Saturday, June 6, 2020

Rant: Definition of Privilege

Face it.  Some people are born into better circumstances than others and some will be born with traits that enable doors to open that would otherwise remain closed.  I was born with above average intelligence.  Though it did not always come easy and I had to work hard to achieve good grades, it did enable me to graduate from Clemson and get a pretty good job.  That’s something that simply would not have been possible if my intelligence was merely average or slightly below.  I didn’t grow up in a mansion in a gated community, but my family was well-off, and money was never an issue.  It certainly was a benefit to graduate without mountains of student debt.  Perhaps most importantly, I was raised in a stable household with a loving mother and father.  Now, there are plenty of single mothers out there that are doing a great job, but the fact is that the odds are not in your favor both for yourself and your child.  

If you have a son, it is especially important for him to have a strong male role-model.  Sons who grow up without a father are 8 times more likely to drop out of school and go to prison.  The poverty rate is much higher as well.   I have not seen any data for girls, but I am betting that in rare cases of daughters being raised by single fathers, the stats are not pretty. 

These advantages transcend race.  Too often, the so-called “black experience” is associated with growing up in the Hood surround by crime and broken homes.  It doesn’t have to be that way, nor is that stereotype accurate.  Blacks who are born into similar circumstances as I?  Yes, they do exist and can reap most, if not all the benefits associated with it.   A white kid from a broken home in an impoverished region of Appalachia?  Not so much.  Being an attractive female or a star athlete transcends both race and class and will open doors not available to others.  If you have a naturally outgoing personality, you can more easily make network connections in the job market.  Still, with all of that said, no matter what hand you’ve been dealt in life, you can always make choices to better your situation and improve your odds of being successful.  

I strongly dislike the term “white privilege,” which was almost never used before Obama, but that’s another issue.  To me, it implies that my skin tone is a golden ticket to a comfortable life free from hardship as well as a guarantee that I will never face prejudice, harassment or bullying.  THAT AIN’T TRUE!  Anyone who reads my blog knows that I suffer from an invisible illness that appears to be getting worse all the time.  Unless you live with me or hung out with me on a regular basis, there is just no way to understand what I go through every day with the various treatments.  Northern friends have admitted to me that if we met on the street, I would be pre-judged as dumb because I have a strong southern accent.  It’s not an issue here in Alabama but if I wanted to live in the Northeast or West coast, I believe I would face job discrimination. 

How is my relationship with law enforcement?  I would not say that it is good.  It’s pretty much non-existent.  I’ve only had 2 encounters within the last 8 years.  One was due to a parking lot car accident in which I was deemed to be at fault but did not get a ticket.  The other involved a naked man who was walking around my old apartment complex at night.  I thought that he was probably on drugs, but it turned out that he was suffering from dementia and was taken home.  No doubt that I did the right thing by calling.  Farther back in the past, I had one positive encounter and one negative.  I was saved from a probable mugger in New Orleans when I was in my early 20s.  The cop approached my newfound companion and said “Hey!  How you doin?  Didn’t know you were giving tours.”  At first, I thought it might be racial profiling, but it turned out that the man was well known for theft and robberies.  I was warned to be more careful because I was in one of the most violent cities in the country.  Good advice.  The only negative was being pulled over for going 70 in a 55 mph zone.  I was yelled at bigly and told that I could kill somebody by driving like that even though there was little traffic and I honestly thought the speed limit was 65.  In the end, he handed me back my license but not my car registration.  He was just a jerk and probably treats everybody the same way. 

I have no problem with the slogan Black Lives Matter but when it comes to the organization itself, I do have some issues.  They constantly push a TOTALLY false narrative that there is a massive nationwide epidemic of police shootings that only affect unarmed black people.  Several banners that I’ve seen in the news have compared the police to the KKK.  That is ridiculous.  I will cede one point that a black man is more likely to be pulled over if seen driving through an upscale white neighborhood such as Mountain Brook.  That is flat out wrong, and no further comments are needed.  

