Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Miami/Keys Trip Report

Why This Trip:
First, I rarely go someplace warm and sunny in the middle of winter so I figure I'd change that.  Birmingham's winter has not been especially cold so far but it has been more dreary and rainy than usual.  Ideally, I was looking at a place in which I could swim in the ocean without a wet suit.  If you've got to stick to the continental US, South Florida is your best option.  Water temperature is normally about 73 degrees, which is a bit on the chilly side for someone accustomed to the warm waters in the South but I found it to be chilly only for a minute or two.  I was perfectly comfortable once I became acclimatized.  It's also the dry season with an average rainfall of only 2 inches per month.  

In my case, it was also a bucket list item.  I had been to South Beach back in college for Spring Break but did not venture down to the Keys.  This time, I was going as far south as you can go.  Perhaps most significantly, this trip was supposed to be to celebrate closing on a new condo.  The loan process has been a royal pain in the ass and there was a last minute SNAFU that has put it in limbo.  Instead, I would go to get my mind off it and clear my head.  I thought about a race in Key West but decided against it because lodging combined with the entry fee would be over $500.  That proved to be a good call as I will explain later.  

One word of caution:  Miami is not immune to cold fronts.  Although average high temperatures in January are in the mid-high 70s, every winter, the city will see about 6 days in which it doesn't make it out of the 60s and maybe 1 or 2 in the upper 50s.  For this reason, I recommend waiting until early March if possible.  You are virtually guaranteed 80 degree weather and it's still the dry season.  I chanced it and for the most part, the weather cooperated.

Friday:
No issues on the flight and I landed in Ft. Lauderdale (20 miles north), picked up my rental car and was on the road on Hwy 1 by 10 AM.  I arrived to find crystal clear skies with a temp of about 78 degrees.  Plenty warm enough for a swim.  After a tasty burger and a pina colada, I took a nice long dip in the aptly named Sunny Isles Beach.  By mid-afternoon, I would hit the road again, this time down to the Keys.  


Sunny Isles Beach

When driving in and around Miami, US-1 MUST be avoided.  It will be stop and go traffic all the way.  I-95 is no picnic either.  You've got to bite the bullet and take the Florida Turnpike even though the distance is longer.  I chose not to stay in Key West that night.  Instead, I saved about $200 by staying in Marathon, which is about 50 miles away.  That was probably a good call.  I would have gotten in late and would have had to fight more bad traffic in Key West.  At any rate, I got to Sombrero Beach around 5:15 PM, took a quick dip and waited for the sunset.  Pictures don't do it justice.  After night fall, I stopped a bar/seafood restaurant called Herbie's.  Dinner was decent but the Key Lime pie for dessert was delicious.  

Sombrero Beach





As planned, I was up before the sun the next morning.  When it comes to travel, I am a strong believer in the getting there is half the fun philosophy.  That could not be more true than driving the Overseas Highway.  With a crystal clear blue sky and the sun just beginning to come up, I drove the famous 7 Mile Bridge out of Marathon towards Key West.  For much of the distance, I had nothing but beautiful blue water in view that was rarely interrupted by tiny islands poking above the sea.  

Upon entering Key West, the road ran right along the edge of the water with palm trees planted on the side walk.  I made sure to hit 2 important land marks.  One was the beginning/end of Highway 1 at Mile 0 and the other was the Southernmost point.  As I looked southward from the end of the road, there was nothing but the beautiful blue water and clear blue sky.  I was now closer to Havana, Cuba than Miami, Florida as the crow flies.  Amazing.

I really didn't spend enough time in Key West to do it justice but it was sufficient to check off a bucket list item.  I soaked up some rays for a bit on Smathers Beach but found that the beaches paled in comparison to Miami.  I did take a stroll down the famous Duval Street and found that even early in the morning, I could tell which places looked to be lots of fun.  I guarantee that you will find a place to your liking for dinner and for drinks.    


