Sunday, February 22, 2015

Training 2/23-3/1 (race week)

Experimentation is done and I got a lot of answers last week.  I think it's clear that the Mag+Thym-Adren is not going to be enough.  I need un-methylated B vitamins.  I really don't care how I do in the race.  I just want to enjoy the trip as much as possible.  Only 3 to go after this and I can do it without another fly away.

Update:
I've read a few articles that have stated that exercise REDUCES methylation.  Since I am an over-methylator, it is a good thing that I run.  I've consistently maintained that my training has NOTHING to do with my ills.  If anything, it's beneficial to me.  Even if I have to retire from serious racing, I'll still do some recreation running.

2/23- AM-SUCKED again.  1 Mile in 7:58 and needed a sprint at the end to break 8.

New theory:  The detox (which was necessary) spilled copper into my tissues.  I could take an adrenal glandular for temporary relief but in the long run, it will take me further away from balance.

PM- Did not even try to run.  I did experiment with glutathione, Vitamin C and a trace of adrenal glandular.  Nothing worked.  I should be feeling better since I've been on Mag+Thym-Adren for nearly 2 months and I project my tissue Na level to be in the 70s now but I am worse. I have officially run out of options.  I've also learned from the Methyl group on Facebook that my adverse reactions to methyl donors may not be due to over-methylation but rather genetic mutations.  Speaking of which, I got the kit today and have submitted the sample.  This is my LAST LAST hope.  I'd retire now if I wasn't so close to finishing the Half 2 Run challenge and 10 state 10K.  Results should come in 4-6 weeks so I fully expect that my deadline of 3/21 will not be met.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=1.0

2/24- No experimentation today but was only slightly better than yesterday.  Finished 3 miles in 24:57 (8:19 pace) with splits of 7:50-8:20-8:47.  I am supposed to run 10.1 miles longer 4 days from now?  Okay.  One final theory has come up.  The Jigsaw Mag contains a small amount of methyl donors.  Could that be the source of the suckage?  If so, why was I able to tolerate it up until recently?  I'm switching to plain Mag malate.  It can't hurt.  In other news, I mailed the 23 and Me kit today and am hitting the road for Atlanta tonight in order to beat the weather.  I'll have to just chill at Nick's most of the day tomorrow.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=3.0

2/25- Abstinence from methyl worked in the morning as I managed a decent 5 miler on Atlanta Raod before the sleet hit.  Finished in 35:57 (7:11 pace) but did have to stop for traffic a couple times and got heckled once.  A guy in a Jeep said the f-word and a gay slur then drove off like a coward.  What do you get out of cussing at a stranger for no reason.  For the record, I was wearing black pants and a purple shirt.  Why would he do that?  Just a loser.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=5.0
Update: Turn for the worse in the evening after too much time off the methyl so I went with 2 Jigsaws tonight instead of my usual 4.

2/26- 2 Jigsaws were not the answer.  Struggled through a 3 miler also on Atlanta Road in 23:37 (7:52 pace).  I did manage a negative split but that was because of a tailwind and a slight downhill grade on the way back.  I'm taking 2 tonight in hopes that it will clear by race morning.  Flight to Phoenix went without a hitch.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=3.0

2/27- Awful this morning as expected.  Regardless of my performance tomorrow, I'm shutting down the training log next week.  Just too depressing when half my days are Ds and Fs and there's not much I can do about it until I get the genetic test results.

PM- Junk run in Mesa's Riverview.  Did not time it but estimate that I totaled 3 miles at a pace near 8:00.  Pointless to push it the day before a race.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

2/28- Timed the pills well and managed to finish in 1:43:15 officially.  Moving time was 1:42:12 (7:48 pace).  It was the best that I could do under the circumstances but 14 minutes slower than my PR on flat course.  Very poor performance.
Grade:D+/3 credit/distance=14.0

3/1- Planned rest day.  Body is very sore.  Only capable of a junk run at crap pace.

Weekly summary:
This will be the last week that I post daily training updates until further notice.  I will continue posting updates and race/trip reports.
Distance= 29.0   YTD: 258 miles.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rant: Doctors and Methylation

Here is the age old question:
If all my lab values are normal, why do I feel so bad?
Answer:
The so-called "reference range" does not reflect healthy lab values and there is a good chance that key tests were not ordered.  Even if they were ordered and came back abnormal, the typical MD (Mineral Denialist) cannot treat it with mainstream medicine and generally doesn't know what to do about it.  IT IS NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD AND YOU ARE NOT A HYPOCHONDRIAC!

Let's go back to 2005-6 when I was unemployed and nearly bedridden.  If there was a prescription drug out there that restored 90% of my energy with minimal side effects, would I have taken it?  HELL YES (said with a southern accent).  In fact, if that energy level was consistent, my answer would be the same today.  I don't want to sound arrogant but my 90% is still better than the average person who shows up at road races and group runs.  I'd top out around 5:50/21:00/44:00/1:37, which is still quite respectable and good enough to enjoy those events.  That will never happen because no such drug exists.

