Monday, April 20, 2015

Training 4/20-4/26

4/20- I feel a little better than yesterday now that I know that ADHS was NOT the culprit after all.  I still need more methyl donors to tolerate it.  The problem is Yasko's nucleotide product.  Yes, I was too aggressive with it but even at small doses, it was ineffective.  A new CBS+NOS product will arrive today.  This morning was another better with or without test with ADHS.
2 pills- 1/2 mile in 4:23
4 pills- 1/2 mile in 3:50
6 pills- 1/2 mile in 3:21

PM- The CBS/NOS supplement is a NO.  I did not even have to run to find out.  Is it the wrong treatment or is it a detox reaction?  If I had to guess, it's the latter.  I've had headaches and stinky poo after taking CBS products.  I also learned that I still can't tolerate the MTHFR supplement.  Workout was a half mile naked parking lot junk run.  I'll have to lay off it a while and re-introduce it at minute doses later in the week.

Other questions:
Will the additional All in One allow me to take Thym-Adren?  I could not take much ADHS without it but will it have the same impact on the Thym-Adren tolerance.

Do I take the full consult with the Health Coach for $250?  I still haven't gotten the recording or a reply to my e-mail.  If I don't get the customer service that I want, I can take my business elsewhere. I found a doctor online based in Nashville that is private and doesn't take insurance.  My first visit will cost about $300 plus gas and lodging.  I could just keep trying to figure it out on my own for $0 but I will likely to continue to waste money on supplements that don't work.

The only way to find out for sure if I need CBS treatment is to do a urine test for ammonia and taurine.  That will cost over $300 and I'll have to re-test again.  OUCH!  I am in okay financial shape but I really feel for patients who are too sick to work and cannot afford these tests.  I've donated in a few cases and will do it again.

4/21- AM- Hard fought 2 miles at Gold's in 15:19 (7:40 pace) and did manage fairly even splits (7:37-7:42) running nearly all out.  That's still BAAAUHD!

PM- Lakeshore 5 in 38:36 (7:43 pace).  I was determined to finish the 5 no matter what.  This is as good as you'll see out of me lately.  Faded in the 2nd half (19-19:36).  Never tired but no power at all.

4/22- Tempo.  Trak Shak 5 in 35:53 (7:11 pace).  Started strongly with a pair of 6:55s then faded to the 7:20 range but I was able to hold it there.  The difference on the day was the Liver Beef supp.  That stuff was poison for me before addressing methylation but it's the 2nd time in recent memory that I got a boost from it.  I need to take it more often.  I still need to see how the Thym-Adren works on 2 All in One and if I can tolerate a trace of the CBS/NOS.  A rare good day overall.

4/23- Added glutathione and tolerated it well.  That means that I could probably tolerate the SOD supplement.  I'll give that a try next week.  Workout today was a 5K indoors in 21:16 (6:49 pace).  11 seconds better than last time.  That's not significant but it's better than nothing.  Performance was about on par with yesterday overall.  Splits were 6:39-6:55-6:56-46.  Tried some Thym-Adren, which failed.  That's okay.  I can take the ADHS, which is better for the SOD anyway but may not be as effective for the fast oxidation.  I may try the liver without the zinc tomorrow.  Did a long cool to record a total of 4 miles on the day.

Update:
The Health Coach had his ASSISTANT e-mail me and it told me nothing.  Genes can interact with each other to cause sensitivity.  I already knew that.  For the time being, I'll save the $250 and try to figure this out myself.

4/24- Travel day to visit my parents.  Planned rest.

4/25- 3 mile trail run by the creek.  Finished in 21:54 (7:18 pace) which looks pretty solid on the surface but it was weak overall.  Started with a strong 14:09 split for 2 miles then slipped to 7:45 and had to rally for the sub-22 finish.  Took the liver with glutathione and no extra zinc before the run and was not pleased with the result so I popped a zinc afterwards and got worse.  I will be adding more liver for the time being.

4/26- 4 miles was all I had time for today but I showed improvement with a time of 28:20 (7:05 pace) and this time, I didn't die at the end.  I actually managed a slight negative split.  Lately, I've been getting out of breath early and the same thing happened today.  Perhaps I am getting my heart rate up, which is a good thing.

Totaled 25 miles on the week.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Health Coach/Latest news

I did the initial consultation on Monday.  I liked him well enough.  He listens but it's difficult to get a simple straight answer to a question.  That may be because no simple answer exists.  There are thousands of genes out there that can affect your health and many of them interact with each other.  He says that he has experience with lots of complex cases including advanced cases of cancer treated without chemo.  He said that only 25% of genetic defects cannot be resolved but 75% can.  I'll take a 75% improvement.  I am expecting to receive a recording of our initial consult and a brief reply to an e-mail.  If I don't receive that, I'm saving the $250 and will try to fight this on my own.

