Monday, February 12, 2018

Training 2/12-2/18

2/12- Hoping to run 5 miles today but had to settle for 3 in a time of 23:13 (7:44 pace).  MINUS 11 compared to yesterday.  Better than a plus but I was expecting faster.  Got off to a good start (11:15 at the half) then it was just barely under 8:00 pace the rest of the way.  Feeling more and more let down as the evening progresses.  This feels like the expected PABA flare but it came sooner than expected.  I will take it tonight and hope to be done with it.  If I don't overshoot the target by taking too much PABA, I ought to do okay tomorrow.

2/13- 3 miles on a muddy Lakeshore trail.  It's staying light enough to begin evening runs in the daylight now.  This time I knew how to handle a PABA flare.  I took 300 last night, which was still probably a bit too much but none this morning.  I expected to take a small step back but managed a marginal improvement.  Finished with a time of 22:57 (7:39 pace).  MINUS 5.  Struggled a bit on the back half but did better than yesterday at holding the pace.  Here's hoping for steady improvement from now on.  NOW OR NEVER!
If I had taken no PABA, today would have been a disaster.  If I had taken the full 500, today would have been a disaster.

2/14- Once again, I hoped to run 5 but had to settle for 3 plus a mile cool.  Time was down to 22:45 (7:35 pace) MINUS 4.  Just like Monday, it's better than a plus but something still feels off.  Not sure what it is but it does NOT appear to be glycine related.  It could be that PABA hasn't fully cleared.  I'm not messing with anything questionable even if it was harmless in the past.

2/15- AM- Junk mile and feel worse.  No comments needed.

PM- Felt somewhat better as the day progressed but still took the evening off.  I spoke too soon yesterday.  It IS INDEED GLYCINE RELATED!  Fortunately, there is a probable explanation.  The dose seems to go up or down depending on the brand that I use.  Here's what I mean:

Country Life brand- Contains glycine plus synergistic B-6.  Tolerance will be limited to 2-3 grams/day and there will be a rather narrow window.  Taking 5g is disastrous.  Taking at least 2g will be necessary.  Not sure if I can go higher than 2g.  Even 3g could be too much.  It is possible that the B6 is the problem, not the glycine.  I can buy this one at Whole Foods.

NOW Foods brand- Contains pure glycine.  Here, I will need at least 5g or else at least for the time being.  However, the tolerance is unlimited.  I will feel no significant difference between 6g and 8g.  It seems unlikely that I am trending off glycine and would react badly to mega doses of this brand as well.

I've done everything right this week in terms of diet and avoiding questionable supps.  I'll try both formulas but if the results are comparable, I'll go with the NOW Foods.  Having an unlimited tolerance is highly preferable to a narrow window, which could shift.  The only negative is that the NOW brand must be ordered online.  I prefer to support local business and don't like to wait for my order, which could be out of stock.

2/16- AM- Hated interval workout but it taught me what I needed to know about the Country Life.
0 glycine- didn't even try
1g glycine- 2:58 (8:54 pace)
2g glycine- 2:35 (7:45 pace) MINUS 69
3g glycine- 2:40 (8:00 pace) PLUS 15

PM- 2 miles in 17:54 (8:57 pace).  I'm not doing myself any good by running when I feel this bad.
I was correct about the narrow window between 2-3 grams with Country Life.  The sweet spot is most probably 2.5 but the fact that I could not do better than a 7:45 pace on 2g is troubling.  That tells me that I really do need 5 g of glycine and B-6 is the problem.  At 3-4 g?  I'm still short on glycine but the B-6 intolerance over-rides that need.  I'm going with the NOW foods pure glycine, which should arrive by Saturday afternoon.  Next week, I start training with no excuses.

2/17- AM- Felt flat out awful this morning as if the B-6 intolerance in worsening.  Skipped the group run.

PM- Plain Glycine arrived around noon with the mail.  Popped 3 of those suckers and felt better immediately.  Did 3 miles on Lakeshore in 23:40 (7:53 pace).  MINUS 64.  Even pace but no access to higher gears.  HR 150.  Cadence- 176.  I don't expect to be all that great tomorrow either but come Monday, the toxic B-6 should be clear.  NO MORE EXCUSES!

2/18- Finally got through a 5 miler.  Time of 38:46 (7:45 pace) doesn't exactly set the world on fire but it is MINUS 8 over 2 extra miles.  I'll take that any day.  Still low on energy but I paced it well and got my HR up to 156 with a 178 cadence.  Took 5 g of glycine and feel that I may benefit by going up to 6 but any more than that will be a non-factor.

-22 miles on the week.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Training 2/5-2/11

2/5- Day 1- AM-Took the glycine at night as planned and got an immediate negative reaction.  It wasn't much better by the morning.  2 miles in 17:38 (8:49 pace).  Started off reasonably well but it was sharply downhill after the first half mile.  If I don't cheat today, I can probably avoid the adrenal spike but am still at risk for a PABA flare and glycine spike.  One LAST LAST experiment will be L-Serine or Threonine, a glycine precursor next week.  May be back out this evening.

PM- Similar pattern as the morning but slightly better overall.  Same 2 mile distance and my time was down to 16:52 (8:26 pace).  MINUS 23.  I actually have 3 options: Stay the course and hope the dose will eventually stabilize, Hack the formula with a precursor such as Threonine/Serine, Go back to last year's success formula (low dose glycine w/2 Ultimate B and no sugar restrictions).
2/6- Unplanned rest day.  It's becoming apparent that glycine must be cut out altogether.  Is this permanent or temporary?  What happens with the sensitivity to Vitamin C and the others?  Can the precursor be a substitute?  Needless to say, I'm not happy but it's gotten to the point in which I am numb now.

2/7- AM- Another unplanned rest day and I'm shutting down the grading until further notice.  After just one day off the glycine, the intolerance to Whole Food C has kicked back in with a vengeance.  Glycine is still not tolerated.  I doubt this has anything to do with it but I have been taking some Vitamin E (succinate) just to finish an old bottle.  Nevertheless, I stop that stuff and try again in another day or two so this week is basically a total loss.  Odds are, my last hope is the precursor.

