More Diet Babbling, Travel Diet Kit, and Technique

Yup, it’s official. I’m that guy who can’t stop talking about his diet and all the benefits it brings and how much it has changed my life. Damn. I’m about to start doing it again here as well! Pretty soon I’ll be telling people about the power of positive thought…egad!

Today’s insight comes as I am flying to Whitehorse for work. I have this pattern when traveling by plane of suddenly having really bad eating habits. I eat more sugar, crap food, and spend way too much money in doing so. But I have not had too strong an urge to do so on this trip. There could be multiple factors, but if I didn’t explain this by the ketogenic diet than I couldn’t be that guy who explains everything by his diet, now, could I?

So I am in the Yukon for 8 days to talk seed with local growers and community groups and am quite looking forward to it. But this isn’t a work blog so I won’t elaborate…so let’s get back to running

One of my running goals this year was to race in several different cities and to run whenever I traveled somewhere. I had races in Seattle and Montreal already this year, and may head to San Francisco for a race in October sometime. I hadn’t thought much about racing in the Yukon – mostly because I didn’t think there would be much opportunity. But I wanted to make something happen as I will actually be missing a race in Vancouver which I really wanted to compete in – 5 Peaks Buntzen Lake.

I was not optimistic about finding something but, lo and behold, Sunday September 20 is the Terry Fox run which takes place across the country, including Whitehorse! So I registered for the 5K race, bought a couple of shirts and am trying to race some funds in the process (ahem, hint hint). Run time (more of a run than a race, methinks) is 1:00 pm, which should give me enough time to run and then get ready for a talk/presentation I am giving at 4:30 in Whitehorse. I am usually in very high spirits after a race (regardless of my placing!) so a run before a talk is likely a very good idea!

Interestingly, this run time is rather late in the day for a 5K, so I’ll need to be careful of how I eat in the morning. Early morning races don’t leave much time for food so it’s hard to mess that up (though I somehow manage to do so often).

I don’t anticipate any diet challenges while in the Yukon, but I did pack a few items just in case (and to save me some money):

  • Coconut oil, to ruin my morning coffee
  • MCT Oil, for salads
  • Stevia, and
  • Keto-granola

This seems a like a good little kit to have to help avoid cheating or slip ups!

Anyhow, back to the run. I did some reading and did not see anywhere that the run will be timed but I have my Garmin with me so can record any runs I do anyway. I will try to run the 5K at race pace (though am prepared for a more casual run if the situation calls for it!).

My best 5K time this year was in Montreal at 19:55 at the end of May. I did 20:10 in Seattle a month or two earlier. I did not eat well before the Montreal race so feel it could have been better and do hope to improve on that time. The forecast is for rain and cold tomorrow so that could be a factor. But if it is not too rainy or too cold then it may be helpful as I do not run well in the heat. If I feel good and conditions are good, I’d like to drop another 10-20 seconds from my time and plan to get sub-19:00 in SF later in the year (I’ll come back to times and training later in this post).

I may have also had a breakthrough in my running technique that will be more beneficial in a road race than on the trails. I do a lot of reading and frequently come across the same info in various wording, and thus only of minimal use (though different perspectives on the same topic are helpful). One thing I read not too long ago really stuck out for me. It was regarding stride.

There are lots of things written about stride in running literature. A few of which I have been working on quite a bit:

  • Run on balls of feet or flat footed and avoid heel strike
  • Shorten stride and increase cadence
  • Increase arm speed to increase leg speed (this gem from my friend Patrick DeSousa!)
  • Find power from your glutes

This is stuff I have worked on and seen definite benefits. The thing that stuck out recently was on focusing on what your legs do when they are behind you, not in front of you. Runners are often focused on where their foot strikes and being careful not to overstride. But what is happening behind us is equally important.

Now there are various running techniques to consider – and when to use what technique. One technique I saw early on was regarding the path of the leg and foot. Basically, when you are bringing your leg and foot forward, you want to lift the foot high, so it crosses at the knee before coming down to strike. I call this is a full stride.

Contrast that with what, I think, is a stride used by ultra-runners – where the foot is kept low to the ground with little lift at all. I seem to see this a lot when watching what I am sure are very good runners training at a rather slow pace.

