Monday, August 29, 2011

Training 8/29-9/4

8/29- HORRIBLE! Lakeshore 3 in 26:54 (8:58 pace). Splits were 8:30-8:58-9:26 and with every additional mile, it would have been worse and worse. The choline/inositol has cleared my system, leaving me with a manganese excess. I still don't know how much of that stuff I need.
Probably a mistake to even try today. I was so bad at work today that I was getting short of breath walking around the office. At the end of the week, 3 junk miles is better than 0.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=3.0

8/30- MUCH better. 6 miles in 44:38 (7:27 pace). Did not have top form but I have no complaints about this workout. Slowed just a tad in Mile 4 and 5 but I really wasn't struggling too much. Today's formula was 6 Thym-Adren, 2 Stress Pak and 1/2 manganese. How will I feel tomorrow on this formula? Your guess is as good as mine.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=6.0

8/31- Split the difference between Monday's debacle and Tuesday's success. Woke up somewhat anxious then 1/2 manganese made things much worse. The Thym-Adren and Stress Pak helped but it wasn't enough. It sucked for today but it's good news in the long run. The more manganese that I need, the less likely it is that the Thym-Adren and Stress Pak will work to control the fast oxidation. I know I can't stop taking it altogether but if I can limit it to 1-2 pills per week, that's a good sign. I had hoped to run a tempo at the Shak but easy was all that I had in me. 5 miles in 39:25 (7:53 pace). Running almost all out, I started off fairly well at 7:31 then slipped to 7:39-7:54-8:11-8:10. That 5th mile was just good enough to avoid a D grade.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=5.0

9/1- AM run. Cut out the manganese and felt a definite improvement but I was hoping for better. Way too loose and short of breath from the beginning. This was another "tempo effort" slow run. Time was down to 37:35 (7:31 pace). Again, I faded in the 2nd half but it was not as dramatic as yesterday. (18:31/19:04). I know that mega doses of choline/inositol will not work but maybe 1 or 2 of those will help. 3 days until a possible 5K and unless I improve dramatically tomorrow or Saturday, I'm out.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=5.0

9/2-Short tempo under a time crunch. Finished at 2.5 miles in 15:48 (6:19 pace). This was clearly the best I've felt all week. Maybe just a little loose but overall not too bad at all. Dipped under 6 pace the last half mile but I did stop a couple of times because of mental lapses. Temp was 90 degrees and I ran this earlier in the day than usual too. Still unsure on the 5K. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. Formula is Thym-Adren and Stress Pak. No manganese and choline/inositol is not an option either even at small doses.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=2.5

9/3- Average performance in warm conditions. In a day before a possible race, I did 3.25 miles in a time of 24-flat (7:24 pace). I didn't even look at the watch until the end of the first mile, which was 7:33. Then, I sped up early in the 2nd mile before wisely slowing down. I passed 3 miles just over 22:40 then sprinted home at 5:15 pace in the final quarter mile. The weather will be warm and humid tomorrow and I'm obviously still off form. I felt horrible when I woke up and need a mega dose of Thym-Adren (8 pills) just to feel decent. Finished with a quarter mile cool down. I did this workout at 10 AM with no food in the morning. Not bad. Race will be a game time decision.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=3.5

9/4- Gatorade Steelers 5K in 19:21 (fastest time since '98)
Grade:A-/4 credits/distance=5.0

Weekly summary:
Ran all 7 days. Not sure if some of these even count. Week ended on a high note but overall, it was not too good. I'd like to get some time trials in over the next 2 months but the focus will shift to marathon mode now.
Distance=30.0/GPA= 2.83

Monday, August 22, 2011

Training 8/22-8/28

8/22- 1 mile all out in a blazing 7:54 then had to quit because I hit the wall. I cannot take this instabilty. There's got to be another solution besides the thyroid caps. My medical report did reveal a deficiency in manganese so I'm going to give that a try.
Edit: My tissue manganese level was 0.016 and anything below 0.030 is considered "very low" and manganese is required for proper thyroid function. A reason to hope?
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=1.0

PM- 5 miles in 36:24 (7:17 pace). Moderate effort. This is a "marathon pace" run according to McMillan. I took 2 manganese before the run and felt better immediately. Let's see how I do tomorrow with no thyroid caps. Once again, being unstable has one advantage. Although your form can deteriorate without warning, the comebacks are quick.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.5
Thought on this: The magic of the thyroid caps is gone which is no surprise. I knew that this was only a temporary fix. However, I expected that fast oxidation symptoms to take over. Instead, it was the fatigue that got worse. The manganese was only 40% of ideal on the medical report and trending down. If not for the hair test, I may not have known the solution for a very long time. Manganese is a stimulant so it will push me further into fast oxidation so I'm still in a 2 front war. However, there is a chance that in time, I can reduce it so that it will be more than offset by the treatments needed to control fast oxidation.

