Sunday, August 24, 2014

Training 8/24-8/31

This will be an 8 day week.  I am listed as probable for the Franklin Classic 10 K on Labor Day (9/1) so there will be no long run over the weekend.  Therefore, the workout on 8/24 counts.

8/24- First day off zinc.  Gold's 10 in a time of 70:43 (7:04 pace).  Not an all-time great performance but certainly a successful long run.  I did stop at Mile 5 for water and a bathroom stop but I don't think it affected me too much.  Miles 1-9 were all 7:05-7:11 then stormed home with a 6:28 in Mile 10.  I think I'm in shape now for a 1:32:xx half.  I was redlining at the end but did find another gear after 9 miles.  Good job.  When I'm in top shape, I should sustain this pace for 15+
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=10.0
Update: I am going to try again to stay off sugar and caffeine.

8/25- AM- Quickie just to see how my legs would respond after yesterday's effort.  Legs had some nice pop.  2 miles in 13:32 (6:46 pace) plus a half mile cool.

PM- Lakeshore 6.5 in 46:58 (7:14 pace).  Strong overall but I was doing 6:50s for the first 2 miles then slipped to a more sensible 7:30 pace for the final 4. Still, I didn't feel like I was quite in sync and may need a small adjustment.  I was hurting in the last half mile and once again, diarrhea is a concern.  That issue MUST be solved before the weekend.  I think the heat was getting to me at the end as it was 85 degrees and fairly humid.  Clean diet with the exception of half a green tea to taper off caffeine. Probiotics may help the stomach issues.  Cutting the Mag from 750 to 500 may help as well.  Good job overall and again, I had no need for zinc.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=9.0

8/26- Vestavia speed session.  3x400/4x300/4x200 for 2 miles worth of intervals.  I often need 1 or 2 reps to get in the groove.  Not so today.  I was ready to roll from the start.  Splits were 73-75-75 for the 400s, 55-55-55-56 for the 300s and 35-35-35-33 for the 200s.  That adds up to a 9:42 (4:51 pace) for 2 miles worth of intervals.  No diarrhea today.  Only issue was a bit of drowsiness early in the afternoon.  Sugar and caffeine free today.  If you saw me work out today, you would never believe that I was sick.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=3.0
Update: Still off the zinc and still able to tolerate Cal/Mag but my need for ADHS has ticked up from 4 pills to 6.

8/27- AM 2 miles at Gold's in 14:16 (7:08 pace) plus a half mile cool.  Splits were 7:16-7:00 despite making no effort to pick up the pace.

PM- Trak Shak 5.5 loop in 39:03 (7:06 pace).  VERY STRONG and remarkably fresh.  This one felt much more comfortable than Monday's Lakeshore run.  Easy pace dipped into the 6s in Mile 2.  Weather was 90 and dry so while the temps are still high, the humidity is starting to fade and mornings are a bit cooler as well.  It is become clear that magnesium (not sugar) is the cause of my GI issues.  I must either reduce the dose to 500 or take all of it before bed.  Diet was clean again.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=8.0

Monday, August 18, 2014

Training 8/18-8/23

I'm using this week as my freebie for the 2nd half.  I'm probably going to the coast this weekend so there will not be a long run and my low dose zinc won't arrive until mid-week.  I'll train this week but nothing will be graded and nothing will be hard.

8/18- AM- I laid off the ADHS for 24 hours and still cannot take the Cal/Mag.  I've also observed that if I don't take the Cal/Mag, I will need more ADHS.  Forced rest day.  All I can do is a possible afternoon junk run.

8/19- My low dose zinc may not arrive until next week so I picked up a bottle at the health food store and cut it in half.  I initially began feeling better but was awful by the end of the work day.  I brought my Cal/Mag to the gym and decided to do intervals.
-I know this will be hard to believe for most of my readers but I swear that it is the truth.
I was honestly trying my best and could manage only a 9:23 for 1 Mile.
-Popped 1 dose of Cal/Mag and was down to 7:42
-Popped a 2nd dose and was down to 5:58.
The zinc did what it was supposed to do, which was increase the demand for Cal/Mag and possibly increase the ceruloplasmin.  I am far from out of the woods however.
3 miles total.  No grade.

8/20- Another roller coaster day.  Took a trace of zinc and found that my ideal Cal/Mag on that dose (approx. 5 mg) is between 500 and 750.  750 was clearly too much so I took another trace of zinc and nearly hit the target on the nose.  3 miles in 18:41 (6:14 pace).  That's right, EIGHTEEN forty one!  That's equivalent to a sub-19:30 5K and I said that I NEARLY hit the target on the nose.  I still felt a little out of sync.  Once again, I've proven that even with sub-par training, I can threaten a PR if I hit the balance right.

