Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013. Review of a Nightmarish Year

Raw stats:
17-33 with a 2.47 GPA and 1,754 miles.  The mileage was not terrible but the record is by far my worst showing since starting this blog is 2009.  I set zero personal records but did progress toward a couple milestones:
-3 new states in the half marathon (California, Missouri, West Virginia)
-2 new states in the 10K (Florida and Pennsylvania)
-8 total races (7 out of town).  0 5Ks, 4 10Ks, 4 Half Mary, 0 Fulls

It is clear to me now that the chemical sensitivity was the source of the suckage all year long.  It started off well enough.  I was 7-4 through week 11 with 2 good races in 3 tries.  Then, I got a good medical report in which everything looked fine except for the low magnesium.  I had been taking Paramin in addition to the Thym-Adren without a problem for several years.  Paramin is Cal/Mag citrate supplement with a 5:3 ratio.  I usually took that in the evening and Thym-Adren in the morning.  Since the Thym-Adren contains 41 mg of Cal, I was getting 8 parts Cal to only 3 parts Mag.  That's too unbalanced and explained why the Mag was stubbornly low.  Okay, just add more Mag such that I get nearly a 1:1 ratio.  Presto!  I did that and I was sensational for the next 2 days.  However, it was downhill from there and I never did get back on track, losing 29 out of 39 to end the year.

Despite the 4-0 start, I was shaky.  I was struggling with copper/Vitamin C issues and found that I could not tolerate protein bars with too much copper.  I dodged that bullet before LA but was denied an official sub-90 by a diarrhea attack (moving time was 1:29:52).  It would be my best performance of the year.

The copper issues worsened this month and I found that I needed an exact amount of Vitamin C in the right form too (500 mg of ascorbic acid not Ester-C).  I found that out after race day this time, a half in 1:38 (my worst time in 3 years).  I lost all 4 weeks this month.

Things turned around here with a solid effort at the Silver Comet 10K (40:58), narrowly missing my road PR.  It was becoming apparent that my Cal was high relative to Mag and was feeling the ill-effects.  Adding more Mag seemed like a miracle early but I found that I soon became intolerant to Mag as well as Paramin.  It was not until later that I learned that citrates were the problem.  I ended up not running Rumpshaker and finished the first quarter at 7-6.  It was the last time that I had a winning record.

Continued downhill with a disaster at St. Louis (1:42) and eventually progressed to a point in which I could not tolerate any Paramin.

Quit the magnesium and took thyoid glandulars as a temporary measure.  It provided temporary relief and allowed for a small victory in Florida at the Fiesta 10K (42:22).  It was just a patch to stop the bleeding and soon my body demanded Mag again yet I could not tolerate Paramin.

Got some hope this month after starting transdermal Mag, which I was able to tolerate.

Could no longer tolerate Thym-Adren with transdermal Mag and bombed at Peachtree with a new personal worst of 45:54 for 10K.  Once I stuck with only the Mag gel, I started to improve gradually and if I was able to continue the slow but steady improvement, I would have been in decent shape by the Fall.

August and September:
Transdermal Mag stopped working so I tried Mag malate and Jigsaw Mag.  Despite some initial success, it failed in the end.  I nearly bailed on the Pittsburgh Great Race but chose to run and finished in 43-flat.  On a downhill course, that was only worth about a low 44 but I did manage to enjoy the race and pick up a new state.

October and November:
Went back to the Thym-Adren and saw my dosage trend down with continued sensitivity to copper and Vitamin C.  I managed to hit the formula well when it mattered and managed another small victory in West Virginia (1:35 half) and managed a sub-20 5K with an asterisk in training.

Rock bottom.  Could only tolerate either Mag or Thym-Adren at no more than 2 pills each.  Detox was my only way out and if it had not worked, I would have retired from serious running.  I do have hope going forward since I have felt very much different since the detox.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Comments on the Liver flush experience

The short answer is that it was not as bad as I feared.  I did pretty well in following the protocol but if I am to do it again,  I will do a few things differently. 
First, eating just dry cereal was a little extreme.  You simply need to avoid fats before the detox so I could have had a few juice smoothies with more nutrients and calories.
Second, I broke my fast around 11 AM the next day and probably could have held it together for a few more hours.
Lastly, I took my 3rd epsom salt drink at 7:00 AM instead of 6:00 because I could not get up.  Oh well, I don't think that affected me too much.

The fast:
I did get a bit of a hunger headache and I was hurting as a result of not taking any supplements but I never really felt faint.  No worse than expected.  I may have been okay taking some Mag but not Thym-Adren.

Epsom salts:
Was not as foul tasting as I feared.  I used filtered water and kept it cold, which helped.  I did have to go to the bathroom after the second dosage but it wasn't too uncomfortable.

The cleansing drink:
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil plus a 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice and a few squirts of lemon juice.  I mixed it in a Gatorade bottle, shook it up then drank it.  I expected that it would make me want to gag but it turned out to be okay.  The taste of the grapefruit juice overwhelmed the olive oil.

The biggest complaint is the nausea but in my case, it wasn't so bad.  I had trouble getting to sleep and did make 1 bathroom trip but nothing came out.

I woke up actually feeling at peace with my situation, which is amazing given how much is at stake.  Part of me was accepting that I may be screwed and nothing more could be done.  I expected to be running for the toilet early but I was getting concerned that I was not.  It was not until after my 2nd epsom salt drink that I could go.  To my relief,  I saw 2-3 small green stones floating on top.  About an hour later, I had to go again and this time, I saw more than a dozen stones.  Most were small and green with a couple tan stones mixed in.  The size was larger than a sesame seed but slightly smaller than a peanut.  Some people are able to pass much larger stones but I was still pleased to get something out.  I had to go a couple more times during the day but only got about 2-3 more out.

Final thought:
Again, I'm not expecting a miracle one shot cure.  I just want improvement.  One shot of prolotherapy did not cure long-standing groin pain but it did improve.  The fact that something came out is a good sign.  It is common for patients to get more out on the 2nd or 3rd cleanse.  If my tolerance for supplements does improve, yes I will do this again.  I will start the detox on a Friday night rather than a Saturday so I will not be worthless all weekend.  At the end of the day, I really don't care if anything comes out or not, I just want to be less sensitive to these pills.  I'll have a better idea in another day or two.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Causes of Sensitivity and Liver Flush Protocol

As I posted earlier, the liver is the central processing unit for vitamins and minerals.  Though unconfirmed, I believe that it is also responsible for processing of synthetic medications.  Let's first look at my history, which may have led to my sensitivity and instability:

I took Accutane for 2-3 months.  Accutane is a powerful anti-acne drug and I have read that it is basically a toxic dose of Vitamin A, which is a fat soluble vitamin.  Where is the excess stored?  You guessed it.  The liver.  I will say that 85-90% of patients recommend Accutane and get through the treatment with little more than dry skin.  I will not say that this is the source of all my problems but websites have linked it to adrenal fatigue.  I believe that I had a congenital weakness in that area, which explains why I could not tolerate it while most others can.

I was misdiagnosed with hypothyroidism and was on Synthroid for nearly 4 years.  Towards the end of this treatment, the sensitivity had become apparent.  After being cut off cold turkey, which was a very dangerous thing for my quack doctor to do, a single dose made me feel a lot better.

I took a powerful herbal supplement for adrenal fatigue over the course of 3 years purely for symptom relief in order to survive graduate school at Clemson.  It was the wrong type of supplement for my body chemistry.  It succeeded temporarily but left me worse off than I had been before.

I was misdiagnosed with clinical depression and upped the dosage after it did not help my chronic fatigue.  I remained very sensitive to my herbal adrenal supplement.

When I finally started the hair test protocol in 2006, it was necessary to take boatloads of glandular supplements, minerals and amino acids.  Though it was imperative that I take all those pills, it had to be hard on my liver to process all that material.

Current state:
I need Magnesium and Thym-Adren to get in balance.  Without either of them, my adrenals will spiral out of control and will eventually slip back into adrenal exhaustion.  As of now, I can only take one or the other and must alternate the days.  Any more than 2 pills per day will cause my body to stiffen up badly.  If I were really getting closer to balance, I would be getting stronger, not weaker.
Does this have anything to do with the fructose malabsorption that I experienced last summer?  Probably not.  I can actually tolerate sugar fairly well now that I boosted my magnesium.  If I cannot process any of the pills that I need to get in balance, I am screwed.  I'll have to quit running and go back to anti-depressants with little hope of long-term relief because they do not affect the adrenals.  If I am forced down that route, I will go with the dopamine based drug Wellbutrin, not SSRIs.  Needless to say, I will try just about anything to reduce this sensitivity to key supplements.

Liver flush protocol:
-Dry cereal for breakfast and lunch with no food or drink after 2 PM
-16 oz of water mixed with epsom salts in 2 servings (6PM and 8PM)
-Drink a concoction of olive oil mixed with grapefruit juice and lemon juice at 10 PM.
-Go straight to bed.
-Drink 2 more epsom salt mixes no sooner than 6 AM and 8 AM.
-Lots of trips to the bathroom and supposedly you will be amazed by what comes out.
Do a YouTube search for Liver Flush if you'd like to know more.

I will post the results tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Liver Detox Preview

UPDATE: 10/16/14- The liver flush was successful in that it did allow me to tolerate key pills but I remain way too sensitive.  I've started on a supplement called glutathione, which has helped others with this condition.  Early signs are promising.  I did have some environmental allergies but the primary complaint was extreme sensitivity to supplements such that just a half a pill of the wrong product would cause me to fall apart.

If you have followed this blog even casually for any length of time, you know that even a half of a pill, whether too many or too few, can make the difference between a good day (10-15 miles @ sub-7:30 pace) and a terrible one (< 3 miles @ 9:00+ pace).  Sometimes, I go to bed fatigued and lethargic and wake up anxious and overstimulated.  That would not be so bad if the magic formula stayed constant but it seems to be changing on an almost weekly basis, resulting a my good days being few and far between.  If not for running, I would not be so well in tune with my body and likely would not have any good days.  When the formula is stable, I will run well almost every time out and feel good overall.  There have been a  few times in which I did not have to take any pills at all, most notably the first quarter of 2012.  During that time, I marched through "killer" workouts with relative ease and broke my personal records at every distance that I attempted, often by wide margins.

I am not the only one dealing with this.  It is a phenomenon known as multiple chemical sensitivity.  When patients report this to their doctors, the response is usually something to the effect of this: "Switch to a different brand or a different form (ex. magnesium malate instead of citrate) or find another type of supplement (herbs vs. glandulars vs. minerals) that is intended to have the same effect on your overall chemistry." That isn't very reassuring.  You may find another pill that works but at the end of the day, the chemical sensitivity is still there and then, what if you cannot tolerate the other pill?  What must you do if you know what is wrong with your chemistry and you know the pills necessary to fix it but your body rejects everything that you try?