Smathers Beach
End of the Road




By mid-late morning, I was on my way to Miami (3.5-4 hours) with a quick lunch stop in Key Largo.  I took the FLA turnpike up to US-41 but would recommend getting off earlier at I-95 instead.  As it was, I drove through Little Havana and downtown Miami before driving across the Causeway to Miami Beach.  Parking was hard to come by and cost an arm and a leg but I was glad to have about 3.5 hours in South Beach.  The water color can vary depending on the sun and flow of the current from the nearby Caribbean Sea but generally, you will find a more aqua tint further south.  It wasn't quite as blue as this picture (stolen from Internet) when I was there but definitely different from the more emerald tint further north.  Still, the water is always clear enough to see your feet waist deep.  Saturday was by far my best body surf session of the trip.  Waves usually didn't break until close to the shore so that meant short rides with steep drops that end on the dry sand.  Pretty cool.  Unfortunately, the surf flattened as predicted by Sunday afternoon. 
South Beach

The next morning, I got up early again, this time to a breathtakingly beautiful sunrise on the beach.  Looking at the picture, it's hard for me to believe it's even real.  It looks more like a painting but even the pictures don't do it justice.  I chose to spend my nights in Mid-Beach away from the crowds at a much lower price.  Probably another good call.  I'm not much of a drinker nowadays and though the beach wasn't quite the same as South Beach, it was still awesome in its own right.  It's possible to take a cheap bus or trolley from Mid to South Beach to avoid the parking charges.  I've been to so many beaches in my life.  From Maine to Key West on the Atlantic and Sanibel Island to South Padre on the Gulf.  It's a close contest but my number one pick remains the Emerald Coast from Panama City, Florida to Gulf Shores, Alabama for its sugar white sand.  Then again, being able to swim in mid-January in Miami while much of the country is in a deep freeze?  Can't beat that.  I've yet to visit San Diego or Hawaii so that could change everything.  A storm hit, which probably hit Key West during the race but it was over quickly and it was sunny again by the afternoon.

Mid Beach






On Monday morning, I slept in a bit and found that it was too cold for a morning swim so I checked out of my hotel and took a ride down to Bayfront Park, which is a cool shopping center overlooking the Bay with views of the city skyline.  Miami does have a strong Latin American flavor and yes I was able to use my Spanish a few times, which was much appreciated.  I took a nice walk through the park and through the business district of downtown Miami.  It was then a relatively smooth ride up I-95 back to Fort Lauderdale for my return flight.
Downtown Miami

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Genetic Mutations Revisited

Quick update:
There are signs of a turnaround.  I managed 30 miles last week despite a hiccup and have opened this week with back to back 4 milers at sub-8 pace and felt pretty comfortable in doing so.  Mileage will likely be down this week because the Miami/Keys trip is a GO and I am unsure of how much I will be able to do over the weekend.

MTHFR- Homozygous on 677- This is often considered to be the worst mutation to have and it is definitely no picnic.  However, my case may be different from many others.  I have found that  Methyl Folate (5-MTH form) must be taken together with DMG (dimethyl glycine).  I need at least 800 mg of DMG, and that is an UPWARD shift. However, I can get by with a relatively low dose of MF.  In fact, as I've said before, it really doesn't matter if I take 400 mcg or 2400 mcg.  I will feel about the same and my performances will not be significantly better.

As a matter of fact, I confirmed that last point today.  Yesterday, my time was 31:12 on a low dose.  Today, it was 30:48 on a high dose.  Same time of day, same location and same effort as well.    That's a 6 second improvement per mile or roughly 1.25%.  I'll take it but it's not enough to be considered significant and well within the expected variability.  I'll keep it low.

MTR/MTRR- I am homozygous on both.  This means that I have a high demand for B-12.  My preferred forms are either hydroxyl or adenosyl but I will rotate the synthetic form with Liver Beef to maintain Zinc/Copper balance.  I must take either Liver or synthetic B-12 as a stand alone.  A B-complex won't do.  I recently forgot to take a B-12 in the morning and I was AWFUL.  Improvement came later in the day but ONLY after I took the B-12.

CBS/NOS- I am compound hetero on CBS and have one homo on NOS.  This one is tricky.  Many people have trouble with Taurine or other sulfur containing amino acids.  I've had issues in the past but at the present time, it is tolerated at least occasionally.  In fact, I was actually marginally BETTER after taking Taurine during an interval workout.  Instead, it is protein that is the thorn.  I can probably get away with an occasional protein bar for breakfast on the go.  However, if this is done with any regularity, I will require molybdenum, which is a royal pain in the ass.

