Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Costa Rica Trip Plan

 Frontier Airlines flies direct from Atlanta to San Jose, Costa Rica and back only on Thursday and Sunday for $450.  Not half bad.  The best time to do this is probably New Years Day through January 5.  I would have preferred MLK weekend but I was summoned for jury duty on January 9.  If I am selected, that puts the kibosh on all my plans for that weekend.  Hotels are affordable and there will be no rental car expense. 

I will have to spend the night in Atlanta on New Year's Eve.  The 1/1 flight leaves at 6:33AM so that means a 4 AM wake up call.  Costa Rica is in Central Time Zone so I re-gain an hour.  It's a 4 hour flight so I land just after 9:30 AM local time.  The next step is to take a cab to the bus station.  The buses to Jaco Beach run every 2 hours from 5 AM to 5 PM.  I should have enough time to catch the 11 AM bus but that is barring a delay or any issues with Immigration.  I lean towards waiting until 1 PM.  The bus station doubles as a shopping mall and has plenty of fast food restaurants and certainly an ATM to get some Costa Rican money and get some food.  Lastly, since the bus ride is 2 hours, I will arrive just about on time for check-in to my hotel. 

As for the hotels, I have plenty of options.  There are a few hotels within walking distance of the bus station but they are much more expensive.  I would lean towards taking a cab to a couple miles down the road to save maybe $60-70 per night.  If I do so, I'll be within walking distance of Miro Mountain but a bit away from the main drag.  Word on the street is that 2-3 days is enough to do justice to the city.  I will use my Spanish but it should not be necessary in a tourist town.

I do want to hike Miro Mountain and take in the local culture and food as well as to enjoy a couple of drinks out on the town but most of my time will be spent in the surf.  It will be around 90 degrees every day and it's the dry season with virtually no chance of rain.  

Getting back could be a bit dicey.  The flight leaves San Jose at noon.  I have 2 options: 1) Leave Jaco at 5 PM the previous night and get a hotel near the airport with a free shuttle service.  Doing so will allow me to sleep in a bit but I'll have some dead time.

2). Enjoy another night out in Jaco and get up early to catch the bus.  If I choose this option, I will move to a hotel in the main drag so I can walk to the bus station.  A 7 AM departure should give me plenty of time to catch my flight but because it is International, I figure I should be extra cautious and shoot for the 5 AM departure.  Again, I'll have dead time but will be able to get a sit down meal at either the bus station or the airport.  I'd lean towards this option.  The flight lands in ATL just after 5PM so I'll get home at a decent hour.

I have not booked this trip yet and will decide within the next week or two but I am leaning towards going.  It will be country #7.  EDIT: Leaning towards a hotel within walking distance of the bus station in Jaco every night.  

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Rant: Election Integrity and Midterm Results

 The last 2 presidential elections were disputed by the losing side.  I'm not going to rehash those claims on this post but that type of sentiment is very dangerous.  I believe that if Trump had won in 2020 under the same circumstances as Biden with suspicious vote dumps in the middle of the night, we would have seen full scale riots that would make January 6 look like a nothingburger.   Here are some reforms that I propose.  If nothing else, they should restore confidence in our election system.

I am fine with early voting up to a week in advance of Election Day.  To me, there is something special about Election Day itself and I always vote on that day.  Still, early voting will reduce the lines and enable easier access if your work schedule makes it difficult.  

Polls are open from 7 AM-7PM.  I'd extend that by one hour in each direction.  Suppose that something comes up late in the day and you can't leave the office on time and/or you get stuck in traffic, there won't be any exceptions.  You must be in line at the time of closing.  There should be many small precincts that are easily accessible to all of the population.  If there are few precincts in populated areas that make for prohibitively long lines, that is a form of voter suppression and must be stopped.

Absentee or mail-in ballots should only be used if the voter truly cannot make it to the polls.  Examples would be college students, military personnel and those with a chronic illness.  There may be other rare exceptions, but the rest must vote in person either early or on Election Day.  If you do vote by mail, there must be a strong security system to ensure integrity.  Provide a copy of your ID and make sure that your signature matches.  To me, an even better method would be matching thumb prints.  

When it comes to reporting the results, some states are different than others.  For example in 2020, Iowa and Ohio reported the mail-in ballots first.  As a result, Trump trailed up until 75% of the vote was counted but he surged ahead at the end, and it wasn't very close when all the results were counted.  By contrast, Pennsylvania and Michigan counted mail-in ballots last, and the opposite occurred. 

My proposal is this: Mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than 5 days before Election Day and must be received by Election Day itself.  No matter which party benefits, people will question the result if the outcome changes after Election Day due to "found ballots."  Mail-in and early votes must be the FIRST to be reported in every state.  Partisan observers on both sides must be present for vote counting of both early votes and Election Day votes.  Also, there must be nationwide voter ID requirements to prevent non-citizens from casting a ballot.  

