Monday, January 26, 2015

Training 1/26-2/1

1/26- AM.  Just wanted to see how I felt after the quality 13 yesterday.  Unfortunately, I felt too good and cruised 2 miles in 13:40 (6:50 pace).

PM- Soreness is beginning to kick in a bit.  Easy 6 in 44-flat (7:20 pace).  Slipped a bit in the 2nd half (21:48-22:12) but that was by design after a too fast first 2 miles.  Good job.  A bit sore in the foot and shins despite taking plenty of Mag.  Added a cool down tribute.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=8.5

1/27- Another 6 miler at Gold's in 43:54 (7:19 pace).  This one was more comfortable than yesterday.  I set the cruise control to 7:20 and just let the engine run.  Each mile was between 7:16-7:21.  STRONG!  Still a little sore in shins but not concerned yet.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=6.0

1/28- AM- Lakeshore 5 plus a warm and cool.  It seems that the group's pace is never right for me.  It's either above 8 or below 7.  Today, it was below 7 and I wisely let them go.  GPS did not cut on until 1.5 miles in and did the last 3.5 @ 7:24 pace and I figure that the overall average was around 7:30.  Not a bad run but I was clearly feeling the ill-effects of over-reaching.  Again, I repeat to my readers: How do I know the difference between over-reaching and chemical issues?  It's a very "different tiredness"  When I over-reach, I feel dazed and dreamy.  When there's chemical issues, I am lethargic and depressed.

PM- No running until tomorrow evening.  I hope to be sufficiently recovered for a moderate interval session.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.5

1/29- 400s at Pelham with a 2 minute jog recovery.  Did 8 reps in sets of 4 then allowed myself a full recovery then ran #9 all out.  1st 4 were all 81s, 2nd 4 were all 80s.  #9 was a solid 74.0.  Decent performance.  I'll be lenient on my first interval workout of the season.  I expect to be better next time.  If I had run 4 consecutive laps, I predict a time in the mid-high 5:30s so I've got a ways to go to get where I want to be.  Legs did not have much spring and power but I was not fully fresh.  In good position to win.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=4.0

1/30- Planned rest day.  Bad reaction to the liver last night.  I hope it will clear by tomorrow.  I will try one more time next week then I'm done with it until further notice.

1/31- Liver pill has NOT cleared.  That does it.  I'm done with that stuff until further notice.  Managed 5 miles and my time was so slow that I didn't even want to know.  Got dropped by the group in Mile 2 and held it together for another Mile then died.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=5.0

2/1- Meltdown #3 on the year.  1 Mile on Lakeshore in 9:37.  Tried ADHS and needless to say, it was a failure.

PM- 2 miles at Gold's in 17:30 (8:45 pace).  Not much better but it is a step in the right direction.
Grade:F/2 credits/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
Until further notice, I done with the liver pill.  I still don't know why I am so intolerant to it.  A detox may help but it's too risky with race season just 3 weeks away so I will hold off. A Cp value in the 23s is not too bad. I think I will go back to whole food C in an effort to reduce the zinc/copper sensitivity.  I'll have to take it in the evening because it can give me GI distress on the run.  I've go to focus on getting my tissue Na down.  It's probably about 100 now and if I am consistent with the Thym-Adren, it will be near 70 by the end of the month.
Distance= 32.0/ GPA= 18.6/8= 2.29
YTD: 170 miles.  Record: 1-3 with a 2.65 GPA.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Training 1/19-1/25

After the flip in symptoms, I expect to take a bit of a step back this week.  I want to test the Liver Beef and hope to get a quick NO and not have to worry about it more than once per week.  I am undecided on another detox.   The weather should improve soon so I hope to start interval work this week.  I may or may not do a time trial.

1/19- MLK Daylight run.  I still don't know why anyone would want to run in the cold and dark when they don't have to.  Did the standard 9 mile Trak Shak loop + S. Lakeshore extension for 10 miles in 74:54 (7:29 pace).  Solid but unspectacular.  Slight fade in Mile 8-9 but did rally at the end to secure the sub-7:30 overall.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=10.0

Update: Took a liver pill and got an immediate negative reaction.  That's good news I suppose.  If I have to take a day off tomorrow, so be it.  Also, I am dropping the Vitamin C from the formula because I don't feel it is helping.  If I have trouble with zinc hereafter, that changes things.

1/20- AM- The liver hasn't cleared yet so it was meltdown #2 on the year.  Quit after 1 Mile in 8:55.  The only good news is that I was better with zinc (4:36-4:19) plus a cool.