First, molybdenum depletes ceruloplasmin, which is key for Copper and Iron regulation.  I'm still not convinced that there is any benefit to having a Cp level above 25 but I'd prefer it not to be depleted unless absolutely necessary.  Below 20 will most definitely be an issue.  Second, it is possible to overshoot the balance point with the moly.  I tried mega doses in response to too much protein and I was AWFUL (19 minutes for 2 miles).  I did improve as it cleared my system.  Also, it seems that caffeine will reduce both the need and tolerance for moly because it breaks down protein.  There is a chance that moly will be tolerated if I abstain from caffeine but I prefer not to mess with it.  I REALLY don't like having reactions to a single dose and thought DIM took care of that forever  BUT as long as I don't mess with the protein bars again, I SHOULD be okay. 

Couple questions:
I want to order Renamide for Kidney detox. I predict it will be a non-factor but my research leads me to believe it is worth a try.  Secondly, I have ordered TMG (Trimethyl glycine), which could be interesting.  I didn't do well on it before the DIM but that could change now.  I may find it more effective than DMG or less effective.  Also, I could do my best on some combination of the two.  I'll try it after I get back from Miami.  I've yet to see improvements in my thumb nails but it's still too early as it's only been 2 weeks since I upped the DMG.  I know I'm getting lots of toxic stuff out thanks to better methylation plus the DIM.

Prognosis:
Because of the genetic defects, I will never be free from pills again as I was for part of 2012.  I'm okay with that.  The realistic goal all along was to at least get this "UNDER CONTROL."  That means a stable cocktail every day with no sudden reactions to key pills.  Minor tweaks to the formula are allowed but must be limited to 1-2 day blips per month NOT every week.  That really should not be too much to ask.  As I've said a million times before, I can get back to respectable times with steady training.  I could be on my way.  I'll re-start the training log in February if I can make it through the rest of the month without a relapse.



Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Signs of Improvement

Here are my last 4 workouts:
-1@ 8:48
-3@8:08
-3@7:33
-4@7:31

Similar developments have occurred in the recent past but there is a bit of a different feel this time.  Today was especially encouraging.  I actually made a conscious attempt to slow down to the 8 minute range but got in the groove and decided to roll with it.  I had plenty left and could have gone a bit faster.  I actually bore somewhat of a resemblance to the Crazy J of old.

I woke up at 5:30 AM feeling pretty decent but opted for an extra hour of sleep.  When I got up the second time, I felt considerably more over-stimulated.  This tells me that the adrenal spike remains and it could be awhile before it calms down.  Not a surprise there.  I'm sticking with 4 Thym-Adren.  DMG could be the key.  I still feel and perform my best on at least 1000 mg but if I happen to exceed that dose, it won't hurt me.  Exceeding 4 Thym-Adren probably does hurt me.

How do I feel in my workouts?
That's a difference as well.  In the recent past, my cardio system had plenty more to give but the legs had no power.  Now, the reverse is true.  I do have power and energy but I am easily winded.  Although I feel my energy is there and can recover quickly, my cardio just can't keep up.  I believe that aspect will improve once the adrenal spike calms down.  When that happens, I will not tire as easily and coupled with improved fitness, I will see further improvements.

Improvements will continue but at a slower rate.  The goal for Mercedes is a sub-7 pace for 5K, which would bring me home in 21:42.  With steady training at 35-40 MPW, I have no doubt that I can go well under 21 minutes.  Under 20?  VERY tall order.  That's probably the equivalent of a 19:30 for a 30 year old.  ANOTHER RELAPSE WILL BE DEVASTATING!

One last observation:
Caffeine is pretty well tolerated but alcohol makes me feel considerably worse.  That does makes sense because alcohol shuts down methylation.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Temporary Adrenal Spike

I saw this one coming but it still hurts.  This is the 3rd straight weekend that I have been unable to run.  I had hoped to run the half at Mercedes this year but I don't think I'll have enough training so if I am to participate in the weekend races, it will be the 5K.  What happened yesterday?