8/21- WEAK.  Took 15 mg of zinc and it was too much.  Extra Cal/Mag didn't help and neither did extra ADHS.  Barely able to do the standard issue workout.  5 miles in 39:46 (7:57 pace) with splits of 19:40-20:06.  Learned that many enzyme reactions are zinc dependent and chromium may improve my zinc tolerance.  I REALLY don't want to go down that road again especially with my history of sensitivity to chromium.  Man, I was so happy to get off that stuff.  Perhaps, that threat is the motivation I need to stay off excess sugar for good.  10 mg of zinc with 4 ADHS will give me the same 20:1 zinc/copper ratio as the Thym-Adren.  I am going to the coast tomorrow morning and will probably return Saturday night.

8/22- No running today.  Got up at dawn and got to the coast by 11 AM.  Waves were tame but it was relaxing out there in the water.  Sea water is loaded with minerals so it probably did me some good to absorb some of that.  More than anything else, I needed to clear my head and I was able to discern that my need for zinc has diminished.  MAYBE I can get by on just ADHS and Cal/Mag from now on.  That would be AWESOME but I'm not getting my hopes up at all.  Went to Flora-Bama for an after dinner drink and got to pray with a woman facing breast cancer treatment.

8/23- Took just a trace of zinc this morning and tightened up immediately.  That does it.  I'm off that stuff for good.  If the Cal/Mag intolerance flares up again, I know what to do but I will be VERY ANGRY if I need zinc again.  Here's hoping for a successful workout tomorrow without it.  Today, it was a 1 Mile junk run on the 'mill before breakfast.  Left the beach in late afternoon and got back to the 'Ham by 9:00 with a stop for dinner.

Distance: 12.0.  No GPA.
YTD: 1,119 miles.  Record remains at 15-17 with a 2.64 GPA

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ceruloplasmin and copper test #2

I did not do the zinc or Mag RBC test this time.  I have a good idea where I am there.  Normal but sub-optimal.  The copper and ceruloplasmin?  I really wanted to know.
Long term goal:
Cp: 25.  Copper: 80-90.  Unbound copper: 90-3(25)= 15.0

Short-term goal:
Cp: 20.  Copper: 80.  Unbound copper: 80-3(20)=20.0

Previous test:
Cp: 17.9.  Copper: 82.  Unbound copper: 82- 3(17.9)= 28.3

Current test:
Cp: 18.3.  Copper: 79.  Unbound copper: 79-3(18.3)=24.1

A modest improvement.  I was hoping for better but was reminded on Facebook to be pleased that my numbers are indeed heading in the right direction.  It has only been 7 weeks since my last test.  To create a parallel, let's say that I was 75 lbs. overweight and lost 7 lbs. in as many weeks.  It's certainly better than a gain but not the number you are looking for.

The ceruloplasmin is up by only 0.4 (2.26%) which is not even a statistically significant.  Same with the copper.  Only a 3 point drop, which is not significant.  What is somewhat encouraging is the amount of unbound copper.  Healthy is 15 or below.  Mine fell from 28.3 to 24.1 (14.8% drop). Of course, I've got quite a ways to go but that percentage of a drop IS significant.  So, in a nutshell, I lost 3 units of copper but the amount of BOUND copper actually rose from 53.7 to 54.9.

I have received very good news and bad news this week.  I am extremely pleased that I can tolerate the modulator (ADHS) and if I deviate a bit from the optimal dose, it doesn't seem to hurt me that much.  My only gripe is some issues with diarrhea but I think there's a good chance that it will either pass or I'll find a solution.  I am equally displeased about the continued EXTREME sensitivity to Cal/Mag.  It is becoming increasing clear that I need EXACTLY 625 mg of each and small deviations will result in significant weakness.  Until the Cp gets above 20, I don't expect to see much improvement there.

One interesting theory:
A low Cp level is often indicative of weak adrenals and I had been taking an adrenal suppressant.  A big question is whether or not the Thym-Adren hindered the Cp production.  It is possible that I will see quicker improvement now that I am on the modulator.  Next test will be in late September.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Endodren and Thym-Adren versus ADHS

I am not a doctor nor I have any formal training in natural medicine.  The purpose of this post is to share my experience on all 3 of these adrenal supplements, nothing more.  Please seek counsel with a professional before making a decision on what to take.

Let me take you back to the end of 2010.  I was coming off a down year in which I finished with a losing record and set only 2 PRs (Mile and Marathon) while suffering 2 injuries.  For about 6 weeks, I took nothing except for Cal/Mag.  After some early successes, I broke down and my medical report revealed that my Na/Mg ratio had shot up to 87/2.  In December of 2010, I added the ADHS and managed to finish the Huntsville Rocket City marathon in 3:43.  Progress continued early in 2011 with PRs in the 10K (40:55) and half marathon (1:32:49).  My medical report showed progress as my Na fell from 87 to 57 but the Mag remained frozen at 2. Other interesting things were happening too.  Copper rose from 0.9 to 2.1, which indicates some elimination and the cadmium toxicity was beginning to show itself. Then in June of 2011, the ADHS stopped working.  By that I mean, my system could no longer tolerate it and it caused my body to tighten up so much that I could not run at all if I took even 1 of those pills.  I switched back to Thym-Adren and shortly thereafter, I took my running to a new level and finally reached sub-1:30 form in the half.