Quite often, what happens is that hormones are normal in the serum but do not reach the tissues in proper proportions.  Hence, a hair test (tissue mineral analysis) is a better and more comprehensive picture of your health.  I can excuse ignorance on that part because it's not taught in medical school but I cannot excuse other scenarios.  Yesterday, I had an extreme negative reaction to just a trace of zinc and found that I need precisely a 20:1 zinc/copper ratio in my supplements.  17:1 won't work and neither will 23:1.  The same thing happened on both sides of the spectrum.  Muscles stiffened up within a couple minutes and I became very sluggish and depressed.  THAT CLEARLY INDICATES THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG!  To suggest otherwise is not only ignorant but downright insulting and hurtful.  Imagine if Usain Bolt came in dead last against 2nd rate competition.  There's no way that anyone would suggest it's all in his head.  It is NOT difficult to tell that it is the pills when you begin feeling awful minutes after you take one.

Over the past 2 years, I've had a number of theories as to why this extreme sensitivity was happening.  As an aside, I was just as sensitive when I was at my best in 2011-2012.  Any deviation from Thym-Adren+ Paramin spelled trouble but I got lucky and hit a false equilibrium in which taking an exact cocktail of pills caused my system to operate at near peak for several months.  Now the theories:

1. Increase my Magnesium levels.
The Mag RBC test, which measures your value at the cellular level,  is rarely ordered by MDs and when it is, you are considered "normal" if you are at 4.2 with the reference range being 4.2-6.8.  You have to be 4.1 or less to be flagged as deficient even though 4.2 feels just as bad.  The truth is that anything below 5 is a significant deficiency and you need to strive for 6.0-6.5.  As for me, I've been level in the mid-high 5s since the Fall of 2013 so any ill-effects from sub-optimal Mag should be minimal especially with my near perfect Ca/Mg ratio on my last hair test.  Needless to say, while improving my Mag status was certainly a good thing for my health and I have experienced several benefits, it did not solve the sensitivity issues.

2. Liver congestion.
I posted about this detox procedure just a week ago so no need to rehash it.  This was VERY important because it has allowed me to tolerate key pills necessary to get into balance.  Without this procedure, I don't have a chance.  Still, it did not solve the sensitivity.

3. Taurine.
This sulfur containing amino acid was partially successful in that it greatly reduced the sensitivity to Cal/Mag, which was nightmarish last summer.  It got so bad that deviations from the 1:1 ratio as small as a few extra sprays of transdermal Mag caused problems.  Again, although it was and still is a benefit for me, it failed to solve the zinc/copper issues.

4. Increased ceruloplasmin.
Again, this key liver protein is rarely tested and the reference range is even further out of whack than the Mag RBC.  My lab has a range of 15-30.  The truth is that anything below 25 is sub-optimal and even up to 40 is acceptable.  My initial test was very low at 17.9 (not flagged) but I have since boosted it to 23.0.  Although both my Cp and Zn/Cu ratio are a bit on the low side, I've seen much worse.  Based on my current numbers, there is NO indication that just a trace of zinc would cause such a problem.  If anything, it should help.

5.  Problems with methylation.
This is my current theory.  I'm still learning about the methylation cycle but I do know that you start with methionine, which is converted to SAM-e with the help of methyl donors, which is in turn converted to homocysteine.  From that point, with the help of key B-vitamins, the homocysteine is converted back to methionine.  It is here that genetic defects can come into play, specifically the MTHFR gene.  I've not been tested for it but I have a strong feeling that I have that mutation in addition to several others and have ordered a genetic test through 23and Me.  I do take a small amount of Folate and B-12 as part of my Mag supplement without a problem but I suspect that the methyl donors could be the problem.  I took some di-methly glycine yesterday.  It soved the sensitivity but the resulting over-stimulation was worse.  I had 1 good day with the methylated B-complex then went downhill.  I am sensitive to B-6 and had a negative reaction to methylated forms of B-12 and folate but a positive response to Niacin (B-3) and non-methylated B-12.  This suggests that I have the MTHFR defect and am an over-methylator. Bad genes do not mean that I am doomed.  With proper care, the mutations, can be "inactivated," according to science.  At the end of the day, I do believe that my condition is treatable but I am likely facing another difficult fight and it seems doubtful that it can be fully reversed.

The only blood test that came back abnormal back in '05 was an elevated homocysteine value, which my MD dismissed.  Combine that with my reports of extreme sensitivity to the herb based adrenal supplement that I had been taking at the time.  A half pill flipped me from feeling lethargic to overstimulated.  This should have SCREAMED liver dysfunction and poor methylation.  Instead when challenged, my MD rambled incoherently for a minute or 2 then lectured me on the need for SSRIs.  The sad part is that this guy actually did care about me as a person but just didn't know enough to help me.  It is of utmost importance that I beat this disease.  Anyone can say that they are healed but offer no proof.  I can.  Suppose I break all my personal records in my mid-30s when I am past my prime.  That will convince some skeptics.

