Monday, September 29, 2014

Ketogenic Day Two

Today, I consumed 143 grams of fat (0 trans fat), 71 grams of protein, and 18 net grams of carbohydrates. As this was a recovery day from yesterday's trail race, I only ran 2 miles. I am feeling pretty good, and not craving anything (thanks to a wonderful keto desert!!), but I am expecting that to change as my body becomes carb depleted. I am nervous as to how my brain function will be affected, and for how long it takes me to adapt mentally and physically. I am supplementing with vitamins and minerals, BCAAs, and L-glutamine. I am also trying to drink more water to balance the loss that follows the decreased carb stores. I have not weighed myself, but plan to do so tomorrow am. I am also going to attempt a 6 mile run to evaluate my physical response. Additionally, I plan on testing my urine with ketone strips to see if there has been any progress, and to have baseline (ish) measurements. As I type, I am enjoying the movie "Fed Up"... and it is totally reinforcing my decision to give this diet a go.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The ketogenic diet experiment

Last weekend, I found myself in the middle of a long trail run, completely engaged by a conversation about a crazy diet. This method of food consumption teaches the human body to rely on fats instead of carbohydrates for energy. This high fat, low carbohydrate diet has been used since the 1920's in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy, and is now utilized by endurance athletes all over the country. The experienced runner I was dialoging with had successfully transitioned to the ketogenic diet 2 years ago, and was now able to run ultra marathons on water alone. He was also the lightest he's ever been, and also the fastest. Thinking that I would also like to be faster and lighter, and that I have a lot of stored energy waiting to be released, I dove head first into researching this diet. I found some excellent research based books that opened my eyes to the world of functional ketosis and how this diet could help me reach my long distance goals. I also found a number of wonderful websites and blogs that give advice and recipes to ensure success:,, and the American 100 mile record holder's blog: Notably missing from my inquires were female athletes who had transitioned to this diet. Being 100% fascinated with this concept, and completely over my addiction to carbs, I've decided to jump in feet first, and document it for all to see (or reference). It is recommended that for the first 2 - 3 weeks, the athlete stay around 30 grams of carbs a day, and have 70% of calories come from fats. This will inevitably mean a bonk or two, and most likely mean a foggy head. I will be testing my pee with ketone detecting urine strips to find out when I hit ketosis, and to ensure that I stay that way. Once I've hit ketosis, I can adjust my carbs to a more comfortable level -- with some endurance athletes eating up to 100 grams/day, or 'bulking' a couple days a week. Today is my first day. I ran a 10 mile trail race (12 total) and ate 137 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbs, and 95 grams of protein. This is either going to be the best thing ever, or turn me into a piggy.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

gf cooking - finally something worth the calories!!

have officially been gluten free for 4 days and am getting sick of soup and rice bread. a gf friend of mine gave me some almond flour and her cook book to try (i've tried cooking with Bob's Red Mill gf flour and it tastes like ass).
i made chocolate chip cookies and actually think they may be the best cookies i've ever had, period.
since i'm in a few days of taper (50km trail race this weekend!!), i have time to blog about important things like food. here's the recipe:

2 1/2 c of almond flour
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 c grapeseed oil (i used coconut oil and will continue to do so)
1/2 c agave nectar
1T vanilla
2/3 c of chocolate chips

mix dry, mix wet, add wet to dry, chill for 20, cook for 8 - 10 @ 350.

the. best. ever.

Monday, January 30, 2012

a warm embrace

over the last few weeks (and closely related to a number of key training sessions that i thought might kill me), I have started to tune up my mental aspect of the game. even as a young athlete, i recognized the importance of a sound mental game and confidence. i attribute some of my success in previous years to honing in on this confidence and really putting an effort into executing a performance in my mind.
i have realized that without continual practice and training, the mental game can become weak and lost.
after seeing a couple motivating and inspirational movies last week (Bicycle Dreams, Chasing Legends, and Way of the Peaceful Warrior), i have recommitted myself to becoming a sound mental athlete. the one aspect i am focused on currently is the embracement of pain. through a number of discussions with fellow athletes, i've come to realize that i'm somewhat of a pain junkie. all kinds of pain.
it's not that i like the pain itself. it's more about the way my body/mind respond to pain. on an elemental level, i feel alive when i'm testing myself or being pushed to the limit and enjoy the endorphins that flow from it. during my last hard session on the bike, a long trail run and a treadmill session, i really focused on embracing the discomfort. when it got really ugly, i started to think about how this is exactly where i want to go and what i need to feel to become stronger. i wanted it hard, harder if i could. i welcomed the discomfort. we became friends. i wrapped myself up in it like it was a blanket. breathing it in like a warm apple pie. once i stopped fighting the pain and discomfort and accepted it, i was able to allow the workout to accomplish what it was meant to. the numbers on my watch, screen and console didn't mean as much as the effort, feeling and experience. if i gave the workout all that i could in that point of time, i had won and become a better athlete because of it.

