Thursday, April 28, 2016

Generation X or Y?

Most demographers can agree on the starting and ending birth dates for the Silent Generation (1928-1945) and the Baby Boomers (1946-1964).  In both cases, there was a defining historical event, which was the end of World War 2 in the former category and the Civil Rights Act in the latter.  When it comes to the division between Generation X and the Millennials, it is not as clear cut.  I’ve seen the end of Generation X defined as early as 1977 and as late as 1984.  I was born in ’80 so that puts me right in the middle of that range but I identify much more strongly with Generation X.  Though we were not particularly close growing up and did not have mutual friends, I do have an older sister (born in ’76) and hung around mostly with a slightly older crowd in high school.  I am more likely to find common ground with someone born in 1975 rather than 1985.
  
I would personally set Generation X at 1965-82 and Millennials at 1983-2000 with the new generation currently being born, which is likely to be called the iGeneration, starting in 2001.  That way, it’s consistent at 18 years each.  IMO, '80-'81 are clearly X because we graduated HS in 1999.  '82 could go either way but if you graduated in 2001, I'd label you a Millennial.  Some demographers end the Millennial generation sometime in the mid ’90s so it’s a 15 year group instead of 18 for both X and Y.  Other people my age who have younger siblings or hung around with a younger crowd may identify more as Millennial and I will not dispute whatever you claim to be.

Now let’s take a look at different life experiences-
Older Gen.X- born late ‘60s-early ‘70s:
-Little-no memory of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Only the oldest remember the end of the Nixon administration and Watergate.  Those born after 1970 probably don’t remember much of Ford.
-Grew up during economic stagflation in the late ‘70s-early ‘80s but came of age during the more prosperous Reagan years and thus tend to be more politically conservative.
-Grew up without personal computers, CD players, VCRs and video game consoles though that technology did become available when they were in high school

Later Gen.X- Carter babies (Me)
-Remember the end of the Reagan administration, the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War with a fair amount of clarity.  Clearly remember Bush-41 and the first Gulf War.
-Grew up mostly during the Clinton administration and came of age at a time of peace and prosperity.  As a whole, my age group is not as conservative as older X’ers but not as liberal as Millennials.
-Grew up with VCRs, Walkmans, portable CD players and video game consoles but usually old enough to remember life without them.  Some had access to personal computers at a young age but no internet until high school.
As a whole, there were different experiences but enough common ground to be considered the same generation.

As a 2nd year MBA student at Clemson, freshmen students were born in 1985-86 (definitely Millennial) and I was beginning to find it difficult to relate not just because of the age difference (24 vs. 18 is big) but I also felt that the young undergrads were clearly different than I was at that age.  

Let’s consider life experiences of someone born in 1985 vs 1980 and see how much generation gap exists.
-No memory of the Reagan administration and only faint memories of Bush-41.
-I was a college junior 3 days shy of 21 on 9/11 whereas they were 16 and high school sophomores who came of age during the War on Terror and the Bush-43 administration.
- Got the internet near the end of elementary school and downloaded songs from Napster in high school.  Overall much more at ease with technology than I am.  No memory of life without video game consoles and probably too young for 8-bit Nintendo.
- In terms of Pop culture, they largely missed out on Seinfeld, Seattle grunge bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.  Instead, they turned 13 at the height of nu metal and bands such as Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and POD.  I appreciated both genres but prefer the former group.  Cassettes were being phased out and mp3s were coming along.
I’m sure that a person born in the mid ‘90s will be different from an older Millennial but again, there should be enough common ground to be considered the same generation.

I’ve recently gotten hooked on Youtube videos in which today’s teens and tweens react to technology from my generation.  I found it quite amusing that they had no idea what a Walkman is or how to use a VCR.  I also saw them playing some of my old favorite video games.  My reaction is that this age group is clearly different from Millennials that I know and I had a little trouble picking up their slang terms but I liked how they interacted with one another.  I hope to be a mentor or stepfather to someone in the iGeneration someday.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Training 4/25-5/1

4/25- AM- HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!  Trak Shak workout.  I was hoping for 9ish but had to settle for 3.  I was sluggish from the get go but hoped to hold a respectable pace.  Crashed after about 1.7 miles and finished the distance in 25:02 (8:21 pace).  Mile 3 was 9:10 and I was spent.

PM- Extra Probiotics seemed to help but this workout confirmed that the culprit was indeed MethylMate.  Gold's workout in which I got off to a 3:48 start (7:36 pace) then popped half a Methyl Mate pill and slipped to 5-flat for the back half for an overall time of 8:48 for 1 Mile.  Took some Glutamine and ATP afterwards and felt some benefit.  Without Methyl, I cannot tolerate a speck of either pill.
Distance=4.0
Reaction:
I clearly have a methylation block.  The Methyl Mate WILL DEFINITELY knock out the sensitivity and allow me to take whatever I need without fear of a reaction but I cannot tolerate it because of the sulfate toxicity.  Extra molybdenum is apparently not enough.  The only way forward right now is to take micro doses of Methyl Mate and hope it's enough to knock out the sensitivity without aggravating the sulfate toxicity.

4/26- Another one of those days.  Began with a 9:26 Mile without Methyl Mate.  Painfully obvious that this pill is necessary.  Took about a quarter of a pill and felt better immediately.  Came through 2/3 of a mile in 4:12 (6:18 pace) but fading so I took a few more specks and got much worse.  The next 1/3 of a mile took me 2:37 (7:51 pace) for an overall time of 6:49.
Distance=2.0
Reaction:
If I am evolving toward a complete intolerance to Methyl Mate, I'm afraid I'm doomed.  Perhaps my tolerance went down because I took too much yesterday.

