Monday, July 25, 2011

Training 7/25-7/31

7/25- SHOCKER! 10K time trial in 40:44 (unofficial PR) by 11 seconds. 1st half: 20:11, 2nd half 20:33. Splits: 6:25-6:25-6:34-6:36-6:37-6:33-1:34. Started off at a 40:00 pace and felt pretty comfy for 2 miles but could not quite hold it just yet. I think I left a few seconds out there too. No monster kick because I knew that the PR was a sure thing with 400 to go. I have switched to Thym-Adren and Stress-Pak, both of which are regulatory supplements. I'm going with it until it stops working. I'm just enjoying this high and trying not to get my hopes up too high.
Grade:A/3 credits/distance=7.0

7/26- AM run less than 12 hours later. Not enough sleep and too much celebrating last night. I managed 5 miles in 39:08 (7:50 pace). That's slower than my recent easy pace but I'm fine with that. According to McMillan, that's more like the pace I should be running on my easy days. Slight fade in the 2nd half (19:27/19:41) but I'm still okay with this workout.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.5
Edit: Very tired in the afternoon and will need a good rest tonight. Here are a couple of fun facts about yesterday's run. It projects to a 1:30:xx half and a 3:11 full. 2 seconds faster would have projected a BQ under the old standards. At the time of my current 5K PR (19:27), my 10K time was only a 42:43, which I bettered by a full minute before the end of the year. Still, if I can improve the 10K so much, why has my 5K been stuck for so long? Bad luck. Simple as that. I know I can beat that time and I do believe that my goal is doable right now.

7/27- Trak Shak 5 plus cool down. Time was pretty decent given the conditions. Finished at 34:46 (6:57 pace). I was not pleased with how I died in the 2nd half. It was a combination of the pills and the heat and the former was the greater factor. Splits were 6:34-6:43-6:58-7:16-7:15.
Actually felt great through about 1.9 miles then my legs tightened up and I could feel the balloon deflate. I felt unwell for much of the day as well. I will try cutting the Stress Pak and boosting the Thym-Adren. I'll send in the medical report in 2-3 weeks. How to grade this? I'll be somewhat generous because I did hit sub-7 pace overall but the last 2 miles were in the C range
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=5.5

7/28- 6x200 with a half mile warm and 2 mile cool. Slowest was 31.5, fastest was 29.2. 3 of the remaining 4 were 30 and I did mange one more 29. Probably my best such workout of the year but I don't think I've got 59.9 speed right now. It would be more like 62. As planned, I reduced the Stress Pak and increased the Thym-Adren. Maybe a tad overstimulated but still pleased with the results. No spikes. Ran in the Kinvaras and found it a little difficult to get on the toes.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=4.0

7/29- Planned rest day. Discomfort in the metatarsal area. Kinvaras are great for tempos and long intervals but don't provide enough support for a hard core speed workout that requires a lot of toe running. Upped the dosage a bit by accident and went too far.

7/30- Hot group run. Got through 12.5 miles in 1:39:51 (7:59 pace) and yes, I had to push at the end to make it under 8. I took a lot of water stops towards the end. Body feels too tight and if this new stuff doesn't work, I am out of options. Metatarsals held up okay though.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=12.5

7/31- Yet another relapse overnight. Very tight. sore and depressed. Went with raw thyroid caps which helped a bit but did not provide the immediate relief that I wanted. I tried to run a tempo today but could not. Came through 2 miles in 14:14 with very little energy left and a slowing pace so I walked a lap then jogged 3 more miles in 23:54 with a pretty even pace then a half mile cool to hit the mileage quota. Overall time was 38:08 (7:38 pace). That's a good pace for an easy run but not a tempo. Since today was a bit of both, I will be lenient and only count it as an easy run but based on feel, this was not good by any stretch.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.5

Weekly summary:
This latest relapse could break my will permanently. I have no idea what's going on. All I can do is order another hair test ahead of schedule and I want to get my thyroid hormones tested too (blood work). If the results are not what I hope this time around, I will pretty much lose hope that this is going to work for me. Give it more time? It's been 5 years. I can handle being a bit unbalanced and would not even mind being a little slower but I CANNOT take being chemically unstable but part of me is preparing to accept that as my fate.
Distance=40.0/GPA= 35.3/11=3.21 (skewed by 1 great run)
Note: If I took the same pills on 7/31 that I took on 7/25, I could not even finish 1 Mile.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rant: Bad parenting example

