Sunday, January 31, 2016

Increased need for B-12

Today was an "interesting" workout.  I started with 3 B-12 pills.  Remember just 7 days ago, 1 pill overshot the balance point.  I felt heavy and slow but managed a 7:25 Mile before stopping for an extra pill.  I improved to 7:12 on 4 pills.  Each time I added pills, the results were identical.  I didn't feel much different but I got a few seconds faster despite being progressively less fresh.  After the 2nd mile, I popped 2 pills for a total of 6 then proceeded to run the next 2 miles in 14:13 with a last mile of 7:03.

What to make of it and what to do from here?
  I think it's pretty clear that I can take about as much B-12 as I want/need, which is excellent news.  I found a couple links from well-respected sources that confirm what I knew.  A B-12 deficiency does indeed cause depression and problems with adrenal function.  Low dose molybdenum is also well-tolerated.  In theory, this is the path to eliminating those sulfates.  I have yet to try another sulfate test but will report back in a few days with the results.  I may actually order a stronger supplement next week from Yasko.

I cheated 2 days last week (Wednesday and Friday) and I got away with it the first time but not the second time and endured a horrible day on Saturday as result (1 Mile in the 9:xx range).  Let's hope this is the final motivation to stay off that poison for good.  Caffeine depletes Lithium, which is critical for B-12 transport.

ADHS (adrenal modulator):
Still taking it but it has not been as effective.  I'm staying with it though and don't believe it's harming me at this point.  I cannot assume that the other stuff is working and cannot risk my adrenals going into overdrive.

Lithium and ATP:
I am less confident in the latter.  I have been taking 1 of each before I pop any B-12 and it usually makes me feel worse.  I suspect that I need more Lithium relative to ATP and will give that a try next week.

With only 2 sessions longer than 3 miles since Thanksgiving, I am definitely OUT for Mercedes even with a miracle turnaround in the next 10 days.  I may try a local 10K next weekend however.  I have raced a 5K and a half since turning 35 so if I continue to improve, it should be a pretty easy age group PR.  My approximate 10K split in Greenville was 52:00 (8:20ish pace) en route to a 1:56 half so I'll have to beat that to count it.  Possible half options ahead are Louisville at the end of April and Alaska in mid-June.  Again, I'm going to Alaska no matter what.

Long weekend:
I have Monday off the day after Mercedes for President's Day and would like to go somewhere to clear my head.  Depending on the weather, I'm leaning towards getting away for a few days.  How about Dallas?  It's about 9 hours by car and I could stay at a friend's in Miss'Sippy on Friday night.  I'd have most of Saturday and all day Sunday to do whatever I want.  On my list is Bush-43's presidential library and White Rock Lake.  I'm sure I can find other stuff to do as well.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Back on B-12

B-12 is necessary to get those stinking sulfates out of my system and get the adrenals in balance.  In theory, this is excellent news but I am not celebrating anything until the hair test confirms that my Lithium is up to snuff.  Normal Lithium is required to transport B-12 into the cells.

New adventures:
-Became intolerant to Thym-Adren and am back on ADHS
-Can still take Mag Malate, ATP and Lithium
-ATP and Lithium must be taken together and no more than 1 of each can be tolerated.

Last week, I dipped under 21 for 3 miles for the 2nd time in 2016.  The next day, an all out effort was required to break 8:00 for 1 mile.  Extra Mag and ADHS had no effect but ATP and Lithium made it worse.  I surmised that I needed B-12 (hydroxy only, no methyl) and I was right.  Within an hour of taking 1 B-12 pill, I improved to 14:00 for 2 miles but was fading badly at the end.  An extra trace confirmed that I had overshot the balance point so it was down to 1/2 pill for the next few days.

A half pill wasn't enough.  I was struggling for a 9 minute pace yesterday before I hit the 1 Mile mark so I took the other half of the pill and with great effort, managed to hold a sub-8 pace for the next 2 miles.  Today, I started with 2 pills and was a lot better.  After opening with a 7:00, I improved to 6:45 pace for the next 2 miles after popping a 3rd pill.  I am going to stick with 2 pills until further notice but my body's demand for B-12 is clearly increasing.

Other observations:
A trace of molybdenum WAS tolerated.  Good news there
A trace of Thym-Adren was NOT tolerated.  Not a surprise but as long as I can take ADHS, I'll be okay.  Mega doses will not be necessary when the sulfates are out.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

International Travel Part 2

I posted a few years ago about a goal to visit every inhabited continent.  So far, I have been to only North America and Europe (United States, Canada, Bermuda, Spain, France, Italy) and since my last post on this subject, I have added several more countries of interest.

