RunKeto.com - We are Running on Ketones. This is not a typical story; we are endurance athletes at different stages of our lives, who are experimenting with a low carb Ketogenic diet. We are not doctors or scientists, just athletes. Anthony is the youngest and the fastest, age 20, and prefers ultra road running. Eric (ZoomZoom), age 27, is ukulele playing mixed distance runner. Dan (SKA Runner), age 42, is new to running, prefers mountains ultras, and a bit of a computer geek. Bob(uglyrnrboy), age 54, prefers mountains ultras and loves to tele ski. This site, www.RunKeto.com, will document our journey as endurance athletes implementing a low carb ketogenic diet in to our lives. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have about our experiences.

What is a Nutritional Ketosis Diet? []

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. This elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood is a state known as ketosis.

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Fall Ferments

This fall I've been doing a lot of fermenting using recipes from Fermented and Wild Fermentation.

I like to put spices into the coconut kefir and make Horchata. Sometimes I like it hot other times on the rocks. You don't have to limit yourself to vegetables. Last week I ate a delicious corn beef ferment (edible raw or cooked.) and a month ago I did salmon (edible raw or cooked). I haven't put sea food in the kimchee yet but you can bet I will. This weekend I will probably start a batch of garlic.

In the photo from left to right: Coconut Kefir, Red Wine Vinegar, 2xRadishes, 2xKimchee, Sauerkraut.

I like to do smaller batches with varying spice profiles. Also if it goes bad I don't lose very much.
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PS Did you know that many of these will break down into MCT in your gut? Ketones, cool huh!

Denver Rock and Roll Marathon

-just a quick report about my first road marathon-
Waking up at 5:20 will hopefully get easier as I get older.. 
Breakfast was in me 90 minutes before the start: 
-2.5 scoops plain UCAN in tons of water
-2 pieces of bacon (baked the night before)
Just like before Devil Mountain I supplemented my diet with about 6 oz of salted cashews (about 50 grams of effective carb) 

The first few miles weren't bad as I weaved past the hundreds of people smart enough to not start at their projected finish pace -aka 'dream pace.' So everyone spread out quickly and by mile 3 I had plenty of breathing room and was running with an acquaintance of mine from Fusion Running who was looking to run a 2:50, right around what I was planning on, although the 'A' goal was to get as far under 2:50 as possible by picking it up in the last 10k.
The issue even before the half mark was that my planned 6:28s felt as fast and labored as ever and my confidence wasn't where I needed it to force the pace. Some of the tougher miles were coming out in the 6:40s and I started to wonder if my goal could still happen.
Between Devil and RockNRoll I had planned to do some Yasso 800s along with an all-out speed session (like 3x300) but with a 6 mile race two weeks after Devil I didn't find the time despite a miraculously smooth recovery. So I my plan involved being sharper than I felt now. I was in for a rough day.
Around the half mark I was still waiting for my legs to open up and my head to clear so I took a Vespa Concentrate and a salt pill and felt a bit stronger. My legs handled to effort fine and my head was feeling clear but my lungs and heart just didn't like the sustained effort. I know myself well enough to know that one or two 800 repeat sessions is all it would've taken to solve this problem. Unfortunately it was too late for it. So I took a 200 mg caffeine pill around mile 18 and got ready to gut it out for a sub-par performance.
As bad as I was handling the pace, my energy was perfect for the second half and I reeled in a runner every mile from mile 20 until mile 25. I found out during that time that I was in the top 20 and was at least content with that. As I fantasized about finishing with the last two miles at 6 flat pace my watch displayed a few seconds over 7:00. I was feeling OK but breathing really hard by mile 24 and it only got worse, although I did quickly get my pace back to something reasonable.
After a final uphill, turn, and downhill, I could see the finish. 2:52, 4 minutes off what I would be proud of but all I could do with such a rough day. My last few miles weren't any faster but they also weren't any slower, so it could've been worse I suppose. Defiantly no wall, just a lack of speed.
The next road marathon I do needs to be as flat or flatter and NEEDS to be at sea level for sure. I could'a used a bit less stress on my lungs. Maybe next fall I'll be ready for another one.