I've heard of conspiracy theories that suggest that voting machines can be hacked such that 1 in 50 Republican votes are switched or thrown out in swing states.  I'm not going to comment on that but if every state used paper ballots with pens that are picked up by the scanner, that puts such talk to rest.  If something goes wrong with the scanners, you have the ballots themselves to verify in case of a recount.  Also, the results should be known within 4 hours of the poll closing unless the margin is razor thin.  Why is it that Florida can count their ballots so quickly, but Arizona and Nevada take up to a week?

As for 2022, Republicans certainly should have done better given the current environment.  Some of it can be attributed to poor candidates. However, I'm afraid that we are perilously close to the point in which 50+ percent of the electorate will vote Blue no matter who it is or how much of a failure their policies turn out to be.  I was particularly disappointed about Kari Lake in Arizona and Mayra Flores in Texas.  Also, victories by the likes of Fetterman in Pennsylvania and Witmer in Michigan were inexplicable to me.  The latter was not even close.  Fetterman is obviously incompetent after his stroke and should have stepped aside.  With the possible exception of Newsome in California, no state had more draconian COVID restrictions than Michigan.  I surely hoped that a swing state would be wise to that by now.  

Florida continues to be a pleasant surprise.  DeSantis barely won in 2018 but 2022 was a 19 point landslide while Rubio, who is considered to be a more "respectable conservative" won by 16.  Obviously, the people liked the policies set forth by DeSantis but that did not carry over to Michigan or Pennsylvania.  As for 2024, I am open to supporting DeSantis over Trump.  

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Changes With My Health

 It's been 7 days since I crossed the finish line in Hawaii.  There was very little joy in that moment.  I was just glad to be done.  Unless I am capable of a sub-2 finish, I will not do this again.  Too painful both physically and emotionally.  Except for a few steps of jogging across the street to beat the traffic light, I have not done any running in the last week.  I don't miss it yet and plan to take off at least the next month.  I will probably start back again gradually sometime around Christmas.  

Prior to Hawaii:

Insatiable need for the Cytokine suppressant pills.  It got to the point in which I was noticeably weaker by the afternoon if I had not taken any since getting up in the morning.  Without these pills, I had to take Taurine and Probiotics together.  Same with TRS and Fulvic Acid.  Even with these pills, I was still weaker if I took one without the other.  I also had a SCARY relapse after taking IP-6 and Quercetin.

After Hawaii:

Split decision.  There is good news and bad news.  The good news is that the sensitivity APPEARS to be gone.  Though I did not run to test it out, I felt no discernable difference after taking Probiotics and Taurine alone.  Even better, I felt nothing after taking IP-6.  Bad news is that my energy level has not improved at all.  Worse is that I am now intolerant to the Cytokine suppressants.  One day's medicine is the next day's poison and I've been dealing with this for many years.  The shift was already beginning to take place on race day.  That's probably why I performed even worse than I expected.  Is this simply a never-ending nightmare cycle?  There will always be one pill that makes my life miserable.  

Next Few Weeks:

I will go off the Cytokine suppressants  I really don't have a choice.  There's a difference between no longer needing a pill and being forced off.  The latter is what makes me uneasy.  I have ordered a couple of new autoimmune supplements.  I will try them.  I will also try to re-introduce the Cytokine suppressants.  The best case scenario is that I will be able to take it OCCASIONALLY without a problem just as is the case with the methylation.  I also hope to see improvement in my energy without the problem pill.  However, if my history is any indication, another problem pill will take its place.


It appears that EVERY immune supplement will trigger a reaction!  The reaction to Curcumin may have been mildly positive but probably not a game changer.  I will go off the Immune supplements then try to gradually re-introduce them.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Oahu Hawaii Trip Report


No issues on the flight.  My layover was in Denver, so that meant my 2nd leg would be a full 7 hours.  We landed on schedule and I picked up my rental car around 5:00 local time.  That meant I would arrive at my hotel in Waikiki just as the sun was going down.  Beautiful!


Explored the south side of the island from Maili to Sherwood Forest Beach and sampled a couple beaches.  I found a stunning overlook near Sandy Beach.  By late afternoon, I was back in Waikiki. 



Sunrise hike up Diamond Head with views of Honolulu down below.  The hike was not too difficult but provided a big reward.  From there, my choices were Pearl Harbor or just chill at Waikiki for the rest of the day.  You need several hours at Pearl Harbor to do it justice and there was a long line at the ticket counter so I opted for Waikiki.  The waves were tame there, which is just what I wanted.  I could not risk wearing myself out in rough surf with a death march the next day.  

