Monday, May 22, 2017

Training 5/22-5/28

5/22- AM- Gold's 5 in 40:48 (8:12 pace).  Took 6 ADHS pills and it wasn't enough.  Still overstimulated and short of breath.  I did manage a negative split (20:33-20:15) and dipped below 8 on the last mile.  I am going to up it to 8 pills but hope it goes back down soon.  It probably will.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.0

Monday, May 15, 2017

Training 5/15-5/21

5/15- AM- Gold's 3 in 26:45 (8:55 pace).  Odds are that both IP-6 and Liver Beef are NO NOs.  I'll confirm it at the end of the week.  I'll probably react badly to micro doses.  That means I am out of conservative options for clearing Ferritin.  It's got to be a Liver flush, blood donation or do nothing.  If I am stable and running respectable times, I will go with option 3.  I was nearly there based on my Coke 10K performance.

PM- Out and back 3 miler on Jemison.  Improved to 24:36 (8:12 pace) and dipped below 8 in Mile 3.  It appears that the Ultimate B is still okay even though it does contain a small amount of IP-6.  IP-6 most likely will not be tolerated as a stand alone.  As for the Ferritin, I cannot risk anything too radical before the epic road trip though I have read that sugar raises Ferritin.  Even the non-caffeinated drinks such as Sprite and Lemonade must be avoided. Stick to water.   If I am better with the sugar restrictions, will Ferritin at least begin to come down?  At least below 150?  Right now, that's my best option.  If it's still bad about a month from now, I must go radical.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=6.0

5/16- AM- Gold's 5 in 38:34 (7:43 pace).  Solid performance. Found a good rhythm at 7:40 early. Slowed just a tad at the end but still maintained it in the 7:45 range (19:09/19:25).  I know the pattern of steady improvement then you know what.  Another relapse could break me forever.

PM- Feel like I'm back to where I was at the end of last week.  A 7:30 pace felt fairly comfortable even in 90 degree weather but could not pick it up.  The power just isn't there.  Brookwood/Lakeshore 3.5 miler in 27:52 (7:28 pace) plus a half mile cool.  I'll take it.
Grade:B/2 credit/distance=9.0

5/17- Took a sip of Apple Cider Vinegar last night.  STUPID!  I might try some low dose Niacin for methylation but after that, I am officially out of conservative options.  The sugar restrictions start tomorrow. Skipped the Trak Shak workout and settled for a 1 mile junk run on Wisteria.  I'll count this as my rest day.  Dumped the rest of the ACV and pitched the Liver Beef.  I'm not sure if B-6 is needed as a stand alone but I'll finish the bottle.

 In about a month, I'll do a liver flush then test out Curcumin.  If it's effective, that means the stored Iron flushed out.  However, I expect an immediate negative reaction, which guarantees that the Liver flush did not work.  In the past, it dumped copper but not Iron.  At least I'll know in a few days.  Either way, the Ferritin will be re-tested.  If it's still over 150, I must go through with blood donation.  Under 100, I'll leave it alone.  In between those numbers?  It will depend on how I feel.

5/18- I was completely sugar free today and it was no sudden miracle.  Did 4 miles at Gold's in a time of 33:41 (8:25 pace).  Weak effort.  Splits were 16:08/17:33 so that's ugly.  Apple Cider Vinegar still hasn't cleared most likely.  I took JUST ONE SIP!  Ordered low dose Niacin, which is my LAST conservative option.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=4.0

5/19- AM-DISASTER. 1 mile at Gold's in a time over 10 minutes.  Unable to find the culprit back home.  Temporary detox reaction? I hope so.

PM- 2 miles in 17:54 (8:57 pace).  There is a chance this is a detox reaction.  I've made it over 50 hours without sugar.  We'll see tomorrow but I'll take any improvement.  Probably will not attempt a group run.
Grade:F+/1 credit/distance=3.0

5/20- This feels like a detox reaction.  Slept 10+ hours and dreamed about having to give a fraudulent report about something to Congress.  I don't remember what it was about.  There was also a car crash involved.  It was way too hot to run outside with any kind of effort.  It's starting to feel like summer now.  90 degree temps with dew points pushing 70.  Still, the early mornings and evenings remain pleasant.  Workout was 4 miles at Gold's in a time of 32:48 (8:12 pace) with even splits.  MINUS 45 over double the distance but I know the pattern.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=4.0

They say it takes 21 days to break a habit.  As of noon today, I've made it 3 days without sugar.  I may have to drink a little Gatorade if I go long tomorrow but that doesn't count.  Low dose Niacin should arrive early next week but I don't expect it to be a game changer.  Abstinence from sugar can only help long-term but will it significantly lower my Ferritin?  I don't know.  I'm leaning heavily towards going through with blood donation.

5/21- Day 4 and another step backward.  Lakeshore 3 in 28:54 (9:38 pace).  1st half was 12:35 but I saw the collapse coming and turned around and finished in 16:19.  My best guess is a temporary spike in adrenal activity.  Extra ADHS did help but Curcumin and IP-6 remain NOs.  It seems unlikely that Iron is spilling into the blood or tissues.

PM- Another 3 miler this time at Gold's.  Came through Mile 1 working hard for an 8:55 split then popped 3 extra ADHS and improved to 16:58 (8:29 pace) over the last 2 miles for an overall time of 25:53.  Hardly a sudden miracle but the explanation of an adrenal spike is plausible.  It should be only temporary and I ought to be better tomorrow.
Grade:F+/2 credits/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
In the past, I would drown my sorrows with a Red Bull after a day like Sunday but I am determined to see this through for better or worse.  I may drink a couple beers when in Calgary on Day 19ish but one slip up should not hurt at that point.  When I get back home, it's time to go radical.  I said earlier that I'd get a resolution one way or the other by Spring.  That didn't happen but I do expect it by early Fall for sure.  If I am not feeling better after 2 blood donations and my numbers don't look much better, that is the end of the line.
Distance=33.0.  GPA= 11.9/8= 1.49
YTD: 605 miles.  3-16 with a 1.98 GPA

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Ceruloplasmin, Iron Dysregulation and Liver Beef

Let's go back to the Fall of 2014.  I had shown flashes of the form that made me a sub-40/sub-90 performer just 2 years earlier but was EXTREMELY sensitive and unstable.  Here's what I needed at the time:
-Mega doses of adrenal suppressants
-Exact 1:1 ratio of Calcium/Magnesium with up and down doses
-Exact 20:1 ratio of Zinc/Copper
-Need for methyl folate but at unknown dose

  I got my Ceruloplasmin tested and my first result was very low at 17.9.  Though my lab's "normal" was 15-30, knowledgeable practitioners are well aware that anything below 20 is a serious problem. Morley Robbins wants it between 30-35.   I thought at the time that the low ceruloplasmin was the proverbial "smoking gun" that was responsible for the extreme sensitivity.  I was wrong about that.  I needed to fix a methylation block with MF and Sam-e and open up the sulfur pathways with molybdenum and B-12.  Still, improving my ceruloplasmin should have certainly helped my situation.  The most effective way to do that in my experience is a Liver glandular.  I took Liver Beef from Nutricology almost every day for several months.  HUGE mistake and I paid for it BIGLY in 2015.

The result:
  I improved initially but it did nothing for the sensitivity.  I found when my level got up to around 20, I probably felt about my best since 2012 but it was sharply downhill from there.  The last time it was tested, I scored a 25.9 and declared myself sub-optimal but close enough that it should not produce significant symptoms.  Yet, I felt MUCH WORSE than before upping the ceruloplasmin. WHY?
Liver Beef will definitely raise your level.  I found that each pill that I took raised it by roughly 0.1 points or about 2 points every 3 weeks.  That's YUGE!  However, while bioavailable copper went up. it also CRASHED my zinc and raised my already sky high Iron levels.  I know believe that my extreme adrenal over-activity was due at least in part to Iron overload.  Liver is very high in Iron.  I don't know what my Iron levels were 2014 but 2 years later even after being off the Liver for 18 months, it was SIGNIFICANTLY elevated.  Bad enough to be flagged as high by the lab.