I do not have any kids so I'm probably not qualified to blog about this but here it comes. I've commented before that I believe that the maturity level of today's youth leaves much to be desired especially in comparison with a generation or two ago and I do feel that lax parental discipline has played a role. Disrespectful actions that are commonplace today would have been considered shocking in my grandparents' time. However, this rant is about the other extreme case. I observed an 11 year old boy thoughtlessly step on a muddy path. Maybe he thought it had dried. Maybe he wasn't thinking at all. Either way, it's not a big deal, right? Wrong. The poor kid's father completely flipped out on him. He said stuff such as: "Why did you do that?" "I want to know what was going on in your 11 year old mind and what neurons were misfiring that caused you to do such a stupid thing." It wasn't just the words either. The father's attitude was so vicious, bullying and condescending that I really felt bad for the kid. When the kid quietly said that he didn't know it was muddy, the angry father turned to his wife and said: "He didn't know it was muddy! Ha! Then, he repeated incredulously: "I didn't know it was muddy!" Then he went on for another minute or two about what a stupid thing that was to say. Just to kick him when he was down, he made the kid, who was near crying, take off his shoes and look what he had done because he didn't know it was muddy. They weren't even dress shoes either. They were just basic black New Balance tennis shoes. After some deliberation, I decided that it was none of my business and just went to my car. I really wish I had simply patted him on the shoulder and whispered "it's okay" before doing so. That could have made him feel a bit better. What was especially sickening is that this happened as the family had just walked out of church. How about simply making him wash the shoes, clean the car if necessary and tell him to pay more attention to his surroundings? The Bible says that tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21) and there was no good reason to humiliate that kid with such hurtful words. If things don't change soon in that household, I predict that the kid will have a lot of behavioral problems as a teenager. When he turns 14-15, he'll just rebel and become disrespectful both at home and at school.
I broke my share of things around my parents' house which is a lot more serious that getting my shoes dirty. It was either because I was playing too rough or just spaced out. Yes, sometimes my parents were frustrated when it happened but as long as it was an accident, I never was punished or yelled at too much, at least not like what was described above.
Now, another issue that I'd like to discuss is verbal abuse. If anyone I know is in a physically abusive relationship, I would advise them to get out immediately and I don't want to hear any bullcrap about how "he didn't mean it" or "I love him." When it comes to defenseless children who grow up in that environment, my heart really breaks for them. I can only hope that either their parents clean up their act or they find a new home in which they are loved and cared for. What if you are in a relationship in which there is persistent verbal abuse and continued unkind comments with no remorse or signs of change? I believe that it is indeed grounds for leaving. Whoever says that words will never hurt is sorely misguided. As for children trapped in that situation, the only thing we can do is pray that the verbal abuse stops before any more damage is done as well as reconciliation and forgiveness from both parties.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Training 7/18-7/24- possible race

7/18- Planned rest day. Guarding against overtraining. Hoping to kick some serious butt at Johnny's workout tomorrow. A bit of a break from the heat the last couple of days but that won't last long. We've got about 5 more weeks of intense heat before it begins to go down.

7/19- Bad day all around. Johnny's workout started out fine (75-75-2:39) then hit the wall on the 1200 (4:24) and struggled in the 800 (2:57) and he would not even let me run the final quarter. Too much choline/inositol. I took another blow when I heard that a friend seems to be giving up on the hair test protocol and going back to anti-depressants.
Grade:C-/2 credits/distance=5.0

7/20- Trak Shak 7 in 55:21 (7:55 pace). The good news is that I hit the target pace. The bad news is that it was supposed to be effortless and it was far from it. I cut my dosage but it wasn't enough. I'm downgraded to doubtful on Retro. I will try to stick to 8 pills (2 grams/day) and my chemistry remains extremely unstable. 7=anxiety, easily tired. 9=lethargic, depressed.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=7.0

7/21- Par for the course, I cut the dosage too far and struggled with anxiety for most of the day. Literally overnight, I went from one extreme to the other. The workout was supposed to be a 3-4 mile junk run but I really needed a small test. I warmed up with a Mile in 7:16 but it didn't feel right. In fact, it required quite a bit of effort so I popped another pill and waited about 20 minutes for it to take effect. I warmed up with another Mile at about the same speed but it felt much easier. Then, I walked a lap and decided to test myself with a short progression style tempo. Finished 2.5 miles in 16:47 (6:43 pace). Splits were 7:03-6:43-3:01. I probably could have kept this up for another 2.5 but even that would leave me a full 90 seconds slower than last week's great effort. Clearly getting back on track and thanks to running, I knew that the lowered dosage was not enough. Forecast for Saturday is about normal for this time of year. High of 91 with a 40% chance of rain and 100% chance of high humidity. I remain listed as doubtful for this one but my status for next month's 5K has been upgraded to probable.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance= 5.0

