Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rant: Fascism and Communism

These 2 terms have been thrown out far too frequently to describe political opponents.  Please allow me to educate y'all on the true philosophy of both abhorrent ideologies. There are plenty of similarities in how they turned out in practice.  First, both are usually totalitarian dictatorships in which any political dissidents can be imprisoned or executed so don't dare speak out against the government.  Both are highly militaristic in which neighboring countries are often invaded or threatened with conquest. Think North Korea.

Let's start with fascism.  This term has been used with increasing frequency to describe Trump supporters as well as pretty much anyone right of center politically.  What do actual fascists believe?
-Glorification of the State above the individual
-Collusion of big business and government.  Very difficult for small businesses.
-Rigid class structure with institutionalized racism and discrimination
-Eugenic and possibly genocidal with restrictions on interactions with other races and socioeconomic classes
-Open discrimination against women in the workforce
-Churches allowed but closely monitored, no tolerance for dissent or alternative lifestyles.

I am a Southern conservative and I am DISGUSTED by all of these bullet points.  I am proud to say that my maternal grandfather fought against actual Nazis in World War 2 and I have a trace of Jewish ancestry myself so it REALLY bothers me when mainstream conservatives such as myself are called these names.

As I've said in other political posts, I believe strongly in racial equality as well as prosecution of anyone who discriminates in the job and housing market.  I support immigration from all corners of the globe as well as integration into society but it must be done LEGALLY with proper vetting.  I favor freedom to worship God as you see fit or not worship at all.  I could go on and on but let's suffice it to say that I disagree with pretty much all that fascism stands for.

Now that's look at Communism:
-Claims to be stateless and classless but in reality, party leaders are VERY wealthy and military aggression as well as death camps have come out everywhere Communism has been tried.
-If you speak out against the government and demand free elections- Remember Tienanmen Square in China. Criticize Kim Jong Un in North Korea and you're dead.
-State is officially atheist and open religious activity is not permitted.
-Does guarantee a job for able bodied people but all business and means of production are owned by the government.  You often cannot choose your occupation or where you'd like to live.  International travel is either not permitted or heavily restricted.
-No private property permitted and no chance to become wealthy.  Typically, you live in a planned community similar to an apartment high rise with government officials watching your every move.  If you skip work without a valid reason, you won't be fired.  You could be imprisoned instead.
-In theory, there is racial equality but given what I've heard from groups like Antifa and the New Black Panther party, I believe there would be open discrimination against whites if their ilk came into power.

Most millennials grew up after the Cold War so they don't remember the Soviet Union.  Many claim to have a favorable view of socialism and even communism but if they knew what it's really like to live under such a regime, they might think differently.

Now let's shift gears to the violence in Charlottesville.  Trump condemned the march before it started, which drew criticism from actual white supremacists like David Duke.  After the attack, Trump condemned "the egregious display of hate and bigotry on many sides" and stated that it has no place in contemporary America then called for unity and to "love and respect" each other.  I don't see anything wrong with that statement yet all I saw in the news was that Trump "failed to condemn" white nationalists.  Two words: FAKE NEWS.

What generated the controversy was the 3 words "on many sides" meaning that he had the guts to criticize the left-wing loons such as Antifa, the radical elements of BLM and other violent anarcho-Communist groups.  For the record, I think that the Neo-Nazis, the KKK, actual fascists and white nationalists are  despicable groups of people and I condemn them in the strongest terms that words can express.  However, I also condemn groups like Antifa, whose members often assault Trump supporters as well as the radical elements of Black Lives Matter, which chant for dead cops and throw rocks at traffic from overpasses onto the Interstate.  I condemn anyone who throws out terms like "fascist and racist" and riot to suppress the free speech rights of anyone with a different opinion. If their ilk ever gained political power, we would see death camps just like Communist countries under Stalin and Mao.  Are these groups on the same level as Neo-Nazis and white supremacists?  I will leave that for my readers to decide but before you criticize me or Trump for these words, please watch the following videos of the "alt-left" in action.

New Black Panthers
Black Lives Matter
Antifa Riot
Attacks on Trump Supporters

Another problem that I have with the far-left is their tolerance for hate and bigotry in name of cultural relativism.  If a conservative politician called for killing gay people, executing apostates and stoning women for adultery, progressives would scream FASCIST and rightly so.  However, when radical Islamists spew the same thing, they often go silent or even attack the critics.  If a Southern Republican called for segregation, everyone would scream RACIST and rightly so but when extremists from BLM want the same thing, they go silent as well. Almost every mainstream conservative will condemn hate and bigotry from the far-right.  I have not heard many mainstream liberals condemn the alt-left.  Here's what I think of you and your ilk:

You are not a liberal.  You are a regressive leftist who is more interested in political correctness and multiculturalism than advancement of human rights.  If you do not stand up against radical Islam, you are not anti-fascist either.