My Treatments:
I initially went with Curcumin and had some problems with it because of its sulfur content.  Fortunately, molybdenum solved that.  Though unconfirmed, I believe that I have gone too far with lowering the serum Iron now.  Why else would I react so badly to Curcumin and now IP-6?  However, my Ferritin level (stored Iron) remains stubbornly high (186 vs ideal of 50).  That means that I have too much Iron stored in my organs and not enough in my blood.  Not good.  For a while, it looked like IP-6 could be the answer but that stuff  failed me today.

Possible solutions:
-Continue to mix and match with Liver Beef and IP-6.  Liver Beef was well tolerated today, which is another sign that my serum Iron is indeed low.  I already know that Liver Beef is NOT a long-term every day supplement.  If I do take it every day, it won't be long until my blood Iron levels get too high again.  I will use it only on the weekends even if it continues to be effective.  Will I be able to tolerate IP-6 again if I take the Liver Beef occasionally?  We shall see.  If that answer is NO, I am out of conservative options.  EDIT- The 2nd dose of Liver Beef ended in disaster.  IP-6 as a stand alone is likely a NO as well.  SCRATCH THIS OPTION!

Option 2- Liver flush- I have little confidence in this one.  The theory is that it will dump the Iron from my Liver into my blood and put me back on IP-6 or Curcumin and leave me intolerant to the Liver Beef.  Fortunately, I will get a quick YES or NO answer on this one.  I'll know within a few days whether or not it has the desired effect.

Option 3-Blood donation- This is Morley's preferred option.  It is pretty much guaranteed to lower Ferritin BUT it will also lower serum Iron.  Until the latter is up to snuff, this is NOT an option.  Fortunately, the Liver Beef should raise it both quickly and bigly.

I'm staying conservative until after the epic road trip.  By that time, I will have several doses of the Liver Beef in my system.  If I can't tolerate it after the Liver flush, I stay on the IP-6, which should in time, get the Ferritin down.  If the Liver Beef is tolerated after the flush, that means it didn't work but by that time with several additional doses, the serum Iron should be high enough to go through with the blood donation.

Option 4- Take no further action.  I've always been more concerned with how I feel than my lab results.  If I am relatively stable and running respectable times, I will accept a high Ferritin level.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Training 5/8-5/14

5/8- Lakeshore 5 in 38:45 (7:45 pace) with even splits.  Felt good but this is a bit puzzling.  This was only 25 seconds slower than 10K race pace and probably about even with half marathon pace yet it felt easy today.  I actually slowed down to the 8:15 range at the very end and it felt like a stumble.    Maybe the Taurine did slow me down in Corinth.  I still feel like something is missing in my formula.  I've re-ordered the Liver Beef but even if it's tolerated, it will only be taken 1-2 times per week.  Added a mile cool.  Good job.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0

5/9- Pyramid workout at Vestavia.  I don't think I've done a decent interval workout since November of 2015 so expectations weren't real high.  Workout was 400-800-1200-800-400 plus a final 400 all out.  I was expecting a 90-95 second pace per lap and came in right in the middle of that range.
Splits were 94-3:07-4:43-3:08-93-81 with an R of 1 minute per lap.  That's an overall pace of 6:11.  Next time, I'll shoot for 6:08.  Decent workout but I still think there's something missing in my formula and unless it's found, I will plateau even with steady training.  Tomorrow may be our first 90 degree day but with low humidity, I can still push it.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=3.0

5/10- Trak Shak 5 in 38:25 (7:41 pace).  Tried to go hard early but didn't have a tempo in me today so I was content with the standard issue workout.  This one was hard.  Temp didn't quite hit 90 but it was sunny and more humid than I expected.  Faded to the 7:50 range on the back half but still not bad overall.  We'll see if I can go hard tomorrow.  Either way, I'll win with a decent long run.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

5/11- Gold's 5 in 37:34 (7:31 pace).  Just like yesterday, standard issue pace felt fine.  I set the cruise control to 7:30 and felt just as fresh in Mile 4 as I did in Mile 1.  Granted, it was indoors and on a dead flat track so it would have been more like 7:40 on the Trak Shak route in 85 degree heat.  Still, I felt a lot more comfortable overall in doing so.  In Mile 5, I made a brief attempt to pick up the pace and held it for just 2 laps in the low-7 range before slowing down at the end.
Big question: Why is it that I can feel so comfortable at 7:30 pace yet if I drop down to 7:15, it's almost a race effort?  I believe it could be a mitochondrial issue and better Iron and copper regulation could be the answer.  The Liver Beef will arrive either Saturday or Monday.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=5.5

5/12- Planned rest day.  Weather looks iffy for tomorrow

5/13- AM- Another FAILED group run and made a fool of myself again by going out with the lead pack then dropping out less than 2 miles in.  Turned around at 1.75 and slow jogged it home.  Passed 3 miles just over 27 then treated the last half mile as a cool down.  The culprit was IP-6.  Things went from bad to worse after I took more of that stuff.  Tacked on another junk mile in over 11 minutes.

PM- The Liver Beef did arrive and I rebounded a bit.  Sneaked under the Mendoza line with a 23:54 performance in the Gold's 3 mile (7:58 pace).  Got off to a good start but faded to the 8:15 range late.  Still had the sub-8 pace all the way.  I can still get a win this week with a decent long run tomorrow.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=7.5

5/14- I need to preface this by saying that I did take a 2nd Liver pill yesterday evening.  I did not run afterwards but did feel a little off.  I started out today on Lakeshore with neither the Liver nor the IP-6 and ran the first 1.5 mile leg in a pathetic 14:48 (9:52 pace) then popped a Liver and got WORSE.  I could not run at all after that.  I then tried some more IP-6 and got a small boost.  The next half mile was 4:48 (9:36 pace) then I quit.

PM- Tacked on another junk mile on Wisteria in 9:04.  Took the evening dose of IP-6 after the run and got noticeably WORSE.  That answers all the questions.  Both IP-6 AND LIVER ARE NO NOs!  It's gotta be a liver flush, blood donation or no further action.
Grade:F/2 credit/distance=2.0

Weekly summary:
Distance =30 miles.  GPA= 2.24
YTD: 572 miles.  3-15 with a 2.01 GPA

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Coke 10K and Memphis Trip Report

Why this race:
 I don't mind a little regional travel.  I've raced only 1 10K since turning 35, which was a disaster at Peachtree last year (54:40).  By comparison, my 10K split at NYC was 48:15 and I managed to drag on for another 6.9 miles after that.  This would be a pretty easy age group PR at the very least.  If there is a polar opposite of NYC, Corinth, Miss would probably be it.

  I've had some pretty decent workouts in recent weeks but overall it's still not very good.  Thankfully, adding a B-complex in addition to B-12 as a stand alone has boosted my energy levels but I still could not shake the abnormal sore muscles.  I gambled with Taurine in an effort to improve mineral transport.  It did knock out the soreness but too much will cause the malaise to re-appear.  Probably a wash overall.  Fortunately, a single ill-advised pill won't spell total disaster now that my methylation has improved.  Based on a few recent workouts, I predicted that I would be able to hold a pace between 7:15-7:25 per mile for the 6.2 mile route on a rolling course.  I would finish right in the middle of that range.

I worked half a day on Friday then hit the road.  I found that my GPS watch was not charging so I stopped at the Trak Shak and got that fixed.  Thank you to Jeff Martinez.  I took the interstate up to Cullman then picked up AL-157 to US-72 to Corinth, Miss Sippy.  That's the correct pronunciation of the state to my west.  It was a chilly rain most of the way but it began clearing as I approached Corinth and the next day was a beautiful sunny and 75 in the afternoon.  Race morning dawned still a bit chilly but clear with light winds.  It warmed to about 55 degrees and start and just over 60 by the finish.  Can't ask for much better than that.