Training 2/16-2/22

Weather is going to be cold, and/or rainy and windy all week so I anticipate being indoors most of the time.
I've decided to skip the Mercedes 5K because I don't think I'll be competitive.

2/16- AM. VERY POOR.  3 miles in 25:49 (8:36 pace).  Perhaps the SAM-e has not cleared.  I may be overly sensitive to the methyl donors, which accomplishes nothing.  Just trading one sensitivity for another.

PM- WORSE than this morning.  Hell, I ran better when I had the flu last week.  It is becoming increasingly clear that I have indeed TRADED ONE SENSITIVITY FOR ANOTHER!  Tomorrow morning will confirm it.  Covered only 1 mile and my time was over 9.
Grade:D-/1 credit/distance=4.0

Update:  I have ordered the 23 and Me genetic test.  I may not get the results for another 2 months so that changes the plans to shut down the blog.  The training updates will stop after 3/21 however.  It's just been too depressing lately.  It's almost a certainty that something abnormal will show up and highly unlikely that it will be a quick fix.

2/17-AM.  2 miles in 15:28 (7:44 pace).  Big improvement over yesterday afternoon.  Took just a trace of DMG afterwards and I was MUCH worse.  The methyl donors are OUT.  How much do you want to bet that the zinc/copper sensitivity will kick in with a vengeance next week?  I am off caffeine again but that hasn't helped me in the recent past.

PM- Took the afternoon off as planned.  Picked up a B-complex at the health store with methylated Folate and methylated B-12.  I'll wait a couple days before trying it.  The genetic test should arrive by the end of the week.  It's a painless saliva test.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=2.0

2/18- Felt pretty rotten when I woke up and figured that I would have struggled for a sub-8 pace.  Took the Raw Vitamin Code B complex and began feeling better shortly thereafter.  BINGO!
3 miles in 21:23 then popped some B-12 alone and did the same distance in 21:37.  That's not a significant change in pace so figure that the extra B-12 had no real impact one way or another  Good news I suppose.  Took another B-complex and ran another mile at the same effort in 7:09.  Total distance was 7 miles in 50:09 (7:10 pace).  I may salvage a respectable showing in Arizona.  Don't write me off just yet.

This is NO cause for celebration!  I'm not on solid ground with the zinc/copper and I took 3 B-complex today.  How much will I need/tolerate tomorrow?  Your guess is as good as mine.  As for the Bs, I need a specific form the the vitamins.  If I took the synthetic form of folic acid rather than methyl folate, I'd do more harm than good if I am positive on the MTHFR mutation.  Same with B-12, it's got to be the methyl form or I could have a slight build up of cyanide.  I'm going with the Raw B complex.  It's RAW man!
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=7.0

2/19- Felt pretty rotten when I woke up but got better after taking the 1st dose of the B-complex.  Got worse after the 2nd dose.  Attempted a tempo and I knew before the end of the 1st lap that I didn't have it.  Quit after 1 Mile in 7:30.  Took a zinc pill and ran the same distance in 7:24.  Took a liver pill and ran it again in 7:28.  That's not a significant change in pace so the zinc/copper sensitivity is still manageable.

It is clear that something in the B-complex is helpful and something else is harmful.  I did some experiments and determined that it is B-6 that is the problem.  I can take only limited doses of it (no more than 10 mg).  It's becoming increasingly clear that I am an OVER METHYLATOR, not an under methylator.  If that's the case, niacin (B-3) could be helpful.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=3.0

2/20- The excess B-6 may not have fully cleared but I still managed a decent workout today.  Ran the opening Mile in 7:24 then gave Niacin a shot.  Tacked on 4 more in 29:09 (7:17 pace) for an overall time of 36:33 for 5 miles at moderate effort.  Overall impression of the Niacin is that although it was not a miracle cure, it was a net positive impact. Without it, I probably would have slowed to the 7:30s so that is a significant difference.  I did get a pretty hot flush so I will cut the dose in half tomorrow.  Since the B-6 must be restricted, I must take other B-vitamins separately.  After tomorrow's long run, I will see how I react to extra Folate and/or B-2 (Riboflavin)

Rant: My last MD flat out refused to believe that I could not tolerate B-6.  Okay, so WHY DID I FEEL AWFUL WITHIN MINUTES OF TAKING IT?  Then, why did I feel better after it cleared?  I know now that this intolerance is likely due to a genetic defect.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=5.0

2/21- Good call on skipping the 5K because I was AWFUL this morning.  I cannot take the methylated forms of folate and B12.  Why did I have 1 good day on the B-complex?  I don't know but I may be so deficient that even the wrong form helped for a while.  I may still need Folic Acid and/or B-12 but it's got to be the un-methylated form, which means that even Jigsaw Mag may have to be restricted.  I've wasted over $100 this week alone on supplements that won't work.

The workout:  Plan was a long run on Lakeshore and I turned around after a half mile in 4:07 then proceeded to run the back half in 4:19 for an 8:26 finish.  Took some extra methyl B-12 after I got home and got even worse, which confirms my theory.