Overall impression of Waikiki:

Somewhat overrated.  Stunningly beautiful especially around sunset but there is usually minimal surf and my biggest gripe was that the ocean floor is covered with rocks.  Aqua socks are a necessity.  If the surf is rough, don't go out unless you have a death wish.  Sure, I still liked it but other beaches were better and overall, I prefer the Big Island.  


The day that I had been dreading.  Based on my training, I predicted a finish around 2:30 and I could not even manage that.  I took walk breaks at regular intervals and kept the planned pace through about 7 miles.  By Mile 10, I had completely melted down and was doing more walking than jogging.  Still, to my relief, I could have slow walked from there and still beat the time limit.  50 states is done but the predominant emotion is sadness.  Unless I find help for this medical condition, I am finished.  I am too young for this to be happening.  I knew that this day would come eventually but hoped it would not be for another 15-20 years.  STILL, no word from the Rheumatologist!!

I limped back to my hotel, showered up and hit the famed beaches on the North Shore.  Sunset Beach had beautiful blue water and no rocks, but the surf was too strong, even for me.  Not only were the waves high, they broke almost on dry sand.  Not safe.  Still, I caught some more beautiful sunset shots.  


Got some well deserved sleep then headed back to the North Shore.  First stop was the Dole Plantation.  I skipped the tour but did get some delicious pineapple ice cream  This time, I did find some beaches with rideable surf on the North Shore.  Later, I drove around the Windward side and saw some lush mountain scenery.  By late afternoon, I was back in Sherwood Forest, which remains my favorite beach on the island.  


Early morning flight to San Francisco.  I chose an overnight layover to break up the jet lag and do some touring.  I had 24 hours and made the most of it.  My hotel was within a half mile of the BART station at Embarcadero so I dropped off my bag and started walking.   I didn't make it all the way to Crissy Field but got close enough to see the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.  After a pretty good steak dinner where I met a nice girl from San Diego, I took a cable car back to my hotel.  


Got up for the sunrise near the Bay Bridge and got some night shots of the skyline from Pier 14.  From there, I took BART to Mission St and walked to Dolores Park, where I was treated to very nice views of the skyline.  

Overall impression of San Francisco:

Better than I expected.  If you watch conservative news, you might think it's a drug den full of people defecating on the street.  Not true, at least not in the Financial District.  Don't knock California if you've never been there.  Also, Alabama is NOT full of racist low-lifes.  Don't knock Alabama if you've never been there.  

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Half Marathon in All 50 States (GOAL ACCOMPLISHED)

Here's a rundown of every half marathon that I have done.  It took me 15 years though I probably could have finished in 13 if not for COVID.  That's just about the amount of time I'd recommend.  Perhaps I should have done more sooner but money was a bit tight and I was still new at my job.