This is a sad race report without pictures but I only got one and it sucked. -AND they wanted $30 just to download it. So a quick review of MarathonFoto: it sucks.

For now it's a week off running to reset and get ready for winter training and snowshoe racing. Also, this was my last time going past 20 miles until the USATF 100K Champs in April.. Ready for a step back for a few months to refocus my game..

Lingua Carnitas Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Quite possibly the best tasting meat I've ever had. Used beef instead of pork for health reasons. I've been doing this for all the recipies in the Beyond Bacon Cookbook.

Picture Day Post

This week we at RunKeto.com had a potluck to discuss T-Shirt ideas. I made some low carb PHO using a recipe adapted from the Beyond Bacon cookbook. This time instead of using chitterling noodles I used bamboo strips and squid tubes cut into noodles.

I had my last research study session on the bike. Oh what I do in the name of science.
One hour threshold ride @ 80% Vo2 max.
 

Especially when you consider they made me eat this for breakfast :(
1.5 years without a cheat meal and this bland breakfast is all I get.
I don't have blood keto test strips any more so I'm unaware of my official keto status after eating the meal. I felt like I was on a caffeine high for quite some time after the meal but felt "normal keto" by the time of the test 4 hours later. Based on my BG levels and the fact that after the test I wasn't hungry at all, I suspect that I rapidly returned to keto status although probably not very deep.

I did get the result back from my DEXA scan on June 6th 2013. 8.6%! The two tests were run back to back. This will give you an idea what the repeatablility of a DEXA test is. These results were very surprising to me. I've always assumed that my BF was 12-13% because I've never been able to see my abs. When you compare pictures of me in a swim suit to samples of males at other BF I also look like the 12-13% guys. I brought these concerns up with the researchers (that the test might have been wrong). They dismissed them saying that everyone distributes fat differently and they have done this on tons of people. o.0

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Devil Mountain 50 Miler

Josh (my climber friend who'd never run a race of any kind before, and who was signed up for the 50K), Sabrina, and I got to Pagosa Springs around 2:30 on Friday and wandered around trying to get our bearings and make sense of the directions on the race's website. Apparently there was a road closure that would make our GPS worthless, so we were to follow directions that seemed to be written for people more familiar with the area. After some Google Map reading by Josh, we were headed to the start/finish line for packet pickup. We ended up following Morgan (the RD) with his UHaul, but being unsure it was actually him and being way to smart to follow anyone, we ignored the detour signs and took the closed road. "There it is on Maps. We'll just keep going straight and we'll be there." Next thing you know I'm swerving around potholes big enough to knock a wheel off at a moderate speed. So, slowing down a ton, we made our way down the country road with nothing but faith in technology (tough for me) keeping us going. Eventually, with completely white knuckles, I got to the end of the closed road and was a short, gentle, dirt road away from the start line. Even better was the fact that I recognized the route from last year and knew we were indeed on track. 

Packet pickup was predictably smooth and on time; there's a reason I came back to this one and it wasn't just revenge. This year the organizers opted for beanies instead of shirts and while they were cool I have to say I was looking forward to another amazing shirt like last years. Either way.. Next on the list was to find a cheap place to stay. The most unique looking lodging option that was partnered with the race and offered a discount was the Mountain Landing Suites and RV Park so we plugged it into Navigation, made sure to follow the detour signs, and made it there.
The two women working there were great and offered us some decent advice on the area, as well as a great price on an amazing room. Sabrina and I were grabbing our packs out of the car while while Josh unlocked the door and took the first look at our room. "This is significantly nicer than either of our apartments," he said with a smile standing in the doorway. After a local, grass-fed burger from Pagosa Brewing Company, along with some sweet potato fries, we were ready for an early night in. Another feature I loved about Mountain Landing was the movie collection they had in their lobby. Rush Hour was a perfect choice.