I woke up feeling pretty decent after the DMG kicked in but by mid-afternoon, I was fading badly and did not even attempt a junk workout.  Fortunately, I knew from experience exactly what was happening.  I got home and popped 2 Thym-Adren pills (adrenal suppressants) and was noticeably better immediately but still in no condition to run.  This is a common occurrence whenever a MAJOR problem is solved.  It happened with the Sarcosine and it happened with the DIM.  It will be 4 Thym-Adren pills until further notice.  How long will it last?  I was surprised that last time, it only lasted about 2 weeks.  I hope this one will be quick as well.

There is probably one tell tale sign that sustained improvement is coming.  I've had horizontal ridges on my thumb nails since the sharp decline began in 2015.  This is often a sign of organ damage due to toxic metals.  If the methylation pathway is now fully opened as I suspect it is, the nails will begin to grow out over the next 6 months.  The lower part of the nails should be clear and I should notice within 1-2 months.

In non-running news, I am closing on a condo next Thursday barring any unforeseen pain in the ass with the lenders.  It's just up the road from my current apartment.  I just want equity and to stop paying rent.  It's well within my budget so I expect that I can pay it off within 10-15 years.  Maybe even less if I get another promotion at work.  I am eligible next year and yes, work has been going well lately.  If the weather is warm enough, I will celebrate with a Miami/Keys trip the next weekend.

Update:
I did run this afternoon and struggled for a sub-9 in the Mile.  Finished in 8:48 running loops around the Vestavia HS parking lot (track was closed).  It will be better tomorrow.  FINALLY, the sun has broken through after several days of rain.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Methylation Revisited

BIG CHANGES over the past few days and most people won't believe or understand this one.  This one is more for my reference but here it is:

Let's first take a look back at where I was before the DIM:
I needed either molybdenum or CBS/NOS caps and faced a fluctuating dosage while shooting at a moving target.  NOT fun at all.  Eventually, I realized that my protein consumption was responsible for the fluctuation.  Once I stopped eating protein bars for breakfast, I could NOT tolerate either treatment anymore.  Actually, my dose trended down gradually then settled at zero.  Now, although I still don't need it unless I do eat protein bars regularly, it does NOT hurt me if I do take it.  That's BIG!  Just as I've said many times, a single dose SHOULD NOT make a huge difference.

In terms of methylation, I had a choice because I got similar results from Sam-e and DMG.  I went with the DMG to avoid having to take a specific ratio.  When I took Sam-e, I found that I needed a specific ratio (1200-1600 methyl folate per Sam-e pill) to achieve optimal results.  I would be significantly weakened if I went down to 1000 or up to 1800.  If I went with DMG, my tolerance was limited to 200 mg (1 pill) BUT my MF dosage did not matter.  My times were not significantly different between 400 MF and 2400 MF.  The only caveat was that I needed a nucleotide product called BHMT-08 or else I could not tolerate the DMG.  Sam-e and DMG could NOT be taken together.  It had to be one or the other.

Now on the DIM,  Sam-e is tolerated but it's ineffective.  After several days in which I struggled to hit the Mendoza line and my legs felt like lead pipes by Mile 2, I found that I felt SIGNIFICANTLY better after upping my DMG dose.  Apparently my system is demanding more methylation support.  Fortunately, the MF dose still does not seem to matter.  400-2400 and it feels about the same.  I endured 2 days of ABSOLUTELY NASTY detox on January 1 and 2 but today, I was up early for some intervals.
Did 4 lappers at Gold's, which is 1/3 of a mile.
200 DMG- 2:47 (8:21 pace)
400 DMG- 2:34 (7:42 pace) MINUS 39
600 DMG- 2:13 (6:39 pace) MINUS 63
1000 DMG- 1:58 (5:54 pace) MINUS 45
It's hard to go much faster than this at the gym with the tight turns.  I probably would have been better on a standard track. Again, I did my best to keep the effort even on each interval but probably did up the ante a bit on the last 2.  At 600, I really felt a noticeable difference and I knew that I would be even better on 1000.  I did try 1200 and felt no difference.  That's good.  Extra won't hurt.  It will be a non-factor.  On 1200, I came through 2 laps in 58 and called it quits so I could log a round number for mileage (2 miles with warm/cool).  Figure, I would have repeated the 1:58 give or take 1-2 seconds.  No benefit from exceeding 1000 but no loss either.

