Time was limited this week due to work load, but I managed to run 27 miles. Of course, 13.1 of that was a race, but still…I ran 4 days and that’s just fine for right now. If I was focusing more of my energy on running and getting prepared for my 33.3 mile race, I’d be up around 40 miles per week but there are other things needing my attention right now.
I did a wonderful half marathon yesterday. The Cedars Frostbite Half Marathon is my kind of race: cheap, no frills, and in the woods. It only cost 8.00 (15.00 day of) if you don’t want a shirt. I never, ever take shirts from races OR medals and this race made the choice for me – love that! (Why do runners and triathletes love knick-knacks soooooo much???)
Anyway, the race is cheap, the course is wonderful – very wooded, some of it on gravel roads and some on pavement, no urban or suburban blight, etc. It happened to be a beautiful day as well, sunny and in the 50s! It felt hot out there!
For this race I decided, based on the experience of another ketogenic runner I know, to run this race fasted. I ate dinner and some sugar free coconut ice cream at about 6pm and then didn’t have anything but coffee until after the race. The race didn’t start until 11AM, so I was about 17 hours into the fast at the start. I am frequently faster for my training runs and know that hunger is only an issue if I’m running up hills, so I wasn’t too concerned at all about my plan. But as soon as the race started, I was STARVING. And that hunger did not leave the entire race. It didn’t affect my energy level at all but it was unpleasant and uncomfortable. I stilled very much enjoyed the race and was amazed at how fast it flew by, and ended up running 20 second sper mile faster than I did in December’s Mt. Juliet half. My time was 2:09:13, (9:53 pace vs. 10:13 pace in December).
After the race I immediately went about trying to find something to eat but there were no keto-friendly options, duh! So I ate the cheese off a piece of pizza, had about an ounce of Diet Pepsi, and then went to Cracker Barrel and tried to eat the Double Meat Breakfast, which I couldn’t manage to finish. Was very nauseous on the way home but got better after about an hour.
Today I was thinking about what the issues might have been yesterday and I strongly suspected that I had accidentally kicked myself out of ketosis with the sugar-free ice cream. That would explain not only the hunger but also the fact that I am sore today, which doesn’t really happen for me anymore. In the name of science (haha), I decided to eat more of the ice cream today and test my blood glucose and ketones. 1.5 hours after ingestion, my BG was 97 and ketones 3.4!! I have never seen my ketones that high ever! So my theory was out the window, but thank goodness for metrics or I would have convinced myself of my theory based on false thinking.
My latest theory can’t be proven or debunked with a machine so I need to be careful and just continue to experiment, but here is what I now suspect happened:
1. The race didn’t start until 11AM, well past the time I normally run and also past the time I normally eat my first meal of the day.
2. I raced this in Z3, not in Z1-2 like a training run. If I had run at my training pace, I don’t think I would have felt that hunger as intensely.
3. The race was consistently hilly. In training runs, I normally only feel hungry when I’m running uphill (Z3 again), so again the conditions were different than training.
A good day regardless of the hunger and all races help me learn more about how to fuel without fuel!