It is true that fast oxidizers such as myself have highly permeable cell membranes that cannot easily regulate what goes in and out but when a patient gets closer to balance, this problem should improve.  That has not happened in my case.  Even in an extreme fast oxidizer, there is no reason why a single dose should make this much of a difference.  It is obvious that I have a major problem with the processing of vitamins and minerals.  According to a reliable source, it is the liver that is the central processing unit for vitamins and minerals.  Thus, improving the health of the liver may reduce the chemical sensitivity.  Some people blame my lower volume/higher quality training style for all my ills.  I hope this puts that issue to rest once and for all. First, an average of 40 MPW is hardly extreme even at faster paces.  Second, even if I did over train, it has absolutely nothing to do liver toxicity.  In fact, intense exercise actually helps flush out the toxins.

Other symptoms:
I still have a good build for a runner but my weight has been creeping up a bit this up this year.  I'm only a few pounds above my target weight of 155 lbs. but it seems to have nothing to do with my diet.  If I take too many pills, my weight will jump as much as 5 lbs in a single day.  Then, when I don't take any, it goes back down immediately.  Some fluctuation is normal but not like that.  Pardon the pun but this gives weight to my theory of the liver's inability to process key minerals.  I'll be tasteful with the next one.  Often, especially if I take one too many pills, it seems like I cannot fully empty my bladder.

 What to do about it?  The conservative measure is to eat a clean diet.  As it is, I rarely drink alcohol and have not had a soda in a nearly 5 months.  In fact, I've completely lost the taste for that poison.  When it comes to caffeine, I have gone off and on.  In the past, abstinence has helped but this year, it has not made much of a difference.  My primary source of caffeine is Red Bull, which contains less sugar, no high fructose corn syrup and only as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.  Certainly, it's not good for me but it could be worse.  Still, I've got to get off it once and for all.  I do NOT have a problem with cholesterol or triglycerides.

I've determined that I must go radical with the detox plan.  The recommended plan can be seen by doing a YouTube search for liver flush.  It first involves a short fast then drinking 2 mixtures of epsom salts and water followed by a nasty formula of olive oil mixed with grapefruit and lemon juice before bed.  Then, you have to drink 2 more servings of epson salts and water early the next morning.  They say that you will be amazed by what comes out the next day.  It is common to see dozens of large gallstones released from the liver and gallbladder. I may have to repeat this and/or take a liver supplement.

A lot of people will call this quackery but they say the same thing about hair testing.  Mainstream medicine could not help me so I have no respect for the point of view that all alternatives are quack.  I could go on and on about what's wrong with giving out drugs like candy but that's another rant.  I'm sure it will taste awful but I want y'all to imagine the most foul thing out there to drink.  If there was even a reasonable chance that it would improve my condition, I'd drink anything.  Surveys show that the vast majority of people that have gone through detox would recommend it.  One such survey showed that 76% rated the experience positively, only 2% negatively and 22% say that it made little difference.  That's better than almost any prescription.  I'm also betting that many of those 22% did not follow the plan as intended.

Emotional state:
My life does suck but it could be worse.  At least I can work a steady job and live independently.  I have a good family and friends who care about me.  Most days, I am able to run several miles at a decent pace.  The days that I cannot are the exception rather than the rule.  Many people that have advanced adrenal fatigue would love to be doing as well as I am.  I have 3 friends who cannot work because of disabilities.  All are women in their mid 30s-early 40s.  Every time I read CureZone or other health message boards, my heart feels sick over what others are going through. The only reason that I am not disabled is because I have been able to follow the hair test protocol fairly well.  Then again, there is the fear that things will continue to get worse especially if I cannot process any of the pills that I need.  I know exactly what I need to get in balance and it is Magnesium and Thym-Adren.  Right now, I can only take one or the other.  If it becomes neither, I could be doomed.

Hope for the future:
I am a man of faith and do believe in miracles.  If this does work out and I can somehow tolerate the pills that I need to get in balance and I am able to run up to my capabilities, there will be a book deal out of this for sure.  I have little doubt that it will sell fairly well too considering that this blog now has over 30K page views.  Combine my knowledge of body chemistry with my interpretation of Scripture and we could be looking at a difference not only in this life but also eternity.  I don't even care about the money.  In fact, I don't even plan to keep much of it.  I pledge to use a large portion of the proceeds to buy diagnostic tests for disabled patients who cannot afford it because they are too sick to work.  I know that God is able because I have heard testimonies of people healed from diseases that meant certain death but is He willing?  If the answer is no, He is not only letting me down but also everyone who would benefit from my knowledge.
I still pledge to serve Him no matter what and will report back with the outcome of the detox.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Training 12/23-12/31

12/23- 1 Mile at Gold's in an even 8:00 before heading home.  Never felt good during the run and faded badly at the end.  2 Thym-Adren may have worked but I tried an enzyme supplement that clearly hurt me.
I have a last ditch plan to solve this instability so stay tuned.  I believe that it is a liver issue and the plan is detox.  The doctor finally called me back and I have not received the medical report because the lab NEVER RECEIVED IT!
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=1.0

12/24- Planned rest day

12/25- Planned rest day.

12/26- Very poor performance at Gold's.  3 miles in 23:37 (7:52 pace) on a magnesium day.  Tomorrow is a Thym-Adren day.  Started off pretty well but the pace steadily slowed after the first half mile.  Splits were 7:30-7:54-8:13.  I hope to do the detox this weekend.  I need 2 grapefruits and 1 lemon to mix the key concoction.  If I can't do it this weekend, next weekend for sure.  I do not expect an instant miracle cure but based on what others have reported, there is a realistic chance of improvement in my tolerance for key supplements.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=3.0

12/27- Thym-Adren day and I was only slightly better.  Same old tired 3 mile run at Gold's in a time of 22:57 (7:39 pace) running nearly all out.  Pace was much more even this time around (7:37-7:43-7:37).  Simply put, 2 pills simply won't cut it but I cannot process any more right now.  The detox is a "go" for tomorrow.  I have purchased all the necessary items.  I have to fast for several hours so I'm off to get a steak dinner.
 Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

12/28- Detox.  No supplements allowed.  I can only eat dry cereal until 2 PM then it's nothing to eat or drink with the exception of the detox drinks.  No running today.

12/29- 4x1 Mile at Gold's.  I started the workout on zero pills but I took 1 Mag during each interval.  Splits were 8:50-8:04-7:23-6:27.  This is encouraging.  I got significantly better after each pill and showed the greatest improvement after pill #3.  Tomorrow is big.  It's a Thym-Adren day and I will see if I can tolerate more than 2 pills.  If so, I will see if I can tolerate at least a trace of Mag.  I am just 3 miles shy of 1,750 on the year.
Grade:C/2 credit/distance=4.0

12/30- Thym-Adren day.  1 mile in 7:25 on 2 pills.  Popped another 2 pills and this time, I DID NOT TIGHTEN UP!  I found another gear and covered the next 3 miles in 20:43 (6:54 pace).  Next, I sprayed on some Mag chloride then proceeded to clock a 5:56 mile on tired legs.  I declare that the detox has been a success.  I will not be retiring tomorrow.  I may still be sensitive but at least I can tolerate the pills again.  Passed 1,750 miles on the year.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=5.0

12/31- 2 mile quickie in 14-flat (7:00 pace).  Felt good but a bit overstimulated.  I have increased my dosage but it's not as high as it was before.  I should be able to tolerate as much as I need.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=2.0

Weekly summary:
Nightmare year is over.
Distance=18.0/ GPA= 16.7/8= 2.09
Year totals were 1,754 miles. 17 wins-33 losses with a 2.47 GPA.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Training 12/16-12/22

12/16- Woke up feeling awful then got worse after taking 1 Thym-Adren.  Time to switch back to magnesium.  I plan on running this evening just to see how bad I am.  Struggled at work too.
PM- Lame 3 miles in 23:40 (7:53 pace).  Even pace and actually thought it would be worse.  Nevertheless, I am switching back to the Mag.  Half mile cool.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=3.5

12/17- Horrible and it sucked too!  3.5 miles in 31:14 (8:56 pace).  Felt terrible when I woke up then overshot the balance point by taking too much Mag.  I called the doctor's office today and left a message to send the medical report if they have it.  14 days until the year is over.  I will declare myself semi-retired if it doesn't turn around by then and it is looking bleak.
Grade:D-/1 credit/distance=3.5

12/18- Horrible but did not suck quite as much as yesterday.  On 3 Mag pills, I was dizzy and saw stars for about 10 seconds.  On 4 pills, I was better but after a protein bar, which contained more Mag, I was noticeably worse.  Survived another lame 3 miles at Gold's in a time of 23:50 (7:57 pace) with pretty even splits (11:53/11:57).  I managed to stay off caffeine with little more than a mild headache.  Another 2-3 days off it can only help.  Weight was up to 162 (not good).  It is possible that I am trending off the Mag, in which case, the medical report had better be good otherwise I am officially screwed. No word from the doctor's office so I take that to mean that it is in the mail.  I will try to get by on 3 Mag tomorrow.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=3.0

12/19- Finally, a run that was NOT horrible.  5 miles in an even 37:30 (7:30 pace) with an even pace.  Effort was moderate with a pretty even pace (7:24-7:34).  Nothing from the doctor.  Tomorrow for sure assuming that it was mailed yesterday morning.  I was much better than yesterday as a result of cutting the Mag from 4 pills to 3 and actually enjoyed this workout.  Weight: -1 to 161.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

12/20- Tempo effort.  Lakeshore 5 in 35:28 (7:06 pace).  Even pace (17:42/17:46).  This was far short of my normal tempo pace but am showing continued improvement on lowered doses.  I was down to only 2 pills today.  No medical report yet again.  I will probably have to wait until early next year.  Added a mile cool.
Grade:C/2 credit/distance=6.0

12/21- Down to 1 Mag and it may have been 1 too many.  2 miles on Lakeshore in a pitiful 16:20 (8:10 pace) with splits of 7:45-8:35.  I might be better in the afternoon after it begins to clear.  This will be my one freebie this week.

PM- Wisteria 2 mile in 15:12 (7:36 pace).  Down half in 7:20, Up half in 7:52.
Grade:None/0 credit/distance=4.0

12/22- AM- First attempt to run when off the pills was a disaster.  Quit after 1 mile in 7:53 and fading.  I confess that I am almost relieved by this revolting development.  I now know that I am not in balance so I won't be upset when I get the medical report.  It's back to the Thym-Adren and I will alternate it the Mag.  I may switch back in 1-3 days.  Weight:-4= 157 lbs. Back in the target range.

PM- Thym-Adren seemed to help early but surprise surprise, I overshot the balance point by taking 3 pills.  2 pills may have worked.  As it is, I hit Mile 1 of a planned tempo in 7:19 fading fast so I punted and ran another mile in 9+ as a cool down.
Grade:F/2 credit/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
Future looks bleak.  I will try alternating Mag and Thym-Adren next week and if that doesn't work, it's over.  I will admit defeat.  GPA has dropped below 2.50 on the year.
Distance= 28.0/ GPA= 11.1/8= 1.39

Monday, December 9, 2013

Training 12/9-12/15

12/9- AM- Took 2 Thym-Adren and no Cal/Mag this morning.  Result was a lame workout but not a pathetic one.  3 miles in 23:45 (7:55 pace) with a slight negative split.  That triple yesterday's distance at a pace nearly 1 minute faster.

