Monday, October 31, 2016

OAT Test Results

Well, I finally got the results e-mailed to me today.  In short, there are abnormalities but not the ones that I expected.  I am going to order a consult with one of the doctors at Great Plains Labs but I want to give a special shout out to the woman who actually e-mailed me.  She spent at least 20 minutes with me on the phone and made several promising suggestions and did it free of charge.  Very few people that I have dealt with have been kind enough to do that.  Anyway, 75 markers were tested and I will only list the ones of note.

Part 1- Intestinal Microbial Overgrowth-
I had 2 markers flagged as high in this section:
Arbinose – 24 (0-20)-  Indicates candida overgrowth.
4-Hydroxybenzoic- 0.74 (0.01-0.73) – Harmful bacteria and fungal overgrowth.
I’m taking probiotics already but it’s not enough.  I need something stronger.  As I’ve said many times on this blog, you’ve got to be really out of whack to be flagged.  Being borderline high is still not healthy.  Suppose, my values were 20 and 0.73 respectively.  That’s still pretty bad and a patient who is 1 point under the line won’t feel much different than one who is 1 point higher.  The woman that I talked with is pretty convinced this is the root of my problems and that may be so but I wanted to see a “smoking gun” that was WAY outside the range.  I’m talking about an arabinose over 100, which has been seen.  I’m not shocked about either of these abnormalities.

Part 2 Oxalates-
This was the biggest surprise.  I fully expected my oxalates to be WAY over the top.  Not so fast.
Glycolic was actually borderline LOW and barely within the reference range while oxalic was only mildly high and well within the normal range.  Why have I become dependent on calcium citrate?  Does that stuff have anything at all to do with the trans-sulfation pathway?

Part 3 Neurotransmitters-
Good news is the dopamine and adrenaline are fine.  Bad news is the serotonin is low.  Not a huge surprise.  What’s causing the low serotonin?  It could very well be related to gut/bacterial issues but I’m going to give 5-HTP a shot in hopes that it will give me a quick boost.

Part 4 Vitamins-
B6 and B12 were mildly low but not severe.  No real concern because both are trending up with supplementation.  Ascorbic acid was VERY low (3.9) versus a range of 10-200.  Morley Robbins is convinced that my Iron Overload is the culprit and I need to focus on raising my ceruloplasmin.  

Morley is a good man but I may have to disagree on this.  I’ve tried Liver Beef and Whole Food C and both are disasters at the present time.  While I’ve raised my ceruloplasmin from 17.9 to 25.9 as of my last test, I FELT BETTER WHEN IT WAS LOW!  I’m not saying that there is a connection but I was doing pretty well in the Fall of 2014 when it was around 20 and my downturn began once it got around 22-23.  Sure, Iron overload is a very serious problem but my numbers looked so much better on the re-test and it’s possible that my ferritin is now moving in the right direction.  I’ll get that re-tested tomorrow but I’m going to try ascorbic acid at least in low doses.  Maybe now if my sulfation pathways are open, I can tolerate Whole Food C.  We shall see.  If the ferritin remains high, I will either try to eliminate a supplement that contains low dose lactoferrin or go through with blood donation as a last resort.

Part 5- Others of note-
NAC (glutathione precursor) was undetectable but glutathione itself was right where it should be.
Phosphoric was a bit low but within the range.
So what is the smoking gun?
I’m still convinced that it is a block in the trans-sulfation pathway.  I can’t take any sulfur containing pills or the CBS treatments to reduce them though it’s possible that calcium citrate has improved that.  I have nothing in writing but the urinary sulfate strips are always off the scale even if the sample is diluted with water.  How to unblock that?  I got a couple other suggestions.

I think it's possible that high ferritin is the cause of the sulfur block and I've read some evidence that calcium citrate can lower ferritin.  I'll find out tomorrow when it's tested.

Training 10/31-11/6

10/31- Unplanned rest day.  Vitamin C appears to be working.  5-HTP is a disaster.  Ferritin re-test is tomorrow.  5-HTP makes me sore and drowsy.  Should be better tomorrow.

