Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rant: Running with adrenal fatigue and chemical sensitivity

Well, it's happened again.  Yesterday's Trak Shak 3 was AWFUL (23:53).  I had to rally in the last .1 mile just to get under 8:00 pace overall.  Today, I put in the same effort and clocked a 19:08 for an improvement of 4:45 or 1:35/mile overnight.  What made the difference?  You guessed it.  I cut the Thym Adren from 4 pills to 3.  If I had made that adjustment in Nova Scotia, I probably would have done better even though I took too much Cal/Mag in the morning. 2 pills are not enough and 4 are too many.  It's just the nature of the beast with chemical sensitivity and soon, I may have to cut pills in half.  I must say that I am concerned that the downward trend is too fast.  Only 4 weeks ago, I needed 6 Thym-Adren and now it's down to 3.  If I remain off the Thym-Adren and am NOT near balance, my chemistry will get worse and a crash is inevitable.  What can I do about it?

1) Tighten the sugar restrictions- I had been doing pretty well in this area but have cheated too much since the trip.  It may not help much but certainly cannot hurt.
2) Another detox- I had been forced off Thym-Adren before and the first 2 detoxes allowed me to go back on it.  The last 2 did not and the black radish from the moly pills should accomplish the same as the cleanse.  I have little confidence that it will work but again, it cannot hurt.

I am hoping against hope that by some miracle, I am headed towards balance and that soon, I will not need Thym-Adren at all and can get by on only Cal/Mag.  At least 4 times, I have been forced off including 3 glorious months in early 2012 when I PR'd everything I raced, often by wide margins.  However, every time, it was short lived and there was an explanation.  It was either a mal-absorption issue or a toxicity issue.  Both have since been corrected.  Again, only a medical report can determine the cause of the shift.  I am due for another one in early June.

Now, the question that I am often asked:  Is it safe to run with adrenal fatigue?  My answer is WITH CAUTION! I find that I feel best if I keep both my mileage and intensity at moderate levels. I will say that if you have slipped into Stage 3, you will do yourself more harm than good.  It's just too much stress. Stick with walking until your Na/K is above 2.50.  There are several things that you need to know if you are considering running after a history of adrenal disease.

1. Do NOT expect to go from the couch to a sub-4 marathon within 2 years.
I was able to do so because I already had a recent running background.  Even a healthy person cannot expect a sub-4 without a fair amount of natural talent.
2. Running releases opiate like chemicals.
That's a double edged sword.  Unless you have advanced adrenal disease, it will certainly reduce your symptoms and thus make your condition much more bearable.  The downside is that it can give you a false sense of wellness.  Also, if you are badly unbalanced, you will be more injury prone and your supply of opiate like chemicals will be cut off suddenly and your symptoms will more closely match your chemistry.  If you or someone who know falls apart physically and emotionally when he/she cannot run, it's a good bet that their chemistry is badly unbalanced.
3.Increases your awareness
When you are badly unbalanced, your body has a way of reducing your awareness of symptoms.  That's also a double edged sword.  The plus side is that your symptoms are more bearable but it gives you a sense that you are managing your condition better than you actually are.  You might think that you are doing okay but it's not until you are symptom-free that you realize just how messed up you really were.  A good run may not guarantee that you are healthy but a sudden drop off DOES almost certainly mean that you are off track.  It is VITAL to stay on top of it especially with sensitivity issues.
4. Increases motivation- Sure, I want to get faster and if not for my running goals, I would not be so motivated to stick with the program.

EDIT: Point #2 and #3 might seem contradictory but in my experience, running can be either an upper or downer depending on the cause of your symptoms.  If your symptoms stem from toxic metals, it's likely to be a downer but the plus side is that you are more aware of your symptoms and can make changes before things get worse.  I've turned in reports with errors and think: "Man, how did I miss that?"  Simple, my mind was not as sharp. Eliminate the toxicity and you will do better.
  On the other hand, if your symptoms come from unbalanced oxidation, it's more likely to be an upper unless the imbalances are completely out of hand.  Again, be cautious and stay on top of the program.  Good running is not a guarantee of wellness.

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