PM- Beginning to feel better.  Lakeshore 2.5 in 20:45 (8:18 pace).  I should be back to the new normal by tomorrow evening.  Liver + Thym-Adren is a NO!  With ADHS, it might be better.  If that doesn't work, I'm done with it until further notice.  My ceruloplasmin is not bad.  Tissue sodium is.  I'll count this as my rest day but no more freebies this week.
Grade:None/distance= 4.0

1/21- AM.  Lame 3 miler at Gold's in 23:27 (7:49 pace).  An incremental improvement over yesterday but the recovery is slow.  May or may not run this evening.  I've decided to do a mini-detox this weekend and if I still cannot tolerate the liver, I'm done with it indefinitely.

PM- Did not run.  I have learned that zinc and Whole Food C must be eliminated.  That's right.  The same stuff that made me feel better yesterday no longer works. My system is working completely differently now.  It's back to the Cal/Mag + Thym-Adren.  If I hit another roadblock, it's over.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/22- System apparently has yet to clear.  Slightly worse than yesterday.  3 miles in 23:56 (7:59 pace) with a pretty nasty fade at the end.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/23- Marginally better.  3 miles in 22:41 (7:34 pace) with even splits.  Feeling the full effects of moderate-severe thyroid and adrenal over-activity.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.5

1/24- Lakeshore 5 in 36:15 (7:15 pace).  Slipped a bit on the back half (17:58-18:17) but this is a significant change from yesterday.  I've decided to wait on the detox until Spring.  The number one priority is the tissue sodium not the copper.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.4

1/25- Mercedes half course trial run in a solid 1:35:44 (7:18 pace) with pretty even splits.  Yes, I was pushing it but not racing all out.  I may have found someone who matches my pace too.  I ran the last 8 miles with a guy named Ian, who could be a new running buddy.  If I was racing this course all out, I think my time would have been in the low 1:34s so this was encouraging.  Still taking mega Thym-Adren and improving rapidly.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=13.1

Weekly summary:
Strong finish to the week was not enough to overcome early stumbles.  I hope to get back to the winning track next week.
Distance= 42.0/ GPA= 22.0/8= 2.75
YTD: 140 miles.  Record: 1-2 with a 2.77 GPA

Saturday, January 17, 2015

HTMA test results

Raw numbers:
Calcium: 35 (good)
Magnesium: 5 (good)
Sodium: 111 (off the scale high)
Potassium: 21 (high)
Zinc: 14 (low)
Copper: 0.9 (very low)
Phosphorus: 14 (good)

Key ratios:
Blood sugar (Cal/Mag)= 35/5= 7.0
 Ideal is 6.67 so this is near perfect and when you consider rounding issues with Mag, you really can't do much better.  Even when I was running my best in 2012, this ratio was always very high with the Mag usually at 2.  Big improvements and I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, which is a 1:1 Cal/Mag ratio and if I am to favor one, it's the Mag.

Thyroid (Ca/K)= 35/21= 1.67
Ideal here is 4 so I am significantly below ideal.  In a hair test, a low ratio indicates an overactive thyroid.  Mine is in the moderate range and a nice improvement over the last test (0.86) but still well short of where it needs to be.  I'd like to see it at least 2.75 for symptoms to be minimal.

Adrenal (Na/Mg)= 111/5= 22.20
This has been the biggest thorn in my side.  I just can't seem to get this one down.  Ideal is 4 or 5 depending on the lab so that indicates that my adrenals are at least 4 times faster than ideal.  Very displeased with that one but it was better than the 29.8 that I had last time.

Vitality: (Na/K)= 111/21= 5.28
The ideal here is 2.5 but even a 4 is considered to be good and it's MUCH better to be on the high side than the low side.  With a number in this range, I will have tendency toward mild inflammation but that beats the hell out of adrenal exhaustion, which is what happens if it gets too low.  This ratio is essentially unchanged from last time and I'm not too worried about it.

Zinc/Copper= 14/0.9= 15.58
This one is the most baffling of all.  The liver pill contains lots of copper and little-no zinc and the blood test results show nice improvements in ceruloplasmin (bioavailable copper) yet the hair test shows that copper has tanked.  What the ----?

Calcium/Phosphorus- 35/14= 2.50
This ratio indicates sympathetic/parasympathetic dominance.  My ratio is a perfect 2.50.  100% just right.  Neither sympathetic nor parasympathetic.  I've leaned heavily towards sympathetic in the past so this is also a positive trend.