4/27- It was clear before I ran that I needed Methyl Mate but it didn't help much and too much made things worse.  It's looking bleak.  I'm giving it until the end of the week and if it's still not working, I will have to accept the extreme sensitivity to Lithium and B-12.  Workout was 2 miles at Gold's in a time of 17:20 (8:40 pace).
PM- Better.  Improved to 15:56 (7:58 pace).  MINUS 42.  I don't know if my tolerance is improving or some of it has cleared.  As a last ditch effort, I am cutting out ALL sugared drinks, not just caffeinated.  I feel there is a chance, albeit slim, that the sugars are interfering with methylation.  If this doesn't work, I'll have to manage the sensitivity as best as I can, which is not very well.
Distance=4.0

4/28- 2nd day off sugar.  No improvement at all in my tolerance to Methyl Mate and I fear that I am headed towards complete intolerance.  Strangely, I CAN tolerate extra methyl folate and on a whim, I tried Betaine and seemed to benefit from it.  Betaine is very similar to TMG, which I could not tolerate.  I'm not getting excited.  I'll post more about the differences between the two products later.  Another thing that must be cut out of my diet is protein bars, which are bad for CBS issues and may be contributing to the sulfates.  My workout was done at Lakeshore.  As planned, I only ran 2 miles but my pace was surprisingly good.  Time was 14:54 (7:27 pace) MINUS 31. Splits were 7:23-7:31.
Distance=2.0
Reaction:
Tomorrow will be interesting.  I will take ATP and glutamine to the point of intolerance, which should not be very much.  Then, I will take Betaine and hope it knocks out the sensitivity.  If it's ineffective, I'll add more folate.  I need to take a decent amount of B-12 to tolerate Methyl folate.

4/29- Day 3.  Immediate negative reaction to glutamine and ATP but Betaine Hcl DID KNOCK IT OUT!  I got off to a good start but over-stimulation kicked in early. Still, the pace never slipped below the 7:15 range.  Finished 2 miles in a time of 14:12 (7:06 pace) with splits of 7:03-7:09.  MINUS 21 and I'll take that any day.  I will reduce to dose as it seems that I only need 1 pill.  Tried just a trace of Methyl Mate and I tightened up almost immediately so I have evolved to complete intolerance.  I fear the same thing could happen with the Betaine.
Reaction:
My diagnosis is a methylation block in between the conversion of SAH to SAM so that means no product with SAM-e can be tolerated.  As long as this block exists, I will struggle with sensitivity to supplements.  Yasko does NOT recommend Betaine Hcl (different from TMG) but right now it's my only choice.  As for the sulfates, perhaps those test strips are not accurate.  If I can tolerate methyl folate and Phospho-Serine, I'm going with it.
Distance=2.0

4/30- AM-FAILURE!  Felt somewhat off warming up but did not expect it to be THIS bad.  2 miles in 17:48 (8:54 pace).  Splits were 8:00-9:48.  Guess what?  The culprit was Betaine, The same stuff that was the miracle yesterday.  My only remaining option is to load on methyl folate and try the stuff again at a later date.

PM- Go figure.  I was better on the methyl folate.  After just 1 pill, I ran the same 2 mile distance this time at Gold's in a time of 15:28 (7:44 pace) MINUS 70.  Popped another and improved to 14:16 (7:08 pace) MINUS 36.  Overall time was 29:44 (7:26 pace) for 4 miles.  I will load on Methyl folate and be judicious with the Lithium, ADHS and B-12.  Maybe next week, I can try again to take micro doses of Methyl Mate.
Distance=6.0

5/1- Another one of those "go figure" type of days.
AM- Without the Methyl Mate or the Betaine, the EXTREME SENSITIVITY CAME BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!  Took 5 mg Lithium, 1.5 mg B-12 and 3 ADHS pills.  Came through 2 miles fading in 16:22 (7:50-8:32) so I took an extra 1 mg. B-12 and slipped to 10:00 pace for the next half mile.  Popped 3 more ADHS (contains an unspecified amount of Lithium) and improved to around 8:45 pace for the next 1.5 miles.  Finished with an overall time of 34:33 (8:38 pace).  Tolerated methyl folate and phospho-serine but NEITHER helped the sensitivity.  The best option is probably 5 mg. Lithium, 1 mg B-12 and the full 6 pills of ADHS.  That holds true for today only.  By next week, it is likely to shift again.

PM- Tried about 1/8 of a MethylMate pill and much to my relief, I IMPROVED.  Ran the same 4 mile distance in a respectable 31:03 (7:46 pace). MINUS 52 BECAUSE I TOOK 1/8 OF A PILL!!!  Faded in Mile 2 but kept the pace under 8 all the way.  Still, I felt well off and am unsure if I would have been better or worse with a bit more Methyl Mate.  I'll find that out tomorrow.
Distance=8.0

-28 miles on the week.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Methylation

Last weekend I felt CONSIDERABLY WORSE after just a small amount of B-12 yet the sulfates are still off the scale according to the test strips.  In a surprising twist, Lithium actually made things better.  Just a week ago, I could not tolerate even a speck of Lithium so something very screwy is going on here.  Lithium is required to transport B-12 so it is my hope that I can get by with a low dose of both of them in a balanced ratio.  That plan failed before but that was back in February and as my readers know, things can change suddenly.  I did a lot of experimentation since and here is what I found after just a trace of the following pills:

BAD:
B-12 or Lithium alone-I thought I was evolving towards a complete intolerance to B-12 and indeed I cannot take any alone but with Lithium, it’s a different story.  I still don’t know the ideal ratio but it must be 3-4 parts Lithium to 1 part B-12.  Very little deviation can be tolerated.  I am equally intolerant to Lithium alone and likely shooting at a moving target.

TMG-Remain completely intolerant though evidence exists that will change when off B-12 and/or take more methyl folate.  I would still prefer not to mess with it.

Calcium- Completely intolerant.  Cannot even take a speck of it.

Magnesium- Reaction is less severe than Cal but still decidedly negative.  Going off this stuff permanently will spell trouble for sure.

Glutathione- A small amount is tolerated but not the whole pill because it is sulfur containing.  The good news is that I was better after taking molybdenum immediately afterwards.
 
GOOD:
Molybdenum- I ran into trouble with too much of this stuff before but I believe it was a detox reaction.  This may be my best hope to reduce the sulfates so I will increase it slowly.  I’ve also heard CoQ10 may be helpful in this regard also.