Let's end this post on a more positive note with a quote from Nelson Mandela:
"Nobody is born hating another person because of the color of their skin, background or religion.  They must learn to hate but also can be taught to love.  Love comes more naturally from the human heart than its opposite."  Amen brother.  I will call out hate and bigotry whenever I see it no matter what the source.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Training 8/14-8/20

The volume and intensity will be light this week.  The 2nd blood donation appointment will be scheduled for Thursday and I cannot risk flunking the screening because I trained too hard in the days leading up to it.  I will skip the long run on Saturday because I will probably be too weak.  If the weather looks good, I will go to the coast instead.  Still, there is much to learn this week.  How long can I go without glycine before I begin reacting to Whole Food C?  Should I order Yasko's SHMT drops?

I'll get re-tested in mid-October and depending on how my numbers look and how I respond to the 2nd donation, I may or not donate in December.  From 2018 on, it will be only twice a year for maintenance.

8/14- Gold's 3 mile in 23:32 (7:51 pace) with a slight negative split.  A little slower than I'd like but no cause for alarm.  Whole Food C was well tolerated after 2 days off glycine.  I am going through a sugar detox and the first few days are always a little rough.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

8/15- BAFA day.  This will probably be my hardest session of the week.  Still doing well without the glycine and it's looking increasingly likely that I can get by with occasional use.  5 miles in 36:45 (7:21 pace).  Effort was moderate.  Very smooth and relaxed early but the back half required more effort to hold the pace.  Good job overall.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.5

8/16- Well, 3 days off glycine is the limit.  I felt good this morning but it was downhill by lunchtime.  Fortunately, I knew it before I started the run on Lakeshore.  Did a half mile in 4:03 running pretty hard then popped a glycine and improved to 15:12 for the next 2 miles (7:36 pace) for an overall time of 19:15 for 2.5 then added a mile cool.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=3.5

The glycine pill definitely helped but 1 pill was not a night and day difference.  Popped 2 more after the workout and felt noticeably better.  It could be 3 pills (1500 mg) every 3rd day that will do the trick but if the SHMT is effective, I'd rather take a couple drops every day and be okay if I miss one every now and then.  I will order the SHMT but if I have to go with the glycine every 3rd day, I'm okay with it.  Blood donation is tomorrow.

8/17- Planned rest day for blood donation.  Maybe this isn't the best time to do this but if I want an accurate lab value before my race in New Mexico, it's got to be done now.  I will report back later on how it went but I expect it to go without a hitch.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Training 8/7-8/13

8/7- AM- Gold's 5 in 37:19 (7:28 pace).  Went out at 7:00 pace for the first half mile but realized that I could not hold it.  Too much to ask given my recent quality sessions.  Let off the gas and just cruised the rest of it at 7:32 pace and felt quite comfortable in doing so.  Legs are a bit sore but the rest of me is fine.  Glycine continues to work well though when I re-order, I hope to find one without B-6 as a co-factor.  Strong overall and that's it for today.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.0

8/8-AM- Another Gold's 5 and this time, I did go for it.  Ran a perfect first half but faded hard in the last 2 miles and finished in 35:46 (7:09 pace).  2nd best time since turning 35 and I can't expect to PR every time out.  This was well within the 5% margin of error but something felt a little off after a minor tweak to my formula.

I was very stiff yesterday afternoon after an extra glycine and I could tell it wasn't natural.  Extra methyl folate seemed to help.  B5 and NAC were non-factors.  It would be the ULTIMATE IN CRUELTY for me to discover the key to solve the sensitivity yet be unable to tolerate the pill itself.  That seemed possible with the tolerance going down but hope is still alive.  TMG plus glycine must be kept in a 1:1 ratio with MF for optimal results but it won't kill me if I'm a little off.  Today, I went with 2,000 MF and 1,000 TMG and 1,000 glycine.  I may need to up the dosage to 3,000.