1. Seaside- Destin, Florida

2. St. Jude- Memphis, Tennessee


3. Eugene- Eugene, Oregon

4. Banco Popular- Chicago, Illinois


5. Mercedes- Birmingham, Alabama

6. Fargo- Fargo, North Dakota

7. BR Beach- Baton Rouge, Louisiana


8. ING GA- Atlanta, Georgia

Country Music- Nashville, Tennessee-repeat state

9. Run For Life- Jackson, Mississippi

Rocket City- Huntsville, Alabama- repeat state


Scenic City- Chattanooga, Tennessee- repeat state

10. CDA- Coeur D'Alene, Idaho

Montgomery- Montgomery, Alabama- repeat state

11. Nationwide- Columbus, Ohio

12. White River- Mountain Home, Arkansas


13. 3M- Austin, Texas

14. Rock n Roll- Denver, Colorado

15. Thunder Road- Charlotte, North Carolina 


16.  13.1- Los Angeles, California

17. GO!- St. Louis, Missouri

18. Marshall Univ- Huntington, West Virginia


19. Blue Ridge- Roanoke, Virginia

Blue Nose- Halifax, Nova Scotia

20. Monumental- Indianapolis, Indiana

21. Route 66- Tulsa, Oklahoma


22. Phoenix- Phoenix, Arizona

23. Run the Bluegrass- Lexington, Kentucky

24. Montour Trail- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

25. Spinx Runfest- Greenville, South Carolina


26. Scout Challenge- Kansas City, Kansas

27. Mayor's- Anchorage, Alaska

28. Lake Tahoe- Incline Village, Nevada


29. United Airlines NYC- New York, New York

30. Grand Teton- Jackson Hole, Wyoming

31. Governor's Cup- Helena, Montana

32. Duke City- Albuquerque, New Mexico

Magic City- Birmingham, Alabama- repeat state


33. Maple Leaf- Springfield, Vermont

34. Horseneck- Westport, Massachusetts

35. Eagle River- Madison, Wisconsin

US Navy- Washington, DC

36. Autumn River- North Platte, Nebraska

37. Free Press- Detroit, Michigan


38. Caesar Rodney- Wilmington, Delaware

39. Kewash Trail- Washington, Iowa

40. Providence- Providence, Rhode Island

41. Rock n Roll- Seattle, Washington

42. Kelley Half- New London, Connecticut

43. Newport Liberty- Jersey City, New Jersey

44. New England- Concord, New Hampshire


45. Sun Half- St. George, Utah

46. Crazy Horse- Rapid City, South Dakota


47. Run SBY- Salisbury, Maryland

48. Pike Lake- Duluth, Minnesota

49. Blueberry Cove- Tenant's Harbor, Maine


50. Val Nolasco- Honolulu, Hawaii

Monday, November 7, 2022

Cytokine Suppress Product Review

 The product is made by a company called Life Extension.  It is called Cytokine Suppress (with EGCG).  The label says that it "helps modulate a healthy immune system response."  Its two active ingredients are Mung bean extract, which provides vitexin and isovitexin, and green tea extract.  I had never heard of mung bean extract or vitexin and still don't fully understand how they work.  I go through the bottles pretty quickly but thankfully I can order it through Amazon and get next day delivery.  

Where do I stand without it?

I cannot tolerate Probiotics without Taurine.  I get an instant negative reaction and my whole body tightens up.  However, if I take the Taurine WITH the Probiotics, I will be better off than if I take neither of the two.  Same way with the Taurine alone.  The reaction is exactly the same as with the Probiotics alone. The two must be taken together.

I have the exact same issues with TRS and Fulvic Acid.  They must be taken together.  Both or neither.  I am extremely dependent on both of them.  If I miss a dose, I will be awful.  I still need adrenal support too.  As for the methylation, I'm not sure if I need it anymore but I'm afraid to try to stop it.  I take it occasionally and have no problems.

Where do I stand with it?

I did have an early adjustment period.  When I first took it, it felt like a miracle.  I was back to my old self on the sprints in the morning.  Unfortunately, it was short-lived and within an hour, the fatigue kicked in with a vengeance.  It was WORSE than before.  This pattern evolved into an extreme dependence on the product, but I have since stabilized.  

How effective?

It is clear to me that the extreme reactions to benign supplements are due to autoimmune issues and a problem with Cytokines is at the very least, a huge part of the issue.  If my Cytokines are sufficiently suppressed, yes, I will notice when I take Probiotics without Taurine and vice versa but the ill-effects are far less severe.  Also, I am much less dependent.  I can get away with not taking the TRS on a long weekend and I won't feel terrible.  

Still Intolerant to Certain Pills?

Unfortunately, yes.  My reaction to IP-6 last week was SCARY!  I was so sore that I was walking gingerly and thought I had somehow injured my knee.  Thankfully, I did not.  Also, the sensitivity to Probiotics or Taurine alone kicked in with a vengeance.  Cytokine suppressants did mitigate some of the ill-effects but it wasn't enough.  If that had happened 1-2 days before race day, I could never finish.  Do IP-6 and Quercetin increase Cytokines?  Probably.  If so, it would explain the intolerance.  Still, I should not have been THAT bad!


Definitely a YUGE help but probably not enough to get me back to where I want to be.  Odds are that I need something else and/or something stronger.  I need to see that Rheumatologist, but I still have not heard back and it's been more than 2 months.  I've nagged my PCP about it, and they say that they're "trying."  I hope to avoid corticosteroids.


After Hawaii, I will take 6 weeks off running and try to cut out sugars.  I will hit the Probiotics and Taurine HARD and am leaning towards trying Eye-Vermectin as well.  I might do a couple of small test sprints but that's it.  After Christmas, I will hit the reset button and come back as far as I can.  I do hope to at least be able to finish a 10K in under 60 minutes consistently until I am 50.   

Monday, October 31, 2022

Training 10/31-11/13 Taper

 10/31- 3 miles in 25:48 (8:36 pace).  Not bad but hoped for a little better.  Strangely, I was actually trying to hold back early and still clocked an 8:23 opening Mile.  Once again, I faded in the back half (12:40-13:08).  Legs were fine but cardio was weak.  I need more distance and that will be the top priority when I come back after Christmas.  I may benefit from blood donation but it's too late now.  I can't predict how I will respond to it.  


11/1- Thanks to the Cytokines, I am confident that I will not fail in Hawaii because of a sudden intolerance to a pill in my cocktail.  The biggest danger is quitting a pill that I THINK I no longer need but in reality I still do.  I need to test this out now.  In 2 weeks, I will be on extended break and not as well in tune with my body.  