I have thought about these two contrasting techniques a lot as I had imagined the low-to-the-ground stride would use much less energy and effort. This could be true (though perhaps not) but it comes with some drawbacks:

  • Low to the ground strides are very short strides, perhaps shorter than ideal for shorter distance races
  • The risk of tripping on uneven ground seems higher
  • This shorter movement looks like it limits muscle contraction range and could cramp muscles

That is all speculation on my part – which I will do further reading on.

The full stride technique seems to offer some advantages:

  • Results in a longer stride (even though we may aim for shorter stride and higher cadence, lengthening the stride over time results in more distance covered per step)
  • On trails it reduces the risk of tripping
  • The wide range of motion is good for fully utilizing muscle potential

But my discovery around the benefits of this stride come in relation to some warm up exercises I frequently do – butt kicks. Simply kicking the heel back and letting it hit your butt. You can do this on every step, though I often do it with every third step. An important part of this warm up is to let the foot relax as it comes up to the butt. In fact, I notice I can’t l actually get a good “butt hit” without relaxing my foot and often do not start a run until I am getting a good hit on this warm up.

Obviously, relaxing the foot is a means of preserving energy – which makes me think when properly executed, the high-foot follow-through stride is more efficient than the low foot stride.

So while running a few weeks ago I had noticed, while running, I could feel the same sort of sensation in my stride that I felt when doing the butt-kick exercise. I was relaxing my foot, and basically letting gravity and my forward motion carry my foot back down to the ground. The technique still feels quite strange to me, and is very difficult to maintain on uneven ground, but it feels very efficient and when I get into it I almost feel like a machine. So this warm-up technique is starting to affect my stride – and, once again, to get back to the topic at hand, this comes from focusing on what is happening with my stride behind me.

So this is something I will be working on tomorrow, to see if it really helps get me in a rhythm and a more efficient stride. I still have to get used to the stride as it feels very much like my front leg is shooting forward which seems intuitively counter-productive. But obviously the leg has to come forward (!) and as long as it is shooting forward at knee height, when it starts to come down it will be heading backwards again. The technique actually makes me feel like I am running backwards in a way, if that makes any sense. So I will play with this a bit tomorrow and make notes of how it feels over the course of the run and see how my time is!

I feel this is a technique breakthrough – probably the third one I have experienced, the others being foot placement (still evolving, but no longer heel striking at all), and arm movement (using arm speed to increase speed instead of legs – which obviously follow suit).

Another gem I got from Patrick this week was on training. Now, technically, I train a lot – but life makes it hard to focus and to keep a rigorous training schedule. I am doing a lot of cross training on the bike right now, and probably not running as much as I would like, or need to, in order to improve my race times.

I have been using a 80/20 technique – mostly low intensity with some high intensity training, but still feel something is missing. I feel good in races but also feel I could be going much faster and much faster at the end of the race as well. So Patrick suggested the Tempo run – runs that are just below race pace with distance and time increasing over the course of a training cycle. Hearing him say that made something click right away, and it felt like this may be a missing piece in improving my overall race performance.

I actually feel the bike cross training is somewhat like a tempo run as I do maintain a good hard speed for the duration of my rides and really use them to increase my pain tolerance to sustained climbs or fast straightaways. But I need at least one, if not two, good Tempo Runs a week as well.

Seymour Run and Ketosis and Feast of Fields

So after pretty good results at both the Whistler and Seymour 5 Peaks races I can definitely see the benefits of the Ketogenic diet. I had lots of energy for both races and had no difficulty with recovery whatsoever. In fact, I was ready for another run after my Seymour Race yesterday!

Though the week leading up to the race was a challenge. I wrote in my previous entry about my headaches which I thought may be attributed to a sodium deficiency. This was followed by 2-3 days of very low energy which included several unexpected naps and longer than usual sleep. So I think sodium was likely an issue and I did uptake my sodium content quite a bit with mostly miso and tamari.

A further explanation may be the next stage of keto-adaptation – wherein , according to Volek and Phinney, the muscles stop using ketones for fuel. Here they explain:

Instead, muscle cells take up acetoacetate, reduce it to betahydroxybutyrate, and return it back into the circulation. Thus after a few weeks, the predominant form in the circulation is beta-hydroxybutyrate, which also happens to be the ketone preferred by brain cells (as an aside, the strips that test for ketones in the urine detect the presence of acetoacetate, not beta-hydroxybutyrate). The result of this process of keto-adaptation is an elegantly choreographed shuttle of fuel from fat cells to liver to muscle to brain.