At 4:45 I was up to get some food down:
-1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil
-1 pack of plain UCAN
-2.5 strips of uncured bacon (cooked before I left home and stored in a glass jar)

This picture captured the race announcements well: a bunch of runners with too much exposed skin freezing their asses off gathered around a fire while the race director (who was reasonably dressed) spoke to us.
The start was predicted to be 34 degrees, but I heard it was under 20. Either way, due to my weekly sauna session, cold just feels like cold and it didn't make a difference. The first 5 miles were spent with painfully cold hands and everything zipped up. Right out of the gates a guy in the 50 miler took off and started putting ground on us. There was atleast one of those last year too. "-you'll see him later -be happy you won't be running alone." It was mentally hard for my 21 year old brain to let him go but his pace was suicidal. I hate losing contact in any race. Ultra running forces me to pretend to be mature some times...

The sun seemed to take forever to finally get out enough to form shadows but once it did I got my first rush of the day. At the top of the first climb (4.1 m, see below) the views opened up and the sun was starting to warm me up a little. I let out a whoop and heard a few people behind me do the same. I got goose bumps as I looked around. Unzipping my midlayer I began the long decent.
I didn't have any reason to stop at the first aid station and actually dumped a little of the water I had in my (20 oz) bottle. I think I was a bit over hydrated (peed clear a few times in the first 15 miles) anyway so figured I'd save my arm. The downhill was wet, rough, rutted, rocky, and exponentially less runnable than last year. "The course is gona be slow for sure, but it'll be better on the out and back and that's where my race'll start." 
Coming into aid 2 (red numbers above are aid stations) I filled my bottle quickly and kept moving. The incline here was steep enough to merit walking and I needed to add some plain UCAN to my water. I took in about 18 ounces before aid 3, along with a Vespa Concentrate and 100 mg of caffeine. Add the scenery to all that and I was feeling great and settling in to my groove. The view top of the climb (15.4-23'ish) is absolutely huge on all sides and instantly reminded me why I'm really here. Then the downhill came and reminded me of why I think I'm here: to win.
The second downhill was much more runnable and I passed a few marathoners as I fully settled in to my all-day pace. The trail was flowing past me as quickly as I'd ever want it to and I was smiling and positive. Full speed ahead.
Coming into aid 4/7 I was informed that the leader had dropped to the 50k and I was now in first. "Damn, so much for using him for the next 20 miles.." I wasn't surprized though, this course would be taking down plenty of runners today based on what I'd seen so far. And it was just going to get tougher. But it felt great to be heading out for the crux of the race and to be leading. And I had just warmed up. Eating a small (1"x1") homemade brownie with a pretzel inside as I filled my bottle, I was glowing.
The hardest part of the 50 miler by far is the out and back portion from aid 4 to Sally Overlook (34.4) and back. This section involves 8 miles without aid over the toughest terrain on the course. And I had been looking forward to it since last year, visualizing it so many times in the last few months that it felt familiar to be running it. By the marathon mark I was deeply in the zone and feeling stronger every mile. I was looking forward to every steep uphill so I could walk and every flat and down so I could run, and I was completely focused on getting to aid 5/6. 
Since I was only carrying one 20 ounce bottle, I was out of water well before the aid station so I used the fact that 80% of this part of the course had water running over it to my advantage, leaning over a beautiful mountain stream to fill up. The water was a tiny bit brown and tasted like the Rockies, sandy and life-giving. After an eternity I crested a hill and sparked some volunteers into life as I came cruising into aid 5/6. "Half way done(with the hard stuff)." This is where I'd originally planned on checking out what place I was in and turning it on to take the win. But the whole being alone thing... I actually beat the photographer to Sally Overlook, so I gave her a straight face on the way back when she made me stop for a picture. 
Coming back into aid 5/6 I was a little disappointed to see I was still the alone. No one else had even made it to the aid station yet. My lead was at least 6 miles judging by the profile above, but all I knew a the time was that it was huge and I still felt great.
I grabbed my first (and only) gel of the day, a Razz Clif Shot, and was pumped to find it almost as palatable as the strawberry ones. Nursing that for the next 5 miles or so kept me on cloud nine and ticking off the miles. I swear that part of the course was downhill trending both ways, and this is after running over 38 miles. And I was even enjoying the walking on these gnarly uphills, hands on my quads and leaning into the inclines. They're just so steep and technical that walking doesn't feel as boring or slow.
After another eternity spent alone in the wilderness, I emerged back at aid 4/7 and was thankful for the response I got. "You look like you could do it again!" For once in my running career I believed a person cheering me on; I know I looked good.
But ultras wouldn't be as fun if they didn't make you dig deeper than you want to. The last 7 miles were the hardest and finally brought me down from my high. -I'd won. -I'd run a much better race than last year. -I'd dominated the field by at least an hour. -Why am I still working this hard?
I wasn't sure how much the extra 50 water crossings and extra 30 fallen trees (there were a few last year but this time it got ridiculous, good stuff) might have slowed me, but I figured the record was in the bag. If it wasn't I really didn't mind considering the insane conditions. I had given all there was to give today and had a great run in the mountains. With 6 miles left I was done.
Until I saw the finish line and heard everyone cheering. One final buzz and I was done. 9:52:xx is what I heard, within seconds of last years time. The conditions slowed me more than I thought, but the beautiful 1st place trophy I'd been waiting for since last year was mine.
This is one of those nice races that lets you drop to the 50k and still be an official finisher, so its hard to tell just how many people DNF'ed the 50 miler this year. I heard afterwards that over 40 were signed up and the official results list 8 finishers. Also, last year had three people under 10 hours and this year had one, with second place an hour and a half behind me. So although I ran within seconds of my time from last year, I think I'm content. Had I worn a watch I probably would have pushed a bit harder in the last few miles to secure the record, but running alone all day took its toll on my mental game. I renewed my faith in both ultra running and in my ketogenic diet. Nothing makes me happier than effortlessly covering large amounts of ground on foot at a good pace, and I plan to keep doing. Most runners run for months to get that one run that feels effortless and just flows out of them; Keto athletes need only run an ultra to get that feeling for hours. I was fighting a lot of demons during this one that I didn't realize I had in me still, namely insecurities about my staying power after falling apart in my first and only 100 miler last March. But those are in the past now.