2/8- AM- After just 1 day off the Vitamin E, the need for glycine kicked in with a VENGEANCE!  This is good news.  Vitamin C will once again be tolerated and my Iron and copper metabolism will be at acceptable levels.  I read something online about the succinate-glycine cycle so I thought the E (as succinate) would increase glycine's effectiveness.  Needless to say, it didn't work out as planned.  It was the dreaded interval workout today and here are the splits:
0 glycine- 3:34 (10:42 pace)
1 glycine- 3:13 (9:39 pace)  MINUS 63
2 glycine- 2:53 (8:39 pace) MINUS 60
4 glycine- 2:28 (7:24 pace) MINUS 37.5 per pill
  Odds are, I would see some additional benefit from a 5th pill but not much beyond that.
In other news, the precursor did arrive earlier than expected but I will hold off until the evening because I don't want to risk a meltdown at work.

PM- Tried Threonine and it failed.  It was a risk that I was willing to take.  Although it is possible that Threonine alone could work, I'm going with glycine alone and I'm going to "live or die" with it.  That's it.  I've done everything that I possibly can.  Starting next week, I will begin training in earnest and we shall see how it goes.  Workout was a junk run on Lakeshore.  I was struggling for 8 minute pace after 1 Threonine pill then popped another and could not do 9 minute pace.

2/9-AM- Junk run at Gold's to measure my starting point.  1.5 miles in 14:30 (9:40 pace) and I may be out this evening.  NO MORE EXPERIMENTS.  DO OR DIE WITH THIS FORMULA!

PM- 2 miles at Gold's in 17:50 (8:55 pace).  Even pace but no energy.  HR was just 124 today despite a near all out effort.  That should not happen until I am pushing 90 years old.  I cheated on the sugar and caffeine this week so it's back on track tomorrow.  I am prepared to face an adrenal spike and a PABA flare but no matter what happens, I'm sticking with high dose glycine.

2/10- 3 miles in 24:38 (8:13 pace).  Progressing well.  Negative split with a sub-8 last mile.  Still, the adrenal spike will hit by the afternoon and the PABA flare will follow in 3-5 days.  I'm resting until tomorrow evening.

2/11- As expected, the adrenal spike did hit yesterday afternoon.  I expected to take a small step backward today but managed to improve to 23:44 (7:55 pace) MINUS 18.  HR-152, Cadence-176.  Under the Mendoza line for the first time in 7 days.  This is only Day 2.

Up Ahead:
I am going to need mega doses of ADHS for the next 5-6 days but will continue to improve steadily for the next 2-4 days.  Then, I will be hit with a 1 day PABA flare.  That my friends, had BETTER be my last relapse barring anything stupid.  If my current plan fails, I am done.
-Totaled a measly 16 miles on the week.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Rant/Rave- Men's Rights Activism (Red Pill Movie Review)

I recently rented a documentary filmed by Cassie Jaye, a self-described feminist who examined Men's Rights Activism and came away with a very much different point of view.  The film touched on issues such as combat deaths, alimony, paternity rights, media bias, criminal justice and domestic violence.  It's an eye opener and I would recommend it to anyone with an open mind.  Although I am right of center politically, I am open-minded and intend to critically examine these issues with a balanced point of view.

Where do I stand?
I am all for gender equality and that includes everything that goes with it.  Yes, there are biological differences between the sexes and for that reason certain professions such as elementary school teaching and nursing will always be female dominated while fire fighting and the military will be male dominated.  Still, with that being said, any and all professions ought to be open to both genders and if the best qualified candidate for an upper management position is a woman, she should ABSOLUTELY be hired with equal pay for equal work.  I'm all for that.

If any woman is a victim of rape, sexual assault or domestic violence, I share your outrage and if any women reading this have been victims, I assure you that I am on your side and condemn those actions in the strongest terms with no ifs and or but.  Drawing attention to the fact that men can be victims as well does NOT mean that I condone violence against women nor does it diminish the impact.

Here are some statistics cited by film regarding men's issues:
-99% of combat deaths
-93% of workplace fatalities
-75% of murder victims
-76% of sucides
-63% longer prison sentences for the same crime
-much more likely to drop out of school, become homeless and imprisoned
-much less likely to be sheltered from domestic violence
-only a 15-20% chance of winning a child custody battle

How do radical feminists react when MRAs cite these statistics?
Like many on the extreme left, they often shout them down in protest with profanity and accusations of bigotry. In one case, a protester pulled a fire alarm in order to shut down an MRA speaker and subjected them to profanity laced screaming outside the building.  Not real classy.  One chant was "Racist, sexist, anti-gay, MRAs go away!"  This has absolutely NOTHING to do with race or sexual preference.  In fact, you could make the case that the black community has been hurt the most by radical feminism and absentee fathers.  I've also heard that gay men are more likely to be raped.

Workplace Issues:
Nobody in their right mind will deny that women have been historically oppressed and many professions were pretty much off limits to women as recently as 50 years ago.  That said, things have changed a great deal since then.  Today, you can choose to be a stay at home mother, a career-first woman or a balance between the two.  All 3 choices ought to be applauded and you should be encouraged to make the best choice given your unique situation as well as your goals, needs and wants.  Same with men.  I knew a man who had to quit his job due to health problems and became the primary care giver for 2 children.  This is also admirable.

Feminists point to issues such as the wage gap and the fact that 95% of CEOs are men and 80% of politicians are men as evidence of continued oppression. I will cede some ground on this point.  The film claims the reason for this is that men are more likely to be willing to work those long hours and make other sacrifices.  While I believe that to be true, I do acknowledge that women may have a harder time climbing the corporate ladder and talented women are under-represented in upper management. Still, the wage gap shrinks considerably when occupation and hours worked are factored into the equation.  Women are also under-represented in dangerous manual labor jobs, which certainly should be pointed out as well.