Right now, my most pressing concern is the CBS mutation, which impacts the trans-sulfur pathway and defects will cause a buildup of toxic ammonia.  This defect must be addressed first before any MTHFR action can be taken.

-I need to change my breakfast and cut out the normal protein bar because it can cause more sulfur buildup.
-I must strictly avoid any sulfur containing products such as taurine and glutathione.
-I will continue with Yasko's nucleotide product and have ordered another product for both CBS and NOS.
-NOS mutations make CBS issues worse and my NOS issue is worse than the CBS.
-I also have GAD mutations, which suggest that I NEED taurine.  THAT is at least one of the reasons why it has been magic some times and poison at other times.
-I've had to switch from Thym-Adren back to ADHS and endured 4 HORRIBLE days while I waited for it to arrive.  Thym-Adren contains garlic, which is also on the forbidden list.
-The ADHS contains more manganese, which may be good for the SOD mutation
-I'm giving this plan until the end of May.

Depression:
I've repeated this over and over but symptoms often have nothing to do with your attitude or even your external circumstances.  It's all about your chemistry.  The only thing that could potentially work for me is Wellbutrin, an MAO inhibitor.  I do have the MAO mutation so yes, it may help but it's highly unlikely that it's the key to success.  At the end of the day, I still have a myriad of other imbalances that an MAO inhibitor can't help and there is a possibility of nasty side effects.  I'll consider it in June but would really prefer not to go down that road.

Training:
At this point, I really don't care about racing.  I just want to solve this awful instability.  I'm semi-retired with just 3 races left on the must do list.  I remain determined to finish the 10K and Half marathon challenge.  My last scheduled race is not until the end of October in Greenville, SC.  If it doesn't work out, that will probably be my last race though I will continue to do some light running as tolerated.

4/15- 2 miles in 19:45 (9:53 pace).  B-2 FAILED.  The MAO defect makes this enzyme over-active, not under-active so the B-2 made that worse.

4/16- Slightly better.  Same 2 miler at Gold's and my time is down to 17:26 (8:43 pace).

4/17- AWFUL.  1 Mile in 8:34.  Even splits and no worse after taking the CBS nucleotide product.  The problem is the ADHS.  6 pills are too many.  Why?  It's a modulator.  I should be able to take as much as I want.  It could be detox or being in balance makes me feel worse because of the mitochondrial and ATP issues are messed up.

4/18- Cut the ADHS from 6 pills to 4 and did improve as a result.  I felt AWFUL without the ADHS so I know I still need it but 4 is still too much.  Finished 3 miles in 24:55 (8:19 pace).  Pace remained in the 8:20 range all the way and rallied in the last 2 laps to get under 25.  I should be a bit better on 3 pills and I expect the CBS/NOS pills will arrive by Monday.  Good news was that my heart rate was a bit higher today

4/19- Why should I even try anymore?  Woke up feeling awful so I took the ADHS and it took me too far in the opposite direction.  Then, I took the All in One.
Result:  Cutting the ADHS from 4 pills to 3 helped a bit but it was not a significant improvement.  Came through 1 Mile in 7:43 and likely would have been near 24 for 3 miles.  Stopped for water and a 2nd All In One pill and the over stimulation kicked in HARD.  Got through Mile 2 in 7:38 then popped a 4th ADHS and improved to 7:15.  Seems like I'm improving right?  Wrong.  Took 2 more ADHS and got worse again.

Weekly total: 11 miles.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Training 4/6-4/12

The training posts will resume but I am not grading anything until further notice.

4/6- Unplanned rest day.  Bad reaction to the SOD supplement.  This doesn't mean that I don't need to support it.  I likely need it with manganese and without glutathione.

4/7- AM- Spain Park Mile on a whole B-12 pill.  Finished in 6:13 running all out but my pulse rate was only 136, which is a full 50 points below the max.  Until I get that max up, I don't expect significant improvement.  Splits were 90-93-99-91.  I let up some in the 3rd lap because I knew I'd be over 6 but rallied in the last 200 to secure the sub-6:15.

The good news is that I don't think the whole B-12 hurt me at all.  After this one, I was more daring by taking a 2nd All In One.  I managed a 2:58 for an 800 so I don't think that hurt me either.  That is excellent news!  Before I started the B-12, I could not tolerate 1.5 All in One.  This should really help my detox and sensitivity issues.