Toxic Metals:
Cadmium and aluminum were high on my last test.  Both have dropped significantly.  I'm actually a little concerned that they are too low because that may suggest poor elimination.

Overall impression:
The good news is that 4 out of 6 ratios improved significantly over last time with 1 unchanged while only the zinc/copper got worse.  2 ratios are either perfect or near perfect.

The bad news is that I am still a moderate-extreme fast oxidizer and I don't know why I had slow oxidation symptoms.  Perhaps there was another ingredient in the Liver Beef that I just can't tolerate that was causing those symptoms.  Vitamin A is a possible culprit.

The lesson that I have re-learned is that I need to be taking an adrenal suppressant regularly to have any chance of getting in balance.  When I was on the Liver Beef, I could not tolerate it, which likely caused my Na to shoot up.  I could not tolerate the adrenal suppressant either because of problems with copper and ceruloplasmin.  Catch-22.

It is true that copper often reads low in fast oxidizers but mine was so low that it is worrisome and the very low toxic metals suggest poor elimination.  I may need to do another detox but I don't know what impact that will have.  I may force copper and/or cadmium out of my liver and into my tissues, causing more fatigue.  I do know what to do about excess copper now so the elimination won't be as long or difficult this time around.  Is there any chance that a detox will allow me to tolerate the Liver Beef?  Another thought that I've had is that it really doesn't make sense for me to be a poor eliminator because the increased ceruloplasmin SHOULD be transporting copper out of my liver more effectively.

At the end of the day, this tells me that the Endodren is NOT the answer long-term and will lead to a collapse if I had kept taking it.  I'm back to the Thym-Adren now but still don't know why I could not tolerate it when on the Liver Beef.  In any event, next week, I'm going to go back to the Liver Beef for a few days just to see if it happens again.  If it does, I'll be okay taking it once a week, which will not produce significant symptoms and will keep my ceruloplasmin near the healthy range.  I AM NOT HAPPY!

  I have lowered the tissue sodium and potassium before.  In fact, it was all the down to 30/10 in early 2013 but I crashed because of my VERY low Magnesium and ceruloplasmin.  I see no reason why I cannot maintain those levels.  If I can get the Na back to 30, I'll have an adrenal ratio of 30/5= 6.00, which is in the healthy range.  Do I have a path to good health now or will I hit another roadblock?  I can't take another roadblock.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sabermetrics and Overrated players

Here comes another baseball post continuing the theme of the Hall of Fame vote.  Here are the 5 most overrated players who career ended after 1985.  While almost all of these players deserving of enshrinement, they are often considered to be among the best of all time which is not the case.  Here's the list in no particular order:

Ozzie Smith- Arguably the best defensive player of all time at any position and was threat to steal on the basepaths but was a .260 hitter with very little power and finished with a career OPS+ of 87.  Smith was a first ballot Hall of Famer with over 90% of the vote.  By comparison, Barry Larkin had a 116 OPS+ and it took 3 ballots for him to get in.  Larkin was also a plus defender who could steal bases.  Yes, I would have voted for Smith but if he could not hit .250, my vote changes.

Pete Rose- The hit king needed nearly 14,000 ABs to break the record and finished with a career slash line of .303/.375/.409 for an OPS of .784 (118 OPS+).  Those are good numbers but over a shorter career, they would not scream Hall of Fame.  By comparison, Mark Grace had a slash line of .303/.383/.442 and was 1 and done because he only had 8,000 ABs.   Rose hit a total of 2 home runs over his last 4 years while hitting about .260 and was NOT a great fielder either.  Although there is no evidence that he fixed games, he certainly could have saved key players for games in which he had bet money. His numbers are good enough but I would NOT vote him into the HOF if he was eligible.

Cal Ripken Jr.-  I may take some heat for this one but here it is.  No doubt Ripken is a 1st ballot HOF and probably the best at his position in his era but a notch below the best of all time.  Compiled over 3,000 hits and 400 HRs but it took him over 11,000 ABs.  Finished with a slash line of .276/.340/.447 for a 112 OPS+, which is only 2 point above Alan Trammell, who won't make the HOF and 4 points below Larkin.

Nolan Ryan- It pains me to say it because he was one of my favorites growing up.  Granted, he played for some mediocre teams but his winning percentage was only .526, which projects to an ordinary 85-77 over 162 games.  His biggest weakness was his walk rate of 4.7/9.  He was also a poor fielder who allowed a lot of steals.  Tommy John didn't make the HOF and Blyleven barely did largely because of their high loss totals but that didn't hurt Ryan in the eyes of voters.  Yes, he is a 1st ballot HOFer but among his contemporaries, Tom Seaver was better and so was Steve Carlton.