Paternity and Child Custody:
Here, there can be little argument that women have the upper hand over men.  Feminists respond that since women carry the babies for 9 months, it is only right.  That's a fair point but I do not agree with it because it takes a man and a woman to create a life.  While 70% of divorces are initiated by women, they win 80-85% of the custody battles while the father gets visitation rights every other weekend. In the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, Sally Field's character coldly asks Robin Williams, "Are my children ready yet?"  His response was "No, OUR children are not ready because you are an hour early and you were late dropping them off."  Child support and alimony payments also strongly favor women.  Typically, a man will win only if the woman has severe anger management issues and/or a drug and alcohol problem.  For this reason, many men will balk at marriage and we will see more absentee fathers, which leads to a plethora of social problems.  I'm not at all suggesting to take children away from loving mothers but joint custody ought to be the norm rather than the exception.

The film also brought up several cases in which women became single mothers by choice with no intention of continuing the relationship. This is one of many reasons to remain abstinent until marriage but this should be resolved with joint custody with all else being equal.   The film also brought up a case in which a mother gave up her child for adoption without the father's knowledge even though he was willing and able to care.  There was another who was forced to pay child support for a child that a DNA test proved was not even his under the penalty of jail time.  Any fair minded individual should agree that those 2 situations are clearly unfair to men.

Education and Criminal Justice:
Men's rights activists point to statistics that girls do better in school and are less likely to be disciplined and more likely to attend and graduate college as evidence of oppression.  In that case, I do NOT buy into it.  Achievement gaps are due to the fact that girls are more likely to do homework assignments and take Advanced Placement classes while boys are more likely to misbehave and get into fights.  It's true today and was true when growing up in the '90s.  Perhaps more father involvement will close these gaps.

Men are also more likely to end up in jail because they commit more crime.  It is sad but true.  That said, I do believe girls are less likely to be disciplined for hitting other students and women do receive more lenient sentences for the same crime.  Though the film did not touch on this point, I do believe the gender of the VICTIM plays a significant role of sentencing disparity as well.  If a man murders a woman, the death penalty is a strong possibility.  If a woman kills a man, not so much.

Domestic Violence:
Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, if your partner lays a hand on you and it is not an affectionate or playful touch, get the hell out of the relationship immediately and don't look back.  No ifs and or but.  I agree that a man should NEVER EVER hit a woman.  A woman should NEVER EVER hit a man either.  Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the film was that 42% of victims of domestic violence are men yet while there are hundreds of shelters for women, there is only ONE for men.  Nary a word about this from the mainstream media.  While it is true that men are on average, stronger and capable of inflicting more bodily harm, it is not always the case.  Men are often ashamed to report being beaten by their wife or female partner because of the wimp factor.  In cases where both men and women threw punches and there are similar injuries on both sides, both parties should be punished equally and there should be no dispute.  In a case involves severe bruises and broken bones versus a couple of scratches, whichever party committed the greater violence should get the most punishment.  Simple.

Rape and sexual assault:
Again, I condemn these horrific actions in the strongest terms possible.  Have I ever experienced it myself as a "privileged" male.  YES.  Many times in Jr. High and high school, I was touched in private areas and kicked there as well.  It wasn't by girls however.  It was done by bullies pretending to be gay just irritate me.  One scary event took place about 10-15 years ago.  After an early morning run on the beach, I was followed into a restroom by a 250 pound man who wanted oral sex.  Fortunately, he backed off when I said NO.  Men can be raped or sexually assaulted as well but get little sympathy.  I've never discussed this event until now.  Though such cases are a slim minority, bringing attention to it does NOT diminish women's issues.

All forms of prejudice and injustice are wrong on all sides.
This could be my most controversial post.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Training 1/29-2/4

I'm starting this post on Sunday the 28th with an extremely heavy mind.
 Tomorrow will be YUGE!  2 questions could be answered:

Is the glycine spike a 1 day blip or a longer lasting issue?  I'm okay with it being lasting so long as my tolerance to it is unlimited AND I can run decent times.  Today's PM workout was a split decision.  I got no significant difference either way over 5g, which is good but could not go much faster than 6:30 pace for a half mile, which is bad.  I should be able to go well under 6:00 pace for that short of a distance but the legs were heavy and the HR was slow.

The second question relates to glutathione.  It failed last Fall but back then, I was cheating too often on caffeine, sugars and preservatives.  My hope is that it will increase the effectiveness of the glycine and allow me to get by without the mega doses.  Could the glutathione reduce the need for glycine or could it cause intolerance to it?  Will it be a factor at all?  The hated interval workout is on tap for the morning.

1/29-Day 9.  AM- 4x3 laps at Golds as follows
2000 Glycine- 3:07 (9:21 pace)
3000 Glycine- 2:47 (8:21 pace) MINUS 60
Glutathione- 2:42 (8:06 pace) MINUS 15
6000 Glycine- 1:56 (5:48 pace) MINUS 46 per pill.
1.5 lap cool to bring the session total to 1.5 miles.
The glycine spike is most definitely NOT a 1 day blip.  I still believe it will calm down within 7 days and I'll be back to 3000 or less.  When it does, extra will not hurt me as is the case with adrenal support.  Glutathione appears to be helpful but may not be a game changer.  Still, a 15 second pace increase is indeed enough to be significant.  As for the top pace, it was a better showing than yesterday but short of my capability.  I've done 1:50 in this workout before and in an all out Mile, I would fall short of the 6 minute barrier.

PM- 4 miles in 31:20 (7:50 pace).  Split the difference between Saturday's solid effort and Sunday's debacle.  Got off to a good start (7:27) then the next 2 miles were over 8:00 pace but a late rally enabled a somewhat respectable finish.  Added a half mile cool.  This is the 2nd day of the glycine spike so I'm not terribly upset about taking a step back.  The first few days after an adrenal spike are always rough even with extra pills BUT I improved every day.  HR-146, Cadence- 178.  Again, this is not a relapse.  If it were, I'd be over 34 for this distance on the 2nd day.
Grade:C+/2 credit/distance=6.0

1/30- Day 10. Unplanned rest day.  Glutathione is the culprit.  I get a clear NO on the 2nd day so I can live with that but it is disturbing that glycine did not protect against this.  It was a risk that I was willing to take but ABSOLUTELY NO MORE EXPERIMENTS.  I've got to go with this formula for better or worse.

