Sunday, July 27, 2014

Anti-bullying rally

On Saturday 7/26, I attended a rally in Bessemer hosted by Robin Kirby Gatto aimed at stopping all bullying, not just in schools.  Robin is a powerful woman of God who has called me a "mighty warrior."  I had been looking forward to this for several weeks and was not disappointed.  I'm still a little shook up by this event.  It was a 2 part session with deep Biblical teaching followed by a period of worship.  If it becomes an annual event, I will be back next year.

There is really no true profile of a stereotypical bully.  Some are "D" and "F" students who are borderline delinquent but others are honor students.  One of the worst bullies in my school graduated #2 in my high school class.  Robin offered an important reminder that it is NOT the people that are bullies that we should be fighting but rather the demonic spirits of bullying.  I will admit that I gave into hatred of those who bullied me. Aside from church, I really did not know God at the time. Acting out in violence was never considered but I did fantasize about hurting those bullies and I had an enemy list on my computer at home.  In my view, there are 3 spirits in particular that we must pray and speak out against:

#1 Arrogance- Those with this spirit are often good students and/or great athletes.  Let's say that a guy isn't real athletic/physically strong or a girl who is overweight.  He or she may also be less intelligent or may not dress in preppy clothes.  There are plenty of bullies who simply believe that they are better than most everyone else and have the right to put other people down because they are already on a "lower level."  I can observe this spirit in the adult world as well as people feel that it is beneath their dignity to reach out to people in a lower social class.  Racism still exists and it makes me sick that people will judge others by their skin tone rather than what is in their heart.  Also, some people who would never think of using any ethnic slurs will call me a "hick" without a second thought.  We are all made in the image of God and have inherent value regardless of whether you are from Mountain Brook, Gardendale or Ensley.

#2-Insecurity- These are the bandwagon jumpers and are often "average" types who aspire for more "cool" status.  There was one guy in particular who was on my basketball team one year and we got along pretty well.  Then, a few of his friends started picking on me so he not only joined in but became the worst of anyone in the school.  I hated him back then but now realize that the real enemy was the attitude that scoring points with the "cool" crowd by putting others down was a good thing.  If you are willing to stoop that low to buy friendships, you've obviously got some issues.  For the record, when I did make some friends on the track team and made almost all A's in high school, he decided that I was an okay guy after all

#3-Fear- This is the BIG one. These types are usually NOT good students and are often subjected to bullying themselves either in school or at home.  Indeed, several of the kids who bullied me came from broken homes and may have been subject to abuse.  I can see how kids who are constantly walking in fear may feel empowered by putting others down.  Robin said that only 20% bullied children will talk about it.  I was actually surprised that it was that high. My principal was a decent guy who would have at least let me know he was on my side but I never went to him.  Partly, I wanted to be strong enough to handle it myself but much of it was fear that I would be labeled as a result of reporting it and others would join in the bullying.  I do have good parents and did tell them about some of it but they had no idea of the full extent.  Again, fear played a role.  My mother would have worried so much and I sincerely did not want that.  Instead, there were days that I just said I was okay then cried in my room.

A few more thoughts:
Discipline- Some teachers and administrators are control freaks who will rigorously enforce the small stuff.  Many things that go on in school would be punishable with jail time if committed by adults but I once lost my recess for heinous crimes such as forgetting to push in my chair and standing up when I was supposed to be sitting down.

I posted earlier that if I ever have a son/daughter that is a bully, I would take a very hard line.  I stand by that but before I dish out the punishment, I need to know the source of the issue.  Arrogance, insecurity and fear are different spirits and require different approaches of correction.

Churches- Whenever children are together, bullying can happen and that includes Sunday school/CCD.  I was subjected to it and was falsely accused of causing trouble myself.  If that happens, find a new church and tell your pastor why you are leaving.

Overlooked signs for parents: Underachievement in school.  In 7th and 8th grade, I came home with B's and C's when I was capable of A's.  I was lazy but also felt worthless and bought into the lie that I really "wasn't that smart." This can put parents in a difficult position.  Obviously, your child needs to do better but if you speak carelessly or punish too severely, they may feel even more worthless.

Kids are often better about forgiving others than adults.

I stand by earlier comments:
-knowing the Lord will improve your perspective and help you find better friends/mentors.
-good grades and productive activities will diminish the bullying.

-This may not be politically correct but the erosion of the nuclear family is harmful to society and contributes to bullying.

Last point:
I have posted before that if you truly have a calling from God, the enemy will stop at nothing to prevent it from coming into fruition and yes, he'll start on you at a young age. If you have been a victim of bullying, there is a good chance that your calling from God is very high.

Training 7/28-8/3

I am now within 1 win of .500 on the year and have a good feeling heading into this week.  I am listed as "questionable" for the Woodstock 5K on Saturday.  I will do a little tweaking with the formula by adding a touch more Mag while keeping the Cal as it is.  I am sticking with the divided doses but may increase the morning dose by one just to see what it does.

7/28- All the questions have been answered now.  Took 3 Thym-Adren in the morning and felt a bit sluggish but was better by lunch time.  Did 5 @ 7:14 with a very even pace.  Then I popped an extra Mag pill and was weakened.  Managed only a 7:39 over the next mile with the same effort.  Overall time was a still strong 43:50 for 6 miles (7:18 pace).  The formula is 4 Thym-Adren in divided doses with 625 mg of Cal/Mag.  I can only tolerate small deviations from the 1:1 ratio and will be weakened if my Thym-Adren dose is either 3 or 5.  I don't like it but it could be worse and I'm going with it until it stops working.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0

7/29- Split decision today.
AM- Oak Mountain Mile in 5:33.1 Fastest time since 2012.  This time, I got out faster and had to fight hard to hold on (80-85-86-82) so a slight positive split.  I think I am in sub-5:30 shape and may well have done it if I had been fully fresh.  I did take 5 Thym-Adren yesterday but only 2 this morning and may not have been quite 100%.  Still, I have pulled to within 5% of my adult PR (15 sec/318 sec).  I've always said that performances should vary by no more than that amount.  Suppose that you have a best of 20:00 for 5K.  With similar training and under similar weather conditions, you should be no slower than 21:00 even on an "off day" or it raises a flag that something may be wrong.