Europe: After the ancestry results, I have become more interested in seeing the UK, Germany and Poland.  Here's the preliminary plan:

UK- Fly to London and take the train, which runs all the way up to Scotland.  I could stop in Birmingham just for grins too.  LOL.  Running the RNR Liverpool race would be a good excuse to go.

Germany and Poland- Run the Berlin half marathon.  This is a 1st rate event with 30K runners and as far as I know, it's not a lottery system to enter but first come first serve. It is a stand alone event from the city's more famous full marathon. Berlin is located less than 2 hours from the Poland border which is easily accessible via train.  I could hit both countries in 1 trip.

Israel- For sure.  This could be life changing but word on the street is that you really need 2 weeks to truly experience it.

Hong Kong- My parents went there in the early '80s and loved it.  The fact that it was a British colony with no language barrier is a plus.

South Africa is a beautiful country.  I have a very strong interest in visiting Cape Town and possibly Durban.  The Two Oceans race has a companion half marathon but I'd really have to take my fitness to a new level before I even think about Comrades.

Definitely could see both Sydney and Melbourne as well as the Capitol of Canberra.  It would be very tough logistically and I'd probably break it up in Hawaii.  I've heard New Zealand is a beautiful country as well.

South and Central America:
I've got a much stronger interest in going here possibly as early as next year for a winter get away (summer down there).  Plane tickets are fairly affordable (under $1,000) and I can get a direct flight from Atlanta for a smooth 1 day trip.

Nicaragua/Costa Rica- The former is probably a surprising pick but this country is safe and has been at peace for over 2 decades.  Check out this video:

Chile/Argentina- Absolutely stunning beaches and mountains.

Brazil- I've got an old college buddy here who is also a runner.  I think a race in Rio would be really cool.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sudden Reversal

Just 3 days after I resigned myself to being forced to stop all the pills that I previously posted that I could no longer tolerate, I NEED them again.  My formula is once again as follows:
-6 Thym-Adren (adrenal suppressant)
-500 mg of Cal/Mag malate (could go 750)
-All In One
 With the toxic sulfates, I can't win this battle.  I can only hope to manage it.  Suppose that I took 8 Thym-Adren instead of 6.  What would happen?  I would feel heavy and lethargic all day but once the next morning arrived, I'll be right back to over-stimulation.  It's just the way it is right now.  My only remaining hope to detox those sulfates is B12.  My Lithium must be in the green zone before any B12 can be tolerated.  THEN, and ONLY THEN can I hope to balance my chemistry.

Yesterday was a test to see how I would do with the ATP.  The malate worked in the morning but I still had no energy and was looking at 1 Mile in the 8:30-9:00 range.  I popped an ATP pill and proceeded to finish the standard 3 in 22:40 (7:33 pace).  I was heavy and sore all the way but at least I kept the pace fairly even (11:15-11:25).

Today, I woke up feeling AWFUL on exactly the same formula as yesterday and would not have been able to run at all UNLESS I did try the Lithium.  I was cautious and did not take the whole pill but I began to feel better shortly after I did.  This time around, I managed a 21:50 (7:17 pace) or MINUS 16/mile.  An improvement but a LONG way from respectability and who know what will happen tomorrow.  Your guess is as good as mine.

The only thing I've been doing differently over the past few days is being off caffeine.  Let's hope this is the motivation to stay off that stuff for good.  If just 80-90 mg of caffeine for a few days causes THIS much of a shift, there is something very screwy going on here.

Am I on solid ground now?
Not by a long shot!  Being able to tolerate the ATP is a good first step.  The Lithium is step number 2 and I fully expect that the balance and ratio of ATP/Lithium will be VERY delicate and possibly unstable.  I will try taking 1 of each until further notice.  I had trouble with 2 ATP after the 1st of the year and YES, I was off caffeine at the time.  Will I be taking 1 Lithium/day or will I have to break open the capsule because 1 is too much but 1/2 is not enough?  Similar things have happened before.  If the 1/1 ratio works now, will it work next month?  Highly doubtful based on my history.  I may be in a situation in which I need a whole pill but can't tolerate it every day.  Only time will tell.  I will go back to my original plan of forgoing the hair re-test for another 6 weeks.

Critics will say that this is negativity.  I call it my reality.  I refuse to sugar-coat it.  By telling it like it is, if I recover, others can see where I was and what I did to climb out of this hole.