After the race, I hit the road again on my way to Memphis.  I didn't plan on going initially but I figured I was only a little over an hour and half away so Why not?  I have been there several times before including one of my favorite half marathons (Memphis St. Jude).  You really need at least a full weekend to do it justice.  I would highly recommend the Rock and Soul Museum, Beale Street and Graceland just for starters.

AAA stadium and finish for
 St. Jude Half mary


I took the scenic route so I could drive through the suburbs of Collierville and Germantown.  I applied for a few jobs in that area years ago and it seems like a real nice area but I'm happy with where I am.  As planned, I arrived in downtown Memphis around lunch time and it was jammed.  I had to park in a public lot a few blocks away and had to circle around on foot to get back to Beale Street, which is a long strip of about 30 restaurants and bars with big crowds and live music.  I ended up at a place called the Blues City Cafe, where I got to see a decent local band while enjoying some ribs and a drink.

Memphis skyline

Crowded Beale St.

From there, it was a short walk down to the Mississippi River then back to my car.  I crossed the river into Arkansas just because I felt like it then turned back to Memphis to tour the Stax Museum of American Soul music.  This genre is secular but has roots in gospel music and reached its peak in popularity in the 1960s and early '70s.  That's a little before my time but I still had an appreciation of it.  What struck me most was that during the 1960s in the South, blacks and whites worked together side by side in the studio and were often part of the same band.  Nobody cared about skin color and everyone was treated as equals.  Somebody called it the embodiment of Dr. King's dream.  Amen to that. I left Memphis just after 5 and got home around 9:30 even with a stop in Tupelo for dinner.

Mississippi River

  I've driven through northeast MS many times so I knew what to expect.  It would be a constantly rolling course with very few flat spots.  None of the hills were particularly steep or long but the cumulative effects will take a toll in time.  It seemed to me that most of the uphills were longer and more gradual while the downs were a bit shorter and steeper, which is what I prefer.  Though it started and finished in town, most of the course was residential.  I was treated to numerous cheering fans, tree lined streets and some pretty nice homes.

I'd say I paced it pretty well.  I aimed for a 7:15 opening mile and came in just a few ticks south of that despite a largely uphill first mile then kept it steady on a mostly downhill 2nd mile.  I felt just okay here and fears of a collapse started to set in.  Fortunately, it was just a 10K so it wouldn't get too ugly and I figured if I could get to halfway still in control, it would be a decent finish.  Mile 3 was gradually uphill until a nice long downhill stretch stretch from about 2.75 to 3.0.  My watch read 21:52 so figure I was near 22:40 at the half.  The "A" goal of a sub-45 is not to be but I'm in good shape to be under 46.

For most of the midsection of the race, I found myself in a pack of about 5 runners, one of which was a well known local kid named Parker who looked to be no older than 13.  I found out later that he is the school's top middle school cross-country runner.  On the uphill in Mile 4, I made a move ahead but I felt my legs go dead with about 2 miles to go.  Then again, nobody feels good at this point of a 10K.  Keep pushing.  The pace slowed but remained respectable as I passed 5 miles in 37-flat.  I was still on track to break 46 and there would be only 1 more uphill stretch to go.  Unfortunately, the pack pulled away from me again but I had increased the pace as well.  By the homestretch into town, I found another gear and unleashed a big league finishing kick that reeled in 2 runners.  Overall, this was about what I expected.  Times will continue to improve with steady training.
7:12 (7:12)
7:14 (14:26) downhill
7:26 (21:52)
7:36 (29:28) uphill
7:32 (37:00)
7:20 (44:20)
1:20 (45:40) 6:40 pace for .2
Age group: 10th out of 56.
Percentile rank: 82
  As I was heading back to my car, a random woman stopped me on the street just to say Thanks for coming to town.  Stuff like that I what I love about the South.

Next up:
 I may do the Cotton Row 5K in Huntsville on Memorial Day and I think I've got a shot at another age group PR there (21:54) but the epic road trip is 4 weeks away.  I'll just jog the Teton half but the one in Helena, Montana the following week will be a serious effort.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Training 5/1-5/7 (possible race)

The race option is the Coca-Cola 10K in Corinth, Miss'Sippy on Saturday.  I want a decent time on the board at that distance since turning 35.

5/1- AM- Felt decent early but it got real ugly late.  Finished with 3 miles in 24:57 (8:19 pace) with a last mile just south of 9.  Extra Ultimate B made me feel slightly worse when I got home.  It's probably the NADH as the one ingredient that's bad.  I do think I can tolerate it as an ingredient in due time but never again as a stand alone.  I will cut the dose to 1 pill and take it in the evening.  If I cannot take it, that could once again be the end of the line. With it, the B-12 as a stand alone will be both necessary and well tolerated.  Without it, the B-12 is still necessary but the intolerance to it will kick in with a VENGEANCE! The only other option is other B-vitamins as a stand alone.

PM- Slightly better.  This time, I never did feel strong but did a lot better in holding the pace.  Another 3 miles in 23:33 (7:51 pace).  MINUS 28.  Splits were nearly dead even but this was just about as fast as I could go.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=6.0

5/2- 4 miles on Lakeshore on a picture perfect day.  80 degrees with low humidity and barely a cloud in the sky.  Put out tempo effort and finished in 29:07 (7:17 pace) plus a half mile cool.  MINUS 34 over an extra mile.  Even pace but not much kick left.  This would bring me home in a low-45 for 10K.  Further improvements are possible between now and Saturday so I'm leaning towards doing it.  Took no Ultimate B this morning but could still be reeling from yesterday's 4 pills.  From now on, it's 1 only in the evening.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=4.5

5/3- AM- 3 mile tempo at Gold's in 20:35 (6:52 pace).  I believe this is my best time of the year at this distance.  Just like yesterday, I ran even splits but was pretty much wide open at the end and could not pick up the pace.  Still, this was better than yesterday.  Figure with an extra mile, add 10 seconds so that's still a MINUS 15.  I'll plan on doing the 10K barring a relapse but I'll keep the expectations low.  I'll shoot for around 46 on a rolling course (7:25 ish pace)

PM- Trak Shak 7.5 loop in 59:40 (7:57 pace).  Felt free and easy for the first 5 but struggled in the last third, which is understandable especially on this route.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow.  If my body demands an extra rest day, I will obey.  Still planning on racing on Saturday.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=10.5

5/4- Gold's 3 in 22:15 (7:25 pace) then stepped on the gas and clocked an 84 quarter mile (5:36 pace) despite the tight turns.  I have no doubt that I can hold this pace for 6.2, which would bring me home just north of 46-flat.  I think I can get into the 45s but breaking it will be tough.  Added a 6 lap cool.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=4.0

5/5- Planned rest day

5/6- Coca-Cola 10K in 45:40 (7:20 pace).  Just about what I expected to do.
Grade:B+/3 credit/distance=7.0

5/7- 3 mile recovery jog at Gold's.  Who cares about the time?  It was apparent that the 2nd dose of taurine yesterday after the race was a bad call and it may have cost me a bit on the course.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
Win #3 on the year.  Solid but unspectacular most of the week but I'll take it.
Distance=35.0/ GPA= 3.09
YTD: 542 miles.  Record: 3-14 with a 2.00

Monday, April 24, 2017

Training 4/24-4/30

4/24- Normally, the day after I hit rock bottom, I can manage 3@8:30ish.  Not so today.  I went out around that pace but could not hold it.  Settled for a 27:45 (9:15 pace).  MINUS 39.  There is something deeper going on here beyond the B12 issues.  NADH may help but it seems unlikely that the low dose B12 will nor will extra MF.  I did my Ferritin re-test this morning and hopefully, it's the last one.  I'll be satisfied with anything close to 100.  I'm considering going back to Yasko's Methyl Mate if the Ferritin results are good.  The molybdenum will prevent it from rising again.  Without NADH, I can't expect to be much better until Wednesday evening.
Grade:D-/1 credit/distance=3.0

4/25-Rest day.  Feel just about as bad as ever so I didn't even try.  Ferrittin is 186 so that's almost no difference from last time.  Unless I can now tolerate IP6, my only chances to bring it down are a liver flush or blood donation.