What happens now?
Who knows?  Your guess is as good as mine.  If the methylation block has been fully opened whereas unbeknownst to me, it had only been partially opened before, that is a MAJOR problem solved.  That's good news in the long run but I may have to endure another adrenal spike and go back on the Thym-Adren temporarily.  Let's hope that doesn't happen.

As for the training log, I'm shutting it down until I see sustained improvements but I will continue with updates like this and will post monthlies with mileage totals and key workouts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Training 12/26-12/31

12/26- It's closing time.  I don't have much motivation to train this week.  Just want to start fresh in 2019.  I do have 2 treatments that I am willing to try but am betting that both will be non-factors.  I tried an increase in DIM and the result was inconclusive.  I'd lean towards staying with just 1 pill.  Did 3x1 mile intervals on Lakeshore on a pleasant evening.
1 pill- 7:42
2 pills- 7:31
3 pills- 7:35
The reason I say it's inconclusive is that I did see a modest improvement after the 2nd pill.  11 seconds is bordering on a significant difference (roughly 2.5 percent) but it wasn't night and day.  I really didn't feel much better and was somewhat surprised by the result.  Perhaps, I unconsciously upped the effort a bit.  I was marginally worse on a 3rd pill but 4 seconds is NOT enough to be significant.  Probably just statistical noise.  Not very long ago, a dose that high would have triggered a SEVERE detox reaction.  I'm pleased that I was able to tolerate it even though it really didn't do anything.

The other treatment is a kidney supp called Renamide.  It didn't do anything before but with DIM, it could be effective.  Again, it's unlikely that it will trigger a reaction.  Worst case is that it's a non-factor.

Not surprisingly, I was horrible with the cheating on my diet over the holiday.  I was somewhat encouraged that I was able to run fairly well today.  Back on track starting tomorrow.
Distance=3.0

12/27- 3 miles at Gold's this time non-stop.  It was a struggle as my legs turned to lead by Mile 2.  Finished below the Mendoza line at 23:54 (7:58 pace) but it took every ounce of energy to do so.  Not looking good at all.  I fear that this is the new normal and I'll just have to get used to it.  Will order Renamide.  Could I benefit from a little Calcium?  It never ends.
Distance=3.0

12/28 Unplanned rest day.  Renamide is out of stock until mid-January but I may not even order it.  I said 2 days earlier that a 2nd DIM pill was inconclusive.  Well, it's conclusive now.  I was considerably BETTER after taking a 2nd pill this evening after feeling awful for most of the day.  Also, I felt a difference after taking a 2nd DMG pill.  Interesting.  I'm switching back to Sam-e as soon as the supply runs out  and this time thanks to DIM, I will be able to tolerate higher doses.

12/29- Still low on motivation.  Just waiting for the new year to begin.  Skipped the group run in favor of an interval test to confirm what I strongly suspected last night.  2x800 at Vestavia.  Opened with 2 DIM but only 1 DMG.
Opened with a 3:50 (7:40 pace).  Legs were already starting to go after just 2 laps and I predict that in a 3 miler, the result would be just about the same as 2 days ago.  Right around the Mendoza line give or take a few seconds and it would take all I had to do it.

 Popped the DMG and got the expected improvement.  Without any increase in effort, my time was down to 3:30 (7:00 pace).  MINUS 40.  Most definitely, this was a significant improvement.  What happens if I take another one of those pills?  Probably nothing thanks to the DIM.
Distance=1.0

12/30- WEAK again.  Came through 1.5 miles in 11:32 and fading.  Once again, I was looking at a Mendoza level time give or take a few seconds.  This time, I punted and treated the back half like a cool down.  Really worried that this is the new normal.
Distance=3.0

12/31- 2 miles in 17:30.  Getting worse every day.  Fortunately, I found the culprit.  It was the LACK of DMG.  SAM-e can be used to augment it but CANNOT be used as a substitute.  Was able to get the last bottle at the health food store on my way home and YES INDEED, I was better after taking it.
Distance=2.0

Monday, December 17, 2018

Training 12/17-12/23

12/17- Lakeshore 5 in 43:35 (8:43 pace).  Again, not a relapse but I've clearly lost a step over the past 5 days.  Still not sure what to make of it.  I could be simply adjusting to more consistent training or I need a small adjustment to the formula.  If it is the latter, the Liver will be replaced with synthetic B-12.  It was the plan all along to alternate the two.  Added a half mile cool.
Distance=5.5

