First off, I've had many well meaning friends over the years that have told me that running was my problem. If I could simply let go of that, I'd be much healthier overall. Simply not true.
With the exception of my long break in 2006 due to Stage 3 adrenal fatigue, a break from running has never made me feel better. It doesn't matter if it's taken after a successful goal race or a deep slump. I will be lethargic and depressed without intense exercise and less motivated to avoid forbidden drinks. This time is no different. After 4 days of inactivity, I have felt no improvement. If anything, I might be slightly worse. Still, I am sticking with my plan to take the remainder of the week off then I will start back again next Monday. If I am able to train hard this Fall, this week off will guard against burnout in the future
It has now been roughly 4 weeks since I have been using the magnesium gel and here are my comments:
-This treatment is NOT for everyone. First, magnesium "neutralizes" adrenaline. Second, if you already have a balanced or excess of Mg, it would not make any sense to take in more. It seems unlikely that others will be forced off all oral supplements.
I will go as far as to say, do NOT use it if you have the following conditions:
-low Ca/Mg ratio
-some cases of adrenal fatigue (be careful if Na/K is very low).
Note: I had a double inversion (low Ca/Mg + low Na/K) AND an adrenaline deficiency at the time of my diagnosis. Therefore, using magnesium gel at the outset would have been a DISASTER.
Now, I have a double elevation (high Ca/Mg+high Na/K) plus a very high Na/Mg. Therefore, I should be a good candidate.
What about the "bowl pattern" (elevated Ca+K, low Na+Mg)? I don't know enough to advise but have read good reports on cure zone. Maybe it can help if you have a high Na/Mg+ high Ca/Mg but it will almost certainly be one of several treatments and I'd feel more comfortable using a Ca/Mg pill as a first resort. I am not responsible for any consequences.
I will now list the Phases of my treatment:
Phase 1- Re-building- Top priority is to get the Na/K up above 2.50. I recommend no intense exercise in this phase. Allow the adrenals to rest even though they may slow down. This phase was successful for me and relatively painless. Others are not so lucky. I started Phase 2 in late 2006-early 2007 but that would NOT be so easy.
Phase 2- Speed up- If you are low in adrenaline, this is the time to attack the problem with neurotransmitter support. It is in this phase that you are likely to show the greatest improvement but also the greatest instability especially if fighting a "2 front war" of low adrenaline and fast oxidation. I had a lot of rough patches in 2007-08 but it was a success in the end.
Phase 3- Slow down- Once you clear the hurdle and get 4 key metrics above normal (Na/K, Na/Mg, adrenaline and noradrenaline), you may see your tissue Na and K go through the roof and have a very fast oxidation rate. Now, it is time to slow down and get the Na and K back down to normal. I was able to get the Na and K down and also saw the Ca edge into normal territory but I failed to get my Mg up and oral Mg supplements also failed.
Phase 4- Stabilization- I sure hope that this is the last phase. I am using the transdermal magnesium exclusively because I was forced off Thym-Adren (the key pill in Phase 3). This happened after 2 weeks on the gel and I've been off the pills for the last 2 weeks. Stay tuned for the results. The jury is still out and I may not know until Fall. If I simply cut off about 5 seconds/mile from my pace every week, I'll be in decent shape by the end of September. Based on what I've read, it's a good bet that my Mg will improve as will my Ca/Mg ratio. What is uncertain is the effect on my tissue Na and K. If those go through the roof, I may be no better off overall. Again, improvements in my running will be a VERY GOOD SIGN. The threat of a lowered Na/K ratio is a concern but I can try some Vitamin C if that does happen. Thus far, I've tolerated the gel quite well. The only bothersome side effect has been a little bit of a rash in areas where I used lots of gel. That's no big deal and I can use the gel elsewhere if/when I get the rash.
I am running again on Monday and though the first day or two could be rough, I expect to be back to 35ish for 5 miles within days. Can I improve from there? If so, there's a good chance it is working.