I really love this race. Designed by the first Barkley Marathons finisher (the conclusive toughest race to finish anywhere), Frozen Head Ed, and put on by an amazing organization that's working to unplug kids and get them outside, it's a classic in my book. Camping out the night after, having a good glass of red wine with the RD while sitting around a bonfire with racers and volunteers swapping stories, and waking up to eggs in the morning. Can you believe the UROC entry fee alone was as much as this entire trip?! The only thing that didn't deliver, my only complaint, is that the aspens were almost all green. What are they thinking?! We started the race with ice!

A quick note about diet. Breakfast is above, that and water. I also took 6 (I think) SaltStick electrolyte pills, three (maybe only 2)100mg caffeine pills, and a 200mg one during the race. Diner the night before was a rare burger with some sweet potato fries as stated above, but I also had some cashews (25 ish grams of carb) earlier during the drive in, and had more (50 grams of carb worth probly) later before bed. That carb up is what had me foggy for the first bit and is not something I ever do during training, just a little boost for race day. It obviously worked.
I actually kicked it in hard for fun so they didn't catch me the first time, but I was a gentleman and ran through again at the RD's request. Hah!
Thanks Morgan for putting this on and everyone else involved. Thanks all you aid station volunteers as well, you guys are second to none and really make the run what it is. And thanks Mountain Landing for giving us the hookup with a great room, both pre-race and afterwards while we explored the town. You guys are my home away from home for sure.

Another beautiful day in the books.

October, Obamacare Opens

Today was my first run in 10 days and it felt awesome. I ran at MAF HR on a fairly flat dirt path. 7:37 pace. Mentally I needed some time off. Now I'm ready to start building a wicked large base for next season. The plan is to stick strictly to MAF. I will bump up the HR by 10 after a 6 weeks or so.