11/1- AM- Did the ferritin blood work and should have the results tomorrow.  Trial and error at Gold's.  Came through 1 mile without any citrate or Vitamin C in 8:14 running at tempo effort.  Popped a Cal citrate with Mag and did the next half mile in 3:38 (7:16 pace) then took 1 Vitamin C pill and improved to 3:13 (6:26 pace) for an overall time of 15:05 (7:32 avg).
It is CRYSTAL CLEAR now.  I need both Cal citrate and Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid).  Maybe I can switch to Whole food C someday.  I'll find out tomorrow if the Cal citrate is helping the ferritin but either way, I'll need to go back to Curcumin keep the serum Iron under control.

PM- Lakeshore 2 in 17:28 (8:44 pace).  1 Vitamin C worked well.  3?  Not so much.  Not a big surprise or disappointment.  I had a MAP test with Yasko last year that did NOT show arabinose issues.  Hmm.  No doubt I need a stronger probiotic.

11/2- AM- Tried Whole Food C again and not surprisingly, it was a TOTAL DISASTER.
Just a 1 Mile junk run.  Stay tuned for the ferritin results later today.

PM- Improved a bit.  3 miles at Gold's in 26:54 (8:58 pace) with an even pace.  The whole food C hasn't cleared yet and I'm not sure about the ascorbic acid either.  Ferritin is down 77 points to 171.  Nowhere near where it needs to be but progress is progress.

11\3- AM. 6 laps at Gold's in 7 flat (10:30 pace) then popped just 1 D pill and improved to 5:58 (8:57 pace). 1000 mg of ascorbic acid is a FAIL. 500 may be as well but the D is promising.

PM- Lakeshore 2.5 in 21:35 (8:38 pace).  Not much to say that's not already apparent.
Vitamin C in any form is likely a fail at any dose.

11/4- Lakeshore 3 in the daylight after work for the last time until Spring.  Felt noticeably better today thanks to reducing the Vitamin C.  Finished in 22:54 (7:38 pace) with even splits and a little bit left at the end.  I'll be better tomorrow when it's completely out of my system but it's still the right call to skip Vulcan.  Instead, I'm going to South Carolina for a Clemson game.

11/5- Planned rest day.  Clemson won in a blowout.  If you include drive through states, South Carolina makes it 21 states visited this year alone.
Dallas Trip: AL, MS, LA, TX
KC Trip: TN, AR, MO, KS, IL, KY
Alaska: AK, WA (overnight in Seattle)
Gulf Coast: FL
Pittsburgh: VA, WV, PA, OH
Tahoe: CA, NV
Clemson: GA, SC

11/6- Vitamin D testing.  Intervals at Gold's.  With no D, I did better than expected with a 7:10 mile but I was fading to the 7:30 range by the end.  Without Cal citrate, I would have been closer to 8.
1 D pill: Improved to 6:44 and held the pace pretty well
2 D pills: Improved to 6:18 with a dead even split
I believe I could have threatened the 6 minute barrier if fresh.
The MAG group is strongly against D supplementation but what the hell do I have to lose?  Hopefully, it will be only a temporary measure until I fix the sulfate metabolism.

-18 miles on the week.  YTD: 1135.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Training 10/24-10/30

10/24- It has become increasingly clear that ATP must be cut out entirely at least for the time being.  Did just 1 Mile untimed on Wisteria and it was total crap.  Still no OAT results.  Tomorrow, it will be a better with or without test with low dose ATP.  I am over 1100 miles on the year, which is higher than I did all year in 2015.

10/25- Good news is that I've found the culprit.  It is IP-6.  I was MUCH WORSE immediately after taking it this morning.  On the other hand, ATP may well be tolerated in small doses.  Perhaps, the IP-6 will also be tolerated in small doses.  ATP may play a key role in eliminating oxalates.  IP-6 could be key for reducing ferritin.  Only a 1 mile junk run today.  I expect to feel better tomorrow.

10/26- Gold's 3 in 27:55 (9:18 pace).  This was actually an improvement over the past 2 days.  I should be better tomorrow as well.  I'm sticking with low dose ATP and will try again to take low dose IP-6 after the weekend.  I am starting to get very irritated that the lab tests have not arrived yet.  If I don't get them by the start of next week, I'm calling the lab.  Word on the street is that Iron bound oxalates.  Thus, now that the Iron is under control as I suspect it is, I am feeling the full effects of the oxalate toxicity.  Makes some sense.

