Monday, November 12, 2018

Training 11/12-11/18

11/12- Birmingham weather often takes a turn for the worse after Veteran's Day.  We typically get 3 days per month in the winter in which it rains all day.  Today is one of those days.  I went to Gold's Gym for some test intervals.  The pain in the ass diminished considerably after 24 hours off the DIM but I still felt pretty rotten when I woke up.  Not a surprise because I took several questionable pills yesterday in hopes of improving the detox symptoms.

At any rate, I came through the 1st mile in 8:50 with a steady pace with no DIM.  That was a BIG improvement over yesterday.  Took just a trace of DIM (1/4 pill) and improved to 8:28 (MINUS 22).  Very good news that at least some was tolerated but my pace slipped on the back half.  Took another quarter of a pill and as I fully expected, it was MUCH WORSE.  Treated Mile 3 as a cool down and don't think I could have broken 10 minutes.
Split decision.  I'll bet money that DIM will solve the sensitivity once and for all but if I can't tolerate it, that's the ultimate in cruelty.  What happens next?  If I only take a trace, it won't be as effective and the dietary restrictions and exact cocktail of pills rule must remain in effect.  However, there is a chance that I can rebuild my tolerance and be able to take a full pill again.  There is also a chance that it will evolve into complete intolerance and leave me right back where I started from.  Time will tell.

Research this afternoon:
I have 4 options if I cannot tolerate DIM at all.
1) Hope the male specific formula is better tolerated.
2) Add glutathione back into my formula (NON-FACTOR)
3) Take a cruciferous supplement without DIM
4) Take DIM's precursor (I3C)

11/13- COMPLETE INTOLERANCE TO DIM!!  I took just a trace this morning and the result was the same as the half pill yesterday.  Could barely run at all.  Attempted a junk run but quit within a couple minutes.  The verdict on glutathione is in and it is a non-factor.  This is further evidence that DIM will solve the sensitivity once and for all because it wasn't tolerated before.  Unfortunately, the ill-effects of taking DIM are MUCH WORSE than the previous sensitivity so I'll have to stop taking it.

The male specific formula should arrive by the end of the week.  When it does, I will try to take it VERY gradually.  Options #3 and 4 are still viable.  If this plan fails, I can virtually guarantee that the sensitivity will kick back in with a VENGEANCE!  Some days will be better than others but the overall trend will be degenerative.  It's looking bleak.

If learned caffeine interferes with estrogen and testosterone metabolism.  I loosened the restrictions because it seemed to be better tolerated on the DIM.  Not so fast.  Perhaps THIS is the culprit.  Then again, I abstained from Wednesday-Saturday of last week and got worse.  My entire life depends on being able to take DIM or a substitute.  That's no exaggeration either.

11/14- AM- Gold's 1.5 in 14:48 (9:52 pace) with a slight negative split (7:27-7:21).  That's horrible but it was an improvement over yesterday.

PM- Another Gold's run instead of 40 and rainy outside.  2 miles in 17:52 (8:56 pace).  Again, I managed a slight negative split (9:00-8:52).  Clearly improving.  I'm not touching DIM again until Saturday.  The sensitivity has already kicked back in.

11/15- Strong negative response to Sam-e last night.  Just 2 days off the DIM and the sensitivity has kicked in BIGLY just as I predicted.  I tried just a trace of DIM in the morning and MUCH TO MY RELIEF, I DID NOT COLLAPSE!!  In fact, I actually felt a little better.  Now, if I had taken a full pill or binged on caffeine, I can just about guarantee another relapse.  The amount that I did take wasn't nearly enough to be fully effective but it was an improvement over yesterday.  3 miles at Gold's in 25:49 (8:36 pace).  MINUS 20 over an extra mile.  The plan is to GRADUALLY increase the DIM dosage and hope that the tolerance increases with time.

11/16- The male specific DIM arrived yesterday and it appears to be a winner.  No, it's not a night and day difference.  I was still afraid to try more than a trace.  What I did was open the capsule and took the small amount left on the bottom.  My mood was noticeably better.  Same 3 miler at Gold's and my time was down to 25:09 (8:23 pace).  MINUS 13 is relatively modest but I was much better in holding the pace on the back half.  Yesterday, I managed only a 13:23 on the back half.  Today, it was 12:47.  I will continue to up the dosage GRADUALLY and hopefully, the tolerance will improve especially if the caffeine is cut out.

11/17- Against my better judgment, I took a full DIM pill today and the male specific formula is stronger (150 mg) so that's the equivalent of 1.5 pills of the old stuff.  As expected, I took a step backwards but it wasn't nearly as bad as it was last weekend.
AM- 1 mile at Vestavia in 9:24
PM- Repeated it in 8:44.  Hopes remain alive.

Friday, November 9, 2018

DIM Product Review

DIM stands for Diindomethane.  My bottle contains 100 mg plus a small amount of Vitamin E succinate and a green blend of spinach, broccoli and cabbage.  I was first told about it 2 years ago as a suggestion to combat sulfur sensitivity.  On the label, it says that it promotes “healthy estrogen metabolism.”  Naturally, as a man, I was frightened by this so opted not to try it.  However, after additional research plus desperation and despair about my continued decline in health, I was willing to give it a try.  It turns out that it also aids in the production of detox enzymes.  The lack thereof may be responsible for the sensitivity.  Also, proper estrogen metabolism can actually RAISE free testosterone by preventing a blockage to its production.  Still, when I re-order, I will get a formulation specifically for men.

My testosterone tested normal back in 2010 but given my history of adrenal disease, it would not surprise me to learn that it has since dropped off.  As recently as early 2015 (age 34), I was still capable of threatening my personal records despite spotty training.  I cratered shortly thereafter and blamed the methylation problems as well as bad genetics.  Well, I believe the methylation is under control now and still no improvement.  In fact, after doing a little better last year, I’ve regressed further in 2018.  There must be something deeper going on here.