I now know that it was liver toxicity that prevented me from taking the ADHS.  Also, as evidenced by the hair test, it simply wasn't quite strong enough for extreme fast oxidizer.  On Thym-Adren, I've got the Na down as low as 30 vs. 57 on the ADHS.  No doubt, Thym-Adren was the right choice for me in 2011 and 2012 when I was running my best.  I only wish I had added more magnesium.  If I had done so, I believe I would have done 1:26 in Austin and 1:27 in LA.

Thym-Adren Review:
This is a glandular product with the active ingredient being thymus substance, which is designed to suppress adrenal function and is much stronger than ADHS.  It also contains 41 mg. Calcium and 20 parts zinc/1 part copper.  It was very effective for me.  Sodium and potassium fell from extreme highs all the way into the normal range.  The critical Na/K stayed in line too.  Calcium ticked higher as well but that stubborn magnesium would not budge.  Now, I know why.  The 41 mg of Cal was the culprit.  I had been taking Paramin as well (a Cal/Mag in a ratio of 3 parts Cal:2 parts Mag).  When you have to take a mega dose of Thym-Adren+ and its 41 mg of Cal per pill+ Paramin, you are getting nearly 3 parts Cal to 1 part Mag.  That is big trouble!  Nobody should ever exceed 2 parts Cal to 1 part Mag.  In this case, DO take my word for it.

Endodren Review:
This is the opposite of Thym-Adren.  It is an adrenal stimulant intended for slow oxidizers.  Its key ingredient is bovine adrenal substance and contains several synergistic minerals.  It contains just a trace of zinc with no copper and was recently re-formulated to take out the 20 mg of Cal and replaced it with 5 mg of Mag.  That was a good call IMO and is not enough to upset the critical Cal/Mag balance.  Especially if your Na level is 10 or below and your K is 4 or less, this supplement is likely a good choice.  Why did I need it as a fast oxidizer?  I took it purely for symptom relief to combat the extreme fatigue associated with copper and cadmium toxicity.  I now suspect that my extreme high Na on my last hair test (147) was as much due to sodium loss from cadmium toxicity as retention.  I always knew it was only a temporary solution and considered it a minor victory when I was forced off.

ADHS review:
This product is a modulator.  That is, it is suitable for both fast and slow oxidizers and will get you closer to balance regardless of what side of the spectrum you lie. It contains no glandular material and is more herbal based with a few amino acids and minerals.  It contains no calcium or magnesium and has 10 parts zinc/1 part copper.  Based on personal observations, it is likely not as strong as the Thym-Adren or Endodren and thus not the best choice if you are extreme on either side.  If your case is fairly mild and you are just looking for maintenance, it should be an excellent choice.

Where I stand:
  I did my copper and ceruloplasmin test yesterday and could get the results tomorrow but most probably, it will be Monday or Tuesday.  I cannot take either the Thym-Adren or the Endodren but NEED the ADHS right now.  It looks like 4 pills is my sweet spot but it won't be debilitating if I miss 1 dose or take 1 too many.  That's excellent news.  As for the Cal/Mag issues, I still need a 1:1 ratio or very close but it seems like I can take more than the 625 that I had been taking while on the Thym-Adren.  That's good news as well.  I won't be upset if the ceruloplasmin isn't very good this time.  I suspect that the ADHS can help raise it because of the higher copper content.  I'll test again next month after another detox but will hold off on the hair test until late Fall.  The weather will start to cool off soon.  Let's get some fast times now!  That will say that it's working.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Training 8/11-8/17

8/11- AM- Wisteria junk run.  I wasn't expecting much because the Endodren hasn't fully cleared.  Ran the down side in 4:04 then the up side in 4:35 after popping half a Thym-Adren.  The slope is gentle so losing 10 seconds is understandable NOT 31.  A key question has been answered.  I CANNOT TOLERATE EITHER.  It must be Cal/Mag alone.  A final option has come up, which is the modulator, ADHS.  That pill failed me before the detox and failed again when I was eliminating cadmium but it may work now.  I would feel safer on the modulator rather than the Cal/Mag alone.  Ceruloplasmin test #2 will be at the end of the week.  It will be hard to focus at work will all this going on.