<Phinney, Stephen; Volek, Jeff (2011-07-08). The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable (p. 164). Beyond Obesity LLC. Kindle Edition.>

So I do wonder if there was also another transition period I went through.

That said, I threw out any notion any sort of carb restriction today at the Metro Vancouver Feast of Fields where I ate any damn thing I pleased! So we’ll now see how my energy holds up this week.

This week I made up a batch of keto-granola and a blueberry-chia pudding. They were pretty good for first runs, but I am sure I can make them both much much better. Having some new foods in my diet was a nice change and I think I can play with both recipes quite a bit. I also bought some nice organic ground beef and have been adding it to my Miso soup.

At this point I need to think about how I want to proceed with this diet and with races for the remainder of the year. The last 5 Peaks race is September 26 which is the day I fly back from Whitehorse. I will try to get an earlier flight so will continue to train for that race. I also hope to do a 5k In the Bay area in October to check my time against my earlier times. Then after that I think I will likely focus more on cycling and upper body strength as well as swimming to start preparing for next season and to prepare for some triathlons. I think I may throw some mountain biking in there as well, such as the Test of Metal in Squamish.

Looking forward to more cross training and getting in the pool to see how I can fare in the triathlons. If I can get my swimming up I think I could do quite well.

Sodium, Coffee, and the Next Race

This blog looks like it may contain a lot of info! But lets see how far we get.

I’m not sure where to start, which may soon make sense, so let’s start with sodium. I have talked a little about sodium already, In short, when in Ketosis the body expels extra water and takes sodium with it (remember, carbs hold 2.4 g water for every 1 g of carb). Thus, sodium intake must be increased on a ketogenic diet – another not-so-intuitive aspect of the diet. Sodium (primarily found in salt and the salt in processed foods), along with fat are two of modern society’s true evils – so I do love that this diet requires increasing them both.

Anyway, sodium intake should be increased to account for this extra sodium loss, with Volek and Phinney recommending about 5000 mg (5g) per day. This is a decent amount of salt to take in on a daily basis – and for me it is particularly a lot as I am not a fan of salty foods. So I have taken to Kimchi as a main salt source for myself. Volek and Phinney recommend a bouillon broth, but I don’t think this is as good as Kimchi, or another fermented food (sauerkraut, miso, tamari), as it does not seem to offer any other benefits.

So I had been consuming a good amount of Kimchi after buying a good amount at a local korean shop, but, in reality, it isn’t a great Kimchi so I lost interest in eating it, thus lowering my sodium intake.

Today I may have paid the price for that. Today, was a headache day. Not all day long, but at numerous points throughout the day and in quick pangs of pain. Nothing too severe, but I am not at all prone to headaches so I really notice when they come. And headaches are one of the symptoms of sodium deficiency.

Now on its own I may have shrugged the headache off to something else (perhaps coffee, my second subject), but after coming home today I laid down for a 90-minute nap; and fatigue is another sign of sodium deficiency.

So this may or may not be the case, but I did take in a lot of sodium today in the form of kimchi, miso, and tamari. And to be sure I will get back on the kimchi cycle to ensure I am taking it every day and add a miso broth with tamari to my day as well. I do have my own kimchi in the works, but it is still several weeks away from being ready. Which means I may want to start on my next batch soon!

So I am not yet sure sodium is the issue with my headache and nap today, but intuition tells me it is so. In fact, the past few days I notice I have been wanting to eat more Kimchi, even if somewhat reluctantly, so I will also take that as a sign.

However, the other factor could be as I am not going to remove coffee from my diet. Now, coffee is not recommended on the Ketogenic diet, but it has no carbs and tastes great, so I’m taking some liberties. Though I have been often drinking a version of the Bulletproof coffee by adding a tablespoon or so of coconut oil to my cup. I have been thinking about switching to adding raw chocolate as it is very high in fat as well, but I feel coffee should take a leave of absence for a while.

But losing coffee is not so much about diet as it is about stomach pain. I often drink too much coffee in the morning on race days and I think this affects my gut and brings pain on intense parts of races. I think this happened at Whistler this year and may have happened there last year as well (though water intake was also a factor last year).

There may be some coffee advantages ( I had previously read it promotes burning fat more quickly), but if it gets rid of my gut problems during races then I say good riddance. I could just not drink it on race day, but that would be a change in routine from other days if I contribute to drink it otherwise. Or I could just have a well-timed espresso on race day and see how that goes!