1/31- Day 11- AM.  1 mile in 10:52.  Worse than expected.  NO MORE!

PM- 2 miles in 19:57 (9:58 pace).  MINUS 54.  Fairly even pace but ZERO energy.  HR-136, Cadence=168.  I know what to expect tomorrow.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=3.0

2/1- Day 12- Exactly what I expected.  3 miles in 25:42 (8:34 pace). MINUS 84.  2nd day after a relapse is always 3@8:30 give or take a few seconds.  That's it for today.  Tomorrow, I will be under the Mendoza line.  HR-137, Cadence-176.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=3.0

2/2- Day 13- Performed as expected again.  3 miles in 22:57 (7:39 pace).  MINUS 55.  Even pace with a late rally to break 23.  HR-141, Cadence-182.  HR is only just beginning to rise so there's plenty of room for more improvement.  Tomorrow would probably be in the mid-21s but I will attempt to go long with the slow group.  I am officially out for the Mercedes half.  Even if next week is good, I just don't have enough training.  As for the glycine, I clearly still need it and I'm good with that.  It is unclear however if I continue to see additional benefit beyond 3000.  I'll find that out on Sunday.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=3.0

2/3- Day 14. Yet another FAILED long run.  Nobody in the group wanted to push it because Mercedes is next weekend but I could not even hold a 9 minute pace.  Cut it off at 1.25 miles and slow jogged back.  Ended up at 2 miles in 19:40 (9:50 pace).  Got home to find that EXCESS GLYCINE was the culprit this time.  That's right.  Last week, I failed because my glycine dose was too low so I raised it.  This week, I failed because it was too high.  Will it ever stabilize?  I'm giving just 7 more days and that is it!

PM- Go figure.  After just 7-8 hours of clearance, I was a lot better.  Managed 3 miles in 23:58 (7:59 pace).  Even splits and I was near 8:00 pace all the way give or take a few ticks so I didn't need a big kick to do it.  I'll try to go long again tomorrow with a lowered dosage.  If successful, the grade will be adjusted.  I'm nearly certain that glycine is still needed but the spike is over.  I'm not pleased that my ceiling is no longer unlimited but for the last time, I'm fine with having to take an exact dose every day.  IT MUST BE STABLE!  THAT'S HARDLY AN UNREASONABLE DEMAND!
Grade:F/2 credit/distance=5.0

2/4- In my disgust, I cheated yesterday and it probably cost me today.  I must reset the count and thus give it another 21 days before I retire.  Workout was 2.5 miles in a pitiful 21:55 (8:46 pace).  I was worse after taking additional glycine so I treated the next half mile as a cool down then quit.

PM- Tacked on another Mile at Vestavia in 8:30 with a decent finish.  2 days in a row, I felt much better several hours after glycine despite cheating.  From now on, I will begin taking those suckers at night.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=4.0

Weekly summary:
I feel completely defeated now but I will keep going for another 21 days.
Distance= 24.0/ GPA=8.9 /8= 1.11

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Texas/Mexico Trip Plan

I initially planned on crossing at Nogales, Arizona and maybe I will down the road but I’d want to combine it with a race in Tucson, which does not fit my schedule this year.

Preliminary Plan:
Day 1 (Friday)- Leave work just a couple hours early and catch an early evening flight from Birmingham to Brownsville, Texas.  The logistics are not too bad.  It only requires a short connection in Houston or Dallas.  I won’t get in until nearly 11 PM so all I can do is pick up my rental car and check into the hotel, which should be within a couple miles of the airport.

Day 2 (Saturday)- Sleep in a bit then head about an hour west to the town of Progreso then cross into Mexico.  I can park in a lot on the American side for just $2 then take a pedestrian bridge across the border.  The nearest border town to Brownsville is actually Matamoros but word on the street is that it is not very safe and you have to walk about a mile to get to the actual town.  No thanks.  Nuevo Progreso has a strong police presence and looks much nicer at least according to YouTube.  Yes, the town is just across the border.

The footbridge has been described by tourists as a “portal to another world” and that appears to be accurate based on what I’ve seen.  I can expect lots of drug stores and denty offices, which offer comparable services at much lower prices than in the USA and perhaps musicians playing on the street.  I don’t expect to spend more than a couple hours there.  I’d like to browse around the shops, eat a couple tacos or fajitas con pollo (chicken) or carne asada (beef) and of course, have a drink at a bar.  I remember a little bit of basic Spanish from high school and though the town is gringo friendly, I’d imagine a few words of Spanish even with a southern accent, will be much appreciated by locals.  Getting into Mexico will be no problem.  They usually don’t even ask you for documentation.  There may be a small line (20-30 minutes) getting back to the USA and I will need my passport card.  Mexico will be my 6th foreign country and if I run Detroit in October, I will hit both Mexico and Canada in the same year.   Once back in the USA, I will head back east to South Padre Island (1 hr. 20 min) from the border.

Day 3 (Sunday)- I’ll actually arrive by mid-afternoon Saturday and will have all day Sunday and most of Monday on the beach.  As far as Texas beaches are concerned, South Padre Island wins hands down.  I’ve been to Galveston before and liked it but was underwhelmed by Stewart Beach.  Corpus Christi is supposedly clearer but it is not until you hit South Padre Island that the beaches actually rival the beauty of those on the Florida/Alabama Gulf.  I can’t take my boogie board on the plane so I could either buy a cheap one down there or order an inflatable board from Amazon or Wal-Mart.  I’m leaning towards the latter option because I can use it any time I fly away to another beach destination.

Day 4 (Monday)- Again, I can take a late afternoon flight out of Brownsville so I’ll have most of the day on the beach and get back to Birmingham late in the evening.  If I choose a weekend with a state holiday on a Monday, I can do this trip with only a few hours leave from work. 

When to do it:
April- will probably visit family
Memorial Day- beach probably will be packed.
Early June- probably the best chance
Labor Day- crowded and the wettest time of year in that area.
Early June is my best chance.