Update: Down to 21:20 today so I cut off another 30 seconds.  Just over 1 minute to respectability.  If I can just cut off 15/week, it won't be long before I'm in decent shape.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ancestry videos

I realize this could be a sensitive topic so I will apologize in advance if any careless words offend anyone.  It is not my intention.

23andMe recently gave me a update on my ancestry.  It was nothing major but it did adjust my percentages a bit.  Here it is:
-100 percent European but an interesting mix nonetheless
-32 percent Eastern European- (mostly Polish)
-28 percent German
-20 percent British (Scottish)
- 3 percent Scandinavian
- 2 percent Balkan
- 1 percent Jewish (Ashkenazi Jew)
-14 percent Broadly European so probably add 4-5% to the top 3.
Note: I still have some "Broadly NW European" which also includes Austria, Swiss, etc. but I know it's German because there is documentation in my family

I have known ancestry from Poland, Germany and Scotland and the percentages seem about right but none of the populations were completely homogeneous when my ancestors came to America.  The Scandinavian likely came from Scotland and the Balkan came from Poland.  The trace of Jewish ancestry was a surprise but I've always had a lot of respect for the Orthodox Jewish community so I think it's cool.  I encourage everyone to do this test and you may find some surprises.  23andme gives more country specific data for Asians while is able to give more specific African countries.  A couple people used both and found the results to be very similar (within a couple percentage points).

I've recently gotten hooked on watching YouTube videos in which people share their results.  I often guess the results before viewing the videos.  Sometimes I'm accurate but not sometimes not.  Here is what I've found among different ethnic groups:

On average, African Americans are about 75% sub-Saharan African with West African nations such as Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon/Congo, Benin/Togo, Senegal and Mali heavily represented.  They also average roughly 22% European, which is usually mostly British and Scandinavian.  Many also have some traces of Native American and Asian DNA.

According to 23andme, people tend to identify as "black" if their African ancestry is above 28%.
That sounds about right to me.  I met a couple people that have said they were "a quarter black" (1 grandparent) and I would not have known unless they said so.  Appearances can vary among those with 1 "white" and 1 "black" parent.  You can expect the identifiable features but the skin tones can vary considerably depending in large part on how much African ancestry is present.  Many people who are bi-racial report racism from both blacks and whites, which I find completely disgusting.  One of the nicest girls I met in college has a black father and white mother.  I always smiled when I saw her no matter what my mood.  Look at the heart instead of the outer appearance.

Latino DNA is also quite interesting.  Among those from South America and the Carribean, you can expect to see roughly 50-60% European, which usually comes from Spain/Portugal as well as Italy/Greece.  Most will have 10-20% Native American and 5-15% sub-Saharan African with traces from north Africa and West Asia.  I suppose that makes sense looking at history.  Those from Mexico can expect a higher percentage of Native American with less European and African.

I have also seen a few other cases of interesting mixes such as 2 cases of nearly 50% African and 50% Asian as well as a couple that had some representation from all over the globe, which I thought was really cool.  I can appreciate beauty in every ethnic group.

At the end of the day, be proud of your heritage but we are all members of the human family and made in the image of God.  Remember that instead of the external appearance.


The following treatments are completely off-limits right now.  My whole body will tighten up within minutes of taking just one of these pills:
-Magnesium malate
-B12 (any form)
-any source of caffeine

I have replaced them with:
-Magnesium glycinate

This week was HORRIBLE.  I had only 2 runs that were below the Mendoza line (3@sub-8).  Today, I did show up for the group run on the Mercedes course and dropped out about 1.5 miles in with my pace slowing to the 9 minute range.  I never did feel good but got much worse shortly before the Mile marker.

Yasko has suggested supporting potassium to manage Lithium transport, which I believe to be responsible for the intolerance to ATP, Mag malate and possibly caffeine.  I can drink coconut water as well as OJ without a problem.  Both contain about 25% DV of potassium per serving.  However, potassium in supplement form is a NO NO despite the fact that it contains only 3% DV per pill.  What the ----?  Zinc, which is often used to raise potassium on a hair test is also a NO NO.

Malate is used as an "energizer" to generate ATP.  Now that I cannot tolerate it, I have successfully switched to glycinate.  A lot of people on the MAG Facebook group take it and I like it too.  As advertised, it's calming but does not make you drowsy if taken during the day.  I'm going with it until further notice.  That's ONE piece of good news.  Without some form of Mag, I'm in big trouble.