PM- Canterbury loop.  Garmin time was 29:48 for 4 miles (7:27 pace) plus another half mile at roughly the same pace.  I had to cut it short by 0.5 miles because of an "extreme emergency" that's got to be a detox reaction.  Good day overall.
Distance= 6.5

4/8- Step backward but that's okay.  I was fine on 2 All in One pills yesterday but had a bit of a negative reaction to a 3rd one.  I'm going to stay with 1 of those but I am pleased that I was able to handle more without a complete collapse.  Today was Trak Shak day.  Finished the 3.5 mile loop in a time of 27:02 (7:43 pace) with very even splits.  It seems like B12 will protect against too much All in One.  Will All in One protect against too much B-12?  I intend to find out this weekend.
Distance=3.5
I've read again that CBS must be addressed first.  I'll continue with occasional Liver and picked up some Yucca.  I know that I can't take orinthine or arginine because of the NOS mutation.  My best hope may be Yasko's Ammonia RNA but I want to talk to the Health Coach first because it costs $85.  I don't expect that the 5-MTHFR will do much good yet but the NADH might.

4/9- Only slightly better than yesterday.  Gold's 3 in the morning.  Finished in 22:14 (7:25 pace) with a mild fade at the end but did manage to keep it at 7:30.  Pulse was around 110 both yesterday and today, which is not even in the target range for an easy GA workout.
Yucca- Too much too soon.  Sluggish on a whole pill.  Half is probably okay.
NADH- Probably didn't hurt me but it was not the miracle that I hoped for.
5-MTHFR- Much too strong.  Need to avoid until I get the CBS fixed.
Distance=3.0

Plan:
I have ordered the initial 10 minute intro consult with the Health Coach
-Probably should pull the trigger on the Ammonia RNA and take a chance on the $85.
-Urine still smells very strongly of sulfur and ammonia.

4/10- 2 miles at Gold's in 14:59 (7:30 pace).  Not a surprise that I was weak.  The 5-MTHFR has not cleared yet.  Strangely, I got off to a good start (7:11) but it was downhill from there and my last half mile was over 4.  I'm going to get up early tomorrow but unless I really feel good, I'm skipping the BTC social.
Distance=2.0

4/11- BAD DAY.  Unplanned rest day and had to skip the social.  Put a Yuck sign on the Yucca because it won't work.  This really upsets me because according to my genetics, it should work.  Thym-Adren contains garlic, which is a no-no if you have CBS.  I've got to switch to ADHS, which I could not tolerate earlier.  Now, I do think I can tolerate it.

-Ordered the anti-ammonia drops but am unsure if it will work.  Must stay off any excess methyl and garlic for the next 4 weeks.
-Initial phone consult with the health coach (Dr. John) is on Monday.

4/12- BAD,  1 mile junk run was all I could do.
Distance=1.0

Total= 16 miles.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Weekly summary (3/30-4/5)

Finished with 26 miles on the week, which I believe is my highest total since Arizona.  I have a bit clearer picture of my DNA results now and some idea of what to do about the supplements.  A few comments about my training this week:
- Managed to finish just 3 of my planned workouts but they were pretty decent.
- Lakeshore 5 in 37:08 (7:26 pace) and finished with a pulse rate of only 120.
- 5 K time trial in 21:27 (6:55 pace)
I'm resetting my PRs so I'll count that 5K.

I had no days in which I could not finish a single mile under 9 but 3 of my workouts sucked pretty bad.  I showed up at 2 groups runs and embarrassed myself both times.
Wednesday: Could not finish the 3 Mile Trak Shak loop.  Ended the workout after 2 miles in 16:50 followed by the walk of shame.
Saturday: Crashed 3 miles into a planned 8-10 with a group in which I felt pretty good for the first 2.
Turned around and managed to salvage 4 @ sub-8.

Reactions to supplements:

-Thym-Adren- Continuing to trend down.  Now feel best on 3-4 pills and if I take an extra one, I'll notice the ill-effects but it will not be debilitating.  That might make some sense.  If my downward trend projection is correct, my tissue sodium is down to the upper 30s.  Assuming that my magnesium is still good, that's a pretty good balance.  Why don't I feel good?  It's got to be the methylation/mutations or toxic metals.

Ribose- This is good stuff.  It's intended to fix damaged DNA and I often feel a bit better after taking it.  I just put a spoonful in my drink and don't even taste it.

