Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hall of Fame bound players

I took 3 posts this winter to evaluate the candidacies of recently retired players.  Now, I will consider the cases of players who are still active:
100% lock- By this, I mean that if they literally died today, they are shoo-ins on the 1st ballot right now with no debate needed.
Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols.

Near 100% lock- Ichiro Suzuki- career winding down and will likely be short of 3,000 hits because he did not get started in MLB until age 27.  I vote yes on the basis of his lifetime BA, speed and D.

Now let's look at players who should have at least 2-3 more years left that may not have the numbers now but could get there before retirement.  I will not yet address players such as Bryce Harper or Mike Trout.  Both certainly have HOF potential but it is far too early.  Same with young, more established stars like Andrew McCutchen.  The potential may be there but we are at least 10 years away from a serious discussion.  I will only evaluate players that are at least mid-career.  The key is often what you do after age 32.  Dale Murphy and Don Mattingly looked like HOFs at 31 but tailed off shortly thereafter.

Starting pitchers:
This will become more difficult to evaluate since we may never see another 300 game winner.  With more emphasis on pitch count as well as deeper bullpens, leaving after 6 innings in a tight game is considered a job well done.  I say 250 will become the new standard and 200 will get you consideration.  Other measures such as winning percentage, ERA and of course WAR will be employed to a greater degree in player evaluations.

Andy Petitte- NO.  Numbers are good enough but admitted HGH use is a DQ.

Tim Hudson- Probable.  201 wins with a solid ERA.  He'll have about 210 by the end of the season but at 37 years old, he will likely finish short of 250.  His .650 winning percentage is the clincher in my book.  With 2 more decent years after this, he's a near 100% lock.

Roy Halladay- 50/50.  In the same class as Hudson prior to the season but suffered a major injury and his career is in jeopardy.  Also has 200 wins at age 36, a strong winning percentage and a good ERA.  He's worthy of consideration even if he never pitches again but he needs at least 2 more good years to solidify his case.

CC Sabathia-Probable.  If anyone can hit 300 wins, it's Sabathia who has 195 at age 33.  If he averages 15 for the next 7 years, he's got it.  However, he's shown signs of breaking down recently and we can't expect him to be the same pitcher at 38.  With 4 more decent years, he's a near 100% lock and may only need 2-3 more to get in.  If he had to retire now, he'll come up short.

Mark Buehrle- 50/50- Consistent, durable pitcher who is rarely near the top of the Cy Young voting but his 175 wins at age 34 is certainly worthy of discussion.  Very unlikely to be 1st ballot and may have to wait 10+ years.  Likely good for another 4 solid years, which will put him near 225 wins if not higher.  Winning percentage is only .566 but has not pitched for great teams.

Justin Verlander-Probable- Still young yet and needs about 5 more good years to be given serious consideration but is certainly off to a strong start.  130 wins at 30 years old.  Should hit 250 barring disaster.

Position players:
Miguel Cabrera- Near 100% lock- He'd have to fall off a cliff or test positive for steroids.  Otherwise, he's on track to become one of the greats.

David Ortiz- Doubtful- 409 HRs and strong overall numbers but with his career almost over, he'll be short of 500 HRs and as a DH, he'll lose some votes.  He'll be on the ballot 15 years and get significant support.

A-Rod- NO.  Steroid user.  End of story.

Adam Dunn- Doubtful.  411 homers and he's only 34. In the post-steroid era, 500 homers means more than it did a decade ago.  I vote no even if he hits 500 because his lifetime BA is only .238.  Essentially, he's Dave Kingman with better plate discipline.  Even with a decent OBP, I have a hard time voting for someone with a sub-.250 BA no matter how good the rest of their game.  Judging by the past few years, Dunn could finish his career with a mark around .230.  He'll need 600 HRs for sure and even then, he's questionable.

Josh Hamilton- Doubtful.  I like him and admire his comeback story but at 32 years old, he's still under 200 homers.  He's got a chance if he hits 400 but even that is no guarantee.

Jose Bautista- 50/50- Late bloomer who will likely be short of 500 HRs.  Needs another 4-5 of dominance (40-45 HRs per year) and he has a chance of getting in as a "high peak" player.

Aramis Ramirez-50/50- Interesting case.  I predict that he may get the shaft because of his relatively low WAR but at 36, he's got 350 homers and nearly 2,000 hits.  Consistent performer who can be counted on for 25-35 HRs per year as well as a .280-.290 BA.  He'll finish over 400 homers, maybe 450 but likely short of 500.  Among 3B, only Mike Schmidt and Eddie Matthews have 500 and Ramirez will be close to Chipper Jones for 3rd all time.  Defense is average at best, which could hurt him.  My vote is "wait and see."  It's a "no" if he retires now but could change with 3 more productive seasons.

Prince Fielder- Probable- He's still young but with nearly 270 HRs before 30, he's well on track for 500+.  Can he sustain his current level of play for 6-7 years?  If so, he'll punch his ticket.

Andruw Jones- NO.  Career is likely over at age 36.  Finished with 434 homers but only 66 after age 30.  He was a solid .265-.270 hitter with 378 HRs at age 30 and had won 10 Gold Gloves.  Certainly appeared HOF bound at that point but literally fell off a cliff thereafter.  As it is, he'll probably be one and done, which is a shame because he was so good in the late '90s-early 2000s.

Jason Giambi- HELL NO!