8/23- Victory. Made it through the day without thyroid caps. I took 3 manganese pills which caused me to feel awful. Warming up, I knew I could not even finish a mile. That's good. That's what should have happened based on my medical report. I took the daily dose of Thym-Adren and ended up with a pretty good run. 7 miles in 51:45 (7:24 pace). Felt somewhat too loose but still pretty solid overall.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=7.5

8/24- Cut manganese down to one and hope to stay there if not down to 1/2 along with Thym-Adren and Stress Pak. Trak Shak 5 in 32:58 (6:36 pace) plus a mile cool with Lee. Weather was 95 and dry just how I like it. LOL. Seriously, that's a lot more comfortable than 88 and sticky. Final mile was an impressive 6:12. Now, where was that on Saturday? Oh I forgot, I was on the edge of a relapse. This was a strong tempo and would have been better if it was 20 degrees cooler but in all honesty, it wasn't quite this good. Traffic was very heavy so the stops were longer than normal.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=6.0

8/25- AM run and a test to see how I'd do without any pills. It wasn't too bad. A little tight but overall okay. 5 miles in 38:53 (7:47 pace). I will rest for 48 hours then I'll run with the fast group on Saturday and it may be the last time I do so for a while. I won't do 18 milers @ 7:20 pace in training for a marathon.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.5

8/26- Planned rest day. Too loose and over anxious when I woke up. I don't need to run to know that my manganese must be cut from 10-5 mg. Thym-Adren as well as choline inositol should also be increased. I've got another week to sort this out before my next 5K race.

8/27- No manganese this morning and it was probably the right call. As it approaches noon, however, the deficiency is started to catch up to me. Strong run this morning and it feels like we're getting our first taste of Fall. It's still over 90 in the afternoon but it's cooler in the morning and the humidity has gone down. I was stuck in the middle on the group run. Too fast to run with the 2nd group but not quite good enough to stick with the sub-3 guys. Finished with 12.5 miles with an average pace of 7:24. First 10 were done at a comfortable 7:33 average then I turned it on with a 6:59-6:49-3:15 for a 6:49 average in the last 2.5, which is faster than my half race pace.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=12.5

8/28- Easy 6 in 45:39 (7:37 pace). This is okay for an easy day but if this had been a race day, I would have sucked real bad. A mega dose of choline/inositol is not the answer. I've got to rely on Thym-Adren and possibly some Stress Pak. I actually felt both too tight and overstimulated at the same time. I was able to run fairly well today because some of it has cleared my system. I'm still dealing with some low grade depression, which will be there until this fully clears my system.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
Pretty decent week overall. I still don't feel any closer to the solution and yes I am sad and angry about all this. I hope that Thym Adren is strong enough to offset the stimulation of manganese and really don't want any more adjustments.
Distance=44.0/ GPA= 27.8/9=3.09

Saturday, August 20, 2011

11 Are UABle 5K RR

This one will go down as a forgettable event. Neither very good nor bad so I will not even post this among my RRs on the side of the blog so this will be a limited edition post. LOL.

As my regular readers know, I am taking thyroid glandular supplements to combat the fatigue, low grade depression and apathetic blahs and I need an exact amount to feel well. At 500 mg, I felt perfect as of 2 days ago. At 475, I was too tight and at 525, I was too loose all the while the magic dosage is trending down ever so slowly. At the rate I'm going, I will be off this stuff around New Years and dare I say it, I could have a victory on 1 of the 2 fronts. Since capsules come in 150 mg each, it is very difficult to get it right every day. Today, I just missed the sweet spot. I was fine just walking around but when I warmed up, it seemed just a hair off. On a great day, I can do maybe 300-400 meters worth of strides at near 6:00 pace and it feels effortless. Today, I could not get much below 6:30 without some discomfort. Still, I resolved to give it a shot since I missed Retro. I didn't feel so good warming up before Statue2Statue and it turned out to be my best race of the year so far.
This one starts on Homewood HS then turns onto Lakeshore trail then you turn off onto a road that leads back to the school. There's a short downhill early but the first 3K is pretty much level. The 4th kilometer is gently rolling with more ups than downs. The rollers can really take a toll at that stage in the race. Then, around 2.5 miles, you have to go up another small hill before a gentle decline to the finish. Difficulty 3 out of 10. Weather was close to 80 with over 80% humidity. Not good but I managed a 19:42 last year under similar conditions.
Like most 5K racers, I have a tendency to go out too fast and if you're 5 seconds fast through the first quarter mile, you could be doomed by the end of Mile 2. Today, I was pretty smart in aiming for near 6:00 pace and did not get caught up with trying to run with the leaders. I was pretty calm just under 6 pace most of the first mile then we made a 180 degree turn around 0.93, which cost about 2 ticks so I came through the Mile marker in 6:02. Fine with that but can I maintain it? The answer was no. Early pace for the 2nd mile was around 6:10 but I was fading and knew that I would wilt in the heat and hills ahead. I took several looks at the Garmin and found to my dismay that my pace was gradually slowing. Still, nobody was passing me. In fact, I would catch 3 runners between Mile 1 and 2.5. When we got to the rollers, I was in pain and the 2nd mile passed in 12:24 for a 6:22 split. I struggled hard to keep the pace for I knew that if I could simply repeat the 6:22 and finish strong, I could at least beat my comeback PR of 19:27. Unfortunately, the heat and rollers took too much out of me. I was at 15:40 for 4 kilometers so I had covered the previous half mile in 3:16 and it seemed unlikely that I could manage a 3:47 final K. Just like last year, the final hill left me shot. Even with the slight decline, my pace did not change and I came through Mile 3 in 18:57. I'd need a 45 second finish just to tie last year's time. I didn't make it and came through the line discouraged in 19:45.
Final thought:
An average performance. Anyting under 20 is satisfactory but with every PR attempt that falls short, the frustrations mount. The fact that I took a baby step backward from last year does not feel good either. In good weather, this was good for about 19:20 or so. Conditions should be better in 2 weeks. Grade is a solid B.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Medical report (fairly good news)

