Sunday, 6 March 2016

Ashton Court parkrun and Keto Snacking

Just over a year ago we ventured over to Ashton Court to do the well-known big uphill, and big downhill. Sadly, ice had stopped play so we were left parkrun-less. Yesterday however, Facebook confirmed it was on and so we headed on over. This was going to be a good test for the ketogenic diet.

We'd stayed over in Bristol the night before and had decided on a hotel picnic. It is hard work finding keto snack food; I found myself angrily searching the yoghurt aisle in for a non low-fat breakfast option and there were none, none at all. Dinner was an interesting combination of spinach with oodles of Caesar dressing, olives with cheese and the fabulous new canapĂ© idea, salami topped with guacamole and prawn.

Ashton Court before the crowds descended
In the morning we caught the bus to Ashton Court and ended up being guided to the route by a nice chap named Richard. The area was absolutely beautiful with wide, tarmac tracks - ideal for hundreds of runners. Richard pointed across the field and up the hill to a building, where the run goes up to, it didn't look that bad to me. Must be wussy runners this Bristol lot.

The run began and the hill started very gently before kicking up a bit. I had a good rhythm and even found myself picking up the pace as it got steeper, after starting a little easy. The hill was harder than it looked from a distance but very runnable, it wasn't long before I could see the building Richard had pointed to up ahead, and I knew it was coming too soon.

A sharp left onto a trail was up ahead and I had blown it, I'd gone a bit too hard a bit too early and was left hanging on for the end of the (probably at least another kilometre) climb. Thankfully the gradient was a bit kinder but it was still a slog.

Getting to the turnaround point was a dream and the downhill started well. I didn't want to really go for it as I was saving the legs for the Newport Half the next day but I was enjoying the descent so much that I went slightly quicker than intended. Once back on the tarmac, I had a bad feeling in the right quad, first I thought I'd pulled the muscle but very shortly after, the other one went too. Cramp. It's a widely known fact that on a ketogenic diet, the need for salts is much greater, I thought we had been having plenty but it obviously wasn't enough. My legs felt so peculiar and I had to ease back, though it didn't help.

By the time I got to the bottom there was no sprint finish in me, my legs were like blocks. I felt like I had just ran down a mountain as opposed to a hill in Bristol. When Lizzie arrived at the finish, she told me that her legs were absolutely fine but that she had forearm cramp, which seemed even more unusual, I had to help her get her arms back in her jacket.

Ashton Court was a brilliant run but we ended up limping away at the end, the tough course beating our non-keto-adapted bodies.

Not just a keto breakfast, an M&S keto breakfast
M&S saved us when we got back to town. They had a delicious and creamy, full fat yoghurt that was a treat. Our bizarre breakfast was cocktail sausages and cooked, crispy bacon, with an additional snack of pate on sliced cheese. At least it would have been an additional snack but we accidentally bought the light one and had to go exchange it, why are all the supermarkets tricking us into buying low fat!?

Another parkrun checked off the list but I've definitely got some unfinished business with this one. I'll be back Ashton Court, and next time I'll be ready!

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