Methyl folate- Able to take it as a stand-alone supplement, which is good news but it only works if I am taking sufficient B-12.

Phospho-Serine- Took 1 of those pills and did not get worse and may have felt a slight benefit.  That’s also good news because it is a key player in the methylation cycle and is sulfur containing.

ADHS (adrenal modulator)- Appears to be well-tolerated now and  it appears that I can handle the recommended dose.

Reaction:
The extreme sensitivity to Lithium and B-12 is INTOLERABLE!  Methylation is my only hope to fix it.
I am going to give the Methyl Mate a shot even though my sulfate test strips show severe excess.  I’ll start with just a few specks.  What’s the worst that can happen?  Bad days are the norm now and have been for quite some time.  If it does work, it may be the path to freedom.

Result:
SO FAR SO GOOD!  Not only is the Methyl Mate pill well-tolerated, it has INCREASED my tolerance for other stuff.  I took extra B-12 without Lithium when I got home and barely noticed.  Cal/Mag is also tolerated once again.  I could not tolerate a speck of ATP before but now it seems that I can.  I still had a negative reaction to Thym-Adren but it was less severe than in the past.  

I've said it many times but it bears repeating.  If I never even come close to my old PRs, I'm fine with that.  I would be THRILLED just to be able to get out there and be a part of the local running community and not collapse 2-3 miles into a long run on a regular basis.  I'm far from being in the clear but with improved methylation, the mineral balance SHOULD go much more smoothly.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Training 4/18-4/24

4/18 AM-Ran 1 Mile without any pills just to see what I could do.  Finished in 8:35 but actually had a slight negative split.  Popped 2 B-12 pills and got MUCH WORSE IMMEDIATELY!  It took me 5:25 (10:50 pace) just to run the next half mile.  Popped 2 Lithium pills, which I could not tolerate a speck of just 1 week ago and IMPROVED to 3:55 (7:50 pace).  WHAT THE  ______!

PM- Took 3 ADHS after the morning session and felt better as the day progressed.  Did 1 mile on Lakeshore and improved to 6:48 then popped 2 Endodren (stimulant) pills then hit the trail again.  Started off pretty well with a 7:25 split while feeling relaxed but the over-stimulated kicked in soon.  Struggled in the last 2 miles and called it after 3 in 23:42 (7:54 pace) with nasty diarrhea at the end.
Distance=6.0
Reaction:
The B-12 needs to cut or eliminated temporarily.  I'm not sure if the Lithium needs to be added back and I'll find out tomorrow.  For adrenal balance, I need ADHS not Endodren or Thym-Adren.

4/19- AM.  Run without pills.  Half mile in 5:01 then popped 1 Lithium pill and got worse.  Slipped to 5:43 on the 2nd half for an overall time of 10:44 for 1 Mile!  ADHS was a winner.  Improved to 7:52 for a full mile after taking 3 of those suckers.  That's MINUS 2:52/mile with no additional effort.  Yep, it's all in my head.  Nothing wrong with me physically.  Seriously, I'll bet doctors today would still insist on that even if I told them exactly what happened today.  I will probably take the afternoon session off today.
Distance=2.0
Reaction: The big takeaway from this is that Lithium and B-12 must be taken TOGETHER, probably in a balanced ratio.  I'm better off with neither than one or the other.  Took just a trace of Cal/Mag and my tolerance does seem to be improving but I'll ease back slowly.  As for the methyl folate, it will only be tolerated with B-12.  Otherwise, it must be strictly limited but not eliminated because of the MTHFR defect.  I'm considering increasing the molybdenum to deal with the sulfates to the highest tolerated dose.  I have little hope that the Methylmate will work at this time.

4/20- AM- I said both or neither regarding the Lithium and B-12.  I went with neither today even though I know it's not the answer.  I did take the full ADHS dose and struggled to a 7:59 mile in which I really faded on the back half.  It's got to be both but at what ratio?  Early signs seem to say that I need to favor B-12 slightly over Lithium. Also, the molybdenum will be increased from 100-150 mcgs and I'll eventually shoot for 500.  That could be my last hope to eliminate the sulfates. I'll be back out this evening.

PM- Took Lithium just before work and not surprisingly, I was awful within minutes.  Popped 1 B-12 and it was better but not all the way back so I took a 2nd pill and got worse again.  This means that once again, I need an EXACT RATIO (2 parts Lithium/3 parts B-12).  
Stopped by the Trak Shak and needless to say it did not go well and that's all I've got to say.
Distance=3.0
Reaction:
I MUST try the methylation support.  Even if it adds to the sulfur burden, it cannot be worse than this.  Perhaps upping the molybdenum will negate the additional sulfur.  Took just a trace after I got home and felt A LOT BETTER!  YES!  Hope is still alive.

4/21-AM Cut the ADHS from 6 pills to 3 and the Lithium/B-12 to 1/1.5 units.  This is faint praise but it was my best session of the week.  3 miles at Gold's in 21:54 (7:18 pace) running all out.  Splits were 7:06-7:18-7:30 so I was still clearly off.  Unsure if I will run this evening.

PM- 4 miles through Mountain Brook and Homewood (Brownell-Trak Shak loop) in a time of 30:36 (7:39 pace).  Looks decent on the surface but it was rather ugly.  Got off to a great start but over-stimulation kicked in hard in Mile 2.  Splits were 14:40-15:56 and the 2nd half was mostly downhill too.  Best news is that the Methyl Mate appears to be tolerated so far and stuff that caused a severe reaction in the past doesn't hurt as much now.  That is excellent news.
Distance=7.0

4/22- Planned rest day.  I need a mental break more than anything else.  I REALLY need to finish in tomorrow's long run.  Time is running out to get in shape for a race.