Mark Texiera- Probable- "Tex" has got a good shot despite playing a position that may be the toughest because there are so many power hitting first basemen.  Nearly 350 homers at age 32.  If he averages 30 for the next 5 years and hangs on for another 2-3 years, he'll finish near 550 with a respectable BA and OBP.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Training 5/27-6/2

5/27- Slept in a bit and got an 8 AM start.  Reverse Trak Shak 8 loop in 63:03 (7:53 pace).  Average performance.  It felt like there was something missing in my formula today.  More E?  More selenium?  Too much cheating on my diet?  I'll find out soon.  In this course, Mile 4 and Mile 6 are the toughest as opposed to 1 and 7 on the regular loop.  1st half was 31:11, 2nd half was 31:52, which wasn't bad.  Also, it was pushing 80 degrees when I finished but that's likely the conditions that I will face at Peachtree.

PM- Naked 2 mile junk run on Wisteria.  I am convinced that too much caffeine lately is hurting me.  My excuse was that since I'm already messed up, what difference will it make?  I know better than that and it stops now.  I have done 28 miles in the last 3 days.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=10.0

Update: The next hair sample will not be sent until mid-August.  I have proven that if I am able to take the Thym-Adren, my Na and K will come down quickly.  I do hope that I can keep the Mg from falling under 3.  The Na/Mg has not been under 15 (ideal is 4-5) since '08 and it was only low back then because I was deficient in adrenaline.  Here are the raw numbers that I will be shooting for:
Ca: 32, Mg:3, Na: 40, K: 12-13.  If I can do that, nothing would be classified as severe.

5/28- Did not quite feel up to running a tempo and it was probably a good call.  Ended up doing 6 indoors at a moderate effort.  Time was 44:50 (7:28 pace).  Even splits.  1st half: 22:26, 2nd half: 22:24.  Very fast in the last 200 so that shows that despite not feeling the best, I had another gear.  No real cravings for sugar and caffeine so it was a good clean start.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.5

5/29- Interesting.  Trak Shak 5 progression style with a guy named Travis, who latched on to me.  1st mile was 8:00, last mile was 6:51.  Overall time was 37:35 (7:31 pace).  Did not feel "right" on 1 Vitamin E pill so I took another half and got worse not better.  I will try to get by without it tomorrow.  Not sure what to make of it but it could be the caffeine that caused the need for E and now that I'm back off it, I no longer need it.  Another option is to take it without any selenium.  Did the caffeine have anything to do with the magnesium intolerance?  Seems unlikely but I'll find out soon.  Again, I need a quality day this week and a long run or else I take a penalty.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.5

Bible study was good last night.  One of the guys agreed with me that I cannot and should not be happy given what's happening with my chemistry but I need to be more at peace about it.  Again, patience was stressed but a man with a prophetic ministry said that my healing was a "certainty."  I was able to be patient in 2010 but not so now. I will work on being more "at peace." One comment really floored me in relation to my belief that I have a "higher calling," I was told to think of myself as a lone "redwood tree" in forest.

5/30- Best tempo since mid-March.  5 miles in 32:58 (6:36 pace).  Struggled a bit in Mile 3-4 but bounced back with a strong finish.  1st half: 16:25, 2nd half: 16:33. This pulls me even on the week.  Weight has been a little on the high side most of the year (157-161) but today it was down to 153 probably due to cutting out some empty calories.  My target is 155 give or take about 2 lbs.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=6.0

Update: I am officially off the Vitamin E.  I took just a tiny bit of a pill this morning and got an immediate negative reaction.  It probably cleared by the evening.  I credit cutting out the caffeine.  Can I handle sugar or alcohol?  I'll find that out this weekend when I hit the coast.  What about the magnesium intolerance?  I'll test that out next week. 

5/31- Poor showing in my interval workout.  In my defense, it was only 12 hours after a tempo.  The truth is that it was deeper than not being fresh and I know the difference.  Workout was 8x400 with a 200 jog R+ 30 seconds.  I averaged an 85 (5:40 pace).  1st 7 were 85-86 then I closed with a 78.  In tip top shape, I should be doing these in 75-76 with a 68 close.  I got home and took an extra Paramin (Cal/Mag) and my legs got much stiffer.  I then took a tiny bit of magnesium and got worse from there.  I know now that my caffeine consumption likely did not contribute to the magnesium intolerance.  New formula: Thym-Adren, Vitamin C, Fructosin.  Headed to Orange  Beach now and the weekend volume will be light.  FYI: Orange Beach is located on the Alabama coast just across the Florida line.
Grade:C+/2 credit/distance=3.5

6/1- Planned rest day in Orange Beach.  The Alabama beaches are every bit as nice as the ones in NW Florida.