First, I want to say thanks for all the page views in recent days. I really appreciate your interest in me. In short, the battle for freedom rages on. Just as I predicted last weekend, my numbers are indeed better but well short of what I had hoped for. It is indeed enough to keep my hope and my faith alive at least for now. However, if I am still unstable when next Fall rolls around, I will once again be at the breaking point on the verge of giving up.
Let's first revisit the possible outcomes post:
Outcome #1- full scale relapse toward adrenal exhaustion
Outcome #2- status quo, continued extreme fast oxidation with little change in my numbers.
Outcome #3- toxic metals (seemed highly unlikely)
Outcome #4- sudden reversal to balanced or even slow oxidation.
I predicted a combination of #2 and 4 and that's pretty much what I got.
First, let me assure my readers that Outcome #1 is a DEFINITE NO! I will not have to quit running nor will I have to be content to be a casual jogger.
As for the toxic metals, it's possible that a high level of aluminum is hurting me a bit. It's not off the charts high but enough to cause some concern. I'll have to ask the doc about that one. From what I've read, it's a fairly simple fix.
Another positive development is my blood sugar ratio. I had been above the diabetic trend threshold for several months now but I am back within the "good" range, 75% of ideal.
Now, to address the fast oxidation problem:
The oxidation rate is determined by 2 key ratios. On my last test, my thyroid mineral ratio (distinguished from thyroid hormones) was 23% of ideal. I've bumped it up to 27%. It's like a morbidly obese person losing 1 pound. Better than a gain but I'm none too happy with this one.
Lastly, my most significant improvement came in the adrenal mineral ratio. This one has been at least 6.5 times faster than ideal since I quit the Lithium 12 months ago. It shot up to 10x faster on my last report but has dropped back down to 4x faster, or approximately what it was while on Lithium.
I still have a 2 front war to fight. This test confirms that the thyroid pills that I currently take are not the long-term solution. If I stay on this course, it will only make the fast oxidation worse but treating the fast oxidation will make the thyroid hormones worse. No win situation.
Final thought:
I need some time to digest this one. I intend to seek another opinion on the 2 front war and get an honest prognosis from a fresh perspective. I'm not sure how accurate it would be at this stage but I'd like to know where my thyroid hormones are right now.
I am getting better and my Christian friends will tell me to remain patient. For now, that's all that I can do but I CANNOT remain patient forever. So much of my life has been stolen from me already and as more time passes, the more my patience wears thin. I'd look pretty silly 5 years from now at 36 years old telling people that they can beat this when I haven't done it myself after a decade of treatment.
Outward signs of improvement:
First, my 10K PR of 40:28 came with no competition and I was not even fresh. Also, my normal training pace is faster. As much as I am criticized for it, I see that as a good sign. When you can train at 7:30 pace and it feels no harder than 7:40 did only a few weeks earlier, that can only mean improvement. Of course, I cannot sustain 7:30 on 55-60 MPW. Higher mileage will require a slowdown in pace and YES I DO INTEND TO SLOW DOWN IN MARATHON MODE. I've said before that I have the talent to go well under 3 hours in a marathon but also as I've said many times, that is NOT the goal of all of this. I'll never be happy long-term as long as I am unbalanced and unstable. All I want out of all this is to be free from significant chemical imbalances or at least instability. It just so happens that faster times naturally come with it. If the blood sugar had remained diabetic and the adrenal mineral ratio was still more than 6x faster, I would indeed be a broken man with little hope. As it is, my hopes are still alive for now but if I am still 4x faster than ideal next year and still in a 2 front war, I will be right back to the breaking point. Thanks again for caring about me and supporting me in this awful war.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Favorite/Least favorite Full/Half marathons

Having run 13 different such races in 10 different states, I'd say I'm qualified to post about this subject. All RRs are posted on the side with the exception of Seaside and Memphis, which were done in 2007 before I started this blog. I have no plans to race in all 50 states but would like to hit at least 25 and have joined the site for that purpose. This subject will be re-visited in the future. Let me start out with the superlatives:

Best fans: No doubt. Fargo, North Dakota all the way. Spectators braved temps in the 30s (fairly warm for them) and were out at almost every turn screaming encouragement.