And last but not least is the next race – Seymour 5 Peaks. This is the last race in the 5 Peaks series this year (Buntzen Lake is a bonus race in a few weeks). I ran this race last year and took first in my age and 3rd overall – though it was a smaller field than usual.

I really like this course, which starts off downhill and only has one steep climb which is right at the end of the race. The rest is rolling terrain that I really like. I think the key for this race is getting really well warmed up and getting a very fast start to take advantage of the downhill to start. That way there is no worry about passing folks later in the race. I’m going into the race feeling pretty good even though today was a shitty day. I think I’ll recover well by Saturday.

I will be reviewing my Whistler blog to come up with an eating plan to prep for this race as well.

The Whistler Result

An interesting thing about experimentation is trying to understand all the different factors at play when trying to determine what the fuck is going on.

So today had a lot of factors, but I’ll get to those. The basic experiment here is: Can I perform just as well in Ketosis as I do in Glycolysis.

I wrote earlier that in the beginning stages of this transition that workouts were difficult. I’d get 1.5 km into a run and completely lose all energy. After a few weeks I could do some high intensity workouts and not feel any loss of energy. Though I would find that while my body felt strong and ready to go, my head still felt a bit “heavy” – for lack of a better word.

So the question today was: “In a race situation, would I be able to perform as well as previous?. This Whistler race was a good testing ground as it is a race I have done before, so I have a previous time, and experience, to compare race results to.

The outcome: Today I ran the course in 43:00, last year I ran it in 41:30. So this year was slower. But the run was good and I had not loss of energy whatsoever. I was strong throughout the race and felt like I had a good amount of energy afterwards. Last year I had trouble on the major climb and a lot of pain in my stomach. I had some stomach pain this time as well, but not too severe to hold me back that much.

So my expectation today was to improve on my time significantly, assuming Ketosis was not a complete failure! I have been training for a year since the last race – with some time off but still fairly consistently – and have greatly improved my technique and trail skills. I have introduced cycling for cross training and have successfully managed a few minor injuries through smarter training.

So all that considered, why could I not improve on my time – especially when the race felt much stronger in many ways?

So here is where the other factors need to be considered, though I will acknowledge that some races are simply better than others for more reasons that can possibly acknowledged. But lets try acknowledge some of those reasons anyway as it will help ease my troubled ego.

So, first would be – what is the best way to prepare for a race in the days before when on a ketogenic diet? The common approach is carb-loading the days leading up to competition – but this not an option on a no-carb diet now, is it?

Now I’m not exactly sure what I did do leading up, as I was quite busy, but I do think my protein intake may have been a bit higher than usual and the protein can be converted to glucose if there is an excess. Another thing I did was eat less on the day before. I’m not sure why, but my food intake was definitely down. I let a coffee with coconut oil (my new thing and a simple version of the bulletproof coffee) fuel me for a good portion of the day. I also did not drink enough water for pre-race day, which is even more crucial on a low-carb diet than usual.

What should I have done? This I am not sure of yet but if I want to be in full-on ketosis for a race:

  • My fat intake should remain high or even higher in the 2 days leading up to the race
  • Fat intake should be more saturated fats which are preferred for rapid access
  • Protein should be reduced or carefully monitored to ensure no excess is being converted to glycogen
  • This is the tricky one: I need to do some high intensity workouts, or some other activity that gets my body actively burning fat rapidly. This might be best done on an empty stomach
    • Remember – ketone production is higher after a workout (When I tested my ketones the morning of the race they were at .5 mmol, which is quite low (though still ketosis); compare this with the 8 mmol they were at for the end of the race!
    • However, I do not do high-intensity workouts the week leading up to a race and especially not in the last 2 days. So if I do them they need to be short and sweet!
      • I may want to do some more intense upper body workouts and minimal high intensity lower body workouts to get the ketones flowing – my impression is that different cells will adapt at different rates so high intensity upper body workouts may not benefit my legs in a race with excess. I need to do some research and reading here

Then, the weather! Last year was about 30C on a beautiful, clear sunny day. This year, despite the summer-long drought conditions, was the opposite end of the spectrum. Temperature in the alpine when we were riding up was 3C; it was raining and the wind was so strong the Peak to Peak Gondola was shut down for the day. There was even the threat of snow. But come race time the rain had died back significantly and the only windy part was near the top.