Nuevo Progreso
South Padre Island

Monday, January 22, 2018

Training 1/22-1/28

1/22- AM. Day 2.  Gold's 4 in 31:51 (7:58 pace).  MINUS 27 from yesterday.  An improvement but I was hoping for better.  Jacked the glycine up to 2000, which may have been premature, but I'm sticking with it for the next few days.  Held the pace fairly well but had no higher gear.  HR-147, Cadence-178.  May be back this evening.

PM- 3 miles in 22:52 (7:37 pace).  Felt noticeably better than the morning.  No relapse.  Hope is still alive, just barely.  Added a half mile cool.  HR was up to 151.
Grade:C+/2 credit/distance=7.5

1/23- Day 3.  Gold's 5 in 37:18 (7:28 pace).  MINUS 9 with 2 extra miles after a double yesterday.  I'll take it but something still feels off.  I was pretty much wide open the last half and just could not pick up the pace even though I had plenty to give in terms of cardio.  Legs were dead.  Splits were 18:34-18:44 so I did hold the pace fairly well and never went above 7:35.  HR was up just 2 ticks to 153 with a perfect 180 cadence.  Feeling more and more let down as the evening progresses.  This feels like a PABA flare but there's no panic this time.  It's a one day blip due to withdrawal from those damn benzoates in Gatorade and beer.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.5

1/24- Semi planned rest day.  I was correct about the PABA flare but probably overshot the dose.  I should not need it again.

PM- Made it through Day 4 but ironically, cheating would have helped in the short-term.  Again, this is the only relapse that I will tolerate because there is an explanation.  Absolutely no more.

1/25- Day 5.  AM- 2 miles at Gold's in 17:52 (8:56 pace) and it required full effort to keep the pace under 9.  No PABA.  As expected, it was a one day flare.  NO MORE!  I may be back out this evening.  HR-137. Cadence- 174

PM- 3 miles in 24:45 (8:15 pace).  MINUS 41.  Noticeably better in the afternoon after a foul smelling urination.  Even pace but again, this was about as fast as I could go right now.  HR came up 10 beats to 147 while the cadence remained 174.  I've learned that benzoates form the toxic compound benzene in the presence of Vitamin C.  That explains a few things.  More to come in a separate post.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=5.0

1/26- AM.  Day 6. Gold's 3 with some nice views of the sunrise.  Finished in 22:44 (7:35 pace).  MINUS 40.  Even pace but once again, I was going nearly all out but could not access higher gears.  Will I continue to improve or collapse again?  One more collapse and it's over.
That's it for today.  Interestingly, my HR actually dropped to 141 but the cadence was up to 182.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/27- Day 7.  5 miles in 36:50 (7:22 pace).  Solid performance.  MINUS 13 with 2 extra miles.  I bet this was worth at least a MINUS 23 for 3 miles.  1st half- 18:18, 2nd half-18:32.  HR was up to 155 with a 183 cadence.  Felt somewhat like myself but still not there yet.  There is a group run on the Mercedes course tomorrow.  I'll run weather permitting but it looks iffy.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=5.0

1/28- AM- Another embarrassing group run.  As usual, I felt and started off reasonably well then faded in Mile 2 and collapsed in Mile 3.  Finished 3 of the 13 scheduled miles in a time of 24:03 (8:01 pace) with splits of 7:29-7:51-8:43.  Got home and found the culprit, which to my relief was need for additional glycine.  Anything else would have been the death knell.

PM- 4x800 intervals at Gold's with glycine:
3000- 4:20 (8:40 pace)
4000- 3:43 (7:26 pace) MINUS 74
5000- 3:17 (6:34 pace) MINUS 52
8000- 3:13 (6:26 pace) MINUS 8
Though this is EXTREMELY MADDENING, it is NOT a relapse.  It is a glycine spike, which is probably temporary.  I was pleased that while I got no significant benefit above 5000, there is no sweet spot in which I need an exact dose or else.  With the PABA, I needed to hit it exactly with no deviation (up or down).  I'd probably do about the same on 10,000 glycine.  I predict that assuming I don't cheat, the spike will calm down within 7 days and I'll settle on 1000-3000.  I am likely out for the Mercedes half though I may run the 5K instead.
Grade:F+/2 credit/distance=5.0

Weekly summary:
Hanging on by a thread.
Distance= 31.0/GPA= 1.64
YTD: 107 miles.  0-3 with a 1.77

Monday, January 15, 2018

Training 1/15-1/21

1/15- Cheated again and must reset the count now to Day 1 now.  It was partially by design to confirm that sugar does reduce the tolerance to glycine.  Still not sure if that was it or the kidney supp that increased the demand.  I'll find out very soon but I am 80-90% sure it is sugar related.  Workout was not pretty.  I had the day off for the MLK holiday so I ran outside in the daylight in 40 degree temps.  Went with 1500 glycine, which would have been fine yesterday.  Today, I struggled through 3 miles in 26-flat (8:40 pace) but the splits were even.  Never felt good but kept it between 8:30-8:50 all the way.  Now, let's hope this does not cause an adrenal spike or PABA flare.

PM- Feeling better already.  Impromptu 3 miler at Gold's in 23:50 (7:57 pace) but closed in a solid 7:37.  Clearance of glycine or sugar?  I'm now 90% sure that if I abstain, up to 2000 glycine will be tolerated.  Perhaps more.  Tomorrow, I will be nearly 100% convinced.  I've also learned that glycine is involved in ATP production.  Fixing that issue could be YUGE!  Even when my legs go dead, I've always felt that I had more to give in terms of cardio and the low HR confirms that.  Glycine seems to increase my max HR and thus will increase my workout capacity.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=6.0

1/16- Day 2.  Got off work early due to the threat of snow and cold temps.  Gold's was still open so I got my 5 miles in plus a half mile cool.  Started on 1000 glycine and came through 3 miles struggling to keep the pace under the Mendoza line.  I was at 23:35 (7:52 pace) then popped 500 more hoping to find another gear.  This time, I did.  Next 2 miles were 14:44 (7:22 pace) with a strong finish.  Figure that a fresh 3 miler on 1500 would have been in the low 22s.  I'm betting that 2000 would have been better but I'll try that tomorrow.  One curious finding was the HR.  It was 153 in the 3 mile and 144 in the 2 mile despite the faster pace in the latter.  I am now nearly 100% sure that the sugar prevents glycine tolerance.  No adrenal spike today and I'm likely in the clear there.  A PABA flare could still happen.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.5