Bruce Sutter- This is one that I do not think belongs in the HOF.  Finished his 12 year career with 300 saves, a 2.84 ERA but a strong 1.14 WHIP.  By comparison, Jeff Reardon finished with 367 saves, a 1.19 WHIP and a 3.16 ERA and was 1 and done.  I'd like to see a WHIP below 1.10 with an ERA around 2.50 to get in as a closer because they pitch so few innings.

Traditionally, players were evaluated on batting average, home runs and RBIs but this has shifted to On-base percentage, slugging and WAR (wins above replacement).  I agree and disagree with the new evaluations.
On-base vs batting average:
While there is a place for both on every team, I personally value batting average a bit more.  A walk is as good as a hit only if the bases are empty.  A single can drive in runners on 2nd and 3rd while a walk will load the bases and give the pitcher another chance to get out of the jam.

Slugging vs Home runs and RBI:
This is a case in which I do agree with the new methods.  Doubles power is very under-valued because it can clear the bases and put you in position to score on a single.  Given the choice between a 30 HR player who only hits 20 2B or a 20 HR player with 40 2B, I would prefer the latter if everything else is equal.

I am not a fan of WAR evaluations because I feel it's too subjective.  In particular, what defines a "replacement" level player?  It's usually about the 28th best at each position.  When voting for the HOF, it kills clean players from the steroid era.

In terms of pitchers, I still value won/loss record and ERA above K-rate and FIP.
In my opinion, strikeouts are overvalued and a weak pop fly is just as effective because it will not advance any runners.  A pitcher who induces a lot of ground balls will get more double plays.  FIP (fielding independent pitching) only takes into account walks, home runs, strike outs and hit batters figuring that pitchers cannot control the outcome of balls in play.  I disagree.  I value pitchers who  pitch to contact and induces a lot of weakly hit balls in play.  Hitters who faced Greg Maddux reported that they had calm and comfortable at-bats but at the end of the day, they didn't have any hits.

As for the Hall of Fame, I will always vote for a player with 3,000 hits legitimately but if you can't hit .250, I vote NO even if you have over 500 HRs.  If you're a little short of the milestones, I may vote YES if a player has an outstanding slash line.  For pitchers, I say 275 wins is the new 300.  If you are short,  you need a high winning percentage and low ERA.

Back to running and health posts from now on.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Training 1/12-1/18

I did take a liver pill after my run on Sunday.  I am noticeably more sluggish but it's not an extreme reaction and I hope that it will clear by tomorrow.  I'll be shooting for 35-40 miles with a 12-13 mile long run.  I don't think I'll have time for both a 5K and Mile time trial but I want to see a sub-21 5K and a Mile near 5:45.  No slower than 5:50.  Surprisingly, the Endodren arrived and I hope to see further improvements as a result.  Most importantly, I want to see slow oxidation on the HTMA.

1/12- First day on the Endodren and felt a definite increase in energy but progress continues to be steady.  5K time trial in 20:45 (6:40 pace).  Splits were 6:34-6:44-6:44-43.  33 ticks better than last week but still a long way from a PR.  Again, I do NOT want to get it all back only to lose it again. If I can drop 11 in a Mile time trial, I'll be quite pleased.  I won't consider myself "back" until I am CONSISTENTLY under 20 and 5:30.  I think I can get there before racing season.
In other news, the HTMA is in the mail.  No matter what it says, I am feeling better.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=3.5

1/13- I thought it was going to be a downer today when I woke up but not so.  A couple interesting observations.  I've had a toothache off and on, which goes away whenever I favor Magnesium over Calcium.  I had nasty dandruff this morning and yes, I showered when I woke up but popped a zinc pill at lunchtime and it was almost gone.  Those who know about mineral balance would not be surprised by either development.  My normally oily hair and skin has become dry, which is another sign of slow oxidation.
Easy 6 in 44:46 (7:28 pace) with even splits of 22:20-22:26.  Nice job.  Felt much like my old self.  Very smooth and relaxed.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=6.0

1/14- AM- Group run.  Easy 5 on Lakeshore in a time of 39:09 (7:50 pace).  Not a bad workout but something felt a little off.  I may be back out there this evening.