PM- Took 3 ADHS today (modulator) and improved tremendously.  5 miles at Gold's in 35:34 (7:07 pace) at moderate effort.  I have no doubt that I could have held this pace for another 5 miles, possibly 8. Felt strong the whole way but felt some abnormal tightness when I tried to sprint at the end.  Of course, I am pleased with this one but it raises almost as many questions as it answers.  I cannot take the stimulant OR the suppressant but I may NEED the modulator.  What does that say about my chemistry?  Of course, it is good that I could tolerate it now when I could not before because of liver/toxicity issues.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0
-will the ADHS work long-term or will I crash if I keep taking it?
-what is the optimal dosage?
-If I deviate from the optimal dose by 1/2 pill, what happens?
Trial and error is all I can do to answer these.  What a life!

8/12- AM- Woke up slightly overstimulated then took an overdose of ADHS (5 pills).  Good news.  I was slightly weakened but the ill-effects were not severe.  Effort was similar to yesterday and I stopped at 2 miles in 14:52 (7:26 pace) with dead even splits.

PM- Canturbury 5 in a solid 36:51 (7:22 pace) on a hilly route.  More good news is that I was only somewhat stronger after 10 hours off the pills.  It was not a radical difference.  Pace never slipped to 7:30 nor got faster than 7:15 despite the terrain.  Only irritation was diarrhea.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=7.0

8/13- Trak Shak 7.5 in 55:18 (7:22 pace).  Solid performance overall but I know how I feel and this wasn't right.  At least through 6 miles, I had no trouble at all with a sub-7:30 pace but could not access the tempo gear then faded on the hill that sucks (7:55 in Mile 7).  It was probably because I forgot to take a 2nd Cal/Mag in the morning.  I only took 2 ADHS before the workout and 1 after.
I was told that I "look fast" again.  Some people can't believe that I am sick because I usually don't look it and have the perfect body type for distance running.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=7.5

8/14- Planned rest day.  I'd like to do a double for BAFA day tomorrow.

8/15- BAFA day.  Morning workout was beyond awful.  Attempted a speed session and had seen enough after a 200 in 44 running all out.  I did another untimed then slow jogged 3 laps to make it 1.5 total.  The culprit was too much CalMag (1000 mg) last night.  Also, I am getting concerned about issues with diarrhea.  I might be better by the evening.

PM- Got about what I expected.  3 miles at Gold's with another diarrhea attack.  Finished in 23:10 (7:43 pace) with fairly even splits.  Very mediocre.  Can still win this week but need an outstanding weekend.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=4.5

8/16- AM- Long run FAIL.  Stopped at 4 miles in 35:52 (8:58 pace).  I am now completely intolerant to Cal/Mag.  That must change or else.

PM- Another 4 miles this time at Gold's.  Not surprisingly, after just 9 hours off the Cal/Mag, I improved by more than 1 minute per mile.  Time was down to 31:44 (7:56 pace). Splits were 15:40/16:04.  I have a new idea: Judicious use of zinc.  I've tried 30-50 mg before and was awful.  How about 5-15 mg instead?  FYI: Thym-Adren has 20 parts zinc to 1 part copper.  ADHS's ratio is only 10:1.  Zinc is a magnesium and copper antagonist so MAYBE, it will allow me to tolerate Cal/Mag again.  Zinc supposedly is good for ceruloplasmin but too much could lower my Mag RBC and throw off the zinc/copper ratio, which was good on both my hair and blood tests. 5-10 extra mg SHOULD NOT hurt me.  Only good news today was no diarrhea on either attempt to run.
Grade:E/2 credits/distance=8.0

8/17- Weak tempo.  3 miles in 20:03 (6:41 pace).  That's equivalent to about a 20:45-20:50 for 5K so I was not horrible but clearly weakened. I did have a nice kick at the end and ran a negative split (10:06-9:57) but I need to be no worse than the low-19s or a sub-20 5K.   I went with ADHS alone today and I bet that's as good as I'll see without the Cal/Mag.  I could quit the ADHS and take the Cal/Mag alone but I'm betting that the results will be no better, maybe worse.
Grade:C+/2 credit/distance=5.0

PM- 2 mile junk run just to pad the weekly mileage.
Weekly summary:
I've gone numb with another loss.  Once again, I am down to my last hope.
Distance= 38.0 GPA: 18.0/8= 2.25
YTD: 1,107 miles.  Record: 15-17 with a 2.64 GPA.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Training 8/4-8/10

8/4- WORSE!  Even after tweaking the Cal/Mag, I was HORRIBLE and SUCKED TOO!
Run #1- 1 Mile in 8:50.
Run #2- After more pills.  Half mile in 5:17 (10:34 pace).
It's not the Cal/Mag.  It's got to be the Thym-Adren.
Grade:F/ distance=1.5

8/5- AM- Wisteria Mile in 8:28.  Satisfied with the improvement.