12/18-AM Confirmed that Liver is the culprit.  2x800 at Gold's at standard training effort.
2 Liver- 3:57.9 (7:55 pace)
3 Liver- 4:05.4 (8:10 pace).  PLUS 15
Not a huge difference but I could definitely feel it.  As has been the case recently, I did get nicked a bit from a taking a pill that is not good for me but the ill-effects were NOT severe.  I may be losing maybe 1/2 of 1 percent of my energy every day that I am on the Liver.  That is why it is so important to run regularly.  I realized what was happening within 5 days.  If I was sedentary, it may have taken a month to make the connection and it would take longer to come back.

PM- Easy 3.5 on Lakeshore.  Did not push or even time it because I know it would not be pretty on the extra Liver.  Felt quite comfortable and could have easily gone another 3.5 but I'm sure that pace was slow.  Possibly approaching 9.  Tomorrow, I will test it again to see if I need to quit the Liver or simply go down to 1 pill.  I believe it will be the former.  Also, I am betting that the need for Thym-Adren will diminish before too long.
Distance=4.5

12/19-AM As expected, the Liver will be cut out entirely.  2x400 at Vestavia and I was 6 seconds slower on the Liver.  Times were very slow and I have a strong feeling that the Thym-Adren will need to be cut as well so I am facing a double whammy.  I still hope to get the distance in even at pathetically slow paces.

PM- 2.5 mile junk run at Gold's.  Started off decently well but it was downhill after the first half mile.  Pace was approaching 9.  No panic yet because I expected this to happen.  I did not expect to cut both the Liver and Thym-Adren at the same time.  Tomorrow, I will see if I still need Thym-Adren at all.
Distance=3.0

12/20- AM- Got exactly what I expected.  2x400 to determine if I am better with or without Thym-Adren.
Without- 1:53
With- 1:58 (PLUS 20/mile).

PM- Easy 3 at Gold's in 24:16 (8:05 pace).  Fine with this one.  Still weakened by the Thym-Adren but I was a LOT better than yesterday.  Even pace and never struggled or attempted to pick up the pace.  I'm sure I could have been under the Mendoza line if I had put some effort into it.  Added a half mile cool so I am in good shape to hit 30+ miles on the week.
Distance=4.0
Reaction:
This is what should happen when I take a SINGLE dose of a bad pill.  I'll get nicked a little bit but it won't kill me.  In the past, I've gone from a 9:xx pace to a 6:xx pace and vice versa because of a single dose.  Thanks to DIM, those days should be over.    However, if 4 of those are taken for any significant duration, the ill-effects will be significant, which is a reasonable expectation.  Add 3 more of those pills to my evening run and once again, the pace would have been approaching 9.  Throw in the Liver on top of that and it gets worse from there.

Going forward, I SHOULD be done with the Thym-Adren forever unless there is another MAJOR problem that must be solved.  I will continue to alternate Liver with synthetic B-12.  Doing so should prevent the zinc/copper ratio from getting too far out of whack in either direction.  Yes, I will continue with blood donations at least twice per year to protect against Iron Overload.

Mini-Rant:
If you've been on a specific health protocol for 2 years and still have unresolved problems, you've got to do something different.  They call me crazy and maybe I am but the true definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting different results.

12/21- 3 miles under a time crunch.  Improved to a 23:12 (7:44 pace) but I was struggling at the end.  Splits were 7:36-7:43-7:53 and it took a late rally to get the 3rd mile under 8.  That's still a full minute better than yesterday so I am not complaining.
Distance=3.0

12/22- Planned on an easy 10 but had to settle for 3 in 27:35 (9:12 pace).   I was out at about the same pace as last week but completely died in the 3rd mile.  Looks like a relapse on the surface but I simply forgot to take the DMG pill.  Not pleased about this missing just one pill made this much difference.  The methyl folate and either SAM-e or DMG must be taken together.  It's both or neither.  If I skip both, I'd actually do okay even on the DIM.  I did feel a lot better after taking the DMG but did not have time to go back out there because it was a travel day.
Distance=3.0