PM- The Cal/Mag balance was a little off but thanks to the taurine, I won't be horrible if the formula is off.  Took a Cal pill and recovered the form from yesterday.  Easy 5 in 37:11 (7:26 pace).  Even pace with splits of 18:32-18:39.  I'll take it.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=10.5

1/15- Planned rest day.  I hope to do a Mile time trial tomorrow but that could be rough in cold weather.
PM- The HTMA results were supposedly mailed on Tuesday but I've yet to receive them.  Tomorrow for sure or I'll call the office.  The Mile will have to be run in either sub-freezing conditions outdoors or on a 9 lap indoor track with tight turns.  Either way, I'm not expecting a great time but I've already made the goal in the 5K this week.

1/16- AM.  Indoor Mile in 5:48-flat.  I'll take it.  Put me out there on a good track in decent weather and I'm sure I would have been sub-5:45.  Splits were 1:55-1:59-1:54.

PM- Lakeshore 5 in pleasant conditions.  Finished an evenly paced 5 miles in 37:16 (7:27 pace) with splits of 18:35-18:41.  Got home to find not so good news in the mail.  My HTMA looks better than last time but I remain a very fast oxidizer.  More to come.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=7.0

1/17- BTC group run.  I'm stuck in the middle.  Too fast for the 8:00 pace group but not fast enough to stick with the sub-3 group.  Today was my longest run since Tulsa nearly 2 months ago.  Finished 13 miles in 1:41:38 (7:48 pace).  I was doing well through about 10.5 miles then I hit the wall and it was brutal going up the hill that sucks at the end.  Overall, I'll take it.  I have switched back to the Thym-Adren in light of my HTMA results and the transition seems to be going without a hitch. Need a "C minus" tomorrow for a win.
Grade:B-/2 credit/distance=13.0

1/18- Resolute run.  Called it quits at 4.5 miles in 35:23 (7:52 pace) then tacked on a 5 minute cool.  Really struggled on the back half but it was mostly uphill.  Sore legs and stiff joints this morning plus bad dandruff are all signs that more zinc is needed.  Took some later in the day and seemed to get better.  I'm not going to worry about my hair zinc/copper ratio.  Everything else suggests that I need more zinc.  Zinc is key to lowering the high Na/K ratio.  I could not tolerate it before but now I can, which is good news.

PM- Moderate Mile on Wisteria.  Felt much better.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
Good enough to snap a 7 week losing streak and I did show progress but my symptoms have flipped back to what they should be.  Next week could be rough.
Distance= 46.0/ GPA= 30.9/10= 3.09
YTD: 98 miles.  1-1 with a 2.78 GPA

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

I did a few posts on this subject 2 years ago and I feel pretty much the same now.
In order to get in, you need 1 of 2 things:
1- An exceptionally high peak in which you were among the best in the game for 7-8 years before tailing off and having your career cut short due to injury

2- Longevity.  You play at a high level for 16-20 years with a good but not exceptional peak and when your career is done, you have the key milestones such as 3,000 hits, 500 HRs and 275 wins.

Look back to my early 2013 posts for more on this subject but on this post, I'll just deal with the 2015 ballot here.  I don't think that every player that's ever been inducted is deserving but I do agree with all 4 choices this time around.

Randy Johnson- YES.  No brainer.
Pedro Martinez- YES.  Clear example of case #1
Craig Biggio- YES.  Clear example of case #2
John Smoltz- YES.  I wasn't sure he'd get in on the 1st ballot but I'm glad he did.  His dominance as both a starter and a closer seals the deal.

Now, the ones that did not make it:
Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza- I've been on the fence about these 2 for a long time.  Both have the numbers but are suspected PED users.  Both have admitted to using Andro, a pre-cursor to testosterone, which was not illegal but may have been a cover for harder drugs as was the case with McGwire.  Bagwell dropped off after testing began but was hampered by a back injury the ultimately ended his career.  Piazza also dropped off but that's common for a Catcher in his mid-30s and his numbers remained respectable until a mediocre final season at 36.  Neither tested positive nor were they listed in the Mitchell report. Innocent until proven guilty.  I've got to say YES.

Tim Raines- NO.  Had an excellent peak but was only superstar caliber for 5 years and really only had 1 more great year after the age of 30.  Hung on until age 41 but was a platoon player over the last 4-5 years.  If he had 2 more MVP type seasons or compiled another 300 hits, he's in but as it is, he's short.  By comparison, his offensive numbers are only slightly better than Kenny Lofton who was one and done.  Lofton was also the better defensive player of the two.