4/23- SUCCESSFUL BTC LONG RUN!!!  13.1 miles in 1:47:50 (8:14 pace).  Not overly concerned with the pace today.  The principle goal was to finish but I paced it well.  1st half- 53:30, 2nd half: 54:20.  I had very little left in the tank at the end but the pace never did slip much below 8:30.  Route was very hilly early but relatively flat for the last 5 miles.  I had very little zip in my legs however and would have struggled in a tempo.
Distance=13.1
Reaction:
I was bold today and took a full Methyl Mate pill whereas I only took half the previous 2 days.  Either I need to stay at a half or I need to reduce the Lithium and B-12.  If I had to guess, it's the latter.  Mitoforce appears to be tolerated, which is good news.  I have upped the molybdenum to 200 mcg in divided doses and will shoot for 300 next week.

4/24- BTC Recovery Run but I didn't use it as a recovery day.  I really wanted a sub-8 today and got it.  Did 4.9 miles in 38:45 (7:55 pace) despite being slowed by stomach cramps at the end.  Of course, I was a bit sore from yesterday but overall, I did have more energy thanks to the reduction in Lithium and B-12.  For the time being, I am going to lay off the Mitoforce and go with CoQ10 alone.  Very encouraged that I was able to have a decent workout after being almost completely spent yesterday.  Next year, I want to do some weekend doubles so I'll need back to back days of 13+ to be ready for that challenge.
Distance=4.9

-36 miles on the week.







Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Race Organization Criteria

I recently received an e-mail requesting my input on what is most important for organizing a quality race event.  I said sure.  As a veteran runner who has completed half/full marathons in 25 states, 10Ks in 10 states and 5Ks in 5 states, I’m certainly qualified to evaluate the overall quality of a race so here goes:

Type of course:
It can be a loop, point to point or out and back.   My preference is a loop or point to point course but it’s a fairly minor consideration for me.  If it is point to point, I expect the shuttle service to be included in the entry fee or have easy access to public transportation such as MARTA in Atlanta.  I do not like having to pay an extra $15-20 for a shuttle ticket.   In terms of scenery, I like to see a variety of downtown city streets, parks or river and lakeside scenery.  Residential areas seem fairly nondescript unless it is a neighborhood with million dollar homes. 

Pricing:
This can vary depending on the organizers.  Locally run races tend to be a bit cheaper than nationally recognized series such as Rock n’ Roll events.  In Economics, we learn that the availability of substitutes will increase the elasticity of demand.  I am not going to pay $50 for a local 5K when I can run a similar event the next weekend for half price.  However, when it comes to big races, I am willing to pay a little more for better schwag and more goodies.  Also, if the race donates its proceeds to a noble cause such as medical research or missionary work, I don’t mind a higher entry fee.

Entertainment:
A band or DJ at various points on the course is a nice touch but only a minor consideration because I will only hear the music for a couple minutes at a time.  A nice after party with music along with food and beer tickets will be more memorable.  If possible, there should be an indoor area nearby in case of inclement weather.

Schwag/Goodies:
Nowadays, a shirt made of technical fibers is expected instead of cotton especially in a large marathon or half.  A special finisher’s hat or shirt is a nice touch.  Finisher’s medals are expected only at distances 13.1 miles or longer.  I’ve received a couple from 10Ks but really don’t value them as highly.  A good medal will be nice and thick with a design that represents something special to a particular city such as a guitar in Nashville, or a peach in Atlanta.  I’d like to see different medals for different finishing times such as a gold for a sub-3, silver for sub-4 and bronze to all others.  If it is a fairly large event, I will also expect age-group awards such as a plaque or trophy for the top 3 in each division.

Expectations for Organization:
I want plenty of port-a-johns at the start as well as a few on the course.  I’ve never had an unfortunate accident during a race but I did have a couple close calls. 

I expect the race distance and mile markers to be accurate.  I know that a GPS is not 100% but mile markers should be within 1-2% of 1.00 even if there are some turns.  If I see a couple miles measured at 1.05 followed by 2 more at 0.96, it’s a good bet that it’s inaccurate, which can throw off your pacing.

I want aid stations well stocked with water and either Gatorade or Powerade, which are the sports drinks most commonly used in training.   You should never try anything new on race day and a drink with a formula that is unfamiliar is asking for trouble.

We need volunteers at turns and clear course markings especially when the pack is sparse.  If the course is open to traffic, it must be well marshaled by police or other volunteers.

Planning a race is hard work and a very time consuming process so be sure to thank the RD and the volunteers especially if it’s a well done event. If you're thinking of planning an event of your own, Eventbrite is a platform which allows you to create, plan and host an event!

Favorite races:
Naturally, my favorites are the ones in which I achieved a personal record.  My top 3 are Mercedes Birmingham, 3M Austin and Memphis St. Jude.  I also liked Baton Rouge, 13.1 Los Angeles and Montgomery, AL.  Blue Nose in Halifax, Nova Scotia was a very well done race that I did appreciate in spite of a poor performance.  Race reports of each can be viewed on the side bar. 

Bad experiences:
Only a few fit this category and were unrelated to my performance.
1.       Nashville Country Music- I was doing okay through Mile 10 then had to try an unfamiliar sports drink called CytoMax.  My body shut down due to an ingredient that I could not tolerate.  I had to walk/jog the last 5K and barely finished.  Entry fee was steep and I was charged extra for a shuttle but I did get a nice medal and post-race concert out of it.

2.       Run For Life (Madison, MS)- I placed in my age group but there were no awards.  The RD advertised it as a flat course when it contained a brutal hill in Mile 12.  It didn’t help that I injured my knee here as well.

3.       Spinx Runfest (Greenville, SC)- I hate to include my former home on this list but the complete lack of Gatorade is a major flaw.  Fortunately, it was not terribly warm but it made those last 2 miles much harder.  I require electrolyte replacement at distances longer than 10 miles.

4. CoeurD’Alene- Beautiful area but the flaw was inaccurate mile markers and by the RD’s own admission, a long course.  The last mile was 2 tenths too long.  I ended up with a mid-1:33 instead of a low 1:32 so I wasn’t too upset.  If I was denied a sub-90 or a Boston Qualifier, it would have angered me a lot.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Training 4/11-4/17

4/11- AM.  As expected.  Cutting the Cal from 500 to 250 helped but I still felt WAY off.  2 miles at Gold's in 16:45 (8:23 pace) with splits of 8:20-8:25.  Ran essentially the same speed all the way.  I was never tired but no matter how hard I tried, I could not pick up the pace.  If I run this evening, I expect to be slightly better.