PM- Another better with or without test.  Did 1 Mile in a blazing 9:16 then popped an un-methylated B-12 and improved to 7:48 with no additional effort.  That's an improvement of nearly 90 seconds for 1 mile all because of 1 freaking pill!  Again, there has got to be some defective enzymes involved here and it's becoming increasing clear that genetic defects are in play.
Grade:E/1 credit/distance=3.0

2/22- Another better with or without test this time with the folic acid.  Ran the opening mile in 7:22 without it.  After taking it, I started off pretty well but faded after the 1st half mile.  Managed a 7:20 2nd mile but was done after that.  Faded to 7:55 in Mile 3 then called it quits.  Overall time was 22:37 for 3 miles (7:32 pace).  Poor performance.  This means that I am likely positive for the MTHFR mutation.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
Only 4 weeks until my deadline and it is looking bleak.  I suspect that my increased ceruloplasmin has worsened the over-methylation. If not for the Cp, my zinc/copper imbalance would be far worse however.   Based on what I've seen this week, I can just about guarantee genetic defects.  Is it treatable?  Yes.  Completely reversible?  Seems unlikely.
Distance= 27.0/ GPA= 16.2/8= 2.03
YTD: 229 miles.  Record: 1-5 with a 2.30 GPA

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Training 2/9-2/15

2/9- One thing after another.  I can take the necessary pills but now I'm down with the flu.  Running is out of the question for the next few days.

2/10- Feeling slightly better but still not even back to work yet.  A really bad day of adrenal fatigue feels similar to a low-grade flu.  There is no fever and chills but the fatigue, body aches and malaise can be just as bad.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=0

2/11- Back to work today.  Still very weak and have a dry cough.  Aside from a little bit of hip soreness, my legs don't feel too bad.  Did 2 miles at Gold's in 17:56 (8:58 pace) with a slight negative split.  Got about what I expected today.  I've waited too long for sustained improvement.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=2.0

2/12- Flu symptoms are almost gone.  Zinc/copper sensitivity is still bad.  Whole food C is OUT.  When it comes to C and zinc, it's got to be both or neither.  I'm going with neither.  Zinc/copper ratio must be PERFECT everyday and I sure hope that my magic ratio is 20:1 (Thym-Adren).  Workout was 3 miles at Gold's and finished in 24:46 (8:15 pace).  Decent improvement.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=3.0

2/13- The old better with or without test.  Ran 1 Mile with Thym-Adren at moderate effort and clocked a 7:44.  Popped some ADHS such that the Zn/Cu ratio was about 17:1 and I slipped to over 9 on the next mile with an immediate reaction.  Tomorrow, I will see if a 23:1 ratio does the same thing.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=2.0

2/14- 2nd and last better with or without test.  1 Mile on a 20:1 ratio and my time improved to 6:56 as the flu virus continues to exit my system.  Popped half a zinc pill and within minutes, I was awful.  Did not even attempt the 2nd mile.  There you have it.  It's 20:1, neither more nor less.  I've got to do something about this.  What will work next month?

PM- I believe that the zinc/copper sensitivity stems from poor methylation so on little more than a hunch, I picked up some dimethyl glycine at the health food store.  It was no miracle cure but it was certainly a positive reaction.  1 Mile on Wisteria and my time is down to 6:47 on hills with the same 23:1 ratio that failed just a few hours earlier.  20:1 is still the "key" but it may not be disastrous if I deviate a bit.  YES!  Time to get back to real training now.

Run #3- Hit the track for another Mile and my time was down to 6:24 with even splits (94-98-98-94).
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=3.0

2/15- Took Thym-Adren plus DMG and hoped to hit 8 miles today.  Had to settle for 4 in 31:21 (7:50 pace).  Popped some SAM-e (stronger methylator) and got overstimulated so I cut the cool down out.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=4.0

Weekly summary:
This is my worst start on record.
Distance= 14.0/ GPA= 7.0/6= 1.17
YTD: 202 miles.  Record: 1-4 with a 2.37 GPA

Monday, February 9, 2015

Detox and Prognosis

I know exactly what I need to take to get in balance and have known for 2+ years.  It is Thym-Adren + a 1/1 ratio of Calcium/Magnesium.  The problem is that there have been a number of factors that have prevented me from tolerating the key pills.  My two biggest hurdles have been a congested liver and zinc/copper imbalance.  Both of these have been treated.

I often wonder how I was able to do so well in 2011 and 2012.  Yes, I was able to bring down my tissue sodium but if you had tested my ceruloplasmin, I bet it would have been in the 15-range (ideal is 25+) and my Mag RBC was likely under 4 (ideal is 6+).  In any event, the formula that I had been taking at that time was unsustainable because it contained too much Cal relative to Mag and thus there was no chance to get the adrenal ratio in line.  My best Na/Mg ratio on the HTMA was 30/2, which is still very high and I developed severe sugar sensitivity due to the Mag deficiency.Thym-Adren favors zinc over copper so without taking some Liver Beef, my high Zn/Cu ratio will continue to get worse.  Despite only taking the Liver Beef off and on, my ceruloplasmin came up from 17.9 to 23.0 in just 3 months.  If I can simply maintain it there, I can kiss the copper deficiency goodbye.

