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Thread: Grok represented at the local 10K page

  1. #1
    Timothy's Avatar
    Timothy is offline Senior Member
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    A couple weeks before discovering the PB, I happened to set myself a fitness challenge of running a 10K. I had only ever done that once before, years ago during my last serious fitness attempt, but I posted a poor showing and didn't enjoy the experience. (At one point, an elderly, fat woman passed me going up a hill.)


    One year ago, I weighed over 200 pounds (I'm 5'9.5") and probably could not run to the end of my block. But I had been working out doggedly (classic chronic cardio) and at 180 pounds at the end of 2009, felt like I could once again make it through such an ordeal.


    Then I discovered the PB, which changed my life like a second puberty. I rapidly became more fit and healthy than I ever dreamed possible. Now I was really psyched to run the 10K!


    My training was 100% primal, my diet more purely carnivorous as the weeks progressed. I never counted a calorie or balked at stuffing myself silly (when not fasting). I ran a lot less (just a couple times a week) and on the other days I carried weights, or went for a stroll with my baby in my arms. I tried to walk and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, though I have a full-time desk job. I also did plenty of shovelglove, which I find more like play than exercise, for 15-30 minutes most days. And when I was tired, I rested.


    On the day before the race, about seven weeks after going primal, I was down to 157 pounds and much more muscular. I went to pick up my bib, and couldn't help gawking at the tables where the other runners were filling up on the complimentary "carb-load" lunch.


    My own pre-race-day lunch was a feast of pure meat fit for Tarlach: churrascaria after a 16-hour fast. I ate so much I had to take a nap. Then I skipped dinner and breakfast, and headed to the race light as a feather and burning with ketones. I tied the race chip to the heel loop of my VFFs and, in a flash of primal inspiration, stripped off my shirt, spat on my hands and slicked back my hair. All I was lacking was a pot of woad and a penis gourd. (Probably for the best, now that I think about it.)


    I started easy off the start line: after the first mile, this course went uphill 400 feet over two miles, and I needed to conserve my energy. But my VFFs were my saving grace! The path was rocky and uneven, crumbling asphalt strewn with debris; the runners were thick on the ground at first, and I was glad I had practiced curb running as I deftly slipped past the first few runners who were starting to flag.


    Then I hit the hill, which felt far bigger and longer than I expected. Runners quickly began dropping off left and right, and my VO2max was sorely tested and found wanting near the summit. Grimacing, I broke my stride and furiously power-walked until my breath came back.


    On the way downhill, I plunged back into oxygen surplus, and made up a lot of time. I felt like I was soaring through the air in continuous long jumps, pouncing like a parkour traceur from target to target. This was my specialty, the bulk of my training: anaerobic precision work. I was really in the zone!


    On the last mile, the runners were definitely thinner on the ground, and starting to look a lot like the pictures in the "post your progress photos" thread. I had emptied my energy reserves and was clinging to the end of my rope. A tiny Chinese woman passed me like a minnow. But I stayed focused on my form and finished strong, with a little insane burst at the end to make Dr. Tabata proud.


    When I first signed up for this race, I had hoped just to make it to the end. Then when I discovered PB, I set an ambitious goal of completing it in less than an hour. So I was overjoyed to finish in 53'39", the 70th percentile for my age group (30-34 Male), and 79th overall! Not bad for somebody who had been overweight and chronically ill his whole life until a couple months ago.


    Incidentally, the VFFs were a huge attraction for the other runners. At least a dozen people asked me about them before, after, and even during the race, and for every person asking more were listening with interest. Naturally I raved about them. I think we primalists may be ahead of a major fashion trend. Vibram really needs to send Mark an endorsement contract (and me a new pair of shoes).


    I want to emphasize that this was a 100% PB achievement, and I owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Mark and the whole MDA community. It was your logic that persuaded me; your stories that educated me; and your pictures that inspired me. So my victory is your victory too.


    Thank you, and Grok on!


  2. #2
    Zophie's Avatar
    Zophie is offline Senior Member
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    Way cool! Congrats on your Primal run!


    (I had to laugh about the penis gourd...) I think it would have slowed you down. =)


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    Daemonized's Avatar
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    Wow, that's awesome. I'm glad that you're hard work has paid off for you.

    My family does the Susan B Komen Race for the Cure every year (my mother is a survivor). I can't wait to see how that feels now that I've gone primal.


  4. #4
    Timothy's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the congratulations. I still feel a bit like I'm living in a dream world -- none of this seemed possible before.


    And Daemonized, I think you'll have as much fun as I did on your first post-primal run. It's a whole different experience from the stereotypical painfest.


    Zophie, those penis gourds do look awkward, don't they? I don't know how the Amazonian bowmen work around them. Looks like an accident waiting to happen, if you ask me!


  5. #5
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    Thanks for sharing this Timothy, a great post.


    I have run 5ks before but am not someone that loves running. I have been invited to run 4 miles in May and was unsure whether primal training would really cut it, as am starting from scratch. But reading your post, I am inspired to give it a go. I have to dress as a nun, but that's another story...(it's for charity)


  6. #6
    kuno1chi's Avatar
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    Awesome story, Timothy!!!


  7. #7
    Lolly's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your story--very inspirational!


    My plan is to run more 5Ks this spring & keep training through the summer and run a 10K in the fall. I am currently road running in Nike Frees. I love my V5s but have been hesitant to road run in them due to RA. I soft surface run in them and have for almost a year. Maybe as the weather warms here & the conditions become more V5 favorable, I will give road running in them a try.


    I do love my Garmin Forerunner 305 for training. not primal, sorta goes against the mindset, but still an awesome tool for anyone who wants to improve their running performance.


  8. #8
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    Great story! I hope to do something similar in October: win a 3K race (in my age group) without doing any traditional cardio training whatsoever.


    The penis gourd looks like it would chafe.


  9. #9
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    I read this last night, but it was far too late to properly express how awesome I think this is. You are a fantastic example of how to make the Blueprint work for most any kind of athletic event. Great that you wore your vibrams, I find that if I wear them on concrete for too long it really irks my back.


  10. #10
    Timothy's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification


    Thank you so much for the kind words. There is no other group of people whose compliments mean more to me. I lurk here a lot more than I post, and you've all inspired me with your thoughts. Thanks to you, I went into the race full of confidence and eager to show the world what a novice primal athlete can achieve.


    Street running in VFFs was not easy at first. It forces you onto the balls of your feet, which feels great, but was not something my calves were used to. When I switched to VFFs from running shoes, all the shocks that had been going into my knees and ankles traveled up my arches instead, right into my calves. So my calves were on fire for the first week or so, but they conditioned up quickly, and now my feet and knees never hurt. (And I can bounce like a spring!)


    Also, my downhill performance owed a lot to the Vibrams. I was able to take long strides knowing that I would land perfectly after each step, even while weaving around obstacles on uneven, gravelly asphalt. If I had tried that in regular shoes, it would have been twisted-ankle-wipeout time.


    Personally, I don't think I'd ever want to run more than a 10K. One hour of intense cardio is enough for me. I rehydrated with almond milk and was hitting the beach just a few hours later to play on the rings. If 10K ever starts to seem too easy... I'll just run it faster!


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