10/27- Felt like I was hit by a truck when I woke up this morning but got better after taking Calcium citrate.  I like I'm safe to take 500 mg/day of that stuff.  Still on low dose ATP.  I'll try 1 IP-6 after the weekend so confirm one way or the other.  3 miles at Gold's in 25:27 (8:29 pace).  MINUS 49.

10/28- I predict that I am in the midst of another slow and steady climb out of the hole.  Based on my history however, another relapse will follow.  Sickening isn't it?  Today, I went all out and just barely broke the Mendoza line with a time of 23:58 for 3 miles (7:59 pace).  MINUS 30.  Dose was the same as yesterday.

10/29- AM.  1 mile on Lakeshore in 9:05

PM- 2 miles on Wisteria in 16:40 (8:20 pace).  Needing more and more citrates.

10/30- 2 miles on Lakeshore in 17:36 (8:48 pace) then tacked on another junk mile on Wisteria.  Both the IP-6 and the ATP will be cut out entirely.  As for the citrates, I'm needing more but too much is not good either.
  Perhaps my worst week of the year.  Managed just a measly 17 miles.  Still no OAT results and I'm calling them tomorrow.  YTD: 1117 miles.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Training 10/17-10/23

10/17- 2 miles on Wisteria in 18:36 (9:18 pace). No panic.  Biotin is the culprit.  I need it to tolerate more Cal citrate but mega doses cause problems.  There is a tolerable upper limit.  Extra citrate had no real effect one way or the other and neither did Mag or B-12.  That's good news.  I really didn't want to have to deal with ratios again.  I'll get more answers from the OAT test results, which should arrive in the mail any day now.

10/18- Reduced the Biotin dose and felt no better.  Workout was actually slightly worse.  2 miles on Lakeshore in 18:40 (9:20 pace) over flatter terrain.  That does it.  The Biotin will be cut out altogether and I expect that my citrate tolerance will diminish.  The OAT test results cannot come soon enough.

10/19- AM- Not much better.  Gold's 2 in 17:48 (8:54 pace).

PM- Trak Shak 3 in 26:24 (8:48 pace).  Only mildly better than yesterday.  Biotin has yet to clear.  I've learned today that it is high in sulfur so that's probably why I can no longer tolerate it.  Not good news.  I'll be better tomorrow but the trouble with sulfur remains.  The test results can't get here soon enough.

10/20- AWFUL again.  This time the culprit was not enough Cal citrate.  Just like before Tahoe, my demand has spiked and it's likely a 1 day blip.  Gold's 2 mile in 17:24 (8:42 pace).  I have not been under the Mendoza line since last Saturday.  Still no results in the mail.

10/21- Glimmer of hope.  Mile repeats at Gold's
Mile 1- 8:22
Mile 2- 7:38 (after 1 ATP cap)
Mile 3- 6:57 (after 2 more ATP caps)
An ATP deficit could be responsible for both oxalates and sulfate wasting.  STILL NO RESULTS

10/22- Very poor.  This ends the streak of 6 straight successful long runs.  Called it after 6 miles in 57:57 (9:39 pace).  Never did feel good but it got worse after each mile.  First half was 26:xx then faded to 31:xx on the back 3.  Odds are it was too much ATP too soon.

10/23- HORRIBLE!  2 miles in 17:54 (8:57 pace).  I came through the Mile marker in 7:55 then popped a 2nd ATP pill and an all out effort got me under 10:00 for Mile 2.

Weekly summary:
-22 miles on the week.  Needless to say, I am not happy about this but not as angry as I would have been earlier in the year.  I'll bet that my Iron is under control and I need ATP but have to keep the dose low to prevent a detox reaction.  I NEED THE OAT TEST RESULTS.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Remaining States Part 3

I am now ALL IN on going for all 50 states.  I have 22 to go right now. Here they are by region:

Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland.
I've got a lot of work to do here but fortunately, there are several opportunities to double with Saturday/Sunday combos.  1 trip, 2 races, 2 states.  Maybe even 2 countries.
I may actually repeat Pennsylvania because it's the only one that I failed to break 2 hours.

Midwest and Heartland:
Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota.

Far West:
Montana, Utah, New Mexico, Washington, Wyoming, Hawaii

I have my heart set on a few of these but some others are more flexible depending on how it works with my schedule.  I'm already looking forward to the next big trip.  Here are the ones that are most definitely on my radar:

New York- United Airlines NYC half in mid-March.  It's a lottery but I've heard the odds of getting in are pretty good if you are from out of state.  The course begins in Central Park and goes through Times Square before ending near Wall Street all in Manhattan.  I'm entering the lottery for 2017 and I'll find out by early December.

