The Endurance Hunter

I don’t know how it happened, an email came across my computer that roughly said “….first ten people to respond will have their entry fee to the Broad Street Run paid for….”

Before I realized what I was doing I hit send and with the click of the button I sealed my fate.  Once again, even though I swore I wouldn’t, I find myself entered into the ten mile race down Broad Street.  I told myself this year I would not enter it, but I guess my subconscious had other plans.

But this time has been different, first, I have been on a Paleo diet for a year now.  After much research I discovered how to cure almost all of my problems with diet.  I cut out wheat, barley, rye, dairy, and most importantly, refined sugars.  It has changed my life and I have dropped about 35 pounds.  The last time I ran the Broad Street Run I was 210 pounds.   I am now starting my training at 210 pounds, which means I should be at 190 pounds by race time.

So I am into my second week of running, nothing major, just 30-35 minute jogs around 3-4 miles at a stint.  But something is different, I am not experiencing any muscle soreness, they are recovering and building at a remarkable rate.  Usually at this point in training after not running for so long I would have aching muscles the next day, but not this time. Why? My diet.

The amount of protein I am putting into my body on a daily basis, good protein, fish, chicken, pork, and beef is about 4-5 times that of a normal person.  I eat 2-3 sweet potatoes a day, rich in vitamin A and iron…..iron, the forgotten necessity in training.  You see in our body iron is the atom that oxygen attaches itself to so it can be transported around.  Think of iron as ski lifts and oxygen as skiers.  If you don’t have enough iron (ski lifts) oxygen (skiers) won’t get delivered to your cells and you lose energy.  You can have all the oxygen you need, but if there aren’t enough ski lifts to pick them up they will just sit in line unused.  The more iron, the more oxygen, the more energy…..

Then there are the fats, oh how I eat fat, so much fat…..but good fat.  Fats from almonds, macadamias, walnuts, olive oil, and avocados.  Most people don’t know this, but fat has more energy as a molecule than any other organic molecule.  The reason most of us don’t get to tap into the fat as an energy source is because they block it with carbohydrates from breads and flour.  Our body will burn these first and when that is gone it will begin to burn fat.  But me, I don’t have those carbohydrates in my body, I have carbohydrates from sweet potato, berries, melons and plums. Good carbohydrates, the kind the body has evolved to eat.

So there I was today, running once again on Kelly Drive, a place I have run so many times I know every crack and curve, and I began thinking of myself as a  Paleolithic man.  I saw my shadow, long, because the sun was setting, and I had a vision of myself 25,000 years ago…..

The shadow, bearded, long hair, was now carrying a spear, its breathing rhythmic, sniffing the air, looking at the tracks.  The human body, a finely crafted organic machine built for endurance hunting.  Sure the antelope can out sprint us, but they cannot outlast us.  No, they will eventually tire while we settle in for the long run.

We see the antelope, and they sprint away, we jog after them, track them, and find them hiding, they sprint again, we jog after them, track them, and find them hiding. They sprint away, this time a little more slowly, we jog after them, track them, find them hiding, and the cycle is repeated.

Eventually they are so tired they can longer sprint, and man, the endurance hunter, has out run the antelope.  Built to sweat in the hot sun while the antelope cannot we out run them. Very few animals can release heat through their skin as sweat, man is one of those few.  Mostly hairless with pores, we are built to release heat.

So there I was, on Kelly Drive, my shadow 25,000 years old, the endurance hunter, with nothing to hunt.  Millions of years of instinctual programming driving me forward after an elusive prey I have never seen.

 

 

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