A friend of mine recently posted that sometimes she is afraid for her son to go out because of the police.  While there is never an absolute guarantee for his safety, police are not the ones to be feared if you look at the statistics.  27% of people killed by police are black, which is roughly 2 times their share of the population.  Now, consider that blacks have more interactions with police due to the crime rate.  If you look at the number of deaths per police interaction, I’ll bet it is slightly higher but not significantly and certainly not as bad as the media would lead you to believe.  An unarmed black man is more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a police officer.  Again, racist acts do happen.  I will not deny it or downplay any individual case, but it is NOT the norm. Hell, even fellow police officers will not defend this and in many cases sided with peaceful protesters.   I can think of at least 5 issues that are more pressing needs than police brutality. 

 I have ZERO sympathy for violent protesters especially after the officer was charged with murder and public opinion is overwhelmingly against him and his accessories on the scene.  Looting is not on the same level as murder and try to understand their anger?  No excuse.  True, looting is not on par with what the officer did but burning down a building that houses a child is.  11 people have been killed in the protests and 7 were black.  Most don’t even know their names.  Sickening.  At this point, it is no longer about George Floyd.  We are dealing with radical Anarchists and Communists who are looking for any excuse to start a revolution and overthrow the whole system. 

It’s gotten to the point in which it is considered offensive to say ALL LIVES MATTER and a sportscaster was fired for posting those 3 words.  This does NOT mean that I am indifferent towards the black community.  In my view, mistreating others for ANY REASON must be condemned with no exceptions.  I am passionate about the school bullying issue and the epidemic of teen suicides, which affect all races.  I was once told that my very existence was offensive and the only way for the bullying to stop was for me to die and go to Hell.  NOBODY deserves to be subjected to that level of hatred.  I don’t care about the motivation for making such a statement.  I won't get as much sympathy if I shared that story because it was not racially motivated.  Yes, personalities can clash and not everybody will like each other but respect and civility must be practiced at all times. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Training 6/1-6/7

6/1- Day trip to Chattanooga.  Got home late so I only did 2 laps plus a cool.  I did take TRS in the morning and after going 12 hours without it, I could only manage a 2:54 (8:42 pace) then improved to a 2:25 (7:15 pace) with it.

6/2- Lakeshore 3 in 26:18 (8:46 pace).  Weak effort.  This time, the TRS gap has diminished.  1st half in 13:37 without it but only improved to a 12:41 with it.  That's significant but not night and day and the ceiling is WAY TOO LOW!

6/3- AM- I don't understand this.  I was actually worse than yesterday.  Came through the Mile marker in 9:50 then quit.  Maybe I could have rallied a bit on the back half but not by much.  My only explanation was that I didn't take enough TRS.  Loaded later in the morning and improved to 7:26.  Not great but certainly a big improvement.

PM- Under the threat of storms, I clocked an 8:38 mile after another low dose of TRS.  Not pleased at all.

6/4- AM- Just wanted to see how bad it would be without any TRS and clocked an 11:03 for 1 mile.  Dipped under 4 for a half mile with MEGA doses then added a cool.

PM- Did 2 miles at Canterbury.  No TRS.  Just forgot it.  It was a junk run and I bet it was over 20 minutes.

6/5- Same workouts as yesterday.  AM was trial and error miles in 9:38/8:02.
Did the Canterbury 2 in 18:08 (9:04 pace).  Did 10 sprays both times.  I'm sure that I would have been better with extra but I just can't afford to take more.  I just have to let the detox run its course.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

RANT: George Floyd and Response

Like almost all Americans, I am DISGUSTED by the horrific actions of this police officer that caused a senseless death.  In a case of clear cut police brutality such as this one, I am confident that we will see a conviction.  I think it should be murder.  He might beat that charge but I see no way that he cannot be found guilty of manslaughter or negligent homicide even if the autopsy didn't reveal strangulation.  I am also DISGUSTED by the reaction to this crime on many sides.