All in One- Still on 1 of those pills.  Neither more nor less and am afraid to try any more.  I have to take it in the morning because it will wear off at night.  If I take it in the evening, it will wear off before work is over.

Methyl Folate- My tolerance has improved to 200 mcg and I've ordered some more.  We shall see if I can tolerate it.

Zinc/Copper- Again, tolerance has improved and if I take the liver more often, it may improve my tolerance to taurine.

Review of the mutations:
-Single homozygous on MTHFR
-Compound hetero on CBS, COMT and VDR
-Homo on MTRR
-Double homo on SOD, NOS, NDUFS

The word on the street is that CBS must be addressed first.  I think I am making progress there.  Zinc and copper may have allowed me to tolerate small amounts of taurine.  I tried Orinthine (sp?) which didn't work but maybe I went too fast and would have been okay on half a pill.  I'll explain later.

COMT- Need B-12, specifically the hydroxy version.  Methyl B-12 won't work and Cyano will be ineffective.  The complication is that I must go VERY slowly.  I opened with 2 of those on the first day (Wednesday) and as I've said, I was AWFUL.  I took it down to a half pill the next day and was MUCH better but once again, a WHOLE pill was too much.

VDR- Not worried about that at all.  I'm taking D-3 with my Cal/Mag already with good results.

MTHFR- Jury is out on this one.  The new 5-MTHFR folate will arrive next week.  We'll see how well I can tolerate it.

MTRR-  This one may very well be my biggest thorn.  According to this, I NEED methyl B12 yet I cannot tolerate it.  Perhaps that will change after I fix the COMT.

SOD- Same song as the COMT.  I had a bad reaction to the SOD supplement but again, it seems that if I cut up the pill into halves, I'll be okay.

NOS- Not sure what to do on this but the word is that it makes the CBS worse.  That makes sense.

NDUFS- This mutation weakens the mitochondrial function and ATP production.  Perhaps the fast oxidation was compensation for this weakness.  Based on my latest half mary, the 5@7:26 should have been an all out effort but my pulse rate was just 120 (65% of my max).  That means that it was nothing more than an easy GA run. So, again and again and again I say, my workouts were NOT too fast.  My race times were weak in comparison to my training because I just could not access the top gear in a race.

Next week's plan:
I want to see if I can tolerate Orinthine, more MTHFR, a small amount of NADH for the NDUFS.  Lastly, I will try to bump up my All in One, which could very well allow me to tolerate more of the other stuff.  I want to see how it works before I talk to the health coach.

The training log posts are still on hiatus but I expect to resume that soon.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Preliminary thoughts on DNA results

Let's start with some definitions and meanings that y'all may remember from Biology class.
Homozygous- both copies of the gene are mutated.  Enzyme is 70% defective.
Heterozygous- one normal copy, one mutated.  Enzyme is 30% defective.
Compound Heterozygous- multiple alleles.  In both alleles, one normal and one mutated.  50% defective.
METHYLATION path:

ACE- Heterozygous.  Impacts sodium retention.  Surprised this was not homozygous but it's a pleasant surprise.  This suggests that I am genetically suited to middle distance running, which I already knew.

MTHFR- Homozygous on 677, which is the worst mutation to have.  Not a surprise given what's going on.  The 1298 allele is normal however so it could be worse.

COMT- Compound hetero.  I feared the worst on the one and I suppose hetero cases respond better to treatment.  This one likely affects my zinc/copper and methylation.

CBS-Compound hetero.  I expected this.  The mutation is responsible for the taurine issues.  In the past, taurine has been both a life saver and a nightmare.

VDR- Compound hetero.  This one affects Vitamin D metabolism.  My Cal supp contains D so it may have impacted the Cal/Mag sensitivity.

DETOX path-
Overall, this one looked pretty good.  One mutation that stuck out was a double homozygous result on SOD 2.  There is evidence that suggests that this one is preventing me from reaching my max heart rate.  That makes a LOT of sense to me.  I don't wear a heart rate monitor but I'm sure that when I was cranking out sub-7:30 workouts with ease, my heart rate was indeed fairly low.  The workouts were NOT too hard.  I often under-performed in races because I just could not access the top gear needed to get up to 185 BPM.  It's like stripping an 8 cylinder engine down to 6.  If I can fix this one, it could be HUGE. 

NOS- Homozygous here as well and I just read that can make the CBS issues worse.  That makes sense too.

Implications:
Still premature to say how this will impact the rest of my life.  I'll know a lot more after I talk to a health coach.