I got a bit of a negative reaction and slight flushing the first 2 days but it felt more like detox and that appears to be correct.  Since then, I have seen improvements though at the moment, my running has stabilized but there have not been dramatic improvements yet.  I am hopeful that will come gradually with steady training.

Sarcosine for glycine conjugation is the one product that I cannot do without and it still is.  Early signs showed that Sarcosine might solve the sensitivity issues and though it helps in some areas such as tolerance for Liver, it is not the miracle cure that I hoped for.  Just one skipped dose reminded me that it is still very necessary as I woke up feeling awful without it.

Beef Liver:
Again, I will probably end up rotating this with synthetic B12 to keep my zinc/copper ratio in line but as of now, Liver is my preferred source of B12.  Before the DIM, I could not tolerate more than 1 pill per day.  Otherwise, my whole body tightened up and I got the usual fatigue, depression and VERY poor athletic performance.  Now, I can take 2-3 and probably more yet feel the same.  My performance will not be significantly different versus just 1 of those pills.   As with the Sarcosine, I still need at least 1 every day or else but the flexible dosage is a BIG victory.

Taurine and Molybdenum:
Before starting DIM, my need and tolerance for molybdenum varied from day to day and I eventually discovered that the fluctuation was based on my consumption of protein.  After cutting out protein bars, not only did I not need the molybdenum, I could not tolerate it.  Also, without the molybdenum, Taurine was no longer tolerated probably due to the CBS mutation.  Now, my need for moly will only kick in if I eat too much protein.  Without protein bars, it is not needed but if I do happen to take it, it seems to be a non-factor.  Taurine is tolerated once again even without the moly and may actually be slightly beneficial.  Very good news all around.

Before DIM, I needed a specific type of Methyl folate (5-MTHF) and had to take it with Sam-e at a specific ratio (1400 MF/200 Sam-e) or else I’d be AWFUL.  I could also take DMG but needed nucleotide support from Yasko (BHMT-08) for that to work.  Methylation support is still necessary but once again, the dose is now flexible.  I once took 200 Sam-e and only 400 MF then popped an extra Sam-e during a run.  I was actually slightly BETTER after the extra Sam-e.  Again, very good news.  I have not tried extra DMG yet nor going without the nucleotide support.

Sugared Drinks:
I am best sticking to water only but that can be difficult to do.  I’ve always been able to handle one cheat day per week but any more than that was asking for trouble.  A caffeine binge or 3 consecutive days of cheating spelled doom and I’d often feel worse 48 hours after stopping due to withdrawal symptoms.  Non-caffeinated drinks (Sprite) and even non-carbonated ones (Powerade) would also trigger reactions.  Now, I am still best served by sticking to water but the ill-effects of cheating are not nearly as severe nor are the withdrawal symptoms.   Again good news.

Given my history, it is WAY too soon to celebrate anything.  If I can avoid a relapse for the rest of 2018, then MAYBE I have a chance of beating this.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Training 11/5-11/11

11/5- AM.  Vestavia Mile in 6:34.8.  Best time of the year by 3 seconds.  Splits were 97-1:41-1:43-93 so I finished strong when I had to.  This was MINUS 39 compared to yesterday.  Rate of improvement will be slower from this point on but with steady training, I will chip away at it.  Shooting for a sub-6:30 next time.  Half mile cool.
With DIM, there are definitely positive changes but my tolerance for protein isn't one of them.  If I eat protein bars regularly, I will need molybdenum again.  The difference is that if I don't eat them, taking the moly won't hurt me as it did before.  That is BIG.

PM- 4 miles on Lakeshore in 31:56 (7:59 pace) plus another half mile cool.  Solid performance.  Effort was in the moderate range.  I did turn it up a notch in the last quarter mile because I wanted the sub-8 overall pace but overall, the pace was pretty even and I never felt too uncomfortable.  Maybe it is time to get serious now.  I've been cheating to test out my tolerance and I don't think it's hurt me too much but over the long haul, it's still not good for me.

11/6- Tried 2 DIM pills today but it was still too much of a detox reaction.  I expected to suck bigly out there this evening but surprisingly I wasn't half bad.  Lakeshore 5 in 42:10 (8:26 pace).  Even pace and felt comfortable all the way.  This is probably the pace I should be running on my standard issue workouts given my current fitness level.  Off to a good start in terms of mileage.

11/7- Gold's 4 in 34:44 (8:41 pace) plus a long cool that included a couple of fast 200s.  Pace was slower than I wanted but all is still okay.  Once again, I felt comfortable during the run.  Even pace with something left at the end.  I think the mileage is catching up to me.  I'm not accustomed to consistent mileage and it will just take time to adjust.

11/8- Repeated the Gold's 4 and improved to a 32:53 (8:13 pace).  Nearly 30 seconds per mile faster than yesterday but I did jack up the effort a bit this time.  A couple of observations: YES, I still need some form of B12 (preferably Liver) as well as methylation support BUT the dosage is flexible and there is no magic ratio either.  The paces won't be much different (plus or minus) if I take an extra dose.  That is a BIG victory.

11/9- Planned rest day.  I've earned it.  20 miles in 4 days.  I just want a double digit run tomorrow.

11/10- First BTC run in quite a while.  Survived it but it wasn't pretty.  Finished 10 miles in 99:30 (9:57 pace).  No energy and no power in my legs.  Took extra Taurine and moly afterwards and was noticeably worse.  Mixed feelings about this.  Not pleased at all with the sensitivity but the ill-effects are not nearly as severe as in the past and I was able to survive a double digit run and guarantee a 30 mile week.  DIM may be causing further detox.  Feeling a strange pain in the ass (literally) and lower abdomen.  Yes, that can happen when detoxing so I may have to reduce the DIM temporarily.  May do a junk run tomorrow but it will okay to take the day off.