AM- On nothing, I opened with a 74.  With Cytokines, I improved to a 69.  Still a significant difference but not night and day.  That's without adrenal support.  I was noticeably better with it but I don't think that an increased dose made much difference.  

PM- Only 1.5 on Lakeshore.  I passed the halfway point in 7:07 (9:30 pace) then took the TRS spray.  I improved to a 6:21 on the back half (8:28 pace).  Much better but I still did not set the world on fire and I believe that over a 3 miler, I would have been much worse than yesterday.  I suspect that I still need the Fulvic Acid as well.  Not real pleased but at least I can make it through a long weekend without it.


11/2- Forget what I said about not being worried about a bad reaction to a pill.  DISASTROUS response to both Quercetin and IP-6.  Fortunately, there is an explanation.  Both strengthen the immune system, which is the opposite of what I need.  I may need to INCREASE the Cytokine suppressants and/or find something stronger.  That won't be done until after Hawaii. I still don't think I have to worry about a reaction to anything in my cocktail.  That something stronger may be none other than Eye-Vermectin.

I opened with a pitiful 1:48 then I was WORSE after taking TRS.  I probably would have improved on Fulvic Acid but as it is, I went with Cytokines.  Just one pill brought me down to 90 seconds then 2 more got me to 62.  Fulvic Acid got it down to 59.  Unfortunately, IP-6 made things worse than ever.  The result was similar on Quercetin when I got home.  Fortunately, extra Cytokine pills did mitigate some of the ill-effects.  Taking the Quercetin may be why I was so bad on EITHER Probiotics or Taurine alone but much better together.

I think this will be a 1-2 day blip.


11/3- 2 miles in 21:38 (10:49 pace).  TERRIBLE performance.  Last mile was over 11:30 and if the race had been today instead of 10 days out, I don't think I make it.  Concern, panic or doom?  It's concern.  I didn't see this coming and I do worry that something similar could happen 8-9 days from now.  However, it happened because I tried something new 2 weeks out.  Of course, I'd NEVER do this within 5 or even 7 days of race day.  As long as I take everything in my cocktail and nothing new for the few days before race day, I SHOULD be okay.  

I took TRS after I got home and felt worse but got better after Fulvic Acid.  I need to clear out the IP-6 and Quercetin and keep up or increase the Cytokine suppressants and I bet that I'll be a lot better tomorrow.  After Hawaii, I will add another Immune modulator and may order Eye-Vermectin as well.


11/4- Opened with a very poor 1:43 (10:18 pace) on nothing but adrenal support.  3 Cytokine pills got me down to 65 (6:30 pace).  MINUS 3:48!!  2 additional got it down to 57 (5:42 pace).  MINUS 48  That's a night and day difference on 3 pills, which did NOT happen just 3 days earlier.  I saw further gains by increasing the dose.  Not night and day but still enough to be considered significant.  

If a HS 400 runner who normally runs a 57-58 can suddenly no longer break 65, people will ask what is wrong!  The gap should decrease when the bad stuff fully clears my system.  A question that will be answered early next week: Will I continue to see gains with increased dosing or will I level off after a certain dose?

PM- 1.5 miles in 13:54 (9:16 pace).  Better than yesterday but still very poor.  I think I could have made it if the race had been today but it would have been very slow and painful.  Again, faded badly on the back half.  Last half mile was 4:56.  Ouch!


11/5- Junk run in the parking lot at P'Cola.  I thought that perhaps the caffeine is hurting me.  No evidence of that today.  I was actually slightly better with than without.


11/6- Determined to finish 5 miles non-stop no matter what the pace.  I might as well have walk-jogged it but with the exception of a water break at the halfway point, yes, I made it.  Time was 52:46 (10:33 pace) with bad splits (25:31-27:15) but I finished.  Now 7 days out from race day.  I'm not sure that the IP-6 and Quercetin have fully cleared but barring another relapse, I WILL finish.  It will be a very slow and painful affair but I will make it.  All downhill from here.  I will do very little in between now and race day.  Need to take it easy in the surf the day before race day as well but I think I can handle a hike.


11/7- Planned rest day.  I know exactly what will happen tomorrow.  I'll be pretty awful on no treatment, only somewhat better on everything but the Cytokines.  I will see further gains on additional Cytokine pills.

11/8- EXACTLY as expected.

No pills- 93 (9:18 pace)

Full cocktail minus Cytokines- 83 (8:18 pace)

3 Cytokine pills-58 (5:48 pace)

5 Cytokine pills-51 (5:06 pace)

1 lap cool to make it an even Mile.  