Best medal: Banco Popular Chicago. Long black ribbon and nice looking gold medal with the city skyline.

Best cause- Bar none, Memphis St. Jude. No comments needed.

Best expo- Split decision here. You could spend a whole day in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome browsing through all those vendors but in Huntsville, I scored a deal on $10 running shorts and though small, it had just about all I wanted.

Best organization: Toss up here as well. Mercedes has been flawless every year but it's hard to top Huntsville with the expo and host hotel literally out the door from the start/finish line.

Best prestige: Eugene, Oregon. My first marathon running in the footsteps of legends such as Prefontaine and the course has since been changed to a finish on the track at Heyward Field. Wow. I wished I had waited to run this one but I couldn't think of a better place for my debut.

Best scenery: Lots of good ones in this category. I liked the lakeside views in CDA, Chicago and Baton Rouge as well as the city streets of Atlanta. The winner is Memphis because of its variety. It's a mix of residential, riverside, parks and city views.

Best schwag: Mercedes by far. Cool finishers shirt and it's been either a hat or cotton t-shirt for signing up and of course, who can forget that iconic medal with the Mercedes emblem?

Best overall:

1. Mercedes Birmingham- Yes, I'm probably biased because it's my home race but again, organization is flawless, schwag is terrific and I've also enjoyed the beer and barbeque indoors afterwards. The course is not particularly scenic but has its highlights and is flat enough to be a PR course.

2. Memphis St. Jude- Probably the most fun I've ever had in a race and my time of 1:48 was a massive PR at the time. Scenery is great and the organization is very good not to mention that you can't beat the cause. I hope to run this again soon.

3. Baton Rouge Beach- This selection could be controversial because I've heard that the full marathon is poorly supported but I had a terrific experience in the half. Great scenic course that included the LSU campus, lakeside areas and upscale residential areas. The fact that I PR'd and placed in my age group likely colors my view of this race.

Worst overall:
1. Country Music Nashville- Just an all around bad day for me. It has a good medal and the post-race concert was a nice touch. However, it was very pricey from the race entry, hotel and shuttle. It didn't help either that I melted down in humid conditions and had to walk/jog the last 2 miles. The sports drink Cytomax was the culprit. What's wrong with Gatorade? Up to this point, I had been very lucky with my health on race day but luck ran out on this day. If you need Tennessee, run Memphis and skip this one.

2. Run for Life in Madison, MS- Good schwag and fans but several upsetting details. I placed in my age group but there were no awards. Also, the course had been advertised as flat but the first 6 miles were rolling and there was a monster hill in Mile 12 and another in Mile 13. The course may have been long as well and it didn't help that I injured my knee here. Tupelo and MS Blues in Jackson are likely better options in the state of Miss'Sippy.

3. Coeur d'Alene- Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I went here to race. It's a beautiful area and the course was scenic and fairly flat. However, I cannot excuse the fact that by the RD's own admission, the half course was long by .2 miles yet times were not adjusted. If I was going for a NYC qualifier and missed it by less than a minute, I'd be extremely angry. Decent medal but expo was minimal and shirt was lame. If you're looking for a nice area with outdoor activities and are not concerned about your time, by all means run this one.

Middle of the pack:
I did not mention these two in superlatives or worst overall so here goes.
Seaside- Worth doing but not as scenic or as flat as expected but it hold special significance because it was my debut half. Probably better options in Florida.
Scenic City- Chattanooga- Does not rate on the same level as Memphis but it's also worth doing. Well organized but does not have all the bells and whistles of a large race. Medal was a bit weak but in a small race, I'll cut some slack. Good scenery in a course that was moderately difficult but does not preclude a PR.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Training 8/15-8/21 (possible race)

8/15- AM- BAFA day run was nothing worth celebrating. Cut the dosage down from 3.5 to 3 and this time, I felt too tight. That's right, 1/2 of a pill takes me from one side of the spectrum to the other even if I only take it once. What a life! LOUD SCREAMS OF FRUSTRATION! At least the thyroid pills still work. Maybe 3.25 will make me feel good.
Workout doesn't look too bad on paper (5 miles in 35:57- 7:11 pace) but I felt flat out terrible and was fading at the end. I had slowed to 7:30 pace before a mild pick up at the end. No power or spring in legs. Felt burdened with weights. If I only took 2 pills, it would have been MUCH worse. I am hoping that I am trending down and may eventually arrive at a point in which I no longer need these pills. Until I get a good medical report, I will not believe it. I should know in about a week.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=5.0