11/11- 2 mile junk run on Wisteria at GARBAGE pace.  It has become obvious that DIM must be reduced at least temporarily.  I still believe it is a detox reaction.  Who knows what I am getting rid of?  It could be cadmium, lead or even arsenic.  Perhaps something else not reported on hair tests. The pain in the ass and lower abdomen has gotten worse today.  It is possible, however unlikely, that the formula specifically for men will be better tolerated.  The one I take now is for both genders.

-32 miles on the week. 
If I can manage the detox symptoms, 35 miles per week can be done.  I'll hold it there until the end of the year.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Miami/Key West Road Trip Plan

This is not a definite trip.  In fact, I'm probably about 50/50 on going.  If this one is a go, the date will be MLK weekend because I have a day off work.  I was in Miami for Spring Break back in 2005 and I enjoyed it very much but did not venture beyond South Beach.  I would have liked to have gone at least to Key Largo but my travel companion vetoed that.  A recent google search confirmed that yes, Miami is the furthest south that I have been.  It's close but Miami is about 0.2 degrees further south in latitude than Brownsville, Texas. 

A search on Kayak revealed that a round trip flight from Atlanta to Ft. Lauderdale (30 minutes north of Miami) could be had for just $103.  That's a SMOKIN' DEAL!  Birmingham to Key West is 15 hours driving time so that would be 2 full days of travel each way.  No Thanks.  If it was just to Ft. Lauderdale, I might drive that but not all the way to Key West.  Fun fact:  Birmingham to the Canadian border is CLOSER via car than it is to Miami, Florida by almost an hour.  You can look it up.

Here's what I would probably do:
Friday night: Work a whole day then drive to the Atlanta airport.

Saturday- Early-mid-morning flight to Lauderdale then I'd have to rent a car (ugh) and drive to Key West via the Overseas Hwy.  It's about 4 hours to Key West.  Word on the street is that Key West is somewhat over-rated at least when it comes to beaches but it's a bucket list item and it would be cool to go as far south as you can go.  The drive down, mostly over the crystal clear water ought to be beautiful.  In Key West, you are closer to Havana, Cuba than you are to Miami, Florida and a mere 90 miles from the shores of Cuba.  Crazy.  I'll go out for a couple of drinks at a bar and I am sure to meet some colorful characters.

Sunday- Guess what?  There is a half marathon on this date with a companion 5K.  WHY NOT?  I've already got Florida but North Florida is an entirely different world than South Florida.  After the race, I'll head back up north and stay in South Beach for the night.  I'll have part of the day on the beach on Sunday, all day Monday and part of the day Tuesday.  What's the expected weather in January?  The normal air temperature is about 75 with the water temperature about 72.  A little chilly but warm enough for a swim for sure.  It's also the dry season with only 2.0 inches of rain per month.
I could do this trip with just 1 day off work.

Key West

There is a direct flight from Birmingham to Miami for $290.  If I fly out of Birmingham instead of Atlanta, I would save money on gas and lodging.  There is sure to be a lot of congestion between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.  Still, it's probably a net savings of about $75 from Atlanta but it's a LOT more convenient from Birmingham so that's what I'll do.

Every year, Miami gets maybe 5-6 days in which the high temps don't make it out of the 60s and maybe 1-2 days in the upper 50s.  Low 70s will be okay but below that is too cold for a swim.  If I wait until President's Day in mid-February, my chances of good weather will be a lot better.  It should be at least 75 and may hit 80 by then.  I won't get to race but again, I've already got Florida.  I'll decide shortly before trip.

I'm leaning towards the President's Day trip with no race.  Hotels are OUTRAGEOUS!  The cheapest ones are upwards of $350 per night and I'd almost have to stay in Key West because it will be so crowded.  As it is, I'll stay in a nearby Key near Marathon for half price and just make a cameo in Key West.

Training 10/29-11/4

10/29- AM- Gold's 1 Mile under a time crunch in 7:40.  Interesting reaction to B-12 and Liver.  Took just 1 B12 and came through halfway in 3:57.  Popped a Liver and improved to 3:43.  Not a night and day difference but this was enough to be considered significant.  Was the Liver responsible for the improvement or would I have had the same reaction to additional B12?  I'll find out tomorrow.

That's it for today.  I tested out tolerance to forbidden drinks now that I am off the moly.  There's not much difference.  One cheat day per week is okay.  A second one?  Non-consecutive days or a limit of just one serving on the 2nd day is "probably okay" but it's pushing my luck and best avoided.  Any more than that will spell certain trouble.

10/30-AM- Sunrise junk run at Vestavia.  With yesterday's forbidden drinks still in my system, I was awful.  Extra B-12 made things a little better but not enough to be considered significant.  After I took the Liver: YES, I felt noticeably better and was about 30 seconds faster per mile.  Once again, I feel that I MAY have a stable formula but this time, there will be no celebratory post.  If I relapse again, it may be over.

PM- Lakeshore 2.5 in 20:50 (8:20 pace) plus a cool.  Not bad for Day 1.  Last week, I was in a similar situation and did break the Mendoza line but crashed because of the Molybdenum.  Now, I'm off that stuff so in theory it should be clear sailing.  Theories don't usually work out but so far so good.  Let's do it now.

10/31- Lakeshore 5 in 44:45 (8:57 pace).  Not pretty but I made the full planned distance.  Relatively even splits.  Keep doing this and avoid relapses.  Times will go down eventually.

11/1- VERY BAD night last night.  Can no longer tolerate Taurine, which is not a surprise now that I am off the moly.  Just a trace of moly made things MUCH worse.  The only way moly will be tolerated again is to eat more protein bars.  I'm not going back down that road again.  It's a pretty safe bet that the need for moly will NOT flare up again.  Also, the tolerance for Liver is still limited.  Only one such pill is all I can take.  I expected the workout to royally suck but it wasn't as bad as I feared.  Did 3 miles at Gold's in 25:46 (8:35 pace).  This week has not been pretty but with a long run this weekend, I can get a decent mileage total.

