Time for another status post!
Okay, first off, since my last status posts, two weekends (and two long runs) have gone by.
The first thing I have to mention is my diet. I have stuck with the low carb keto diet pretty diligently, the only exceptions being the evenings and mornings before a long run when I allowed myself to eat carbs. I had planned to do one long run out of two in keto, but I admit that I haven’t had the guts to do more of them (weekday training in keto is doable and ups endurance, long runs in keto are dreadful… my two cents). So I’ve fueled with carbs prior and during my last two long runs.
Now, I’ve made it very clear on this blog that weight loss is not a primary goal of mine, I’d be totally okay being big for the rest of life if it doesn’t prevent me from running and doesn’t interfere with my well being. However, considering that I do want to run faster and I do want to prevent injuries as much as possible (so that I can keep on running!), I see weight loss as something that would bring benefits. All in all, it’s been 6 weeks since I started eating low carb and I’ve lost 15 pounds – about 6 of those were water weight lost in the first three days, the rest came off dreadfully slowly, with lots of variations and ups and downs between days. That’s more than 5 weeks to lose 9 lbs – while marathon training and being on a pretty strict low-carb diet. I think it’s slow weight loss. But progress is progress, and I have no problem continuing to eat this way until the marathon and after. All I know is that at this point, if my weight is not going down, it’s going up, and I’d rather see it go down – even if dreadfully slowly.
The second thing I want to talk about is injuries. Since my last status post, my knees have pretty much healed. I did everything I could to help my body heal (while continuing my training) and it seems to have worked. However, in my last status post, I wrote that I had some catching up to do with my endurance. I started training pretty hard when my knees got better, and my body rebelled yet again. The day after my long run two weeks ago (32km), I felt a sharp pain in my right hip. Now, in the six years I’ve been running, I’ve had my share of runner’s knee and shin splints, but this was the first time I had hip pain – and for the last two weeks, I’ve been doing my best to heal this hip pain while continuing my training.
Now, what caused this hip pain?
I have two elements to factor in. The first will be relevant to any big girl who runs… the jiggle factor. During the last week, an epiphany moment came while I was running an 8 km run and could feel the pain in my hip arising. I put my hand on my hip – where it hurt – and noticed that the pain was at its worst precisely when the bounce of my (very big) booty tugged on it. Then I thought about how I had switched to running shorts in the last few weeks (instead of my usual running tights), and that the shorts provide zero compression to fight booty bounce. Delighted by this epiphany, I have sworn to abstain from running in anything but tights that provide good booty compression. I did my last long run with not one, but two pairs of tights. My hip is still sensitive, but getting better.
The other element I want to factor in is running form. I’m guessing that one of the reasons I’m getting injured so much is that my running form could use some improvements. So after racking up two injuries by attempting to train harder, I’ve decided to back off and switch my focus to training smarter. I’ve started reading the Chi Running book from Danny Dryer and have also started watching a bunch of youtube videos on running form. I attempted to integrate some of the elements of Chi Running in my last long run, but all this is still new to me, so I can’t really comment on any progress yet, but it does seem to have potential.
Cheers! 75 days left until the NYC marathon!