PM- Took 2 more Thym-Adren later in the day.  Legs were heavy but it was a pretty solid session for a planned easy day.  Still, a quality session would not have been pretty.  Finished 6 miles in a time of 45:06 (7:31 pace) and showed restraint in not going for the sub-7:30.  Just a slight fade (22:28-22:38) but that's even enough.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=9.0
Update: No medical report and it's usually here by now.  Perhaps the lab was closed over Thanksgiving.  It appears that taking the Cal/Mag instead of the Thym-Adren has not affected the downward trend.  However, a downward trend is good news ONLY IF my numbers are better.  I'm morbidly curious about what a 5th pill will do and if it's bad, it should clear by tomorrow.

12/10- No big surprise.  The 5th pill was a mistake.  Back down to 4 today and should have been more aggressive with the cut.  Lame interval session at Vestavia.  8x400 in 85 (5:40 pace) (range was 82-89).  That's weak.  I should be doing this in 75 seconds each.  I'm cutting myself some slack.  It was 40 degrees and windy plus I've done no interval work in more than 2 months.  It did feel good to finally run at sub-6 pace.  I was never tired but just could not access my top gears.
Grade:C+/2 credit/distance=3.0

12/11- The downward trend continues and IT HAD BETTER BE BECAUSE MY NUMBERS ARE COMING IN LINE!  Cut the dosage down to 3 and felt better overall than yesterday.  Workout was decent.  5K time trial in 20:38 (6:38 pace).  Splits were 6:34-6:43-6:42-39.  1st half: 10:18, 2nd half: 10:20.  Pretty darn even if you ask me.  That's slightly slower than my 20:27 last week but I'm okay with this one.  Again, I probably would have been better on a lower dose.  I think I could go sub-20 now if I hit the pills perfectly.  The last 48 seconds will come when I recover the lost fitness.  Weight is back under 160, which is a good thing.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=4.0

12/12- Good day for me.  Took half a day off work to go to the DMV to register the car so I got a chance to run in the daylight outside.  Lakeshore 5 at easy effort in a strong 36:19 (7:16 pace) with a slight negative split (18:14/18:05).  Added a mile cool at a pace not much slower.  Dosage was 2.5 pills and I hit it perfectly.  2 pills= over-stimulation, 3 pills= lethargic.  If my dose was 2.5 on Monday, it would not have been enough and 2.5 will likely be too much by the weekend.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=6.0

12/13- Easy 5 at Gold's in 35:13 (7:03 pace).  Down to 2 pills and it was perfect!  Added a mile of fartlek with the last 200 @ 4:30 pace then a half mile cool on the 'mill.  OUTSTANDING!
Grade:A+/1 credit/distance=6.5

12/14- Should have cut the dose to 1.5 today.  Ended up just doing a junk run on Lakeshore.  2 miles in 14:20 (7:10 pace) with splits of 7:18-7:02.  Added a half mile cool.  I could have gotten through a double digit run but it would have been very painful.  Better to put it off until tomorrow.  It will be colder but sunny.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=2.5

12/15- Cut the dosage down to 1.5 and it was not aggressive enough.  I got off to a great start then saw the wheels come off in Mile 3.  I punted from there but could not have gone much faster.  I totaled 6 miles in a time of 46:55 (7:49 pace).  That's acceptable for a planned easy day but on a long run, it won't cut it.  1st half was a strong 21:50, 2nd half was 25:05 with the last half mile over 9 minute pace.  The same thing would have happened yesterday if I had continued.
Grade:D-/2 credits/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
An up and down week that ended in another loss.  2 weeks to go in this nightmare of a year but with the dosage going down so rapidly, it appears that there will be a resolution (one way or the other) by the end of the year.  I'm at 2.50 on the year with 2 weeks to go.  Is it too much to ask just to stay above that?  I must call the doctor to check on the medical report.
Distance= 37.0/ GPA= 26.6/10=2.66

Monday, December 2, 2013

Training 12/2-12/8

12/2- Just as I suspected, I need an exact ratio of Cal/Mag.  I am just as sensitive to this stuff as I was to the Thym-Adren.  Today, I took 250 mg of Cal and 4 Mag malate pills (290 mg) and felt pretty good but then I ate a protein bar with another 100 mg of Mag and felt slightly worse.  Workout was a test.  5K time trial in 21:49 (7:02 pace) with a nice negative split (11:06-10:43) and got stronger as the run progressed.  After the run, I put about 5 sprays of Mag chloride on my arm and was noticeably stiffer but got through the cool down unscathed.  Right now, a 1:1 ratio is probably a winner.  I'd be fine with that extreme sensitivity but who knows?  Next week, the ratio could be 3:2 or even 2:1.  THIS SUCKS!
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=4.0

12/3-AM Took slightly more Cal than Mag this morning and showed improvement though nowhere near my best.  I repeated the 5K time trial and my time is down to 20:27 (6:34 pace).  I will run again this evening.
PM- Evened out the Cal/Mag at 500 mg of each by the end of the day and felt nearly perfect when it was time to run.  Lakeshore 6 in 43:07 (7:11 pace) and it felt EASY!  1st half was 21:37, 2nd half was 21:30.  This is the Crazy J of old but one good run is not enough to get my hopes up.  The formula could change tomorrow.  A sub-20 5K is the edge of "competitive shape" for me but it's not enough to do it once then suck the next few days.  I should be capable of it every day that I am fresh because it's a full 15 ticks per mile off my PR.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=9.0

12/4- Just as I predicted, I am shooting at a moving target.  Eventually, I may settle at a 2:1 ratio but not today.  Calcium comes in increments of 250 mgs.  750 was not enough but 1,000 was too much.  I need about a 3:2 or 5:3 ratio now.  Today was 70 degrees outside so I was not about to waste it.  Vestavia 5 in 38:11 (7:38 pace).  This will do for a planned easy day but a quality session would have SUCKED even if I was fresh.  Yesterday's workout didn't hurt me at all.  I've done 15 @ low 7 pace before then came back fine the next day but that was the old Crazy J.  I will try a 5:3 ratio tomorrow.  No word on the medical report but I expect to hear soon.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=5.5

12/5- I will be very lenient and consider this a rest day.  I felt awful on 750/500 and must reduce it down to 500/300.  Totaled 2.5 miles at a pace over 8:00 and got slower with every step.
Grade:None/0 credit/distance=2.5

12/6- Cut it to 500:300 and got the expected modest improvement.
AM- 2 miles in 13:54 (6:57 pace)
PM- 4 miles in 31:57 (7:59 pace)
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=6.0

12/7- Another lame 4 mile run at Gold's in a time of 30:24 (7:36 pace).  1st half: 14:44, 2nd half: 15:40.  THAT DOES IT!  I'm going back to the Thym-Adren.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=4.0

12/8- Re-learned that Mag+ Thym-Adren even in VERY small quantities is a disaster.  1 mile in 8:44 at Gold's plus a cool on the 'mill.
Grade:F/2 credit/distance=2.0

Weekly summary:
3 weeks to go until my deadline and it is looking bleak.  New plan is 3 weeks of Thym-Adren then 1 week of Mag.  Never both together.  Also, whenever I need Cal in addition to Mag, it's time to switch to Thym-Adren.  I've never felt this hopeless before. I don't think I've had a single week all year that has been completely symptom free.  My heart is also hurting as a result of a recent contact: A 27 year old woman with Stage 4 adrenal fatigue who is worse off than I ever was.
Distance=32.0/ GPA=  16.1/8=2.01

Friday, November 29, 2013

Rant or Rave: Birmingham weather

I am of the opinion that there is no place, at least in the USA, that has ideal weather.  Here in the Southeast, we have to deal with the heat and humidity in the summer with pop up storms as well as tornado threats in the Spring.  The Northeast and upper Midwest can have cold snaps in which the high temperatures do not climb above freezing for entire month or more.  The Pacific Northwest is chilly and grey for much of the year.  Even Southern California has to deal with the threat of earthquakes and wildfires.

What are my thoughts on Birmingham's weather?  Overall, not too bad.  Not the best but certainly far from the worst.  Let's break it down by season:

Winter: We'll see measurable snow maybe 1-2 times per year and yes, panic may set in when it does.  You had best stay off the roads if it does snow.  We only see 4-5 days in which temps do not make it out of the 30s.  A typical day will dawn chilly with low temp near freezing but by the afternoon, it will warm to the low-mid 50s.  If you can wait until noon to run, that's pretty favorable conditions for a long run.  We'll get maybe 2-3 rain all days per month but a lot of bright and sunny days as well.

Spring: Trees begin to bloom in early March most years and it sure is a pretty sight.  As an aside, my allergies have been almost non-existent since starting on the magnesium.  Again, we get a few rainy days every month and this is the time of year in which the tornado threat is the greatest.  That said, the perfect "sunny and 75" weather days will outnumber the bad ones.

Summer: If you want to run long distance here, you had better be done before 8 AM or start after 5 PM or it will be a very slow and painful affair.  It is no unusual to see severe storms on one side of town with no sign of rain only 5 miles down the road so you've got to be careful checking the weather.  There are basically 2 weather patterns here.  Upper 80s and sticky with a 50/50 chance of storms OR 95+ and dry.  I, along with most other runners would prefer the latter.  If you can wait until after 6:30 to run, it's fairly comfortable.  There are really only about 8 weeks (mid-June through mid-August) that are really tough.  Speed workouts are manageable at dewpoints under 75 and short tempos can be done at near 70.  They say that you need to scale back if dew point + temp exceed 150 but you also need to consider the humidity.  I prefer evenings to mornings in the summer.  Although the temps are higher, humidity is only 50% compared to 90% in the morning and IMO, it is more comfortable.  I have been known to stay inside when the weather is iffy.

Fall: This is by far the nicest time of the year, especially between about Labor Day and Veteran's Day.  It may remain warm but the humidity has gone down and the rainfall is the lowest of the year.  Severe weather is also very rare this time of year.  High temps are often in the 80s in October but in the mornings and evenings when it's time to run, conditions are usually near perfect.

Worst weather in the country:
I've chosen 4 cities in different parts of the country that would be brutal for runners:
-Buffalo, New York- 100+ inches of snow per year piled high on the sidewalks.  'Nuff said.

-New Orleans, Louisiana- Not a fan of this city for other reasons but the humidity is absolutely brutal in the summer.  Birmingham is dry by comparison.  Low temps are often about 80 degrees with 100% humidity.  Temps will climb to 95 and the humidity remains quite high.  65 inches of rain per year with hurricane threats.