11/2- Repeated the Gold's 3 and my time is down to 24:56 (8:19 pace).  MINUS 16.  Yes, this is significant but still not pretty.  I remain sensitive to the Liver dose and cannot take either Taurine or moly.  I'm going to try DIM.  I no longer believe I will recover but I will never stop trying.  Leave well enough alone?  I really don't like being this sensitive and once again, the Sarcosine has NOT saved me at all.

11/3- INTERESTING!  After taking the DIM, I was WORSE but it had a different feel to it.  It felt more like a detox reaction.  Took the same stuff as the VERY BAD night just 2 days ago (Taurine, extra Liver and moly).  This time, there was NO apparent immediate reaction.  That's right.  Everything appears to be tolerated now but that will not be definitive until I run after taking that stuff tomorrow.  As for the DIM, time will tell if it is a detox reaction or I just cannot tolerate it.  Once again, if it is the latter, it will be the Ultimate in Cruelty.

AM- DIM made things awful.  4x400 in pitiful times.  After the 2nd DIM dosage, I was even worse and struggled just to break 3 minutes (12:00 pace) for just 1 lap.

PM- Much better after just a few hours.  Mile at Vestavia in 8:54 with a rally to break 9.  Tomorrow will really be interesting.

11/4- Good news all around. 
AM- Tried to run without DIM and opened with a 400 in 2:05 (8:20 pace).  Probably would have been marginally better than the 8:54 yesterday over a full Mile.  It was clear even before the run that Sarcosine is still needed so DIM alone won't solve the sensitivity.  DIM with Sarcosine might. 
After taking DIM- Improved to a 1:44 (6:56 pace) MINUS 84
Next, it was the moment of truth.  How would I do after taking the taurine and moly together.  Before the DIM, I was AWFUL if I took even a trace of either.  Today, I was NO worse.  Came through the 400 in 1:44 once again then continued 3 more laps for a full Mile in 7:13 (MINUS 1:41) versus yesterday.  Tacked on a half mile cool.

PM-Lakeshore 2 in 15:08 (7:34 pace).  More good news.  In the past, Sam-e taken without extra MF (exactly 1200 mcg) would trigger a reaction.  Not so this time.  I came through the 1st mile in 7:38 then actually improved marginally to 7:30 on the back half AFTER taking Sam-e.  Tolerance to protein bars and caffeine appear to have improved as well but it's still advisable not to make a habit of it.  A celebration is definitely premature at this stage but I finally have real reason for hope.  DIM can improve free testosterone levels so if I do have low-T (not a surprise give my history of adrenal issues), that would explain a lot.  Felt somewhat like myself out there this afternoon.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Immigration Policy

I’ve been to Mexico and although the town that I visited (Nuevo Progreso) was heavily catered to American tourists, I saw enough to get a taste of the poverty.  I realize all too well that simply coming in legally is not a realistic option for the majority of Mexicans as the wait times are several years up to more than a decade.  Violent crime and drug cartel violence are out of control.  There is also rampant domestic violence against women, which is rarely enforced as well as considerable racism and colorism against indigenous people.    Even meager earnings as a janitor or chamber maid would be a vast improvement over their former life.  If they have a disabled family member, American dollars go further and can make a huge difference.  I can certainly sympathize with people who want to come to America for a better life.  Still, with that said, it is simply not feasible to allow anyone who wants to enter the USA to come and stay permanently especially not without proper vetting.  If we did that, we could be looking at several million immigrants per year, most of whom have few marketable job skills.  Even one with a criminal background is one too many.  Some are illiterate in Spanish, never mind English and young unaccompanied children are especially vulnerable to falling in with the brutal MS-13 gang.

Many liberal Democrats have called for wide open borders with no background checks and favor sanctuary cities and states to protect CRIMINAL aliens.  That’s flat out dangerous for national security.  It is clear to me that their primary motivation is to gain more voters as a recent poll indicated that nearly half of Democrats favor granting non-citizens and even illegal immigrants the right to vote.  They know that once Texas and Arizona go blue, it will be virtually impossible for the Republicans to win a national election and we will see full-fledged socialism in the USA.  Some GOP strategists have suggested that softening their position would lead to more Hispanic votes.  I don’t buy it.  Trump actually did marginally better than Romney among Hispanics and his percentage was only 3 points lower than McCain, a longtime supporter of amnesty.  While Trump got 29%, I suspect that a Rubio or even Jeb Bush candidacy would struggle to reach 35% unless they advocate for big government and expanded social welfare programs.

Separation of children from parents?  Terrible.  Never should have happened.  Still, there is blame on both sides.  Can we be sure that the children were not kidnapped along the way?  What kind of sick parent would take their child on such an arduous journey where 80 percent of females will be raped along the way?  If they had simply come in through a legal port of entry with an asylum claim but no VISA, what happens?  A very long wait time but yes, your case will be heard and there be no separation.  Also, if they had simply pleaded guilty to illegal entry without a bogus asylum claim, there will be quick reunification.  As usual, media coverage was blatantly dishonest.  Disturbing pictures of children in cages were actually taken in 2014 during the Obama administration and the girl on a TIME magazine cover was never separated at all nor was there a legitimate asylum case.
By definition, in order to qualify for asylum or refugee status, you must prove that you are fleeing either war or government sponsored persecution based on race or religion.  Simply fleeing from poverty, a high crime area or domestic abuse does not qualify.  I don’t think Canada would accept unvetted “refugees” from high crime areas of Chicago or Detroit.  The alternative to detention is a policy called catch and release.  That is, illegal immigrants are then released into the United States on a promise to appear in court at a specific date.  One problem.  Over 90 percent don’t show up for their cases. 

If the illegals make it to a sanctuary city, they are pretty much safe from deportation even if they are later arrested for a serious crime.  That’s an outrage!  Polls show that over 80% of Americans oppose sanctuary cities yet Democrats will never accept legislation to disallow the policies and even if they did, the law may not survive a legal challenge.  Again, I am really not a fan of judicial review.  Moreover, many who find jobs are paid under the table for less than minimum wage.  Estimates show than more than a third do not pay any income tax on their earnings.  That is called tax evasion and legal citizens must make up for the shortfall. 