  My last Na/Mg test was 111/5 and if I can get that down to 30/5, I'm golden.  I figure that because I've been consistent with the Thym-Adren for the last 3 weeks, my tissue sodium is probably about 90 now and should get down to 30 within 2 months.  I have little doubt that I can maintain the Mag at or near normal.

Over the past week, my system has slowly been rejected the necessary pills.  What is supposed to be helpful  caused severe muscle stiffness, malaise and depression.  The truth is that my liver was too congested as far back as November of last year.  There is no reason why I should have had such a nasty reaction to the Liver Beef because my ceruloplasmin was still sub-optimal at 23.0 and yes, I took plenty of zinc to balance the copper.  Last week, I developed an intolerance to taurine and the last straw came when I had some trouble to Mag+ Thym-Adren.

Detox protocol:
Day 1: 2 servings of epsom salt water
- nasty mix of grapefruit juice and a half cup of extra virgin olive oil.
Day 2:
- 2 more servings of epsom salt water
-lots of trips to the toilet.

Commonly, you will find a lot of pea sized green and tiny tan "stones."  Are these actual gallstones or just a reaction with the olive oil?  I don't know and don't really care.  All I care about is being able to take the pills I need to get in balance.  Yesterday, I got better with an increased Thym-Adren dose and better with the Cal/Mag, which will keep my tissue Na trending down.  I took the taurine before bed without a negative reaction.  I woke up the next morning and tried the Liver Beef.  Again, no negative reaction!  I still have hope.  I will repeat that if this does not turn around by the Spring, I will declare myself semi-retired.  The daily updates will stop.  Mileage will be cut and the out of town races will stop after I hit 25 half marathon states.  I will limit myself to local races with game time decisions based on how I feel.  That would be a very sad day for me but one that I know I must face eventually.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Training 2/2-2/8

2/2- AM 3 miles in 23:54 (7:58 pace).  Progress.  Took practically every ounce of energy to rally for the sub-8 overall.  1st full day off the liver.  Back on whole food C but remain off extra zinc.

PM- Same 3 miler but my time is down to 22:48 (7:36 pace).  Even pace and same effort as this morning but I was 66 seconds faster than I was only 10 hours ago.  So what?  That still sucks.  2 years ago, I had a 7 week winning streak snapped and I haven't won more than 3 straight since.  It will take a lot more than this to get my hopes up.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=6.0

2/3- Another step forward.  Lakeshore 5 in 37:40 (7:32 pace).  Standard issue.  Effort was slightly less than yesterday and I did beat the pace over 2 additional miles.  I still don't feel anything like the old me and my shin splints have flared up again.  I think I'm going back to zinc.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

2/4- Forced rest day.  Shin splints are worse.  I am in BIG trouble now.

2/5- Still unable to run.  Probably it's the pills again.  I'd rather be injured and have decent energy.  I believe taurine is the culprit.  That's right.  The same stuff was a life saver back in September.  If I am correct, I should begin to feel improvement by afternoon tomorrow.

2/6- I got some improvement but it wasn't as much as I expected.  4 miles in 31:52 (7:58 pace) with a last mile over 9.  Still in big trouble.  No real issues with my shin but whole body was extremely tight and my weight is up to 165.  I'm using this week as my one freebie.

2/7- Bad to worse.  Cannot run at all.  Zero energy. The more pills I take, the worse I feel. Only a detox can save me now.  If that fails, it's over.
If this does work, I'm detoxing every 3 months.  Perhaps if I had done so in November, I may not have had so many problems since.

2/8- AM- The detox appears to have been successful.  Lots of green and tan stones.  Whether or not I will be able to tolerate the needed pills still remains to be seen.

PM- 1 mile junk run.  Got progressively better after taking more pills.  Dropped 12 pounds in 2 days after the detox.

Distance= 16.0/ YTD: 188

Monday, January 26, 2015

Training 1/26-2/1

1/26- AM.  Just wanted to see how I felt after the quality 13 yesterday.  Unfortunately, I felt too good and cruised 2 miles in 13:40 (6:50 pace).

PM- Soreness is beginning to kick in a bit.  Easy 6 in 44-flat (7:20 pace).  Slipped a bit in the 2nd half (21:48-22:12) but that was by design after a too fast first 2 miles.  Good job.  A bit sore in the foot and shins despite taking plenty of Mag.  Added a cool down tribute.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=8.5

1/27- Another 6 miler at Gold's in 43:54 (7:19 pace).  This one was more comfortable than yesterday.  I set the cruise control to 7:20 and just let the engine run.  Each mile was between 7:16-7:21.  STRONG!  Still a little sore in shins but not concerned yet.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=6.0

1/28- AM- Lakeshore 5 plus a warm and cool.  It seems that the group's pace is never right for me.  It's either above 8 or below 7.  Today, it was below 7 and I wisely let them go.  GPS did not cut on until 1.5 miles in and did the last 3.5 @ 7:24 pace and I figure that the overall average was around 7:30.  Not a bad run but I was clearly feeling the ill-effects of over-reaching.  Again, I repeat to my readers: How do I know the difference between over-reaching and chemical issues?  It's a very "different tiredness"  When I over-reach, I feel dazed and dreamy.  When there's chemical issues, I am lethargic and depressed.