Let's start with my fellow conservatives:
While nobody has defended this cop, one person said that because Floyd was a petty criminal, there should not be much sympathy although she re-iterated that he did not deserve to die.  She was roundly and harshly condemned for those remarks.  And rightly so.  I DON'T CARE if he was a petty criminal.  This was a terrible and inexcusable crime that was committed.  Don't you dare place even a shred of blame on the victim!

Others have brought up black on black crime or white victims of violence in which there is nary a word of media coverage.  Now is NOT the time for that kind of talk.  I do agree that the media does have an agenda to foster national division especially in an election year.  That said, we must NEVER deflect attention from the horrific crime committed here.

A few have suggested that the crime was not racially motivated.  In this case, I can respectfully disagree.  My personal opinion is that it was an act of racism but it is certainly possible that personalities can clash.  Two people could simply dislike each other and it may not have anything to do with skin color.  In this case however, especially given our history of emotional response on the subject and the length of the video, I believe that race had to be a factor in his sick decision making process.

Now let's move on to Liberals:
Is America a racist country in 2020?  Almost everyone on the Left would say Yes.  I have a different question.  Is the state of Maine a violent place?  Most would say No.  What if I told you that several murders occur every year in the Portland area?  Still no because its crime rate is among the lowest in the nation, right?
That's pretty much how I feel about racially motivated police brutality and racism in general in America.  It happens.  I will not deny it or downplay any individual case.  Even one instance is one too many as well as a cause for outrage.    However, I do feel very strongly that these terrible cases are the EXCEPTION RATHER THAN THE NORM and police brutality does affect all races.  There is absolutely no reason to fear that you will be hunted down by white vigilantes or gunned down after being pulled over for a minor traffic violation.  Yes, there is a minuscule chance that I could be killed in a shark attack or a hijacked airplane but it's so small that it's not even worth the worry.  Sadly, I DO believe that most blacks experience occasional racism today but I doubt that it is pervasive or occurs on a regular basis.  Correct me if I am wrong. 

Dear White People, this is not okay.  Has nothing changed since 1960?
NOBODY is saying that it is okay!  There is nearly universal consensus among both blacks and whites that the officer should be tried and convicted.  I would argue that the average American in 2020 is LESS racist than the 1990 counterpart and MOST DEFINITELY less so than 1960.  In the last 30 years, inter-racial relationships have seen much greater acceptance and the Confederate flag has become increasingly taboo.  There is no way that Barack Obama could have won in 1992's electorate.  On the Republican side, South Carolina elected an Indian-American governor and black US senator.  In the latter case, Tim Scott beat out Strom Thurmond's son in the Republican primary.  I'd say that's a pretty strong repudiation of the racist policies of the past.

I visited Selma, Alabama back in March of this year and was both horrified by the injustice that took place there and dumbfounded that it could be accepted by much of the population.  Back then, blacks could not drink from the same water fountains or eat inside restaurants.  Today, I can have lunch with a black man or woman at the same table and it's not an issue.  I know it's true because I've done it myself.  There is a scare tactic every 4 years that the Republicans want to bring back Jim Crow or worse.  That is ridiculous.  If a segregationist candidate was nominated today, he'd lose by more than 50 points even in Alabama.  If it became legal to refuse service on the basis of race, would I ever support that business?  HELL NO!  I'm quite confident that the majority of whites would agree with me on this.  Jim Crow is never coming back.  Take it to the bank. 