Early plan:
-I'm going to try to increase my folate to fight the MTHFR.  My diet is a bit deficient in greens.  I will need 5-Methyl folate if I can tolerate it.

-Ordered B12 in the correct form (Hydroxyl rather than methyl or cyano).  This form is well tolerated by those with COMT issues.  I already know I can't take the methyl.

-Ordered a SOD supplement.

-Picked up some Ribose.  Evidence suggests that my mitochondrial function is poor as is my ATP production.

-Stay with AllinOne for general detox support.

-Stay with Cal/Mag+Thym-Adren for fast oxidation.

In the last 2 years, I have improved my Mag and copper status, which are critical minerals for energy production yet I've gotten worse.  It could be that my extreme fast oxidation compensated for weaknesses in ATP and mitochondrial function.

Methylation status:
I remain very sensitive to methyl donors but I cannot know for sure my methylation status until I do a whole blood histamine test, which is not available on Request a Test.  The cause of the sensitivity could be over-methylation, the mutations or toxic metals.

Another rant about doctors:
Homocysteine, which was the only lab value flagged in 2005, is more dangerous to the cardiovascular system than cholesterol yet my MD totally dismissed it.  Given that I have the MTHFR defect, I'm sure it's still high.  He also said that it was easily treatable with a B-complex.  WRONG!  Most cheap B complexes do more harm than good.  In particular, folic acid is terrible for the MTHFR defect.  It's got to be 5-methyl folate.  COMT patients have trouble with B6 especially if tissue calcium is low.  Also, most B12s are cyano, which contains a toxic molecule of cyanide.  BAD stuff.  The MD also said that since Bs are water soluble, they can't hurt you because you just pee out the excess.  Why did my whole body stiffen up within minutes of taking the B6?
 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ancestry results

BIG NEWS:
  The DNA test results are in!  As expected, there are numerous mutations but it does appear to be treatable.  Bottom line is that I've got to solve the instability.  I may never PR again but I really do want to get back to the point in which I can enjoy the running community and participate in group runs without fear of a collapse and the walk of shame.  The results are very complex and I don't fully understand them yet so it's premature to post the full results and explanation until I talk with a health coach.  I feel a bit better psychologically knowing that the test found something.

Ancestry:
No shockers here.  I expected to see a good mix of Western and Eastern European DNA with possible traces from West and Central Asia or North Africa.  I would have been very surprised to see any Native American or sub-Saharan African DNA.  Without further ado, here are the results:

Fully 100% European- A mild surprise that there was no trace of anything else but again, it's an interesting mix nonetheless.  Here's the breakdown:

18.5% British and Irish- No surprise here.  My paternal grandmother was born in Scotland.  I expected the percentage to be under 25 because Scottish DNA is quite diverse.

2.9% Scandinavian (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland)- Interesting but not a big surprise.  Scandinavian DNA is common in Scotland but I know that I have no recent ancestry from there so that percentage is probably accurate.

2.8% French and German- That percentage seems awfully low given that there is a lot of German ancestry on my father's side but there's a reason for that as explained below.

25.3% Broadly Northern European- I'll bet that this is mostly German or at least Western European.  This is only the preliminary result and could get more precise upon further inspection and more data. Germany was not fully unified until the late 19th century, which I believe was after my father's ancestors came to America. 

30.8% Eastern European- This includes countries such as Russia, Hungary, Ukraine, Czech, Slovenia but I know that this came from my mother's side, which is mostly Polish.  This was expected and the percentage seems about right.  Poland was not homogenized as there was a lot of migration from southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages.

0.2% Balkan- (Includes regions such as Greece, Serbia and the former Yugoslavia).  An interesting find but not a big surprise.  This most likely came from my mother's side as part of the migration to Poland.

1.7% Broadly Southern European- Can't be pinpointed but I would not be surprised if it is also Balkan DNA.

0.2% Ashkenazi- (related to European Jewish DNA).  This was the biggest surprise of my results.  I think it's pretty cool that I have a trace of Jewish ancestry even though it is several centuries old.  I could be very distantly related to some Bible characters.

17.6% Broadly European- Again, it cannot be pinpointed exactly but it was narrowed down to Europe.  There could be traces from Italy, Spain or others but more than likely, this percentage is from both my mother and father's side and likely will add to the percentage of Eastern European and German.