6/2- Brutally humid run on the coastal highway.  With no water, I made it short and quick.  Out and back 3 mile in a solid time of 21:41 (7:14 pace).  1st half:10:58, 2nd half: 10:43.  Added a half mile cool.  The best time to run down here is in the evening but after dinner, it's hard.  Another good day of body surfing.  I had a few drinks yesterday but don't think it hurt me at all.  I can handle occasional alcohol but not caffeine.  I am going back to Birmingham tomorrow and hope to get a run in the evening.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=3.5

Weekly summary:
Can't say that I am happy with another loss but it's a loss that I can accept.  2 key questions were answered. 1) Caffeine must be eliminated.  2). The magnesium intolerance had nothing to do with the dietary slip ups but the Vitamin E deficiency did.
Distance= 35.0/ GPA= 22.6/8= 2.83
YTD: 817 miles/ Record: 9-12.  GPA= 2.67

Monday, May 20, 2013

Training 5/20-5/26

5/20- I really appreciate the recent uptick in page views.  It means a lot that so many people are rooting for me and I don't plan on letting you down.  I would welcome your comments.  The over-stimulation was severe this morning but based on my report, that's how I should feel if I go too long without the pills.  I was "out of it" at work too until the pills kicked in.  The workout was another decent improvement over yesterday.  The heat and humidity is starting to kick in plus I wanted the same "course" as yesterday.  6 miles indoors in a time of 45:24 (7:34 pace).  1st half: 22:36, 2nd half: 22:48.  13 ticks per mile better than yesterday and I'll take that any day but a quality session would have been ugly.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance= 6.5

5/21- Lame interval session at Oak Mountain.  I knew I was not ready for this type of workout yet so I won't be too hard on myself.  400-400-300-300-200-200-100-100.  Splits were 82-84. 62-64. 38-40 and ran the 100s naked.  No power but felt like if I ran the same 6 miler, it would have been decent.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

Update: It appears the Vitamin E + selenium is effective but the dosage is too strong.  Selenium alone has had no effect at all.  It's a good bet that my problem is a Vitamin E deficiency. Se was low on my hair test because E is needed to produce it.  I just need to find the right dosage.  Passed 750 miles on the year.

5/22- Unplanned rest day because I took too much Vitamin E.  The weather looks iffy anyway.  I'm starting a new form of E tomorrow with less selenium.

5/23- AM- Felt awful when I woke up and took the standard dose of Thym-Adren and Vitamin C and was not much better.  Then, I popped half a pill of the new Vitamin E, which contains no potentially harmful amino acids and less selenium.  I began feeling better immediately.  Did a quarter mile in 1:50 (7:20 pace), which felt unsustainable so I took the other half.  I came back with a 5:11 (6:55 pace) for the next 1200. Effort was "comfortable."  I wanted to run another mile but had to leave for work.  I may attempt a tempo this evening.

PM- Tempo on Lakeshore.  5 miles in 34:56 (6:59 pace).  Hollow victory to get the sub-35 and needed an all out kick to do it.  I took a 2nd Vitamin E pill before the workout and it felt like a mistake but I'm not sure that 1 pill was enough.  I will likely lose my 12th in 16 weeks.  The positive was that this effort was not much more than the 6@ 7:34 on Monday.
Grade:C+/2 credits/distance=6.5

5/24- 6 miles through Mountain Brook on a picture perfect evening.  On a planned easy day, I finished in 44:17 (7:23 pace) and was encouraged by how I felt on just 1 Vitamin E pill.  I have a chance to pull out a win with a strong weekend.  Route was Brownell-Canterbury loop for 3.5 then out and back on Jemison trail.  Pretty even pace but fell asleep in Mile 5 before coming back with a solid finish.  Good job.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0

5/25- Gnome run.  First double digit run in more than a month.  Nice cool weather.  I was actually slightly chilly early on.  Finished 10 miles in 73:58 (7:24 pace) on a moderate course.  Solid effort.  Hung with the 1st tier for 8 miles with 2-8 @ GMP.  Only concern is that my foot is sore again.  I hope that it will get better as my numbers get back in line.  If not, I'll have to get prolo.  Need a B+ tomorrow for a win.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=11.0

5/26- Lakeshore 6.5 in 48:38 (7:29 pace).  Good weather again.  6AM start.  Felt slightly over-stimulated but my drink choices were not the best yesterday.  1st half: 24:05, 2nd half: 24:33.  Strugg-a-ling a little after Mile 4 but overall pretty solid.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=7.0

Weekly summary:
Come from behind victory.  Maybe the grading was too lenient but it goes in the books as a win.  Vitamin E is the answer probably for at least the next few months but I'm not holding out much hope that it is the final key.  I've been hurt too many times.
Distance=40.0/ GPA= 24.0/8= 3.00
YTD: 782 miles.  Record: 9-11.  Cum. GPA= 2.67

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Magnesium intolerance

EDIT:  It was the magnesium citrate that I could not tolerate for reasons that remain unknown to me at this time.  I currently take magnesium malate and can tolerate it well as long as I avoid too much Vitamin C.  I also use magnesium chloride gel occasionally and credit it for freeing me from the Fructosin.  Different forms of magnesium work better for some than others.  A key word of caution is that magnesium can slow adrenal activity so if you are a slow oxidizer with a magnesium deficiency, adrenal support is highly recommended.

Sorry for another medical post that most will not understand.  I need to get this down for my reference.  More running updates will come and hopefully the news will be better.

I still believe strongly in the hair test protocol because it's the option that has worked best for me.  I've tried "letting go" and stopping the pills and it turned out to be disastrous.

Let's go back to the test from March.  The only ratios that were significantly out of balance were the adrenal- Na/Mg (30/2) and the blood sugar- Ca/Mg (27/2).  If I had simply boosted the Mg up to 4 without affecting the others, I'd be looking at some pretty good numbers right now.

On the first 2 days on the magnesium, I was sensational.  I did a hilly 7 miler from the Shak at GMP and it was a breeze.  Then, I followed it up with an outstanding tempo (5@6:20) and probably would have broken 40 for 10K.  I tailed off a bit after that but my performances remained pretty decent for the next 5 days.  It went downhill from there but in most cases, I wasn't horrible and rationalized that something else may have been holding me back (inconsistent w/ fructosin, B-vitamins, etc).  There may have been some truth to that but the bottom line is that if I had recognized magnesium as the problem in late March or early April, I'd be a lot better off now.

