose any weight even with dietary ketosis. Perhaps as my miles comes up the weight will go down. It is especially depressing after a race because I bloat up for a few days.


Recent Readings: Once a Runner, What I talk about when I talk about running

Going to Read: Again to Carthage, The Greatest Haile Gebrselassie


Edging into Ketosis

Friday I had a ketone BOHB (B-hydroxybutyrate) level of .4 mM/L. This is not quite at the level of nutritional ketosis although some ketones are present. Saturday I ran 25.5 miles. No breakfast before hand due to time constraints :(. I did have 2x servings of Super Starch by UCAN http://www.generationucan.com/plain.html and a caffeine pill. I then ran 5 miles at 98% of my maximum ability. So ketosis promotes fat burning over carb burning but at higher intensities a significant portion of calories used still comes from carbs. So figuring that I used up all of my available carbs in the short 5 mile burst I attempted to drink another 1/2 serving of UCAN. This quickly induced a stomach ache. In addition I badly needed a restroom for my morning movement. This restroom came an agonizing 7 miles later. My stomach ache lasted until mile 23. After about mile 8 I had difficulties running up the hills and at mile 20 difficulties running down the hills. This was intended to be a nutritional experiment but I’m afraid I handled it quite poorly from start to finish.

24 Weeks ’till NYC Marathon

Sunday was the official day to begin the marathon training. I did a 40 mile bike ride and a 9 mile hike with 1000s of feet of elevation, no running. Monday I tried to go for a run around my neighborhood but found that my right Achilles would have none of it. It has been getting slightly worse over the last two weeks. It is still at the point where if I force the run I’m ok by the end. I need to start my marathon training strong not week though so I am pushing back the running for a few days. I’ve been trying to only run flats over the last two weeks but peer pressure has lead me to run track sessions and hills. In a rather desperate attempt to speed the recovery I am wearing shoes with arch support all of the time instead of kick the shoes off and going barefoot.

This Achilles problem feels and reacts slightly and subtlety different from all other Achilles problems that I’ve had. I think that before I’ve had tendinitis and now I have tendinosis (or perhaps versa vicee). I hope I can clear it up as fast as I have in the past. So yesterday instead of running on a beautiful day I spent it at the gym on the elliptical. At least today I got a nice bike ride in.

Let the base training begin

Well after all the diet stuff I’m back to my typical don’t go anywhere for long weight of 155 lbs. (I only made it 54 hours for my waterfast). I’m going to try to become “nutritionally ketotic” over the next couple of weeks. Following the example of this awesome MD. Peter Attia ( http://waroninsulin.com/how-a-low-carb-diet-affected-my-athletic-performance) .

I raced the 1500 and forgot to wear my watch! 4:42 running alone and with no big clock. I definitely had a little more in me to get the 5 min mile but had no idea what my pace was. Next time! I totally forgot that I had a 12km race the day before so I sand bagged that race to stay fresh for the 1500.

I’m going to start the Daniel’s Elite Marathon training program soon. (24 weeks until NYC Marathon!) While I was doing the 5-15 km plan I didn’t incorporate the cross training prescribed. For this plan I will. I’ve been doing 2x workouts per day mixing: swimming, cycling, elliptical, rowing, weights, and RUNNING.

I would like to hit 100 mpw before reaching phase 2 of the plan. However for the rest of the plan I intend to max the miles at 80 mpw. For the last plan my mileage goal was 70 mpw peak which I reached and sustained for 5 weeks but wasn’t able to hold it. The marathon plan is bit different in the respect that you don’t stay at the peak miles for weeks on end.

There is an aspect of my running I don’t think that I’ve mentioned before… I’ve been giving blood every other week since the end of March on doctors orders. I know that this has affected things a bit but I chose to treat it as normal rather than abnormal.