PM- As expected again.  Modest improvement.  Gold's 3 mile on a rainy evening.  Finished in 23:55 (7:58 pace) with splits of 7:53-8:03-7:59.  Just like this morning, I ran as fast as I could but this was all I had in me.  I only took 2 mg. of B-12 this morning and a 3rd pill made it slightly worse.  I also reacted badly to 100 mg of Cal.  I'm sticking with 2 mg. B-12 and I am going off the Cal indefinitely.
Distance=5.0

4/12- Lakeshore 5 in 38:55 (7:47 pace) on a beautiful clear 70 degree evening.  Not a radical difference from yesterday but another small step forward.  Slightly more power and energy today.  Every mile was sub-8 but I did fade somewhat (19:17-19:38).  Took no Cal today so it should fully clear tomorrow and barring any further complications, I ought to be sub-21 for 3 miles tomorrow.
Distance=5.0

4/13- Another "interesting" day.
AM- Calcium has definitely cleared but I knew within 200 meters that something was WAY off.  Popped an ADHS pill and it didn't hurt but I didn't feel much improvement. Finished 1 Mile in 7:52 then popped 2 more B-12 and though it wasn't enough, it was clearly a step in the right direction.  Improved to 7:22 before heading for work.

PM-I don't know how many B-12 pills I took but it was a LOT.  Tried to run a tempo and got off to a good start but faded early.  Passed 1 Mile in 6:40 but had slipped to a 7:00 pace.  I couldn't tell if my dose was too low or too high so I popped 2 more pills.  Bad call there.  I just slow jogged another 2 miles but felt fairly comfortable.
Distance=5.0

4/14- Took 10 mg today and it was too much.  Did better than expected in the workout however.  3 miles in 23:49 (7:56 pace).  Pretty much a carbon copy of Monday's evening session.  Got locked into a pace just south of 8 and held it running all out.
Distance=3.0
Reaction:
After the Cal cleared, my need for B-12 skyrocketed but it was only a temporary reaction.  I'm trending down again and predict that I will settle back to 2 mg. soon.  An aggressive cut is on tap tomorrow.  I'm going down to 6 mg, maybe even all the way to 4.

4/15- Cut the dose down to 4 mg and it was still too much.  Nevertheless, I did improve to 22:22 today for 3 miles (7:27 pace).  Down to 2 tomorrow.  Will it be enough to solve the B-12 deficiency and eliminate the sulfates?
Distance=3.0

4/16- Cut the dose to 2 and it was too much.  FAILED again, which leaves me 1 for 10 in BTC long runs.  2 miles in 18:20 (9:10 pace) with splits of 7:55-10:25.  Added a mile cool.
Distance=3.0

4/17- FAILED.  2 miles in 19-flat (9:30 pace) plus another as a cool.  Back to the drawing board now.  I have no idea what to do now.
Distance=3.0

-27 miles on the week

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Current status

This post is purely for me to get my thoughts down and try to get it straight.  I expect nobody will be able to understand this stuff unless you are a methylation specialist.  Here it is:

B-12- Need and tolerance for it continues to diminish.  I'm due for another hair test in about 6 weeks and my Cobalt HAD BETTER BE UP TO SNUFF.  The early mega doses followed by cuts is to be expected.  Most patients diagnosed with a B-12 deficiency are typically given shots in large doses at first then advised to take oral supplements for maintenance.

Sudden Calcium intolerance- This was a SHOCKER to me that I never saw coming.  Maybe I should have given that my Potassium was on the low side on my last hair test.  Cal does lower Potassium and so does B-12.  I tried to quit it altogether on Friday but learned the hard way that it must be stepped down gradually.  I expect to be off it by the middle of next week.

Magnesium- This stuff is still well-tolerated, which is good news.  Before embarking on the methylation journey, I needed an exact 1:1 ratio of Cal/Mag and literally could not tolerate ANY deviation.  It appears that phase is behind me.

Sulfates- I tested myself again with Yasko's test strips this morning and found to my horror that the reading remains off the charts (over 1600) even after significant dilution with water.  It could be over 5000.  This is in spite of taking massive B-12 and a reasonable amount of molybdenum, which is exactly what I should be doing to lower the sulfates.  I have considered the possibility that the toxins are finally be released all at once and it won't be long until the readings drop quickly.  Any thoughts?
All my CBS SNPS are heterozygous and strangely, my taurine and ammonia are NOT elevated.

Methyl folate- I'm torn on this one.  I know that I need at least 100 mcg because of the double whammy of the MTHFR mutation and GNMT upregulation.  More is required if I take mega B-12.  Now that my B-12 dose has been reduced, can I get by with less folate?  Lynch says that glutathione may be needed to prevent methyl folate side effects. I cannot tolerate glutathione or any of its precursors.  Will that change if I take more folate?  I don't know.  What I do know is both methyl folate and glutathione generate more sulfur and I must beware of it.  For this reason, at least for the time being, it will be as much as necessary but as little as I can get by with and still function.

Possible new supps:
I'm sick of all this trial and error and for the time being, I will stick with the tried and true formula minus the Cal.  At some future date, the following with be re-considered:

ADHS- May be necessary to support Potassium and keep the adrenals in line.  I want to do another hair test with ARL to see where I stand.  I can't rely on Yasko's lab because the sample is washed.  I took 1 of those pills yesterday and did not seem to get any worse.  I used to require mega doses of adrenal supps but if my sulfates are under control, cortisol and adrenals normalize and I can get by on small doses for maintenance.

Methyl Mate- Contains ingredients that I could not tolerate in the past but now it may be different if the sulfates are coming out.  The key ingredient is phospho-serine, which has in the past worked for a few days then turned disastrous.  I am more likely to tolerate it as part of a supplement formula than as a stand alone.