What policies would I implement if I were in charge?
-Build a wall to stop illegal entries as well as the flow of illicit drugs COLD once and for all.

-Accept a diverse group of LEGAL immigrants from every corner of the world (Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America) based on merit.  I would not end the diversity lottery completely but would sharply reduce it.  As it is, we’re not getting the best that the world has to offer.  We can’t choose our native-born citizens, but we can choose our immigrants.  Why not choose the best and brightest who are likely to thrive in the USA?

-Increase the number of judges to hear asylum cases to expedite the legal process.  What if a woman comes to the border at a port of entry without a VISA but is battered and bruised?  What if she has lost family members to gang violence and fears that she will be next?  I’d hear her case and if it is indeed a legitimate asylum, sure I’d let her in even if she does not have any job skills. 

-In order for your case to be heard, you MUST come in through a legal port of entry.  Failure to do so will result in automatic refusal of entry without a trial for both parents and children.  All families will remain together on the other side.  They will also be banned from legal entry for 5 years and there will be more serious consequences if caught a 2nd time.  Like my grandfather used to say, if we catch them in the act, they’re guilty.  They don’t need a trial. 

-After the wall is built, I would very generously allow non-criminal illegal immigrants a path to permanent legal status with work permits.  No mass deportations.  No citizenship or voting rights however unless you go back home and to the end of the line and re-apply legally just like everyone else.  Perhaps the wait times will diminish when the flow of illegals is shut.  Those who don’t “come out of the shadows” must be subject to deportation.  Trump has expressed a willingness to bend on a path to citizenship for DACA children.  I suspect he could be bluffing because he knows Democrats will never vote for the wall no matter how generous the amnesty deal.  I do not support citizenship for any illegal immigrant but may be willing to accept it for a small number of children under a certain age in exchange for all other reforms.

-Mandatory E-verify for all employers with stiff penalties for knowingly hiring illegal workers and paying them under the table.  Also, there must be a strong VISA tracking system.  An estimated 40% of illegals came here on a tourist VISA but overstayed.  That has got to stop as well.  Not many people have talked about that.  After the path to legal status deal is made, anyone caught with an expired VISA shall be deported.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Training 10/22-10/28

10/22- Planned rest day.  Drive home.  After 21 days of drinking water only with just a single transgression, I cheated today.  No real problems as a result of it.  I'd say that YES, I can handle one cheat day per week but it is of utmost importance to keep it at one.  I cannot make a habit of it.

10/23- 2 miles at Gold's in 15:59 (7:59 pace).  I went with the Liver plus moly plan with no CBS.  It's too soon to say if it is going to work.  I expected to struggle today but it really wasn't as bad as I feared.  With my diminished fitness, I am not going to recover as quickly from these races.  What is certain is this:  Now that the protein bars are out, the CBS/NOS pills are too strong.  Scratch options 1 and 2.  It will either by Synthetic B12 plus moly  OR Liver plus moly.  I don't want to go down the road of having to break open capsule and estimate the optimal amount as I did in Detroit.  I predict that the results will be similar and I will end up doing a rotation of the 2 plans.

10/24- Unplanned rest day.  Cheated again today but there was a purpose for it.  I've said before that forbidden drinks DECREASE the tolerance for CBS pills.  Will cheating have the same effect on tolerance for moly?  Apparently, the answer is YES.  If I do cheat, do I need to take moly at all?  Again, the answer is clearly YES.  Sugared drinks do NOT reduce the demand for moly BUT they do reduce the tolerance.  The latter answer was confirmed today.  Habitual cheating will result in a situation in which I still need moly but can only tolerate a small amount of it.  BAD situation.  I will get back on track tomorrow but may face caffeine withdrawal over the next 2 days.  Hopefully, I will be recovered by the weekend.

10/25- Caffeine withdrawal hit this afternoon but it wasn't as bad as it was in the past.  It was worth it to know that forbidden drinks decrease the TOLERANCE to molybdenum but NOT the need.  I was willing to endure a rough day or two to find that out.  I'm betting that excess protein would have made things a LOT worse.  The workout was 2 miles on Jemison trail in a light rain.  Time was 17:06 (8:33 pace) and I was okay with it.  Should go up from here.  In fact, I was already feeling a little better by the evening.

10/26- 3 miles at Gold's in 23:48 (7:56 pace).  Under the Mendoza line but did NOT feel good in doing so.  Splits were 7:34-8:03-8:11 and if not for a late rally, Mile 3 would have been worse.  I have a strong feeling that NEITHER the molybdenum nor the CBS will be tolerated going forward.  Clean on the diet so I don't think that is a factor.

10/27- It's confirmed.  Both moly and CBS made things MUCH WORSE! I only took a trace of each! Did not even attempt the group run.  Can't run at all.  Completely disgusted.

PM- I've hit rock bottom.  Again.  1 mile on Wisteria in 10:39 running all out.  Splits were pretty even.  NO MORE MOLYBDENUM but I will not be the least bit surprised if the need flares up again by the end of next week.  Cutting out the moly may affect the need/tolerance for both the Liver and B12.  Not looking good at all.

PM- Decided to run again in the evening.  Improved to 7:57.9 at Vestavia.  Granted, a track run is a faster course than Wisteria but this is a BIG improvement.  Tomorrow will be the first full day off the moly.  We shall see what happens.