Pretty bad without pills.  On the full cocktail, I was significantly better but it didn't become a night and day difference until I took the Cytokines.  Yes, I saw additional gains on extra pills.  I'm going with this cocktail in Hawaii.  I'll take 3 every day but jack it up to 5 only on race day.  If I had opened with Taurine or Probiotics alone, it would have been around 1:45.  If I added IP-6, I'm over 2:00.  That gap MUST close.  I do believe that it will with continued Cytokines while avoiding the bad stuff.  Standard issue run tomorrow then just 1 or 2 shakeouts in Hawaii.

11/9- AM- 2 miles in 16:24 (8:12 pace).  I feel like the IP-6 has finally cleared my system.  Felt about the same as last time at this distance.  Good leg power but weak cardio.  Managed a negative split but was unable to hold the pace that I set early in Mile 2.  This was done on 3 Cytokine suppressants.  If I had taken 5, I'm likely well under 16.  

PM- Noticeably weaker by the afternoon.  The same thing happened yesterday so it was an impromptu test.  1/2 lap warm.  Managed only a 77.  Didn't expect to duplicate the 58 but expected better than that.  Popped just 1 Cytokine pill and I was back down to a 70.  Clearly, I have a SEVERE need for these pills because just 10 hours later, this happened.  Fortunately, this won't affect me on race day.  The start is at 5:30 AM and I'll be done before I start to lose strength from lack of pills.


Final Thought: I've done all that I can.  I'm racing under Caution (yellow flag) but it could be worse.  I've made it through the training unscathed.  Just 1 or 2 shakeout jogs in Hawaii then I race in 4 days.  I may or may not be able to update this before I get home.

11/10- Planned rest day.  Flight to Honolulu

11/11- Elective rest day.

11/12- 1 mile shakeout run in 8:15 with a mild pickup at the end plus a few strides.


11/13- I finished.  Barely.


-34 miles total

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Plan for Hawaii and Beyond


Plan for Hawaii and Beyond

2 weeks from today, I catch the flight and the race is 3 days later.  I’m not doing anything too radical between now and then unless I have to do so.  The taper is approaching.  A marginal gain in fitness that can be achieved from increased training is not worth the risk of injury.  As I’ve said many times, I just want to finish comfortably ahead of the time limit and be done with it.  I expect to do better but I don’t really care if it’s over 3 hours.  That said, I do want just one 13-mile walk/jog session just to prove that I can do it.  That will be done on Saturday.  I’ll keep most of my daily workouts in the 2-3 mile range but was encouraged by yesterday’s 4-miler.  I’ll go up to 5 one day next week but no further.

Blood Donation:

The plan was to get it done in September but given the issues with the doctor and the lab tests, I didn’t get around to it.  It’s too late now.  I can’t predict what will happen but a temporary intolerance to the adrenal supplements is a possibility.  A SNAFU could still happen, but I need to reduce the risk.  I will get it done after the race. 

Sugar/Caffeine Consumption:

I’ve flip-flopped on this.  I will NOT quit cold turkey before the race because a Candida die off could occur.  That is NOT pleasant.  I won’t binge.  No more than one can per day and some days will be clean but once again, the risk of a bad reaction due to a radical change is too high. 

Cocktail of Pills:

There is a flicker of hope that I have found a winning formula with the Cytokine, Adrenal support, Probiotics and Taurine.  I will take the detox and methylation support only occasionally.   I’ve had no trouble with missed doses of that stuff and I’m not even sure that I need it anymore.  Yes, I'll make sure to take a couple doses in the days leading up to race day just in case I am wrong.  After the race, I will reduce the Cytokines and increase the Probiotics.  I will also TRY to drink nothing but water.  If a die off reaction occurs after the race, it will be ugly but it won’t matter. 


The doctor did refer me, but I have yet to hear from them.    Who knows how long it will take?  Will they ever call me?  It is my hope that I can fix this without it.  Word on the street is that the drugs prescribed have AWFUL side effects that are often worse than the disease itself.  A friend of a friend said that it can also mess up your teeth.  I REALLY don’t want that to happen to me.  You should see the comments that I get on my smile.  Several people say that I could be a model for toothpaste companies and my favorite comment is that my teeth are so bright that you need sunglasses.  My weight and blood pressure are both heading in the right direction.  I expect that steady running will be enough to get those numbers where I want to see them. 

Future as a Runner:

Recent improvements have given me a flicker of hope that I can continue.  Nevertheless, I plan to stick with the idea of 6 weeks off after the race.  Now is as good of a time as any with the cold and darkness in December.  After Christmas, everything will be reset, and I will start back again gradually.  How far can I go?  That remains to be seen.  I will not run another half marathon unless I can break 2 hours.  If that never happens again, I can live with it.  I do like my chances of coming back as a 5K and 10K specialist.  If I can run 4 miles @ 9:06 pace with plenty left in the tank, I can go sub-60 for 10K (6.2@9:40) especially with more steady training.  That’s respectable for a non-competitive over-40 runner.  Most big-time races also have a 5K or 10K fun run as a companion to the full and half mary.  Is it worth a road trip for just a 5K?  Probably not, but I’m sure that I can find other stuff to do in the target city or on the way. 