Mito-force- Pretty much the same as above but I know that CoQ10 can be taken as a stand alone.  NADH cannot.

Glutamine- Another glutathione precursor.  Probably can't be tolerated unless I up my methyl folate and even then, it's questionable.

TMG- In the past, this stuff almost completely knocked out sensitivity to certain minerals but the ill-effects proved to be worse than the sensitivity.  The full name is Tri-methyl glycine, which is a NO.  Nothing glycine can be tolerated because of the GNMT issue, which could be neutralized by folate and the methyl may produce sulfates.  Dr. Wilson highly recommends this product but Yasko prefers Phospho-Serine and DHA for short cut methylation support.  Long route is composed of DMG or B-12 and I'm sticking with B-12.

Racing:
Kansas City remains "questionable" 5 weeks out.  Things could turn around by then but I'm not going if I can't run 13.1 miles safely.

Alaska is a GO but I may have to downgrade to the 5K.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Training 4/4-4/10/ Discovery

MAJOR DISCOVERY:
I have long suspected that the source of my problems was the acne drug Accutane that I took as a teenager.  I have read from a reliable source that the drug can permanent damage, specifically the enzyme glycine n methyltransferase (GNMT).  It is an up-regulation that creates a "methylation block."  It can remain locked into an up-regulation long after the drug is discontinued.  That makes a lot of sense given what's been going on.  I've known for more than a year that methylation problems are the cause of my sensitivity to minerals.  I once found that a single dose of TMG almost completely knocked out sensitivity to zinc and copper but because it contains sulfur, the ill-effects from taking it are worse than the sensitivity.

The solution is methyl folate (I need MORE not less of it), which has the effect of slowing down the enzyme over-activity.  Can I tolerate it given that it too is a methyl donor and can increase sulfates?  Time will tell.  I will cautiously up the molybdenum to counteract that. Word is that excess B-12 can deplete folate, which also makes sense.  I could get away with an occasional missed dose of methyl folate in the past but not so now that I am taking lots of B-12.  Also, my intolerance to anything containing glycine has worsened recently, which is probably due to the depleted folate.  That makes sense.

Bottom line:
If I did not have the MTHFR genetic defect, which inhibits conversion of folic acid to active methyl folate, I may have gotten through the Accutane treatment with little more than dry skin.  What would have happened if I never took Accutane but still have the genetic defects?  I believe it would have only delayed the inevitable crash.  I've said it a thousand times but it bears repeating.  The reason some people are depressed could very well have NOTHING to do with their attitude.  The cause of chemical imbalances is usually a combination of genetics, exposure to toxins or other environmental factors beyond your control.  It is NO reason to feel ashamed.  I encourage you to speak openly about it and do not allow yourself to be stigmatized.

4/4- AM.  Cut out B-2 permanently but it has yet to clear.  Took 2 mg. B-12 and got worse.  Another 1 mg after the 1st mile made it "worser."  Finished 2 miles in 19:47 (9:54 pace) with splits of 9:11-10:36.  I expect to be better by the evening.

PM- Another 2 miles at Veteran's Park.  3 loops around the lake in a time of 17:20 (8:40 pace).  Pretty much as expected (MINUS 74/mile).  Splits were 5:30-5:50-6:00.  The B-2 should clear by tomorrow and I will boost the methyl folate from 200 mcg to 300.
Distance=4.0

4/5- AM.  No session this morning.  I seemed to tolerate the methyl folate without a problem but I had a reaction to the Texas Superfood, which is a pure food fruit and veggie supp.  Apparently, it contains ingredients that I cannot tolerate.  I'll probably struggle again this afternoon as a result of it.  That does it.  NO MORE NEW SUPPS!  I'm sticking with the tried and true stuff (B-12, moly, probiotics, Jigsaw).  The Jigsaw contains methyl folate.  Only the dosage will be tweaked

PM- Improvised loop through Mountain Brook and Homewood.  It came out to be an even 4 miles in a time of 30:34 (7:38 pace) on a moderately hilly route.  Not half bad out there today. Held the pace fairly well too.  1st half: 15:09, 2nd half: 15:25. The B-2 has definitely cleared and I needed a lot of B-12 today (took 9 mg).  I needed at LEAST 7 mg.  I should be better tomorrow when the Texas Superfood clears.  No more excuses.  I'm sticking with the same basic formula.

Reaction:
It's possible that the B-2 wasn't the problem but rather it was the TX Superfood that caused the mild sore muscles.  If I am to take the B-2, only 2 mg. of B-12 can be taken.  For the time being, I'm going with the mega B-12.  It is possible that my need for it will diminish in time.  Molybdenum and methyl folate will be held at 150 mcg and 300 mcgs respectively this week then I'll try to up it to 200/400.
Distance=4.0

4/6- AM.  3 mile tempo in 21:27 (7:09 pace).  Definitely an improvement over yesterday but I was hoping for a little better.  I would have been hard pressed to go much under 22 for 5K in a race setting.  Pacing was decent (7:03-7:10-7:14) but the energy was still lacking.  It feels like I took too much B-12 this morning (7 mg).  I am either trending down and/or still need divided doses.  I'll find out more this evening.

PM- Took only 1 mg. this afternoon and got slightly worse.  The dosage is most definitely trending down and I will go down to 6 mg. tomorrow.  The B-2 will remain off the table.  Despite being heavy and sore, I had no problem with a standard issue workout.  Trak Shak 5 in 38:11 (7:38 pace).  Nearly identical to yesterday with an extra mile tacked on.  Even pace and never really pushed or struggled.
Distance=8.0

4/7- Planned rest day and cut the B-12 to 6 mg, which was probably the right call.  Woke up with EXTREME soreness like I had run a marathon the day before.  No way I should be this sore even after a double yesterday.  I had a bad reaction to Calcium that caused it.  I am virtually certain this means my potassium is too low and my last hair test showed it trending in that direction.  Simply cutting out or reducing the Cal should be enough. I can't take zinc or potassium as a stand alone.
 The development does raise 2 important questions:
1)Will I be able to take extra Mag without Cal?  Without any methylation support, the answer is no (I used to require an exact 1:1 ratio) but I think I can tolerate the unbalanced ratio now.  If the answer is NO, I could be in trouble without Mag and would have to take a stand alone methyl folate supp, which is less likely to be tolerated.
2) Will my need/tolerance for B-12 go back up?  That's possible.  Both Cal and B-12 can lower K and if the Cal is cut, more B-12 may be tolerated.  If so, the need for methyl folate will remain strong.  