-Phoenix, Arizona/Las Vegas, Nevada- It may be a "dry heat" but 110 and dry cannot be preferable to 90 and humid.  The running group usually starts at 3 AM and you had better be done by 6 AM.

Fargo, North Dakota- Not as snowy as Buffalo but the sub-zero cold and wind more than makes up for it.  When the snow melts in May, flooding is always a concern.

Best weather for runners:
San Diego, California- I've heard others refer to this city as a "runner's paradise" as temps rarely fall below 50 or rise above 80 and it almost never rains.  Beware of the wildfires.

Denver, Colorado- This may be a surprise pick but winters are not as severe as you might expect.  The major downside is that it is very cold in the mornings but again, if you can wait until afternoon, it's not so bad. 300 sunny days per year with very little humidity in the summer.  Lots of great trails too.

Asheville, North Carolina- Winters can be chilly here in the mountains but humidity is noticeably less severe in the summer.  You can expect about 10 degrees cooler than Birmingham throughout the year.  I also thought about Richmond, Virginia.  I know there will be some cold snaps and heat waves there but neither will be constant or extreme for very long.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Training 11/25-12/1

11/25- Manganese is NOT the answer.  That leaves me with only 2 other pills to try.  Easy 5 in 39:26 (7:53 pace).  It has not fully cleared but I did what I intended to do.  Pleased that I managed to hold on my 5 instead of 3.  Faded in 2nd half (19:30/19:56) but managed a sub-8 on the back half.  I won't have many chances to run this week because of travel and bad weather.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=5.0

11/26- Easy 3 at Gold's in 23:07 (7:42 pace).  Not good.  I felt no better than yesterday.  I did manage to keep the pace even but would have faded in Mile 4 and 5.  I suspect that drinking 2 Screwdrivers last night (OJ) was the culprit.  I cannot take Vitamin C with Magnesium.  I expect a modest improvement this evening

PM- As expected, I got the modest improvement.  3 miles in 22:07 (7:22 pace) for an even 60 second improvement.  I did manage a 7:14 "kick." SO WHAT?  That is unsatisfactory on a planned tempo day and this week, I won't be able to make it up later.  Yes, it has been confirmed that OJ was the culprit.  On the mega Thym-Adren with its full DV of copper, 500 mg of C was absolutely necessary.  Without the Thym-Adren, it is toxic!
Grade:D+/2 credit/distance=6.0

11/27-Planned rest day.  Travel day.  Do I tough it out and run a few miles in foul weather or do I wimp out in the next few days?  The gym is not an option and neither is the 'mill.

11/28- Naked 2 mile junk run (no watch) in sub-freezing temps with high winds.  My Dad said that I was crazy but y'all already know that.  It was miserable out there and I wasn't feeling great but I get points just for being out there today.  Very lenient grading.
Grade;B/1 credit/distance=2.0

Update: Endodren (adrenal stimulant) is NOT the answer!  I cannot take either Thym-Adren OR Endodren! The only other experiment to try is to go off the Mag for a few days to see what happens. I expect to be forced back to Thym-Adren but not at mega doses.  It's looking more and more like Mag alone is the best solution right now. Let's say the medical report shows my Na and K levels at about 55/20.  That would be an improvement over the 85/31 last time but does not explain the Thym-Adren intolerance.  I can try another brand of a thymus based supplement.  I expect to suck tomorrow and may even take the automatic "F" for not even trying the workout.

11/29- 3 mile junk run.  Did not feel well at all but I got through it. No watch.  I will be back in Birmingham on Sunday.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

11/30- 2 mile junk run on the 'mill in 15:22 (7:41 pace).
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=2.0

12/1- Attempted a tempo and it was horrible.  2 miles in 14:58 (7:29 pace).  I believe that I am taking too much Mag relative to Cal.  Adding some Cal after the run seemed to help.  Prediction:  I will need a specific ratio of Cal/Mag going forward and it too will be a moving target.
Grade:D/2 credit/distance=2.0  

Weekly summary:
SUCKED AGAIN!  If any critics blame overtraining on my ills, how do you explain this debacle?
Distance= 20.0/ GPA= 14.3/8= 1.79

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Preview of next medical report

My last results were as follows:
Ca: 30, Mg: 3, Na: 85, K: 31.  All other minerals were fairly balanced except selenium, which was very low.
Key ratios:
Blood sugar:
30/3= 10.0
30/31= 0.97
85/3= 26.33
85/31= 2.74
   The blood sugar and vitality were pretty good but the thyroid and adrenals were beyond awful.

I expect radical change this time around.  One confession to make is that I have been cheating a bit on the sugar and caffeine restrictions but I really don't think it's hurting me all that much.  My sugar tolerance has greatly improved since taking more magnesium.  I abstained for a whole week before Huntington and the Thym-Adren dosage still trended down.  As of now, I've been forced off it again, probably due to the magnesium supplementation.  What will happen if I stop taking the Mag for a few days?  I will probably have to go back to the Thym-Adren but not at mega doses. 

At any rate, the hair sample has been cut and sent to the lab and the results should come within 2-3 weeks.  Any predictions?  I will first go over some negative possibilities, which if true, spell the end of me as a serious runner:
1. The biggest fear as always is adrenal fatigue.  That's unlikely.  When I was at my low point in 2006, I didn't have any good days.  As badly as I have struggled, in this month alone, I have done a sub-20 5K as well as 2 long runs of 13.1 and 14 miles, both at paces south of 7:20.  Very doubtful that I could do that with full blown adrenal exhaustion.  I am talented but anyone who can do that with severe adrenal disease would have to be a world beater when healthy.
2. Basically the same as last time.  That's also not likely.  I took mega doses of Thym-Adren for almost 2 months.  Whenever I have done that before, it lowered the Na and K nicely.
3. Modest improvement in key ratios with a severe deficiency in another mineral, which may not be easily corrected.  That may not be a killer for me even though it does mean another 2 front war until further notice.

I want and fully expect the Na to be under 50 and the K under 15.  I would not be surprised to see a Na value in the 30s and a K closer to 10.  If those 2 values are below 30 and 10, it would fully explain the intolerance to Thym-Adren, which is designed to lower both and keep the ratio in line.  I expect the Cal to be over 30 if not higher.  Again, I could not take the Cal with the Thym-Adren.  As for the Mag, I do expect it to be a little low this time.  I was hoping for a 5 or at least a 4 but I stopped taking it for 6 weeks when I went back to the Thym-Adren.  I would be okay with a 3 but really don't want to see another 2.  Since I came off the Lithium in 2010, I have never had a Na/Mg (adrenal ratio) below 15.  I think I have a good chance to be under it this time.

My dream:
I want to be off the Thym-Adren and simply take the Cal/Mag for preventative maintenance.  Only by doing that and having it confirmed by a good medical report will I declare myself to be in the clear.  I can then FINALLY pursue my dreams.

My nightmare:
I have to deal with this all my life.  All my dreams of a book deal, working a job in my passion and the least of my concerns, running goals will all die.  I may have small victories here and there but will continue to get worse as I age.  Marriage will be out of the question.  I will struggle with my job.  As my body gets more and more out of whack as I get older, I will be vulnerable to serious diseases.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Training 11/18-11/24 (possible race)

11/18- AM- 3 miles in 22:48 (7:36 pace).  That's still BAAAAUHD!

PM- Same old tired 3 mile but my time is down to 20:53 (6:58 pace) with splits of 7:03-7:02-6:48.  A nice improvement and a decent showing on a planned easy day but I would have been mediocre at best in a race setting.  This only projects to about a 21:35 for a full 5K.  I predict that I will improve for another 2-3 days then collapse late in the week.  Down to 4 Thym-Adren.  Weight remains at 160.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.5

11/19-Unplanned rest day.  Feel HORRIBLE again so there's no use even trying to run.  I must cut the Thym-Adren down to 3, which did not work as recently as last Friday.  I REALLY don't want to go under that dosage.  I cut the hair sample today and plan on mailing it tomorrow.  IT BETTER BE GOOD.  If the results are bad, I'm shutting down and officially give up hope.

11/20- 1 mile all out in 8:42.  Can't get much worse than this.

PM- Only slightly better.  2 miles on Lakeshore in 16:12 (8:06 pace).  Only positive was that I managed a sub-8 on the back half after popping a Mag pill.  Magnesium isn't hurting me.  Thym-Adren is.  Down to 2 pills tomorrow.
Grade:F+/1 credit/distance=3.0

11/21- Went radical and cut out Thym-Adren altogether before the morning workout and showed marked improvement.  3 miles in 22:13 (7:24 pace).  Popped 2 magnesium pills after a 7:31 1st mile and again, I managed to turn it up a notch afterwards (7:21 pace for last 2).  The magnesium isn't hurting me now.  The Thym-Adren is.  I popped only 1 Thym-Adren after getting back home and tightened up quickly.  I expect to suck this evening.  New update post is coming.

PM- 3 miles in 23:26 (7:49 pace).  I expected to take a step backward after taking the Thym-Adren.  If I had taken the same 3 pills as yesterday, I would have been MUCH WORSE!  Even pace and did not really struggle but had no power in my body.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=6.0

11/22- AM-Gold's 3 at tempo effort in 20:45 (6:55 pace) with splits of 6:56-6:57-6:52.  Can't get much more even than that.  Felt noticeably better today and I remain on just a low dose of magnesium.  I will experiment with Vitamin E and manganese to rule out mineral deficiencies.

PM- Lakeshore 5 at easy-moderate effort in 37:55 (7:35 pace)  Again, splits were nearly even.  Nothing under 7:30 or over 7:40.  This was run on a warm evening with a light mist just before a big cold front will hit.  I'm skipping the 5K tomorrow and the weather is iffy anyway. Clinched a 2.25 GPA on the year.
Grade:B/2 credit/distance=8.0

11/23- Tried some Vitamin E last night and had a swift negative reaction.  I was willing to endure a rough day today to rule that out.  I have 2 more pills that I need to try down the road to rule out other deficiencies.  Workout was Gold's 3 in 23:36 (7:52 pace) with a hard fade in Mile 3.  Hoping to go long tomorrow.  Added a cool.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=3.5

11/24- Trak Shak 1 and 9 route in 70:58 (7:06 pace).  Again, reminiscent of the Crazy J of old.  Even if I slipped to 7:20 pace over the last 5K, I still would have run 1:33:xx. for a half mary.  Finished with a hard fought 6:48 last mile.  No pills except for 2 Magnesium malate in the morning.  I will try just a trace of manganese just to see what happens and hope it clears by tomorrow.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=10.0

Weekly summary:
Lost again but got a couple moral victories and maintained my overall GPA.  I have seen improvement after being off Thym-Adren but it's not as dramatic as it was in the past.  Of course, I'll know a lot more when the medical report comes in.
Distance=37.0/ GPA= 20.4/8=2.55  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Training 11/11-11/17

11/11- Recovery run at Veteran's Park.  Legs felt pretty good.  I opened with a 7:36 first mile before slowing down in the woods.  Stomach was jacked up but that's probably due to the caffeine binge yesterday after the race.  I am off the Vitamin C and took 1 Mag pill with no issues.
Grade: Pass/0 credit/distance=2.0