Now, if I was forced off the magnesium, why did it only rise from 2 to 3 on the hair test?  I don't know the answer but I must believe that something about my chemistry prevented proper absorption.  I have not found any evidence that magnesium is an enemy of selenium or Vitamin E.  My best guess is that the copper from the Thym-Adren was the culprit.  I was forced off the Thym-Adren just a few days prior to stopping the magnesium in late April (4/24 to be exact).  The hair sample was sent 9 days later and I made it a point not to cut near the roots.

I looked on CureZone and found that short-term benefits from magnesium followed by big trouble have occurred with others, especially those with a history of adrenal fatigue.  In the future, if I need magnesium again, I will remember that it is only a short-term answer.

As for the selenium, I expect that I will not need much of it because Vitamin E is a synergist.  The formula is now Thym-Adren, Fructosin, C and E with a possible addition of Juice Plus for more fruits and vegetables.

Many people quit on the hair test protocol because symptoms do not match test results.  Fast oxidizers can have blahs and depression.  Slow oxidizers can have over-stimulation and anxiety.  The reason is usually some other type of deficiency or excess.  It could be a mineral, enzyme or a neurotransmitter.  Once again, it SUCKS that it is this hard to figure out but if I went the traditional route (anti-depressants), a good day would be 2-3 miles @ 8-9 minute pace and increased risk of chronic disease due to inaction on other imbalances.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Medical report

They say that hair test is predictive of future health but it seems to me like if I've been doing well for 2-3 months, I'll get a good report but if I'm struggling, I'll get a bad report.

The raw numbers:
-Calcium- up from 27-30 (good)
-Magnesium- up from 2-3 (good)
-Sodium- up from 30-85 (VERY BAD)
-Potassium- up from 10-31 (VERY BAD)

Other key minerals:
-Iron remains low but that's common for fast oxidizers and no cause for concern
-Zinc, copper, manganese and phosphorus are all within the normal range.
-Chromium is a bit low but not enough to be concern
-Selenium is deficient (26% of ideal).

Key ratios and comments:
Ca/Mg- 30/3= 10.00- Improvement over the 27/2 (13.50) from last time.  I'm no longer trending diabetic and am just outside of the normal range.  Pleased with this one.

Na/K- 85/31=2.74- Essentially the same as my 3.0 ratio from last time.  A slight drop but nothing to worry about as long as it stays above 2.50.  My worst fear coming in was that I had adrenal fatigue, in which case, I would never be competitive again.  This test confirms otherwise.  Good news.

Ca/P- 30/15= 2.00- Slight sympathetic dominance but not extreme and nothing to worry about.

Zn/Cu- 15/1.6= 9.39- Good last time and good this time as well.

Now the BAD stuff:

Ca/K= 30/31= 0.97- Severe imbalance.  Thyroid is 4x faster than ideal.  It was almost normal last time.

Na/Mg= 85/3= 28.33- Severe imbalance.  Adrenals are 6x faster than ideal compared with only 3x faster last time.

Overall comments:
The biggest change in my treatment plan was the addition of magnesium.  It was clearly not the answer and the damage would have been less severe if I had been able to recognize it sooner.  I did read that it can raise Na and K levels but it was still a net gain if the ratio dropped below 15.  I believed that taking Thym-Adren would counteract that rise and possibly drop Na below 25 while raising the Mg above 6.  In the end, Mg came up by only 1 point while Na jumped by 55 and K lept by 21.  I never thought it would be that bad.  I blame this on my awful showing in St. Louis.

Why was I forced off the Thym-Adren and why did I experience slow oxidation symptoms?  
Given those last 2 ratios, I should be badly over-stimulated and have crippling anxiety.  Instead, I felt lethargic and depressed.  Why?  I believe that the answer is the selenium deficiency, which is connected to thyroid hormones.  I picked up some at the health food store and as expected, the over-stimulation kicked in hard after popping a couple of selenium pills.  Going back to the Thym-Adren helps, as it should according to the results.  A simple mineral deficiency really can cause that much problems!  IT SUCKS but at least it is an easy fix.

What did I do right?
It was a very good call to get this test done when I did even though I was not due for almost another month.  Otherwise, there is no way that I could have learned about the selenium issue.  Treating the symptoms included taking thyroid and adrenal glandulars and did provide a bit of a temporary boost, which allowed for a decent performance in Pensacola.  However, if I had relied on it as a long-term solution, I would have gotten even further out of balance (Na over 100).  Attempting to train when that far out of whack almost certainly leads to injury.  This result demonstrates precisely the need to stay on top of your treatment and to re-test frequently especially after major shifts.  I've been called "obsessive" about this and been accused of "trying too hard."  I have no choice!

Going forward:
Does selenium have any impact on magnesium or vice-versa?  I don't know the answer to that and will have to ask the doctor.  I can safely continue training, which is the only good news.  I am not real optimistic going forward. I just cannot plug all of the leaks.  When I solve one problem, another springs up and I have little hope that anything will change at least in the short-term. 
The key is the Thym-Adren.  If I am able to take it, I've shown before that the Na and K will come down nicely and quickly as well.  What to do if the low magnesium issue flares up again?  Take it only for a few days on an as needed basis or simply take it 1-2x per week for preventative maintenance.  I will continue to serve the Lord but my heart is just not into writing devotionals with a focus on healing and I hope y'all can understand why I feel this way.