1/17-Day 3.  2x2.5 miles at Gold's.  Started on 1500 glycine and came through in 18:20 (7:20 pace) then despite being less than fresh, I was able to turn it up a notch on 2000.  Improved to 17:36 (7:02 pace).  HR was 147 on 1500 then it jumped all the way to 169 on 2000.  Excellent news all around.  Maybe just maybe, if I avoid sugar I've got this thing beat.  Did not run on 2500 but I think my energy ticked up a tad again.  The best case scenario is that I continue to improve up to 3000 but anything beyond that is a non-factor as is the case with MF and ADHS.  This counts as a tempo.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=5.0

1/18- Day 4.  I planned on resting today but got up early and decided to do a junk run.  2 miles in 15:46 (7:53 pace) plus a half mile cool.  No effort (HR 138) but a smooth even pace.  I am now nearly 100% sure that glycine is the key and there is a real chance that abstinence from sugar will allow tolerance to it and prevent the PABA dependence.  Not even going to allow hopes to rise until I hit 30 days with no relapse.  Staying on 2000 through Saturday then I will try 3000+.
Grade:Pass/0 credit/distance=2.5

1/19- Day 5. Late start this morning so it was another junk run with an experiment.  On 2000, I came through 1 Mile in a relaxed 7:18 but was significantly weakened on 3000.  That's okay.  I may need a few more days to tolerate higher doses but if 2000 is my ceiling, I still ought to do okay.  Treated Mile 2 as a cool down and did not even time it.  I've found that an occasional beer does not set me back.  Neither does lemonade or Gatorade.  Coke and Red Bull do.  A single cheat there will leave me unable to tolerate higher doses of glycine for several days and may cause a PABA flare.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=2.0

1/20- 3 miles in 28:30 (9:30 pace) with the 3rd mile over 11 minutes.  I spoke too soon about the Gatorade/Powerade.  I felt MUCH worse after drinking a bottle after the run.  Although I did not see on the label that it contains benzoates, indeed it does.  Online research confirmed this.  I must reset the count and stick to nothing but water for at least 21 days. Even then, a single cheat day per week is probably not a good idea.  A PABA flare is possible next week too.  This sucks.

PM- 1 Mile at Vestavia out of sheer boredom.  Finished in a better than expected time of 8:54 and might have a shot at the Mendoza line tomorrow.  Still EXTREMELY ANGRY!  It's come down to this:  21 days of drinking water only.  I will not tolerate any more relapses with the exception of a 1 day PABA flare.  Other than that, I am done.
Grade:F+/2 credit/distance=4.0

1/21-Day 1.  Lakeshore 4 miler on a nice afternoon.  Got about what I expected out there.  Finished in a time of 33:40 (8:25 pace).  1st half-16:36, 2nd half-17:04 so I faded but did not collapse.  Slightly better than my usual day after relapse performance but still above the Mendoza line.  Went with only 1000 glycine but that will be jacked back up to 2000 tomorrow.  HR-154, Cadence-176.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=4.0

Weekly summary:
The next 20 days will be make or break.  I cannot tolerate any more relapses.  If the water only plan fails, I am officially out of options and do not see a path to recovery going forward.
Distance= 29.0/ GPA= 2.13
YTD- 76 miles.  0-2 with a 1.84 GPA

Friday, January 12, 2018

Kidney and Ceruloplasmin Test Results and Reaction

In short, my kidney function is less than optimal but nothing too great to fear.  I’ll highlight a couple numbers of interest:
BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)- 18 (6-20)
Creatinine- 1.04 (0.76-1.27)
BUN/Creatinine Ratio- 17 (9-20)
Sodium- 143 (134-144)
eGFR- 91 (60+)
Ceruloplasmin 21.4 (20+)

Why did I think I might have kidney issues?
Several reasons.  Kidneys are involved in filtration and I thought perhaps poor function may be playing a role in my sensitivity issues.  I am not bouncing back quickly from relapses.  I used to be fine again after 2 days.  Now, it takes 3 before I am even somewhat like myself and 5 until I am all the way back.  Even on my best days over the last few years, I still don’t feel the same as I did at my peak.
I have horizontal ridges all up and down the center of my thumbnails, which is often considered a sign of kidney distress.  Also, when I do take a pill that I cannot tolerate, my urine has an extremely foul smell about 24 hours later but I feel a lot better immediately afterwards.  I’ve also noticed feeling a bit worse after eating a protein bar in the morning.   

What to make of these numbers:
No problem at all with the Creatinine.  BUN is a little on the high side but not too alarming.  Same with the ratio.  If I continue to reduce protein and stay off the sugared drinks, that should come down further.  Sodium is at the top of the range but it is narrow and not a surprise given that I am a fast oxidizer.   As for the eGFR, anything below 90 may indicate possible kidney damage.  It does not become critical until you get down to 30 but I am right on the edge.  Again, radical intervention should not be necessary if I stay the course.  No to NOS and I may not even try the herbal detox pill. 

As for the ceruloplasmin, Morley wants it near 30 and this is drop from last time (25.9).  I will continue with Whole Food C for sure and stay off the Cal, D and HFCS.  If I can get by with less MF, I’ll do it.   I know that I can raise it with Liver Beef but I am awfully leery given my bad history with that stuff.  Maybe I’ll take it occasionally if tolerated.  Back in 2014, I felt my best when my Cp level was around 20 so perhaps it is nothing to worry about.  I've heard that it does often fall after blood donations.