I had one good day on this stuff in which I improved from 1 Mile in 7:30 to 2 miles in 14:00 after popping a pill but it was short-lived.  2 days later, I was awful again.  This suggests that my Lithium is still not up to par but I can't tolerate it.

Next hair test:
I was planning on waiting until the end of February to take the test.  Instead, I will do it at the end of January and get the results a little over a month from now.  Until, I do the test, I'm sticking with my current plan then I will try to gradually add back the ATP and Mag malate.  If my Lithium has not budged, amalgam removal must be re-considered.

I'm thinking about shutting it down altogether for a couple of months.  I'm not gaining much fitness with these junk runs but I really don't think that stopping running will make me feel any better.

On another note, I was very sad to hear about Ryan Hall's retirement.  Hall is the only American under 1 hour for the half mary and under 2:05 for the full.  Apparently, his fatigue is so bad that he can barely do light jogging for a couple miles per day much like me.  Also, like me, he has been prescribed thyroid medication, which I can personally attest will MESS YOU UP BIG TIME if wrongly prescribed.  I dropped him a line on his Facebook page and doubt that he read it but to me, it SCREAMS adrenal fatigue.  My post got 6 likes and 1 reply.  I hope and pray that he gets the treatment that he needs.  If you read this blog regularly, you know that running is not the only thing affected.  Telling somebody with depression to snap out of it is like telling someone with 2 broken legs to walk it off.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Relapse and Response

Nothing surprises me anymore.  This is pretty much the new normal.
On the morning of 1/3, I clocked a 20:42 3 mile time trial, which tied an unofficial post-35 PR.  That's nowhere near my best but pretty respectable for someone who has not trained much over the last 12 months.  The very same afternoon, I could feel myself going downhill and by the next morning I could not run at all.  I'm hardly over-training as it is but no, rest didn't help.

The results over the past 7 days:
-3 days- so bad that I did not even attempt to run
-2 days- could barely break 9 minutes for 1 Mile and quit.
-2 days- with great effort, managed a mid-23 for 3 miles

The culprit is ATP.  That's right, the same ATP that is supposed to supply energy to the cells is INCREASING the fatigue.  How do I know this?  Simple.  I felt MUCH worse within minutes of taking an ATP tablet.

Why is it happening?:
The smart money is on Lithium transport.  Adequate mitochondrial function (ATP) is required to transport Lithium and without it, I'm dumping it.  My last UEE test (urine essential elements) showed a Lithium level more than 10 times the upper limit with almost none in my cells.  Now that the ATP has normalized (supposedly), the previously unavailable Lithium is rushing into my cells and the excess is causing fatigue.  That does make sense to me and I suppose it will just take time.  I am not due for another hair test for another 6-7 weeks but if my theory is correct, Lithium should show up high on this time around.  If it doesn't, I may have to re-consider amalgam removal.

What can be done?
It's not just ATP that I cannot tolerate.  Any treatments that generate ATP such as too much Mag malate and D-Ribose also increased the fatigue.  I suppose that's good news. It's not the ATP tabs that are the problem and it's not a mal-absorption issue there.  Again, getting my Lithium up to par is just a first step.  I need Lithium to transport B-12.  I need the B-12 to detox the sulfates. I need to detox the sulfates to slow down runaway adrenal function. Speaking of which, I did get an answer to my question from Yasko.  ATP may play an indirect role in sulfate detox but what I need most is B-12 and low dose molybdenum.  My last test strip showed my sulfates still through the roof (probably around 3000 vs a target of 800).

Adrenal support:
I remain completely intolerant to Thym-Adren (adrenal suppressant) but can tolerate ADHS (modulator) and Endodren (stimulant).  Unfortunately, neither has been very effective as of late.  I'm sticking with the safe option (ADHS) in case I am still a fast oxidizer.  Yasko has suggested low dose Potassium drops.  I suppose it's worth a try.  My last hair test showed my K level right where it should be in the white zone but it is known that Lithium can depress K levels and if indeed Lithium is flooding my cells, a low K level would cause fatigue.

Needless to say, it's out of the question right now.  I have not booked my Alaska trip yet but I'm still going no matter what.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Quick update

There seems to be increasing evidence that ATP detoxes sulfates and thus slows down my adrenal function.  I am sticking with the gradual improvement that comes with the ADHS (modulator) over the quicker fix with the Endodren (stimulant) at least for the time being.
I've done a 3 mile time trial each of the last 3 days as follows:
1/2- 22:24 (7:28 pace)
1/3- 21:15 (7:05 pace)
1/4- 20:42 (6:54 pace). Roughly 21:30 5K.
I took extra Magnesium today (generates ATP and lowers Na) and felt somewhat worse.  That's more evidence that I have flipped to slow oxidation.