11/12- Not surprisingly, I am almost as sensitive to the Mag as I am to the Vitamin C.  I thought it might take the Thym-Adren dosage down and it appears that it has.  I will not go under 3 of those pills unless by some miracle, the medical report is good.  Speaking of which, I need to send out that hair sample by the end of the week.  Workout was a total of 7 miles in 53:50 (7:41 pace) but it was divided up at 2.5 in the morning and 4.5 in the evening.  Both times, I started off pretty well but faded near the end and was strugg-a-ling for an 8 minute pace.  The formula will be tweaked.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=7.0

11/13- Cut the Thym-Adren from 5 pills to 3 and it wasn't enough.  I believe the culprit is the calcium.  I'm getting enough in the Thym-Adren and will try to stick to around 300 mg. of Mag.  Workout was pitiful today.  3 miles at Gold's in 25:50 (8:37 pace) running nearly all out.  I did manage an even pace (12:57-12:53), which is why I get the plus.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=3.0

11/14- Another 3 miler at Gold's.  Time was down to 22:25 (7:28 pace) for an improvement of 3:25 (1:09/mile).  Big woop!  That still sucks!  I managed to hold tempo pace for about a half mile then faded hard.  1st half: 10:40/ 2nd half: 11:45 (7:50 pace for last 1.5).  The improvement was attributed to cutting out the calcium, which likely has not fully cleared my system.  The good news is that taking extra magnesium did NOT make a radical difference.  Went bowling with Chilton and managed to average 100 over 3 games.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

11/15- AM- 1 mile at tempo effort in 6:48.  I probably could have beaten last night's time if I went 3 miles but not by a significant margin.  I was fading and did not feel much difference in terms of energy.  3 Thym Adren won't do even on Magnesium.

PM- 5K time trial in 19:48*. Took a 4th Thym-Adren and felt noticeably better but still had room for improvement.  I stopped for about a minute and took a 5th pill from my pocket then found another gear.  Splits were 6:30-6:19-6:19-39.  A sub-20 5K even with an asterisk IS indeed a reason to be glad.  Still, the news is not all good.  The 5th Thym-Adren may deplete with Vitamin C stores and I cannot take magnesium with C.  I'll take care of that when it comes up.  I may continue to trend down on the Thym-Adren and be able to get down to 4 by the end of the month.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=4.0

11/16- Lakeshore 5 in 37:44 (7:33 pace).  Sluggish.  1st half in 18:22, 2nd half in 19:22.  I was really strugg-a-ling in Mile 4 and 5 but I did not collapse.  Managed to hold a steady 7:45 pace in the back half.  Not a surprise.  I took the 5 Thym-Adren immediately upon rising after having taken 2 the previous afternoon for a total of 7 in 24 hours.  Too much.  I will try to run long tomorrow but the weather looks a bit iffy.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=5.0

11/17- HORRIBLE!  Lakeshore 3 in 27:53 (9:18 pace).  Splits were 8:24-9:21-10:08.  Need to cut dosage and/or take the Mag at night.  I may be better this afternoon but this is an "F"

PM- 3 miles at Gold's in 25:54 (8:38 pace).  2 minute improvement but SO WHAT?
Grade:D-/2 credits/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
Given that I switched to magnesium and quit the Vitamin C, I did not expect to win this week so I am not too disappointed.  Prediction: I will do well tomorrow on 4 Thym-Adren but for the foreseeable future, I will be unstable and make adjustments almost every week.  It sucks to be me!
Distance=30.0/ GPA= 17.9/8= 2.24

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Marshall Univ. Half RR

Volume has been down around 30-35 MPW with a few decent tempos but very little speed and only 2 successful long runs above race distance.  That won't do.  My health is about as unstable as ever.  On race day, I took 5 Thym-Adren pills and slightly less than half of a Vitamin C.  If I had taken the 6 pills that had worked last weekend or a whole Vitamin C, I would have struggled just to finish.  Still, if I hit the formula just right, I have the talent to run 1:33ish even though I've lost a step in terms of fitness.  The more realistic goal was a pace between 7:15-7:30, which would bring me to the finish line in 1:35-1:37.

Huntington is just over 8 hours driving time from Birmingham via the interstate.  I took the interstate up to Knoxville, roughly halfway there.  Then in honor of John Denver, I took the country roads through the heart of Appalachia.  That's some really beautiful country especially in the summer and early Fall.  Even though the trees were mostly bare once I hit the Virginia border, it was still a pretty scenic and enjoyable drive.  I took a more direct route on the way back so I could make it back to the Ham in one day.  All told, I saw parts of 7 states (AL,GA,TN,VA,KY,OH,WV).  Huntington has a small but vibrant downtown area, a nice Riverwalk and a pretty decent sized mall but no real tourist attractions.  I was there solely to race and this was the only out of town Fall race on my list that fit my schedule.  West Virginia was state #18 in my drive for 25. 

Pre-race and course-
  Aside from a long line at a no-frills expo and some minor parking issues, it was a well organized race and yes, I would recommend it if you are a 25 or 50 stater and need West Virginia. Ironically, in a state with almost no flat land, it's a fast course with only 2 or 3 noticeable hills that were only about a tenth of a mile each.  It has a nice mix of downtown, riverside and trails.  The course finished in the end zone of the Marshall Thundering Herd football stadium.  The day dawned clear and cool with temps in the low 40s at the start, which rose to near 50 by the finish with light-moderate winds.  I could not ask for much better conditions.

Woke up feeling decent after my pills and my legs had some power warming up.  Still, given how sensitive I am, it's very hard to hit it perfectly and I merely hoped to to finish respectably and enjoy the race experience.  I had aimed for a conservative start, just under 7:30 and then try to pick it up after Mile 3 if I felt good.  It was a good clean start and I felt pretty good early.  I was doing about 7:20 early and it felt very easy.  The pace quickened after shallow downhill and I hit the first marker in 7:10.  Too fast.  I made a deliberate attempt to slow down but my speed remained fairly constant through the first 3 miles as the course looped through the Marshall campus. My calf was starting to get heavy in Mile 2 which was not a good sign but my wind was fine and my form was okay.  I was on pace for a 1:34:xx through the first loop, which was fast but not unreasonable.
7:10 (7:10)
7:13 (14:23)
7:20 (21:43)

Mile 3 is often when I start to fade on my bad days and I still felt decent overall so I made a bit of a push in Mile 4 as the course went down to the Riverwalk before heading back on the roads in Mile 5.  Mile 6 was probably the toughest of the race but I remained in control. 
7:11 (28:54)
7:16 (36:10)
7:18 (43:28)

We turned onto a trail section just before the halfway point, which I passed in almost exactly 47:30 for a dead even 1:35 pace.  The pace group passed me at this point but I managed to stay with them.  The pace felt a bit easier running in a pack but I missed a key water stop because of the traffic.  I tried to make a break in Mile 8 but it was short lived as the pace group slowly pulled away from me.  I thought I could go maybe 15 seconds in the red and be able to make it up the last mile.  I hit Mile 9.1 fading a bit at 66 flat.  4 miles to go but with a round number and an accurate GPS reading, I knew exactly what I had to do the rest of the way.  7:15 for a 1:35 and 7:30 for a sub-1:36.  Even a brutal fade to 8:00 pace would still get me home in 1:38 flat, which would be an improvement over the disasters at Mercedes and St. Louis.
7:11 (50:39)
7:15 (57:54)
7:18 (65:12)

Not surprisingly, my low mileage would catch up to me in Mile 10 and Mile 11 would be worse.  I was set to concede a 1:36:xx.  However, after the hydration stop that I should have taken earlier, I managed to gain a bit of a second wind in Mile 12.  With 1 mile to go the watch read 1:28:33.  I need a 7:27 to get the 1:35:xx and it seemed to be doable.  My pace quickened to the 7:20 range as we turned into the stadium.  We went down a small ramp then after a sharp turn, we had the length of the football field to go.  I knew I had it but left nothing to chance and delivered a strong closing kick, which brought me to a finish in 1:35:50 (7:18 overall pace).  It was good enough for 4th in my age group out of 62 finishers.
7:31 (72:43)
7:40 (80:23)
7:30 (87:53)
7:14 (95:07)
:43 (last .12)

Final thought:
If this is as good as I can run due to talent limitations, I'd be okay with that and would still be able to enjoy these race experiences.  If race day had been only 3 days earlier, I would have been awful.  I managed to recognize the issues with the pills and adjust in time.  I'm not always so lucky.  What will work next week?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I'm quitting the Vitamin C and going back to Cal/Mag along with the Thym-Adren.  If I get this squared away, I predict that I will be back in sub-90 form within a few months.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Training 11/4-11/10 (race week)

11/4- Planned rest day.  I may do a very short junk run later just to see how I feel.  I may cut my dosage down to 5 Thym-Adren today.  If I go under 4, Vitamin C won't work anymore and I'll have to take Cal/Mag.  I really want to stay at or above 4 at least until the end of the month.

PM- Spaced out the doses today and found that 5 pills were not enough and I knew it before the run.  I also found that 5.5 pills were not enough either.  On 6 pills however, my legs had some nice pop despite the hard session yesterday.  I ran down Wisteria with no warmup and covered a half mile in a comfy 3:26.  I then popped another half pill and waited for just a few minutes for it to kick in.  I wasn't horrible on the back half but clearly I had lost a step.  The next half mile took me 3:42 with the same effort for an overall time of 7:08.  Finished with a half mile cool in the parking lot.

I can learn a lot just in a junk run.  6 pills is clearly the right formula at this time and I doubt that it will drop below 4 before Thanksgiving.  If I am off +/- even half a pill, I will suffer.  Still, even with the extreme sensitivity, this condition would be manageable if the key formula stayed constant.  It is the INSTABILITY that is wrecking my life.  "I wish I could run like you."  I hear that all the time from joggers at the track.  Be careful what you wish for.
Grade:Pass/0 credit/distance=1.5

11/5- AM.  Basic 5 miler at Gold's in 36:53 (7:23 pace).  Legs had decent power and felt pretty relaxed all the way.  Slowed just a tad in the 2nd half (18:20-18:33).  Also, my weight was up to 161, which is a minor concern.  I did take all 6 pills upon rising this morning after spacing it out and taking 2 yesterday afternoon.  That explains why I was a little sluggish but overall pretty strong and I believe I can go much faster over 13.1 fresh in a race setting.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.5

11/6- AM Run with the Gnomes.  Lakeshore 6.5 in 47:17 (7:17 pace).  Not a bad workout but I could not hack it with big boys who doing 7:05.  I was working harder than I should have been.  This is roughly 1:35:20 pace for a half mary but I would have been hard pressed to hold that pace today for another 6.5.  I'm going to try to reduce to Vitamin C since I have reduced the Thym-Adren.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=7.0

11/7- Skipped a dose of Vitamin C and it ended in disaster.  Goal workout was a short tempo and I called it quits after 1 Mile in 7:36 with a rapidly slowing pace.  I'm not surprised.  If I was taking 8 Thym-Adren, I'd need a full Vitamin C.  If I was taking less than 4, I'd need none.  Now that I'm on 6, a half pill should work.  Please, don't anyone say that you want to run like me!  I'm not grading today and will do an abbreviated version of the workout tomorrow morning, which will give me 48 hours rest.  If I quit the Vitamin C, the extreme Magnesium sensitivity will flare up.  I can't win.  Weight is down to 157, which is good news.
Grade:Non Pass/0 credit/distance=1.0

11/8- Final workout before race day was better than yesterday but expectations are running pretty low.  1 Mile in 6:14, stopped to stretch for maybe 2 minutes then clocked another Mile in 6:12 followed by a very slow cool.  Times were decent but I did not feel real good.  It's too late to make any radical changes now but it appears that very soon, I will be forced off Vitamin C due to less Thym-Adren.  This change will force me back on Cal/Mag.  Weight: 159.  It's 9:00 AM and I'm hitting the road and aim to be in Kentucky before dark.
Grade:B-/2 credit/distance=3.0

11/9- Planned rest day.  Easy drive from eastern Kentucky into Huntington.