Maryland- Island 2 Island in April- Point to point course from Ocean City to Assateague Island.  This one will be special to me because I spent a summer in nearby Salisbury but haven't been back since 2002.  If I don't get into NYC, this will be the Spring destination race in 2017.  I'll road trip from Philly up and down the Delmarva peninsula.

Connecticut- ING Hartford in October- This one is attractive because I haven't been here since I was a toddler and have no memory of it at all.  Also appealing is that there is a half the next day in Newport, Rhode Island, which is less than 2 hours away.

South Dakota- Spearfish Canyon in July.  This one is at 5,000 feet elevation but it's all gently downhill so it won't be nearly as tough as Tahoe.  It's located less than 1 hour from Mt. Rushmore, which is a must see.  This one is the front runner for the summer destination race.

Michigan- Detroit Free Press in October.  I planned on doing it this year but it worked out better with Tahoe.  It'll be in the running for next year as well.  I'll be more likely to do it if I'm in top shape but if I'm in good but not great condition, I'll likely opt for a double somewhere else.  The course begins and ends in downtown Detroit but goes into Windsor, Ontario for 4 miles en route.

Washington- Rock n Roll Seattle in June- I could see a Mariners game, Mt. Ranier and road trip to Vancouver, British Columbia.  It will be a nice break from the Alabama heat and it's the dry season out there too.  It would be really cool if there's a Saturday/Sunday combo in Seattle and Vancouver but I might be willing to spend a whole week out there if they are a week apart.

New Mexico- Thunder Half in Santa Fe in September- This is another mild altitude downhill course.  I'll road trip to Amarillo, Texas.  West Texas has an entirely different flavor than East Texas.

Now here are the flexible options:
Wyoming- There are 3 in Jackson Hole near the Grand Teton Mountains just south of Yellowstone.  All 3 will be basically the same course.  2 are in June and one is in September.

Hawaii- Can't go wrong here.  Something in Honolulu would be easier logistically.  It would be really cool to land here and break up a trip to Australia.

Utah- I've got 3 options near Salt Lake City in May, June and September.  I'd prefer May so I won't have to deal with training in the heat.  All are screaming downhill courses, which I've learned does not mean easy.  Still, I feel this is my best chance to BQ so I'll save it.

Montana- I've got the option to run Yellowstone and Grand Teton (Wyoming) but they are a full week apart.  A combo with a Calgary race could be do-able even if they are a week apart because there is so much to see with Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies.

Minnesota & Wisconsin- There should be a good chance to double here.  Ideally, I'd want to do something in the Twin Cities with Eau Claire but could stretch it to Madison.  Milwaukee would be tough.  Most likely, it will be a late Spring- early Summer weekend.

Nebraska & Iowa- Des Moines with either Lincoln or Omaha should work but I'll take just about any Saturday/Sunday combo here.

Maine/New Hampshire/Vermont/Quebec- There could be 2 doubles here.  Pretty much anywhere in all 4 can be done on back to back days.  I know of one race in NH that ran the day before RnR Montreal.

Massachusetts- Y'all know the one I really want to do but that's looking remote at this stage.  It's got to be a Boston race and there's one around Memorial Day that looks good.  I may not even have to rent a car because the course is right next to the airport but I'll probably want to see Cape Cod.

New Jersey & Delaware- It doesn't really matter where either one is located.  It will be close enough for a Saturday/Sunday combo.  I'll use Philly as my hub and do some touring there.

EDIT: The phone duty schedule came out at work today and it will make it tough to do South Dakota. I'm leaning towards Grand Teton instead.  I'll take a full week off and do a different race in Montana the following Saturday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


-ADHS (adrenal) dosage has been reduced from 6 pills down to 3.
-Feeling more calm and less angry about my situation
-Less dependent on methylation supplements.
-Calcium Citrate up to 500 mg. is tolerated.
-Intolerance to Sulfur is GONE
-A bit itchy with a few small break outs (not on my face)
Points 1-3 are directly related to improved Iron regulation.  Points #4-6 have to do with oxalates.