4/8- Answer to both questions is NO.  The Cal needed to be reduced but not eliminated, which was not a big surprise.  Even without Cal, the B-12 dose still appeared to be trending down.  I went with 6 mg. today and it still seemed to be a bit too high.
Workout was an out and back 4 mile route on Jemison trail in a time of 31:37 (7:54 pace).  Felt nice and loose early but the over-stimulation brought on my the lack of Cal hit hard midway through Mile 2.  First half was a solid 15:02 but struggled mightily for a 16:35 on the back half.  Got home and popped a Cal pill and quickly began feeling better.  I've got a shot at finishing tomorrow's long run.
Distance=4.0

4/9- FAILED AGAIN.  I am now 1 for 9 on BTC long runs in 2016.  Felt decent through 2 miles then suddenly crashed.  Finished with 3 miles in 26:40 (8:53 pace) plus a warm and cool.  Cut the B-12 to 4 mg. and it was still too much.  Going down to 2 tomorrow.
Distance=4.0

4/10- I was right about the Cal after all but cutting it out all at once was too aggressive.  500mg. was still too much.  It's down to 250 tonight and if that's that's still too much, I'll try 100 before quitting it altogether.  I could not run at all without B-12 and 2 mg had little effect one way or the other.  Did 1 mile at Spain Park in a time over 10 minutes.

PM- Another 1 Mile on Wisteria this time.  Improved to 8:41 with the down in 4:15 and the up in 4:26.  We shall see what happens when I only take 250 mg. of Cal tonight but I expect to struggle tomorrow as well.
Distance=2.0

Weekly total: 26 miles.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

OT: MLB

The Major League Baseball season will start next week and it ought to be an interesting year.  Overall, I feel the game is headed in the right direction.  I was pleased to see tougher penalties for steroid users and I support the rule changes against collisions on the base paths.  As far as competitive balance, the compensation draft picks and revenue sharing are a good place to start. 

The one thing that I would change is the playoff format.  Pittsburgh got screwed last year.  Their record would have been good enough to win every other division but instead of an automatic ticket to the NLDS, they had a face a pitcher in the midst of one of the most dominating stretches in history.  Not surprisingly, they were 1 and done in the wild card game.

My proposal is to add 2 expansion teams and go back to 2 divisions of 8 teams each per league.  The 2 division winners get a strong home field advantage (2-1-2 format) and the next 2 best teams get in automatically.  This way, a good 3rdplace team in a tough division can still get in.  I dislike the play in game for 2 reasons.  First, it’s possible for an 85 win team to ride their ace to victory over a 95 win team in a 1 and done scenario.   Second, the 95 win team could be fighting for a division title on the last day of the season and have to use their ace to take a shot at it while a team 5 games back but locked into the wild card can rest key players.  If there must be a play in game, the top wild card gets a bye while the 4th and 5th seeds duke it out.  I would prefer a best of 3 with a doubleheader to a 1 and done.

Given the current economic agreements, it is indeed possible for a small market team to become a contender and remain one for several years.  If a team is able to draft well and acquire high ceiling prospects in trades, a team can rebound from a 100 loss season within 2-3 years.  One strategy to maintain a winning team is to give several promising 2nd or 3rd year players a long-term guarantee that will keep them with the team roughly through their age 31 season.  It’s a risk for both parties.  The player will usually end up with less money than they would have under arbitration or free agency while the team runs the risk of a bad contract with an under-performing player.  Still, it’s usually a better option than the alternatives of allowing a top talent to walk after age 28 or overpaying for aging free agents. 

Offering mega deals (7-8 years for $200M) to aging superstars is usually NOT a good idea.  If a player was among the top 5 in the game during his prime, he is likely to maintain above-average production but is unlikely to justify the contract especially once he is pushing 40 years old.  This is especially true now in the post-steroid era.  Many teams end up trying to trade such players and having to eat part of their salary.  I personally would not sign a player to a long-term contract that extends him beyond 36 or 37.  A couple of 1 or 2 year deals for veteran players with a high average annual salary could work out well.  A lot of players are willing to take such a deal especially if they are coming off a down year knowing that a rebound will boost their market value the next time around. 

Player turnover:
IMHO, there’s a bit too much of that nowadays.  If you were to look at the opening day roster of your favorite team from 2014, chances are only about 10 of the 25 are still with the team  No, there’s no way the reserve clause will be re-instituted but I’d like to see some incentives for teams to keep players that came up through their own minor league system.  How about a system in which home grown players do not count towards the luxury tax and allow a greater amount of revenue sharing to the team.
 
Contracts:
In the NFL, teams can give long-term high dollar contracts to veterans knowing that a large portion of the salary is NOT guaranteed.  Many of those players will be cut before the contract is up or re-negotiated to stay with the team.  In baseball, contracts are fully guaranteed.  IMO, there should be some reform there.  Let’s say a team signs a 33 year-old to a 5 year deal and he falls off a cliff almost immediately.  Should that team be stuck with the bad contract?  It can be a deterrent to overpaying free agents but a player who provides little-no value does not deserve to be paid like a star.  My compromise is a 50% guarantee.  If a $20M player is released, the team is only on the hook for $10M and if another team signs him, the original team pays half the difference in the contract. 
I’d also like to see more incentive based contracts such as this scenario:
-Small bonus for 150 IP and a sub-4 ERA
-Larger bonus for 180 IP and sub-3.50 ERA
-Mega bonus for 200 IP and sub-3.00 ERA.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Training 3/28-4/3

3/28  AM- 2 miles in 17:06 (8:33 pace) with splits of 7:48-9:18.  I cannot cut out methyl folate completely because I am homo on MTHFR 677 but I need to limit it because it can produce sulfates.  NOOO!  Good news is that I did feel better immediately after a low dose and I'll be back in action this evening.