PM- Took a 3rd pill around lunch time and was poorer immediately.  I was hoping to equalize by the evening but I did not.  Rather than fight through a standard issue workout, I turned it into a junk run.  Pace had slipped to 7:40 by Mile 2 and likely would have been 8+ if I had kept going.
I'll try to come back fresh tomorrow and I'm only taking 1 pill tonight.
Grade:B/2 credit/distance=3.5

Update: I won't be shocked if my Thym-Adren dose drops to 3 before too long.  I'll be uneasy about it going below that and REALLY don't want to have to take molybdenum to tolerate it.

7/30- A cut is certainly needed.  Took 2 in the morning and felt sluggish immediately.  This time however, I did move towards equilibrium as the day progressed.  Trak Shak run in pleasant conditions.  Solid but relaxed steady pace all the way that never slowed to 7:30.  Finished the 7.5 mile loop in 54:38 (7:19 pace).  Good job.  Took another pill after the workout and quickly stiffened up.  I'm going with 3 pills tomorrow in a 1/1/1 division.  I don't think copper is the problem because I had no issue with a high copper protein bar.  I REALLY hope to stay on 3 Thym-Adren.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=7.5

7/31- #1- Sprint workout at Pelham.  Did 6x200 nearly all out with as much recovery as I wanted.  I had hoped to average 32 seconds and managed to do a little better (31.6-31.7-31.0-31.2-33.2-30.5).  An average of 31.5 (4:12 pace). plus a half mile warm and quarter mile cool.  Felt good to fire up those fast twitch fibers.  I think I could run a 63-64 in a 400 now, which isn't bad for no real event specific training but I'm afraid I'm too old for another shot at 59.9.

#2- Only 1 hour later: Gold's 5 in 36:36 (7:19 pace) with splits that ranged from 7:15-7:21.  I had just planned to run a long cool down but was remarkably strong.  Barring disaster, I will be at .500 at the end of the week.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=7.0

8/1- Planned rest day.  I deserve one.

8/2- Run with the Gnomes.  12 miles on a rolling course in a time of 89:47 (7:29 pace).  Solid performance overall.  This was not an "A" only because I faded down the stretch.  Hit 10 miles in 74:09 then faded to 7:44-7:54 over the last 2 miles.  I've clinched a win this week and will again try some extra Mag in the evening.  Now that I'm down to 3 Thym-Adren, 625 will be perfect 1:1 ratio.  Can I tolerate 750 Mag, which is what I should take given my weight.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=12.0

8/3- UGLY!  I most definitely CANNOT tolerate 750 Mag and probably not 750 Cal either.
AM- 2 miles on Lakeshore in 18:26 (9:13 pace) that got slower with every step.

PM- Slightly better.  3 miles at Gold's in 23:29 (7:50 pace) that was fairly steady.  Odds are that I need to cut the Mag rather than increase it.  500 mg is likely enough to stave off deficiency but not nearly enough to reach the optimal level.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=5.0

Weekly summary:
It's a winner overall and I have pulled to an even .500 on the year with 7 wins in the last 9 weeks.  I remain EXTREMELY ANGRY about the instability and sensitivity.  I will try again to cut out sugar and caffeine.  I've done it before so I know it can be done.
Distance= 41.0/ GPA= 28.7/9= 3.19
YTD: 1,034 miles.  Record: 15-15 with a 2.67 GPA
FYI: At this time last year, I did have 1,124 miles but was 12-18 with a 2.60.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Message #76- Spiritual Detox 2

Hebrews 5:13-14- Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

James 5:16- Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective

Matthew 13:8- Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

I’ve done several liver detoxes this year with the hope of solving my problems with chemical sensitivity.  One of the effects has been the removal of toxic metals such excessive copper and cadmium out of my organs and into the tissues before being finally removed altogether.  Overall, 2014 has been better than the previous year but I remain well below my standards of performance.  I am not aware of any major exposure to heavy metals but it is a fact of life that in our environment, you will be exposed to trace amounts of toxins.  A healthy person should easily eliminate them through the skin, liver or kidneys before it becomes problematic.  However, because of my history of adrenal fatigue, I was not in a position to do so and the trace amounts of toxins accumulated in the organs.  When they were finally released, I experienced unpleasant symptoms such as breakouts, nausea, diarrhea and of course fatigue.  Surprisingly, use of liver and kidney supplements actually worsened the fatigue probably because they accelerated the removal of the toxins to a pace that overwhelmed my system’s ability to eliminate on its own.  Allowing the detox to proceed naturally with regular cleanses was the best choice.

We live in a fallen world and are all exposed to spiritual toxins from a young age.  Any attempts at self-help or self-improvement will fall short.  Jesus is the only way to truly remove those toxins.  Sure we all slip up and do things that we “don’t want to” (Rom 7:24) but as sanctified Christians, we should reject the glamour of sin and refuse to be mastered by it.  That’s where you should be if you claim to have been a Christian for several years.   That said, when reaching out to unbelievers or “baby” Christians, we must not look down on them because of their faults.  Rather, we should let the Holy Spirit convict them and thus “let the detox proceed at its own pace” or it could become too uncomfortable. If actions are not rooted in the love for the Lord, the changes may not be sustainable. Suppose that I encountered my current small group at the age of 19 or 20.  Maybe on some level, I would have admired their devotion but the discussions would have been way over my head and at best, I would have judged them to be weird and certainly would not have been a regular. Most likely, I would not have come back after a single visit.

As the Holy Spirit continues to penetrate deeper into your heart, certain things may be uncovered and brought to the surface causing “aches and pains.”  Actions that you never regarded as sinful are now called into question and it is common that old “friendships” that are toxic to your soul must be cut off no matter how much you enjoyed their company in the past.  I don’t have much experience with break ups but I can see how it can cause heartache even when you know it is the right thing to do.  I’ve never smoked but have heard that while your body begins to repair the damage within hours of quitting, you actually feel worse for the next few weeks even though you are actually getting healthier all the time.  The same holds true when giving up the sin that had held you for so long.

