Monday, July 17, 2017

Training 7/17-7/23

7/17- AM- MAKE OR BREAK the next 3 weeks.  I am off sugared drinks (day 8) and the adrenal spike has died down.  I am also back to my old formula. Going on 4 weeks since the blood donation, it's high time I start seeing some benefits. So far, I might make it.  3 miles in 21:15 (7:05) with a nice kick at the end.  Still lacked the top gear but this was one of my better efforts.  Narrowly missed my best time of the year.  I hope to be back out this evening.

PM- Took a 3rd TMG and was noticeable WORSE.  Fortunately, I was not horrible in my evening session.  I brought the Methyl Folate guessing that it could counteract the TMG.  Without it, I came through 2 miles in 15:28 then popped 2 pills and ran the next 2 in 15:20 for an overall time of 30:48 (7:42 pace).  Slightly better with the extra MF despite slightly tired legs but that's not enough to be considered significant.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=7.0

In the past, I needed an exact ratio of MF/TMG.  Thankfully, those days are gone but it does appear that I may be my best at a 1:1 ratio.  By that I mean, 1000 mcg of MF for every 1000 mg of TMG.  It also appears that I must not exceed 2000 mg of TMG per day no matter how much MF I take.  I'm willing to experiment a little with existing pills but I'm done with new ones.  Odds are, the optimal ratio will make a difference of maybe 10-15 ticks per mile, which is not that big of a deal.

7/18- AM- 2x2.5 miles at Gold's.  Opened with 2000 MF and 1000 TMG and finished with a solid 18:20 (7:20 pace) and got stronger as the run progressed.  Popped another TMG hoping to find another gear.  Indeed I did.  Improved to 17:47 (7:07 pace) on the back half and dipped under 7:00 for the last mile.  MINUS 13 with the balanced ratio JUST AS I PREDICTED.  Overall time was a solid 36:07 (7:13 pace) for 5 miles.  If I went non-stop, I believe I can go sub-21 for 3 miles and sub-36 for 5 miles on the balanced ratio. Not half bad for being under-trained for so long.  That's it for today.

PM- Took 2 MF after the run and it left me slightly weakened.  Impromptu 2 on Lakeshore in 14:52 (7:26 pace).  About as expected in 90 degree heat.  A 1:1 ratio is best but if I err on the side of TMG or MF, the results will be about the same.  Not horrible but noticeably weaker.  Added a mile cool.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=8.0

7/19- Trak Shak 5 in the heat.  Dialed back the effort a bit and finished in 39:50 (7:58 pace).  Average performance.  Energy was a little down today but I suppose that's normal considering my workouts the past 2 days.  The only question to be answered regarding my formula is whether I need 1000 MF/TMG or 2000.  I'm betting it's 2000 but I'll give both a shot.  I've got a chance to win this week.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=5.0

7/20- 2x1 mile experimental intervals.  Started on 1000 of each and clocked a 6:59 on tempo effort.  Upped it to 2000 and improved to 6:41.  Maybe I turned up the effort a little bit but not 18 seconds worth.  2000 it is.  Added a mile cool and decided to take the evening off.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=3.0

SOD supplementation is a non-factor at low doses but if I up it, I am a bit weakened.  I had been taking larger doses to get rid of it but have decided to pitch it along with the Liver pills.  I'll keep the Whole Food C in case I need it after the 2nd blood donation.  That's allowed in 4 weeks time but I'll hold off another week or 2.

7/21- Planned rest day.  I can win this week just by finishing my long run.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Training 7/10-7/16

7/10-AM.  Good start.  2 mile quickie at Gold's in 13:56 with back to back 6:58 splits.  I'll be back out this evening.