7/22- This was a planned rest day but I elected to try a junk run. I took the same dosage as yesterday but today it was too much. This is baffling. Warm up Mile in 7:19 then popped a pill and began feeling much worse. Maybe I should be happy that I seem to be trending down with the pills but I am not. Since this was a planned rest day, I will be very lenient and not grade this debacle. Tomorrow, I will not be so easy on myself. Status for tomorrow is now very doubtful and that's too bad because the weather is supposed to be decent (upper 80s in the evening with low rain chance).
Grade:Non-pass/0 credit/distance=2.0

7/23- Nothing should surprise me anymore but this recent turn of events does. I took ZERO pills for a full 24 hours and got progressively better as the day passed. I still chose not to race but if the event had been only 3 hours later, I would have done it and probably finished with a good time. It did rain at where I live but I'm not sure about the race site. It's possible that it was overcast with temps in the low 80s, which could be PR conditions. ARGH! Workout was 6 miles in 45:23 (7:34 pace). Not effortless but still quite comfortable. Very even splits as well and my shin splints have diminished considerably. If I wake up feeling good tomorrow, it will be the 3rd time in the last 12 months that I have "freed" from the dependence on pills (4th time overall). This time I am not excited about it. I have gotten my hopes up too many times only to come crashing down worse than before. God is able to heal me but until I see a good medical report, I will not believe that He has. Sorry if this disappoints my readers but it's how I feel. I cannot take another heartbreaking letdown and if you've experienced this, you'd understand. Still a bad day overall but a good workout. Possible time trial tomorrow.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0

7/24- Forget what I posted about being freed from the pills. I woke up feeling a bit anxious so I know that I remain unbalanced. I admit that I am somewhat relieved that I will not be let down again like I was last Fall. Another bad day. 1 pill was not enough, 2 pills were too many. Maybe I just can't tolerate choline/inositol alone but if taken with B-vitamins as in Stress-Pak, I'll be okay. Maybe I can tolerate Thym-Adren and maybe not. In any event, I'll do another medical report in 2-3 weeks. I will keep hope alive until then. If my numbers are not near normal or at least quickly heading in the right direction, I don't see it ever happening. Workout was a weak tempo. 5 miles in 36:50 (7:22 pace) and I could barely hold 7 minute pace running all out. That is nearly a minute per mile slower than my best.
Grade:C/2 credits/distance=5.0

Weekly summary:
Once again, I have nothing more to say that I did not already post. This GPA should be even lower. Friday would have been an "F" if it had not been a planned rest day.
Distance=30.0/ GPA= 17.1/7= 2.44