Some have even gone as far as to call for killing cops in retaliation and have praised Antifa as well as the rioters and looters.  It's funny that people who are now calling for mass protests are the same ones who until just days ago called for everyone to stay at home due to COVID but that's another issue.  I would not criticize anyone who is angry about racism even if their comments are over the top.  If you go to this extreme, it's game on.  Trump was called racist for using the term "thugs" even though Obama used it as well and there are plenty of whites who are also protesting violently.  Black people have no other recourse other than to riot?  What the _____!  If you do not expect or demand better than this from the black community, you are the real racists.  That's the soft bigotry of low expectations.  Beating a store owner to death or burning down a building that houses an innocent child is INEXCUSABLE! 

Every profession has its share of crooks.  Do we malign all religious leaders because of a few pedophile priests?  Some lawyers knowingly prosecute innocent defendants while others get rapists and murderers off on a technicality.  Are they all bad?  No.  In my line of work, taxpayers have been cheated out of money because somebody wants a good appraisal or a promotion.  It happens but it's not the norm.  Liberals have been strong on NOT condemning Muslims because of the actions of a few.  Why not have the same attitude towards police officers?  End rant.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Training 5/25-5/31

5/25- Planned rest day.  Drive home

5/26- Just 1 mile in 7:44 at a comfortable effort.  Sustainable for 3 miles.

5/27- AM- Tested the CoQ10 and the gap remains significant but it has diminished.  I was 2:48 without it and 2:36 with it.  Gap is only 36 seconds per mile.
PM- Crash.  2 miles in 21:12 (10:36 pace).  I'll explain later.

5/28- I've had BAD joint pain the last couple of weeks, especially in the hip and groin.  Toxic metals are most definitely the culprit.  I woke up feeling MUCH worse than yesterday but was actually slightly better on caffeine.  TRS made a YUGE difference.  Apparently, I've uncovered another layer of toxic metals.  I'll need mega doses of TRS going forward.  I have extra bottles.

5/29- Not pretty at all but I'll take it.  In the morning, I was slightly better WITH caffeine but I'm still staying off it.  PM was Lakeshore 2.5 in 23:21 (9:21 pace).  I was 12-flat at the half but finished in 11:21 so that's a good sign.  I don't have much faith that I will EVER recover my energy and vitality.

5/30- Crash #2- 1 mile in 11:20 on Lakeshore.  Caffeine was actually helpful yesterday but today, it was not tolerated.  I was only marginally better in the afternoon.

5/31- AM- Opener in 3:52.  With CoQ10, I was only down to 3:47 so it's now official that CoQ10 no longer makes a significant difference.  With only 3 sprays of TRS, I was all the way down to 3:16 (MINUS 93/mile).  With a full dose, it would have been another MINUS 93 at least.

PM- Re-assessed my tolerance for caffeine and TRS and surprisingly, I was tolerant today.  Dipped down to 59.2 seconds for a half lap (5:55 pace).  I will try again to go clean starting tomorrow.

-13 miles on the week

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Rave: Beach Hopping

I’m often asked how I can afford to travel so much.  The answer is that I am frugal on my trips.  Many people that I have traveled with in the past would insist on staying at a luxury hotel on the beach for at least $250-300 per night plus an expensive dinner with drinks and dessert that could cost you upwards of $70 per meal.  I don’t need to do any of that, and it really does not add to my enjoyment.  I’m perfectly fine with using the public beach lots and if you arrive early enough, parking is not a problem.  If you travel just a few miles inland, you can score a deal for half price or even less.  I’ve been known to make an exception to the rule and stay on the beach during the shoulder season.  From late April through mid-May as well as October and sometimes into November, it’s usually warm enough to swim but prices will drop considerably.  It’s worth it to pay a few bucks more for a beachfront hotel but certainly not upwards of $100 more per night.  Also, I often find that it is more fun to check out multiple beaches on the same trip rather than be tied down to a single location.  