PM- I took about 1/4 of a pill and it felt like almost all my pain was washed away within minutes. This is simply too unstable. Tomorrow, I will try 2 pills along with 1 pill from another brand which is a bit stronger. I should have struggled after a relatively hard morning run but I did not. 5 miles at tempo effort in a time of 32:55 (6:35 pace). Last 800 was 3:04. I repeat, this was tempo effort, not all out and I was still within 12 ticks per mile of a PR on my 2nd run of the day. The advantage of being unstable is that you can come back real fast.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=5.5

8/16- The doc called today and the results are on the way. I just told them to mail it in because I preferred not to find out over the phone. With the exception of the initial diagnostic test, I have never been this worked up about the results and with good reason. I've never had such a dramatic shift in symptoms before. I'll know by Thursday or Friday at the latest. I am somewhat optimistic but at the same time, I am also prepared for the worst. It seems like the magic bullet is thyroid glandular substance at 500 mg (neither more nor less) and that amount may be trending down ever so slowly. Pills come in 150 or 200 mg so I can take 2x150 plus 1x200 and I should feel well.
Today, I returned to Johnny's workout for the first time in 4 weeks. 4x800 (2:50-2:48-2:48-2:47) followed by a Mile in a pretty solid 5:44. Overall pace for 3 miles worth of intervals was 5:39. Yes, I could feel yesterday's double but the legs responded well and the soreness was not debilitating. There's a local 5K on Saturday and I think I will give it a shot. That means nothing hard for the next 3 days and I'll take a rest day Thursday or Friday.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=5.0

8/17- Easy 5 at the Shak with a time of 37:37 (7:32 pace). No ill-effects at all from the last 2 days. I didn't really test myself today but I could tell even before I started that my body was a bit too loose. It seems that indeed my dosage is trending down ever so slowly. I will try 450 mg. again soon. Medical report may arrive tomorrow.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.5

8/18- AM. 2 mile junk run mostly just to test my formula. I clearly had it right as far as the pills go and hope to keep it that way at least until Saturday. I was sore from this week's workouts and struggled in the first half mile but once I got warmed up I was fine and it was almost time to quit. Not that this means anything but my time was 15:12 (7:36 pace) which was skewed by a mild pick up in the last 200. Not too tight. Not too loose. Just about right. I hope 48 hours is enough rest to be fully fresh.
Grade:Pass/0 credits/distance=2.0

8/19- Planned rest day. I expect to be fully fresh for the race and feel like my formula is working. Unfortuntely, the weather is not going to cooperate. Upper 70s with close to 90% humidity at race time. I dreamed that I visited a local high school and observed several students smoking openly in the hall. No medical report yesterday. I fully expect that it will be in the mail when I return from work.

8/20- Are UABle 5K in 19:45 plus a long cool down.
Grade:B/4 credits/distance=7.0

8/21- Tinkered with the Thym-Adren and it caused terrible leg pains. Stupid. I was thinking that maybe I could tolerate it because my oxidation rate was still quite fast. Not so. When the fast oxidation overrides the hypothyroid, it will be UGLY!
AM- 2.5 miles in 20:00 and hit the wall in Mile 2. Horrible!
PM- Somewhat better. 4.5 miles in 34:51 for an overall distance of 7 miles @7:50 while running almost all out. Terrible performance.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance-7.0

Weekly summary:
Average race and average week overall. Emotionally drained. It could be like this for the rest of the year and that means probably no full marathon this Fall. It's so difficult to hit the sweet spot and if I'm a little off, I can still finish a half but not a full. Thyroid hormone test will be done soon.
Distance=37.0/ GPA= 32.3/11=2.94

Monday, August 8, 2011

Training 8/8-8/14

8/8-AM- I planned on a morning run but didn't feel up to it. That's okay. I can still run in the evening. I skimmed over some of my archive in the Verse and Message section and it's almost like it was written by a different person. Yes, I miss that person too. I'm really trying to shake this negative thinking and I don't give up until I'm defeated and that's not until 2-3 weeks from now when I receive the results. Preparing for the worst may ease some of the heartbreak however. Another revolting development has happened this past weekend. I must go back to cutting pills in half. With 3 thyroid pills, I'm still sluggish but if I take 4, I'm anxious and over stimulated.

PM- Despite the thyroid pills, my weight is still good: 156 lbs. before dinner. 6 miles at tempo effort. Got stronger as the run progressed and finished in 43:47 (7:18 pace). This was not tempo pace but I did do a bit better than expected. My body was clearly out of whack (too loose) like riding a bike out of gear. What's on tap for tomorrow? I'll go to bed still feeling a bit anxious but will wake up on the other side of the spectrum (fatigue, sore, depressed) but if I take exactly 3.5 pills in the morning, I'll feel good for the rest of day and my run will be go well too. I can almost guarantee that 3.5 thyroid pills will not work next month.
Anyone would be unhappy if they had to live like this.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=6.5