Monday, May 13, 2013

NFL draft and backup quarterbacks

Pretty interesting draft overall.  Several players that were certain to be top picks just a year ago fell to anywhere between Round 2 and 4. I looked up a few standout college stars from several years back and very few were good enough to stick in the NFL.  Again, that underscores my point on an earlier post about how difficult it is to be a pro athlete (1 in 16K) and even if you "make it," you still have to beat the odds to stick around long enough to retire comfortably. Just a few quick comments and predictions specifically at QB:

E.J Manuel- probably a reach at mid-1st round.  May be a successful starter but unlikely to be a savior for a franchise that hasn't been to the playoffs since '99

Geno Smith- Put up huge numbers at WVU but struggled to win games at times.  Very questionable.  The fact that he wants thug rapper Jay-Z as his agent doesn't say much for his character.  I predict a flop but I've been wrong before.

Matt Barkley- fell to Round 4 and I am really pulling for him to unseat Vick in Philly.  Also a devout Christian who has done missionary work.

Landry Jones and Ryan Nassib- both going to teams with entrenched starters.  Should be quality backups for now and may get a shot to start down the road.

If you are a former starter that had moderate success for a few years, you may have to settle for backup duty by the time you are about 30 years old.  2 options exist.  You could try to get a job with a losing team and hope to get another chance to start but the catch is that with diminishing skills and a lack of talent surrounding you, success is not likely and you could be out of the league soon. On a side note, I believe that Tim Couch and David Carr could have been decent QBs with a better supporting cast.   A second option is to join a perennial contender and concede a chance to start.  With talent surrounding you on the OL and at the skill positions, you could play well in the few chances that you do get to play and extend your career by another 5-7 years.  Charlie Batch is one case that was not good enough to win for Detroit but was more than capable as a backup in Pittsburgh. These guys can make $1.5-2 million per year.  Not a bad gig.

Now I must address the Tim Tebow situation:
Even those who don't like him as a football player will say that it is a disgrace that he was mishandled so badly in New York.  As of now, the New York Jets are my least favorite team in all of professional sports.  I am a huge fan of Tebow both as a person and football player but am not so blind that I ignore his shortcomings.  I will concede that most NFL teams would be ill-advised to bench their current starter in favor of Tebow.  However, his critics make it out like he's the worst quarterback ever to play the game. Sure, he needs to improve his accuracy but those who point to his low completion rate (48%) ignore that he was among the leaders in yards per completion and lowest interceptions thrown.  I for one would rather have a 50% completion guy with a 2/1 TD/INT ratio and a dual threat than a "traditional" QB with a 60% comp. with more INTs than TDs.  Lots of quarterbacks struggle early in their careers (Eli Manning, Steve Young, etc) and there are several QBs with worse overall numbers (Gabbert, Tannehill, Weeden, Sanchez) that are getting another chance to start.

 You don't want Tebow as a starter?  I understand that but do you mean to tell me that he's not better than veteran retreads like Gradkowski, Brady Quinn, Skelton and Ryan Lindley?  All of these guys have QB ratings south of 65.0 compared to Tebow's 75.3.  The most telling stat is that Denver went 4-14 with Kyle Orton in 2010-11 and 8-5 with Tebow.  Several posters have said that he "throws like a girl" and others have called him phony and even arrogant because of his prayers on the field. Some don't want to deal with the media "circus."  Tebow always goes out of his way to thank his coaches, teammates and fans.  The media needs to quit following his every move. Can someone please explain how saying "God bless" is offensive and giving glory to God shows arrogance?  I always thought it was just the opposite.  Tebow has beaten the odds since his birth and he can do it again if an entire organization believes in him and allows him to shine.

Training 5/13-5/19

5/13- MUCH better.  Lakeshore 5 on a picture perfect day.  Moderate effort and finished with a time of 36:16 (7:15 pace).  That's GMP but I still had to put forth far too much effort to run this.  Still no Endodren.  Tomorrow for sure.  In the meantime, my best option is clearly the Thyroid caps.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

5/14- ANGRY!  No Endodren yet again.  I'm calling them tomorrow.  No improvement over yesterday.  Lakeshore 5 again in 36-flat (7:12 pace) running almost all out.  This was a planned tempo so it's judged harshly.  The medical report is on the way and could arrive as soon as Thursday.  If it's a full scale relapse, I'm done as a serious runner.
Grade:B-/1 credits/distance=5.5

5/15- Go figure.  I took no Thyroid caps this morning and felt the same as usual.  Workout was a carbon copy of the last 2 days.  Trak Shak 5 in 36:10 (7:14 pace).  Pretty even splits too.  This one was not intended to be hard so the grading is easier.  The Endodren has arrived this evening.  What I want to see is a gradual but steady improvement, not a 1 day cure.  Medical report could arrive tomorrow but most likely I am looking at a Friday arrival.  I'm hoping for slow oxidation with no adrenal fatigue.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.5
Update: Took the Endodren and there is no immediate negative reaction.  Can't say if it's positive yet.