PM- Adrenal spike hit HARD this afternoon.  I expect it will last 5-7 days but I can control it with extra ADHS.  Another 2 mile this time at junk pace on Wisteria.  By the weekend, I hope to get a final answer on Liver Beef and Livatone.  MAYBE then, I'll have a formula that I can ride to the FINISH in New Mexico.  Let's say the Ferritin drops by 5 points per week.  It will be under 100 by New Mexico, which is still higher than ideal but not bad enough to produce horrible symptoms.  By Labor Day, it will be in the 130 range and I should see improvements by then.
Grade:C/1 credit/Distance=4.0

7/11- Day 2 is usually the roughest day of a sugar detox.  This is probably as bad as the adrenal spike will get.  4 miles in 34:34 (8:38 pace).  Weak effort.  Miles 2-3 were approaching 9 but came back a little at the end.  I should be better tomorrow.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=4.0

7/12- Day 3.  4 miles in 31:36 (7:54 pace) MINUS 44.  A lot better but still no top gear.  Even pace but never did get it much below 7:45.  Livatone did arrive earlier than expected so I added a half mile cool after taking it.  Much poorer after taking just 1 of those pills, which could hurt me tomorrow.  I'm okay with that.  I'd rather get a quick NO on a pill than a false hope.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=4.5

7/13- AWFUL!  1 Mile in 8:54 plus a half mile cool.  Each lap was markedly slower than the previous one.  Got home to find the culprit was Whole Food C.  The same stuff that kept me afloat the 2 weeks after the donation.  This leaves me with the same formula as before.
Distance=1.5/ Freebie

7/14- Garbage run on Wisteria.  Had to take walk breaks to avoid a mess.  Finished with 1 Mile and no time though I'm sure it was over 10 minutes.  I'll try Liver Beef again tomorrow but I expect a failure and part of me is actually hoping for it.  That would mean no supplement can regulate my Iron.  Blood donation or BUST and I'll get a final answer by October.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=1.0

7/15- BTC run was not a total failure this time.  Never did have a good pace and slowed from there but did not collapse or have to walk.  Covered 6 miles in soupy conditions in 59:14 (9:52 pace).  Did the first half with the group in 28:37 then slipped to 30:37 on the back half.  Popped a trace of the Liver pill (less than 1/4) and felt noticeably WORSE within seconds.  That does it!  No more experimentation with supplements.  Blood donation or BUST!
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=6.0

7/16- Gold's 4 in 29:33 (7:23 pace).  Solid but not stellar.  Felt strong through the first half in 14:40 then struggled a bit but kept it under 7:30 all the way.  Too much effort for this pace but still decent.
Day 7 off sugared drinks.  Staying strong.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=4.0

Weekly summary:
The next 3 weeks will be make or break.  I'm back to my old formula and it's high time I see sustained improvement from the blood donation.
Distance=25.0/ GPA= 9/6= 1.50
YTD: 806 miles.  5-21 with a 2.06 GPA

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Dating Part 3

Being single does have its advantages.  I certainly could never take the epic road trip with a young family.  Even as a couple, I cannot simply roll out of bed and hit the road within a few minutes so I'd have to cut back on some of the sight seeing.  That said, given the choice, I'd rather be married at this point in my life.  If the blood donation and liver treatments are successful, I will put myself on the market before the Holidays.  As of now, my biggest problem is lack of confidence but that changes IF HEALTHY!  Like many others, I will open up more quickly to some people than others but I really can't say what it is that makes me feel more comfortable.  I'm convinced that ease of conversation will not be an issue with the right person.

Based on personal observations, being married does NOT necessarily make you a better all around person.  In particular, losing touch with single friends is NEVER a good thing.  My 2 best friends got married/engaged last year and not surprisingly, we've drifted apart considerably.  I am quite sure that I never offended them and we still have a good time when we do get to see each other but those times are rare.  One of them turned me down flat out because in his words "nowadays all I want to do is hang out with my girlfriend."  He knew I was struggling at the time and I was hurt.  I've felt this way since back in college.  I knew several people who were almost always super nice but when they got around their significant other, it was as if nobody else at the table existed.  It's great that you like each other so much but you can see each other every day.  I'm not going to be at your table every day especially if you ignore me.  I'm not alone here.  I've talked to many others who are just as bothered by it.  I made myself a promise right then.  Yes, she will be my best friend and the most important person in my life but not the ONLY important person in my life.  I'm afraid that too many people feel pressured into marriage because all of their friends are hitched and it's time to do it themselves.  As a result, they settle for a less than ideal match and end up divorced.

I anticipate that I may make a few rookie mistakes but there is one in particular that I will avoid and I will expect the same in return:  Be honest about your feelings early.

If somebody is into you but you don't have any feelings beyond friendship or don't see it getting serious, you need to say so.  Yes, there might be a little bit of hurt feelings but if you lead somebody on and don't really mean it, it's much worse in the end.  I don't see anything wrong with occasionally hanging out as friends in such cases as long as you enjoy the company.  I've done it a few times myself knowing that there was no dating relationship in our future but it needs to be understood by the other party as well.