Here are some distances:
Jacksonville to Panama City- 4-4.5 hours
Cocoa to Sunny Isles (Miami)- 3 hours
Sunny Isles to Clearwater-4 hours
Port Aransas to Galveston-  4 hours
Tybee (Savannah) to Isle of Palms (Charleston)- 2.5-3 hours

A 4 hour drive may seem like a lot but if it’s split up over 2 days, it’s really easy.  Let’s say that you finish up your afternoon beach session at 5:00 PM.  You can eat dinner on the way, drive 2 hours and arrive at a Motel 6 or Super 8 at a decent hour.  The next morning, it’s an easy ride to your next destination.  Often, it will only set you back about $60 per night.  I've taken beach hopping road trips the last 2 weekends.

Trip 1- Left after work on Thursday and drove to Cordele, Georgia (between Macon and Valdosta) then ended up in St. Augustine, Florida (between Jacksonville and Daytona).  I'd probably recommend Jacksonville instead because it's closer but I had already been there.  In St. Augustine, I got to see the Old City with the fortress plus some lush palm trees and Spanish moss.  As far as the beach was concerned, the sand was a bit softer than Daytona and had a bit of a pinkish tint.  My only gripe was that the ocean floor was quite shelly.  A pair of aqua socks would have been appreciated.  Call me crazy but I like how it feels when a wave breaks on my neck and I don't mind the occasional wipeout even if I get a mouthful of salt water.  In this case, the surf was actually a bit too rough even for me.  Waves came one after another and I often got wiped out before I made it past the breakers.  Nevertheless, I caught more than a few perfect rides from chest high water all the way to the shore.

St. Augustine

Friday- Spent the previous night in the Tallahassee area then took a short detour through the Forgotten Coast from Carrabelle to Apalachicola.  Parts of the road ran right along the Gulf.  The water here is not the best for swimming but still scenic nonetheless.  I arrived in Panama City to find calmer conditions with the usual sugar white soft sand and clear emerald water.  The waves here were still pretty high but much gentler with no wipeout potential.  It was enjoyable but more relaxing.  I hoped to see a nice sunset but unfortunately, the skies became cloudy in the evening.

Saturday- Spent the previous night in Crestview, about 20 miles inland then drove to Perdido Key on the Alabama line.  After another enjoyable session that was slightly better than the previous day, I had a late lunch at FloraBama then headed home.

Trip 2-
For Memorial Day weekend, I figured that the beaches in Florida and Alabama would be PACKED so I wanted to go off the beaten path.  I would start out on the Bolivar Peninsula in Crystal Beach, just outside of Beaumont, Texas then hop back east.  Crystal Beach is about 9 hours from Birmingham so that's not bad if split up and can be done in one day if need be.  I would leave Friday afternoon and made it to Lafayette, Loosiana.  That's the correct pronunciation of the state west of Miss'Sippy.

Made it to my destination pretty early.  The vibe on the Texas coast is totally different than FLA/ALA.  Here, the sand is hard and brown and you can actually drive and park on the beach itself.  Though the waters were uncrowded, there were plenty of people on the sand playing loud music that could be heard in the sea.  This place can grow on you.  Though the water with its brownish tint is not so great to look at, it feels just fine.  The surf was just strong enough to be exciting but I would not have called it rough.  Further south, in Port Aransas and South Padre, the beaches are much nicer with clearer water.  I ended my session around 5 PM then headed back east for a Loosiana Saturday night.  Yes, I played Mel McDaniel's song several times along with a cover.

Crystal Beach

Cajun coast day.  Left Lafayette and it was another 3 hours to Grand Isle.  I have been to the Cajun Riviera before around Holly Beach about 4 year ago.  I found it to be unspectacular.  The water and sand were muddy brown with no wave action.  Lake Charles looks to have a nice swimming area but Grand Isle, a full 2 hours south of the city of New Orleans, is the only place in the state with ride-able waves.  The water here looked less inviting on the surface but still felt fine.  I'm sure it's safe for swimming but I would not have wanted a mouthful of that water on a wipeout.  Fortunately, the surf was fairly calm though once again, I got plenty of good rides on the board.  Overall, it was worth seeing for something different but I am unlikely to return as it is just too far out of the way.  On the plus side, if you are worried about the coronavirus, this beach probably will not be crowded even on a holiday weekend.  I had to leave a little early to ensure that I would make it to the Miss'Sippy Sound before sunset.  That's the correct pronunciation of the state to my west.   Here, the sand is as white as FLA/ALA but the water is still brown with no wave action.  However, if you take a short cruise to Ship Island just off the coast, it supposedly rivals the beauty of the Emerald Coast.  Unfortunately, tickets were sold out for Monday so that will have to wait.