5/16- Endodren worked just like it should have.  Jittery in the morning but increased energy for the workout.  5 mile tempo indoors in a solid 33:50 (6:46 pace).  1st half: 16:47, 2nd half: 17:03.
Got home to find bad news.  The medical report is not good.  My worst fear was adrenal fatigue, which has NOT happened.  Blood sugar also improved.  Thyroid and adrenals are VERY overactive again.  Why do I have slow oxidation symptoms?  I have one idea but I'm calling the doctor tomorrow.  Endodren did work well today but it's not the answer long-term.  More details to come tomorrow.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=5.0

5/17- AM- Planned rest day but I will likely do a junk run in the evening as a test.  The only idea that I have is a selenium deficiency that was revealed on the hair test.  My value was 26% of ideal and selenium is connected with thyroid function.  I'm going to the health food store at lunch to pick up a bottle in hopes that the over-stimulation will kick in hard and I'll be back to the Thym-Adren.  If it does not, I must take a break from running but will probably train through to Peachtree.

PM- Good news, the over-stimulation did kick in hard shortly after taking the Selenium pills.  I took 5 Thym-Adren pills after that and it helped.  Workout was a 2 mile junk run indoors in a time of 15:44 (7:52 pace) with a slight negative split (7:56-7:48).  I will do continued research on selenium deficiency.
Grade:Pass/0 credit/distance=2.0

5/18- AM Over-stimulation was significant this morning.  I believe that I have a copper induced Vitamin E deficiency.  E is needed to produce selenium and I hope that going forward, it will be all that I need.  Tried a half of magnesium and felt the return of the blahs.  I have no idea what to make of that.  The workout was a lame 4 miler indoors in a time of 31:55 (7:59 pace).  Pace was steady at 8 give or take for the first 3 miles then faded and really had to increase the effort to get a sub-8 overall.

PM- Naked 2 mile on Wisteria and felt HORRIBLE after taking magnesium.  I'm going off the Paramin at least for a while.  Mg is poison to me and I have no idea why.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=6.0

5/19- AM-6 miles indoors due to a threat of rain.  Finished in 46:41 (7:47 pace) for a decent improvement over yesterday.  1st half: 23:12, 2nd half: 23:29.  Kept the pace under 8 each mile.  Nothing that contains even a trace of magnesium for a whole week.  Scored 1 hollow victory this weekend by clinching a 1.0 GPA for the year.

PM- Impromtu 2 miler on Wisteria in 14:33 (7:16 pace).  Downside in 7:10, upside in 7:23.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=8.0

Penalty:  Failure to complete a double digit run.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=0

Weekly summary:
Nothing more to say that is not already apparent.  After a 4-0 start, I have lost 11 of 15 and have never been cold this long before. I am cautiously optimistic about a win next week.
Distance= 37.0/ GPA= 18.9/8= 2.36
YTD: 742 miles.  Record: 8-11.  Cum GPA is around 2.65.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Expectations for the next medical report

I have been attacked personally because I openly disagree with the prevailing wisdom that more mileage is always better but nobody has questioned my determination. 

A common question is as follows: How can you pick yourself up time and time again?

 Answer: When I am symptom free after I've been hurting for so long, it's about as close to pure bliss as I've felt in this life.  Just one day in which I am neither anxious and short of breath nor lethargic/depressed and have pure natural energy flowing through my body feels so good that it's hard to put into words.  I've been there before and I am willing to try just about anything to get back there and maybe by some miracle sustain it long-term.  Those of you that are blessed with "general good health," DON'T EVER TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.  Oh yeah, as a bonus, it allows me to fully access my running talent.  I can breeze through 8 miles @ sub-7:30 pace and it feels as effortless as a stroll in the park.  See my 3M Half report for an example of one of those days.

After I got the bad report in December in which my adrenal ratio (Na/Mg) was 122/2 (ideal is 25/6), I expected to gradually come in line by taking mega doses of Thym-Adren.  I thought that in March, I'd be down around 60/3 then 45/4 by Summer and hope to stabilize near 30/5 long-term.  I will not declare myself in the clear until I get 2 consecutive good reports.

The result:
In a shocking development, I got my Na all the way down to the target within 3 months (122-30) but the Mg remained frozen at 2.  For the record, I needed the mega doses of Thym-Adren.  Cutting back from 8 pills to 6 always produced a significant negative reaction.  My first issue in March had to do with my excess Ca/Mg so I corrected that by adding more magnesium along with synergistic nutrients such as B-6.  Shortly thereafter, the magic Thym-Adren dosage began to fall.  I eventually reached a point in which I could not tolerate it at all.  Then, the "magic" magnesium became like poison to me, which left me on only Paramin, Fructosin and Vitamin C.

Possible explanation:
  A hair test represents an average of the previous 2-3 months.  Therefore, if my Na level fell from an average of 122 to 30 in 3 months, it means that at the time of the test, the current value was almost certainly under 30 and continued doses of Thym-Adren brought it down further.  I would not be surprised if it's all the way down to the 10-15 range this time around.  As for the magnesium, with high doses combined with B-6, I may have over-reached.  Let's say that I raised it from 2-7, which is not unrealistic given that I decreased the Na so quickly, I might be looking at a ratio under 2, which would be moderate SLOW oxidation.  That would certainly explain the blahs.  I tried some Thyroid caps until the modulator arrived and saw a mild improvement as a result, which is a good sign.