Curt Schilling- NO.  Several outstanding seasons and was sensational in the post-season but simply lacked the durability and consistency.    In 20 years in MLB, he only made 25+ starts 10 times and had a few downright ugly seasons.  He's another player that needed another 2 great years or stayed healthy enough to compile another 35-40 wins.  Numbers are similar to HOFer Don Drysdale, who I don't think belongs for the same reasons.  A more contemporary comparison is Kevin Brown, who was one and done.

Bonds and Clemens- NO.  Unlike McGwire and Sosa, these 2 have a case because they were not dopers for their entire careers and were close to HOF level before they started.  Had they simply hung on as "average" players for another 4 years, they'd be no brainers but as it is, I'm adamant about no cheaters in the HOF.  Remember the character, integrity, sportsmanship clause.  For the record, I would have also voted against spitball pitcher Gaylord Perry as well.

Mike Mussina- YES.  I'm puzzled as to why he hasn't gotten more support.  270 wins and a very high winning percentage in an era with few complete games.  ERA is a bit high but inflated by pitching in the steroid era and the offensive heavy AL East.  Jack Morris got as high as 67% and Moose's numbers are superior in every category.  I think he'll see a rise in coming votes.

Edgar Martinez and Larry Walker- NO.  These 2 have interesting cases and I could change my mind especially about Martinez.  In terms of milestones, both are well short of 500 HR and 3,000 hits but really shine in terms of BA/OBP/SLUG.  However, at the end of the day, neither had a peak impressive enough for a YES after such a short career.  Once again, 5 top 10 MVP  seasons is usually not enough.  You need 7.  Both had less than 7,500 ABs and if they had maintained the same production over another 2,000 ABs, it's a different story.

Jeff Kent- YES.  One of the best offensive 2B in history.  Ryne Sandberg got in on his 3rd try and Kent is far superior offensively. Finished with an even .500 slugging and 377 HRs despite not reaching MLB until age 24.  With 400 HRs, he's in for sure but the voters may not agree.

Fred McGriff- YES.  I feel pretty strongly about his case.  Robbed of 500 HRs by the players strike and was overshadowed by cheaters such as McGwire, Palmeiro and Giambi at his position.  Class act and deserving in my book.

Gary Sheffield- NO.  Connected to steroids through the BALCO scandal.  Did not like him when he played because he made numerous racially charged statements throughout his career.  509 HRs with a solid BA and over 2500 hits would be enough without the steroids.

McGwire and Sosa- Hell NO!

Garciaparra- NO.  As is the case all too often, a short career with only a few outstanding seasons.

Lee Smith- NO. When evaluating closers, I'm not overly impressed with the number of saves. I want to see "lights out" domination because the inning total is so low. I'd like to see a career ERA south of 2.50 and a WHIP close to 1.00. Smith falls well short. I would vote YES on Mariano Rivera and Billy Wagner and leaning towards YES on Trevor Hoffman.

Carlos Delgado- NO.  While I don't think he's HOF material, I would have liked to have seen him get a longer look.  473 HR total despite an early retirement due to injuries.  30+ HR for 10 straight seasons with no drop off after steroid testing and he's one and done.  That's harsh.

Alan Trammell- NO.  Well short of Barry Larkin's numbers.  A very good but not great career.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dating Game

I need to preface this by saying that things almost certainly would have turned out differently if I had been healthy in my prime years.  I cannot change the past but can make the best of what is to come and there is still a chance that God can work it together for good.  For anyone that has looked down on me because I never date, consider the truth about my condition.  I've gone through periods in which I literally went to bed fatigued and lethargic then woke up the next morning feeling very over stimulated.  Countless times, I flipped from one side of the spectrum to the other because of a single dose of the wrong pill.  Add to that was the factor that the magic formula shifted without notice.  Could you live with somebody like that?  I don't think so.  It's not so much the fatigue that is the killer but rather the instability.  Now that my liver function (body's CPU) has improved and I have found supplements to reduce the sensitivity, I MIGHT be level enough for a healthy relationship soon.  So what am I looking for in a woman?

I am going to trust that if the relationship is ordained by God, the attraction is going to be there.  I really cannot say what I find appealing but I know it when I see it.  What are you getting yourself into with me?  I'm a bit on the introverted side but I will open up quickly to the right person and expect that my confidence will increase as I get consistently healthy.  Common interests are important to me and aside from God and running, travel comes next.  I've been to 48 U.S. states, 5 Canadian provinces and 5 foreign countries.  I'm in okay financial shape with stable employment but don't really care about material possessions so long as I have a reliable car and a roof over my head in a safe neighborhood and I could not care less about the latest fashion trends.  What I will give you is unconditional love and loyalty.  While I am certainly not perfect, I will apologize if I ever hurt you regardless of whether I was right or wrong.  The relationship means more than my ego.  I expect that I will naturally gravitate towards somebody with a similar background and education but I'm not going to say never if the connection is there.  In fact, I only have 3 non-negotiable issues.