As many of you know the health care exchanges open tomorrow. If your doctor doesn't support your exercise or low carb, high fat, moderate protein ketogenic diet, this is a good chance to change insurance and doctors. Call it socialism if you want, but for me the removal of pre existing conditions is the best thing ever. Apparently a benign cyst on the medical record is considered a condition worthy of denying me coverage. As a result I've been unable to switch providers for the last 5 years. My provider is terrible, expensive, and my doctor does not like my keto-paleo diet.

If anyone is looking for an awesome Doc in the Denver area. I recommend Dr. Jeff Gerber. http://jgerbermd.com/
Maybe soon I'll be able to switch to him.

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Eric's Crazy Race

On Saturday I ran The Amazing Race, a sadistically difficult 6 mile trail race put on by none other than RunKeto's own Eric Hislop.
After a rare burger on some field greens the night before, I had a single breakfast sausage, a spoonful of virgin coconut oil, and a pork rind with a tsp of grass fed butter on it. I understand that weird as hell to normal people, and maybe even strange for athletes, but that got me everything I felt I needed and wasn't hard to take down. The other major reason I tried this combo is the fact that I can travel with it. -At Devil Mountain next weekend I'll be roughly repeating this meal after sleeping in a tent, so I needed it to be sufficient but easy. Breakfast was down an hour and a half before the race start.
Just over an hour before the start I took 100 mg of caffeine with some grapefruit seed extract (about 5 drops). -Should've taken a salt pill too.
After a mile and a half of easy running I got a stride and a hard uphill in to get the legs prepared for the effort.
We lined up and Eric counted us down. I had a realization at that moment that didn't really hit me until later: ultra runners count down together, just like they race together. As we stood there, call it a cultural thing or call it selfishness, but no one joined in the count down.. I'll get off then soap box quick but I just want say that I love ultra runners and will always feel most at home surrounded by them; they're my chosen family.
Right out of the gates a guys bolted 20 meters ahead of me only to get passed by Andrew as we made the first climb. The way I saw it, this guy was simply making a superfluous gesture that might cost him third place: this race was between Andrew and I.
The first mile took us up a hogback (the steep, distinctive hills that make up the first line of the Rocky Mountains on the Front Range) and across the rocky top of it. This section saw some annoying jostling as different people worked different sections. Even at this point Andrew seemed to be flying, 20 meters ahead or more, down the trail, both uphill and down. He looked strong and smooth. He looked at home. Meanwhile I was getting slapped by the technicality of the trail.
I haven't been running technical trail as much as I should be, its just not my thing most of the time. And it was showing in these first two miles. But the plan was to save myself for the only part not the course that seemed to facilitate my type of racing: the last two miles. They were gently downhill without much technical stuff to slow you down. I just couldn't loose too much ground until then.
After dropping down off the ridge we had the worst climb of the day that took us into Red Rocks, not far from the amphitheater. Everyone was walking. Maybe it was too fast of a start up the earlier climb or maybe just the steepness, but I allowed myself a little break with everyone and tried to gather my mental energy for the last push. But the climb was longer than anticipated and we (there were three or four of us in a loose chase pack at around four miles) were loosing ground and could no longer see Andrew at all. Maybe he'd won.
At least I had people to run with as I tried to close the gap, perhaps one of them thought we still had a chance and would push with me in the closing mile. The moment the down started it was me and one other guy, and there was no way he'd hold me off until the finish. At this point my race was over.
I passed the guy I was with in the last mile and finished seven seconds ahead of him, but as I crossed the line Andrew had already caught his breath. Despite looking like he had thrown up, he'd finished a minute ahead of me. Freakin animal!
Great day and a great way to prep for Devil on the 28th. Devil is the first of two goal races for the fall (the second being Denver RockNRoll 26.2). The second place finish wasn't what I wanted after my win at Area 13.1. I like to stack up a few wins leading up to big, long races as it helps my confidence as the miles pile on. However, second to such a great guy, someone I look up to for much bigger reasons than running, isn't bad. Nice run man. And nice job on the race Eric.
Looking to next weekend's Devil Mountain 50 miler, my only concern is the altitude. I didn't handle it perfectly at Silverton but at least that was a bit higher. Other than that I'm feeling ready: the 50k went well, I've got some good staying power based on the half, and I'm well rested after nothing but low mileage since Silverton. To put my goal in writing: I'm going to break the course record by about an hour and finish in around 8:45:00. I'm gonna do it without a watch, taking the technical parts easy, walking the ups, and going tempo effort on the flats. Throughout the entire race I'm looking to get a buzz off the scenery and have a fun day in the mountains, that's what its really about for all of us who do this.. Wish me luck.