10/28- AM- Repeated the Vestavia Mile and my time improved to 6:55.3 plus a half mile cool.  Usual sandwich splits but a slight positive split this time.  Only needed a mild 4th quarter rally to break 7.  MINUS 62 and I've got to be pleased but I will not even consider myself "on the way back" until I am consistently under 6:30.  Best time of the year is only a 6:37.9

PM- Perfect weather today.  Took advantage with a Canterbury 3 miler plus another half mile cool.  Time on a hilly route was 22:52 (7:37 pace) and it was below 7:30 after Mile 1.  Strong negative split this time but that's to be expected with a downhill finish.  Still, I felt like I was getting stronger as the run progressed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Detroit Trip Report

Trip Plan:
I had a choice of taking a direct flight or an 11 hour drive.  I opted for the latter to avoid the rental car expense (usually more than the flight itself) and to bring back some duty free Canadian booze that is not available in the USA.  Because my key attractions are spread out, a car is a necessity in Detroit.  The drive up was pretty smooth except for the usual congestion in Nashville.  I stopped just beyond Cincinnati for the night and had less than 4 hours to Detroit on Friday morning.  Detroit has a bad reputation for urban blight and crime but I found the downtown core to be just fine and as long as I stuck to the main roads, I never felt unsafe.

Upon arrival, my first destination was the Renaissance Center and the GM Tower.  I was hoping to see the observation deck on the 73rd floor but unfortunately it was closed for renovations.  Oh well, I would get some nice views of the skyline later in the trip.  I spent some time looking at some of the flashy cars on display then ate some fish and chips at one of the many nice restaurants in the building.  With time to kill before the race expo opened at 2:00, I took a walk down by the river where the skyline of neighboring Windsor, Ontario, Canada could be seen on the other side.  After a short walking tour of the business and entertainment districts, I headed to the COBO Convention center to pick up my race packet.

The race course actually crosses the Ambassador Bridge into Canada for a few miles so all registrants are required to have a valid passport.  The passport number must be entered when you sign up and if you have a criminal record such as a decades old DUI conviction, you could be refused entry.  When on the course, your race bib must be visible at all times and if you run into Canada as a bandit, you could be arrested.  Fortunately, I have no such issues so I simply presented my passport and got my bib without any questioning.  I did purchase a new pair of shorts and some gels before heading out.

From there, it would be the first of my adventures.  I decided to spend Friday night in Canada really just for the sake of doing so.  In the past, crossing back into the USA was always the bigger hassle.  Not so this time.  My entire car was searched including under the seats while I faced continued questioning by the border guard.  I would not say that he was mean but he did find it curious that I would drive so far for a race and come into Canada for tourism.  Fortunately, I had been to WikiTravel so I knew the names of the most famous streets, pizza joints and the shopping mall.   I was told to pop my trunk and even my bag was carefully searched.  I was then sent to Immigration where a criminal background check was done.  This guard was more friendly and I was quickly sent on my way.

Windsor from Detroit

Once in Canada, I was treated to much nicer views of the Detroit skyline and the Ambassador Bridge from Riverside Drive.  I then checked into my hotel and took another short tour of town this time via car.  I thought about going to a bar to mingle with some Canadians as I did in Nova Scotia but could not find one within walking distance of my hotel so I opted for some pretty good pizza at a place called Capri's just across the street.  That was probably a good call to avoid alcohol because I was still not certain how my body would react so close to race day.  Overall, I'd say Windsor is a pretty nice town that does not have the bad areas like Detroit but it is smaller than I expected.  If I had known it would be this much of a hassle, I probably would not have gone.  I stayed in the downtown area but would recommend Riverside with the night skyline view of Detroit despite the higher cost.

Detroit from Windsor

Stopped at the Duty Free shop then it was Back in America.  This time the border crossing went without a hitch and I was off to Belle Isle.  It's all on American soil but it's an island within the river that separates the USA from Canada.  It's popular with runners and cyclists and has a lot of small lakes, lagoons and even a small sandy beach with some more nice views of the Detroit skyline.  From there, it was on to the museums.  First stop was the Motown studio tour.  My group had an excellent tour guide and though that style of music was before my time, I can still appreciate the talent.  An overlooked gem is the Detroit Historical museum.  The first floor was an indoor replica of how the city looked in the late 1800s while the 2nd floor had some pretty cool historical exhibits.  Particularly gripping was the Underground Railroad, which helped escaped slaves get into Canada where there could be no threat of re-capture.

Belle Isle

Except for the song Lose Yourself, I am not a fan of Eminem and his music.  Still, being so close, I could not resist a quick tour of 8 Mile Road.  It didn't look so bad to me and once you get further east close to Lakeshore, I saw some very nice homes.  I eventually picked up Gratiot back to downtown.  Now, this area most definitely has seen better days.  I saw lots of abandoned homes and shops that were boarded up.  Not a pretty sight.  It was now late afternoon and the weather was turning nasty with high winds and even some sleet mixed in with a few rumbles of thunder.  Fortunately, it would calm down and I woke to near freezing but dry conditions on race day.

The race started at 7:00 with it still being pitch black outside.  The course began downtown then headed west towards the Ambassador Bridge into Canada.  It was a mostly flat route with the exception of border crossings and the Ambassador Bridge began around the end of Mile 2.  We would climb throughout Mile 3 and into Mile 4 but it was early on and not steep enough to be terribly uncomfortable.  The next section was a gentle downhill and the book on me is if I can make it to Mile 4 still feeling halfway decent, I would probably finish respectably.  Today, the early pace remained steady between 8:30-8:45 and I felt in control.  At Mile 4, we were off the bridge and onto Canadian soil.  This time, I got a warm welcome and was impressed with the fan support along Riverside with the aforementioned views of Detroit.  Despite a slight incline, I managed to increased my pace and passed the halfway point in 56:24.  A sub-2 was virtually assured and I would probably be better than the 1:57 that I managed 2 weeks earlier in Nebraska.