1.Committed Christian who shares my values-  This is THE most non-negotiable of the 3.  I will know her by the fruit that she bears and it won't take long to tell if her faith is genuine.  If it's not, I trust that I will be wise enough to walk away no matter how much I am attracted.  I am looking for someone who will inspire me to grow closer to God rather than drift apart.  I want someone who will bring out the best in me and I hope to bring out the best in her.

2. Healthy lifestyle- Self-destructive behaviors such as eating disorders, binge drinking, drug use and smoking are all deal breakers for me.  I don't want to sound too judgmental here because I have met a few super nice girls who smoke cigarettes. That's not a barrier to friendship but when it comes to dating, I'm afraid it is. If you fall into the other categories, I don't think that you are necessarily a bad person but your lifestyle is simply incompatible with mine.

With that being said, I do have some reservations about dating a serious marathoner because I don't want our relationship to be defined by running.  What happens if one of us gets hurt or loses interest?  I think I'd actually prefer a more casual runner and do think that even a non-runner who works out at the gym could definitely work.  She will have to be supportive of my running and not object to group runs with a few other females (mostly married).  I can see how 80+ MPW could potentially put a strain on a relationship but I intend to stay in the 40-range and top out in the 50s only if I'm training for a marathon.  I think that's pretty reasonable and no different than someone who works 1 hour overtime per day.

3. Must support my cause-  I may be getting greedy but here it is.  I've been called arrogant and pedantic for suggesting that I am on a mission to fight chemical imbalances, share the Gospel and bring hope to others suffering from this disease.  Perhaps their attitude might change if they knew the truth.  Let them see with their own eyes what happens if I take the wrong pills and let them read some of the e-mail I get from people I've never met who describe in detail the pain that they are facing both physically and emotionally.  I will go as far as to say that I predict that my future wife will be also be getting healthy through natural medicine.

One of my friends came up to me with tears in her eyes and said that I have "a beautiful heart." When it comes to a life partner, I want somebody who thinks that highly of me and my mission.  If she cannot match the support I've gotten from my best friends, she may very well be a great person with many admirable qualities but not the right one for me.  I may be hurt and disappointed but I'll know it's the right decision to move on.  For the record, if she embraces a noble cause, YES I will give her my full support and be her #1 fan.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Training 1/1-1/11

I closed out the year yesterday with a Mile time trial in 7:06.  I want to re-iterate that I am looking for a slow and steady climb out of this hole.  The last thing I want is a sub-5:30 followed by a 9:30 a day or 2 later.  If I'm still over 6:00 at the end of this post, so what?  Long year ahead.  PLEASE, no more instability!!!

1/1- AM Vestavia Mile in 6:23.7.  Cut off another 43 seconds in just over 24 hours.  As usual, I paced it very well with splits of 95-97-98-93 for a 1 second negative split.  Progressing faster than expected but I don't necessarily feel that's a good thing.  Added a warm and cool.

PM- 3 miles on Wisteria in 23:09 (7:43 pace).  Comfortable effort.  Never really strained but I've got to realize that it may be a while before I can just set the cruise control to 7:20 and let the engine go for 6+ miles.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=5.0

1/2- Gold's 5 mile in 36:55 (7:23 pace).  I will not call this cruise control and it did require effort.  Slipped a bit at the end to a 7:34 in Mile 5 but this was still pretty solid overall.  Splits were 18:21-18:34.  There is no way that I could have done this workout even yesterday afternoon.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=5.0

1/3- BTC group run.  I was hoping for 10 @ sub-8 but had to settle for 8 miles in 65:23 (8:10 pace).  A bit of a step backward but I'm okay with that.  The route was hilly and the weather conditions were less than ideal.  I feel like my formula is slightly off and the smart money is that I need to favor magnesium instead of my usual 1:1 Cal/Mag ratio.  That could be a sign of slow oxidation and a low tissue K level.  Still, it's somewhat encouraging that I was not horrible even though my pills are a little off.  Added a half mile cool in tribute to Ochocinco.  Grading is lenient today.  This was my longest run in 4 weeks.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=8.5

1/4- Did some experimentation yesterday and here are the results:
NEGATIVE reaction to Calcium
POSITIVE reaction to Magnesium
POSITIVE reaction to Zinc
NEGATIVE reaction to Thym-Adren
  All signs point toward slow oxidation and an elevated Na/K ratio.  Again, modulating the adrenals, IN THEORY, is the path to ultimate victory.  Of course, that could change when I get the hair test results, which could be as early as next week.