Morley thinks methylation will take care of itself with Bee pollen.  I find that hard to believe but I'll give it a shot.  I know that Liver Beef is something that I REALLY can't take.  One piece of good news is that it appears IP-6 is tolerated for the time being.  That bodes well for the Ultimate B.  It should arrive before lunch tomorrow.

4/26-AM- No workout.  Bee pollen is a non-factor as predicted.  Best news is I felt noticeable improvement within minutes of taking NADH.  Jury is still out on the Ultimate B.  I was visibly sick at work and my co-workers knew it.

PM- MUCH BETTER.  3 miles in 21:51 (7:17 pace).  Even pace with a lot left at the end.  At least so far, Ultimate B is tolerated.  That is excellent news.  That means PABA and B-2 are not needed as stand-alone supps.  There is a chance that B-12 and NADH are not needed either.  Ultimate B does contain both.  I will see tomorrow with a trial and error workout.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=3.0

4/27-AM- 3x6 laps at Gold's:
Ultimate B with no extra B-12 or NADH- 4:30 (6:45 pace)
With NADH- 4:18 (6:27 pace) same effort
Added B-12- 4:34 (6:51 pace) with more effort
I will perform acceptably well without NADH but definitely got a boost with it.  B12 as a stand alone is going to be a NO and I pitched the high strength bottle.  I still did okay with it but was noticeably weaker.  The amount in the Ultimate B should be both tolerated and all I need.  Excellent news.

PM- Mountain Brook 5 loop (Canterbury-Jack's Shell-Overbrook-Jemison) in a solid 37:45 (7:33 pace).  Even pace on a hilly route.  Felt good and when the B-12 clears, it will get better.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=7.0

4/28- Short and quick.  I want to be ready for tomorrow's long run.  We're getting our first taste of summer this weekend so it will be tough out there.  Today, I went with no B12 as a stand alone and just 1 Ultimate B and NADH.  Did not do badly at all but I probably need 2 to perform my best.  3 miles at Gold's in 21:33 (7:11 pace).  Moderate effort.  Felt good during the run but it hurt afterwards.  If I can hold this pace for 10K, it will bring me home under 45 minutes.  I think I can do it.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=3.0

4/29- Run #1- Another EXTREMELY MADDENING failed group run.  Managed just 2 miles in 18:50 (9:25 pace).  I feared that the IP-6 or Ultimate B was the culprit.  Nope.  I need B-12 as a stand alone after all.  I should have seen it coming after yesterday's run hurt more than it should have afterwards.  Binged on caffeine in my frustration before realizing the problem.

Run #2- Despite being weakened by the caffeine, I improved to 23:30 for 3 miles at Gold's (7:50 pace).  B-12 was clearly the difference.  I still have to be careful about taking too much but it won't be a disaster if I do.  I should probably take it in the evening to get some clearance.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=5.0

4/30- The NADH looked like a miracle on Wednesday but has turned disastrous on Sunday.  I knew it before I started but just had to confirm it.  Vestavia track mile in 10:20.  1st half in 4:45 then RESTED and took a 2nd NADH and managed only a 5:35 on the back half.  The bottle will be pitched and I won't be surprised if B-12 as a stand alone gives me problems again.

Run #2- Improved to 9:17 on Wisteria.  Woopity doo!

#3- Improved all the way to 7:24.  NADH is clearing fast.  
Grade:F+/2 credit/distance=2.0

-24 miles on the week.  YTD: 507.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sensitivity to B12

In the weeks leading up to NYC, I had been taking mega doses (8.6 mg) all in a single pill.  The ill-effects of too much caught up to me shortly after race day and may have cost me a couple minutes in the race itself.  For the next 3-4 weeks, I first reduced my dose then developed a complete intolerance.  After stopping it, I made my usual steady progress including a half marathon training run in just under 1:41, which if it had been a race, would have been my best time since 2014. 

I just read today that 30 enzymes are involved in B12 synthesis.  If just one of those goes bad, you can and will have problems.  I already knew that my MTR and MTRR genes have double mutations so I fully expected that the need for B-12 would come up again but hoped to stabilize on a lower dose.  There's still a chance that I will.  I have ordered 1 mg pills from Yasko and expect them to arrive on Monday.  With a need of neither more nor less than 1 mg, it's hard to estimate by breaking a pill into eighths so unless a bite off just a tiny bit, I am likely to overshoot the target.

Here's what happened after the deficiency flared up on Wednesday:
-Improved immediately after taking it but it quickly became apparent that I took too much.
-Did not hit the point of equilibrium until Thursday evening but felt strong when I did (5@7:25).  Based on how I felt, I believe I had another 8 in me at that pace.  That would bring me home in a very respectable 1:37-flat for a half marathon.
-By Friday morning, I had already gone too long without it and after taking about 2.5 mg before work, I felt good for a few hours but began fading just before lunch and was awful in the afternoon once the pill fully kicked in.

Web-MD tells you that B-12 is non-toxic so there's no danger in taking too much.  At least in my experience, this is untrue.  There are several things you need to know before taking B-12.
-Is your ATP up to par?  If not, you will waste Lithium, which is required for transport into the cells.  Yasko's UEE test will let you know if you are excreting excess Lithium.
Is your Lithium up to par?  Yasko's hair test will let you know.  If either is low, your B-12 will pool up in the blood and never reach the cells.  Taking B-12 will do more harm than good in either case.  I learned the hard way in 2015.
-Is your Potassium up to snuff?  B-12 does lower Potassium.  It's possible that mine is a bit low now but as of my last hair test, it was not.
-What is your COMT status?  If you have this mutation, you may react badly to the methyl form of B-12 and require hydroxy or adenosyl B-12.

What is causing the sensitivity and what options do I have?
I know that my Lithium is up to par and if anything, it may be too high.  It also seems unlikely that ATP is low because I recently took one of those caps and found it to be a non-factor.  I had ill-effects if I took it for too many consecutive days.  The only reasonable explanations are a Potassium deficiency or some other defective enzyme.  I'm betting it's the latter.

Option 1: Increase other B-vitamins, specifically methyl folate because B-vitamins work together.  I'm afraid it's unlikely that will work but I will give it a try.

Option 2: Deal with the sensitivity and simply take 1 or 2 mg. every day.  That's acceptable so long as the magic dose does not fluctuate.  When the low dose pills arrive, I'll know exactly how much I am taking.  I have a rather narrow window of molybdenum that works (100-200 mcg) but taking 150 every day solved the sulfite sensitivity without depleting the copper.  The same could happen with low dose B-12.

Option 3: Find a precursor to reduce the sensitivity.  Before I took PABA, I had an unacceptable sensitivity to methylfolate.  Now, as long as I do not consume too much caffeine, that problem is solved.  My best bet on that is a product called NADH.  If I can tolerate Yasko's Ultimate B, it would make things a LOT easier.  Last time, it had an ingredient that was not tolerated (probably IP-6).  Perhaps that's solved thanks to molybdenum.  This would be a single pill that contains NADH, PABA and perhaps even enough B-12 to eliminate the need for it as a stand alone supplement and would do a lot for cleaning out my cabinet and filling up my wallet.

I said after NYC that I would likely stabilize around the 21/45/1:40 range, which is an acceptable outcome if it can be done consistently.  I now believe that it is an ALL or NOTHING proposition.  Either I will make a full recovery or it will be like this for the rest of my life. 

I saw a Facebook post from a prominent evangelical preacher who says that happiness is a choice.  You may not always be able to control what happens to you but you can determine what goes on inside.  NAIVE AND HURTFUL SENTIMENT!  That's always been a pet peeve of mine.  I CANNOT DETERMINE WHAT GOES ON INSIDE MY BODY OR PREDICT HOW I WILL REACT TO TREATMENTS.
If you are deficient in the following chemicals, here's what happens:
Adrenaline- Fatigue, flu-like malaise and appearance of low motivation when the opposite is true.
Dopamine- Low mood, can't feel pleasure.  Vulnerable to addiction.
Serotonin- Sadness for no reason.  Women get crying spells while men are prone to angry outbursts.  No amount of faith or positive attitude can change that.
The only way out is to balance your chemistry.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ancestry Revisited

Here’s what I already knew about my family history:

Father’s side:
My paternal grandmother was born in Scotland and came to America in the 1920s while my paternal grandfather was as far as we know, almost all German or at least continental Western European.  Both passed away in the 1990s so I did meet and get to know them a little bit.  I sure wish I had known them as an adult.

