Running – Day 8

It’s been 10 days since, huffing and puffing like a steam locomotive, I ‘ran’ (for lack of a better word) 0.27 miles.

Big whoop.

Regardless, it has been an interesting experiment so far. I’ve moved the diet from top priority to establishing this new habit. I have been eating so-so for most of that time – mostly low carb, but not to the extent that I would consider my being on a diet – and certainly not a diet where I burn ketones instead of glucose for body fuel.

In the 8 days of running I have noticed a dramatic difference in my experience. While not running fast nor for a long time – 8 minutes has been the longest run – my body has responded to the new routine. My breathing is better. I think my stride is less spastic as my body is beginning to grasp what I am asking of it. The routine of getting out of bed and out the door on winter days where the temperature is in the teens has not been easy but it seems to be getting less tough.

Right now my concern is my knees. I can’t say I’m in pain, but I am noticing a stiffness and a mild discomfort that comes and goes.

This could be the start of me screwing up my knees from sheer stupidity – or perhaps due to eating foods that might be cause of inflammation?

As you can’t do much about being stupid, I’m trying to address the latter and remove from my diet some faves that I believe might be a culprit in inflammation.

I’m wondering if my recent love of almond meal and almond milk – as well as my long-term love affair with mayonnaise is causing me problems and in the past 2 days have embraced a ketogenic low carb diet that excludes them.

Please note this is all empirical experimentation based on assumptions that I am willing to test as a hypothesis and not based on any ‘Facts’ with a capital ‘F’. Nutrition science is very hard to apply in the real world because people vary so much and there are so many factors that can’t be accurately measured.

Now ‘anti-inflammatory’ is a very suspect word as well because a lot of claims are made for it and a lot of foods and supplements claim to reduce it. Inflammation is also not a ‘bad’ word. It is a vital part of your body’s defense system. What is also interesting is that in a quick search yesterday I found that almonds are inflammatory AND anti-inflammatory based on different sources. Ketogenic low carb diets are also inflammatory and anti-inflammatory, depending on who you listen to.

The best was a slideshow on some site that was something like ‘7 foods to avoid if you have arthritis’ which mentioned dairy. A second slide show on the exact same site on ‘foods good for fighting arthritis’ mentioned dairy – and used the EXACT SAME PICTURE.

Let’s face it – the Internet can tell us what we want to hear. What I do know is that I believe that ketogenic low carb diets work for me – and some research thinks they are anti-infmallatory, so I will work with that assumption.

This has meant that I have been faithful to my diet for the past 2 days not because I want to lose weight but because I believe that eliminating carbs as well as some high omega-6 fats might help me run better and with less joint discomfort.

It was interesting how I had this thought and it was as if another part of my mind then said to me: “See? this is an example of the keystone habit having a ripple effect.” The thought to use a ketogenic diet for my knees came from somewhere else than the voice that pointed out the keystone habit. The same happened when last Friday, very stressed in work, I thought of running instead of a cigarette and wine and that other part of my mind pointed out how my thinking had changed in a week as to where to turn when stressed.

I think the short of it is – whatever is up – I have been faithful to my diet for 2 days for reasons having nothing to do with weight loss (my primary goal) by playing mind games with myself.

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6 thoughts on “Running – Day 8

  1. I could be wrong but I think it’s important, especially in the initial stages of running, to do it every second or third day so as to allow inflammation to do it’s job. Stressed muscles and joints require time to effect repairs. As the body becomes more resilient in response to the stress of running, the muscles can take more abuse and the repairs require less time.

    I’ve taken up running also. It’s amazing how quickly the hard breathing sets in when my leg muscles are worked vigorously; actually, when any groups of large muscles are worked vigorously. Last night I alternately ran and walked (as fast as my body would let me at this stage) about three quarters of a mile. I feel good this morning.

  2. This came at the perfect time for me because I am considering running the Army Ten Miler and was wondering how being on a ketogenic diet would affect me. I will be following along with your progress.

  3. I see an orthopedist for cortisone shots occasionally. He gave me two lists and tomatoes were on both lists as were almonds. Good to eat: almonds, walnuts, tart cherry juice, garlic, onions, avocados, soy, ginger, turmeric. No: vegetables in the nightshade family, potatoes, pimentos, hot and sweet peppers, eggplant. Go figure. Either way, it didn’t make any difference in my knee pain. Though I must admit, when I eat whole grains, I do find some relief. Keep up the great exercise!

  4. My daughter finds things are best if she runs every other day (she’s in mid 40’s). It gives the bones and muscles a chance to rest up. She also had to go buy a new pair of shoes as the 6 months of “learning to slow jog” had flattened the heels. No bounce. And now, two runs on the new shoes, all is good again. So the right shoes is more important than you might think. She had a consult at a local Running Store. They watched her jog and pointed out problems. And told her to slow way down. She’s running not racing.

    She finds that speed has nothing to do with the benefits. She just puts in the time. Right now, in Maine, on an indoor track. In the beginning she alternated the slow jog with walking. It was difficult but she stayed out doing that for the full hour. Each month she ran more and walked less but still–a full hour. I admire her efforts. She looks great, feels good.

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