11/10- Marshall Univ. Half marathon in 1:35:50 (7:18 pace)
Grade:B/4 credits/distance=14.0

Weekly summary:
Done with the Vitamin C and going back to Cal/Mag plus Thym-Adren.  It was another "lenient" win this week.  That's 2 in a row.  Win next week and that's called a winning streak.
Distance= 32.0/GPA=24.1/8= 3.01
YTD= 1,552 miles.  17-26 record on the year.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Training 10/28-11/3

10/28- Gold's 5 miler almost all out in a lame 39:05 (7:49 pace).  Used the anger as fuel for a 7:23 last mile.  2nd day off the antibiotics and I was not significantly better than yesterday.  That means that there could be other factors at work and I won't rule out magnesium.  Clean diet for the first time in several days.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=5.0

10/29- Gold's 5 miler in 35:23 (7:05 pace). Popped some extra Mag after Mile 2 and clocked a sub-7 pace the rest of the way.   This was an improvement of 3:42 over yesterday but this time, my reaction is So what?  Similar improvements have happened before and were followed by another collapse. This time is hardly worth celebrating as it is nearly 4 minutes from my PR.  Once again, I need magnesium.  That's right, in this month alone, I have been on it then forced off and now I've been forced back on.  Is it too much to ask just to function at 90% and be able to do so consistently?  My 90% would be mid 1:30s for a half, which is not too shabby.
The antibiotic use likely played a role in the magnesium depletion so I fully expect that I will be forced off again soon and will endure another collapse in the very near-future.  Sorry for the pessimism but I'm only being realistic given this nightmare of a year.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=5.0

10/30- 5 mile time trial and my time is down to 33:32 (6:42 pace).  1st half: 16:40, 2nd half: 16:52.  Fastest time since June and just 33 ticks shy of "competitive shape."  Actually felt somewhat like my old self today but the news is not all good.  I bumped up the Mag from 100 mg to 150 mg this afternoon and I could tell before starting that it was not enough so I went up to 225 mg.  The same dosage would have been toxic only 2 weeks ago.  I still don't know why this happened and I still expect to be forced back off and collapse to 9:40 Mile shape.  I did have a minor slip with the caffeine but once a week won't hurt me.  Just don't make a habit of it.  Do I chance it and race in West Virginia?  I'm leaning towards going.  Tulsa is nearly sold out.  The hair test will be sent in 4 weeks and I should get some answers.  Which problem is worse, the high Na or low Mg?
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=6.0

10/31- Lakeshore 6 just before the rain hit.  Finished in 45:47 (7:38 pace).  Not a bad time for a planned easy day but I was not pleased with how I felt.  1st half was a comfy 22:16, 2nd half was a weak 23:31 and had to work to maintain the 7:50 pace.  An average performance overall.  Passed 1,500 miles on the year so as much as this year has sucked, I'm still getting decent mileage and not losing too much fitness.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=6.0

Update: Good news and bad news.  The bad is that once again, changes must be made just after I thought I was getting it together.  Glad I did not get my hopes up.  The good news is that I found out why I needed magnesium this week and it was my own damn fault.  I skipped too many doses of Vitamin C.  Vitamin C enhances magnesium absorption.  Thus, without it, I needed to supplement Mag but with it, it's too much of a drain on my adrenaline. There is a chance, albeit slim, that Thym-Adren+C+ a clean diet will maintain my Mag levels.  I will proceed as planned with the all Thym-Adren strategy until Thanksgiving.  Then depending on my medical report, I will either stay with it or go with more Cal/Mag and less Thym-Adren.  On lowered Thym-Adren, I will not need Vitamin C.  I'll bet my tissue Na is down to the 60s by now.  The West Virginia decision will be made this weekend.

11/1- Planned rest day.  As expected, I am not feeling the best on my first day off the Mag and back on the C but I bet I could handle an easy workout today if the schedule called for it.  I hope to be well enough to go long tomorrow but if I can't, I can do it on Sunday.

11/2- COLLAPSE!  Can't say I'm surprised.  3 miles in 25:10 (8:23 pace) with a 3rd mile in 9:30.

PM- 1 mile junk run in 7:06.  Felt better but so what?
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=4.0

11/3- Reminiscent of the Crazy J of old today.  Lakeshore 14 in 1:41:40 (7:16 pace).  1st half in 51:07, 2nd half in 50:33.  Pace was pretty steady at just under 7:20 for the first 13 then slammed a 6:47 in Mile 14.  I believe I had a 1:33 half in me today in a race setting.  Again, so what? 1 good run does not make everything right.   I cut the Thym-Adren from 8 pills to 6 and if I did not do that, I would have been just as horrible as I was yesterday if not worse.  What are the odds that this is the long-term answer?  Slim-none.  I am going to chance it and race next week in West VA.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=14.0

Weekly summary:
2 good days in a week is not good enough at this stage of the treatment.  Because the good days occurred on my planned quality days, I managed to pull out a win.  If I win next week, that's 2 in a row.  How about a winning streak?
Distance=40.0/GPA= 24.1/8= 3.01
YTD; 1,520 miles and that's all I'm posting.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Magnesium RBC test results

Update: December 2014.  Much has changed since the original post.  I CAN tolerate Jigsaw Magnesium and take 500-750 mg per day balanced with a 1:1 ratio with Calcium.  My RBC Mag has been steady between 5.6-5.9 and my most recent hair test was a 5.  Unfortunately, tissue sodium and potassium remain too high.

The short answer is that my result is a 5.9 compared to a reference range of 4.2-6.8.  The reference range was revised downward in 1962 from 5.0-7.0.  Still, even using the old scale, my result is solidly within the normal range. 6.0-7.0 is considered optimal by knowledgeable practitioners so I'm right on the edge.  I've also read that it is rare to see a patient's value much higher than 6.5 nowadays because of poor soils and processed food. 

What is an RBC test?  As you can probably guess, RBC stands for red blood cell.  This test is a blood test but unlike the more commonly used serum test, it measures your value at the cellular level. When magnesium is low, it is typically pulled from the cells to keep it normal in the blood.  Thus, a serum test is pretty much useless.   I got the results in less than 72 hours and paid just $49.  Moreover, I did not have to get a referral from a doctor.  I simply ordered the test online and showed up at the lab.

Overall, I feel pretty good about this result.  I may be heading to a point in which I cannot take any magnesium at all in supplement form with the Thym-Adren because I am becoming more and more intolerant to the Mag.  Part of me was hoping to see a value that was over the top because my supplementation but that didn't happen.  I do have one key question that I posted on Facebook but have yet to receive an answer: How well does an RBC test correlate with the Mag level on the hair test?  If my RBC is 5.9, can I expect a 5 or even a 6 on my next hair test?  Surely, it will be better than the 2s and 3s that I have gotten recently (ideal is 6).  Again, my sodium level was down to 30 back in March and if the Mag is 5, it would be a ratio of 6.0 compared with an ideal of 4.17.  Even a 32/4 or 8.0 would be within my "normal range" and for an athlete, it's better to be a little on the high side than low.  In other words, a ratio of 8.0 is clearly preferable to a 2.0.  15.0 or higher?  Not so much.

So where to go from here? 
The Mag citrate failed me.  The Mag chloride helped for a while but it's not the answer.  Jigsaw Mag also failed because of the co-factors.  The only form of Mag that I trust is the pure Malate and it must be taken with calcium.  It's either the Thym-Adren or the Cal/Mag, not both!  I don't know what my result would be if I went with all Cal/Mag malate instead of the Thym-Adren.  I do know that all Cal/Mag citrate didn't work.  Also, the Thym-Adren has proven to be effective in both lowering tissue sodium AND keeping the critical sodium/potassium ratio in balance.  I'm going with all Thym-Adren until further notice. If my body rudely reminds me next week that I need Mag again, I'll take a low dose.  Since I won't be supplementing Mag, it is critical that I control my diet by trying to get enough Mag in food sources and eliminate sugar, caffeine and alcohol, which deplete Mag.  My next hair test will be in about 6 weeks.  I expect to see at least a decent result.  My tissue sodium is probably near 80 now but within 6 weeks, it could be as low as 45.  Suppose that at some future date, sodium dips under 30 but the Mag drops under 4.  I take Cal/Mag malate temporarily then go back to the Thym-Adren when I feel it's necessary.
Bottom line, I am more hopeful now than I was this morning.

Training 10/14-10/20

10/14- AM 2 mile junk run on Wisteria in 19:22 (9:41 pace) running nearly all out.  Afternoon should be marginally better.

PM- Got the expected marginal improvement.  3 miles at Gold's in 24:52 (8:17 pace).  In a full 5K, I would have had to rally for a sub-26, which is HORRIBLE.  I did get one piece of good news.  My RBC Magnesium results are in and the results are solidly in the normal range.  I will lay off the Mag for now.  One baffling development is as follows:  I know that the "deadly duo" of caffeine and alcohol depletes Mag so taking more should help when I cheat right?  Wrong.  Extra Mag made things worse.  From now on, it's all Thym-Adren.  Mag will be taken only on an as needed basis.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=5.0

10/15- AM 3 miles in 22:56 (7:39 pace).  Splits were 7:40-7:53-7:23.  I was pushing but it was nice to dip under 7:30 for that last mile.  I hope that I can maintain it for 5 miles this evening.