-23 miles on the week

Monday, December 10, 2018

Training 12/10-12/16

12/10- Goal was to come in under the Mendoza line and I did it by a comfortable margin.  3 miles in 23:46 (7:55 pace).  3rd mile was a struggle but I was a LOT better in holding the pace today.  1st half-11:48, 2nd half-11:58.  Pace never did go much above 8:00 and I'm sure I would have been a full minute faster than yesterday (MINUS 15) if I had gone 4 miles.  Instead, I'll be satisfied with getting back under the Mendoza line but this is only the start of it.  3 days without a relapse is NO cause for celebration.  Added a half mile cool.
Distance= 3.5

12/11- Finally, the Seattle weather is over.  Clear but cold evening on Lakeshore.  Finished 4 miles in 31:20 (7:50 pace).  Well done.  Even pace with something left.  Improvements will be slower from this point but if it's slow and steady, I will take it.
Distance=4.0

12/12- Not a relapse but definitely a bit of a step backwards.  3.5 miles once again on Lakeshore on a cloudy but comfortable evening.  Finished in 28:48 (8:14 pace), which remained fairly even throughout.  Just didn't have as much power as yesterday.  Hard to explain why it happened.  It could be that the adrenal spike has calmed down or I simply over-indulged in forbidden drinks.  Either way, it could be spun into good news.  Until very recently, if I took 4 doses of the wrong pill, I'd be worthless.  Same with after 3 consecutive days of cheating.  Now, if one or both of these happens, I'll get nicked a little bit, which is to be expected BUT nothing severe.
Distance=3.5

12/13- 4 miles in 33:57 (8:29 pace).  Another slow down but all is still okay.  I've dialed back the effort because 8:30 is probably my current half marathon race pace.  I shouldn't run my faster than this on my standard issue workouts.   Today, I tried to run without methylation support.  Yes, I could feel a difference but it wasn't nearly as bad as before the DIM.  That's excellent news.  The Thym-Adren is clearly still necessary and 4 pills remains the optimal dose.
Distance= 4.0
Reaction:
DIM, Sarcosine and at least some Thym-Adren are essential to take every day or else.  BUT if I miss a dose of something else or mis-count the Thym-Adren by 1 pill, I'll only get nicked a bit.  Until very recently, it was an exact cocktail every day or else with moving targets.  Too early to celebrate after just 6 days but YES there is a chance that those days could be behind me!

12/14- Planned rest day.  I need 15 over the weekend to hit 30.  That is do-able.  I may decide to do a junk run to be safe.
PM- Decided to do the junk run.  2 miles and didn't care about the time.  Not sure if I will do the group run tomorrow.
Distance=2.0

12/15- It wasn't pretty but I finished the BTC 10 miler.  Time was 88:21 (8:50 pace).  Did not push it too hard because I still need at least 3 tomorrow.  Held the pace well.  Slowest mile was a 9:01, which was mostly uphill.  Really not bad overall.  Conditions were damp and chilly but I've run in worse.
Distance=10.0

12/6- 3 mile recovery jog at Vestavia.  Didn't even time it but the pace was probably over 9.  Quite sore from yesterday but I suppose that is to be expected.  Glad I did the junk run on Friday.
Distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
No relapse this week so I must count this as a success.  Still, I am a LONG way from being able to run respectable times again and I've lost too much fitness to jump back into it.  I made 30 this week and planned to shoot for 35 next week but I don't think I can handle it now.  I may just shoot for 30ish for the next few weeks.  I'll have 6 days to train next week but only 5 the following week.
Distance=30.0

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Pacific Northwest Road Trip Plan

I'm scheduled for phone duty the week of the South Dakota race next year.  I could possibly swap with a co-worker but I think this is a better fit anyway.  There is a State holiday in early June so that's one less day off work that I will have to take.  Here is the preliminary plan:

6/3- Fly out of Birmingham to Seattle.  I gain 2 hours so I expect to get in at a decent hour.  Again, the rental car cost will be rough but it's necessary.  From Seattle, it's roughly 3 hours to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  I'll stay downtown and enjoy a night out.

6/4- Must sees in the Vancouver area are Top of Vancouver, Stanley Park and Grouse Mountain.  From there, I will head up 1.5 hours north on the Sea to Sky highway along the coast to Whistler.  There are some amazing views along the way.  I'm not sure how far back south I'll go but I do want to get back to America that night.