PM- No running until tomorrow evening.  I hope to be sufficiently recovered for a moderate interval session.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.5

1/29- 400s at Pelham with a 2 minute jog recovery.  Did 8 reps in sets of 4 then allowed myself a full recovery then ran #9 all out.  1st 4 were all 81s, 2nd 4 were all 80s.  #9 was a solid 74.0.  Decent performance.  I'll be lenient on my first interval workout of the season.  I expect to be better next time.  If I had run 4 consecutive laps, I predict a time in the mid-high 5:30s so I've got a ways to go to get where I want to be.  Legs did not have much spring and power but I was not fully fresh.  In good position to win.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=4.0

1/30- Planned rest day.  Bad reaction to the liver last night.  I hope it will clear by tomorrow.  I will try one more time next week then I'm done with it until further notice.

1/31- Liver pill has NOT cleared.  That does it.  I'm done with that stuff until further notice.  Managed 5 miles and my time was so slow that I didn't even want to know.  Got dropped by the group in Mile 2 and held it together for another Mile then died.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=5.0

2/1- Meltdown #3 on the year.  1 Mile on Lakeshore in 9:37.  Tried ADHS and needless to say, it was a failure.

PM- 2 miles at Gold's in 17:30 (8:45 pace).  Not much better but it is a step in the right direction.
Grade:F/2 credits/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
Until further notice, I done with the liver pill.  I still don't know why I am so intolerant to it.  A detox may help but it's too risky with race season just 3 weeks away so I will hold off. A Cp value in the 23s is not too bad. I think I will go back to whole food C in an effort to reduce the zinc/copper sensitivity.  I'll have to take it in the evening because it can give me GI distress on the run.  I've go to focus on getting my tissue Na down.  It's probably about 100 now and if I am consistent with the Thym-Adren, it will be near 70 by the end of the month.
Distance= 32.0/ GPA= 18.6/8= 2.29
YTD: 170 miles.  Record: 1-3 with a 2.65 GPA.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Training 1/19-1/25

Preview:
After the flip in symptoms, I expect to take a bit of a step back this week.  I want to test the Liver Beef and hope to get a quick NO and not have to worry about it more than once per week.  I am undecided on another detox.   The weather should improve soon so I hope to start interval work this week.  I may or may not do a time trial.

1/19- MLK Daylight run.  I still don't know why anyone would want to run in the cold and dark when they don't have to.  Did the standard 9 mile Trak Shak loop + S. Lakeshore extension for 10 miles in 74:54 (7:29 pace).  Solid but unspectacular.  Slight fade in Mile 8-9 but did rally at the end to secure the sub-7:30 overall.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=10.0

Update: Took a liver pill and got an immediate negative reaction.  That's good news I suppose.  If I have to take a day off tomorrow, so be it.  Also, I am dropping the Vitamin C from the formula because I don't feel it is helping.  If I have trouble with zinc hereafter, that changes things.

1/20- AM- The liver hasn't cleared yet so it was meltdown #2 on the year.  Quit after 1 Mile in 8:55.  The only good news is that I was better with zinc (4:36-4:19) plus a cool.

PM- Beginning to feel better.  Lakeshore 2.5 in 20:45 (8:18 pace).  I should be back to the new normal by tomorrow evening.  Liver + Thym-Adren is a NO!  With ADHS, it might be better.  If that doesn't work, I'm done with it until further notice.  My ceruloplasmin is not bad.  Tissue sodium is.  I'll count this as my rest day but no more freebies this week.
Grade:None/distance= 4.0

1/21- AM.  Lame 3 miler at Gold's in 23:27 (7:49 pace).  An incremental improvement over yesterday but the recovery is slow.  May or may not run this evening.  I've decided to do a mini-detox this weekend and if I still cannot tolerate the liver, I'm done with it indefinitely.