PM- 5 miles at Gold's in 36:59 (7:24 pace) with a hard fought last mile in 6:51.  Actually dipped under 6:00 pace in the final 200.  This is NOT worth celebrating.  I've gone backwards in the last 2 weeks.  Will this round of improvements be followed by another crash this weekend?  2nd day off the Mag and 2nd day clean on the diet.  This was tempo effort to run what was previously an easy pace.  I may cut the Thym-Adren from 8 pills to 6 tomorrow.  Last week, I was over-stimulated when I tried that but who knows now?
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=8.0

10/16- Trak Shak 5 in 34:50 (6:58 pace).  My legs actually had some power today and I had a bit of a spring in my strides.  Still, I was quite lethargic and heavy.  Rallied for a 6:42 in Mile 5 to secure the sub-35.  Time trial tomorrow.  I cut the Thym-Adren down to 6 pills and only 6 days ago, I was awful on that lowered dosage.  WHAT THE __________?  I am not going to get even the least bit excited about this string of improvements.  I could collapse by the weekend.  That said, I would really like to run the half in West Virginia on 11/10.  The song "Country Roads" by John Denver was going through my head today.
Today was my 3rd straight clean day with the diet.  The lowered Thym-Adren could be related to Vitamin E issues, which went away before after abstaining from caffeine.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=5.0

10/17- Gold's 5 in 33:45 (6:45 pace). Fastest time since early June.  Started too fast and was actually on pace for a sub-33 through the first 1.5 miles.  Faded in Mile 3 and 4 but rallied strongly at the end.  1st half: 16:42, 2nd half: 17:03.   (6:31-6:45-6:53-7:01-6:35).  Again, I had some power in my legs but was still too heavy and sluggish.  1 mile cool back on Wisteria.
Tried to get by on only 4 Thym-Adren but found to my relief that it wasn't enough.  6 Thym-Adren with no Mag is a winning formula for the time being and I will probably stick to it through Huntington barring another collapse.  3 sprays of Mag chloride produced a negative reaction.  That's okay.  I'll be fine by the weekend.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=6.0

10/18- Planned rest day.  I can get a win this week with a strong long run this weekend.  I need 2 runs in excess of 13 miles if I expect a decent showing in West Virginia.  Clinched a 2.0 GPA on the year yesterday.

10/19- Lakeshore 15 in light drizzle.  I believe this is my longest run since January.  Finished in 1:54:52 (7:39 pace).  Very sore groin and hip at the end but managed to hold it together despite starting too fast.  14 of the 15 miles were sub-8.  Passed 13.1 in just under 1:40 and probably could have been 2-3 minutes faster in a race setting.  Still, I've got a lot of work to do and the race is only 3 weeks away.  I remain on all Thym-Adren and will stay the course at least another 3 weeks.  Grading is lenient but it puts me in position to win barring a poor showing tomorrow.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=15.0

10/20- Beautiful 70 degree afternoon.  Trak Shak 5.5 loop in 42:35 (7:45 pace).  I'm fine with this one.  I was appropriately sore after yesterday and this closes out a strong week.  Slight fade at the end but kept all 5 miles under 8 before loafing in the last .5.  Added a half mile cool at glacial pace.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
WIN!  That's one in a row with my highest mileage since March.  Magnesium must be avoided like poison when on Thym-Adren.  Thym-Adren must be avoided like poison when on Cal/Mag.  Simple enough.  The medical report will tell me when I need to make the switch.
Distance= 45.0/ GPA= 24.4/8= 3.05

Monday, October 7, 2013

Training 10/7-10/13

10/7- Lakeshore 6.5 on a picture perfect Fall day.  Temps in the low 70s with crystal clear skies.  Strong performance.  Finished in 48:32 (7:28 pace).  Fairly smooth and relaxed with a nice even pace.  Only gripe with a bit of aches in the knee and groin.
Update:  I had a mild negative reaction to an extra Mag pill last night but it feel like I am a bit low there.  If I am to increase the dose to 300 mg, the Thym-Adren should be cut from 8 pills to 6.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=7.0

10/8- Unplanned rest day.  300 mg. of Magnesium is too much.  It would require me to drastically cut the Thym-Adren.  I was hoping to salvage a workout but could not.  Quit after 1 mile.  I will be very lenient and not grade this.
Update: Since both Mag and Thym-Adren suppress the adrenals, perhaps taking them too close together is causing problems.  I will begin taking the Mag later in the day then maybe I can tolerate more.  Also, I MUST CUT OUT SUGAR, CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL!
Grade:None/0 credit/distance=1.0

10/9- HORRIBLE again.  Trak Shak 3 mile in 26:21 (8:47 pace).  Took the same dosage that worked well for me over the weekend (8 Thym Adren + 225 mg Mag).  Clean diet.  A few more sprays of Mag chloride made me feel worse.  It's either cut the Mag further or cut the Thym-Adren.  I will be taking Cal/Mag at night starting next week. at the latest.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=3.0
Update: I will probably order a Mag RBC test.  If I am deficient in Mag AND cannot tolerate it in supplement form, it's over.  I'm done as a serious runner.  I'm giving it until December and that's all.

10/10- Took only 6 Thym-Adren in the morning and felt badly overstimulated.  Then added 225 mg of Mag and within 2 hours, I reversed it to the blahs.  As of tonight, I take the Mag at night and the Thym-Adren in the morning.  Workout was 1 mile at Gold's in 8:30.  No further comments needed.
RBC Magnesium test is tomorrow afternoon. I'll have a good idea of where I stand after I get the results.  If my Mag is near normal, I have no problem taking only small amounts of it and I will focus on staying on the Thym-Adren.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=1.0

10/11- 3 miles in 23:48 (7:56 pace) with a slow fade (7:42-7:55-8:11).  It was right to take the Mag at night but the dosage should have been cut, not raised.  I'm going down to 150 mg tonight and I should be significantly better tomorrow.
In other news, I went to the lab for the Mag RBC test and it was an ordeal.  It took me 30 minutes to find the right building in a huge hospital complex. They told me that it might not go through and I may have to be "stuck again" with the needle for reasons I didn't understand.  I can only hope that it goes through and if it does, I'll get the results no later than Wednesday of next week.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=3.0

10/12- WORSE!  Lakeshore 5 in 42:49 (8:34 pace).  I was holding up in the 8:10 range for the first 3 miles then I unraveled and finished with a 9:33 split in Mile 5.  I am going to try to go completely off the Mag and see what happens but I predict that deficiency symptoms will flare up in just a few days.

PM- Lakeshore 5 only 4 hours later and this time, my time was down to 37:42 (7:32 pace).  Each mile got progressively faster until I clocked a 7:07 in Mile 5.  That's an improvement of 5:07 in just 4 hours while putting forth NO MORE EFFORT!  The excess Mag is clearing my system.  I will attempt to run without it tomorrow and try to go long.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=10.0

10/13- Attempted to go long and failed again.  5 miles on Lakeshore in 41:50 (8:22 pace).  Passed 4 miles in a respectable 31:40 then hit the wall and clocked a 10:10 for Mile 5.  I went with no Mag last night.  I took some after Mile 3 and got no better then tried Fructosin after Mile 4 and got MUCH worse.  WHAT THE ______________?
Grade:F/2 credits/distance=5.0

Weekly summary:
Every time it seems that I am improving, I crash.  I cannot take it anymore.  11 more weeks until the end of the year and if I don't have it together by then, I give up.
Distance= 30.0/ GPA= 11.7/8=1.46

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Magnesium and Thym-Adren Part 2

Dr. J is back. 
I posted the question on Facebook's Magnesium Advocacy Group:
Why can't I take magnesium and Thym-Adren together?
  I got some good answers.  Thym-Adren is a thymus glandular with a small amount of adrenal substance and several synergistic minerals (zinc, copper, C, manganese, calcium).  The thymus gland is strongly connected to the immune system and is a direct antagonist to the adrenal gland.  If a patient is a fast oxidizer (excess thyroid/adrenals), the thymus gland is likely to be under-active and vice versa.  That makes a lot of sense to me.  I used to get terrible sinus infections every winter but when I take the Thym-Adren, I almost never get sick.  If left untreated, my tissue sodium level (assoc. w/ adrenal function) would skyrocket above 100, maybe even as high as 150 (ideal is 25).  That is a severe imbalance and likely means that the thymus gland is severely under-active.  That explains why I feel so much better on Thym-Adren.  As the thymus gets stronger, it suppresses the adrenals and thus lowers the tissue sodium nicely and actually normalized within 3 months.  The problem is that it does little to help the magnesium deficiency.  After several months on mega Thym-Adren, the magnesium deficiency became more problematic than the adrenal issue.

As for the magnesium, if taken with calcium in the proper ratio, it is better than leaving it untreated.  It's like tapping or covering the brakes when going down a steep hill.  It may prevent the sodium from going out of control but will likely lower it only to 80-100 range, which is still severely unbalanced.  Moreover, it does little to help with the under-active thymus gland.  So, given the choice between having a sodium/magnesium ratio of 30/2 vs 90/4, it is the former that is preferable.

So, why can't I take the two of them together and get a good ratio of 30/4, which would be considered near normal and possibly even better for an athlete.  Magnesium supposedly "neutralizes" adrenaline.  Thus, the suppressed adrenal glandular activity from the thymus plus lowered neurotransmitter adrenaline from the magnesium is apparently too much. Hence, the fatigue and malaise has been so prevalent the last few weeks.  That may not make sense to my readers but it does make sense to me. 

Where to go from here?
Top priority is to get the tissue sodium down.  I've done it before and I can do it again by taking mega Thym-Adren consistently.  I will lay off the magnesium for the time being but will try to increase my intake in my diet (more nutty protein bars, peanut butter, limit sugar, caffeine, alcohol).  That said, I do expect that when the sodium normalizes, the Mag issues will flare up again.  When that happens, I have some options:
1) Take the Mag only on an as needed basis in sporadic fashion as symptoms appear.  I can take both temporarily but fatigue and malaise set in after a few weeks on both.  When that happens, I stop the Mag again and the cycle repeats itself.
2) Find a formula that I can tolerate in which I take lowered doses of both Mag+Thym-Adren every day (ex. 4 Thym-Adren+250 Mag) instead of large doses of 1 or the other.  This is the preferred option.  I want to be stable more than anything else in the world.
3) Add another pill such as ADHS that gently increases adrenaline, which may increase my Mag tolerance.  It's iffy that this option works but I should get a clear YES or NO within a few days.
   I expect to be on all Thym-Adren for the next 2 months and expect to improve steadily.  Around Thanksgiving when the Mag deficiency does flare up, all 3 options are worth a try.

Monday, September 30, 2013

End of the 3rd quarter

Traditionally, the third quarter of the year has not been kind to me and this year was no exception.  I stand at 14 wins and 23 losses on the year with a 2.54 GPA.  By comparison, I was 24-13 last year with an even 3.00.  If I continue at this pace, I will end up worse than 2010 in which I missed 8 weeks due to injuries and had to take zeroes for those weeks.  After a respectable 7-4 start, I have gone just 7-19 since and have never been this cold anywhere near this long since before the adrenal fatigue diagnosis in 2006.  Nothing more to say that is not already apparent.  My mileage total of 1,348 on the year is not bad and I expect to finish near 1,800 which was right about what I planned in a non-marathon year.  The only problem is the planned high intensity workouts have been missing as well.