PM- Gold's 4 in 31:54 (7:58 pace).  Rallied for a 7:42 in Mile 4 to get the sub-8 pace.  Cut the Thym-Adren from 3 pills to 2 and that was the reason for the improvement.  Feeling very uneasy.  I fear that I may need to go back to Endodren at some point.  Also, if 1 pill makes this much difference, my liver is still bad.  Detox will be this weekend.  I did cave on the sugar today.  Get back up tomorrow.  I may do a better with or without test tomorrow with the Thym-Adren.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=5.5

8/6- AM- Better with or without test.  Ran 1/3 of a mile without in 2:47 (8:21 pace) and had seen enough.  Popped 1 Thym-Adren and was down to 2:07 (6:21 pace) then jogged a cool to make it an even 1 Mile.  Good news and bad out of this one.  In the past, I dropped quickly from 3 pills to 0 then to the Endodren.  Now, I am getting off more gradually and may never need Endodren again.  That's the good.  The bad is that if ONE FREAKING PILL made that much difference, I am still VERY unstable and there's not much chance of a good ceruloplasmin result.  I will try again to run without the Thym-Adren and hope for a sub-8 tomorrow for a full mile.

PM- Gold's 5 in 37:17 (7:27 pace).  An improvement over yesterday and looks okay on the surface for a standard issue run but am still not pleased with how I felt.  Going all out, I would not have been much under 36.  Popped HALF a Thym-Adren after the workout and stiffened up a bit more.
Soon, I will be off.  The question is why is it happening?  I've re-ordered molybdenum and ICMN but I actually hope they fail.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

8/7- 1 Mile without Thym-Adren and improved all the way to a 6:41.0 with a slight negative split (3:23-3:18).  Today will be my last day on it.  I hope that I will be sugar free today too.

PM- 1 step forward.  2 steps back.  3 miles in 25:37 (8:32 pace) with splits of 12:30-13:07.  Settled into an upper 8 pace by the end of Mile 1 and was able to hold it.  Yesterday, 1 Thym-Adren resulted in a huge improvement.  Today, it had the opposite effect.  I'm off it tomorrow.  3 options are moly, Endodren and hope against hope that I can get by with Cal/Mag alone.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=4.0

8/8- AM- Spain Park Mile in 5:57.1 (89-90-91-87).  Can't be upset with a 44 second improvement but this was still not good enough.  Even if last week's 5:33 is the best I can do right now (it isn't), I should be no worse than 5:50 even on an "off day" because of the 5% rule.  I slept 9 hours and woke up overstimulated but did calm down a bit after taking Cal/Mag.  That means that as of now, neither the Thym Adren nor the Endodren will work.  There are still questions to be answered.

PM- ICMN is supposedly good for the liver and good for fast oxidizers but it failed me today.  I was smart enough to only take half a pill but was still significantly weakened.  I did the same Mile this time at Oak Mountain and slipped to a 6:53.  Once again, if HALF a pill costs me nearly a minute per mile, I've got big problems with chemical sensitivity.  On the plus side, a high copper protein bar once again was no problem.  That means my copper toxicity is not severe and molybdenum is unlikely to help but I've got to give it a shot.
Grade:C/2 credits/distance=3.0
Detox is tomorrow.  What if any effect will that have on my tolerance to Thym-Adren?
Will the molybdenum allow me to take the Thym-Adren?
I don't need and can't take Endodren now but am I shifting in that direction?
Can I get by on Cal/Mag alone?  That would be a miracle!
I will be doing another ceruloplasmin test next week but am not due for another hair test until October.  These questions should be answered by next week.

8/9- Survived the Gnome run and that was really all I had hoped to do.  Finished 10 miles in 77:33 (7:45 pace) with a moderate fade at the end.  Pace slipped to the 8:10 range in Mile 8-9  but there was no collapse.  It was also done in very humid conditions. Still, on a good day, this would have been a 73-74 and felt fairly easy. Tried molybdenum when I got home and it failed.  Not a surprise.  Detox is a go for today.  Then, I will try it again.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=10.0

8/10- Detox day.  Stop and go 4 miler at Gold's with many stops at the toilet.  Moving time was 30:37 (7:39 pace) with splits of 15:07-15:30.  Not terrible but it did feel like I need some adrenal support so I popped an Endodren and began feeling worse.

PM- Junk run on Wisteria just to hit the quota.  Felt awful.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=5.0

Weekly summary:
Questions appear to have been answered.  I think I know where this is going.  It appears that I cannot take either Thym-Adren or Endodren and  MAYBE BY SOME MIRACLE, I will stabilize on Cal/Mag only.  Loss on the week but not a blowout and managed decent mileage.  It's now or never.  I should know by the end of next week.
Distance=35.0/GPA= 18.1/8= 2.26
YTD: 1,069 miles.  Record: 15-16 with a 2.65 GPA.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Anti-bullying rally

On Saturday 7/26, I attended a rally in Bessemer hosted by Robin Kirby Gatto aimed at stopping all bullying, not just in schools.  Robin is a powerful woman of God who has called me a "mighty warrior."  I had been looking forward to this for several weeks and was not disappointed.  I'm still a little shook up by this event.  It was a 2 part session with deep Biblical teaching followed by a period of worship.  If it becomes an annual event, I will be back next year.