6/5- I'll skirt past Seattle and take what I am sure will be a very scenic drive down the Washington coast across the border to Oregon.  The destination is Cannon Beach, which is a beautiful spot on the Oregon coast.  Driving time will be no more than 5.5 hours.  Maybe less if I go further south the previous day.

6/6- From Cannon Beach, I will head southeast towards Portland but probably skip that.  Instead, I will opt for Multnomah Falls and Mount Hood.  Most likely, I will stay in Hood River just across the border from Washington.  Drive time is about 3 hours.

6/7- Drive up to Rainier National Park and do some touring around Packwood then head to Seattle for the night.

6/8- Full day to tour Seattle and pick up the race packet.  The Space Needle is a must see.  I'll consider a Mariners game if they are in town.   I'm a fan of '90s alternative music so I hope there is some sort of museum for that.

6/9- Race day then fly back.  Getting back will be dicey.  I may have to wait another day.  I lose 2 hours and must take an afternoon flight after the race.  My choices may be to wait until the next day or take an overnight layover probably in Denver.  If I can get a Frontier flight from there, it may actually end up cheaper.

Cannon Beach

Mt. Rainier

Sea to Sky BC

Monday, December 3, 2018

Training 12/3-12/9

12/3- No Thym-Adren in the mail so I didn't even try.  It would have been over 27 for 3 miles so why even bother?  Switching from the Men's DIM to the old stuff appears to be a non-factor.  Still over-stimulated on the old stuff but no significant detox reaction.  The detox should be behind me now.

As for the Thym-Adren, there is little doubt that I will improve once I get back on that stuff.  The only real question is my tolerance to it.  Will I need mega doses?  Will there be an optimal dose?  If so, how much will it hurt to take too much?  I really expected the Thym-Adren to arrive today.  Tomorrow, I sure hope so.

12/4- STILL NO THYM-ADREN!  I'm getting worse every day without it.  I placed the order 7 days ago and thought for sure it would be here by today.  I suspect it is out of stock and they never told me.  At any rate, I've ordered another bottle from a different supplier.  I'll get it no later than Friday.  Forget about running.  Just survive the week at work.

12/5- STILL NO!  It must have been out of stock.  The other supplier told me it went out on Tuesday so I should get it no later than Friday.  Again, MAYBE tomorrow.

12/6- YES!  It did arrive.  Finally.  5x400 at Gold's to determine the optimal dose:
0 pills- 2:15.3 (9:01 pace)
1 pill- 1:59.7 (7:58 pace)  MINUS 63
2 pills- 1:50.7 (7:22 pace) MINUS 36
3 pills- 1:43.2 (6:52 pace) MINUS 30
6 pills- 1:50.0 (7:20 pace) PLUS 28
Added a quarter mile cool.
  I was actually glad to see that I lost a step between 3-6 pills.  I bet the optimal dose is 4 pills but I'll confirm it tomorrow.  Someday, the adrenal spike will calm down.  When it does, I'll be back to ADHS and I hope it will be soon.  It might gradually trend down or I could be suddenly forced off.    In the meantime, I will be hurt by excessive pills.  MAYBE, I can get serious next week.
Distance=1.5

12/7- 3x800 at Gold's:
3 pills- 3:52 (7:44 pace)
4 pills- 3:42 (7:24 pace)
5 pills- 3:47 (7:34 pace)
-4 pills it is.  I was noticeably better on 4.  Once again, I believe the formula is set.
Distance=1.5

12/8- Easy 3 miles at Gold's in 27:43 (9:14 pace).  Very poor performance but at least I am not reacting badly to micro doses of any pill.  I'll consider this my starting point.  For the last time, IF I am able to train consistently, I will be running respectable times by the Spring.
Distance=3.0

12/9- Seattle weather continues.  Managed to go 4 miles in 33:40 (8:25 pace).  MINUS 49 over an extra mile.  Felt MUCH better overall but for the 2nd straight day, I faded BADLY on the back half.  Splits were 7:59-8:18-8:42-8:41.  This was still a BIG improvement so I'll take it.
Distance=4.0
-10 miles on the week