Mother’s side:
Both my maternal grandparents are still alive and I have vague memories of one great grandparent.  I know that my maternal grandfather is the son of Polish immigrants and my grandmother is mostly Polish with the possibility of some German mixed in as well.

My 23andme Results:
16% was listed as Broadly European, which means that it could not be confirmed to be a more specific region but it probably would add 4-6% to the top 3 categories so I’ll estimate it based on that assumption.
-38% Eastern European (includes Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Russia, etc)
-33% Western European (Germany, France, Austria, Swiss, Belgian)
-23% British/Irish (England, Scotland, Ireland)

None of that was a surprise and the percentages seem to be about right give or take a couple of points.  What was interesting is the trace regions that go back up to 8-10 generations and beyond my known family tree.  I did some research beforehand so none of this was a total shock to me but quite interesting nonetheless.
-3% Scandinavian (Denmark, Sweden, Norway)
-2% Balkan (Greece, former Yugoslavia)
-1% Ashkenazi Jewish (cool)

Because of migration patterns, I figured that the Scandinavian came from my father and the Balkan and probably the Jewish ancestry came from my mother.  I even guessed that the Jewish came from my grandmother and the Balkan from my grandfather.  I was correct on all accounts. 
Perhaps if I traced it 2 generations further back, I might find something else that would be quite interesting so I bought a test kit for both grandparents who agreed to do the test.

-Over 80% Eastern European (no surprise there) but as expected, there was 8-9% Western European mixed in as well.  That can be explained by migration as Poland borders Germany, which is classified as West Europe.  Somebody with mostly Russian ancestry would be less likely to show West Europe and more likely to have some Asian DNA. 

-Only 1% Balkan, which told me that came from my grandfather as predicted.

-3x more Jewish ancestry than I have so no doubt it came almost all from her.

-2 surprises, which included less than 1% British/Irish and less than 1% Finnish.  The latter did not show up on my report because it was considered too old.  My results show it was “washed away” but I say it’s still there.  While my results probably go back to about 1750, 2 more generation would take it back to 1700.  Anything from the 17th century or earlier probably won’t show up in the results but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  My niece and nephew may not show any Jewish ancestry but it’s still there.

Again, if you include the Broadly European with the Eastern Europe, he’s also over 80% Eastern European with 8-9% Western mixed in.

-8% Balkan,which was expected based on my results and was actually a little higher than expected.
The surprise was trace amount from Iberia (Spain/Portugal) that did not show up on my report either.  Definitely worth finding.

Some estimates:
I’d imagine my father is about 50% German, 45% British/Irish and 5-6% Scandinavian but there is always a chance that something unexpected could show up.  Perhaps there is a small amount of Eastern European due to migration but it’s likely not significant or else my percentage would be higher.

My mother is about 80-85% Eastern European, 8-10% West European, 4-5% Balkan, 1% Jewish with traces of British, Finnish and Iberian.  Pretty cool and none of that would have been known without this test.  No need to test her.  It’s highly unlikely that anything else would show up.  In fact, the Finnish and Iberian may have “washed away” by her generation.

To my knowledge, my brother in-law is half Irish and half Polish so my niece and nephew would have interesting results.  Figure about 35-40% British/Irish and 35-40% Eastern Europe and at least 15% West Europe.  The Balkan and Scandinavian would still show up but the Jewish, Spanish and Finnish may be “washed away” unless there is some in my brother-in law.

I knew that it was highly unlikely to see a trace of Native American or sub-Saharan African DNA but I did suspect a bit of Asian, Middle Eastern or even possibly North African.  Nope.  Both my report and my maternal grandparents show 100% European.  Again, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  It could have come from somebody born in the 17th century.  The Ottoman (Turkish) Empire had a strong presence in the Balkans and the Silk Road trade routes came through Poland.  

I might go ahead and try in the future to compare results.  I expect it will be pretty similar give or take a few points.  Which is better?  It depends on what you are looking for.  Here are a few examples:

Ancestry separates British and Irish so I could see how much of each I have.
23andme separates Italian from Balkan while Ancestry would list it as Italy/Greece so I might think I had a trace of Italian if I had done Ancestry.  Again, there’s still a chance that I do.
Ancestry lists many West African nations such as Nigeria, Congo, Ghana and a few others while 23andme simply lists it as West African, East African and South African. If you are African American, Ancestry would be highly recommended over 23andme.
Ancestry simply lists East Asian, South Asian and Central Asian while 23andme narrows it down to Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Mongolian.  If you are Asian-American, 23andme is your best choice.
Ancestry separates Middle East from the Caucuses region (southern Russia, Georgia, Turkey. Armenia) so that would be recommended if you have known Middle Eastern ancestry.

This is fascinating.

Training 4/17-4/23

4/17- It's safe to say now that the higher dose of Magnesium has FAILED.  Why?  I have no idea.  Methylation should INCREASE the need for Mag, not decrease tolerance for it.
Junk run on Wisteria.  Covered only 1 mile in 9:36 plus a warm and cool.  I'll consider this my rest day on the week.

4/18- AM- 2 miles in 18:26 (9:13 pace).  MINUS 23 over twice the distance.  Cut the Mag from 750 to 250 but may have upped the MF too quickly.  Back in action this evening

PM- Exactly as expected.  I am SO SICK of this pattern of relapse, improvement, relapse then repeat.
Did 3 miles at Gold's in 25:10 (8:23 pace).  MINUS 50.  How long can I sustain this round of improvements?  Total for the day was 5 miles in 43:36 (8:43 pace), which is quite lame.  I suppose this is better than another setback but the foot/ankle still has not gone away completely either.  I hope to be near "normal" by tomorrow.
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=5.5

4/19- Today was NOT as expected.  It was much worse.  Tried to run with the group and DIED after just 1.5 miles despite a pace well over 8:00.  Turned around and could not even hold a 10:00 pace on the back half.   Got home to find that the B-12 deficit has flared up, which I fully expected to happen eventually.  I HOPE that the dose will now stabilize around 1-2 mg.

PM- I know that a B-12 deficit will affect tolerance to MF and other sulfate based products so that explains some of the issues I had last week.  Did it have any impact on the magnesium intolerance?  It appears that answer is YES.  Did 1 mile at Gold's in 7:52 then loaded on Mag and came back with a 7:50.  That's not even close to a significant difference so that's good news.  I'll have problems if I skip Mag long-term but on a day-day basis, it's a non-factor.
Grade:F+/1 credit/distance=5.0

The issue of laziness among runners came up today.  Not everyone knows that I am sick.  Yes, I've been called names such as "pussy" in the past.  Those who don't know that I am sick could reach the same conclusion today.  If you are deficient in adrenaline, you will give the appearance of low motivation but the truth is you have to push harder than anyone just to do the meager amount that you can.

4/20- Sneaked under the Mendoza line with a 23:47 performance for 3 miles (7:56 pace).  Even splits but no strength at all.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=3.0

PM-Surprisingly better.  5 miles in 37:04 (7:25 pace).  Could have broken 37 if I really pushed at the end.  Very smooth and relaxed all the way just like an old standard issue run.  What a difference 10 hours can make!  This sort of thing is nothing new for me and I could collapse tomorrow.  6 weeks until my epic road trip.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.0

4/21- I've developed extreme sensitivity to B-12.  Without it, I can't run at all but must be very careful about overshooting the balance point.  3 miles naked at junk pace.  That's okay because I intended it to be slow but I clearly felt off my game.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=3.0

4/22- Another embarrassing group run.  Kept up for 2 miles at 7:45ish pace then DIED and finished up with 5 miles in 47:30 (9:30 pace) with the last half in the 11 minute range.  I only took approximately 2.5 mg of B-12 and it was still WAY too much.  Something must be done about this.  It's unacceptable.
Grade:F/2 credit/distance=5.0

4/23- 2 miles at Gold's in a robust 19:54 (9:57 pace) but I did have even splits.  Got home and stayed in bed for most of the day.  Ordered NADH and Ultimate B.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=2.0

Weekly summary:
Managed 30 miles but all except 1 session was CRAP.  I've got what I hope is my last ferritin test tomorrow morning.  We'll see if molybdenum lowered it to an acceptable level.