PM- Did not run.  I have learned that zinc and Whole Food C must be eliminated.  That's right.  The same stuff that made me feel better yesterday no longer works. My system is working completely differently now.  It's back to the Cal/Mag + Thym-Adren.  If I hit another roadblock, it's over.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/22- System apparently has yet to clear.  Slightly worse than yesterday.  3 miles in 23:56 (7:59 pace) with a pretty nasty fade at the end.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/23- Marginally better.  3 miles in 22:41 (7:34 pace) with even splits.  Feeling the full effects of moderate-severe thyroid and adrenal over-activity.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.5

1/24- Lakeshore 5 in 36:15 (7:15 pace).  Slipped a bit on the back half (17:58-18:17) but this is a significant change from yesterday.  I've decided to wait on the detox until Spring.  The number one priority is the tissue sodium not the copper.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.4

1/25- Mercedes half course trial run in a solid 1:35:44 (7:18 pace) with pretty even splits.  Yes, I was pushing it but not racing all out.  I may have found someone who matches my pace too.  I ran the last 8 miles with a guy named Ian, who could be a new running buddy.  If I was racing this course all out, I think my time would have been in the low 1:34s so this was encouraging.  Still taking mega Thym-Adren and improving rapidly.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=13.1

Weekly summary:
Strong finish to the week was not enough to overcome early stumbles.  I hope to get back to the winning track next week.
Distance= 42.0/ GPA= 22.0/8= 2.75
YTD: 140 miles.  Record: 1-2 with a 2.77 GPA

Saturday, January 17, 2015

HTMA test results

Raw numbers:
Calcium: 35 (good)
Magnesium: 5 (good)
Sodium: 111 (off the scale high)
Potassium: 21 (high)
Zinc: 14 (low)
Copper: 0.9 (very low)
Phosphorus: 14 (good)

Key ratios:
Blood sugar (Cal/Mag)= 35/5= 7.0
 Ideal is 6.67 so this is near perfect and when you consider rounding issues with Mag, you really can't do much better.  Even when I was running my best in 2012, this ratio was always very high with the Mag usually at 2.  Big improvements and I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, which is a 1:1 Cal/Mag ratio and if I am to favor one, it's the Mag.

Thyroid (Ca/K)= 35/21= 1.67
Ideal here is 4 so I am significantly below ideal.  In a hair test, a low ratio indicates an overactive thyroid.  Mine is in the moderate range and a nice improvement over the last test (0.86) but still well short of where it needs to be.  I'd like to see it at least 2.75 for symptoms to be minimal.

Adrenal (Na/Mg)= 111/5= 22.20
This has been the biggest thorn in my side.  I just can't seem to get this one down.  Ideal is 4 or 5 depending on the lab so that indicates that my adrenals are at least 4 times faster than ideal.  Very displeased with that one but it was better than the 29.8 that I had last time.

Vitality: (Na/K)= 111/21= 5.28
The ideal here is 2.5 but even a 4 is considered to be good and it's MUCH better to be on the high side than the low side.  With a number in this range, I will have tendency toward mild inflammation but that beats the hell out of adrenal exhaustion, which is what happens if it gets too low.  This ratio is essentially unchanged from last time and I'm not too worried about it.

Zinc/Copper= 14/0.9= 15.58
This one is the most baffling of all.  The liver pill contains lots of copper and little-no zinc and the blood test results show nice improvements in ceruloplasmin (bioavailable copper) yet the hair test shows that copper has tanked.  What the ----?

Calcium/Phosphorus- 35/14= 2.50
This ratio indicates sympathetic/parasympathetic dominance.  My ratio is a perfect 2.50.  100% just right.  Neither sympathetic nor parasympathetic.  I've leaned heavily towards sympathetic in the past so this is also a positive trend.

Toxic Metals:
Cadmium and aluminum were high on my last test.  Both have dropped significantly.  I'm actually a little concerned that they are too low because that may suggest poor elimination.

Overall impression:
The good news is that 4 out of 6 ratios improved significantly over last time with 1 unchanged while only the zinc/copper got worse.  2 ratios are either perfect or near perfect.

The bad news is that I am still a moderate-extreme fast oxidizer and I don't know why I had slow oxidation symptoms.  Perhaps there was another ingredient in the Liver Beef that I just can't tolerate that was causing those symptoms.  Vitamin A is a possible culprit.

The lesson that I have re-learned is that I need to be taking an adrenal suppressant regularly to have any chance of getting in balance.  When I was on the Liver Beef, I could not tolerate it, which likely caused my Na to shoot up.  I could not tolerate the adrenal suppressant either because of problems with copper and ceruloplasmin.  Catch-22.

It is true that copper often reads low in fast oxidizers but mine was so low that it is worrisome and the very low toxic metals suggest poor elimination.  I may need to do another detox but I don't know what impact that will have.  I may force copper and/or cadmium out of my liver and into my tissues, causing more fatigue.  I do know what to do about excess copper now so the elimination won't be as long or difficult this time around.  Is there any chance that a detox will allow me to tolerate the Liver Beef?  Another thought that I've had is that it really doesn't make sense for me to be a poor eliminator because the increased ceruloplasmin SHOULD be transporting copper out of my liver more effectively.

At the end of the day, this tells me that the Endodren is NOT the answer long-term and will lead to a collapse if I had kept taking it.  I'm back to the Thym-Adren now but still don't know why I could not tolerate it when on the Liver Beef.  In any event, next week, I'm going to go back to the Liver Beef for a few days just to see if it happens again.  If it does, I'll be okay taking it once a week, which will not produce significant symptoms and will keep my ceruloplasmin near the healthy range.  I AM NOT HAPPY!