So, actually, these should have been better conditions as I do have a tendency to overheat – so the cooler weather was welcome. However, the anticipation of potential winter-like conditions hung over all racers as we ascended to the top of Blackcomb.

Then there was wave placement. For reasons I will explain in my next point I was literally the last person in the last wave to start this race. This causes two fairly significant problems:

  1. The later waves are for the slower runners, which means there are more runners to pass. On many courses this might not be too big of a deal, but this course was a lot of single track and passing is very difficult – with limited opportunities. Thus, there was a lot of time where I was moving at a much slower pace than desired as there was not an opportunity to pass safely so I had to run at that pace until I could safely, or almost safely, pass the runner(s) ahead of me.
    • In this case I was able to get ahead of this wave fairly quickly on the initial ascent (this race literally started on a hill) but caught the previous wave (and some of the wave before that a well) which is where I really got held up
  2. Running with slower runners makes it harder to set a faster pace as there is essentially no one to catch. With faster runners ahead of me I tend to push my self harder in an effort to keep them in sight.

So this is actually a significant factor in my time for this race, though the sower pace at times may have helped me reserve more energy for the climb, which felt much better than last year’s climb. I’ll have to review my GPS and Elevation data from both races to see if that is really true and where my pacing was significantly different.

Another interesting factor is children. So I traveled here with Terran and his friend, Alex with his Dad, Bob (who also ran the race and did quite well!). In short, these two were a handful which required a lot of attention. I do try to take the last day and the time before the race to really get focused, which I think is a good strategy for me. There was no focusing before this race! And, at one point it looked very much like I would not be able to run it. Both Terran and Alex were registered for the 1km race which happens just before our race. However, as they just could not get their shit together they actually missed the start of their race.

They were super bummed so we thought we’d do a mini race with them. While running up Terran slipped and fell and cut hid knee quite badly so I needed to take him to the First aid station. At this point I had actually counted myself out of the race as I didn’t think he would let me leave him. There was a lot of blood so I thought it may have been quite a bad injury. But he turned out to be OK and I was able to make it off to catch the end of the last wave, and thus the wave problem – and the focus problem!

___________

So, I took a bit of a writing break and ended up comparing my Whistler data from last year with this year. In short, I cna see many more drops in pace in this year’s race in positions where I was passing lots of other racers, so really speaks to how much that slowed me down.

Here is last year: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/573306573

Here is this year: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/881737801

OK, I need to go to bed…here’s hoping I can sleep.

The Whistler Situation

Ok, maybe it;s a bit dramatic to call it a situation, but…it’s raining.

Now rain is often a good thing for a race, except for two things in this case:

  • Rain could be snow in the alpine
  • I don’t like wet feet

Yup, drives me nuts to have wet feet. I think I’ll cope, but maybe grumpy for the rest of the day. And as for snow, well that would just be fucking awesome as far as I’m concerned. I tend to overheat during races and last year Whistler was an oven. So I hope the cooler weather helps me out a bit.

Official weight as of yesterday was 179 so about 12-14 lbs less than last year at this time. This is less of a factor than training and weather, to be honest, but should result in way more efficient energy use.

Ok, coffee and omelette time, then off to the Gondola…

Ready for Whistler?

So after 4 weeks on the Ketogenic diet, the question is: “Am I ready for Whistler?”. O Saturday I race the 5 Peaks race at Whistler – a 6.6 km with a good amount of climbing and a huge descent to finish.

Whistler is actually the first trail race I did last year so this is my first time running a race for the second time. So I have a time to compare from last year. Last year I finished 8th overall and 4th in my age, so not a bad start. I’m curious where I will be at this year after much more training and this new diet

My discipline in maintaining the diet has been good, though my protein and dairy intake are probably higher than ideal. But the real indicator is how I perform in workouts.

So the real workout tests would be my two high-intensity routes: The Grind and Old Buck.

I try to do the Grind weekly but have done a pretty crappy job of that this year. And my performance has not been great. I have yet do do a sub-40:00 time (Did a couple below 36:00 last year) and haven;t felt good on too many of my climbs. That said, I did a number of them while transitioning to this new diet.

Old Buck, up Seymour Mountain is where I go to do hill intervals. I do 8 x 30 second sprints with 1:30 to 2:00 walking rest in between. I push hard on these intervals and then either sprint the whole way down or interval down (to go easy on my knees).