PM- The improvement was short lived.  B-12 helped but not a lot.  I read/discerned the need for Riboflavin (B-2), which is often necessary when taking mega doses of B-12.  When the evening rolled around, I was at Lakeshore for a 6 miler.  Struggled through the first mile at an 8:34 clip but popped a B-2 pill and improved.  It was far from miraculous but it allowed me to go on for another 5 miles in 39:51 (7:58 pace) with a last mile in a solid 7:35.  Overall time was 48:25 for 6 miles (8:04 pace).  Not thrilled but I'll take it.  2 questions that will be answered this week:
-Will I be better off taking B-2 separately or take a B-complex?  I do know that if it's the latter, it must be UN-methylated.
-Will the B-2/B-complex impact my need/tolerance for B-12?  The dose could go up or down.
Distance=8.0

3/29- FAILURE but not an entirely unexpected one.  I knew within the first 100 yards that I could not go today but stuck it out for 1 Mile in 9:24.  In what is not a surprise given what I have read, my need/tolerance for B-12 has diminished since starting the B-2.  It was rough in the morning without any and I seemed to feel about my best around 6 mg but at 9 mg, it was awful.  Got home and took an extra B-2 with NO further ill-effects but just another speck of B-12 made me feel much worse.  I'm reducing it to 6 mg. tomorrow.
Distance=1.0
As for the B-complex, I'm sticking with the B-2 alone.  Folic acid could present a problem and so could Niacin.

3/30- Cut the B-12 from 9 mg down to 6mg. as planned and still felt awful.  It turns out that I do indeed require the full dose of methyl folate.  I am unsure if I can get the sulfates down now but the way I felt until I took it at lunch was INTOLERABLE.  Once again, I was better immediately after taking it and was good enough for a standard issue workout.  Trak Shak 5 mile loop in 39-flat (7:48 pace).  Only mile 4 was over 8:00 and I held the pace pretty well despite feeling heavy and sluggish.  Not thrilled about this workout either but considering how awful I was at lunch, I'll take it.  Something needs to be reduced (not eliminated).  It's either B-2 or B-12.
Distance=5.0

3/31- AM-The plot has thickened again.  I took the full B-2 pill and tried to run without the B-12 and turned in a 7:42 mile.  Popped only 3 mg of B-12 and knew within 200 meters that something was badly wrong.  Managed only a 9:22 in Mile 2 and shut it down.  Once again, extra B-2 had no ill-effects but an extra B-12 made it much worse.  Could not do very much at work today.
Distance=2.0
Reaction:
There is no doubt that B-2 has caused a diminished need/tolerance to B-12.  The results are not pretty without B-2.  If I cut the B-12 entirely even on the full dose of B-2, I am nearly certain that my system will demand at least a small dose within 2 days.  Nevertheless, I feel I should reduce the B-2 to half a pill and try to maintain 2 mg of B-12.  On that low dose, I should tolerate low dose ADHS as well.  I have no idea how I will feel tomorrow.

4/1- Woke up feeling pretty rough so I only took half a B-2 and had no further ill-effects.  This time, I took just 1 mg of B-12 and WHAM, I was much more lethargic and depressed immediately.

PM- Forced myself to run 1 mile at Veteran's Park after work and it wasn't as bad as expected.  Managed only an 8:39 but I was able to maintain an even pace.  About 2 hours later, I began feeling VERY over-stimulated.  That's right, I flipped from one side of the spectrum to the other within 2 hours!  SCREWY!  Anyway, I took 1 ADHS and actually improved.  Then, I tried another 1 mg B-12 and expected to flip back almost immediately.  This time, I DID tolerate it.  I have NO idea what will happen tomorrow.
Distance=1.0

4/2- Took a full B-2 pill and hit Gold's for Mile repeats and a better with or without test.
B-2 only- 7:55 nearly all out from the start but an even pace.
B-2 plus 2 mg B-12- Improved to 6:57 but that doesn't tell the whole story.  I was at 3:20 at the half mile mark then slipped to 3:37 on the back half and felt worse as the pills fully kicked in.
Added 2 ADHS- Finished in 6:57 again but this time held the pace well.  (3:27/3:30)
Distance=3.0
Reaction:
B-2 supposedly "potentiates" B-12 (make it more effective), which does make sense given what's happening.  2 mg. of B-12 now has the same effect as 10 mg. without it and if I take more than that, OUCH!  If I reduce the B-2 from 100 mg down to 50, more B-12 will be needed/tolerated. As for the ADHS (adrenal modulator), I know that I can't take it with mega B-12 but with low-moderate dose, it is well-tolerated.  How much B-12 will trigger a negative reaction to it?  I'll find out soon.

Update:
I've learned also that B-12 depletes folate.  Now that I am taking less B-12, I may yet be able to reduce the methyl folate.  If I can do that, the odds of detoxing the sulfates will improve.  I'll give it another try starting next week.

4/3- Another failure.  Even on low dose B-12, ADHS is a NO!  Went to Veteran's Park with a plan to run as many loops (2/3 mile) around the lake as I could.  Started off at a full dose of B-2 plus only 1 mg of B-12 and struggled to a 5:33 (roughly 8:20 pace).  Slipped to 5:53 after taking 2 ADHS and then I was 6:54 (over 10:00 pace) on lap 3 and called it quits.  Finished the day with 2 miles in 18:20 (9:10 pace).
Distance=2.0
Reaction:
The B-2 must be reduced for sure if not eliminated altogether.  I want to cautiously up the molybdenum and try again to reduce the methyl folate.  As for the B-12, I'll take as much as I need/can tolerate.

22 miles on the week and it is not looking good
I'm sick of the failed tweaks.  I want to find a formula and stick with it.