EDIT:
  I have lowered the tissue sodium and potassium before.  In fact, it was all the down to 30/10 in early 2013 but I crashed because of my VERY low Magnesium and ceruloplasmin.  I see no reason why I cannot maintain those levels.  If I can get the Na back to 30, I'll have an adrenal ratio of 30/5= 6.00, which is in the healthy range.  Do I have a path to good health now or will I hit another roadblock?  I can't take another roadblock.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sabermetrics and Overrated players

Here comes another baseball post continuing the theme of the Hall of Fame vote.  Here are the 5 most overrated players who career ended after 1985.  While almost all of these players deserving of enshrinement, they are often considered to be among the best of all time which is not the case.  Here's the list in no particular order:

Ozzie Smith- Arguably the best defensive player of all time at any position and was threat to steal on the basepaths but was a .260 hitter with very little power and finished with a career OPS+ of 87.  Smith was a first ballot Hall of Famer with over 90% of the vote.  By comparison, Barry Larkin had a 116 OPS+ and it took 3 ballots for him to get in.  Larkin was also a plus defender who could steal bases.  Yes, I would have voted for Smith but if he could not hit .250, my vote changes.

Pete Rose- The hit king needed nearly 14,000 ABs to break the record and finished with a career slash line of .303/.375/.409 for an OPS of .784 (118 OPS+).  Those are good numbers but over a shorter career, they would not scream Hall of Fame.  By comparison, Mark Grace had a slash line of .303/.383/.442 and was 1 and done because he only had 8,000 ABs.   Rose hit a total of 2 home runs over his last 4 years while hitting about .260 and was NOT a great fielder either.  Although there is no evidence that he fixed games, he certainly could have saved key players for games in which he had bet money. His numbers are good enough but I would NOT vote him into the HOF if he was eligible.

Cal Ripken Jr.-  I may take some heat for this one but here it is.  No doubt Ripken is a 1st ballot HOF and probably the best at his position in his era but a notch below the best of all time.  Compiled over 3,000 hits and 400 HRs but it took him over 11,000 ABs.  Finished with a slash line of .276/.340/.447 for a 112 OPS+, which is only 2 point above Alan Trammell, who won't make the HOF and 4 points below Larkin.

Nolan Ryan- It pains me to say it because he was one of my favorites growing up.  Granted, he played for some mediocre teams but his winning percentage was only .526, which projects to an ordinary 85-77 over 162 games.  His biggest weakness was his walk rate of 4.7/9.  He was also a poor fielder who allowed a lot of steals.  Tommy John didn't make the HOF and Blyleven barely did largely because of their high loss totals but that didn't hurt Ryan in the eyes of voters.  Yes, he is a 1st ballot HOFer but among his contemporaries, Tom Seaver was better and so was Steve Carlton.

Bruce Sutter- This is one that I do not think belongs in the HOF.  Finished his 12 year career with 300 saves, a 2.84 ERA but a strong 1.14 WHIP.  By comparison, Jeff Reardon finished with 367 saves, a 1.19 WHIP and a 3.16 ERA and was 1 and done.  I'd like to see a WHIP below 1.10 with an ERA around 2.50 to get in as a closer because they pitch so few innings.

Traditionally, players were evaluated on batting average, home runs and RBIs but this has shifted to On-base percentage, slugging and WAR (wins above replacement).  I agree and disagree with the new evaluations.
On-base vs batting average:
While there is a place for both on every team, I personally value batting average a bit more.  A walk is as good as a hit only if the bases are empty.  A single can drive in runners on 2nd and 3rd while a walk will load the bases and give the pitcher another chance to get out of the jam.

Slugging vs Home runs and RBI:
This is a case in which I do agree with the new methods.  Doubles power is very under-valued because it can clear the bases and put you in position to score on a single.  Given the choice between a 30 HR player who only hits 20 2B or a 20 HR player with 40 2B, I would prefer the latter if everything else is equal.

I am not a fan of WAR evaluations because I feel it's too subjective.  In particular, what defines a "replacement" level player?  It's usually about the 28th best at each position.  When voting for the HOF, it kills clean players from the steroid era.

In terms of pitchers, I still value won/loss record and ERA above K-rate and FIP.
In my opinion, strikeouts are overvalued and a weak pop fly is just as effective because it will not advance any runners.  A pitcher who induces a lot of ground balls will get more double plays.  FIP (fielding independent pitching) only takes into account walks, home runs, strike outs and hit batters figuring that pitchers cannot control the outcome of balls in play.  I disagree.  I value pitchers who  pitch to contact and induces a lot of weakly hit balls in play.  Hitters who faced Greg Maddux reported that they had calm and comfortable at-bats but at the end of the day, they didn't have any hits.

As for the Hall of Fame, I will always vote for a player with 3,000 hits legitimately but if you can't hit .250, I vote NO even if you have over 500 HRs.  If you're a little short of the milestones, I may vote YES if a player has an outstanding slash line.  For pitchers, I say 275 wins is the new 300.  If you are short,  you need a high winning percentage and low ERA.

Back to running and health posts from now on.