There is really no true profile of a stereotypical bully.  Some are "D" and "F" students who are borderline delinquent but others are honor students.  One of the worst bullies in my school graduated #2 in my high school class.  Robin offered an important reminder that it is NOT the people that are bullies that we should be fighting but rather the demonic spirits of bullying.  I will admit that I gave into hatred of those who bullied me. Aside from church, I really did not know God at the time. Acting out in violence was never considered but I did fantasize about hurting those bullies and I had an enemy list on my computer at home.  In my view, there are 3 spirits in particular that we must pray and speak out against:

#1 Arrogance- Those with this spirit are often good students and/or great athletes.  Let's say that a guy isn't real athletic/physically strong or a girl who is overweight.  He or she may also be less intelligent or may not dress in preppy clothes.  There are plenty of bullies who simply believe that they are better than most everyone else and have the right to put other people down because they are already on a "lower level."  I can observe this spirit in the adult world as well as people feel that it is beneath their dignity to reach out to people in a lower social class.  Racism still exists and it makes me sick that people will judge others by their skin tone rather than what is in their heart.  Also, some people who would never think of using any ethnic slurs will call me a "hick" without a second thought.  We are all made in the image of God and have inherent value regardless of whether you are from Mountain Brook, Gardendale or Ensley.

#2-Insecurity- These are the bandwagon jumpers and are often "average" types who aspire for more "cool" status.  There was one guy in particular who was on my basketball team one year and we got along pretty well.  Then, a few of his friends started picking on me so he not only joined in but became the worst of anyone in the school.  I hated him back then but now realize that the real enemy was the attitude that scoring points with the "cool" crowd by putting others down was a good thing.  If you are willing to stoop that low to buy friendships, you've obviously got some issues.  For the record, when I did make some friends on the track team and made almost all A's in high school, he decided that I was an okay guy after all

#3-Fear- This is the BIG one. These types are usually NOT good students and are often subjected to bullying themselves either in school or at home.  Indeed, several of the kids who bullied me came from broken homes and may have been subject to abuse.  I can see how kids who are constantly walking in fear may feel empowered by putting others down.  Robin said that only 20% bullied children will talk about it.  I was actually surprised that it was that high. My principal was a decent guy who would have at least let me know he was on my side but I never went to him.  Partly, I wanted to be strong enough to handle it myself but much of it was fear that I would be labeled as a result of reporting it and others would join in the bullying.  I do have good parents and did tell them about some of it but they had no idea of the full extent.  Again, fear played a role.  My mother would have worried so much and I sincerely did not want that.  Instead, there were days that I just said I was okay then cried in my room.

A few more thoughts:
Discipline- Some teachers and administrators are control freaks who will rigorously enforce the small stuff.  Many things that go on in school would be punishable with jail time if committed by adults but I once lost my recess for heinous crimes such as forgetting to push in my chair and standing up when I was supposed to be sitting down.

I posted earlier that if I ever have a son/daughter that is a bully, I would take a very hard line.  I stand by that but before I dish out the punishment, I need to know the source of the issue.  Arrogance, insecurity and fear are different spirits and require different approaches of correction.

Churches- Whenever children are together, bullying can happen and that includes Sunday school/CCD.  I was subjected to it and was falsely accused of causing trouble myself.  If that happens, find a new church and tell your pastor why you are leaving.

Overlooked signs for parents: Underachievement in school.  In 7th and 8th grade, I came home with B's and C's when I was capable of A's.  I was lazy but also felt worthless and bought into the lie that I really "wasn't that smart." This can put parents in a difficult position.  Obviously, your child needs to do better but if you speak carelessly or punish too severely, they may feel even more worthless.

Kids are often better about forgiving others than adults.

I stand by earlier comments:
-knowing the Lord will improve your perspective and help you find better friends/mentors.
-good grades and productive activities will diminish the bullying.

-This may not be politically correct but the erosion of the nuclear family is harmful to society and contributes to bullying.

Last point:
I have posted before that if you truly have a calling from God, the enemy will stop at nothing to prevent it from coming into fruition and yes, he'll start on you at a young age. If you have been a victim of bullying, there is a good chance that your calling from God is very high.

Training 7/28-8/3

I am now within 1 win of .500 on the year and have a good feeling heading into this week.  I am listed as "questionable" for the Woodstock 5K on Saturday.  I will do a little tweaking with the formula by adding a touch more Mag while keeping the Cal as it is.  I am sticking with the divided doses but may increase the morning dose by one just to see what it does.