One last point that I would like to address is confessing your sins as part of the detox program.  In my view, it is always a good idea to talk to your pastor.  No matter what you have done, you will not be condemned as long as you are truly repentant.  The same should be true if somebody looks up to you as an accountability partner.  Thank the person for trusting you enough to share their shortcomings and continue to encourage them.

My friend Adam recently prayed over me that these devotionals and my memory of Scripture verses is “just the beginning.”  While I do a good amount of reading and studying, I waste too much time watching the same movies and YouTube videos.  God has gifted me with the ability to retain knowledge especially when numbers are involved.  Imagine if I knew the Word as well as my favorite movies.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Back on Thym-Adren and still too sensitive

It was not a surprise at all that I am off the Endodren (adrenal stimulator).  I knew all along that it was just a temporary measure until the cadmium toxicity cleared up.  Though unconfirmed, I believe that roadblock has been cleared. Again, I could see it coming with my times off the pills getting better and better while remaining fairly flat on them.

What is a little disappointing is that I really only had 2 days in which I needed neither the Endodren nor the Thym-Adren.  Also, I did NOT expect the over-stimulation to kick in so hard.  Last Thursday was a planned rest day but if I had tried to run, it would have been HORRIBLE.  Today, I learned that too much Cal/Mag + Thym-Adren will overshoot the balance point and leave me back in a state of fatigue and malaise.  Just as I feared, the window of good health is narrow.  Here's what I mean:
- on 3 Thym-Adren + 250 Cal/Mag- too overstimulated
- on 6 Thym-Adren + 750 Cal/Mag- lethargic

The balance point is somewhere in between.  Do I have a better tolerance for the Thym-Adren or the Cal/Mag?  Complicating the matter is that each Thym-Adren contains 41 mg of Cal and I may need an exact 1:1 ratio of Cal/Mag as I did when on the Endodren.  Here are my options:
#1-6 Thym-Adren + 250 Cal/Mag- That's simple enough.  I'll get all the Cal I need from the Thym-Adren and I'll just take 2 Jigsaw Mag pills.
#2- 3 Thym-Adren + 625 Cal/Mag- Again, it's simple enough.  I'd need 2 Jigsaw Cal and 5 Jigsaw Mag to hit these numbers.

-As I learned in Nova Scotia, the time of day that I take the pills is also important.  I may have to take the Thym-Adren in the morning and the Cal/Mag at night.
-If the magic number for Thym-Adren becomes 4 or 5 pills, I'll have to cut pills in half to at least get close to the 1:1 ratio.
-Of course, if I can get away with deviating a bit from the 1:1 ratio, it would be so much easier.  Today's detox was aimed at that objective.
-A second detox will be done in August.  Then I will get my ceruloplasmin tested again and hope to see a statistically significant improvement.

Training 7/21-7/27

Pre-week statement:
I will have to do some experimentation this week so I expect to lose.  There is a local 5K on Saturday evening and I am listed as doubtful.  My only real speed work recently has been the Mile time trial tests.  I need more intervals to run a decent 5K.  Next chance is Woodstock on 8/2.

7/21- AM-1 mile at Gold's in 9:51. Splits were 4:38-5:13. 6 Thym Adren is not the answer.

PM- 2 miles in 16:47 (8:24).  Even pace but could not accelerate.  Somewhat encouraged that I improved so much over the morning after laying off pills for just 10 hours.  I still don't know for sure if the source is too much Thym-Adren or too much Cal/Mag or both.  Overall, today was horrible and it sucked too.  Tomorrow should be a bit better.
Grade:F+/1 credit/distance=3.0

7/22- Improvement.  3x2 mile at Gold's in an overall time of 45:11 (7:32 pace).  Formula today was 3 Thym-Adren +250 Cal/Mag the night before.  It was not enough but I knew that coming in.  The good news is how the workout went.  1st rep was 15:20 then popped a Mag and ran a 15:00.  Popped a 2nd Mag and was down to 14:51. Effort was pretty even on each rep.  Maybe I did push a tad harder on #3 but it was also done on tired legs. That's 2 encouraging signs.  #1- I did feel better after each pill but it was not a radical difference.  That means that taking an extra pill beyond the "magic formula" may not have debilitating effects.  #2- Rep #1 and #3 were done on an unbalanced Cal/Mag ratio.  A 1:1 is probably best but it looks like I may be able to deviate a bit so if 3 Thym-Adren + 625 Cal/Mag is not enough, 4 just might work after all.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=7.0

7/23-AM- Decent short tempo.  Formula was 3 Thym-Adren + 625 Cal/Mag.  Improved over yesterday but it still was not enough.  Finished 3 miles in 19:19 (6:26 pace).  In a full 5K, I would have fallen just short of breaking 20.  Got off to a great start and felt like I was going to PR early then the over-stimulation kicked in about a half mile in.  From there, I pretty much settled into a 6:30ish pace.  Splits were 6:18-6:29-6:32.

PM- Experiment.  Did not want to push too hard after the hard tempo this morning.  On 3 Thym-Adren, I did 1 Mile at moderate effort in 7:06.  Popped a 4th and my time was down to 6:36 on similar effort and I actually felt good.
I'm going to tick the Cal/Mag up by 1 more pill to 875 mg.  I'll see how I feel on 3 but am open to 4 again.  5 is almost certainly too many given that I was decent on 3 and awful on 6.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=5.0

7/24- AM- Naked mile on Wisteria just to see how I'd feel on 3 + 875.  The answer was not so good.  It appears that it's just too much Cal/Mag right now.  That's okay, 625 will be enough to stave off Mag deficiency and keep my RBC in the 5s.  I could try 750 Mag but I'd have to deviate from the 1:1 ratio.