  The low dose B-12 should arrive tomorrow but I will probably have to wait until Wednesday or Thursday for the NADH.  NADH is tolerated as part of a combo and was an ingredient in Methyl Mate but I'm not sure about its effect as a stand alone.  When on MethylMate, I was not sensitive to B12 as long as I took molybdenum.  I stopped because it raised Iron and ferritin and found that TMG/SAM-e was more effective.

  The best case scenario is that Ultimate B works.  If so, I don't need B-2, PABA or NADH as a stand alone and may not even need B12.  That will save pills and money.
Distance=30.0/ GPA= 1.00
YTD: 483 miles.  2-13 with a 1.92

Monday, April 10, 2017

Training 4/10- 4/16

4/10- AM- Gold's 3 in 22:08 (7:23 pace) plus a half mile cool.  Good news is that a sub- 7:30 pace is beginning to feel easy again. I could have done 6 easily if I got up earlier. Bad news is I've got a little bit of niggles in my hip and ankle.  Back in action this evening but at a slower pace.

PM- I've had a scare.  The sore ankle got worse in the afternoon and more supplements  (Mag and MF) triggered a relapse.  I may need Cal again.  MF must be limited.  Let's hope it's a 1- 2 day blip but the relapse always happens when hope is beginning to rise.  Grade reflects only the morning session.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance- 4.0

4/11- I could barely walk yesterday afternoon so I was thankful just to be able to run without severe pain.  Junk run in the neighborhood.  2 miles in 19:36 (9:48 pace).  I  don't care about that.  My ankle held up and it appears that's going to be okay.  I need to keep the MF dose below 2000.  Tonight I will load on Mag and we shall see if I need Cal.  B12 and Curcumin remain a NO but that could change down the road.
Grade:Pass.  Distance- 2.0

4/12- Very strange Cato.  Plain Mag triggered the relapse but Jigsaw with the cofactors appears to be okay.  Cal made things worse so that's almost certainly a NO.  Did 1 mile in 11:56 but at least I know the culprit and have nowhere to go but up from here.  I may try again this evening but it won't be significantly better.

PM- I was significantly better than the morning session.  2 miles at Veteran's Park and my time is down to 17:42 (8:51 pace) and the ankle pain is nearly gone.  I expect to be normal for the weekend.
Grade:D-/1 credit/distance- 3.0

4/13- Only marginally better than yesterday.  3 miles in 26:15 (8:45 pace).  My theory is that I need more Jigsaw and less MF.  Very disappointed in this workout.

PM-More Jigsaw resulted in more marginal improvement.  3 miles this time at Heardmont Park on paved and unpaved trails.  Finished in 25:24 (8:28 pace).  I believe I'll be better tomorrow but it's a long shot that I'll be normal by Saturday.  MF definitely needs to be cut.  This stuff also increases the need for Mag.  I know I need more than 1000 but 1400 is enough.  1200 is in the unknown zone.
Grade:D/2 credit/distance- 6.0
-Mileage will be decent this week but it's been all junk so far and will not produce gains in fitness.

4/14- 5 mile loop through Mountain Brook.  Got the significant improvement but still had to work harder than planned to hit pace.  Finished in 39:50 (7:58 pace) with relatively even splits.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance- 5.0

4/15- 14 miles with many of the old Gnomes.  The group pace worked well for me.  Finished in 1:55:17 (8:14 pace).  Pretty well spent at the end and not a lot left but the splits were very even.
Grade:B/2 credit/distance- 14.0

4/16- 4 mile recovery jog.  Time was 34:44 (8:41 pace).  Not concerned about that but this still doesn't feel right.  Last week's recovery jog felt much easier.  I think extra Mag has DECREASED my need and tolerance for MF, which is the opposite of what is expected.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance- 4.0

Weekly summary:
This was a downer. I will try to find the right balance of Mag and MF.
Distance- 38.0. GPA- 2.05
YTD- 453 miles.  2- 12, 1.99

Monday, April 3, 2017

Training 4/3-4/9

4/3- Gold's 5 in 40:46 (8:09 pace).  Figure that I would have been around 42-flat if I stopped at 5 yesterday (actually I was 6@8:28) so consider this a MINUS 15.  Again, I went with NO B-12 and expect that I may not need it for quite a while.  Slow and steady progress again.  By FAR, the most frustrating part of this ordeal is EVERY TIME I THINK I'VE GOT IT ALL SET, SOMETHING UNEXPECTED FLARES UP!  Still. with 375 miles in the first quarter, my distance is pretty respectable even though the record is ugly.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.0

4/4- Change up. Trak Shak 8 in 65:40 (8:13 pace). Only 4 ticks slower than yesterday despite a hilly route and 3 extra miles. Didn't feel much different than yesterday but on level ground for 5 miles, I think I am below 8:00 pace. Normally, I can get down to 7:20 then I relapse.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance-8.0

4\5- Gold's 3 in 21:52 (7:17 pace). I continue to get marginally better every day and I bet I could get close to 38-flat for 5 miles. Still not even close to getting my hopes up.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance-3.5

4/6- Gold's 5 in 36:11 (7:14 pace).  Very strong.  I only hoped to get into the 36s today.  I never thought I'd come close to breaking it.  Negative split and I really burned it over the last quarter mile, which was unofficially 88 seconds.  I believe this is my 2nd fastest time at this distance since the relapse.  I need to break 35 to really feel like I'm on my way.   I have a chance at a win with a strong long run this weekend.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.0

4/7 Planned rest day

4/8 BTC social.  13.1 miles in 1:40:55 (7:42 pace).  Strong.  I was really rolling in the midsection and threw in a few in the 7:30 range.  Tied up a bit at the end with a sore groin and calf but I won't complain.  Just realized this was nearly 10 minutes faster than my first 13.1 training run just 2 months earlier.  The next 10 won't come so easily but I could be competitive soon IF I AVOID THE RELAPSE. Barring a disaster tomorrow, I've got win #2 on the year.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance= 13.5

4/9- Easy 5 with no watch, also known as naked running.  Still understandably sore from yesterday but had plenty of energy.  Route was the RR social route from Highland park down to the Rotary trail and back up through town.  Held my form on the climbs.
Grade:B plus/1 credit/distance- 5.0

Weekly summary:
Win #2 on the year.
Distance - 40.0 GPA- 3.20
YTD- 415 miles.  2-11 with a 1.98

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Potential Repeat States/International

I've booked the flight and most of the hotel reservations for the epic road trip so it's a GO!  Assuming I can finish both, it will take me up to 31 states.  I've got another idea for New England trip in which I race 4 states in 8 days on back to back weekends during peak foliage season.  During the week, I'd tour Quebec and Ottawa, Canada before heading south to Boston and Cape Cod.  That will be next year.  I can't afford to take 2 epic trips in 1 years and take off that much work with a new boss.  For the Fall race, I'm leaning towards New Mexico to support a couple of BTC members going for all 50 states in the full marathon.

If all goes according to plan, I'll enter 2018 with 18 states to go and that can be done in 12-13 trips with the opportunities to double.  Figure 5 more years and I'll be done.  What to do after that?