We all have the same fears.

I've been reading a little about Buddhism. I realized that it is one of the worlds biggest religions and I didn't know a thing about it. It turns out that before buddha was The Buddha he went on a quest in the forest and starved himself of food and air in an effort to gain power over his mind. He was scared of being killed by animals and eventually realized that "to be enlightened, he needed his body, his life,... and soon after he began to eat solid food."

Yesterday I concluded my 24 hour fast with some exercise before eating. A bike ride, heavy legs weight lifting, and a most glorious run with nothing but my split shorts on. When writing about it in my running journal last night I happened to flip to a page from a year ago. I thought I would share my thoughts from that day then.

9/15/12
"Last night I had way too many calories for dinner. It made me feel sick. Pemmican* is very dense. Breakfast this morning is probably too big for 8mi race 1.75 hours from now. 2x bacon slices, 2x egg yolk, leftover superstarch mixed with home made yogurt, teacup of broth. Just ravenously hungry after morning walk and travel mug of black tea. Ketones were high this morning.
I am now running on faith just like Ryan Hall.** Faith that I will have tremendous improvements in efficiency (economy) on a ketogenic diet. I am not losing weight. I don't have a high end gear running wise.
Last night I picked up the "New Atkins" book (Phinney & Volek) it is confirming that I may not be drinking enough water or consuming enough salt. This leads to water retention and constipation theoretically. This is contrary to waterlogged by Noakes. I think I'm 156 lbs real weight +/- water weight."

*I believe that this was my first time eating pemmican and I didn't realize how little a serving size is, and what a tremendous amount of energy is stored in it!

**A cut out of the following NY Times article was pasted into my journal: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/sports/olympics/faith-is-central-to-marathoner-ryan-halls-approach.html?pagewanted=all

Rice Burger Buns & Imogene Pass Race



My dad is just a few days short of being paleo for two months, he lost 10 lbs in the first month and he will weigh in again soon. I knew that my mom was cooking burgers for him last week and that he really missed having bread so I thought I would make him some burger buns as a treat. I used unsweetened mochi balls from the asian store and put them into the waffle iron (moffles). Seasoned them with garlic salt and sesame seeds. When I presented the buns to him at lunch he politely declined stating that he doesn't crave bread anymore but he would like some cookies. I knew that there was only 6 carbs in the moffle and 4 of them were fiber so I decided to eat the bun myself. Bad idea shortly after the meal I felt wonky and out of sorts. I tested my blood glucose and was 140! Being keto I like to stay below 100 at all times.



Imogene pass run was my goal race for the year. It was super fun and I performed about how I expected. I really need one more month of training to be back at my A+ game. 2:57:26 finished strong and ready to turn around and do it again. Took a vespa concentrate at 1:30:00 with 100mg caffiene tab. Didn't eat or drink anything else. Pre race mixed vespa jr with 2 tbs MCT and 1 scoop super starch downed a s!cap and 100mg caffiene tab. The day before was keto with dinner at 5PM sweet potato fries, rare steak, and ghee.

I've got to figure out a new pre race strategy. It takes me 40 min of racing before I'm warmed up and have access to my top speed. What I've been doing is fine for ultras but not for this short stuff.