PM- Still weakened and it's obviously the Cal/Mag.  Again, with a healthy liver, I SHOULD NEVER get a bad reaction from a single dose of a mineral.  It was another day in which a tempo or interval would have been weak but a standard issue workout was fine.  5 miles at Gold's in 37:26 (7:29 pace).  Even pace and no real complaints even though I did not feel strong.  The winning formula is 4+ 625 and I can still win this week with a strong weekend.  It's still possible that I can tolerate extra Mag but not Cal but I'm not messing with it for a while.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

7/25- AM- Oak Mountain Mile in 5:40.3.  I got the 5 second improvement over last week but I was mildly disappointed in this one.  As usual, I paced it almost perfectly (84-87-87-82) but when I tried to really dig deep, it just wasn't there.  I just could not access my top gear.

PM- Spain Park interval session.  10x400 in sets of 5 with a 2 min R in 79.6 (5:18 pace).  Splits were (82-80-79-79-80)-(79-80-81-81-75).  Pacing was very good as well.  In almost every interval, I was 39 at 200 and hung on for a 40-41.  Key observation: The last 2 days have been much better in the afternoon than in the morning.  In the past, I HAD to, repeat HAD TO take all my Thym-Adren in the morning.  Now, it seems like divided doses are my best bet.  I'm not sure what to make of this but it is likely good news.  This performance puts me in line for a win.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=4.5

7/26- Easy 4 at Gold's in 29:04 (7:16 pace).  Felt a little weird.  Pace was strong but I always felt like I was going to fade.  I took only 2 Thym-Adren this morning and will take 2 tonight.  Likely, I am simply adjusting to the change.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=4.5

7/27-AM- 5 miles on Lakeshore in 36:40 (7:20 pace).  I wanted to do 10 but the heat and humidity were brutal even though I got started around 6:30.  Felt similar to yesterday.  Fast start (7:04 for Mile 2) but was struggling for standard issue pace late.  Splits were 17:58-18:42.  I took 2 Thym-Adren last night and 2 this morning but forgot the Cal/Mag, which likely hurt me.  I'm hitting the gym for 5 more this afternoon but I've got the week won regardless.

PM- FAST! Gold's 5 in a comfortable 34:36 (6:55 pace).  I was off to a sensational start with a steady 6:50 pace in the first half then slipped a bit to 7:00 pace in the second half.  This also answered a key question.  If I only take 2 Thym-Adren in the morning, will it begin to wear off by the evening?  The answer is maybe a little.  That's why I'm giving the 3/2 a try next week or it might be 2/1/1.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=10.0

Weekly summary:
Hard fought come from behind win.  This pulls me to within 1 win of the .500 mark.  Maybe a few tweaks will be needed but I've got a good formula now and in theory, it should take me to balance.  I will do another detox in about 3 weeks.
Distance=40.0/ GPA= 31.4/10= 3.14
YTD: 993 miles.  Record: 14-15 with a 2.66 GPA

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Minor Victory: Off the Adrenal glandular

Brief timeline:
-Symptoms flipped from over-stimulation to significant fatigue in late May.  It turned out that the cause was a cadmium toxicity as revealed on the hair test.  As is commonly the case, I went with adrenal support to combat the fatigue.  It was successful.
-Attempted to run without adrenal support in early June and clocked an 8:26 Mile running nearly all out.  My time with the adrenal support at the time was a 5:46 (difference of 2:40).
-My Mile time without the pills came down steadily (under 7:30 by mid-June, sub-7 by the end of June, sub-6 by mid July) while the time with the pills improved by a modest 9 seconds down to 5:37.
-In the week of July 14-20, I was actually slightly worse with the pills (5:46 vs. 5:51).

Q: How is this different from being forced off the pills in the past?
A: This has a much different feel.  In the past, what often happened was that the key pill worked like a charm then without warning, it literally made me feel much worse overnight.  Yet, the medical report showed that I still needed it.  In this case, I could see it coming a couple weeks ago as the gaps in performance due to pills narrowed steadily until I was slightly worse with them.

Q: So, would you say that you were freed rather than forced off?
A: Yes indeed.  I took 3 pills and my paces were only 5-10 seconds slower than without the pills.  That is exactly what should happen when you take just a couple doses of a pill that is not right for your chemistry.  I felt only slightly weakened.  It was not the crash (3 @ over 8:00 pace) that comes with taking pills that I cannot tolerate.  Yes, I would get steadily worse if I continued on the 3 Endodren but let's say I took a few days off it then took it again.  I'll bet that once again, I'd be only slightly worse.

Q: What do you think your hair test would look like now?
A: That's always difficult to predict but I do believe that my cadmium toxicity has diminished.  When cadmium falls, sodium falls so I bet it's at a more reasonable level now but still high.

Q: What about the Thym-Adren (adrenal suppressant)?
A: Until my system demands Thym-Adren, I'm going with the Cal/Mag alone.  I'm still unsure of how well I will be able to tolerate copper.  I would not be surprised at all if I end up back on it but as long as it is not mega doses with extreme sensitivity, I'm fine with it.

Q: What's the top priority now?
A: I MUST, repeat MUST improve my liver function, specifically the ceruloplasmin value.  The zinc failed and so did the liver drops.  It is possible that going slowly (start at 10 mg zinc) would work out but the only thing that has been consistently effective in the past is the Hulda Clark liver cleanse.  I want to do 2 more of those before getting tested again.  I have a strong feeling that if I can get the ceruloplasmin up to par, the sensitivity will diminish.  When that happens, I will be in the clear.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Training 7/14-7/20

7/14- AM-Spain Park Mile Without Endodren in 5:46.6 (87-87-88-84). Cut off another 11 seconds. Within 9 ticks of my time on Endodren. Won't be long now.  Not much of a kick at the end but this was probably the most evenly paced Mile that I have ever run.