Why the recent issues?
If Creatinine was normal, why did I react so badly to a Creatine supplement?  Why the intolerance to the kidney glandular and SHMT?  That’s all unnerving to me but I just read that kidneys play an important role in glycine conjugation and benzoic acid (PABA) is BAD for the kidneys.  Once again, staying off PABA is KEY!  Perhaps my tolerance to glycine has improved and I can tolerate more than 1000 mg now.  That should be helpful.  It might all boil down to that and it is glycine or bust.
I’ve screwed up once in the last 12 days.  I can get away with that but let’s not push it.  How does it affect me?  On the first day I take it after being off it a while, I get a nice mild buzz throughout the day with no real crash.  Too much will cause some jitters but if I keep it under 120 mg, I’m okay.  I can stay up late and wake up early the next morning still feeling some of the effects but I will crave it the following day.  That’s when I must say NO.  If I take it 3 days in a row, I will develop a tolerance.  The buzz is gone and the withdrawal sets in, which includes headaches, an adrenal spike and a possible PABA blip.  The only time caffeine ought to be useful for me is when I need to get up super early the next morning after a later than usual night.  Even non-caffeinated carbonated beverages contain benzoates and preservatives, which can mess with the glycine conjugation.  Just say NO to Sprite as well.  I must stick to water but will allow an occasional beer after I make 21 days.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Training 1/8-1/14

1/8- Day 9 off sugar and Day 3 on a stable formula.  Gold's 5 in 37:51 (7:34 pace).  MINUS 22 compared to yesterday.  I'll take it.  Legs went dead in Mile 3 after a good start.  1st half-18:40, 2nd half-19:11 though I did rebound a bit at the end to secure the sub-38.  Still a ways to go.  One bad week does not a year make.  Nearly half way to 21 days tomorrow, which is generally considered the time necessary to break a habit.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

1/9- Day 10.  I experimented and endured a rough day as a result.  It was a risk I was willing to take and I don't feel so bad about it.  Ran 3 laps without glycine or SHMT and finished in a pitiful 3:08 (9:24 pace).  Took several sprays of SHMT and improved to 2:59 (8:57 pace).  MINUS 27, which is significant but not nearly effective enough and I did not feel a radical change.  Popped the glycine next and got worse.  Slipped back to 3:20 (10:00 pace).  That's it for today and it counts as a rest day.
Grade:Freebie/0 credit/distance=1.0
SHMT performs the same function as glycine but it must be one or the other, not both.  Glycine is clearly the best choice despite Yasko's advice.  SHMT was pitched.  CBS/NOS is likely a NO as well but that will be confirmed at a later date.  Funny thing is that I felt better initially after taking it but within about an hour, it went downhill. Perhaps, I need to start with a few specks.  Why did I do this? I've long suspected kidney weakness and these products are designed to help with that.  Of course I want to get back to PR form but if it's not to be, I'm okay with it as long as I am CONSISTENTLY in the respectable zone.  Again, as long as I am off PABA, I still have a chance.

PM- Took the evening off as planned.  After doing some research, I have a strong feeling that my kidney function is not up to snuff and YES, that can and does affect ATP production.  I'll get that tested on Monday.  Conservative treatments include cutting out protein bars and staying off sugar.  Since SHMT and CBS/NOS have failed, I can take a kidney glandular or a NOS only nucleotide product.  Yes, I do have a double mutation on the key NOS gene.  As for the dysbiosis issue, I think that is under control.  I'll try Dysbiocide only if PABA flares up.

1/10- Day 11.  AM- 1 mile in 9:55 and it took a rally at the end to break 10.

PM- 2 miles at Vestavia on a mild evening in 17:38 (8:49 pace) MINUS 66.  A disaster was not unexpected after experimenting with SHMT and CBS/NOS.  Again, it was a risk that I was willing to take.  Same is true with the kidney glandular and the NOS only nucleotide but that's all.  No more experiments for a while.  I will do the kidney lab test tomorrow morning and should get the results by the middle of next week.
Grade:D-/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/11- The kidney supplement came today and it was a DISASTER.  Again, it was a risk that I was willing to take.  That leaves NOS as the only other option unless I need to start with a minute dosage, which may be possible.  I'll explain why I think I may have a kidney ailment in a later post.  It's not so bad that I need a transplant or dialysis but I may need medication.  I did the blood test this morning and if my numbers are normal, I won't even mess with the NOS.  As for the workout, it was 1 Mile at Vestavia's track in 9:52 and it took a 4th quarter rally to break 10.  I cheated on Day 12 but it won't hurt me as long as I bounce back tomorrow so I will not reset the count.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=1.0

1/12- Must not cheat again and I am confident that I will not.  I will write this week off as a loss and take a mulligan on the grading.  I allow one such week per 6 months.  One LAST option is an herbal kidney cleanse that is worth a shot.  Likely a rest day because I still feel awful but I may do a junk run this evening.  The lab result could come as early as this afternoon but I will likely have to wait until Tuesday. 

PM- Did NOT cheat and it will be easier from now on.  Workout was the usual for the day after a relapse.  3 miles in a robust 25:41 (8:34 pace) and it was as fast as I could go.

1/13- Day 14- Very interesting interval workout.
Started with Methyl folate w/1000 glycine (usual dose):
400- 2:37.0
800- 2:37.5
1200- 2:35.5
If I had taken zero, I would have been over 3 but there is no significant benefit to a dose higher than 400 so that's what I will take.  Too high of a dose may reduce ceruloplasmin.
Next things got more interesting with glycine:
1500- 2:25 (7:15 pace) MINUS 30
2000- 2:13 (6:39 pace) MINUS 36
2500- 2:20 (7:00 pace) PLUS 21
Not sure what to make of this.  In the past, I was noticeably weaker if I went higher than 1250 but now, I felt best at 2000.  The increased tolerance is due to either an increased need from the kidney supp, which still hasn't fully cleared or due to the sugar restrictions.  Perhaps in time, I will benefit from doses higher than 2000.  One VERY important discovery: Though not confirmed yet, my problems with Liver Beef were likely due to an interference with glycine conjugation rather than the Iron content. If I was to take Liver again, I'd probably still have a bad reaction but it would be partially mitigated by extra glycine IF I remain off sugared drinks.
Distance= 2.0

1/14- Totaled 5 miles in 37:31 but it was split up with 3 miles on 1000 glycine then 2 miles on 2000.  Came through 3 miles in a solid 22:15 (7:25 pace) with a slight negative split.  Popped another 1000 glycine hoping to find another gear.  Instead, I got slightly worse but it was no disaster.  Next 2 miles were 15:16 (7:38 pace) with an even split.  Interesting finding was though I had less overall energy, my HR increased from 150 to 163.  That tells me that extra glycine could be a benefit in the future but can I tolerate it?  Best chance is to stay off sugar.