After 7 miles, it was the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel back to the USA.  It began downhill and I let it fly feeling much stronger than I expected to be at this stage.  The official border was noted on the wall around 7.4 miles and several runners stopped to snap a picture.  Soon, we would bottom out and the uphill portion would be much steeper.  I was starting to struggle but I knew that very soon I would come out and be welcomed back to the USA.  I did carry my passport just in case but there was no danger of being stopped as long as my bib was visible.  Mile 8 came and I was officially back on American soil.  I looked at my watch a tenth of a mile later and found to my relief that I could afford to slow to nearly 10 minute pace the rest of the way and still come in under 2.  Most likely, I would end up 1:53 or 1:54 based on how I felt.  It was starting to hurt now.  As is often the case nowadays, my cardio system had more to give but my legs would not produce.  Still, it was somewhat encouraging that despite being severely under-trained, I really did not melt down in the last 5K and managed a decent kick at the end en route to a 1:53 finish.  My second half was only 1 minute slower than the first half (less than :10/mile).  This was good for the 75th percentile in my age group.  Maybe, just maybe, I am healthy enough to resume serious training.

I chose to stay 2 miles from the start/finish line to save money on lodging.  That proved to be a bad call.  So many roads were closed for runners and the Garmin was completely USELESS.  I was always directed to a road that was closed.  I had to actually go way off course and eventually found my way through the maze.  It took nearly as long to get back to the hotel as it did to run the race.

I was finally on my way out by noon and I caught the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn on the way back.  On display were lots of classic cars including the Old Model T plus other exhibits dedicated to airplanes, agriculture and other historical events.  It was now mid-afternoon but finally time to head south.  I stopped in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the night then it was another 4 hours to home.  I worked half a day on Monday.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Training 10/15-10/21- Race week

10/15-AM- Vestavia Mile.  Hoped to beat my best of the year (6:37.9) but had to settle for a 6:56 and it took a 4th quarter rally just to break 7.  Progress is progress and I'm certainly better than I was just 24 hours ago but I was left disappointed in this.  I know CBS/NOS is still required but a couple tweaks may be necessary.  Do I up the Sarcosine or add Taurine?

PM- Very interesting.  MUCH WORSE after eating a protein bar.  Then got somewhat better after taking extra CBS/NOS.  Signs point to excess phosphorus and poor kidney function.  Protein bars will be STOPPED FOREVER!  Paramin will also most probably never be taken again.  I predict that sugar/caffeine/alcohol will be tolerated once per week but I must never again make a habit of it.  Made it through Day 15.  Not sure I trust the Liver Beef.  I will probably rotate with the synthetic B-12/molybdenum.  It also appears that the Liver Beef INCREASES the need for CBS/NOS.

10/16-AM- 4x400 at Vestavia.
0 CBS/NOS- 2:25 (9:40 pace)
1 CBS/NOS- 1:58 (7:52 pace) MINUS 1:48
2 CBS/NOS- 1:40 (6:40 pace) MINUS 72
3 CBS/NOS- 1:20 (5:20 pace) MINUS 80
 Pretty much full strength on 3 of those suckers.  I don't believe I would have seen significant improvement on a 4th.  If I had run a Mile on 3, I most certainly would have beaten yesterday's time and am probably under 6:30.  Perhaps if I continue to limit protein, I won't need as much CBS/NOS support.  If I go with synthetic B12/molybdenum, I may not even need it at all.  Odds are, I will rotate the 2 plans.  This is Day 16.  Only 5 to go.

PM- Chilly rain hit after my warm up so I shut it down.  I'm not going to gain any fitness before race day and I don't want to risk catching a cold.

10/17- Another one of those WHAT THE ____________ type of days!  Took the same formula that carried me to an 80 second quarter yesterday.  Today, it was a TOTAL FAILURE!  I could not run at all!  Fortunately, there is an explanation.  The excess protein has cleared my system and for that reason, extra CBS/NOS is no longer needed/tolerated.  I must confess that I cheated today but there was a good reason for it.

Ate a 20g protein bar and I was actually BETTER!  Then, got worse again after drinking a Coke at lunch.  What is the explanation?

Protein MOST DEFINITELY INCREASES the need/tolerance for CBS/NOS pills.  If I reduce the protein and cut out the bars, I cannot tolerate high doses of CBS/NOS.  Hell, I'm not even sure if I need it at all if I abstain from the bars.  I'll have to do better with/without tests for the next few days.  The Liver Beef MIGHT increase the need for it irregardless of the protein.  That means if I go with the B12/moly instead, CBS/NOS is less likely to be needed.  I think there is a chance that the CBS/NOS caused the intolerance to B12/moly.  Both reduce sulfur so perhaps I simply overdid it.

As for the forbidden drinks, if I consume excess protein, 1 Coke will actually cause me to feel BETTER because the acid breaks down the protein.  Again, if I make a habit out of it, probably not so much.  However, if I did NOT take protein and DID take the CBS/NOS, it will be a situation in which just half a can could trigger a reaction.  Here's the effect of on the demand for CBS/NOS
Protein bars- INCREASE demand for CBS/NOS
Sugared drinks- DECREASE tolerance for CBS/NOS
Liver Beef- MIGHT increase demand but it's unconfirmed.

If I go consistently without the sugar OR the protein, can I get a stable formula?  I'll save money if I can get off the CBS/NOS but I really don't care if it's zero or one of those suckers.  Just keep it the same every day.

10/18- 5 miles on Lakeshore with an overall time of 42:23 (8:29 pace).  Did the first 1.25 with no CBS/NOS and the pace was a steady 9:07.  Popped a pill and improved to an 8:16 pace on the last 3.75 with a 5th mile in 7:56.  Good news.

This was the outcome that I was hoping for.  I still need CBS/NOS support despite yesterday's overdose.  I probably would have been better if I had only taken half today but I'm not going down that road again. A 2nd pill would have taken me back over 9:00 pace or worse.  I did eat a protein bar 24 hours ago but that was most probably more than offset by the Coke and the overdose.  Tomorrow, it will be confirmed that I still need CBS support.  If I was going to need it, I'm glad the need flared up now rather than on race day.  The goal once again will be a sub-2 finish and I think I've got about a 50/50 chance.