Breaking up:
Once the decision has been made by either party, I will NOT go back.  I think I've only see one "off and on" relationship turn out well.  The vast majority of the time, it ends up VERY BADLY for both parties.  I will take the time to mourn then pick myself up.  I've been through worse and believe that I can take that kind of rejection.  If she's just not that into me, that's a lot easier to take than being rejected by someone who actually does love/like me but can't take my chemical issues.  Staying friends with a serious ex-girlfriend?  Usually not a good idea.  The only possible exception is if you were friends prior to dating and mutually decide to end it on good terms.

The 3 non-negotiable issues remain Active Christian, Support my cause, Healthy lifestyle.  I don't think that is too much to ask.  Of course, the one that goes without saying is we must love each other unconditionally.  Here are a few things that are negotiable that might surprise those who know me well:

Could a conservative like me date a Democrat?  It would depend on what kind.  A tax and spend liberal who is moderate on social issues?  Maybe.  An SJW type who would march in a Trump protest?  Hell no!  Then again, those types are rarely active Christians.

I am open to inter-racial dating.  I've had several close friends who are not white and almost never even thought about it.  Of course, dating goes to a much deeper level with the family aspect if we got serious.  I expect that I will naturally gravitate toward somebody with a similar background and life experiences.  I would be surprised if she is not from the South and at least somewhat country.

Again, active Christian is the most non-negotiable of the 3 but I've always been open-minded about theological issues and dislike debates on the subject.  I'm confident that we can work around those differences if they arise.

Divorced with kids:
Given the scope of my situation with a genetic basis to my illness, I've flip flopped in recent years on this issue.  I now believe it might be the best situation for me and believe I could be a darn good mentor to a teenage boy.  I don't think I could date anyone under 30 now and in Alabama, it's hard to find one that age that has never been married.  Still, I will be awfully leery about a woman who initiated a divorce without a good reason (abuse, neglect, adultery, drugs).  70% of divorces are initiated by women and sadly the 2 most common reasons are not among the above.  Rather, the reasons tend to be money and emotional needs.  More on that later. Two previous divorces?  I'm afraid that is a deal breaker unless radical change took place between now and then.

 I am open to dating someone who is less educated.  High school dropout?  I don't think so.  Somebody who did not attend or finish college?  Maybe. Again, I expect to naturally gravitate toward someone with a college degree because that is my experience.  Here, work schedules could present a problem.  I work a regular 8-5 M-F so somebody with different hours will cut into our potential time together.  She's got to have at least 1 weekend day off and the opportunity to join me on a long weekend road trip every now and then.

One of my friends recently had to choose between a relationship with his father and seeing his girlfriend.  He chose the latter.  I've met her before and I approve of the relationship.  I don't have much in common with her but she certainly seems to be a good and caring person who "gets it" when it comes to the nature of my illness.  When I heard about that, I made a pact with my parents that NO source of conflict (girlfriend or other) will EVER ruin our relationship.  Both my mother and father quickly got on board.  I say barring drugs, cheating, abuse or another severe character flaw, parents have got to accept their son or daughter's significant other.

Being married could be a source of great happiness or great misery so I will NOT take the decision lightly.  Nobody is perfect but I will not settle for less than an EXCELLENT match. I want her to bring out the best in me and I hope to bring out the best in her.  I'm not sure I believe in the concept of a soul mate.  Rather, the one that I marry is one of several women out there who COULD be compatible with me.  There will be some compromises on both sides to make it work but other issues are non-negotiable and must be resolved BEFORE the marriage.  Now on to the potential conflicts:

Money- I am a bit on the thrifty side when it comes to material possessions.  I do spend quite a bit on food and supplements but those are necessary to keep me healthy.  All I need to be content is a roof over my head in a safe neighborhood and a reliable car.  I prefer a condo to a house because I dislike yard work.  I'd probably be willing to bend a little in a few areas but will not live beyond our means or go into debt.  Rather, I prefer to spend more on experiences such as an epic road trip or international travel.  If a woman is more interested in material things, it's asking for trouble.