PM- On Endodren.  Nice 6 miler at goal marathon pace.  Finished in 43:40 (7:17 pace).  Splits were 21:49-21:51 so I can't get much more even than that.  I actually felt slightly overstimulated during the day.  I want to do another Mile on Endodren very soon and would not be shocked if it's a 5:50ish.  Not quite ready to quit the Endodren just yet but likely would feel best on a reduced dose.
Important point: Yes, today was a good day but if I added only HALF a Cal or Mag pill, I would have struggled to an upper 7 pace.  I cannot beat this disease without solving the sensitivity.
Grade:A/2 credit/distance=8.0

7/15- AM On Endodren, Spain Park Mile in 5:51.6 (89-89-89-84).  It has happened sooner than expected.  I am slightly worse on the adrenal glandular.  Granted, I was not as fresh as yesterday but I knew how I felt.  I actually felt pretty well when I woke up and likely would have improved upon the 5:46 that I ran yesterday.  After popping the 3 pills, I felt slightly worse and it showed in workout.  Even if I was fresh, I don't think I could have broken 5:45.  Again, I was only SLIGHTLY worse on the pills.  That is an important point that I will explain later.  Easy 5 on tap this evening.

PM- 5 miles as planned in 37:03 (7:25 pace).  This is exactly what should happen when you take a couple doses of a pill that is not right for your chemistry.  I was a little weakened but it was not debilitating and for an easy run, it was very solid.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=6.0

7/16- Took advantage of a rare summer cool front.  It was a pleasant 80 degrees with low humidity by 5:30.  Trak Shak 8 in 57:53 (7:14 pace).  That's 3:10 BQ marathon pace on a hilly route.  GPS measured it a little short but I'm going with it.  The full tree covering was the likely cause.  1st half was 28:47, 2nd half: 29:06.  Every mile was sub-7:30 including the Starbucks hill, which sucks.  Very strong out there.  Took 1 Endodren to taper off and will try to go without it tomorrow.  I may pay for this one later in the week.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=8.0

7/17- Planned rest day.  1st day off Endodren began well enough.  My joints were sore but I had plenty of energy.  However, as the day progressed, I began feeling more and more overstimulated.  By the end of the work day, I was hurting pretty badly.  Time to try the Thym-Adren.  If that causes the copper toxicity to re-appear, I am in big trouble.

Update: Popped 1 Thym-Adren and seemed to get somewhat better.  Excellent news so far.  A potential issue is that Thym-Adren contains calcium so will my system handle the Cal/Mag adjustment?  Tomorrow, I am going with 3 pills and hope against hope that it's all I need.  PLEASE NO SENSITIVITY!  I've known for more than a year that the path to balance is a 1:1 Cal/Mag ratio plus Thym-Adren.  I've hit 3 roadblocks.  Maybe the 4th time is the charm.

7/18- Could not really ask for much better for my first day on Thym-Adren.  Went with 3 pills and I sure hope it will be all I need over the long haul.  I did feel overstimulated but my legs were loose and limber for the first time in a long time.
AM- 1 Mile in 5:45.6 (86-87-89-83). 8 seconds down on my best of the year but I was quite pleased.  I simply hoped for a sub-6.  I am on the right path to balance now.  I want to see steady improvement now.  If I can cut off 5 seconds per week, I'll be sub-5:30 before I know it.

PM- Interval session was rained out.  That's okay.  I was not up for anything too hard on the first day.  4 miles at Gold's in 29:57 (7:29 pace).  Faded at the end but did not collapse.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

7/19- Good news and bad news.  The good is that I can tolerate the Thym-Adren as well as additional Cal/Mag just fine.  The bad news is that 3 pills won't cut it.  Debilitating is too strong of a word but I will be significantly weakened if I don't take enough.
AM- Run with the slower Gnomes.  Aimed for 10@8:00 on a hilly route and was on pace through 6 then hit the wall and logged an 8:49 and 9:04 before shutting it down early.  Totaled 8 miles in 65:57 (8:15 pace).  Poor performance.

PM- Junk run on Wisteria just to hit double digits on the day.  Did the down side in a solid 6:30 but saw no reason to push in humid conditions so I just trotted up.  I will need a "C" tomorrow to get a win this week.  I have to skip to BTC social but I'm not really in the mood anyway.  Detox is a go for tonight.
Grade:C-/2 credits/distance=10.0

7/20- Detox wasn't bad.  I did pass a few stones but not as many as in the past.  Not sure if that is good news or bad.  One piece of good news is that I took mega Thym-Adren today and felt about the same as on 6 pills so it looks like 6 is as high as I'll go.
Workout was a stop and go 3 miler at Gold's with several bathroom stops.  Finished in 22:25 (7:28 pace) with a slight negative split.  Did not feel great but on the day of the detox, I did not expect much.  Just wanted to hit the mileage quota.

PM- Update: Forget what I said about not being so sensitive.  I was MUCH worse after an extra Cal/Mag.  Shake out mile on Wisteria.  I ran it naked but my pace was likely over 10:00.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=4.0

Weekly summary:
Lenient grading over the weekend enabled me to win my 5th in the last 7 weeks.  This was done amid one of the most massive shifts in my health so I deserved this win.  In theory, this formula SHOULD get me to balance.  Another roadblock is always possible.  I am still behind last year's pace in mileage but have moved ahead in wins and GPA.
Distance= 41.0/ GPA= 24.3/8= 3.04
YTD: 953 miles.  Record: 13-15 with a 2.64 GPA

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Liver and Kidney supplements reviewed plus a rant

I suppose that my readers are wondering why I made any tweaks or changes at all after the solid performance at Peachtree and my recent success, including 4 wins in the last 5 weeks.
I MUST solve this chemical sensitivity and my experiments this week were aimed at that objective.  If my history is any indication, the current formula will not be a winner much longer.  First off, is the Cal/Mag balance.  Even if taking a 2:1 ratio or a 1:2 ratio moves your chemistry in the wrong direction, a stable person would NEVER see this much difference from a SINGLE dose of a MINERAL.  When taking a glandular, SOME sensitivity can be expected.  Something is obviously off here.  What will I need next month?  Will it be 2:1, 1:1 or 3:2?  How much will I need? Your guess is as good as mine. Moreover, the 250 mg. of Mag that I had been taking is not enough to stave off deficiency.  I need at least 500 to stay in the "low normal" range and 750+ to hit the optimal range of 6.0-7.0 on the Magnesium RBC test. If I cannot tolerate it, I may have to go back on the Fructosin.