Bluegrass Half RR

Training:
  Even in my previous bad races, I felt there was a chance that I could pull something out even though I was not feeling the best.  This time I knew not to expect anything other than a loud sucking noise. I have been limited to about 20 MPW over the last 4 weeks with little motivation since I have no real chance of improvement until I get the genetic test results.   Even if everything broke in my favor, I would be hard pressed to break 1:45 on a tough course and I feared a Gallo-walk with a time well over 2 hours.  Fortunately, because of the generous 3.5 hour time limit (16 minute pace), there was never any doubt that I would finish.  Even if I crashed in Mile 3 and had to walk the rest of the way, I would get to the line with time to spare. 

Trip:
Took the whole day off work on Friday and made it a 1 day trip.  No need to worry about wearing myself out from driving.  I was going to suck no matter what I did.  I opted for the more scenic route through Chattanooga and Knoxville rather than through Nashville.  It added about 30 minutes to the trip but it was worth it.  Even though the trees were still bare, it was very scenic especially through northeast TN and south central KY.  I arrived in Lexington around dinner time after a fairly comfortable driving day.  I scored a bargain on a bright yellow Nike winter top for just $40 at the expo then polished off a full rack of ribs at Applebee's for dinner before settling into my fleabag motel.  Race morning also went without a hitch.

Course:
Kentucky is hilly but downtown Lexington is relatively flat.  However, this course would not be going downtown.  It started and finished on the grounds of Keeneland race track and we would catch a view of the track itself.  I'm not much of a horse racing fan but that was still pretty cool.  Most half marathons start at 7:00 or 8:00 AM but this time, the gun would not go off until 9:00.  That can be a good call or a bad call depending on the weather.  This year, it was a good call as the low temp dipped down to 20 with a 10 degree wind chill.  By 9:00 with the sun up for 2 hours, it wasn't too bad.  It was probably in the upper 20s at the start and 35 at the finish with sunny skies and moderate winds. 

The course is one of the toughest I've done.  It was advertised as rolling with a 500' elevation gain.  It seemed a lot more than that.  A quick and accurate description was one climb for about a quarter mile that was relatively steep but not a killer followed by an equally long and steep downhill that gave back the previous elevation gain.  It was just like that for pretty much the entire course.  No let up.  I counted a grand total of 3 relatively flat stretches and none of them were particularly long.  No hill will kill you but the cumulative effects take their toll and by Mile 10, you're shot.  It was all rural through the horse farms and I smelled a few hints of the manure at times.

Race:
I aimed for an 8:00 pace with the expectation that I would fade in the last 3 miles but hold on for at least a sub-1:50.  As is often the case, I was out slightly faster but not stupid.  I was clearly well off form but in spite of the relentless rolling hills, I was fairly comfortable through the early miles.  There would be no early crash and if I did have to Gallo-walk, it would not be until the last few miles. 
7:48- 7:48
7:47- 15:35
7:50- 23:25

I was not crashing but every climb would knock my energy down a notch.  I saw a couple people starting to take walk breaks on the hills and I knew it would not be long until I would be doing so as well.  I passed the halfway point fading fast but still at an even 8:00 pace overall.  Even a brutal fade to the 10 minute range would give me a hollow victory with a sub-2:00 finish and it still looked to be a pretty good bet that I would break 1:50.

8:08- 31:33
7:49- 39:22
8:24- 47:46
8:34- 56:20
8:37- 64:57
8:29- 1:13:26

Towards the end of Mile 10, we hit a longer hill with a curve and it would be the one that broke my will for good.  I had to take a few walk breaks over the next 2 miles and these last 3 were just as hard for me as any full marathon.  With 2 miles to go, I saw that I could still break 1:50 with a pair of sub-9 miles to finish up.  I made a half-assed effort to pick up the pace but nothing was there.  In the last mile, the course became less rolling and more of just an annoying incline.  I took some pride in the fact that I ran the entire way from Mile 12 to the finish but it was no faster than the Gallo-walking and I mercifully crossed the line in 1:50:46 totally spent.  I had no more running left in me after this.  Hard to believe that I was once a 3:20 marathoner.

8:54- 1:22:20
9:18- 1:31:38
9:27- 1:41:05
9:41- 1:50:46 (last 1.05)
Result: AG- 59/177- 67th percentile.

Overall impression-
I would have preferred to run the Kentucky Derby next month in Louisville but I have a family commitment that day.  Not withstanding my poor performance, this was not one of my favorite races (no offense intended).  It's just a personal preference of mine to race in the city, through parks or near a lake or river but I can see how a horse racing fan would be thrilled to run past those horse farms.  It did have a pretty nice after party and one of the better medals but the shirt was a thin cotton hoodie.  No Gatorade/PowerAde was available but rather an unfamiliar sports drink.  Fortunately, I did not react badly to it.  Kentucky was state #23.  I've got Pennsylvania in September and South Carolina in October to finish the Half2Run Challenge.

