Tag Archives: juice fast

Running Fast – The Final Run

Day Ten of the fast has arrived and I am at my computer before 5:00 a.m. dressed and ready to run, eager for the day to begin… and end. Somewhere around 9:00 p.m. this evening I will break my fast. I’m torn between being extremely relieved and a little disappointed. Work, running, and the banana/juice fast muted some of the expected effects of the fast that I enjoyed the last time.

A thin crescent moon was hanging above the eastern horizon like a white hammock against a dark blue sky. Was it waiting to provide a permanent resting place for me should this final test of my body go awry? If so, I am happy to report that it went unused. Cold, gusting breezes kept this from being as enjoyable and exhilarating as my last two “fast” runs, but it didn’t keep it from being faster. It was dark, I couldn’t see my watch, it was my last run of the ten-day fast, and I was accompanying Sid, my son-in-law, during his pre-work run. All this contributed to the fastest pace of this ten-day test of my body’s capacity to endure. Not that I couldn’t have gone a little faster, but I do still have fourteen hours of the fast yet to complete. This pace isn’t normally a challenge, but I worked hard for it this morning and I definitely felt close to my limits.

I’ll be doing another post this evening to report on this last day and my overall impressions. For now, I am about to spend a couple of hours babysitting my two-and-a-half week old grandson. So I guarantee Day Ten is getting off to a joyful start.

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Running fast – Day 9, What’s missing?

This fast started as a water-only. I was allowing myself one banana a day to fuel the daily run that I was determined to keep as part of my routine. In the back of my mind, I suspect I regarded this as cheating. After six days, when the banana seemed to be a continuing problem for my stomach, I made the decision to switch to a juice fast. Now I really feel like a cheater. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, I drink five to six ounces of vegetable juice, about thirty-five calories each for a total of one hundred and five. And yet that little bit has eased my minor stomach issues and it apparently has triggered some type of resurrection, running-wise.

I went four and one-quarter miles today, my longest run since I started the fast. The feeling I had while I was running is hard to describe; the background feeling of being slightly numb was present, as it has been for several days. Of course  I was tired, but somehow I also felt stronger than I have for a while, even from before the fast. I’m now sixteen pounds lighter than I was the evening I started and I’m certain that is most of the reason. My legs are carrying a full ten percent less weight than before. Imagine wearing a sixteen pound backpack for a long time and then setting it aside. All the aches and pains that I usual have to deal with while running have been conspicuously absent. Everything that requires moving is a little easier, even if there isn’t much to fuel my muscles. My mile splits were 9:40, 9:13, 8:34 and 8:37. I did work a little harder, but even that seems like a good thing; I could work harder and not feel like I would collapse.

So, what is missing? The almost spiritual feeling of lightness and serenity that I had experienced in March has not been very strong. I’m certain that the main reason is that I am so incredibly busy with getting ready for the release of my book, interacting with the publisher, getting marketing materials ready, on top of all the networking, blogging, facebooking and other social media stuff. Add in the running, and I’m not giving my mind and soul as much time to cleanse as my body is getting. I think I’ll set aside some time tomorrow to just relax and let the joy of the final day of the fast soak in.

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Running fast -Day 7, Yucky…

Yucky, green-brown goo to be exact. That is what I ended up with when I tried to blend my own vegetable juice out of my wife’s left-over salad. I decided yesterday to switch to a juice fast and almost everywhere I turned, people were saying it was healthier to blend your own. It must take some practice, because what I produced was barely edible, even to a guy whose is going on seven full days without food. You know when you cut damp grass with a lawnmower and it gets all clumped up under the mower? Throw in a little mud for coloring and that’s what I had for dinner last night and breakfast this morning. Granted, it was only a few bites, but that was all it took for me to decide I would accompany my wife to the grocery store and find some better alternative, or at least better ingredients.

To back-up a little- I ran shortly after I woke up this morning, partly to determine what affect the banana was having on my ability to run. It was 24 degrees and cloudy; a cold sun peaked through a layer of clouds thick enough to hold back any feeling of warmth.  Snow had fallen overnight, but the wind had eased a little. The first step was hard and the subsequent ones didn’t get any easier. This was my slowest run of the fast and I got a bit of a headache during it. I’m not sure, though, that it was the lack of banana that was the cause, because I recovered some energy after my shower, got a lot of work done and then went grocery shopping (two different stores!) with my wife later that morning.