Q: I get it.  That type of sensitivity is clearly abnormal but do you know the cause?
A: I have a strong feeling that it is poor liver function, specifically noted by my low ceruloplasmin level and my research does point a finger in that direction.  Again, my value of 17.9 was not low enough to be flagged as abnormal but was 28% below the low end of the healthy range.  I figure that I've got to boost that value up to at least 20, probably 22, before I see much improvement with chemical sensitivity.

Q: How do you improve the ceruloplasmin?
A: That's exactly why I tried adding zinc to my formula as well as Bio Ray Liver Life.  The purpose of the kidney supplement, Renavive was to assist in removing toxic cadmium from my system.  All 3 failed me and I knew within a single day that it was not working because my fatigue and stiff muscles worsened almost immediately and I was crap in my training sessions.  My only hope is to continue the periodic Hulda Clark liver cleanses.  I should do those at least once a month and hope to see my number improve after a few more cleanses.

Q: Why did the recommended supplements fail?
A: I'm not sure.  Perhaps my liver was not strong enough to process them or they caused the toxic metals to be removed from my organs too quickly.  Slow removal will require more time obviously but symptoms will be manageable if the detox is simply allowed to proceed naturally.

Q: What about the Endodren?
A: That's the only good news.  The transition off the adrenal glandular should be smooth.  I am getting consistently faster without it.  When the cadmium toxicity symptoms first appeared, I could not run a Mile below 8:00 without adrenal support.  Now, I've run 5:57 off it compared with a 5:37 on it.  I predict that by the end of the month, I will be slightly slower on the Endodren.  At that time, I will simply stop taking it and SHOULD NOT have any ill-effects.

Now some more insight into life with chemical sensitivity:
Out of the question right now.  My only chance is if by some miracle, someone comes along who knows me already and has followed my story and loves me unconditionally in spite of the mood swings.  Not likely.  The older I get, the harder it will be to find someone who has not been married before.

Walks of shame:
Imagine being on a group run and you are halfway through a 9 mile loop.  The first 2-3 miles went okay but your form is faltering rapidly.  By halfway, you know that you are not going to make it and the bonk hits hard with 4 miles to go.  You are forced to walk the remainder with just a few short spurts of jogging. That's very demoralizing and why I sometimes run inside even when the weather is decent.  If this happens with any regularity, what will your running buddies think?  You may be thought of as a slacker for dropping out of the workout or a show boat for going out with the fast group.

My job:
What do you do if you don't feel up to performing your job duties?  You could call in sick.  You could tough it out and do what you can but your mind is not as sharp and reports are more likely to contain errors.  Lastly, you could simply go to work and take it easy, as in doing only simple tasks and saving the important work until you feel better.  No matter which option you choose, you could get in trouble.  While I am not in danger of losing my job, it is frustrating to be less productive than I could be and see younger co-workers get promoted ahead of me.

I did my best to put on a good attitude at Bible study this week but 2 people commented afterwards that I was obviously sick.  Some days are so bad that I simply want to be left alone and will not answer the phone even if it's my best friend that is calling.

Anything positive here:
Yes.  I AM most definitely better off than I was a year ago.  At that time, the Thym-Adren intolerance was kicking in and I could only take it or the Mag, not both.  I lost 29 out of 39 to end the year in 2013 and seriously considered quitting.  Even with the loss this week, I am .500 (10-10) since the hip injury in February.  I have already run faster at the Mile, 5K and the 10K than at any time since the downward spiral really began in March of last year.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Training 7/7-7/13

7/7-Planned on running 6 miles but hit the wall near the end of 4.  Treated the 5th mile like a cool down and finished the distance in 38:56 (7:47 pace) with a 5th Mile close to 9:00.  This was a downer because I felt good in the morning.  I think it was the liver drops that did it this time and I just don't understand why my system is rejecting supps that are supposedly good for my chemistry.  My only explanation is that perhaps it is causing the detox to proceed faster than it is designed to naturally.  I don't think extra Cal/Mag was the problem and I'm up to 500 of each.  Kidney supp has arrived today and I'm holding off on it for now.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=5.0

7/8- Unplanned rest day.  Still hurting after yesterday's experiment.  Good news is that I don't think Cal/Mag is the problem.  May actually do a junk run this afternoon.

PM- Decided to do the junk run.  1 mile on Wisteria.  Did the first half in 3:29 then shut it down and jogged the up side.  If I had done a "real" workout today, I would have been okay in a standard issue run but not a tempo or interval.  I'll hold off on the kidney supp until the weekend.
Grade:Pass/0 credit/distance=1.0

7/9- Bad to worse.  Run with the Gnomes and embarrassingly, I led the group through 2 miles then died and did not even finish the workout.  Planned on 7 and finished with just 4.5 and walk/jogged the last Mile.  Time for 4 miles was 31:44 (7:56 pace) with a last mile in 9:22.  It's becoming clear that Calcium is the issue and perhaps both the Mag and the liver drops are okay after all.  Again, calcium intolerance makes NO sense given the medical report.  Oh yeah, I need 250 mg of that stuff.  Neither more nor less.  SUCKS TO BE ME!
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=4.5

PM Update: Took some liver drops and felt worse so I pitched it.  Need extra Mag without Cal and that's it.  I may struggle again tomorrow.

7/10- AM- Struggled as expected.  2 miles in 15:52 (7:56 pace) but did manage a slight negative spilt.  Barring a reaction to Mag, I expect to do okay this evening.