8/9- 10K time trial in 40:28 (PR). 6:29 pace. 1st half: 20:02, 2nd half: 20:26.
Splits were 6:22-6:24-6:27-6:32-6:39-6:30-92. Actually this was not a total shocker. I saw this one coming yesterday but I didn't expect it to be this good. 3.5 pills work like magic ... for now.
Believe it or not, I still didn't quite have tip top form. I still felt just a tad too loose. Just 5 seconds per mile shy of the goal and with competition and a race setting, I'd say it's as good as mine right now. That old 5K PR is looking softer and softer. If this run was 30 seconds faster, would it make me happy? Hell no! I'd trade some of my speed for more stability in a heartbeat. It doesn't mean too much if I can do this once a month and feel like crap a few days later. McMillan projects this to a 1:30:03 half and a 3:10 full but I found another calculator that puts me at 1:29 for the half.
Grade:A/3 credits/distance=6.5

8/10- Trak Shak 5 plus a mile cool. Finished with a time of 34:06 (6:49 pace). Overcast condtions with temps in the upper 80s but very humid. I planned to run the first 4 around 7:10 then burn the last mile. In the end, I ran the first 3 in 6:50 then slipped to 7:05 and only had a 6:31 left at the end. Still a solid performance and hit goal half race pace. This pace is within the range for a tempo as prescribed by McMillan. I get a rest either tomorrow or Friday.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=6.0

8/11-After a quality day following a race level effort, I expected to struggle a bit today. Easy 7 in 51:30 (7:22 pace) plus a half mile pick up in 2:56, which was NOT an all out sprint for an overall time of 54:26 (7:16 avg) + cool down. Believe it or not, that first 7 really did feel easy. Last 4 paces have been 7:18-6:29-6:49-7:16. I am officially RED HOT! When I started my pick up, I heard someone say "Oh my gosh!" Yes, I still need the thyroid pills but I didn't feel too terrible this morning. That's a good sign. I get a rest day tomorrow no matter how well I feel.
Grade:A+/1 credit/distance=8.0

8/12- Planned rest day. I took some Thym Adren and ADHS last night in a very small amount and got the expected negative reaction. I'm not sure what to make of it but it seems like the thyroid pills could work at least for another few weeks.
Update: I've got the itch to run this evening but I know it's best that I don't. The group run could be hard tomorrow. That 7:22 pace felt so easy that I really think I can hold it for 20 miles. If so, I'll come through the marker in about 2:27. After that point, an 8:20 pace for the last 10K would bring me to a marathon finish of 3:19. The decision on that will not be made until I receive the medical report. If the results are bad, I'll likely stick to halves until further notice.

8/13- Run with the fast group. Covered 11 of the 14 miles in 82:28 (7:30 pace). Route was not too hilly but I was hurting because 2 water stops were missing. I only got one shot of Gatorade on a 75 degree day with 90% humidity. That's why I cut it short. Still a very solid effort. Last 8 miles were below 7:20 pace. 1 mile cool at the end.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=12.0

8/14- Cooled off. Easy 5 in 37:05 (7:25 pace). That's still a very fast time for an easy run even if it's only 5 miles but my body was clearly too loose. I was fading at the end and would not have lasted much longer. Added a mile cool down, which required some effort. If this had been a race day, I would have struggled. Forced to take a nap around noon. One of two things is going on. Either the magic of the thyroid pills is gone or I simply need to cut the dosage from 3.5 to 3 pills. I sure hope it's the latter option. I'll know when I wake up tomorrow. If I'm on the other side of the spectrum, that's good. If I feel like I do now, that's bad. The medical report should come within 10 days.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
Excellent week overall. I'm now within 5 sec/mile at every distance shorter than the half mary. Even if I'm unstable, I can get hot for a several days or even weeks and given the perfect situation, all my goals are currently do-able with the possible exception of the marathon. That said, one single sub 19/40/1:30 doesn't really mean that much to me because I know it won't make me happy. Only balanced and stable body chemistry can do that. I predict that the results will reveal just enough improvement to keep my hope and faith alive.
Distance=45.0/ GPA= 35.3/10= 3.53

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Possible outcomes

I talked to a co-worker, who is a fairly devout Christian, yesterday about my situation. His response was something to the effect of this: "I wouldn't worry about it too much. You've had these imbalances for so long and they'll probably always be there. Just manage it the best you can." I wanted to scream but I'm near the point in which I must accept that he's right. He's right about one thing. I'm not going to worry too much about the results. The hair sample has been sent and I can't do anything about it. All I can do is wait 2-3 weeks and see what it says.
I see about 4 possible results and I am mentally prepared for each of them.
1. The worst case scenario is that I am heading back to full blown adrenal exhaustion. What is going on now with the thyroid caps is eerily similar to what happened in 2005 just before the first energy crash. Back then, I was extremely unstable but was depended on adrenal caps, not thyroid caps. The hair test will be very clear on this. Na/K above 2.50- good. Below 2.50- bad. This ratio has not been below 2.49 since 2007. If this is the case, I have no choice other than to stop running and take 2 months of inactivity. Failing to do so will result in another severe energy crash. After that, I can come back safely only as a casual jogger. Better than nothing but still a major let down. Much of my social life revolves around running and my dopamine level may crash if I don't get vigorous exercise. Also, it would really suck for this to happen when I am so close to my goals. Granted, this scenario does not seem too likely.