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thanks to my readers

I started this running blog in November of 2008 mostly for me as a way to track my progress and chronicle my recovery from adrenal fatigue. I've kept logs off and on in the past but they were usually not very detailed and I did not share them with anyone except for my coach. My only regret is that I did not start it sooner. I'm sure that a lot of beginners would have liked to have read about my progress from a walk/jog program similar to a Couch 2 5K in late October 2006 to my first half marathon only 5 months later. Similarly, I'm sure many would have liked to have known more about my training for my first marathon and how and when I made the decision to run it.
I'm just shy of 5,000 page views since Blogger began tracking it in June 2010. There are a few elite runners that I know that get tens of thousands of views per year and upwards of 10 comments on every post. Because I am not an elite athlete, I don't expect that this blog will ever generate that number of fans and I'm okay with that. Earning the praise of others is not my highest aim in this life. That said, there's still a lot that I can be proud of with this blog.
True, at times I have let my negative emotions come out in some of my posts, which is something that I do not do on my main website, which contains a section of Scripture and commentary. I know that I have frightened some people with a few of my more negative posts but this blog is intended to be a more accurate picture of living day to day with chemical imbalances and instability. When these symptoms flare up, anyone would be in a foul mood no matter how great their attitude but to my credit, I have yet to throw in the towel. Before starting this blog, many people did not truly understand how important a role running plays as a barometer of my condition. Now, they do.
Maybe some of you are anonymous readers who have had adrenal fatigue or some other chronic illness and wonder if it will ever be possible to get back to competitive or serious running again. My answer to that question is an unequivical YES and despite that slumps that I have endured, anyone who reads regularly should know that it is true.
Maybe some of you are good runners with PRs in the mid-high 1:30s for a half marathon and 20-21 minutes for 5K with aspirations of taking your running to the next level. I've been there and believe that in most cases, you can get to my level of performance or faster. With my training log, you know now exactly what I did to improve my times. My lifetime goals are listed on the side and after my latest breakthrough, I believe that I could beat those times right now given the perfect conditions (fast course, close competiton, good weather, A+ stuff).
Whatever your reason for reading this blog, I want to say thank you. I also want to recognize a few of my friends who have been especially supportive. Thanks to the 2 Prestons (PrestonAL and DaWeekend Warrior). Thanks to ScreaminZab and the Puerto Rican Kenyan for listing this blog on your roll. Thanks to my buddies on RWOL from the 1:30 half thread. Extra special thanks to LA Runner for strong and consistent support.
Here are some fun facts from the stat page:
-Approximately 70% of the page views came from the U.S. but the 2nd highest number surprisingly came from the Netherlands. Other countries with over 100 views are Canada, Germany and Russia with Australia the U.K and several eastern European countries close behind.
-My most popular post has been my endorsement of prolotherapy and I was very pleased to see that as my stated goal was "one small attempt to get the word out about it" and I've done that.
-My second most popular post was my Eugene marathon report (my first marathon). This RR was written several months after the actual race and thus much less detailed than some of my others.
-My Mercedes half report is 3rd, which is not a surprise and likely came from local runners who had heard about my blog from others.
-My training posts for the period (9/20-26/10 and 5/2-5/8/11) have also generated a lot of views. At the end of September 2010, I declared my long shot BQ attempt to be over and was injured 2 weeks later. In early May of this year, I was struggling with a chromium issue that turned out to be related to my infected root canal.
This blog will continue until further notice.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Training 7/11-7/17

7/11- It seems like how I feel lately has been determined by how many pills I took the previous day rather than today. I'm not sure what to make of that either. I picked up some more choline/inositol which caused abnormal muscle pain a few months ago but back then I took a mega dose of it. Small-moderate amounts of ADHS and choline/inositol is my last hope. I went with 7 ADHS yesterday and the results were not good. I will try to cut it to 5 today.
AM- 3 miles with a time of 22:50 (7:37 pace) running all out. Yes, that's right. It took every ounce of energy to run my normal easy pace for half the distance I normally run on a easy day.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=3.0
PM- 5 miles indoors is 34:24 (6:53 pace). As expected, my evening run was a lot better because I haven't taken as much ADHS. That said, if I don't take any tonight, I will feel lousy tomorrow. Coming out of my slump? Maybe. Still over 2:00 from a PR.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=5.0

7/12- Once again, I felt awful when I woke up then got worse after taking 2 ADHS. Then, as the day progressed, I felt better and better. Soon, I may be able to quit that stuff and hope the choline/inositol will do the job. Got new racing shoes at the Shak (Saucony Kinvara) then tried them on an easy 6. I took off at 7:30 pace and never slowed down. Time was 45:08 (7:31 pace). Slowed just a tad in Mile 4 and 5 but ran a relaxed 1:40 last quarter mile. Still a bit stiff. Update: I dropped my dosage from 5 to 3 yesterday and the third one produced a negative reaction. I'd like to quit ADHS now and just rely on the choline/inositol. We'll see what happens but I may need 1-2. It seems that my raw 200 and 400 speed has declined a bit in the last year. I don't think my age is the problem but the thyroid hormone imbalance could be. More natural speed can only help me in longer distances.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance-6.0

7/13- I only took 1 ADHS last night before bed and woke up feeling fine. Indoor 5 miler in a remarkable time of 31:57 (6:23 pace). Unfortuantely, it cannot count as a PR even unofficially since I had to pit stop after 5K because of absolutely nasty GI issues. I probably was getting toxins out of my system so I'm not worried at all. Splits were 6:18-6:26-6:36-6:26-6:11.
Perhaps the slow 3rd mile came as a result of the GI distress but my last mile was certainly aided by the 5 minute rest. This project to a time of 40:16 for 10K and a sub-1:30 half.
Going for a sub-40 10K in the Fall and I'm 80% of the way there and I know I can duplicate this legally. Took 1 ADHS before bed and tightened up. I'm through with that stuff until further notice.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=6.0

7/14- Planned rest day. Shins and calves are a bit sore. Tomorrow will be my first full day off the ADHS and I'll try to get up for a morning run. Picked up some Brooks Ghost shoes from the Shak on my lunch break.