Final comments on the magnesium issue:
I posted earlier that without magnesium supplementation, I stand no chance of getting in balance and sadly, this is probably true.  Yes, Cal/Mag supplements do in fact lower my sky high Na and K levels associated with overactive thyroid and adrenal function but they are not nearly as effective as the Thym-Adren glandular.  For reasons that I cannot explain, taking significant amounts of magnesium causes intolerance to Thym-Adren and vice versa.  I may not be able to get into balance without magnesium but I'll never feel good long-term without the Thym-Adren.  After several months on a mega Thym-Adren dose, I see no reason why I cannot lower the Na and K back down to near normal once again.  The problem is that the Thym-Adren has failed to raise my Cal and Mag levels and eventually the magnesium deficiency symptoms will re-appear.  When that happens, I will take the Mag only on an as needed basis.

Magnesium supplementation has not been all bad for me.  My tolerance for sugar is much improved and I no longer need to take Fructosin, which saves me at least $45/month.  Also, my summer allergies were almost non-existent this year.  I believe that magnesium was directly responsible for those 2 positive developments and why I hesitate to stop taking it altogether.  I have 3 possible formulas that I am willing to try in the next week or 2:
-9 Thym-Adren pills alone
-8 Thym-Adren with 1 Mag malate pill (45mg)
-6 Thym-Adren with 1 Jigsaw Mag (125 mg)
Any more than 125 mg and I doubt that I can take much Thym-Adren and I know for a fact that 500 mg of Mag causes complete intolerance to it.  Without Thym-Adren, I have learned too many times that my Na and K will skyrocket as sure as I'm alive.  I will re-iterate that Cal/Mag is not enough to offset that trend.  It's like tapping or covering the brakes on a car when driving down a mountain.

When I experiment with pills, I usually get a clear YES or NO answer with a couple of days.  Not so with the magnesium.  There were several times when on the Mag citrate that it seemed to be coming together.  I appeared to be improving steadily on the Mag chloride as well and had some "A" workouts on the malate.  There are other forms of Mag out there but I have little confidence of a different outcome.  If and when the fructose malabsorption or allergies flare up again, I will go back to magnesium.  It seems that I can take it with Thym-Adren for a week or so but not long-term.

As for the 4th quarter, my plans are fairly modest.  I will do only 1 out of town half marathon and am leaning towards Huntington, WV (state #18) in mid-November.  No more 10Ks this year but maybe a couple local 5Ks.  I need to go 11-2 down the stretch just to get back to .500 on the year.  It's a tall order but I have gone 15-3 over an 18 weeks in 2011-12.

Training 9/30-10/6

9/30- Planned rest day for the trip back to Birmingham.  I have time for a junk run but it would not go well so what's the point?  Mercifully, this ends the 3rd quarter.

10/1- 5 mile time trial on all Thym-Adren.  I aimed to beat my split of 35:00 from the Great Race and managed to do it in 34:54 (6:59 pace).  Nasty fade (17:04-17:50) but I clearly felt different today.  The malaise of the past few weeks has diminished and has been replaced by over-stimulation, which is how I should feel given my chemistry.  This was a cool 91 seconds better than my last time trial only 7 days earlier on the same course but I don't consider myself "back" until I am sub-33.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=5.0

10/2- Stuck with all Thym-Adren.  Trak Shak 7.5 loop in 57:24 (7:39 pace).  Pace was variable depending on the terrain but it was a pretty even effort.  Mile 7 was slow but I could have maintained the pace with more effort.  Solid performance overall and remained fairly comfortable.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=7.5

10/3- VERY POOR.  Felt terrible all day at work and no better on the run.  2.5 miles in 19:23 (7:45 pace).  Started off decent but was over 8:00 pace after the first mile.  I expected the all Thym-Adren strategy would eventually fail me but I never expected it to happen so soon.  I took 200 mg of Mag and it didn't hurt me but it was not very effective either. I popped 250 mg. of Cal, which seemed to help. Going back to the previous post, in option #3, it could be extra Cal that may cause my POS body to demand the Mag that it needs.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=2.5

10/4- Update:  This one is big.  Apparently it is the Jigsaw Mag that I cannot tolerate with the Thym-Adren. The problem is likely the folic acid suppressing adrenaline too much.  I took plain Mag malate today and felt better.  I still need to tweak the formula but this is an encouraging development.
Another 5 mile time trial and my time is down to 34:26 (6:53 pace).  That's another cool 28 ticks better than I was only 3 days ago.  Splits were more even as well (17:00/17:26).  Only Mile 4 was over 7 minutes.  I took 8 Thym-Adren, and a Cal/Mag total of roughly 800:400.  I will continue tweaking and hope to continue improving.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=5.0

10/5- Long run.  Did not expect much after yesterday's effort.  It turned out to be a split decision.  I was strugg-a-ling from the get go but began feeling better in the midsection and turned in some 7:40 splits then my groin and hamstring gave out on me in Mile 10.  Finished 11 miles in a time of 87:49 (7:59 pace) and had to work for the sub-8 overall.  I got a decidedly negative reaction to extra Cal/Mag yesterday evening and it probably hasn't fully cleared.  I'm reducing the dosage today.
Grad:B-/2 credits/distance=11.0

10/6- AM Did not take enough Thym-Adren so I bailed after a 7:46 opening mile and a rapidly slowing pace.

PM- 3rd 5 mile time trial of the week and my time is down to 33:49 (6:46 pace).  Another cool 35 second improvement despite being slightly less than fresh.  Formula was 8 Thym Adren, 1 extra Cal and 225 mg. of Mag.  I feel like I can tolerate 300 mg. of Mag but 450 will give me the runs.  I am only 10 ticks per mile shy of what I consider to be competitive shape.  I think I can do it next week if I can hold it together on this formula.  Splits were nearly perfect (16:56-16:53) with Mile 5 being my fastest at 6:33.  Every mile was below 7.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
I almost won this time but it goes on record as my 5th loss in a row.  There MAY be real hope of winning streak around the corner.  It does boost my overall GPA on the year.  3 time trials seems like overkill to most but in my condition, I rarely feel overtrained but I just can't access the top gears and as a result, I can recover like it was an easy run.
Distance=37.0/ GPA= 29.1/10= 2.91
YTD: 1,385 miles.  14-24- 2.56

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Great Race 10K RR

EDIT:  I'm surprised by all the page views for this one. I consider it a rather forgettable and mediocre race.  One additional development is that I did have to go back to a low dose of magnesium.  It is pure magnesium malate with no co-factors.  Folate combined with magnesium was suppressing adrenaline too much.  3 weeks later, I'm still looking for the key formula.

Pretty much a living nightmare for the past 6 months.  Mileage has been in the low-mid 30s with little quality and few runs longer than 10 miles.  That just won't do but I was doing as much as I could because my energy was usually shot.  I am forced to face the fact that the magnesium strategy has failed and re-learned the lesson the Thym-Adren is the only way.  My last run was a 3 miler barely below 8:00 pace with a brutal fade starting in Mile 2.  Hopes were not real high.  In fact, I was not even sure that I even wanted to run only 2 days before race day.  On my first day back on the Thym-Adren, I did not expect a significant difference especially with excess magnesium in my system.  As far as time goals, I had no real expectation, I actually thought I might be over 50 minutes if I did not change the formula.  I would be fairly happy with simply beating my recent PW in Atlanta on the 4th of July (45:54).  Under 45 would be a moral victory even on a fast downhill course.

Like the Gatorade Steelers 5K 2 years ago, I chose this Pittsburgh race largely because I have family in the area.  Also, it would be state #7 of 10 in terms of 10Ks (SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, FL) and now PA.  The trip was fairly smooth.  I chose to fly this time because my car is getting old.  After a long layover in DC,  I got into Pittsburgh without a hitch on Friday evening.  Pre-race dinner was a very good but overpriced porterhouse steak at Morton's. 

This is a first class event in every way.  It is a point to point downhill course ending at the point in which Pittsburgh's 3 rivers meet while passing through 3 college campuses and lots of city skyline views.  That's not to say that it was all downhill and a piece of cake all the way.  Miles 2,4,6 each had long and steep declines but there were some tough stretches.  The course began with a fairly steep half mile hill before going back down.  Mile 3 also had slightly more up than down while the first 3/4 of Mile 5 was a steady climb.  Still, because the course contained more than twice as much elevation loss as gain, it cannot count as a PR in my book.  Thus, it was purely a fun run.  I estimate this race to be 45 seconds faster than a flat 10K such as New Orleans or Mobile and about 1:30 faster than an "average" rolling course.

I may have qualified for a seeded position but chose to line up near my estimated pace.  It was quite crowded early and I did not fight the traffic very much.  I was laboring almost immediately on the first uphill through residential areas.  A little over a half mile in, we turned into a business section going steadily downhill.  My legs had no power at all but the breathing was pretty well controlled.  The first mile passed by in 7:12 and in my training runs, I often felt decent early so I still feared that this would turn disastrous soon.  Fortunately, we got a welcomed steeper downhill early in Mile 2 and my pace had quickened to the 6:20s on the steeper sections and was pleased to see a 2 mile split time under 14 after passing by Carnegie Mellon Univ.  In Mile 3, I battled a bit of an incline still hanging on to a respectable pace through the Oakland section of the city near the Pitt campus.  I was nearly an even 21 for 3 miles and officially 21:46 for 5K.  Okay, barring an unexpected meltdown, I should be no worse than a low 44.  I turned in another solid Mile on the downhill as the city skyline came into view.  When the dreaded Mile 5 came along, it was a strange feeling, I really felt no worse than I did in the first half mile but could not access any power and the same held true on the last downhill.  Still, I gained several positions going up that hill near the Duquesne campus.  I would give away some of those spots in the final Mile but my pace increased nicely on the steep downhill.  The course leveled off about a half mile from the finish and we made the turn towards the finish.  I was around 41:40 for 6 miles and prepared to accept a low-43 finish, which was a lot better than expected.  In the end, the finish line came sooner than expected around a curve and a last drive to the line brought me there in an even 43-flat.  I would have broken it if I knew how close I was but oh well.

7:12 (7:12)
6:41 (13:53)
7:08 (21:01)
6:42 (27:43)
7:17 (35:00)
6:42 (41:42)
1:18 (43:00)
AG: 68/607- 88th percentile.

Final thought:
6 months ago, I would have been fighting mad over such a poor performance.  On Vulcan's course, I doubt that I would have been much below 45 compared with my CR of 41:32 so that shows how far out of whack I really am. It's hard to believe that I was in sub-40 form on level ground just 6 months earlier.   However, I have shown in the past that my thyroid/adrenals will come down nicely after a few months on the Thym-Adren.  Will the magnesium issue flare up again?  Probably.  I will take it only on an as needed basis.  I am now 3 away for the 10K in 10 states goal.  The next 2 are easy trips to suburban Nashville, TN and Bowling Green, KY.  For #10, I want to make it special and am leaning towards a mega race in Richmond, VA.