pain as experienced in sport is the great equalizer. if you push your body to the limit, you'll feel pain. some end up going a little faster, further or higher in the process, but as long as your droppin' it like it's hot, you're gonna hurt. there are some people that will never experience that.
i couldn't image living any other way. so, if your comfort zone happens to revolve around discomfort, don't worry. You're not alone. I feel your pain.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

giving up

i'm getting older. i still feel young and the fact that i get carded going into R rated movies tells me that i look young too. however, i am noticing that i'm not recovering from the high end workouts as fast as i used to -- and i always thought i was slow to recover in the first place. so, with goals including the words; "best year yet", and "PR", i have realized that i need to fine tune my overall approach. i feel i have a decent training strategy so the next step was to look at my diet... and it wasn't pretty. coincidently around the same time, i watched the movie "Forks over Knives", thus, just before 1/1/12, i 'gave up' meat. following a string of holiday parties and get togethers, i realized i had come to enjoy an alcoholic beverage pretty much every night. it doesn't take a genius to see how that affects performance/recovery but read about it here. so i've given that up too -- for a month (baby steps). on Feb. 22nd (the beginning of lent) i will become gluten free - just to see. i've also decided to give up on cutting my hair... well sort of. i haven't had hair past my chin for over a decade so i said i would grow it until May, then reevaluate. One last thing that i haven't entirely given up but am definitely fazing out..... artificial sweeteners and 'low fat' foods. aspartame is not good for us (it turns into fermaldehyde - hello!).... and artificial anything should be avoided. i'm reading labels and staying natural and organic. for more reasons why, check out this link. Unfortunately, this means no more diet coke (my heart breaks a little every time i say this). It will be hard. Somehow, in the process of all this, i've learned how to cook some pretty yummy items. so on top of the usually swim, bike, run stuff, i'm gonna post some food tidbits too. like this....
breakfast: cored and sliced apples with pancake batter (bob's red mill high fiber with flax seed oil and coconut milk)and real maple syrup tapped from grandma's backyard.

So that's what i'm giving up. Sometimes you gotta go backwards to go forwards.
As for 2012, I have decided to try and kick some booty at a few events in the near future, including the Pemberton 50km trail race, the Old Pueblo 50 miler trail race, and Ironman St. George. Bring it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dia de los Muertos

Yesterday was my favorite day of the year. Not my birthday. Not Christmas. Not 4/20. It was the Mexican day of the dead, and that means the All Souls Procession. It is an absolutely magical celebration to remember those who have passed on over the previous year. It is scary, beautiful and emotional. It is a two mile walk/parade in which anyone can dress up for and march. It kicks the crap out of the Macy's Santa Clause parade.
I never remember to take enough pictures, so I've borrowed some from others.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Trail Time

Lately, I have replaced biking, swimming and road running with time on the trails (see previous post for rationale). Yesterday, I ran 18 miles and it was pure enjoyment. I am getting lost in the beauty of Tucson and find my mind totally clear by the time I'm back to my car. Meditation while gaining incredible fitness. It really doesn't get much better.
There are so many trails that need to be explored and I am sure that I will hit many of them by the time I toe the line for my 50 miler in March. I plan on documenting the process so I'm able relive the experience and make anyone who reads this jealous.
Yesterday was the Bear Canyon/Phoneline loop in Sabino Canyon.
Here's the elevation/ascent profile:

My running partner is Krystle. She's training for her first 50km. She's modelling Zoot(product plug)from