2. The most likely case is the status-quo. Continued extreme fast oxidation with sluggish thyroid hormones. It's a 2 front war in which both imbalances are treated at different times and neither get in balance because treating one problem makes the other worse. I may take 4-6weeks off by choice, not because of injury down the road and see how I feel. I'd prefer not to do that until next Spring or Summer. I am vulnerable to adrenal exhaustion with too much stimulation of either my thyroid or adrenals for too long.

3. The fatigue is due to a toxic metal. Possible but it seems unlikely. It's a fairly simple fix. Chlorella and vitamin C can detox just about anything and I can resume my fight against extreme fast oxidation and probably quit the thyroid caps. That would be a good scenario.

4. Finally, the best case is that my body chemistry has suddenly reversed itself and I'm either a slow oxidizer or at least a lot more balanced than before, which has allowed the hypothyroid symtoms to appear. In the recent past, I may have been hypo but wasn't showing symptoms because the fast oxidation over-rode it. Under normal circumstances, I'd say that's impossible or at least highly unlikely but since I recently took care of a chronic low-grade infection, anything can happen with my chemistry. That would be great.

Current emotional state:
There's nothing I can do except wait. Until the results come in, I will keep hope alive. If scenario #1 or 2 comes out, it will be a crushing blow. I have invested so much time telling others that adrenal fatigue can be beaten, not just managed for life. I have claimed that not only can you train hard after adrenal fatigue, you can come back stronger IF you take the right supplements tailored to your chemistry. I've been told many times that I could get a book deal out of this and make a difference in the lives of thousands of people. That's all out the window if this is a chronic condition that must be managed. I cannot in good conscience promote a treatment plan that was not fully effective for me. I will not abandon my faith in Jesus but my enthusiasm may never be the same again. As I've said many times, you cannot be happy long-term with significant chemical imbalances. I have written many times before and believed with all my heart that it is not God's will for anyone to live out life with chemical imbalances and there is a solution for any problem in that area. I also believed that the Holy Spirit was working with me and speaking through me to give me the right words and I have inspired a lot of people. If it turns out that it is under the false pretense that I have been healed and at times I had every reason to believe it, it's difficult to even express how that feels.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another 2 front war

For those of you that are hurting emotionally, you have my sympathy but if you were to ask most of them if they would prefer to switch with me and have to live with chemical instability, the answer would be a RESOUNDING NO! At least most people, despite the hurt, they can rise above their negative situation and even choose to be happy in time. I can't do that. It's simply not possible with chemical imbalances. So what's it like to live with chemical instabilty? If you read this blog on a regular basis, you already have a general idea but I'll briefly rehash it. In short, you have days in which you are anxious, short of breath and tire easily. Other days will be marred by fatigue, low grade depression and a general apathetic blah feeling. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that I can't run worth crap in either of those states. I won't deny that it hurts to fall short of my athletic potential as a result of this but there are more important things that are affected, most notably my relationships with family and friends. Again, don't even get me started about dating. I also find it difficult to focus at work and have struggled at times with my job. The worst of it is that quite often I go from one extreme to the other literally overnight. That's right. I could go to bed feeling fatigued and wake up anxious and vice versa.
Currently, I suspect deficiencies in thyroid hormones along with continued extreme fast oxidation. Two days earlier, I would not have been able to finish even 1 mile much below 8 minutes. Now, I am back under 35 minutes for 5 miles thanks to thyroid glandular supplements. Those of you who did not understand how valuable running is as a barometer to my condition, now you know. By law, I cannot get the thyroid hormones tested without a doctor's order. I could buy such an order online but I can't wait that long to get it. I'm already headed in the right direction and within a couple of days, the blood test may not even show a problem. How did I get to this state? I've been fighting extreme fast oxidation for the better part of the last 3 years. This is not an uncommon occurence for someone who has beaten adrenal fatigue. I have taken some powerful stuff, including Lithium and other anti-thyroid glandulars to get my biochemistry right. Without it, the symptoms of extreme fast oxidation were intolerable. The end result was that it was not effective in solving the fast oxidation and caused my thyroid hormones to go hypo.
Now, all I can do is wait for the hair test. It is possible that my biochemical imbalances could not get better because of the infected root canal. Now that it's no longer an issue, it is POSSIBLE that taking hard core stuff was finally effective in getting my numbers down, leaving me with only the hypothyroid to worry about, which is easily treatable.
If my numbers have remained stubbornly high, here's what my life looks like:
-I'll take the thyroid glandulars when I have the fatigue and they'll be effective for a while until the extreme fast oxidation over-rides the hypothyroid.
-I'll take the recommended supplements for fast oxidation for a while and they'll be effective for a while until the hypothyroid over-rides the fast oxidation.
-I may have up to 6 weeks of stability and relative freedom from symptoms but the crash will be inevitable and I just have to hope that it doesn't happen the day before a goal marathon or half.
As for my faith, I write a monthly devotional and send it to about 50 friends. I will end those messages if this does not work out and go back to being a lukewarm Christian. After 5 years of this with little hope of improvement and faced with the prospect of a life long condition that precludes long-term happiness, I have finally reached the breaking point. I thought about taking down my site altogether but have decided against that. I AM better off than I was 5 years ago and even if this hair test protocol wasn't fully effective for me, it's still better than antidepressants and counseling from a clueless quack psychologist.
Sorry to let down anyone that I have inspired. I do sincerely hope that I will look back on these 3 relapses in the past month and realize that it made me stronger.