PM- Did up it to 3000 during the day and my legs stiffened up again.  It was another case in which a pace in the mid 7:20s felt comfortable but did not have the top gear.  Finished this one in 22:14 (7:25 pace) with dead even splits.  Added a cool down tribute to Ochocinco.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=8.5

I'm going to keep tweaking things until I hit it perfectly.  I know that the tolerable upper limit for TMG+ glycine is somewhere between 2000-3000.  If I go beyond that, I'll be stiff but able to do standard issue workouts without a problem.  I will struggle in a tempo however.  If I go with all TMG and cut out the glycine, the sensitivity will come back with a VENGEANCE!  What happens if I go with all glycine and no TMG?  We shall see.  It's possible that I need 2000 TMG and can get by with only 500 glycine.  At that dose, I may or may NOT stiffen up.  Another option is to go with SAM-e instead of TMG.  If I go that route, the glycine dose may not be a problem.

8/9- Low key affair today and I may not even count this as a workout.  It's a "C" grade that will stand only if I do not take a rest day.  Attempted to run on plain glycine instead of TMG and struggled, which was somewhat expected.  Called it after an 800 in 4:20 (8:40 pace) and I had to work just to keep it under 9 at the end.  Popped a TMG and was MUCH better.  Came through the next 2 miles in 15:18 (7:39 pace) and felt much more comfortable in doing so.  Overall time was 19:38 for 2.5 miles (7:51 pace).  Rather ho-hum but I learned quite a bit.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=2.5

TMG or SAM-e is required for the methylation cycle.  Specifically, I need something that will convert homocysteine to methionine.  Plain glycine won't do it.  Trimethylglycine (TMG) will.  However, TMG won't solve sensitivities to Zinc, C or the B-complex plus others that may flare up in the future.  Plain glycine will.  If I take too much glycine, whether in the plain form or as TMG, I will have sore leg muscles.  5-6 miles at 7:30 pace won't be a problem.  Serious tempos, intervals and races will be slower than in the past but that situation is still highly preferable to the sensitivity.  It would be an acceptable outcome though not the one I wanted.

I have 2 options.  The first is to take the 2000 TMG that I need for methylation and try to get by on only 500 of plain glycine.  Will the low dose be enough to stop the sensitivity?  Will it be low enough to prevent the sore muscles?  This is the one that I prefer because SAM-e is more expensive.
Option 2 is to switch from TMG to SAM-e, which I know to be effective in methylation.  If I take SAM-e instead of TMG (Trimethylglycine), my tolerance for plain glycine may be sufficient to prevent the sore muscles if a higher dose is required.  Call me Dr. J instead.

8/10- Went with option 1 and it ended in disappointment.  Pretty much a carbon copy of Monday's workout only 1 mile shorter and a pace slightly faster.  Passed half mile in a perfect 3:30 but knew I could not hold it with the achy legs.  Downshifted and ran the next 3.5 at standard effort, which was just south of 7:30 pace.  Overall time was 29:39 for 4 miles (7:25 pace).
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=4.0

If days like today become the norm, it's an acceptable outcome but of course, I'd like access to the top gears.  Tomorrow, I will try the SAM-e.  I thought of 2 more options: Occasional glycine use.  Not sure if that will do.  The sensitivity could come back if I stop it for just 1 day.  The 2nd is Yasko's SHMT drops.  The spray is a NO because it contains Lactoferrin, which seems to raise Ferritin.  The drops may not be effective but it does support the same energy pathway.

8/11- Split decision on a low key affair.  A lot of positives but the BIG negative is that SAM-e is not the right choice for methylation.  It was too stimulating.  Good news is that I took Zinc and Whole Food C WITHOUT glycine and neither seemed to be factor.  Workout was 2 miles in 15:11 (7:36 pace) with 2 stops.  Opened with a 7:35 mile on 1 SAM-e pill.  Then it was another mile on 2 SAM-e pills with a stop for glycine at halfway.  Though methylation improved after the 2nd pill, it was offset by the overstimulation.  Passed halfway in 3:48 and was only fractionally better on glycine but the sore muscles diminished today.
Grade: Pass/0 credit/distance=2.0

TMG is clearly the best choice for the methylation cycle.  How to manage the sensitivity and achieve optimal results?  Either occasional glycine (a few days on/few days off) or SHMT drops.  Even though the formula was off today, I surely could have slogged through 4-5 miles below the Mendoza line.  With glycine, the horrible days should be over, which is the most important outcome!