7/15- First full day off the ADHS and my body clearly felt different in the workout. I got up at 6 AM to run so I'll have a few hours extra rest for a potentially fast group run tomorrow. I still have a bit a shin split issues. Today was my first run in the Brooks Ghost shoes and I was generally pleased. I like the Saucony Kinvara better but my PF could flare up if I run in those every day. Oh yeah, the workout was 6 miles at an easy effort but moderate pace. My time was 44:46 (7:28 pace) with 5 out of 6 miles at 7:30 or under. I actually tried to slow down but could not. I am red hot now but wary of injury potential. Cut back next week and a race on Saturday evening if the weather cooperates.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=6.0

7/16- Group run. 11 miles on a route that was a bit less hilly than usual. Also, it was overcast and not as hot as before. That made for a fast pace. I got dropped by the lead group (sub-3 marathoners) but hung with the 2nd group and could have pulled away at the end. Finished with a 7:24 average pace with pretty even splits and added a cool down. Shin was no worse than before but it hasn't gone away. I think the cause was abnormally tight calf muscles, which is related to the pills. Pretty strong performance overall. Just like with the ADHS, I'll feel ill-effects if I go 12 hours without choline/inositol. I don't think I took quite enough for optimal results today but I'm still pleased. I've got another week to tweak it.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=12.0

7/17- Red hot again. Breezed through an easy 7 in 51:21 (7:20 pace). Felt no harder than upper 7:30s-low 7:40s. Faster paces at the same effort is a very good sign and bodes well for Fall marathon training. Even at 55 MPW, 7:45-8:00 should be a cinch.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=7.0

Weekly summary:
What can I say? 2 sub-7 tempos including 1 sub-6:30 and the new easy is 7:30 pace. I don't think I've ever been this hot this long. The only downer is that I've been needing more choline/inositol but that could be only temporary. Saturday's Retro 5K will be a game time decision based largely on the weather. I'm doing a cut back week as planned. I'd hate to see a shot at an epic PR ruined by an epic injury.
Distance=45.0/ GPA=35.4/10= 3.54

Monday, July 4, 2011

Training 7/4-7/10

7/4- Peavine Falls 8.2 mile run plus warm up. Time was 64:who cares. Pace was just under 8. If this had been a half marathon, I don't think I could have finished. Terrible performance.
P.M.- 6 laps at Vestavia in a time of 9:55 (6:37 pace). 1st half: 5:06, 2nd half:4:49. Sub-90 last lap. Showing signs of coming out of it. Looks to be a thyroid issue. If I have to sharply reduce the ADHS, my medical report BETTER be a lot better or else I am in big trouble. 1 mile cool.
Grade:D+/3 credits/distance=11.0

7/5- 6x200 in 32 (4:16 pace). 200 meter jog for recovery. Very even splits. Slowest was #4 at 33, fastest was #6 at 31. Cut dosage from 8 to 6 and felt definite improvement. Still a tad stiff and sluggish. No condition for 59.9 today. Probably would have been hard pressed to break 65 but since I am improving, I get a lenient grade. 1 mile warm in 7:15. 2.5 mile cool in 19:47 (7:55 pace). Good mileage so far this week. No news yet on the medical front.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=5.0

7/6- Surprisingly good Trak Shak 5 in 34:17 (6:52 pace) plus a cool down. Temp was in the upper 80s and sticky-icky. Except for upper 30s and rain, this is my least favorite weather in which to run. Slight fade in the last 2 miles but still pleased overall. Otherwise, this day was BAD. I woke up feeling awful and it has become clear that my treatment must go in another direction. ADHS is not the path to balance because it contains too much Lithium, which messed up my thyroid. The medical report is so bad that I can't believe it's accurate. I think the infected root canal skewed the results and the doc agrees that it is a plausible explanation. I am angry about having to make another adjustment and I may not be in PR shape again for a while. Retro is in 17 days and if I know I can't PR, I'll skip it.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=6.0

7/7- Planned rest day. In the recent past, after 2 straight hard workouts, my legs were fine but my body felt like it took a caning. Today, I am moderately sore in the legs but the rest of me feels okay, not good but okay. I'm not sure what to make of that. So how did I run pretty well yesterday after feeling awful in the morning? I tried some chromium and felt nothing, which is good news. That battle has been won thanks to the tooth extraction. Enter yet another temporary fix. Thyroid glandular concentrate and it's raw, man. It will be taken until it stops working and is aimed at symptom relief. Otherwise, my symptoms of fatigue would be unbearable. My medical report shows the opposite pattern as my current symptoms. I think I'll just put no stock in it at all. How will I be feeling when it's time to train for the all important Fall racing season? What pills will I be taking at that time? What will the medical report say? The answer to all of these questions is that I have no idea.