Cities to Target:

Miami, Florida- January race then swim in the ocean.  Can’t go wrong there.

Tampa, Florida- I think there is one here in March, which is the best chance to catch waves.

Charleston, South Carolina- Cooper Bridge Run.  It’s a large 10K in early April.  Kinda wish it was in the Fall but I can still swim here.  I may need a wetsuit.    

Savannah, Georgia- Another Bridge run.  This one is in December.  Again, I need a wetsuit to swim but I can still do it. 

Biloxi, Mississippi- If I’m not in shape for a half, they do have a 5K.  I can enjoy a night on the town in Mobile or New Orleans or possibly swim at Dauphin Island.  It’s in December so again, I probably need a wetsuit.  November would likely be warm enough.

Fort Worth, Texas- I certainly don’t regret my choice to race in Austin but it wasn’t an authentic Texas experience as the culture is much different from the rest of the state.  The Cowtown weekend offers a 5K, 10K, half and full.  I’m sure that I can find worthwhile stuff to do in Dallas even though I was just there last year. 

Little Rock, Arkansas- My Arkansas race choice was a low-key event on a bike trail because I wanted a fast time.  Little Rock is an underrated city that is a manageable drive away from home.  They offer a 5K and a 10K in addition to a half and full.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania- I’ll only race here if it’s a half.  I’ve done a good 10K here already.  My half choice for PA was one of my worst.  It was also on a bike trail that did not showcase the city and I was in really bad shape that day. 

Louisville, Kentucky- I wanted to do the Kentucky Derby race but opted for Lexington because of a family commitment.  I’ve got other options for Louisville, and I believe they have companion events at shorter distances.  It’s a pretty easy drive and there are bourbon distilleries to tour nearby. 

Mobile, Alabama- I’ve already done the Azalea Trail 10K but I’d like to do a half here as well.  There is another race in early November that is basically the same course as Azalea without the crowd and it will probably be warm enough to swim.   

Coos Bay, Oregon- There is a 4 Mile trail race here on Labor Day weekend.  This is the hometown of Steve Prefontaine.  Pretty cool to race in his footsteps.

San Diego, California- I want to go back because I didn’t do it justice.  America’s Finest City is a good race in mid-August that can easily be combined with a beach trip.  It is a half marathon and 5K.

Washington, DC- It's not a state so it was not required to run a half.  I downgraded from the half to the 5 Mile because of health concerns but if I'm in shape, I will come back for a half.  Plenty to do here.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Training 10/24-10/30


Opened with Taurine WITHOUT Probiotics OR Cytokines and struggled as expected.  Time was 99 for a half lap (9:54 pace).

With Probiotics but still without the Cytokines, I was all the way down to a 77 (7:42 pace), for a massive 22 second difference.  MINUS 2:12.  I figure that if I had taken the Taurine without Probiotics but with the Cytokines, the difference would have been 7-8 seconds (42-48/mile).  Still significant but not a night and day difference.  On the Cytokines, I dropped to a 70 (7:00 pace).  This was done without adrenal support so that is encouraging.  I did take the adrenal support before work.

PM- Lakeshore 2.5 in 21:12 (8:29 pace).  More than a minute better than last week.  I'll take it.  The rate of improvement has slowed but it continues.  Again, I faded in the back half (10:24-10:48).  If I had kept going for another half mile, I bet I am in the 25s.  Less than 2 minutes away from the Mendoza line.


10/25- AM.  Opened again with Taurine alone and improved to 94 for a half lap and kept going for a 10:27 Mile.  I'm actually mildly encouraged by that.  Even if I do everything wrong, I still like my chances to finish in Hawaii.  That said, I DO want to see that time improve down the road.  That's it for today.  Stormy evening.  Lately, I need 8-9 hours of sleep per night so that leaves little time for a morning workout.  Hmm.


10/26- 4 miles on Lakeshore in 36:24 (9:06 pace).  I'm pleased with this one.  Dialed back the effort and finished strong.  Mile 4 was 8:44 and though I did turn it up a bit, I was far from flat out.  This is sub-2 pace for a half mary so I am 1/3 of the way there.


10/27- AM- Repeated the Taurine alone and improved to a 9:20 for the Mile.  MASSIVE GAIN.  In truth, I was probably aided by taking both the previous evening.  I need to know what happens if I take neither for at least 24 hours.  If I go off both for several days, I bet it's real ugly.  Still, I've got to be pleased with this one.