7/28- All the questions have been answered now.  Took 3 Thym-Adren in the morning and felt a bit sluggish but was better by lunch time.  Did 5 @ 7:14 with a very even pace.  Then I popped an extra Mag pill and was weakened.  Managed only a 7:39 over the next mile with the same effort.  Overall time was a still strong 43:50 for 6 miles (7:18 pace).  The formula is 4 Thym-Adren in divided doses with 625 mg of Cal/Mag.  I can only tolerate small deviations from the 1:1 ratio and will be weakened if my Thym-Adren dose is either 3 or 5.  I don't like it but it could be worse and I'm going with it until it stops working.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0

7/29- Split decision today.
AM- Oak Mountain Mile in 5:33.1 Fastest time since 2012.  This time, I got out faster and had to fight hard to hold on (80-85-86-82) so a slight positive split.  I think I am in sub-5:30 shape and may well have done it if I had been fully fresh.  I did take 5 Thym-Adren yesterday but only 2 this morning and may not have been quite 100%.  Still, I have pulled to within 5% of my adult PR (15 sec/318 sec).  I've always said that performances should vary by no more than that amount.  Suppose that you have a best of 20:00 for 5K.  With similar training and under similar weather conditions, you should be no slower than 21:00 even on an "off day" or it raises a flag that something may be wrong.

PM- Took a 3rd pill around lunch time and was poorer immediately.  I was hoping to equalize by the evening but I did not.  Rather than fight through a standard issue workout, I turned it into a junk run.  Pace had slipped to 7:40 by Mile 2 and likely would have been 8+ if I had kept going.
I'll try to come back fresh tomorrow and I'm only taking 1 pill tonight.
Grade:B/2 credit/distance=3.5

Update: I won't be shocked if my Thym-Adren dose drops to 3 before too long.  I'll be uneasy about it going below that and REALLY don't want to have to take molybdenum to tolerate it.

7/30- A cut is certainly needed.  Took 2 in the morning and felt sluggish immediately.  This time however, I did move towards equilibrium as the day progressed.  Trak Shak run in pleasant conditions.  Solid but relaxed steady pace all the way that never slowed to 7:30.  Finished the 7.5 mile loop in 54:38 (7:19 pace).  Good job.  Took another pill after the workout and quickly stiffened up.  I'm going with 3 pills tomorrow in a 1/1/1 division.  I don't think copper is the problem because I had no issue with a high copper protein bar.  I REALLY hope to stay on 3 Thym-Adren.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=7.5

7/31- #1- Sprint workout at Pelham.  Did 6x200 nearly all out with as much recovery as I wanted.  I had hoped to average 32 seconds and managed to do a little better (31.6-31.7-31.0-31.2-33.2-30.5).  An average of 31.5 (4:12 pace). plus a half mile warm and quarter mile cool.  Felt good to fire up those fast twitch fibers.  I think I could run a 63-64 in a 400 now, which isn't bad for no real event specific training but I'm afraid I'm too old for another shot at 59.9.

#2- Only 1 hour later: Gold's 5 in 36:36 (7:19 pace) with splits that ranged from 7:15-7:21.  I had just planned to run a long cool down but was remarkably strong.  Barring disaster, I will be at .500 at the end of the week.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=7.0

8/1- Planned rest day.  I deserve one.

8/2- Run with the Gnomes.  12 miles on a rolling course in a time of 89:47 (7:29 pace).  Solid performance overall.  This was not an "A" only because I faded down the stretch.  Hit 10 miles in 74:09 then faded to 7:44-7:54 over the last 2 miles.  I've clinched a win this week and will again try some extra Mag in the evening.  Now that I'm down to 3 Thym-Adren, 625 will be perfect 1:1 ratio.  Can I tolerate 750 Mag, which is what I should take given my weight.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=12.0

8/3- UGLY!  I most definitely CANNOT tolerate 750 Mag and probably not 750 Cal either.
AM- 2 miles on Lakeshore in 18:26 (9:13 pace) that got slower with every step.

PM- Slightly better.  3 miles at Gold's in 23:29 (7:50 pace) that was fairly steady.  Odds are that I need to cut the Mag rather than increase it.  500 mg is likely enough to stave off deficiency but not nearly enough to reach the optimal level.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=5.0

Weekly summary:
It's a winner overall and I have pulled to an even .500 on the year with 7 wins in the last 9 weeks.  I remain EXTREMELY ANGRY about the instability and sensitivity.  I will try again to cut out sugar and caffeine.  I've done it before so I know it can be done.
Distance= 41.0/ GPA= 28.7/9= 3.19
YTD: 1,034 miles.  Record: 15-15 with a 2.67 GPA
FYI: At this time last year, I did have 1,124 miles but was 12-18 with a 2.60.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Message #76- Spiritual Detox 2

Hebrews 5:13-14- Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

James 5:16- Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective

Matthew 13:8- Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

I’ve done several liver detoxes this year with the hope of solving my problems with chemical sensitivity.  One of the effects has been the removal of toxic metals such excessive copper and cadmium out of my organs and into the tissues before being finally removed altogether.  Overall, 2014 has been better than the previous year but I remain well below my standards of performance.  I am not aware of any major exposure to heavy metals but it is a fact of life that in our environment, you will be exposed to trace amounts of toxins.  A healthy person should easily eliminate them through the skin, liver or kidneys before it becomes problematic.  However, because of my history of adrenal fatigue, I was not in a position to do so and the trace amounts of toxins accumulated in the organs.  When they were finally released, I experienced unpleasant symptoms such as breakouts, nausea, diarrhea and of course fatigue.  Surprisingly, use of liver and kidney supplements actually worsened the fatigue probably because they accelerated the removal of the toxins to a pace that overwhelmed my system’s ability to eliminate on its own.  Allowing the detox to proceed naturally with regular cleanses was the best choice.