Future options:
If I stay off the protein bars and limit sugar to once per week, I know for sure that molybdenum +CBS/NOS will be too much.  It will probably be the equivalent of 2 CBS/NOS pills.
Option 1: Liver + 1 CBS NOS with no moly (current formula)
Option 2: Synthetic B12+ CBS/NOS with no moly
Option 3: Liver + moly with no CBS/NOS
Option 4: Synthetic B12 + moly with no CBS/NOS
I predict that all 4 options will yield similar results and I will end up going with some type of rotation to guard against a zinc/copper imbalance that may occur if I go with or without Liver for too long.
It's too close to race day to experiment so I will keep the training updates going at least until the end of the month.

10/19- Junk run in Canada.  Planned to do a little more but called it quits after 1 mile because it started to rain and it was cold.  Interesting reaction.  It was clear even before the run that some CBS/NOS was needed.  This time, I only took half a pill and felt pretty comfortable on a 7:xx pace.  Took the 2nd half of the pill and was noticeably weaker.  With the same effort, I was about 30-40 seconds per mile slower.  I'm going with half a pill on race day and I like my chances.

10/20- Planned rest day.  Back in America.  Again, I went with half a CBS/NOS and feel decent.  Scratch options 1 and 2.  It will be a rotation of Liver and synthetic B12 with the moly and NO CBS/NOS.  If I'm not eating protein bars, it's too strong.

10/21- Detroit Free Press Half Marathon in 1:53:56 officially.

-24 miles on the week

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Another Look at the Remaining States

If I can finish Detroit next weekend and that is an IF, it would take me up to 39 race states.  I've given up on the idea of racing half marathons on back to back days.  Unless I am in sub-3:40 full marathon shape, back to back 13 mile training runs will not be a lot of fun.  I'd also prefer to avoid back to back weekend combos unless I can find LOTS of stuff to do in the 5-6 days between races.  The rental car is often the biggest expense of the trip.  They may quote a reasonable $30/day rate but there are all sorts of hidden fees, taxes, insurance and prepaid fuel that it usually ends up being more than double that amount.  A 7 day rental will cost an arm and a leg.  No thanks.  On the bright side, this does open up a lot of new possibilities.  Here is what's on my mind:

Set in Stone:
Washington- RnR Seattle.  This race is in June, which is the dry season up there.  I'll turn it into a near epic road trip with stops in Cannon Beach, Mt. Hood, Mt. Ranier and Vancouver, BC

South Dakota- Spearfish Canyon in July.  Heat could be an issue here but it does start at high altitude and goes downhill.  In something that only I would do, I'll go 8 hours out of my way to see Regina, Sasketchewan.  I've only got 3 more Canadian provinces to go and this is my best chance to check off this one.  Closer to the race site, I definitely want to see Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands National Park.

Maryland- Salisbury in April.  This is probably the front runner for next Spring.  I'll fly to Philly and head down the Delmarva peninsula then come back through Richmond and the Chesapeake Bay.

Rhode Island- Newport in October.  I won't say it is completely set in stone but it's pretty close.  There are a few things that I'd still like to see in both Boston and NYC including a Fenway Park tour and the Empire State Building.  This will be a scenic but somewhat difficult course so I hope I am up for it.

Maine and New Hampshire- Yes, I am willing to double here.  Maine has a Monday race near Portland in May as part of the same New England challenge that I used for Vermont this year.  From there, I will go to Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa before returning to the USA in New Hampshire for a Saturday race.  I'll be gone a whole week but this would be epic.

Hawaii- I'm saving this one for state #50 and I'm hoping to finish by 2021.  Odds are the one that I will target is a race in November on Veteran's Day weekend so it would be the last race of the year.

Utah- There are 3 Cottonwood Canyon races that are basically the same course in May, June and September.  I'll get to see at least 3 National Parks, possibly even the full Mighty 5 going to and from Salt Lake City.

Delaware- I can pick just about any race any time of year now that the combo with New Jersey is out.  The one that I am leaning towards is Caesar Rodney in late March.  The race is held in Wilmington on a Sunday.  It's just over 30 minutes from the Philly airport so I can do this one without missing any time at work.  I can also get a quick sample of Philly including the Rocky Statue, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

Iowa- Again, just about any race will do since I've already got Nebraska.  I'd probably go with one of 3 possible options in either Des Moines or Cedar Rapids.  I'll fly into Chicago and want 2 days of touring there.  Must sees include either the John Hancock or Willis Tower, Rush Street, Millennium Park and Lake Michigan.

Connecticut- I'd lean towards something in Hartford here.  I know there is one in early October but a Spring race will do as well.  Odds are in this case, since I would have already done lots of touring in New England, I'll just fly up and back within 2 days and may not even rent a car.

Unfinished Business:
New Jersey- I've not raced on the road or trail here.  My only organized race was a Junior Olympic track meet at Rutgers way back in 1995.  Yes, it's a real race but not a half marathon and not as an adult.  I found one in September that could allow me to swing another birthday visit/race trip similar to DC this year.  It's in Jersey City partly along the river with views of the Manhattan skyline.  I could fly to Newark and just take Uber to the hotel.

Minnesota- Here, I did finish an organized race and completed 13.1 miles but the official race distance was cut short due to heat and humidity.  Not my fault but it's still iffy to count it and my unofficial time was over 2 hours.  The official race would be in early June in Fergus Falls near Fargo.  It should be nice and cool further north and allows access to Winnipeg, Manitoba.  That would leave only Newfoundland to visit in Canada.

Pennsylvania- I did finish here but it was over 2 hours in a low key race.  Pittsburgh in May is the replacement.  As long as I am in shape to break 2 hours, it's a go.

Massachusetts- Again, I finished but running with a nasty sinus headache, I was over 2 hours.  The replacement race would be in Boston on Memorial Day weekend and could be combined with another Atlantic provinces Canada trip.  This one will likely wait until I finish 50.