Grand Isle

Mississippi Coast

Plan B was to head back to Ala-dam-bama at Gulf Shores and it worked out just fine.  The beauty of the beach puts all the others to shame and the surf was excellent too.  After an epic session, I had to leave before it got too crowded.  Good thing I did because traffic was rough coming home.  It took 2 hours longer than expected.

Gulf Shores

Monday, May 18, 2020

Training 5/18-5/24

Did very little running last week but made an important discovery.  I took a trip to North Florida last weekend and stayed mostly clean with the diet.  I did have one beer for dinner on Friday then one mixed drink with lunch on Saturday with no caffeine.  That is HARDLY a binge but I could NOT tolerate it.  Water only until further notice with no cheat days at all?  I don't think I can do that and if I can't tolerate just 2 indiscretions per week, that's a big problem.  The culprit is NOT CoQ10 after all.  It is ATP.  Indeed I have read that caffeine interferes with adenosine receptors and I'm betting that sugar and alcohol do as well.  That's okay.  I don't need to take ATP every day.  I only need enough to transport B-12.  Occasional use (once per week) will do me fine.

5/17- Very good news.  Without ATP, caffeine was tolerated and CoQ10 actually made things better.  Even better, I had no significant difference between 2 pills and 4.  I was 2 seconds slower per lap on extra so that's just statistical noise.

5/18-AM- Opener in 59.4 (5:56 pace).  Very impressive opener.  With 2 CoQ10, I was down to 50-flat (5:00 pace) then added a cool.  That's my fastest time on that loop by nearly 2 seconds and it was done WITH caffeine.  I'm sure it's not good for me but even if I had a daily habit, it should not hurt me NEARLY AS BADLY as it has before.  I'm quite sure that if I popped just one ATP pill, it would have been a disaster.  Still a little concerned that the gap (56 seconds) is still significant but I'm quite sure that I would have been no better or worse if I had taken extra.

PM- Lakeshore 2.5 in 19:36 (7:51 pace).  Not a bad showing.  Felt comfortable most of the way though my legs were a little heavy.  Started a little fast then backed off on the back half to 8:00 pace.

5/19- No AM workout but I could tell without running that just 1 CoQ10 pill would NOT be enough.  Not pleased about being so dependent on this or any other pill.  Gotta hope that will eventually fade.  Then again, at least I don't need mega doses.  The eventual workout was 3 miles at Montreat in a time of 23:22 (7:47 pace) with relatively even splits.  Don't think the pace ever went above 8.  Half mile longer on a route that was a bit tougher than Lakeshore.  I'll take it.  Not a significant difference versus yesterday but the sum of small gains is the goal.  Legs were still heavy and breathing was labored at times.

The South Dakota race scheduled for July was CANCELED due to Corona.  I've had enough of this.  I was willing to go along with the lockdown for 2-4 weeks but it's past time to open up.  My next race option is not until September in Minnesota.

5/20- CRASH!  Lithium was the culprit this time.  Since it is related to ATP, it's not a big surprise.  I should not need that stuff at all going forward because it is an ingredient in ADHS (adrenal modulator).  I may take it once per week to be safe however.  Forced myself to jog 1 mile but that pace was likely over 12 minutes.  I expect a nice rebound tomorrow.