8/12- 10 miles from O'Henry's in 79:27 (7:57 pace).  Slightly slower than last week but conditions were VERY TOUGH out there today.  Got dropped by the fast group 3 miles in but held it together and rallied from behind to make the sub-8 overall.  In another week or 2, we should begin to see some relief from the humidity.  Barring disaster, I'm going to win for the 3rd time in 4 weeks.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=10.0

Mini Rant:
Someone in the group expressed "heartbreak" because his son only placed 7th in the Junior Olympic Nationals.  I made it once and finished near the back of the pack but just to get there was one of the greatest thrills of my life.

8/13- Easy 3 at Gold's in 22:20 (7:27 pace).  Solid performance.  Felt about the same as usual.  No glycine this morning and took Whole Food C without a problem.  Did take glycine last night so I don't know anything new yet.  If I can get by without it tomorrow and the next day, I might have something special.  SHMT drops remain an option.  It's a precursor to glycine just like TMG is a precursor to SAM-e and the former works better for me than the latter.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
3rd win in 4 weeks and I've pulled up to .500 for the 2nd half.  Nothing great all week but nothing less than "C" either.
Distance=35.0/ GPA= 3.20
YTD: 932 miles.  8-22 with a 2.16 GPA.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Glycine Conjugation

The 3 week "MAKE OR BREAK" period may very well have been successful but not in the way that I expected.  The record was 2 up and 1 down but unexpected intervention was necessary for the 2nd victory.  I will proceed as planned with the 2nd blood donation in 10-12 days but I believe my complications will not be severe this time around.  Here is what I predict would have happened come October if not for the glycine:

-Ferritin and overall Iron profile will be much improved.  I'm going to say that with or without glycine, the Ferritin will be 100-124 after 2 donations, possibly even a little lower. Under 50 is ideal but that's a whole lot better than my high of 248.  After that, I will donate twice a year for preventative maintenance.  Most other labs will be slightly outside the optimal range but not nearly bad enough to stand out as the proverbial smoking gun to explain the sensitivity.

-Overall, I will feel slightly better physically.  Signs such as less ridged nails, which is evidence of improved organ function, are already apparent.  However, I will not be able to solve the sensitivity issues and will be left completely demoralized emotionally.  When the Iron approaches normalcy yet the sensitivity remains, it will be crystal clear that there is another cause.  Let's take a look at the Whole Food C and Zinc reactions.  Even if they took my chemistry in the wrong direction, THERE IS NO WAY THAT I SHOULD REACT THAT BADLY TO A MICRO DOSE!!!  Sometimes, I actually broke open the capsule and took only the small amount on the bottom.  The initial reaction was JUST AS SEVERE but with the smaller dose, the duration was not as long and it cleared by the next morning.

Today's workout was YUGE!!  Pills that were culprits DURING THE WEEK now had LITTLE EFFECT one way or the other.  NO MORE MINUS 60 after ONE PILL only to see what had been a life saver a few days earlier become a disaster!!

How did I find out about this possibility?
  I had looked into many of the other possibilities and even tried many of the other treatments without success.  The glycine conjugation intrigued me for 2 reasons.
1) Glycine has been tested several times on Amino acid profiles and consistently tested low, often bad enough to be flagged as LOW but supplementation with it was never suggested.

2) The GNMT enzyme may be upregulated because I took Accutane and have the MTHFR mutation. Thus, my system burns through glycine quickly, which leaves me with an increased need for it that cannot be satisfied with diet alone.   IIRC, I did attempt glycine years ago but I reacted badly to it.  I believe it must be taken with methyl folate to be effective.  I thought that perhaps TMG would satisfy my glycine needs but although it helps me tolerate MF, it did NOT solve the other sensitivities.  Glycine itself has done so.

Any other testing that can be done to confirm this?
Yes, Genova's Organix Comprehensive Profile.
  The marker Benzoate would be SKY HIGH and indicative of poor glycine conjugation.  Glycine is indeed the suggested intervention!  I also would have expected Sulfates to be high last year but only because they were being wasted. B-12 and molybdenum solved that.  I asked for this test before but was instead encouraged to do another one, which it turned out, I already did through Yasko.  No need to do it now that I am on glycine.

Note to the naysayers who won't consider alternative treatments:
Do you really think I could have found this out from a conventional MD (Mineral Denialist)?  Of course not!  I'd be prescribed the latest anti-depressant, which would likely do ZERO for Glycine conjugation and produce other unwanted side effects.

Current Emotional State:
Somewhat excited by the prospect of freedom but only cautiously optimistic.  I've been hurt too many times by false hopes.  I cannot take another collapse.  PLEASE LORD, let this be the answer!