Let’s take a look back at Iron.  According to ARL and Dr. Wilson, Toxic Iron levels can raise tissue Na on a hair test, which indicates adrenal over-activity.  That’s why I needed mega doses of adrenal suppressants for so many years.  Though unconfirmed, the fact that I have reduced the dose of the modulator strongly suggests that I am heading towards balance.  Also encouraging is the fact that extra pills beyond 3 appear to make little difference one way or the other.  Since it’s a modulator, it SHOULD not hurt to take too many.  If it does, enzymes are to blame.  A suppressant or stimulant is more likely to cause sensitivity.  Also, according to ARL, Iron excess can mess with enzyme binding sites.  It is definitely plausible that it was Iron that at least played a role in the defective enzymes, which caused such instability.
In yesterday’s workout, I did a half mile without methylation in 3:47 then improved to 3:30 with it at the same effort.  That’s still a significant difference and I will likely still need at least some methylation support because of my genetics.  If I can tolerate Methyl B-12, I “might can” get by with a single active B-complex rather than having to take the B-vitamins separately.  That would save both money and space in my cabinet.  If not, Yasko’s Ultimate B may be tolerated now. 

Going back to my last Iron panel, my serum Iron was less than 10 percent higher than optimal.  The saturation percentage at 43% is still on the high side (33% is ideal) but a big improvement over the 61% on the first test.  I am going to reduce the dose of Curcumin to occasional, stop Yasko’s SHMT&AHCY and add IP-6 with the goal of maintaining or slightly reducing Iron while lowering Ferritin, which was approaching the danger zone last test at 248.  I’ll re-test Ferritin in about 4 weeks.

I’ve had brutal sensitivity to Calcium citrate due to oxalate dumping.  Without it, I was awful but with too much, I was just as bad and had to break open capsules to get the optimal dose.  Thanks to Biotin, my tolerance has improved and I can take up to 250 mg (full pill).  The problems that I had with sulfur were due to the wasting of sulfates and I believe oxalates were the culprit.   If I take even 1 citrate pill, the problems with sulfur are gone.  I expect to get the OAT test results back possibly by the end of next week.  It may reveal other problems but sky high oxalates with a Biotin deficiency is highly probable.  The break outs are a detox reaction and I’m not worried about that at all.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Training 10/10-10/16

10/10- Trak Shak 7.5 mile loop in 61:50 (8:15 pace) plus a cool.  Hilly route and I feel like I am nearly recovered from the race.  One piece of good news is that the Biotin appears to be increasing my tolerance for citrates.  Took a full pill at the 3 mile mark (24:30)  then proceeded to run the next 4.5 in 37:20, which is only 8 seconds slower per mile so that's not a significant difference.  Took some IP-6 (to lower ferritin) after the run, which also appears to be tolerated.  A couple questions remain which will be addressed later.

PM- Gold's 3 in 22:11 (7:24 pace).  Even pace.  Took some IP-6 and at the very least, it was tolerated.  Though it was not a night and day difference, I did feel some degree of benefit.  Also, I have safely cut the ADHS dosage from 6 pills to 3.  Tomorrow, I will see how dependent I am on methylation support.  The reason for the changes is improved iron status.  A more detailed post is forthcoming.

10/11- AM- Methylation test under a time crunch.  Did 1 Mile in 7:17.  First half without any methylation was not half bad at 3:47 then improved to 3:30 with it.  That means that while I do still need it, it won't be a disaster if I do not take it.

PM- Lakeshore 5 in 38:46 (7:45 pace).  Felt strong early but faded in the back half (19:00-19:46) and felt overstimulated.  I felt clearly "different" today and I interpret that as good.

10/12- This was a planned rest day but I wanted a small test.  Under a time crunch, I did 1.5 miles on Jemison Trail in 11:27 (7:38 pace) plus a cool.  Even pace but didn't feel right.  Felt overstimulated and like the detox is going too quickly.  I'm backing it down to 250 mg of citrate.

10/13- Wanted to run intervals but the track was closed for football (no surprise).  Instead, I did 3 miles at Gold's at tempo effort.  Finished in 21:51 (7:17 pace).  Not horrible but something is clearly off.  I was out well but slipped to 7:30 in Mile 2 running nearly all but did rebound a bit at the end.  I'm betting there is something deeper and I need more than just citrate and Biotin to detox the oxalates.  Speaking of which, I should get the test results in 5-10 days.  Added a warm and cool

10/14- Lakeshore 5 in 37:25 (7:29 pace).  Very nice job.  This one felt SO MUCH easier than yesterday.  I credit the lowered dose of citrates and more IP-6.  This would be an "A" workout if I still graded myself.