5/21- 3 miles on Lakeshore in 28-flat (9:20 pace).  Big improvement over yesterday.  I was only doing 9:40 pace for the first half but managed a 9:00 flat on the back half with an 8:46 in Mile 3.  Nothing to celebrate but I should be back to the Mendoza line by tomorrow.

5/22- Repeated the Lakeshore 3 and my time is down to 25:36 (8:32 pace).  1st half- 12:52, 2nd half- 12:44.  I'll take it.  MINUS 52 overnight.

Impromptu trip to the Coast.
Only 1 additional junk mile.
- 13 miles on the week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Training 5/4-5/10

5/4- Junk run was all that I could do.  I've found that being off caffeine for just 24 hours will allow me to tolerate CoQ10 again.  Additional doses helped but not as much as the first dose.  I will probably settle on 100 or 200 CoQ10 and don't expect much benefit.  Eventually, if I do everything right, I'll get by without it for a few days just like the others.

5/5-AM Improved my Montreat laps from a 3:57 to a 3:28 (MINUS 87) with CoQ10

PM- 3 miles on Lakeshore in 28:31 (9:30 pace).  Not a great showing but I am improving and expect the pattern to be similar to last week.  This time, let's hope it is permanent.

5/6-AM-Lakeshore 3 with a slightly different route this time.  Improved to 26:15 (8:45 pace).  Relatively even pace.  Struggled but it was a significant improvement over yesterday.

PM- Jemison 2 mile in 19:06 (9:33 pace)  OUCH!  The need for CoQ10 has increased.  I was considerably BETTER after 2 more pills.  Improved from 84 to 62 on a Montreat sprint.

5/7-AM.  Without CoQ10, I was just about as bad as you can possibly imagine.  Opener was a 4:24 (13:12 pace) and I honestly could not go any faster.  On 200, I was down to 3:37 (10:51 pace) then all the way down to 2:34 (7:42 pace) on 400.  The gap between the floor and ceiling is a MASSIVE 5:30 per mile.  Once again, I know the drill.  Both the floor and ceiling will increase but the floor will rise much faster, resulting in a lower gap.  That's it for today.

5/8- AM.  As expected, the floor improved to 3:32 (10:36 pace) and the ceiling was 2:18 (6:54 pace) then added a 1 lap cool down.  The gap has been reduced from 5:30 to 3:42.  It should be in the low-mid 2s by tomorrow.

PM- Not surprisingly, if I can barely hold a sub-7 pace for 1/3 mile in the morning and am weakened by going several hours without CoQ10, I will struggle.  Called it quits after a 9:17 effort in the Montreat Mile but each lap was faster than the previous one.  Lap 3 was a 2:53 (8:39 pace) so yes, I am improving.  Tempted to get caffeine at lunch but held strong.  Now 5 days clean.

5/9- AM- Opener in 2:53 (8:39 pace).  Closer in 2:08 (6:24 pace).  Gap has narrowed to 2:15 just as predicted.  It will probably be 75-90 tomorrow.  1 lap cool.  The closer needs to be 1:55 or below in order to get anywhere close to respectability in longer distance.  I often get stuck around 2:10, which is not good.  A floor at 6:50 pace and ceiling at 6:20 is not acceptable even though the gap would be okay.

PM- 3 miles at Oak Mountain.  Tough but fair route.  Finished 3 miles in 25:14 (8:25 pace).  Strong negative split in which I dipped under 8 on the last mile but it was mostly downhill at the end.  Another very positive step.  Can I keep it going?

5/10- Yesterday was my cheat day and I found that one forbidden drink was tolerated but not 2.  That's okay.  Just don't do it again and I should be okay.  As for the workout, I was very pleased with my opener in 2:27 (7:21 pace) but could only muster a 2:20 for the closer (7:00 pace).  Gap is barely enough to be significant but the ceiling is MUCH too low.  Additional CoQ10 was tolerated, which is good but if I did this every day, it would not be long until I'm right back to where I was last weekend.