PM- Bad reaction to extra Mag.  3 miles in 25:42 (8:34 pace).  Died in Mile 2 but held it in Mile 3.
I may recover my form by tomorrow but I was visibly sick today.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=5.0

7/11- AM- Spain Park Mile WITHOUT Endodren in 5:57.2 (90-92-91-84).  BIG confidence booster to run a sub-6 without adrenal glandulars.  I barely broke 6:30 last time.

PM- Spain Park Mile WITH Endodren in 5:37.2 (83-86-88-80).  Fastest time since 2012. Solid performance but I was actually hoping to do a little better.  In fairness, this was done in 90 degree weather.  I'm betting that's worth a 5:32ish if it was 20 degrees cooler.  The gap in performance has narrowed to just 20 seconds depending on the pills.  I predict that by the end of the month, I will be slightly SLOWER with the Endodren.  When that happens, I will cut out that pill.
Finished with a 1.5 mile cool through the woods at Veteran's Park.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=4.0

7/12- AM- DNF on the Gnome run.  Totaled 4.5 miles in a turtle time of 37:10 (8:16 pace).  A couple sprays of transdermal Mag was the culprit.  I need a 1:1 ratio with the Cal.  The experiments with the zinc and liver supps failed but were aimed at reducing the sensitivity.
PM- With the week already lost, I figured that I'd try the kidney supp and it also failed.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=4.5

7/13- Lame 5 miler at Gold's in 39:13 (7:51 pace) but I did manage to get through it without bonking.  Everything I tried this week has failed.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=5.0
Failure to complete a 2nd quality session
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=0
Weekly summary:
I expected to lose this week but I never thought it would be this bad.  Absolutely nothing worked and I will go back to the old formula.  My only hope for solving the sensitivity is monthly liver flushes.
Distance=29.0/GPA= 13.3/8=1.66
YTD: 912 miles.  Record: 12-15 with a 2.62 GPA

Saturday, July 5, 2014

'14 Peachtree 10K RR

I've been beginning to come alive in recent weeks with mileage in the low 40s with good quality.  My biggest problem has been liver and kidney function as it relates to detoxification of excess copper and cadmium.  What is the most problematic symptom of the elimination?  You guessed it.  Fatigue.  I've turned to an adrenal glandular for relief with some pretty good results in my workouts.  I knew that I wasn't in PR form but a solid performance was expected.
A- goal: Sub-42- re-qualify for sub-seeded wave
B+ goal: Course PR (42:27)
B- goal: sub-7:00 pace (43:24ish)
C- goal: Improve upon last year's PW of 45:54

No real drama.  I took the whole day off work and went for a junk run before hitting the road for Atlanta.  All systems checked out.  It was a smooth ride on I-20 and I arrived on schedule at Nick's place around 2:30 PM.  From there, it was a congested ride downtown to expo where I purchased a new pair of running shorts and an Atlanta tech shirt.  Dinner was a porterhouse at Longhorn's and as usual, I polished it off.  I woke up without an alarm right on time and felt pretty strong warming up.  Normally, heat is a big concern in Atlanta this time of year but today, it wasn't much of a factor as temps were only in the mid-60s with mild humidity.  I lined up with the sub-elite group (sub-42 qualifiers) and would get off to a clean start.

I've done this race twice so I knew what I was getting into.  It's actually slightly net downhill but the location of the hills is what makes it so tough.  I figure that this course is at LEAST a full minute slower than a pancake flat track 10K.  The first mile is relatively flat with just a mild incline around the half mile mark but it was so early that I barely even felt it.  There was a fair amount of congestion early but I actually think it was a good thing.  Yes, I did run extra by dodging slower runners but it did prevent me from going out too fast.  As I will explain later, Peachtree is a race that you REALLY can't go out too fast or you will die at the end.  I recognized early that my stuff was good but not exceptional so I did not panic when I saw a fast split for Mile 1 via GPS.  Because of the extra distance run, I actually hit the mile marker pretty much on schedule.  Shortly thereafter, we hit the shallow downhill and my pace quickened significantly.  I simply got caught up in the atmosphere when I should have run my own race.  The hill steepened in Mile 3 and my quads were starting to ache a bit so I wisely dialed it back a hair while I still could.  The bottom of the hill came at roughly 2.8 miles.  Cardiac hill was next.  I felt pretty decent early in the climb and passed 5K just a hair over 20.  Okay, all I have to do is run a 7:00 pace on the back half and I will break 42.  As is commonly the case, my form began to falter as we neared the crest of the hill.  Suddenly I was struggling and it looked like the sub-7 in the back half would be a tall order.  Between 3.6-3.7, we finally got a BRIEF downhill and I managed a near 7:00 split for Mile 4 so I still had a shot.  Everybody warns you about Cardiac but it's what comes next that is the worst.  It's basically a moderate non-stop incline for the next 1.2 miles with just a couple small dips to break it up.  As expected, my pace fell off here but I was not being passed very often so the rest of the field was hurting just as much as I was.  1 mile to go and I will need to find an extra gear to do it now.  I gave it my all and managed to increase my pace a bit thanks to level-slightly downhill terrain.  At about 5.5 miles in, we turned onto 10th St. and a more significant decline but that was followed by another quarter mile climb up to Mile 6.  Like I said 4 years ago, THAT WASN'T VERY NICE!  However, I would get good news at the 6 mile mark.  If I could muster any kind of finishing kick, I was going to make it.  It was a long straightaway downhill and with the finish line in view, I thought it was closer that it actually was and I needed one last kick to ensure that I would make it.  My watch time was 41:56 and my official chip time was 41:54 (6:44 pace).  New CR and I have re-qualified for the sub-seeded wave on a challenging course.
Splits: (GPS measured it 6.30 so I will just add 5 ticks to each mile)
6:33- (6:33)Feel good
6:25- (12:58) Too fast downhill
6:32- (19:30) Doing well but starting to hurt
7:03- (26:33)Respectable up Cardiac
7:12- (33:45)Strugg-a-ling
6:52- (40:37) I've got it with a decent kick
1:14- (41:54) roughly 6:00 for last .2

I was in good spirits as I waited for Nick at Piedmont Park.  He also CR'd this race and I got to meet several of his friends from the Atlanta Triathlon Club.  Overall, this was my best showing in a race since 13.1 Los Angeles last January. Given flat terrain, I believe I am good for a sub-41, which is within shouting distance of a PR. I may need to tweak my formula a bit but as long as I am winning, no big changes will be made.  We hung by the pool for a bit then enjoyed a Braves victory over Arizona.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Medical report

Prior to receiving this I thought of 4 possibilities:
1) A flip to slow oxidation, which explains the fatigue and benefit from adrenal glandulars
2) Fast oxidation with no adrenal burnout and an explanation such as a toxic metal.
3) Fast oxidation with no clear explanation for fatigue and malaise
4) Full scale relapse into adrenal fatigue
The verdict is in and it is NUMBER 2.  Not what I wanted but beats the hell out of #3 and 4.