Training 8/1-8/7

8/1- Any improvement at all? Yes. There is some. 5 miles in 36:27 (7:18 pace) running pretty much all out. That's 20 seconds per mile better than yesterday afternoon and this one had no walk break after 2 miles. I was still a disheartening 4:30 from the unofficial PR or more than a full kilometer behind in terms of distance. No power in my legs or spring in my strides. Just a lot of fatigue and blahs. Below average performance. Splits were 7:10-7:13-7:20-7:29-7:15. I can do a thyroid hormone test as early as tomorrow.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=5.0
PM- Same 5 mile run as 12 hours earlier. My time is down to 34:57 (6:59 pace) with very even splits. 6:57-7:00-7:03-7:05-6:52. Still fatigued and blah and it felt like my top 2 gears were not available. 3 minutes down on my PR but definitely an improvement after taking another raw thyroid glandular pill. I can't do a thyroid test because I need a doctor's order. DAMMIT!
Grade:B/2 credit/distance=5.5

8/2- Woke up feeling horrible after not taking any thyroid pills for about 16 hours. Anyone want to guess what will happen if I take some at work? I'm going to take a wild guess and say that I'll be a lot better in the afternoon. Unless the hair test shows that my numbers came down significantly, I can guarantee a relapse within about a month. Only covered 1 Mile of a scheduled 3 in the morning and my time was so bad that I cut off the watch.
PM- A reason for optimism? Maybe. 3 pills later, I am another 90+ seconds faster. I covered the same 5 mile distance in a pretty solid 33:19 (6:40 pace). Splits were 6:34-6:38-6:42-6:46-6:39. That's still more than a minute slow and I still felt a trace of abnormality but overall, not bad at all. Good call on skipping the thyroid test. It would have shown problems on Saturday or Sunday but probably not today. I will stick with the thyroid glandulars until I relapse again.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=6.5

8/3- Trak Shak 5 in 97 degree temps with a heat index of 105. I decided to leave the watch at home and run naked. Good call there. It appears that Stress Pak won't work because it contains choline/inositol. The only thing that does work right now is the thyroid glandular. This was an easy run based purely on feel and it was comparable to yesterday.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

8/4- Hot. Breezed through an easy 6 with a time of 44:26 (7:24 pace) then without even stopping, I kicked in the turbo and clocked a 7th mile in an impressive 6:17 for an overall time of 50:43 (7:15 average). Steady on 3 thyroid glandulars until further notice. I will send in the hair test kit tomorrow.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=7.5

8/5- Cold. I tried only 2 thyroid pills in the morning and it wasn't enough. No, it was not natural fatigue either. Now, I know that if I am to run with the group tomorrow, I must take 3 first thing in the morning. What's going to happen with this in the near future? Who knows? I could have unbearable fatigue unless I take 6-8 of these pills before too long but doing that will only accelerate the impending relapse. The workout was a 2.5 mile junk run at recovery effort. My pace, which I really didn't care about, turned out to be 8:06. That's not far off what I planned to do but based on feel, I get a low grade. Hair test will be sent during my lunch break.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=2.5

8/6- Just as I feared, I must increase my dosage. I tried 3 in the morning and it wasn't enough. Ran with the group and I was struggling to hold a 7:45 pace early. I got dropped by the lead group after 4 miles, ran with the 2nd group for 3 then cut it short after 10 miles of a scheduled 12. I hit the wall after about 8.5 miles, walked up Hollywood Blvd and just trotted home at about 10:00 pace. Overall moving pace was around 8:10.
Got home and popped another pill, waited about an hour and hit the indoor track for some more miles. Despite hurting, I managed to hold a sub-8 pace all the way and finished 7.5 miles in 58:30 (7:48 pace). I actually felt like the 4th pill actually took me too far in the other direction and a 5th would have spelled disaster. I'm not sure how I feel about this one overall. My pace was a hair over 8 on average but my total distance was the most I've covered in 1 day since Huntsville and caps off my first 50 mile week since Spring.
Grade:C+/2 credits/distance=18.0

8/7- Earned a rest day.

Weekly summary:
I am too emotionally drained to comment much further. On the surface, this week doesn't look too bad though. GPA is near average and it was my 4th 50 mile week of the year.
Distance=50.0/GPA= 27.6/10=2.76