Here is a self indulgent video of me at the finish. I think I look faster in the still.
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Silverton Alpine 50k

Cruising into Silverton around 6 pm Friday night, Sabrina voiced my concern: "does anyone live here?" "How do these businesses stay open?" "Maybe it gets busy in the winter.." Downtown was dead, painfully quiet and not even a breeze to give the appearance of life.
We walked into Cafe Mobius hoping to make packet pickup despite being 10 minutes late. Ultra runners are pretty casual folks, so we should be fine I figured. "We're closed" the girl behind the counter curtly said as we walked in. "Sorry, I was hoping to make packet pickup." Maybe we were at the wrong place? This experience had been pretty disorienting so far, and I didn't see any shirts or bibs.. "It's over" she said without a pause. Well damn, that was a less-than-pleasant first encounter with a local. Not the typical small mountain town vibe we expected.
So we made our way to the motel, stopping by the grocery store (overjoyed to find a decent one in town!) for some food. On the menu for later tonight was honey greek yogurt, cashews, and red raspberries, a total of about 60-70 grams of carb. But first was dinner at Natalia's 1912 Restaurant: a buffalo burger with green chili and cheese on a lettuce wrap, with a salad. After sitting in the Recovery Pump and getting my carb bomb in me, I watched Terminator and went to sleep for the night. I might have even gotten four full hours.. maybe.
Breakfast was a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, some salted macadamias, and 100 mg of caffeine with a little grapefruit seed extract. After the carbs the night before, I wanted to make sure I was starting the race with optimally low blood sugar and hungry if at all possible.
At 7am, the race director let us loose and the miles were waiting for me. First step: a 2.5 mile out and back section to get the 50k'ers the extra 5 miles we'd need. This section looked gently rolling on the elevation profile, but it also supplied 600 of then 4400 feet of elevation gain we had to climb.
 The plan was to run everything under about 20% incline and walk everything steeper, so I ran the rollers in the first 5 miles but they were bigger than expected and I could feel the altitude already. As during any well-run race, I was starting to fantasize about DNF'ing. The remaining miles, the altitude, and thought of a massive climb still ahead were weighing on my mental game. But like always the feeling passed and I got back into race mode in time for another pass through town and headed back into the mountains feeling a bit more adventurous, ready to see what the course had to offer. A lot of this I'm positive was due to starting the race low on ketones after the carb up and feeling foggy.
From miles 5-10 the course felt flat although I could see we were going up. I took a 20 second pitstop around mile 8, wiping with my sleeve (you know your a trail runner when..), allowing the duo in 3rd-4th to catch up. I wasn't planning on actually getting competitive until after mile 20, so I was thankful for the company.

The real climbing started shortly after. The gulch opened up to alpine views on all sides and the grade steepened to around 10% for the next 5+ miles with a few short sections of 20% or more. This is where my plan first demanded discipline. As we got closer to the treeline I had passed the duo and put a couple hundred meters on them, but was also passed by another duo who were obviously using the climb to start their race.
The view of the climb from the top
Around mile 17 I took a Vespa Concentrate and almost instantly was feeling great. Now I'll be the first to admit there is plenty of placebo effect at this point; the Concentrate just tastes like performance to me after having a ton of success with it. Either way, one guy was stopped at an aid station messing with his bladder and the other was quickly loosing ground as the climb got steeper. I'd be in second place in no time, before I even started working hard. By the time California pass came into view around mile 19 I was feeling as good as ever and only getting better every moment.
Animas Fork, one of the many ghost towns the course went past
At the top of the climb I passed the other excessively young dude in the race (only 19!) and was completely buzzed off the race (or maybe just the 13k feet of altitude). Breezing through the aid station at the top I ditched my shirt and filled my bottle. Now the fun part.
After a steep 400+ foot downhill I had put 100 meters or more on the young guy behind me. Walking the steep stuff still, I blasted through the second pass with no effort at all and was ready to let my body do what I'd trained it to do: race hard and win. But I hadn't seen the guy in first since the out and back in the first 5 miles.
takin out a steep part of the second pass and really starting for feel great