What have I done differently that produced such a rapid change after being stuck in moderate-severe fast oxidation for so long?  The only thing that I can think of is Fructosin, which is an enzyme in the intestines responsible for processing fructose.  Perhaps this deficiency hindered my body's ability to process all the other pills, making it impossible to get in balance without it.  My previous biggest drop in Na was from 80-57 in early 2011 and yes, I took mega doses back then too.  So, instead of dropping by 23, I drop by 92 this time.  Something is up with that

I've started on the ADHS modulator and so far, so good thus far.  Could this be the path to balance?  I've been let down so many times that it's hard to keep my hopes up.  As for my relationship with the Lord, I will continue serving Him no matter what and maybe I can be okay with Him in spite of what's going on but I will NEVER EVER EVER be okay with being chemically unstable and all the broken dreams that go along with it.  My devotionals will remain on hiatus until further notice.

From a personal standpoint, even if I never PR again, I can still be proud of what I have accomplished since I started my comeback in 2006.  I stand by my pledge not to let it become #1 or even #2 in my life and will not sustain more than 55 MPW even if I have a marathon in the near-future.  However, there are many people that do not believe in my cause and if I take my running to a new level, my claims will certainly bear more weight.  It will produce more interest in my story and thus more book sales and more people will be exposed to the Gospel.

Mistakes on my part:
I've written extensively about how mainstream medicine has badly mishandled my case as well as others and I stand by every word of it.  However, the process did not have to be this hard and I hope that by sharing my story, I can help others avoid the mistakes that I made:

1. Strive for steady, gradual improvement
If the plan is working, you should not feel a difference from 1 day to the next or even from week to week but over the course of a month or so, improvement will be evident.

2. Strictly limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol
I cheated too often in the first 2 categories, which contributed to instability.  If you reach a point in which you cannot drink fruit drinks with no sugar added, you need Fructosin.

3.Too much copper in SBF and Thym-Adren can cause a Vitamin C deficiency
When that happens, you can't produce key neurotransmitters and the inevitable result is depression.

4.Your daily Cal/Mag intake should not exceed 2/1
Mega doses of Thym-Adren can cause excess Cal over Mag.  Add some Mg. and/or B-6 to balance that key ratio.

5. Do not ignore mainstream tests just because they did not diagnose you.
Use them in combination with hair and neurotransmitter screenings and always consult your doctor or health coach before any big decisions

6.DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOU ARE HEALED just because you no longer need the pills. 
You need a hair test to confirm that and then another after you have been off the pills for several months.  I was heartbroken twice when I was not healed despite not taking pills and still have not recovered from the last one.

Training 5/6-5/12

5/6- Easy 6 indoors in 45:00 (7:30 pace).  Slight fade at the end and was working a bit in the last 2 miles but a solid performance overall.  Good call to stay inside because it started pouring rain as soon as I started.  2nd day on the ADHS and I'm holding up okay.  I got a little stimulated from extra Vitamin C, which was a possibility because it does contain a little bit of tyrosine.  It also contains copper so I must keep the dosage low if this is going to work.  Weight is 159-160, which is at the very top of my range and another sign that my oxidation rate has slowed.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=6.5

5/7- Johnny's workout was basically the same as my solo interval workout last week.
400-800-1200-800-400-400 with a low-balled goal of 6:00 pace and this time, I was able to do it.  Splits were 87-2:57-4:29-3:00-90-76 (5:52 pace).  Average performance.  Sluggish and sore all day.
3rd full day on the ADHS and there is not a significant difference in how I feel.  Again, I am willing to be patient and hope for gradual improvement but I am curious to see how I would respond to Endodren (intended to speed oxidation rate) for at least a few days.  I'd like to try a Mile time trial on Thursday but I will be hard pressed to beat the 5:47.8, which is my best of the year.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=3.5

5/8- Another decent but not stellar workout.  It appears that this will be the pattern for the foreseeable future.  I remain stable on the ADHS but there is not a significant difference in how I've felt since starting it.  Even if my pace per mile improves by only 2 seconds per week, I'll be back to PR form by the end of the summer and that's the goal.  I will not race again until at least June and may even wait until Peachtree.  Today's run was the  Trak Shak 5.5 loop in a time of 40:52 (7:26 pace).  Fell asleep a bit in Mile 4 but outside of that, it was a pretty even pace.  Slacked off in the last .5 but was well ahead of the planned 7:30 schedule.  Added a half mile cool.  I've pulled even so far this week and have a chance to win with a good weekend.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=6.0

5/9- Vestavia Mile.  I was hoping for a sub-5:45 but could only muster a 5:57.1.  Even less than fresh and in my weakened condition, I should be better than this.  I'm afraid that I will have to declare ADHS a failure at least for now.  I've had to pee a lot today and that often means that my body is getting rid of minerals that it cannot use for some reason.  I am tempted to try again tomorrow because I know I'm better but it will likely be a rest or junk run.  Only good thing about this run was that my pace was pretty even (86-91-92-88).  I need a very good weekend to win now.  Endodren could arrive as soon as tomorrow and it is looking like it could work at least medium-term.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=2.0

5/10- Miserable 2 mile junk run on Wisteria.  I didn't time it but the pace was over 9.  I tried some other pills last night and apparently they won't work.  Endodren has not arrived yet but it will be here no later than Monday.  It is my last good hope to improve.
Grade:None/0 credit/distance=2.0

5/11- AWFUL!  3 attempts to run and my best was a 3 miler in 24:24 (8:08 pace).  In each run, I was unable to sustain an 8 minute pace.  Days like this were pretty much the norm in Stage 3 adrenal fatigue and I am starting to get really worried.  No Endodren today.  Must wait until Monday.
Grade:F/2 credit/distance=7.0