The 20:42 ties my best showing since turning 35. In what could be interpreted as good or bad news, I'm still not feeling anywhere close to normal.  Even under-trained, I am still capable of a sub-21 5K when symptom free and have little doubt that I could get back under 20 if I got back up to 40 MPW on a regular basis.  Again, this level is performance has been attained in the recent past but was quickly followed by a relapse.  It's way too early to get my hopes up.

My legs feel heavy and slow every day and I am achy especially in the shin and ankle area.  Obviously, I've got a long way to go and have got to extend my distance if I am to run Mercedes this year.  If I can at least get back to near 1:40 shape or even sub-1:45 and do it consistently, I'll probably end up running it.

If you've read this blog for the past few years, you know that this is not the first, second or third time that I thought I have flipped.  I was wrong every time.  The culprit was toxic metals or poor methylation.  Until I get the test results back, I will not believe it.  That's another reason to go with the ADHS over the Endodren.  Being uncertain, I won't be hurting myself with the modulator whereas the stimulant would take me further out of whack.

I e-mailed Dr. Jess, another naturopath just to see if he could shed some light on the possibility of my ATP theory and got the predicted response:  "I've treated cases like yours before.  Consult with me."  He didn't answer my question directly and would charge me $$$$ for the consult with no guarantee of success.  I'm sticking with Yasko.  I e-mailed her today and hope to get something back within 5-7 days, which is typical.  Dr. Jess does have podcasts available for viewing and I'll certainly check out those.

For the record, my urinary sulfates are still over 1600 but this time when I diluted the sample with water, it came back at 1200 whereas in the past it remained over 1600 even after heavy dilution.  Time and further testing will tell the tale.

Friday, January 1, 2016

How It Might Play Out

I'm not even going to post about 2015.  It's over.

Here's what I expected:
-Along with the usual Cal/Mag + Thym-Adren and now probiotics, take ATP every day
-The ATP will allow me to tolerate Lithium.  I learned that I cannot take it every day but expected that I could handle it say 1-2x/week then gradually build it up to every day.
-Once the Lithium is up to snuff, I can tolerate B12 and possibly molybdenum.
-When the B12 is up to snuff, it will detox the sulfates and thus turn off the runaway adrenal function and balance my chemistry.
-I will be left taking only small doses of Thym-Adren (adrenal suppressants) and if I miss a day here and there, it won't matter.  DREAM ON!

Here's what happened:
I've become INTOLERANT to the Thym-Adren.  When on it, I cannot run at all and can barely function.
Today, I switched to ADHS (modulator) and with great effort, ran an 8:20 Mile on Wisteria and was all set to announce my retirement when I took 1 Endodren and improved to 6:55 at Vestavia (MINUS 85) in just 1 hour.

Why it happened?
I really don't know but I have read some evidence that ATP can reduce sulfates and thus indirectly slows runaway adrenal function.  That may make sense.  Why else did I get better with adrenal stimulants if I am still a fast oxidizer? My methylation has improved and so has the mal-absorption so there is SEEMINGLY no other explanation.  Sadly, this has happened MANY times before so I am not getting my hopes up at all.  I'm sticking with ADHS (modulator) and hope to see gradual improvement.  Eventually, I will try again to take the Lithium and B12 as planned.  If Lithium fails to rise with supplementation, I may re-consider amalgam removal.

The training updates are done until further notice.  Until I can CONSISTENTLY run respectable times, it is just too depressing for both myself and my readers.  I define respectable as 21:00/45:00/1:40 for 5K-HM.  You may rest assured that I will NEVER give up trying for better health.  I will at least jog as long as I am able.
As of now, I have no races planned but that could change next month.
I will continue to post medical test results as well as random Rant/Rave posts so this blog will stay up but I will not be posting as frequently.

2016s BIG TRIP:
The final 2 choices were Calgary, Alberta Canada in late May and Anchorage, Alaska in mid-June.  Both are on my bucket list and would go regardless of my running status.  I am holding out hope that by that time, I will be in decent racing shape so the trip will be done race weekend.  As it turns out, I am scheduled for phone duty at work the week of Calgary (Memorial Day) and it may be difficult to find a substitute.  It's going to be Alaska.

Update: On 1/2- 3 miles in 22:24 (7:28 pace).  In the recent past, I've gotten close to 21 but not much under before another collapse.