Emotional needs-  I really dislike this one as a reason for divorce.  I suppose it could be valid only in extreme cases such as a man who comes home then barely talks to you for days at a time.  That could cross the line into neglect.  I do need to ask you this:  What about my feelings?  What about my emotional needs?

Coming home to someone who loves me unconditionally and will support and comfort me if I am struggling (which I hope is rarely) is a great source of happiness.  You better believe I'll do everything I can to make sure she is happy as well.  On the other hand, coming home to someone who is sarcastic, verbally abusive and controlling yet thin-skinned herself would be miserable.  That's a toxic combo that must be avoided at all costs for both men and women.  If faced with that situation, I probably would have a tendency to withdraw rather than fight back.  Don't complain about your emotional needs if you treat me badly.  I know that's harsh but it's how I feel.

Communication is key to resolving this source of conflict.  Don't keep your anger bottled up.  If you feel that your spouse's words or actions are hurtful, you need to say so.  Perhaps your spouse is not aware that you are hurt or doesn't know the depth of it.  I know I'm not perfect and I don't mind a little correction especially if it's done in a gentle and loving manner.  Lastly and perhaps most importantly, if you did hurt your spouse, swallow your pride.  Apologize and do your best to set things right.  Nobody is perfect so keep expectations realistic as well.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Iron Panel Results and Reaction

Here are the numbers that I was shooting for:
Serum Iron- 110
Saturation Percentage- 33

Previous Results:
Serum Iron-119
Saturation Percentage-41

Current Results:
Serum Iron-108
Saturation Percentage-37

Both the serum Iron and the Saturation Percentage look pretty darn good but that damn Ferritin (stored Iron) remains stubbornly high EVEN AFTER THE BLOOD DONATION!
What is especially puzzling is the changes in how I feel and how I am reacting to the pills despite the fact that my numbers look very similar across the board:
-B6, IP-6 and Curcumin were tolerated before the donation.  Not so now.
-Whole Food C was NOT tolerated prior to the donation.  Now, it appears to be necessary.
-Jury is still out on the Liver Beef but even if it’s tolerated, I will be very careful with it.

UPDATE: So far so good on the Liver Beef.  I was 24 seconds faster with it than without.  Again, I cannot predict whether or not I will tolerate it 2-3 weeks from now much less 2-3 months.

There's another pill called Livatone that may be worth a shot.  It does have a couple questionable ingredients and will be used in addition to the blood donation rather than a substitute for it.

I would probably feel better now if I had focused solely on methylation for my sensitivity issues starting in the Fall of 2014.  That was a long and difficult fight but since around March of this year, this area is much improved as is the sulfur tolerance.  According to the runworks calculator, my 1:45:31 performance at Teton and its 6300 foot altitude was the equivalent of a 1:39:36 at sea level.  I believe if I had not messed with Iron and Ceruloplasmin, I might still be capable of 1:35 on a good day.   Some people might say that I should have left well enough alone and accepted the high Ferritin level.

In any event, it’s too late to turn back now.  I made the decision to go through with the blood donation and I cannot undo it.  Why not leave well enough alone?  Several reasons.

1-      I’m not sure that I would ever stabilize on a specific formula.  The intolerance to B6 that flared up in the days prior to the epic road trip was both sudden and scary.  If my history is any indication, it will happen again.  If my system ever rejects my adrenal supplement, I am DOOMED.

2-      Although this is no current danger of having a Ferritin level in the 200 range, conservative treatments were not effective and it could continue to creep up.  Suppose it rises by just 1 point per month.  I’m pushing 300 by age 45, which leaves me at higher risk for cancer and heart disease.

3-      IF there is a treatment option out there that provides a chance of a better life for me, I’m going to take it.  There are many success stories out there with very few cases of people who end up worse off than they had been before the donation.   

4. I've also heard that Ferritin lab values could underestimate the damage to organs.  There could be more hidden in tissues that could take time to come out.

Explanation for the Results:
I thought perhaps the blood work is a lagging indicator.  That is, symptoms of low serum Iron will show up before it is reflected in the lab values.  Also. Ferritin might drop only after serum Iron has been low for quite some time.  Morley chimed in when I posed these questions.  The gist of it was that my system is in a state of flux after losing a substantial amount of Iron from the blood loss and the body is still under stress.  I should not have expected much improvement so early.  Rather, the system will stabilize within 2-3 months and THEN, I can expect my Ferritin to drop BIGLY!  Will the Whole Food C and Liver be tolerated in 3 months?  I really don’t know but I would not be shocked if I see another sudden intolerance.  He also added something that I really did not want to hear.  It could take up to 18 months to see the full benefits.

