Monday, February 27, 2017

NOT fat adapted

Starvation Half Marathon
Fat Adapted Half Marathon
Run 13 miles on empty Half Marathon

Being "fat adapted"  or "keto-adapted"  is the concept that you train your body to use fat as fuel without catabolizing muscle protein for glucose.  This is a trend in the world of endurance sports and I have yet to see top Pro's or likely top AG'ers effectively race Ironman fat adapted.  I think it is great for body composition and for sports like Crossfit but Ironman?  Not drinking the kool-aid.  Can you pull off some long workouts fasted? Sure, can you do them well? sure but 10 hours in an Ironman - not so sure.

In any case my post is not about fat adaption really it is about small town 1/2 Marathon I ran Saturday and if I was fat adapted would possibly have fared better off.   Side note, I eat a reasonably high fat diet and what some may say a low carb diet, for an endurance athlete. Why you ask? I went on this food protocol ( I prefer that to diet) when I was dealing with potential Lyme Disease and the antibiotics that were wrecking havoc on my body. I gave up all grains, dairy and refined sugar.  Post antibiotics I decided to stay on this protocol as I was feeling good and wanted to see how I felt when I was off the drugs and back to training. Turns out I am feeling great.   

I digress back to Saturday.  Race day breakfast was mostly carb due to the 16 miles I was running (warm up and cool down) and was 3 cups unsweetened organic applesauce, scoop of vegan protein powder and a banana.  I had my 2x Huma gels for the race in the car and that was where they stayed due to a last minute dash to the porta pottie to find a long line which took me on an additional warm up run to a nice field and thus was running to the start without my gels. I figured I would make up the calories with drinks or whatever they were serving on the course.   I did want to test the Huma out in a "race" (training race) but well not that day.
1/2 filled you get about 1 oz water

My legs were tired and sore and I was not looking to post a PR, but was looking for a solid run.  The rolling hills on the course were at times 8% grade and that is not rolling to me. that is gasping for air running but really walking.  It was a small race so I did not expect an aid station every mile but I did expect more than 3 aid stations and I did expect more than water, as in water ONLY, at each aid station.   I did hear electrolyte drink but I got the tiniest cups of water only. I asked "any food"  and the reply "at the finish line"  So as I stopped to drink as many Dixie cups as I could - really this size and half full at mile 4 I did not realize that was it until mile 8.  


Let's just say by mile 10 ( or12 with my warm up) and after I took ALL the cups of water laid out I was in trouble.  Had I been fat adapted (maybe) my body would be fueling off my fat but it was not and I was bonking. As in I was dehydrated and needed calories .... every corner I was longing for a table with water and any kind of food.  I began to wonder about the foliage along the road, was it eatable ?  My pace slowed and legs got heavy.  The 2 people that passed me with Camelbacks made me, want to rip them off their back and suck down the fluids and calories, envious.  I was seriously looking for discarded gels or anything really in case someone dropped one.

At mile 12 (14) I am thinking thank goodness just 1 more mile and there is a table with kids handing out jelly beans.  At first I thought it was a mirage but nope, jelly beans- i dove in and shoveled them down. I asked of water, "wait I can get you some"  Never mind...keep running slowly to the finish line. And the finish line, by the way was at13.3 miles.... In my state that extra .2 miles as like a mile.  Okay slight exaggeration, but you get the point.

I am dreaming of guacamole and other delicious ways to eat avocado's.  At the finish line I received a medal with an avocado and an unripe whole avocado and water.  I spied a table with huge doughy cut up cinnamon rolls and I inhaled 1 or maybe 2 or 3. I'm sure they were not  grain free but if someone had tried to take it away I would have punched him.  And I did after all have another mile to run.   

Yes this all sounds quite dramatic but it was really piss poor planning on my part, not reading and asking about on course nutrition and forgetting my gels.   I did my last mile cool down death march and drank 3x 22 oz bottles of electrolytes, recovery and water and did not pea for over 90 min.  Yes a tad dehydrated, mind you I sweat buckets.  I drove to Barons in Murrieta and got some fresh guacamole and a bag of carrots and inhaled it all in the parking lot .  Add an almond milk latte and I was sane enough to drive.  

I will say I felt terrible all day- just a reminder of what lack of fuel and calories does to the body. Headache and sluggish.... I like my calories and carbs!  

While I don't plan to "fat adapt" it would have been nice on Saturday!