"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Monday, January 5, 2009

This week in training and (shudder) dieting (Corrected)

First a note: Three of the people on my local blogroll made the top 100 100-Mile performances list of 2008! Also, for those into numbers, I heard that last year Allan Holtz ran 7400 miles (I also heard 9400, but that sounds high, even for him). Correction - Allan's total for two years was 7400, which makes him still quite sane.

Dec 29: 7 miles in 65. Saw 10-12 robins on the one patch of ground not covered by snow. Knowing how they look around March, I worry about them a little. Not flying south is a bit of a gamble and I hope they all make it.

Dec 30: 0 miles. Just never got around to running, which I guess proves I'm not obsessive. Well, not about running, anyway.

Dec 31: 6 in 52, indoors. It was -8 with a windchill of -23. So sue me.

Jan 1: 7 in 65. Not hung-over.

Jan 2: 27 in 4:11, indoors. Nice to get the first marathon of the year in on the second day. Met a woman on the Run n Fun team that's running the Arizona Rock n Roll Marathon in two weeks, planning on breaking 3 hours. I think it's the "n" she likes.
Afterward, I was driving on Hwy 694 in Oakdale, looking at the houses and thought to myself, "I remember when this was all fields." OMG! I'm a geezer! It's all mall walking and early bird specials from here on.

Jan. 3: 9 in 89, with Don. D. He was asking me advice on sprint training. He just set a Minnesota record for men 65-69 and he wants more, now that he's seen the records are soft. Glad to see that I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

Jan 4: 4 in 38. It was -1, with -19 windchill and after an ice storm. When we get weather like this, I always enjoy seeing newscasts where visitors say, "we don't get this in (whatever state or city)." I had pain behind my left kneecap at 2 miles, which fortunately went away, but was worrisome. I was one layer of clothes short of what I needed and froze my, um, genitals. Amazing how fast one can run with one's hands in one's pants.


I weighed 168 lbs. the morning of the 28th, one less than my highest weight ever. For perspective, I weighed 132-136 in college and was 151 at Trail Mix last April. In 2006, I went from 158 to 147 in three months, during a time of very high stress.

This morning, I was 160, but probably only 1.5-2 lbs. of that loss wasn't water. I'm doing it with just a few ideas: low caloric density, low glycemic load, high fiber and, most important for this week, low salt. I get cravings for salty snacks at night that you wouldn't believe (unless you remember the state fair food post). The main thing I've noticed is that it's hard to run anything faster than a crawl when you're out of fuel.

A word about dairy

I had mentioned previously the Okinawan diet, the vegan Seventh day Adventists of Loma Linda and the Paleo Diet. All of them eschew dairy. I don't. Here's the thought:

Dairy is a dietary shortcut; if you can handle it (and a lot of people can't, but I can), it makes nutrition easier. It's loaded with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) and vitamins A and D (if added). The main drawback is that it's also loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol, so I strictly stick to non-fat.

The Okinawans don't eat dairy because there's no pastureland in Okinawa to raise dairy animals. They get their calcium from calcium-rich water in their wells and from foods that we just don't get here. They get vitamin D from sunlight exposure and sea vegetables. They get B-12 from fish and especially shellfish. Riboflavin and phosphorous come from a variety of sources.

Vegans don't eat dairy by definition. They get their calcium from vegetables such as beans and spinach (both banned by the Paleo diet), their B-12 from supplements or from algae (spirulina or chlorella) or wheat grass juice. Phosphorus comes from grains and beans (banned by Paleo). Riboflavin is tricky, but there is much in some algae and they eat a lot of grains, which contain enough.

Both Okinawans and vegans eat a lot of calcium-precipitated and fermented tofu, which are high in protein, calcium and contain B-12. Tofu comes from soybeans, which aren't permitted in the Paleo Diet.

The Paleo Diet has no problem with B-12 or phosphorus, as these come from meat. Calcium and riboflavin requirements are almost impossible to meet with this diet (it's not as bad in the Paleo Diet for Athletes) and that's why I can't recommend it.

I find it interesting that the idea of the Paleo Diet is to eat like one's ancestors, but if your ancestors lived in Minnesota, they had some special problems; for example, there's no iodine in the soil in Minnesota (the glaciers removed it). There's not much to eat except meat in the winter, which is why dried grains and beans were staples for the early settlers and the indigenous peoples. My ancestors raised dairy cattle for 1000 years and they became quite tolerant of lactose because of it; I'm eating like my ancestors, just more recent ones.


wildknits said...

Interesting post.

Amazing mileage! My IT band is sore from 15 miles in three days. Despite my aparently freakish heart rate not so sure my joints can handle much.

diet - such an interesting topic - and fraught with mine pits. there is some interesting stuff out there about what you "should" eat. Some of it doesn't seem too sustainable over the long run. Moderation seems to be the best plan overall.

After years as a vegetarian, now as an opportunistic carnivore I have more issues with iron than ever. Lactose intolerant and with a smattering of food allergies - i am always trying to figure out what I can eat for best energy over the day (makes for fun at aid stations too, no one there to test taste food for me to check for allergens).

Understand the cravings - I am terrible later in the day. Only solution for me - not have it in the house! Eventually I crave it less and less. At least that is what I tell the patients i counsel about diet ;->

sea legs girl said...

I didn't realize that tofu had so much calcium. That's great since I AM lactose intolerant. My ancestors must not be midwesterners.

Did you run a marathon on a treadmill???

Finally, thanks introducing SR and me to Mitch Hedburg. He has a great (and unusual) style. We even found some other routines of his and laughed so much.

wildknits said...

Some tofu has calcium - depends on how it is made.Read the labels carefully!!!

SteveQ said...

Sea Legs Girl, I did the 27 miles on a 7 laps-to-a-mile track. My dairy farming relatives were mostly old country - Dutch and Plattdeutsch. And I did specify "calcium-precipitated" tofu; much in the U.S. is not (I have no idea about Denmark!)