5/12- WORSE!  AM- Wisteria 1 Mile in 8:55 and had to rally for a sub-9.
 PM- Back on the Thyroid caps and showed improvement.  Wisteria 2 in 15:08 (7:34 pace) with splits of 7:26 (down)- 7:42 (up).  I have reason to believe that the Endodren might work.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
I'm past the anger stage.  I'm just numb now.  I did lose 9 of 10 once back in '09 but this slump has been worse.  No real good days since mid-March and some have been flat out awful.  If the Endodren does not work, it could be over for me as a serious runner.
Distance=30.0/ GPA: 15/8= 1.88
YTD: 705 miles/ Record: 8-10.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Fiesta 10K report

Pretty much crap since the middle the March.  I made the decision to go at the last minute and did not even pre-register.  There has been a massive shift in my body chemistry and I am facing symptoms of slow oxidation.  I won't know the cause for another 3 weeks.  I was somewhat less than fresh after a hard tempo only 36 hours prior to the gun.  Based on my training, I expected to be 25-30 seconds per mile off my PR pace, which would put me in mid 42s, which is still semi-respectable.  I really didn't care if I was over 43 because of the prior tempo but if I was much slower than that, I would not have been able to enjoy the experience.

Florida is state #6 out of 10 in the 10K department and it was a smooth 4 hour drive to Pensacola.  I completely winged it and did not even book a hotel.  I knew the roads well because I have spent many happy hours on the Florida and Alabama Gulf Coast.  The route was I-65 south down to the Florida border then US-29 into Pensacola.  I got into town just after 3 PM and registered but they ran out of shirts.  No big deal.  I've got too many of them already.  Next, I looked for hotels on my Garmin and scored one just about a half mile from the line.  Cool.  I can use that to warm up and will not have to get in my car the next morning.  I got a decent steak dinner just down the road and headed back to my room early.  Strangely, I was tired early and got a good night's sleep before waking just before the alarm.

Weather and course:
In the first week of May in Florida, the concern is usually the heat.  Not so this year.  I awoke to 48 degrees with cloudy skies and a 20 mph wind.  Conditions would improve once the race started.  The skies cleared and wind died down, making for pretty favorable conditions.  The long run was rained out in Birmingham so this was a good call weather wise.
 The course began at Pensacola State College and finished in the entertainment district.  It was point to point with a shuttle that took us from the finish to the start.  It was net downhill but not so much that it is much of an advantage.  It's Florida so as you can guess, the elevation change was not significant.  Mile 2 was the hardest.  It began with a pretty significant downhill that was followed by a long climb, which merely leveled off.  Even with the same elevation change, an uphill followed by a downhill is much easier.  There was another mild hill near the end of Mile 5 but this one was followed by a nice downhill that began with about a mile to go.  The remainder of the course, including to homestretch, was level or a very gentle incline/decline.  It could be a PR course but I was not in shape to run anywhere near my best.

Congested start.  I got behind a couple of slower runners in the first 100 meters, which cost me about 5 seconds.  There was no chip time, which probably cost me another 3-4 seconds but it really would not matter at the end.  I got to .25 in 1:40 and kept up the increased tempo going slightly downhill through the end of Mile 1, which passed comfortably in 6:28.  A little faster than I planned but not so much that it will kill me at the end.  Going down the hill early in Mile 2, I hit what I believed to be the end of the 1st quarter just under 10:00.  Any thoughts of an official road PR (40:55) were put to rest quickly once I hit the big uphill.  Early in Mile 3, it was merely a gentle incline on a road with thick Spanish moss.  Most of Mile 3-4 were on a main road and largely residential but we turned to a business section in Mile 5.  I made the decision to conserve energy on the hill at the end of Mile 5, which would be my only Mile over 7:00.  I ran the next downhill very well but once the course leveled off, I was unable to keep up with my pack.  There was only 1 turn in the last half mile and with the finish line in view, it looked like I could break 42:30 and made it comfortably.
6:28 (6:28) little fast
6:37 (13:05) uphill hurt
6:49 (19:54) can't recover from hill.
Passed 5K in 20:54 but the official marker may have been a bit long (3.15)
6:59 (26:53) strug-a-ling
7:05 (33:58) will avoid a PW and break 43.
6:52 (40:50) Gonna break 42:30
1:30 (42:20) - last .23.  Decent kick on a long straightaway.

Final Thought:
Almost exactly what I expected.  I'm in 42 shape right now, maybe a hair under if fully fresh.  Steady gradual improvement is the goal and I've felt pretty stable this week.  I've needed Thyroid caps before but a single dose made a big difference.  That's not happening now.  This week, 1 extra pill did not make much of a difference.  Another medical post is on the way.  As for the race experience, it was a good quality event and can be a PR course with the right ingredients.  I may be back next year if I am in top shape and don't have the official sub-40 on the road.  Tennessee and Kentucky would be #7 and 8 and both are easy trips.  I'll probably do one of these this Fall.  There is a downhill race in Pittsburgh that I'd really like to do but I want to be in tip top shape for that even though it is an asterisk course.  I'll bet I can find a decent race in ARK or NC that is drivable but I'd still lean toward a mega race in Richmond, VA for #10.

Trip home:
Made a side trip to the Flora-Bama lounge for a mediocre burger overlooking the Gulf.  I wanted to take a dip but it was too cold outside (temp in the 60s).  The drive back to B'ham also went without a hitch.