Most everything had cleared by morning so I repeated Friday night's Gold's 5 and my time is down to 36:13 (7:15 pace).  Like last time, I faded a bit towards the end (17:57-18:16) but overall this was better and more comfortable than 2 days ago.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.0

1/5- First meltdown of the year.  Took extra Magnesium and cut out Cal and it increased the fatigue.  Then, I sought help with caffeine, which only made it worse.  I can go no higher than 500 mg of Mag with no Cal. Before taking the liver, I needed 750 of each. That should be enough to maintain my Mag levels.  I'm still okay with my overall progress this year but if I'm not well under 6:00 in the Mile and in sub-1:40 shape for the half by the end of the month, I've got to go with the Endodren.
Gold's 3 mile in a pathetic 25:42 (8:34 pace) and nearly bailed after 2 miles.  I fell off pace immediately and Mile 3 was just barely under 9.
-Hit 50,000 page views today so thanks again to my readers.
Grade:D-/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/6- Yesterday was just a blip.  I am back to the "new normal"  5K time trial in 21:18 (6:52 pace).  I won't say that I've plateaued but the rate of improvement over the past several days has definitely slowed.  I do think I could have broken 36 for 5 miles today and am probably on the cusp of a sub-6 Mile.  Pacing was good and I remained steady in Mile 3 with splits of 6:47-6:56-6:52-42.  I've got a long way to go but again, if I can cut off  5 seconds/mile every week, I'll be in PR shape by Spring.
Grade:C+/2 credits/distance=3.5

1/7- AM-Could not find the motivation to get up for a cold and completely dark group run.  The sunset is getting later in the day but the sunrise will not come earlier for another week.  Regarding the "new normal" that I posted yesterday, I stand by my assertion that I would much prefer to be stable at a 1:40 half marathon than unstable at 1:30.

PM- Easy 6 in 47:08 (7:51 pace).  In the new normal, this pace is probably about right for an easy day.  I'm still way too sluggish and suspect it could be the zinc+magnesium, both of which lower tissue sodium.  If I can't take 500 mg of Mag, I need stronger adrenal support and have got to go with the Endodren and hope that it's only temporary.  Yesterday's time trial projects a 6:05 Mile and a 1:38:40 half.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=6.0

1/8- Planned rest day.  Feel about the same as yesterday.  Ordered Endodren.  Still waiting on the HTMA.

1/9- Woke up feeling pretty lousy so I hit the health food store at lunch and picked up a cheap adrenal glandular.  A bad weekend would really be a downer and it seems like my oxidation is slowing in spite of taking ADHS.  The Endodren may not arrive until the middle of next week.

3 miles at moderate effort and surprisingly, I finished comfortably in 21:38 (7:13 pace) with even splits.  I was still stiff but noticeably better after taking the glandular.  The HTMA had BETTER show slow oxidation.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/10- AM- 1 Mile untimed.  Fell off pace after the first quarter mile and punted.  Overstimulated and need Cal/Mag again.

PM- Attempt #2 was more successful.  Spain Park Mile in 5:55.1.  Paced it well again but did have a 3 second positive split this time.  87-89-91-88.  I knew I was under 6 so I may have left a couple ticks on the track in the last 200.  Added a slow cool through the woods at Veteran's Park.  Next week, I want to see a sub-5:50 at the VERY least.  Since 1994, I have clocked at least 1 sub-6 Mile every year except 2006.  Add 2015 to that list.
Grade:C/2 credits/distance=3.0

1/11- Morning run with Greg and David.  10 mile loop through Homewood.  Finished in 77:13 (7:43 pace) with a nice even pace.  I had nothing under 7:38 or above 7:53 in spite of a few climbs.  This is what I had hoped to do last weekend but could not.  Solid performance.  I wasn't completely spent and I'm sure I had another 5K left at that pace, which would bring me home around 1:41-flat for a half.  If training goes FAIRLY well, I think a sub-1:35 is possible in Arizona.
  I am taking the liver pill today and anticipate a possible rough rest of the day.  Only once per week should be all I need there.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=10.0

Weekly summary:
This is only the 2nd time on record that I've lost the opening week but that has no bearing on the rest of the year.  Only 1 adjustment was really necessary but I had to take the long way to find it.
Distance= 52.0/ GPA= 29.6/12=2.47