I definitely want to go International.  As for Canada, I'll have 7 of 10 provinces visited after the epic road trip and I may just go for all 10.  I will NOT race in all 10.  Manitoba is reachable from Minnesota and Saskatchewan is less than a day away from South Dakota.  Newfoundland could be nice on the way to Europe to gradually adjust to the time change.  I have Facebook friends in Germany, Hong Kong and Brazil and all 3 of them are runners.  I bet I could convince a couple of Christian friends to visit Israel with me even if they don't race.  Also on my bucket list are Cape Town, South Africa and the United Kingdom but I would not feel comfortable going alone to either location.  Hopefully, I will be married by then but unless I am stable chemically, I don't see that happening.

I may have to repeat this answer when I actually finish the 50 states but here's what I've got so far.

Florida: Repeating Seaside 20 years after my debut could be cool.  Also, Miami has been on the radar off and on for several years.

Alabama and Mississippi- Aside from racing Mercedes again, Mobile and Tupelo are 2 of my favorite cities.  I've done a 10K in both locations but never a half.

Georgia and South Carolina- Charleston and Savannah are another 2 of my favorites and I've not raced either at any distance.  I chose Greenville and Atlanta instead.

Washington DC- Not a state but I figure I've got to do it once I hit all 50.  I'd probably choose the Rock n Roll event.  I hear the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is hard to get into.

Tennessee- I've already done Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis.  The latter remains one of my all time favorites and could be repeated someday.

Kentucky- I wanted to do the Louisville Kentucky Derby race but went with Lexington because of a family commitment.  Louisville remains an option.

New York- I intend to go back to NYC someday but would probably choose the Brooklyn half instead.  It starts in Prospect Park and finishes on the boardwalk of Coney Island.  It's a Spring race so there's no risk of snow.  Hotels are a bit less expensive and there are a few things that I missed in Manhattan that would be worth seeing such as the Rock in the daylight with views of Central Park in full bloom and a Yankee game in the Bronx.

Pennsylvania- This is a definite and Pittsburgh is my choice.  PA is so far the only state in which I failed to break 2 hours.  That needs to change.

Illinois- I did Chicago back in 2008 but really couldn't do it justice.  The weather was rainy every day and I missed out on Rush Avenue and the Sears Tower.  A Cubs game is something I'd like to do but I'm sure tickets are VERY HARD to get.  I do have a friend who lives just an hour north of here.

Texas- 3M Austin was GREAT but I didn't consider it an authentic Texas experience because the culture is so much different from the rest of the state.  I'd consider Dallas White Rock or CowTown Ft. Worth.

Oregon- Maybe I'll do Eugene again to come full circle after my first marathon.

California- San Diego is definitely on my bucket list as is a day trip to Mexico.  In August, it should be warm enough to swim in the Pacific.  I could also take a day trip back to LA.  I saw Beverly Hills, Malibu and Simi Valley but not much of downtown LA.

Alaska- I'd like to go here again during the summer solstice as I did before.  The race wasn't all that special so I'd either run something else or not at all.  I'd like to see the Arctic Circle, Denali State Park and areas south of Anchorage.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Training 3/27-4/2

3/27- 2ish miles at around 8 minute pace. Felt okay. Had to cut it short because of lightning in the area. I think I have detoxed everything and am ready to roll.
No Grade/0 credit/distance=2.0

3/28- Very poor. 3 miles at Gold's in 26:48 (8:56 pace). The culprit is B12, which is related to Iron metabolism.  Opened with a decent 7:47 then it was sharply downhill from there.  Actually had to push to keep the overall pace under 9.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=3.0

3/29- Trak Shak 5 in 41:30 (8:18 pace).  MINUS 38 over 2 additional miles.  I attribute that improvement to reducing the B-12 dose from 8 mg to 4 mg.  It's still too high.  I'll try 2 mg tomorrow and maybe 1 mg. down the road.  Getting off it completely will never happen because of my genetics and if I can't tolerate it at all, that would be a BIG problem just like the methyl folate.  I'd have to go back on Lithium and possibly ATP.  Still, it was a nice improvement over yesterday.  NO MORE RELAPSES!  When I get the B-12 regulated, I will do what I hope is my last Ferritin re-test.  IT BETTER BE MUCH IMPROVED!
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=5.0

3/30- Gold's 5 in 38:51 (7:46 pace).  MINUS 32.  Even pace with something left at the end but the legs are still awfully heavy.  I should be in the low-mid 36s given my current fitness.  I did cut the B-12 down to 2ish mg and it's still too much.  I'm going down to just a trace but it may take time for the excess to clear.  I will try ATP with a micro dose of Lithium tonight but predict a swift negative response that should clear by the morning.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=5.0

3/31- As expected, the ATP was well tolerated but just a trace of Lithium triggered a negative reaction.  It cleared by morning and I took just a trace of B-12.  Strong performance as a result.  Repeated the Gold's 5 and my time is down to 36:55 (7:23 pace).  MINUS 23 and my effort was actually slightly less than yesterday.  I think I could go sub-36 in a race setting but not sub-35, which is the point of confidence barrier.  Legs are still a little heavy but felt somewhat like my old self today.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.0

4/1- Attempted long run but didn't have quite enough energy.  Totaled 8 miles from Brookwood in a time of 71:36 (8:57 pace).  Never did feel strong but kept the pace respectable through 4.1 miles then suddenly died and struggled for a 10 minute pace the rest of the way.  I thought my B-12 dose was too low but got home to find it is too high.  I will attempt to go off altogether for the time being.  Lithium and ATP are not the problem.  Excess B-12 is.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=8.0

4/2- Lakeshore 6 in 50:48 (8:28 pace). Never felt good but this time, I did not fade. Pace stayed near 8:30 on the back half and I could have finished 10 but it would have been ugly and painful. Took no B-12. Tacked on a long cool down.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance-8.0

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Epic Road Trip Plan

Now that I am recovered from my NYC trip, It's time to plan the next one.  I've already pulled the trigger on the first race and need to book the hotels soon before they sell out.

6/1-Fly into Helena, Montana- It's cheaper than Jackson Hole and so are the surrounding hotels.  I'll be finishing up my trip here anyway so that's less driving at the end.

6/2-Drive to Jackson Hole (4-5 hours).  Assuming I can get a fairly early start, I'll have time to tour the Tetons as well.

6/3-Grand Teton Half Marathon- I'm not racing it all out and the elevation precludes a good time anyway.  I just want to enjoy the scenery.  From there, I'll catch the parts of Teton Park that I missed yesterday then head into Yelowstone and stay there for the night.  There are 2 circular loops in the park and I figure I can catch at least the southern loop on this day.

6/4- Northern loop of Yellowstone and the Beartooth Highway.  Depending on how I feel, I can go to Helena or Great Falls that evening.

6/5-Drive to Calgary, Alberta, Canada and do a walking tour.

6/6- Finish touring Calgary.  Leave for the Banff area though I'll probably stay in Canmoore, a few miles east because it's much cheaper.

6/7- Very scenic drive through the Canadian Rockies that will include a couple short hikes.  I'll head back halfway and plan to stay in Invermere, British Columbia.

6/8- Back to the USA and stop near Glacier National Park.  I'll probably have time to at least get a sample of the park.

6/9-Finish touring Glacier.  Easy drive back to Helena.

6/10- Governor's Cup Half Marathon in Helena. Lazy day after that.

6/11- Flight home.

Here is just a little bit of the scenery that I will see along the way.
Canadian Rockies


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NYC Trip Report

A typical Crazy J trip is characterized by doing and seeing as much as possible in a limited amount of time.  I don't like to simply lounge around in an expensive hotel and don't really care about fine dining either.  I do enjoy going off the beaten path to take in some local culture away from more typical tourist spots.  On this trip, I took it to a new level with the sightseeing.  I don't think I've ever crammed this much into a long weekend before.

3/17- Caught a 6:30 flight out of B'ham and landed in LaGuardia around 10:00 local time.  I took a cab into town, which took an hour and cost me over $50.  I would recommend taking a bus to a nearby subway station instead.  I was able to get a pass for unlimited subway rides for the rest of my trip.  I dropped off my bag at the hotel and I was out the door on my way to Grand Central Station, just 10 blocks away.  I got some lunch at Mendy's deli and browsed around a bit.