To the average undertrained runner, a 1:50 on this course is still pretty darn good.  It still placed me in the top third of my age group but it has become obvious to any observer that something is badly wrong.  Even on a flatter course, this performance was worth no better than 1:46-1:47ish, which is a full 90 seconds per Mile off my PR.  To put that into perspective, if Usain Bolt slowed by the same percentage, he'd run about 11.7 in the 100.  That still beats almost everyone off the street but an average high school sprinter will run about 12-flat and most teams have at least 1 in the low 11s.

BIG news ahead:
The DNA test has arrived and there are indeed many mutations but it does appear to be treatable.  It's a complex report that I don't yet fully understand.  More to come later on the subject.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Neurotransmitters, Methylation and anti-depressants

Ten years ago, my former MD ignored evidence of methylation problems revealed by high homocysteine and insisted that I needed an SSRI (selective serotonin).  When that failed, I was put on SNRIs (serotonin, norepinephrine), which also failed. The dumbest suggestion that I ever heard was that the fatigue was just a side effect of the drug. One of the major reasons I took that drug was to GET RID of the fatigue!   That's hardly uncommon.  In fact, by Big Pharma's own admission, fully 70 percent of patients who take an anti-depressant report that they still have unresolved symptoms.  Their solution?  Add another drug, usually Abilify, which is actually an anti-psychotic.  No business can stay afloat with a customer satisfaction rate of 30%.  While I still believe in natural methods, I would never tell the lucky 3 out of 10 to stop the drug.  What about the other 7?

 There is another cause of their depression.  Doctors should never prescribe a powerful mind altering drug without knowledge of the patient's methylation and neurotransmitter status.  It ought to be common sense that giving an SSRI to a patient with normal serotonin and low dopamine/adrenaline will be ineffective at best and potentially dangerous at worst.  Also, if you are an over-methylator, you will almost certainly react poorly to SSRIs.  As for me, it still remains to be seen what my methylation looks like but it is possible to be both an over and under methylator and I do have characteristics of both.  I did have a low serotonin level but was also low in GABA, dopamine and adrenaline while the norepinephrine was normal.  I did get some relief from anxiety but my fatigue actually got worse.  I know now that while serotonin may have risen, adrenaline probably fell and the adrenaline/norep. ratio got further out of balance.

Neurotransmitters can be tested with a painless urine test and treated with targeted amino acid therapy tailored to your results.  I responded very well to treatment.  Dopamine was the first to rise followed by serotonin and GABA.  The adrenaline took longer but normalized within 2 years.  My only gripe was terrible sensitivity.  1/2 a pill meant the difference between a great day and an awful one.  The prescribed doses were too strong and I could take only limited amounts but my numbers kept moving in the right direction.  Eventually, they stayed normal without any support.  I thought I had a clear path to balance.  That was in 2009 and I am still waiting. 

I know now that genetic mutations were to blame for the sensitivity but the COMT may have contributed to the quick rise in dopamine.  Man, I must have been extremely sick for that to drop so low in spite of pre-disposition toward elevation.  I've read 2 things recently that make some sense:
-Problems due to mutations are more likely to appear as you get older.  My sensitivity got a lot worse after I turned 30.  As much as it sucked to have adrenal fatigue in my mid-20s, it was easier to treat at a younger age.  Some of the stuff that I took may not have worked today with mutations fully turned on.
- ACE mutation can cause sodium retention.  I'm likely positive on that, which explains why mega Thym-Adren was needed to get my tissue Na under control and why I often could not go a day without the Thym-Adren.  That brings the likely positives up to 4 (MTHFR, CBS, COMT, ACE).  Can that be treated?  If so, it will be easier to keep the Na down.

Genes can be activated and inactivated due to environmental factors and treatment.  For example, there is in fact a gene for nicotine dependence.  Well, even if I do have that gene, it won't hurt me because I never have and never will try a cigarette or chew tobacco.

Current health status:
Biggest complaint is extreme sensitivity to All In One but I can tolerate Cal/Mag + Thym-Adren.  If I take more than 1 pill, it's too much but if I take it before bed, it starts to wear off by the afternoon.  It must be taken in the morning so that when it does wear off, I will be asleep.  I could get the 23andme results as early as the end of the week and am already frequently checking my e-mail. 
I could still get lucky in Kentucky but it could be a 2:30 Gallowalk finish.
Today's workout: 3 miles in 22:24.  LAME.