7/8- The Lithium wore off by early evening yesterday and I woke up from a nap actually feeling somewhat disoriented. Not a surprise but I'll need to go back on ADHS at a lowered dosage. I have ordered Stress Pak too, which was ineffective in the past. I hope that I can get by with moderate doses of each rather than mega doses of one pill. Today, I opted for a morning run for a change and was pleased with the result. After 2 ADHS (normal dose is 4 in the morning), I put in 5 miles at moderate effort with a time of 37:50 (7:34 pace) then turned it up a notch with a final mile in 6:50. I was hoping to have more left at the end but I won't complain. Overall time was 44:40 for 6 miles (7:27 pace). That's way too fast but I needed a bit of a test today. Tomorrow, I will run with the slow group.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=6.0

7/9- Decent start by was slipping by Mile 5. Last 7 with the slow group and I was struggling to stay with them. Finished the run with an average pace around 8:15. The slump has now lasted a full week. Got the Stress Pak and it seems ineffective again. I must take as much ADHS as I can handle. ARRGH!
PM- Very easy recovery jog at Veteran's Park with the group and had a couple beers afterwards. Quite sore
Grade:C/2 credits/distance=14.0

7/10- Too much ADHS yesterday. Still can't find the right formula. Unscheduled rest day but there will be no penalty because I'm already over 40 on the week. I will try to stabilize the ADHS at 6 pills and I'm not sure that the Stress Pak is helping at all. I will try another medical report in 6-8 weeks and may seek a 2nd opinion and/or a thyroid hormone test. Sometimes I feel like giving up. Legs are sore especially in the shin area but the rest of me doesn't feel too beat up but I am sluggish and lethargic.

Weekly summary:
The streak of 6 straight weeks at or above 3.0 has ended at 6. Nothing more to say that I have not said before.
Distance=42.0/GPA= 23.8/10=2.38

Peavine Falls RR

It had been a very good last 6 weeks with no real medical problems. That changed on Friday. I thought that I was simply over-reaching with the training but I was much worse the next morning. My next run was not too bad so I decided to give it a try but I may not race it all out because of the heat. 75 degrees at the start and over 80 at the finish. I woke up feeling decent and predicted a pretty good race. I felt about average warming up but you never really know until the gun goes off.

This is one of the most unique events. The first mile is rolling with about as much downhill as uphill (about 80 ft each) then for the next 2 miles or so, it's almost straight and sharply uphill with very few breaks. There's a pretty good downhill around Mile 3 then we go back sharply up to the top of the mountain. All told, the elevation gain is just over 400 feet. On a good day, especially if you go out conservative, you can really fly back down. Then, instead of finishing the same out of back course, you turn onto a dirt trail with rolling terrain and many turns before finishing downhill again. The length of the course is 8.2 miles and my goal was under 60 minutes or roughly a 7:21 average pace.

I got off to a pretty good start but it wasn't long before I could tell that something wasn't right. My legs had little spring and I was struggling for breath early. The first mile ended downhill and I reminded myself to take it easy here because I knew what was coming. My split was 7:18, a little fast but not far off what I need to do to finish under 60. Turning the corner uphill, I kept the pace somewhat respectable. I gained some ground on the pack that had passed me on the previous downhill. Despite a 300 ft. elevation gain, I recorded an 8:20 split. A few people took walk breaks but I found it to be run-able. By Mile 3, I was cooked and took it easy on the downhill and by the time I was to take the climb to the top of the mountain, I wanted to quit. I did run all the way to the top but took an extended drink stop. There would be no famous downhill speed here. It was a grim battle for survival. Every time the course turned slightly uphill, I had to walk. I did manage to hit the upper 6s on the steep downhill but I passed no one. Other runners were flying by me like I was standing still. We came to the trail and I punted. With my body out of whack, I would not be taking any chances in the heat. I mostly slow jogged the trail and took a couple more walk breaks. Mercifully, the finish line came and I made no effort to kick. My final time was 64:xx. Just under 8:00 pace overall. I don't know my official time nor do I care.

Final thoughts:
Something is obviously wrong. It is either calcium or a thyroid issue from taking too much ADHS, which contains Lithium. I'll get a medical report by the end of the week or next and we'll see what's going on. Revenge on this course next year. I may or may not run Retro in 3 weeks.