For the second straight test, I got the "hill pattern" so named for the appearance of the first 4 macrominerals on the chart (low Cal, higher Mag, higher Na, high K  but a good high Na/K ratio).  This pattern is associated with "turning a corner" and "breaking through a barrier" and has happened before after I escaped adrenal fatigue and once more after removing an infected root canal.  Both times, I had a prolonged hot streak within the next few months.

The raw numbers:
Calcium- up from 23 to 25- good
Magnesium- fell from 8 to 5- good
Sodium- up from 62 to 149- WHAT THE ______!!!
Potassium- up from 21 to 29- not good
Zinc- down from 16 to 15- no big deal
Copper- down from 5.6 to 1.9- EXCELLENT NEWS!

Ratios and meaning:
Blood sugar (Ca/Mg)- This ratio improved from 2.86 to 5.0, which is a significant improvement.  Ideal is 6.67 but anything between 4-9 is still considered to be good and I've edged nicely into that range.

Adrenal- (Na/Mg)- The ratio shot up from a decent value of 7.63 to an off the scale high 29.80, which looks awful and does not match my symptoms but fortunately there is an explanation.

Thyroid- (Ca/K)- This ratio went from bad (1.1) to worse (0.86) but I think that the K rose to "keep up" with the Na so this ratio too is not as bad as it looks.

Vitality/Life and death- (Na/K)- This one is slightly elevated at 5.10 whereas the healthy range is 2.5-4.0.  That said, a mildly elevated ratio is HIGHLY preferable to a low one, which is adrenal fatigue.  Not too worried about that one.

Zinc/Copper- This was the bad one last time with a ratio of 2.86 vs an ideal of 8.0.  Anything under 4 indicates severe copper toxicity.  I turned that one around thanks to the molybdenum.  My current ratio is 7.9 so I can't do much better than that.

Q: The test result showed extreme fast oxidation yet my symptoms are the opposite of how the test appears.  What caused the Na to spike and why am I feeling better on the adrenal glandular?

A: First, molybdenum is known to raise tissue sodium as well as the Na/K ratio but it was successful in getting the copper down as well as balancing the Zn/Cu ratio.  The real culprit is a sudden appearance of a cadmium toxicity, which always causes an extreme sodium elevation.

Q: Any explanation for the cadmium toxicity showing up this time?
A: No simple answer so bear with me here.  Some people such as cigarette smokers and auto workers are exposed to higher amounts of cadmium than others.  I'm not aware of any major exposures to it myself but in our environment, there's no way to completely eliminate exposure to toxic metals.  In a healthy person, trace amounts will be eliminated through the liver, skin or kidneys before it produces symptoms.  In my case, with my congested liver and history of adrenal fatigue, my system was not strong enough to eliminate it until now.  Trace amounts of cadmium accumulated over the course of several years and I am finally getting rid of it by dumping.  Hence, the hill pattern on my test, which indicates turning a corner.

Q: I've always had low levels of toxic metals on my hair test.  Is that not a good thing?
A: Not necessarily.  I recently read an article by Dr. Wilson that suggests that very low levels of toxic metals may suggest that a person is a "poor eliminator."  This is a pattern that was evident in my issues with copper toxicity.  Dr. Wilson wrote that a copper value between 0.9-1.4 often indicates that a person is copper toxic but cannot eliminate it and it remains stuck in organs such as the liver rather than the tissues.  For several years, my copper never rose above 1.4 nor fell below 0.9 no matter what I did as far as supplements.  When it comes to cadmium, poor elimination comes into play when the value is below 0.005.  Mine was 0.002 on the last test then shot up to 0.035 this time around.  I fear that lead, mercury or arsenic may be high next time.

Q: Is that small amount really the cause of my symptoms?
A: Absolutely.  Despite the small amount, it is 7 times higher that the docs want to see.  If you are a slow oxidizer, you know that if your calcium shot up from 40 to 280, you'll be hurting.  Though unconfirmed, I have a strong feeling that the cadmium removal had something to do with the liver flushes.  It may have been that my system was unable to deal with the cadmium until the "layer" of copper toxicity had been peeled away.  Because a hair test represents an average of 2-3 months and the symptoms did not begin until near the end of the testing interval, it is likely that my current value is much higher than what appears on the test.

Q: Are my current symptoms consistent with a cadmium healing reaction?
A: Yes indeed.  I've had a couple breakouts on my face and neck, nausea, headaches, joint pain, diarrhea and of course significant fatigue.  All are common during detox and yes, many patients turn to an adrenal glandular for relief.

Q: What does the future hold?
A: I'm actually fairly optimistic.  The fact that I am getting faster without the adrenal glandular is encouraging.  I've dropped my Mile from 8:26 in early June all the way down to 6:29 today.  My best Mile during this time while on the Endodren is a 5:42 so I still have a ways to go.  I expect to be off it within a few weeks and get by with only Cal/Mag for a short time.  Eventually, I will probably be back to the Thym-Adren and I'm fine with that as long as it's not mega doses with the extreme sensitivity.  As evidenced by the ceruloplasmin test, my liver function is still not up to par so I have ordered some high quality liver supplements as well as a kidney product.