We bought lots of healthy stuff that I thought might work in vegetable juice; zucchini, beets, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and other stuff. But I also got a bottle of low-salt V-8 as an extra ingredient, or just a complete emergency substitute. I wasn’t in the mood for experimenting when I got home, so I had a tiny glass of V-8 for lunch. It was one thousand times better than my grass drink.

I am looking forward to tomorrow now. Besides a run, my wife and I are also going to either hike or snowshoe, depending on conditions up at Happy Jack. I’m hoping that the energy level I have now will continue.

I said I was going to blog about the history of fasting, but there just isn’t enough time in the day! But here is a little bit-

Fasting has been used as a form of protest for thousands of years; it was referred to in early India in the Valmiki Ramayana. In medieval Ireland, if someone had wronged you, lying in the offenders doorway and refusing to eat was an accepted way of protesting that offense. The offender would be greatly dishonored if the protester died in his doorway because of the immense value placed upon hospitality that existed in the Irish culture. Mohandas Ghandi was without question the most famous and most successful person to fast as political protest. His efforts directly impacted the independence of India. In 1981, ten Irish prisoners died while on hunger strike. The longest made it seventy-three days before succumbing.

Most people probably think that it would be difficult for someone to intentionally starve themselves to death, especially when food is readily available.  I’m not so sure. Even though cravings have been pretty strong at times, it isn’t really like hunger anymore and they are getting weaker and less frequent. When we were in the grocery store, they weren’t that hard to ignore. I suspect that the longer a fast goes on, the less you feel the need for food. Strange, but true. It is one of the reasons that one has to be careful coming off of a long fast. It takes your body a bit to become re-accustomed to food, or solid food in the case of a juice fast.

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Feeling the love

Many people who have fasted for this long have raved about the energy they have during the later part of a ten-day (or longer) fast. And there is indeed a feeling of “aliveness”  that I am enjoying right now. But I certainly don’t feel as if I have the ability to sustain any moderate or hard effort for a very long period. The energy is a spiritual and mental one, not physical. My run this morning was tough, and not just because of the thirty mile-per-hour wind gusts. Thanks to my son-in-law Sid who ran with me “just in case”, I was able to get through it; I even put in six strides during the run and the overall pace was faster than my shorter runs earlier in the fast. Still, a soul-deep exhaustion set in shortly after we started and it took a lot of willpower to go that distance.

One of the thoughts that I am having is that my daily banana that was intended to provide me with a little energy for my run is not very effective and may be detrimental. I’m not a physiologist, but I wonder if some of my body’s resources are being diverted to digestion and therefore causing me to feel more tired during the run. Even if this isn’t true, it sure isn’t setting well on my stomach.

As a result of some other blogs I have read this morning (like these- The Right Way to Fast & Getting Juiced) I am considering switching to a juice fast and eliminating the banana. A juice fast supposedly gives you better detoxification than a water-only fast.

I did sleep very well last night for the second night in a row and feel as though I should be able to accomplish everything that is required today.

In addition to many Dailymile  and writing friends that are following my fast, I now have some other people who are fasting that I discovered by searching tags in WordPress. The comments and encouragement I’ve gotten is rewarding and a big help. Please sign up for the e-mail follow or follow through the WordPress follow button if you have one. All that positive energy that I get from knowing people are watching and rooting for me will be needed in the days ahead.

There is a lot of fascinating history to fasting and I plan on blogging about that tomorrow. I’m still having trouble motivating myself to blog about the negative side-effects of blogging. I’m experiencing some, but I really don’t feel like dwelling on them.

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I am not alone

Some writers and runners are following my blog, but I’d like to get a few “fasters” to follow my blog and comment. I’ve tried going to fasting web sites and starting a discussion topic with no luck so far. Then it dawned on me to use the WordPress tag search. Goldmine! I was shocked to find so many bloggers who have done, or are in the middle of, ten-day fasts. I think I’m the only one on a water-only and also running, but all of their experiences are interesting and very similar. One fellow faster has already visited and commented and it is amazing how little things like that can help motivate during a journey such as this.

Many of the posts I read were by people doing juice fasts and I am considering changing to a juice fast and skipping the banana. Here I am at the computer and my stomach is making a fuss about the banana I just ate in preparation for my run. Maybe juice will be easier on my digestive system. It also may help me transition into a much healthier diet once I have finished the fast. I am determined to have healthier eating habits after a lifetime of a marginal, in terms of healthy, diet.

Ah! Blessed sleep! I got a full eight plus hours last night! I woke up many times, but didn’t have much trouble going back under. It is the second day in a row with sufficient sleep. I hope that will make this another higher energy day.

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