10/15- 5th straight completed long run.  This one wasn't pretty but I made it.  10 miles in 84:41 (8:28 pace).  Bad news is I was never in sync at any time during the run.  Good news is I never collapsed.  Pace never slipped below 8:45 even on the hill that sucks.  Odds are the citrate needs to be reduced for a morning run.  I probably would have done better in the afternoon.  I did not feel any soreness from yesterday's workout.

10/16- 4 miles on Lakeshore in 34:36 (8:39 pace).  Very much different than yesterday.  This time, I was out well (7:30 1st mile) then faded in Mile 2 and collapsed in Mile 3-4.
I cut the citrate dose and raised the Biotin.  If I take enough Biotin, which I did not yesterday, I should have no problem with the citrates.  Detroit was this weekend.  Good call to run Tahoe instead.

-42 miles on the week.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Lake Tahoe Road Trip Report

Whenever I go on a trip, it is not to relax.  I'm always on the go and looking to see as much as I can in a limited amount of time.  This one was no exception.

Wednesday 10/5-
Flight into Reno with a layover in Denver went without a hitch.  I landed at 12:30 local time, picked up my rental car (Hyundai Sonata) and headed west on I-80 to Sacramento as planned.  It was a beautiful drive through the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a brief stop in the town of Truckee, just across the California border.  Most impressive of all was the area around Donner Lake in which the elevation reached 7,000 feet but there was a view of a clear emerald body of water several thousand feet below the road.  Sorry, no pictures there.  Northern California is heavily forested with pine trees but among the leaves that did change, I saw some nice yellows and reds.
Truckee, California

Fortunately, I arrived in Sacramento before rush hour and scored a smokin' deal on a cheap hotel right in midtown.  From there, it was a nice walking tour of the city that included the business and commercial district, the Capitol mall and some pretty nice residential areas.  Dinner was at a random bar and grill in Old Town by the river where I chatted a bit with a SF Giants fan who got a little tipsy.  Overall impression: Aesthetically pleasing with lots of thick oak tress lining the streets and occasional rows of palms.  It has a nice climate too (perfect sunny and 75 that day) but I could never live there because the culture is radically different from home (no offense).

CA State Capitol in Sacramento

Thursday 10/6-
Left Sacramento and hit some rush hour traffic but it was a smooth and beautiful ride on US-50 into Tahoe.  It's 72 miles around the lake that straddles the border of California and Nevada.  I went north on the Nevada side so I could check out the race course then came back around in California. Words can't describe the breath taking beauty of the crystal clear lake surrounded by mountains capped by a dusting snow.  In the movie Forrest Gump, the title character said that it was so clear that it almost looked like 2 skies one on top of the other.  That's not far off.  Pictures will never do it justice but some of my best shots are posted below.  Lunch was at a BBQ grill in which I sat on a porch right next to the beach.  I stopped twice to go hiking and captured some more stunning images.  Most of the lake is crystal blue but in some areas near the bay, there is a definite emerald tint. My only irritation was a few construction delays. I settled into my hotel just after dark which was just a half mile from the bus stop that took us to the starting line.

View from Lunch
On the race course
Hiking trail 1
Hiking trail 2

Friday 10/7 (race day).  This was by no means a goal race but I still wanted a respectable time.  However, a poor effort certainly would not ruin the trip.  If I found myself struggling, I would ease up and take in the scenery.  The course was deceptively difficult.  Though it was net downhill, virtually all of the decline came in the first half (which also contained 2 nasty uphills) and the final 2 miles were all UPHILL, which came after having run predominantly downhill for an hour.  That trashes your quads.  If you've ever run at altitude, you know how much harder those climbs are versus at sea level.  As for the elevation itself, the higher it is, the greater the incremental effect.  Asheville, NC (2000 ft) won't even be noticeable.  In Denver (5200), you'll feel it but it's manageable.  This one began at 7100 feet then dropped as low as 6300 before climbing back another 150 feet or so at the end.   I was gasping for air almost immediately.