Last week I did both – Old Buck in the evening followed by the Grind in the morning. Not a particularly clever training strategy when fighting an IT Band injury, but these things happen.

In short, both workouts were great. I killed it in Old Buck, sprinting hard to my last interval and doing some good downhill technique work to strengthen my glutes to aid my IT issues. I had no energy drop whatsoever. The Grind the next day was a bit tiring, but still on par with others I have done this year, which is a good result considering the previous evening’s workout.

So heading into Whistler I feel pretty good. I worked out only lightly this week including some upper body work, and may do a short run tonight. I do very well with a good week of rest before I race.

And what will my pre-race nutrition be if I am not carb-loading? I think I will eat light on Friday with lots of oily fats and light protein to really get into ketosis, then on race morning I will go with my version of the bullet proof coffee: Strong coffee with 2 TBSP of coconut oil. It’s become my daily favourite!

Oh, and my weight going into this race? Last measure was about 181, but we’ll see how we are tomorrow morning, which will be my less weighing before heading off.

And away we go…

Approaching Keto-Adaptation

Every day my brain asks me, “Chris, when the fuck are we going to eat some pasta?” And I say to my brain, “Sorry, brain, we’re not eating pasta for a while.” And my brain replies, “You’re a jerk.”

Such is my life at the moment.

But in reality #lifeafterpasta isn’t so bad. Because there is still cheese.

So while I have been in ketosis for almost two weeks I wouldn’t yet say I am fully keto adapted. Which just means my brain has not yet fully made the transition and accepted it must now burn fat as its primary form of energy.

So how do I know that? Well, I don’t really, but there are some indicators:

  • Steady Ketone Levels
    • Measurements have fluctuated from between 1 and 4 mmol/g (>.5 mmol/g indicates ketosis) but I might now expect them to be closer to 4 or higher more often. Today I measured at 8 mmol/g (>20 is not good) which is more than I expected, though I did do a pretty intense bike ride out to UBC and back where I really pushed through some intense pain. My thinking behind this (and the Grind) is the intense activity will push me more quickly towards being fully keto adapted.
  • Increased Energy and Power
    • While my energy levels are very steady my energy is often lacking. Several runs late last week came to abrupt ends at about 1.5km as I just lost all energy instantly. Today I did a slow 5 km which felt ok – though not great. I find hills are still difficult due to the increased power needed to maintain speed.
    • My brain tells me very strongly to not speed up and my thinking is that its way of saying, “I can still only access so much fat energy at a time, and I need a good 600 calories for me – so if you think you’re going to sacrifice my optimal functioning just run up this hill a bit faster you are sorely mistaken.”
  • Consistent Energy and Power
    • My energy levels do dip when working out, but interestingly, right after a workout, I feel ready to right at it again! Can’t wait  until this is sustained
  • Improved Concentration/Less fatigue
    • I actually don’t feel my brain function has suffered too much, if at all, on this diet (though I have yet to ask those around me!) but maybe it will get better anyway!

So the most interesting thing thus far is how long I can go without eating. Typically I need to eat a lot to avoid getting hangry, but now I can go very long periods without eating yet:

  • Not lose energy
  • Not lose mental focus
  • Not feel anxious about getting food

I am getting a bit nervous about being better keto-adapted for my next race which is August 29 in Whistler. And am a bit nervous my training has suffered from the diet. However, my energy and power seem to be getting better daily and while I am actually running due to early run fatigue I am still getting in 1 to 3 Grinds a week (though at embarrassingly poor times!) and doing a good amount of km on the bike to help make up for it.

So far I am about 12 lbs down from my high weight of 193.8 to 181.7. This is the weight I used to be fairly steady at for many years so I am happy to be here. I will try to get down to 175 for the Whistler race and then try to maintain that weight for training. Which, actually, means potentially losing more weight for future races, then gaining weight back for training. This will more likely be a project for next year, though I hope to do one more road 5k to see how much I can bring my time down. My two road 5 k times this year are 20:10 and 19:55. I think I can get below 19:00 with a good prep and run. Being 15 lbs lighter should also help!

Tomorrow I will do about 10k on the bike in commuting and will try to make it out for an evening run and then will do a Grind on Wednesday. I want to have a pretty intense early part of the week and then start tapering Thursday to get some good rest in before the race. I may do some pool work next week, but no Grinds, and no long bike rides…oh, and hopefully some sleep.