Figuring he was over a mile and a half ahead based on the view from the pass, I had my work cut out for me. But knowing that he'd be dying after a fast start and struggling on the down after a hard climb, I was feeling positive. Maybe it was the ketones but I took the steep downhill at a controlled pace then accelerated as it mellowed out and was feeling razor sharp mentally and ready to gut it out. Around mile 19 I had opened a chocolate clif shot and still had half left at mile 25 as the downgrade relaxed. It was right around that point when a blue jacket came into sight near an aid station.
Sure enough, stumbling out of the second-to-last aid station was the guy in first. Passing him like he wasn't moving, the race was now a one man show. My body was handling the effort well enough and my energy was through the roof.
The last 6 miles were a dream. Running sub-8 pace all alone on a long, gentle, nontechnical downhill through the mountains, each step bringing me into thicker air and closer to the finish. At the last aid I was finally done with my gel and able to pitch it. Pounding a quick 7 ounces of water, all that was left was a few miles unladen by nutrition or hydration.
Life was perfect.
I let out a few whoops coming down the final downhill into Silverton where Sabrina was waiting with water, a lettuce wrapped burger, and my Recovery Pump*.
Life was indeed perfect.
Sabrina's butt dominated my, otherwise epic, finish picture.

Nowhere near the course record, but all I could ask for out of a slightly overtrained body.


Ready to destroy the course record at the Devil Mountain 50 miler on September 28th, just a matter of by how much and ensuring no one beats me to the finish line.
*review to come.

The TSA took my Grass Fed Ghee

And for some reason I feel more violated by this small action than just about anything else I can remember of late. The aforementioned incident occurred as I was returning from a low carb study at the University of Connecticut. Conducted under the auspices of Dr. Jeff Volek, the FASTER study will be the most comprehensive analysis of LC athletes ever performed. Here are some of the very interesting things I learned picking the brains' of the research team.

1. For every O2 molecule available the adapted keto athlete will produce more ATP than the high carb athlete. I was assured that keto athletes have a high altitude advantage even at 22k ft and 9% oxygen. (Relevant for my Mt. climb expedition in Jan 2014)

2. Post exercise consumption of the amino acid argenine is worse than consuming pure sugar for maintaining ketosis. Protein / amino acid supplementation post workout is not needed until you are hungry. Vast amounts of (Tyrosine?) will flood the blood steam of a keto adapated athlete post workout and prevent catabolism of muscle. This is not found to be true in high carb athletes. Above 2.5g would produce a noticeable impact on post exercise ketosis. Here are some argenine quantities per 100g of food.
tuna 1.7g
salmon 1.2g
raw egg yolk 1.10g (0.2g / yolk or 0.4g / egg)
tofu 0.6g
almonds 2.5g
beef 1.3g

 3. At 88% of my VO2 max I personally was burning 50% fat and 50% carbs. This seems to validate the statement that when running keto you don't need to limit yourself to MAF heart rate for fat loss. But MAF prioritizes long term health so, you may want to consider a happy medium. Additionally at 65% of VO2 I was 5 bpm below my MAF HR. This is where things get screwy. RQ data shows that 108% of my energy requirements were coming from fat and -8% from carbs. The explanation for this was very difficult for me to understand but this is what I gleaned. A.) The RQ doesn't account for % energy used directly as ketones. B.) Because of ketones oxygen breathed in isn't being oxidized and converted into CO2 so there is a much higher volume of oxygen leaving then lungs  C.) Keto athletes break all the textbook rules! Thankfully they are using other methods of measurement to get this same information and find out what is really going on (the results haven't been given to me).

4. Keto adapted athletes have vastly superior lactate clearing abilities. Here is a graph from the following website: http://www.lactate.com/lactate_threshold.html

Comparisons of athletes using their V4 lactate curves

I don't have my graphs but I do have some number I tried to memorize while they were running the test. My curve ends at 6 mmol/l and 5.4 m/s. I will leave a comment if and when I get the rest of the data. My VO2 max was 64.3 which is about where I would have guessed it to be.

I'm sure there was lots of other stuff I learned but I can't remember it right now.
Here is a video of me in testing. 3 hours on that treadmill was way too long for someone used to trail running.


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