PM- Tempo.  2 miles in 16:18 (8:09 pace).   This was a tick better than 2 days ago.  Not significant but steady and gradual.  Bad splits however.  7:56-8:22.  I don't think I had quite enough for a sub-16 with an even pace but I am close.  In truth, I badly wanted to see that sub-8 split even if it meant that I would fade in the back half.  I bet that I could have held it for 1.5 miles so I am halfway to the Mendoza line.


10/28- Planned rest day.  I did do 1 half lapper with Taurine alone and continue to improve.  Excellent news.

10/29- Double extension for 13 miles on Lakeshore.  Finished in 2:25:29 (11:11 pace).  With a 4:1 jog/walk ratio, my overall pace was around 11:30.  I did jog the last 2.5 and gradually increased the pace.  Mile 13 was my fastest of the day at 9:38.  The plan for Hawaii will be the same.  Word on the street is that there is a tough stretch in Mile 10-11.  In that case, I may make my move sooner but walk most of climbs to recover before bringing it home.  

Conditions today were near perfect (overcast, 55 degrees) and that won't be the case in Hawaii.  Given warm weather and a tough course, I can expect around 2:30 on race day, give or take a few minutes.  I really don't care either way.  Just as long as I am well below 3:30.


10/30- 1 mile junk run.  Just a shake out.  Ran it naked.  Legs are appropriately sore but not completely trashed.  Only ten days of training until I catch the flight.  I won't go longer than 5 and will take a couple of rest days.  Let the taper begin.


-25 miles on the week.  Made it through the week without a relapse.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Training 10/17-10/23

 10/17- Split decision this morning.  Did a lap at Montreat on no pills in a much less horrible 3:11 (9:33 pace).  With the pills, I improved only to a 2:56 (8:48 pace).  MINUS 45.  Pleased that I was less dependent on the pills, but the ceiling MUST be higher than this.  Caffeine withdrawal is the likely culprit.  Added another lap as a cool and did not even attempt an evening workout.  Should be better by tomorrow afternoon.


10/18- BAD!  I was beyond awful when I got up but did get a little better in the afternoon.  Workout was 1.5 miles in a robust 15:45 (10:30 pace).  OUCH.


10/19- 2.5 on Lakeshore in 23-flat (9:12 pace).  MUCH better than yesterday.  Can I keep it up?  Positive split for the 2nd straight day (11:18-11:42) but I still had some left.  Probably around 27:45 if I kept going for 3 miles.  That's still a long way from the Mendoza line.


10/20- 3 miles in 26:46 (8:55 pace). Positive split again but no impending collapse (13:08-13:38). Continue to improve.  However, it is often around this point of a cycle that I collapse.  It will be very interesting to see what happens this weekend.  I hope to finish 13 but of course, I'll have to walk/jog it.  


10/21- On no pills, I managed only a 10:19 for 1 mile.  If I had only run 1 lap, I'm probably similar to the 3:11 that I did on Monday.   I really hoped for better.  I figure that on the full dose, I am at least 2 minutes faster.  Not pleased that I am still this dependent.  I've got a long way to go to get this under control.  The only positive on this was the negative split (5:14-5:05) and I certainly could have gone further.


10/22- Hoped to go 13 but settled for 3 (walk/jog).  Time was 38:30 (12:50 pace).  I knew I was in trouble early when my jog pace was over 10 and it got worse later.  Still, I believe that if I had to, I could have finished 13.1 @ sub-16 pace to beat the time limit.  Culprit was Probiotics WITHOUT Taurine.  Extra Cytokine pills helped but did not knock out the issue.  Not pleased at all.  Another rant is coming.  Forget what I said yesterday about the pills making 2 minutes difference in a 1 Mile.  NO!  I would have struggled with the pills as it was.  


10/23- HATED interval workout but I had to test to see where I am.

No pills- 82 (8:12 pace)

Adrenals- 65 (6:30 pace)

MINUS 1:42.  Floor is rising but the gap is still very large.  

Probiotics-83 (8:18 pace)

Cytokines- 70 (7:00 pace)

The Probiotics wiped out all the gains from the adrenals.  I'm sure that I would have been worse if I had taken the Probiotics first.  I got most of it back with the Cytokines but I didn't feel it and if I had to go longer, it would have been ugly.  I bet it would have unraveled after 1-2 miles.  

Energy drink-70 (7:00)

Taurine pills-62 (6:12 pace)

A can of Rockstar with its Taurine content had NO effect at all but I saw significant gains with Taurine pills.  When it comes to Taurine and Probiotics, it's got to be both or neither.  Both is probably the best choice.  It can't be one or the other.  Cytokines will help if I screw up but I would probably have to take mega doses to knock out the reaction.  Perhaps someday, I will build up a reserve of Cytokines to prevent this from happening.  


-13 miles on the week