-20 miles on the week.  47 on the year.  No grading.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Training 1/1-1/7

1/1- New Year.  Same problems.  3 miles in 29:36 (9:52 pace).  Fortunately, I do NOT need PABA.  I am on Day 2 on the HARD MODE sugar withdrawal.  The 2nd day is always the hardest and I should be better tomorrow.  This will be a lifetime commitment and once I make it 21 days, it will come a lot easier.  I can get away with cheating once in while but the risk of a relapse is too much.  Sugar is addictive.  Also, I've learned that even with glycine, ADHS rather than Thym-Adren is the best form of adrenal support for me.  Thym-Adren is tolerated in small doses but mega doses present a problem.  It's back to the ADHS tomorrow.
Grade:F+/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/2- AM.  As expected, Day 3 is better.  3 miles in 26:16 (8:45 pace)  MINUS 67.  I may be back out this evening.  Will I continue to improve or collapse again next week?  Still off PABA.  We'll see what the Berberine or another dysbiosis product does soon.  SHMT will also be given another shot.  If I react badly to those, it's not the death knell.  The need for PABA is.

PM- 5 miles in 41:29 (8:18 pace) MINUS 27 over 2 extra miles.  I'll take it.  Took off at 8:00 pace and held it for 2 miles.  Slipped to the 8:30 range in Mile 3 but held it there.  The Mendoza line for 5 miles is 42 minutes so I beat that.  Not the best way to get 8 miles on the day but it's better to do 3/5 than 0/5.  The adrenals will calm down in another 3-4 days provided I stay off sugar.
Grade:C-/2 credit/distance=8.0

1/3- 5 miles in 39:43 (7:57 pace).  MINUS 21.  Progress is progress but I was hoping for better on Day 4.  Went out at 7:38 then averaged over 8:00 the rest of the way and was left feeling down after I finished.   HR was 153, which is the highest it has been in a while.  I'm worried that I am on the verge of a collapse.  Tried just a trace of Myers's product and it was a clear NO.  I haven't touched that stuff in 7 days so it seems unlikely that occasional use will be tolerated any time soon.  Did not try PABA.  The Berberine and Allithiamine should arrive any day now and the former may be my last hope to produce enough PABA to avoid use of the problem supp.  There is a similar product called Dysbiocide (sp?) that does the same job as Berberine.  Perhaps I am still adjusting to the sugar withdrawal and I may experience a temporary need for PABA.  I am committed to this for at least 21 days.  Mind is full now.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.0

1/4- Day 5.  Woke up feeling awful and just as I feared, I needed the PABA.  Took 200 just to get through the day at work then hit the gym for the dreaded interval workout.  3 laps.
200- 2:54- 8:42 pace
300- 2:35- 7:45 pace
400- 2:08- 6:24 pace
500- 1:50- 5:30 pace
700- 2:13- 6:39 pace
3 lap cool down
I know that 500 is the sweet spot now.  I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE SWEET SPOT WILL BE NEXT WEEK!!!    To clarify, what happened today is not the death knell, a moving target is.  How to prevent that from happening?  I have several options:
I know that NADH and Myers' Anti-Microbe are both NO.
1)Berberine or Dysbiocide to prevent the need for PABA
2) SHMT spray instead of glycine to prevent the need for PABA
If both options fail and PABA really is needed, I'm actually okay with it.  SO LONG AS THE DOSE IS CONSISTENT.
3) I could probably shut down the need for PABA by drinking Coke because of the benzoic acid content but it would have to be an every day thing and likely leave me with a very narrow window.  I don't like this idea because it's not good for me.  If I go off/on with it, that will almost certainly lead to fluctuations.  It is possible that the need for PABA is only a temporary flare up as part of the sugar detox.  I'm fine with that as well BUT IF I AM FORCED OFF, I BETTER NOT BE FORCED BACK ON WITHOUT EXPLANATION!  If that happens, I'm done.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=2.0

1/5- Day 6 was awful.  Unplanned rest day and I knew it before an attempt to run.  The culprit is PABA.  That's right, the same stuff that I could not function without yesterday, I now can barely function with it.  I'm not surprised that I was forced off.  I am surprised that it happened so quickly.  Do I need to quit it altogether or do I still need it at lowered doses?  I am now 1 step away from the death knell.  Unless by some miracle I can shut off the demand for PABA with other treatments, I am DONE if I am forced back on it without an explanation.

1/6- Day 7.  The usual performance for the day after a relapse.  3 miles in 25:27 (8:29 pace).  The Berberine and the Allithiamine both arrived yesterday.  Both appear to be non-factors but there is a slim chance that Berberine or Dysbiocide could shut off demand for PABA.  The best case scenario is that the need for PABA never flares up again!  Today, I was significantly WORSE after just a trace of stand alone PABA (less than 25 mg).  I can only hope against hope that this is the last time I have to deal with this.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=4.0

1/7- Day 8.  Braved the cold and wind to run 5 miles on Lakeshore around 8 AM in sub-freezing temperatures.  Finished in 39:41 (7:56 pace). MINUS 33.  Splits were very even but it was just about as fast as I could go out there.  HR was up to 155 and Cadence was 178.  The sugar abstinence should come easier now.  Yesterday was hard but I made it.  2nd day on a stable formula.    
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.0

Distance= 27.0/ GPA= 1.54
-I've reached a verdict on Calcium.  Even with the glycine, it leaves me slightly weaker so that bottle will be pitched.  Without the glycine, I could not run at all on that stuff.  That's exactly what I want to see happen when I take a pill that is not good for me.  A clear NO but not a disaster and it should not hurt too much tomorrow.