 
One other symptom and I'll be as tasteful as I can.  My urine smells strongly of sulfur and ammonia or other toxins such as mercury.  I often feel a little better after I get that stuff out.  More than likely,  taking more than 1 All in One causes too much detox.  I still think I might have mercury issues and if that is indeed the case, All in One does aid in the detox.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ancestry guess

I'm still about 1-3 weeks away from receiving the results.  Although I am primarily interested in my raw genetic mutations, I'm starting to get excited about my ancestry report.  I expect to see a good mix of eastern and western European DNA but based on what I've read, it may not turn out as expected.  I do know that my paternal grandmother was born in Scotland and my paternal grandfather was of German ancestry.  My mother's side of the family is mostly Polish but I believe that there is some Irish mixed in as well.  While I do expect to see those 4 countries represent the vast majority of my DNA, it is important to remember that none of them were completely homogenized when my ancestors came to America.  Let's take a look:

Poland: There was a lot of Slavic migration in the medieval period here so I may see a bit more DNA from southeastern Europe or even west Asia.  I do tan well and can retain some of it even through the winter months.

Germany:  I've read that Germans commonly have a bit of east Asian DNA, which likely comes from the Mongolian Empire so if I do have a trace of Asian blood, that's where it came from.

Scotland and Ireland:  Surprisingly, I've read that Scottish DNA is especially diverse.  It's common to find Scots with traces of DNA from much of Europe including Germany, Scandinavia and even Asia and Africa.  If I do have any African DNA, it will be a very small trace but that's the most likely source.

All told, I still expect to see more than 95% European DNA but would be surprised if it is fully 100%. If I do have traces of unexpected ancestry, it's certainly worth finding out.
Another interesting fact is that most African Americans have between 15-25% European DNA and some have traces of Asian and Native American.  One case that particularly surprised me was that Condoleezza Rice is only 51% sub-Saharan African.  The rest of her genetic makeup is composed of 9% Asian and 40% European.  Since reading these reports, I have become even more disgusted by racism on all sides and can appreciate beauty in every ethnic group.

As for my health, I have a mixed report.  Tolerance to folate has improved and I am back on Jigsaw Mag.  Also, the zinc and copper sensitivity remains well under control as does the Cal/Mag ratio.   That said, I still don't feel any better overall.  If anything, I may have regressed a bit since last week.  The taurine intolerance has not let up and that is almost certainly due to the CBS mutation.  Also, the sensitivity to All In One is brutal.  I may have to open the capsules and take half because 1 is not enough but 2 pills are too many.  1.5 may be just right ....   for now.   There's not much I can do until I get the results and talk to a health coach.  If nothing changes next week, I expect that a "good day" in Kentucky will be a finish in the mid-high 1:40s.  A bad day will be over 2 hours but likely not approaching 3.  The time limit is a generous 3.5 hours (16 minute pace) so there's very little chance that I DNF.  If my health coach suggests it, I may take off the month of April as well as the early part of May.  I don't think I'm doing myself much good by continuing to train while so far out of whack.  I am still very disappointed that I hit another barrier when I was so sure that Cal/Mag plus Thym-Adren would lead me to balance by Spring.

Next week's post will be on methylation, neurotransmitters and overuse of anti-depressants.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Still Unstable

Turn for the worse this weekend.  Rested Friday.  Managed just 2 horrible miles Saturday and will not even attempt a workout today.  Finished with 20 miles on the week.

If I go a day without taking Cal/Mag or Thyrm-Adren, I'll be hurting but I'm okay with that.  Given my numbers, that's what should be happening.  I project that my tissue sodium is under 60 by now but given how bad my methylation cycle is, it may not be as effective now.  I won't be horrible if I take extra pills or 1 less than normal, which is good.

All In One-  This more more upsetting.  If I go 36 hours without it, I'm hurting.  If I take a 2nd dose too close to the first, I'm hurting.  That means, I need neither more nor less than 1 of those per day.  VERY ANGRY!

I've looked into mercury toxicity and suspect that I have a hidden problem because it's usually not revealed on a hair test.  I do have 2 root canals and several amalgams but I'm afraid to have them removed because I've heard horror stories from people who have gotten worse after doing so.   I tried Activated Charcoal, which is supposedly good for all purpose detox.  NOT GOOD FOR ME!  I got the same old stiff legs, malaise and depression after taking it.

All I can do is stay with the 1 All In One until I get the genetic test.  Kentucky is in 2 weeks.  I got lucky in Arizona and it could happen again but I'd be very surprised if I can break 1:45 on a tough course.