Grand Central

Next stop was Times Square.  I snapped a couple pictures and went into a few shops but did not buy anything.  Because it was St. Patrick's Day, I noticed a lot of drunks, pervasive use of the f-word and occasional smells of marijuana.  Word on the street is that you should not bother making small talk with locals and that's generally true but if you ask for directions, they will be helpful and courteous.  I got a nice surprise later in the day when a random young woman approached me in a subway station to compliment my smile.  That made my day.
Bull Market

It was on to Wall Street from there and this time, I did take the subway and found that I got a handle on the train routes pretty quickly.  I walked past the NYSE and the bull before reaching the new World Trade Center just a few blocks away.  I saw the 9/11 Memorial monuments then headed up 100 floors to the top of the Freedom Tower where I got some amazing shots of the skyline.  From there, I found myself in a very upscale shopping area that doubled as a subway station.  I ended up stopping at 34th St to get a view of the Empire State Building but chose to view the Top of the Rock instead.

I got tickets for a 8:50 PM observation and thought it was pretty cool to see the Rock at night after seeing the Freedom Tower in the daylight.  Not surprisingly, I was dead tired by now and was happy to settle in for the night.
9/11 Monument

Times Square

100th Floor of Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower 2

Empire State Building from 34th.
Top of the Rock at night

3/18-I planned to scale it back a bit to stay off the feet.  First stop was Tom's restaurant for breakfast which was used in the TV show Seinfeld.  The exterior is the same but the interior is different.  Much of the show itself was actually filmed in LA instead of NY.  I got some eggs with toast and potatoes, which was decent but only memorable because of Seinfeld.

Seinfeld Cafe

I hit the subway again to the Bronx for a tour of Yankee stadium.  In the only real downer of the trip, I was not allowed in because of a soccer match.  I did walk around a bit and got some tasty chicken at a local establishment for an authentic Bronx experience off the beaten path.  It was back to Manhattan from there where I got a quick sample of Central Park before a lazy afternoon in my room.  That worked out well because it was the only bad weather day of the trip.  In the evening, I met up with Nick and Cara for a steak dinner in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn before bed.

Central Park

3/19- Ran 13.1 miles in the morning.  More on that later. I got cleaned up, checked off St. Patrick's then took the subway into Brooklyn.  I ended up at Flatbush and Fulton St. Shopping district before making my way to Dumbo (Downtown Under Manhattan and Brooklyn Overpass) where I got some of the best pizza at a place called Juliana's.  I then walked across the Brooklyn bridge to Manhattan and back.  My legs held up okay.

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge

Next, I went into a section of Queens called Long Island City just to do something in that borough.  I got another nice view of Manhattan.  There were a few fancy restaurants overlooking the river but after a late lunch, I was fine with bar food.

View of Manhattan from Queens

3/20- Walking tour of the Upper West side including the Seinfeld apartment address of 129 W 81st St.  The address is real but it's home to a realty office not an apartment building.  A few blocks away was Riverside Park with views of New Jersey.  On the East Side, I just walked by the high end shops and did not even check the prices of items for sale then checked out Trump Tower.

Radio City
Had to Check it out.

Inside Trump Tower

With time to kill before my flight, I went back downtown to Battery Park where I saw a decent view of the Statue of Liberty.   I did have time for the 9/11 museum this time around and it was gripping.  Wish I had more time but I couldn't risk a SNAFU on the trip to the airport.

Now the race report:

2017 began just as horribly as the previous 2 years but I feel like I’ve turned a corner over the last 3 weeks thanks to molybdenum, which has opened up the sulfur pathways.  Still, being limited to 20-25 MPW over the last 2 years with much of that being junk runs, I could not expect a good time.  It’s going to take a few months of steady 40 MPW training before I see significant gains.  Based on my recent workouts, I thought I could do 1:42-1:43 if everything broke in my favor.  If I was a little off form, I would still be able to fight for a post-35 PR of 1:45:58.  There was some question about whether or not I should be taking glutathione for methylation support but unlike in the recent past, a single missed dose won’t kill me.

NYC got hit with a nasty Nor’Easter earlier in the week and there was a chance of another round of snow showers over the weekend.  It turned out okay.  Friday was sunny and 40 but Saturday was a mix of cold drizzle and snow flurries.  Fortunately, it cleared out by the morning.  Conditions at the start were mostly cloudy and 34 degrees with an 18 mph wind.  That’s tough but I’ve raced in worse.  In a long tech and pants, I was fine once I got moving and maybe a touch warm when the sun came out but chilly when the wind began to gust.

Looped around Central Park for the first half.  The terrain was for the most part gently rolling with the exception of tough spots in Mile 4 and near the start.  From there, we came out of the park and through Times Square before turning down towards Battery Park with views of the Freedom Tower.  The finish was near Wall Street.  Truly an iconic route.  From mile 6 on, it was ever so slightly downhill except for a small climb out of the tunnel near the finish.

Race outfit

I just stayed relaxed early and did not even look at the watch until I was over the first hill nearly a half mile in.  I hit the Mile marker in 7:53 which was just where I wanted to be.  Mile 2 saw some nice downhill and my pace quickened to the 7:30 range.  That’s too fast.  Back it down even though I felt good.  I passed 5K in 23:50 officially (7:40 pace), which would bring me home around 1:41.  It’s a little quick but not stupid fast and I still feel strong.  After a brief out and back section, we were in Harlem at the north edge of the park.  There were 3 noticeable climbs here including a long steep stretch for about a half mile near the end of Mile 4. 

By the end of Mile 5, we were through the hills except for the last stretch out of the tunnel and my watch read 38:5x or just north of 7:45 pace.  The 10K mark passed in 48:15, which is a new post-35 PR for that distance.  The 24:25 over the previous 5K was very respectable considering the hills and if paced well, this is a negative split course.  I’m not sure of my exact time at the halfway point because my GPS clocked it at 13.35 (quarter mile long) but I figure it was around 51-flat so I was in very good shape to hit my goal.  I really sucked at running the tangents today.  Central Park has a lot of curves in the road and I went wide most of the time.  Oh well.  Most of the remainder of the course would be flat and straight.

Many runners feel a surge of adrenaline upon entering Times Square.  I got a small boost and managed to pick up the pace a few ticks but it was no surge.  I still felt fairly comfortable but the legs were starting to hurt.  At mile 8, my watch read an even 62 minutes or exactly 7:45 pace.  The math was easy.  Just hold the pace under 8:00 for the last 5.1 and you’ve got a sub-1:43.  

Unfortunately, things unraveled just before the 9 Mile marker.  In a flash, I went from feeling relatively comfortable to flat out awful.  To make matters worse, the wind picked up bigly near the water.  I bet I instantly slowed by 30 seconds per mile and it would get worse from there.  Maybe I could have used the glutathione here but oh well.  I was 73:07 at 15K for a 24:52 split and still under 79 minutes at 10 miles.

The Freedom Tower was now in view and I tried to draw some inspiration but to no avail.  Taking a gel also had no effect.  Just getting to the Finish safely was the primary concern now.  According to the official results, my pace slipped to the 8:45 range and the last 5K was over 27 minutes.  Knowing that I would come up short of the “B” goal, I just coasted in on fumes with a watch time of 1:46:19, which was good enough for the 67th percentile in my age group. 

29 states down.

Final Thought:
All in all, I’m okay with this race.  Performances are expected to vary by up to 5% on any given day so I was well within the range even with the fade at the end.  If I had struggled to break 1:50, then changes would be needed.  I’ve broken that barrier only once in my previous 6 races so I still believe I’m on the right track.  The probable resolution is that I will never approach my former glory but if I can avoid the horrible days and extreme sensitivity to pills, it's a trade that I am more than willing to make.  Even if I am no longer competitive, I can still do well enough to enjoy these events.  I don’t think I would have visited NYC if not for this race and would have missed out on an amazing trip.  Next up is something out west and I am leaning towards the Teton/Helena combo in Wyoming and Montana.  Long way from the big city there.