My Reaction:
After the initial shock and disappointment, I feel a little better about it now.  A 10 point drop is barely above the 5% threshold to be considered significant but it’s better than a gain or unchanged result.  I am allowed to donate again in 40 days (August 16).  I’ll probably wait on it a little bit but as of now, I plan to donate again.  I’ve made the commitment to follow this course and I want to see it through for better or worse.  18 months?  I can’t wait that long.  2-3 months away from sustained and steady improvements? Yes, I can live with that.  All I want out of this is stable chemistry and that’s hardly an unreasonable demand.  I will be devastated if this fails after all I’ve been through with the false hopes. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Training 7/3-7/9

7/3- Went in for blood work this morning and will probably get the results on Wednesday.  I've already ordered Liver Beef but it may not come until the end of the week.  It's not available in stores here.  No sign of improvement so I am taking the day off.  Wish I was still on the coast.

7/4- Slept in today.  Hit Vestavia track for some testing around 9 AM.  Did an 800 in 4:39 (9:18 pace) with the previous formula.  Popped 1 Whole Food C and improved to 4:13 (8:26 pace).  MINUS 52. This is further evidence that my serum Iron is too low.  If the Ferritin remains very high, I could be in deep trouble.  Complications from the blood donation is the likely culprit.  I will probably find out tomorrow.  Results will be listed in a separate post.

PM- 3 miles at Gold's in 25:46 (8:35 pace) after another dose of Whole Food C.  BAAAUHD!  On the bright side, I did not collapse after the first half.  1st half was 12:50, 2nd half was 12:56.  Whole Food C is not a night and day difference but at least it picks me up enough to jog.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=4.0

7/5- Improved to 24:09 for 3 miles (8:03 pace).  Probably could have broken the Mendoza line today but didn't want it badly enough. Very even pace.  Results came back today.  Both serum Iron and Ferrittin went down but not nearly as much as I hoped or expected.  It will take a few days to digest it.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance- 3.0

7/6- 5 miles in 39:40 (7:56 pace).  Pleased that I broke 40 but faded at the end.  1st half- 19:20, 2nd half-20:20.  Passed 3 miles @ 7:48 so that's a solid MINUS 15 over yesterday.  Liver should arrive tomorrow.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=5.0

7/7- 3x1 mile intervals at Gold's.
Mile 1- 7:55 on the base formula
Mile 2- 7:31 on Liver Beef (MINUS 24)
Mile 3- 7:26 on Glutathione (MINUS 5) not significant.
In the past, Liver Beef was not tolerated at all without glutathione.  Towards the end of it, even glutathione didn't help me tolerate it.  Now- So far so good on the Liver Beef but that could change quickly.  In 2-3 weeks, Liver Beef could be necessary, a non-factor or a HELL NO.  I really can't predict what will happen.  2-3 months from now?  The answer could change yet again.  The glutathione may have given me a small boost but it was not enough to be considered significant.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

7/8- BTC Long run FAIL.  1 mile in 10:55 and the culprit was Liver Beef.  Is it okay to take that stuff once a week or is it a HELL NO?  I'll find out next weekend.  I know what's going to happen tomorrow.  It will be 3 miles in 25ish minutes.  I'm going to order the Livatone today.  Glutathione didn't help much if at all.  Livatone won't be a miracle cure but if it helps get Ferritin down, it's worth a shot.  Not sure it will be tolerated because it's got some questionable ingredients.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=1.0

7/9- Better than expected showing.  Lakeshore 2.5 in 19:24 (7:46 pace) plus a half mile cool.  Slept in and had to contend with a bit of heat so that's why it was short.  Starting tomorrow, I will again attempt to drink nothing but water for at least 21 days.  I made it 16 out of 17 last time and feel that it helped but was not a night and day difference.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
This was rough.  Next week could be rough as well with the sugar detox and potential adrenal spike.  We shall see what happens with the Livatone, which should arrive by the end of the week and Liver Beef taken only once a week.
Distance=19.0/GPA= 1.62
YTD: 781 miles.  5-20 with a 2.08 GPA