We live in a fallen world and are all exposed to spiritual toxins from a young age.  Any attempts at self-help or self-improvement will fall short.  Jesus is the only way to truly remove those toxins.  Sure we all slip up and do things that we “don’t want to” (Rom 7:24) but as sanctified Christians, we should reject the glamour of sin and refuse to be mastered by it.  That’s where you should be if you claim to have been a Christian for several years.   That said, when reaching out to unbelievers or “baby” Christians, we must not look down on them because of their faults.  Rather, we should let the Holy Spirit convict them and thus “let the detox proceed at its own pace” or it could become too uncomfortable. If actions are not rooted in the love for the Lord, the changes may not be sustainable. Suppose that I encountered my current small group at the age of 19 or 20.  Maybe on some level, I would have admired their devotion but the discussions would have been way over my head and at best, I would have judged them to be weird and certainly would not have been a regular. Most likely, I would not have come back after a single visit.

As the Holy Spirit continues to penetrate deeper into your heart, certain things may be uncovered and brought to the surface causing “aches and pains.”  Actions that you never regarded as sinful are now called into question and it is common that old “friendships” that are toxic to your soul must be cut off no matter how much you enjoyed their company in the past.  I don’t have much experience with break ups but I can see how it can cause heartache even when you know it is the right thing to do.  I’ve never smoked but have heard that while your body begins to repair the damage within hours of quitting, you actually feel worse for the next few weeks even though you are actually getting healthier all the time.  The same holds true when giving up the sin that had held you for so long.

One last point that I would like to address is confessing your sins as part of the detox program.  In my view, it is always a good idea to talk to your pastor.  No matter what you have done, you will not be condemned as long as you are truly repentant.  The same should be true if somebody looks up to you as an accountability partner.  Thank the person for trusting you enough to share their shortcomings and continue to encourage them.

My friend Adam recently prayed over me that these devotionals and my memory of Scripture verses is “just the beginning.”  While I do a good amount of reading and studying, I waste too much time watching the same movies and YouTube videos.  God has gifted me with the ability to retain knowledge especially when numbers are involved.  Imagine if I knew the Word as well as my favorite movies.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Back on Thym-Adren and still too sensitive

It was not a surprise at all that I am off the Endodren (adrenal stimulator).  I knew all along that it was just a temporary measure until the cadmium toxicity cleared up.  Though unconfirmed, I believe that roadblock has been cleared. Again, I could see it coming with my times off the pills getting better and better while remaining fairly flat on them.

What is a little disappointing is that I really only had 2 days in which I needed neither the Endodren nor the Thym-Adren.  Also, I did NOT expect the over-stimulation to kick in so hard.  Last Thursday was a planned rest day but if I had tried to run, it would have been HORRIBLE.  Today, I learned that too much Cal/Mag + Thym-Adren will overshoot the balance point and leave me back in a state of fatigue and malaise.  Just as I feared, the window of good health is narrow.  Here's what I mean:
- on 3 Thym-Adren + 250 Cal/Mag- too overstimulated
- on 6 Thym-Adren + 750 Cal/Mag- lethargic

The balance point is somewhere in between.  Do I have a better tolerance for the Thym-Adren or the Cal/Mag?  Complicating the matter is that each Thym-Adren contains 41 mg of Cal and I may need an exact 1:1 ratio of Cal/Mag as I did when on the Endodren.  Here are my options:
#1-6 Thym-Adren + 250 Cal/Mag- That's simple enough.  I'll get all the Cal I need from the Thym-Adren and I'll just take 2 Jigsaw Mag pills.
#2- 3 Thym-Adren + 625 Cal/Mag- Again, it's simple enough.  I'd need 2 Jigsaw Cal and 5 Jigsaw Mag to hit these numbers.

-As I learned in Nova Scotia, the time of day that I take the pills is also important.  I may have to take the Thym-Adren in the morning and the Cal/Mag at night.
-If the magic number for Thym-Adren becomes 4 or 5 pills, I'll have to cut pills in half to at least get close to the 1:1 ratio.
-Of course, if I can get away with deviating a bit from the 1:1 ratio, it would be so much easier.  Today's detox was aimed at that objective.
-A second detox will be done in August.  Then I will get my ceruloplasmin tested again and hope to see a statistically significant improvement.