Pre-race selfie

Here are the early splits:
7:13- sharply downhill but WAY too fast.
7:29- better
8:40- uphill
7:46- back down and hope to hold it here.
7:42- fine
9:16- another nasty climb
7:58- back down, almost to the surface.
  From here, it became a gently rolling course with more gentle ups and downs.  My legs were trashed from going downhill and I could still feel the altitude.  From this point, I was done for.  I took periodic walk breaks to guard against a complete melt down and kept the pace around 9:20-9:30 until Mile 12. I then trudged my way through the last 2 miles uphill to finish in a time of 1:56:xx pretty much spent.

Finisher's medal

Not pleased with that but not overly upset either.  I could have done better with more conservative pacing early and a more even effort late but I lived to fight another day. The race was all in Nevada so I've checked off state #28 and this is by FAR the most scenic course I've done. This did NOT put a damper on the trip overall.  My honest assessment of my fitness is that even at sea level on a flat course, I'm not much better than 1:45. I am burdened by toxins similar to anti-freeze, which most definitely damages organs. Until I get my health all squared away, I don't see much improvement in the near future but expect my next lab test will reveal the smoking gun.

Headed back to Reno with stops in Carson City and Virginia City.  Once you get outside of Tahoe, Nevada has an entirely different feel than California.  It's a lot more barren with very few trees and shrubbery but strikingly beautiful in its own right especially around sunset.  I took about an hour to walk through the commercial and Capitol area in Carson City before a steep mountain up to Virginia City.  I wish I had more time there but all I could do was drive through.  It's a cool town with one major street set up to look like it did back in the Old West. Back to the Future fans may remember that's where Seamus McFly's brother was killed in a saloon.  LOL.  From there, I was treated to many stunning views on a winding mountain road into Reno.

NV State Capitol in Carson City
Scenic view outside of Virginia City, Nevada

In Reno, I took another walking tour of downtown through the business and entertainment district.  I did not mind being short on time here. I found a nice river walk but the main attraction there is the casinos.  I don't gamble and really don't understand the attraction.  I did walk inside one of them but only for a cheap dinner, which was nothing special.  A worker offered me a cocktail but I had to turn it down because I needed to get back to the hotel quickly so I could steal a few hours of sleep.  I had to get up super early for my return flight but again, it went without a hitch.

Up next:
I'm staying local for the rest of the year.  I may run NYC next Spring but if not, it will be something in the Northeast. or mid-Atlantic.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Training 10/3-10/9

10/3- COLLAPSE!  Gold's 3 in a pathetic 27:45 (9:15 pace).  I wanted to quit after an 8:30 first mile but stuck it out even though I got slower with every step.  No panic this time.  It is clear that my need for citrates is now TRENDING UP!  I was too aggressive with the cut and felt better after taking just a trace more when I got home.  Do I try the full pill again (250 mg) or do I need 150 instead?  It could be a very narrow range and I just hope I'll at least do okay on race day.

10/4- MASSIVE SHIFT!  Only 3 days out from race day?  I wouldn't have it any other way.
AM- Opened with a 10:28 Mile after taking a full pill last night but nothing in the morning.  Took another full pill and improved to 9-flat (MINUS 88)

PM- Trial and error intervals.  After 2 more pills, I was down to 7:57.  Another one dropped it to 7:27 then I got the idea to load with 4 more hoping that there was no such thing as too much.  NOT a good idea.  Slipped to 8:43 but it did get slightly better as it progressed.  Can I find the sweet spot?

10/5- Fight to Reno with a layover in Denver.  Drove to Sacramento for a walking tour.  No workout but I can tell that my need for citrate has diminished back to what it had been before.

10/6- Hiking in Lake Tahoe.  Did 1 mile of running on the trails as a shake out

10/7- Lake Tahoe half marathon on the Nevada side.  Finished in 1:56:31 (8:54 pace).  I underestimated the difficulty of the course and the effects of the altitude.  4th straight week that I have finished a double digit run.

10/8- 2 mile junk run untimed on Wisteria after getting back home.

10/9- Trak Shak 5 in 42:57 (8:35 pace) with fairly even splits.  No collapse.  Quads remain very sore but outside of that, I did not feel too bad.  Very little effort.  Tried Biotin, which is supposed to help oxalates and I seemed to benefit.

-30 miles on the week.