PM- Expected to have nothing in a real workout if I could not hold a sub-7 pace for 1/3 of a mile.  Turns out, it wasn't as bad as expected.  3 miles at Lake Lurleen outside of Tuscaloosa in a time of 25:42 (8:34 pace).  Only 9 ticks slower than yesterday though this route was a bit less hilly.  Tomorrow might be a little rough but as long as I don't cheat again, I should be back on track by Tuesday.

-21 miles on the week.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Training 4/27-5/3

4/27- Awful in the morning but was surprisingly better in the afternoon.  Very consistent splits too.
On 2 CoQ10- 2:48
3 pills- 2:49
Extra caffeine- 2:50
Not a significant difference.  Slow times but it's becoming clear that mega doses are no longer needed.

4/28-AM- Opener in 2:37 (7:51 pace).  1 pill- 2:32 (7:36 pace).  2 pills-2:33 (7:39 pace).
Barely enough to be considered significant on 1 pill then the 2nd pill was essentially a non-factor.  Good news.  I'm going down to 1 pill tomorrow.  I'm betting that forbidden drinks will be tolerated IF the CoQ10 dose is low.  What's the point in taking more if I don't benefit from it?  The drinks are not good for me but I should NEVER get extreme reactions to them.  If I do, something is wrong.  I want to confirm the tolerance on low doses this week then quit, hopefully without too much withdrawal.  After I do quit, I'll try higher doses again hoping that it continues to be a non-factor.  If so, I'm willing to stick with this formula for better or worse going forward.

PM- 3 miles on Lakeshore in 26:50 (8:57 pace).  Not real good but I was encouraged by the negative splits.  I think it was 9:08-8:59-8:43.

4/29- The difference between going with CoQ10 and without it is now officially immaterial.  There was only a 3 second difference in my laps this morning.  My afternoon workout was 4 miles on Lakeshore in a time of 33:45 (8:24 pace) with occasional light rain outside.  Not a great showing but I am steadily improving every day on low doses in spite of the forbidden drinks.  This time, I slowed just a tad on the back half but it never got any worse than 8:30.

4/30- End of the official stay at home order but the new freedoms are minimal.  At least I can go to the Fleet Feet and the Trak Shak.  Today was the 3 mile Trak Shak loop in 24:15 (8:05 pace).  This route contains some hills so on Lakeshore, I think I'm at or near Mendoza level.  Not a huge improvement over yesterday but the only real goal this week is to avoid a collapse.  So far, caffeine and alcohol are well tolerated.  Tomorrow will be the last day.

5/1- The collapse has been avoided.  Only 1 mile at Montreat in 7:16 with pretty even splits.  Effort was moderate-tempo.  I could probably get under 7 on a track going all out.  Followed it up with a half mile in 3:31 despite being slightly inebriated.  Alcohol and caffeine are tolerated IF the CoQ10 dose is low.  Now, if I raised the dose, I bet I still have problems.

5/2-AM. The plot thickens.  3 miles on Lakeshore in 27:45 (9:15 pace).  Not good.  Planned on 6.5 and felt reasonably well through the first 2 miles in 17:35 but collapsed to 10:10 in Mile 3 and called it quits.  It appears that the CoQ10 was the culprit after all.  If I simply ran a 1 lap sprint around Montreat, I'm probably okay.  If I waited until the evening to run after it partially cleared my system, I'm also probably okay.  Running shortly after taking the dose.  Definitely NOT okay.

PM- Improved to a 2:30 lap on Montreat but was immediate WORSE after additional CoQ10.

5/3- Tried to run without CoQ10 and was awful then it was worse with it.  The verdict is in.  Caffeine and alcohol will be tolerated occasionally but if it's a daily habit, CoQ10 becomes both necessary and unable to be tolerated.  Not even at low doses.

-20 miles on the week

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Corona Part 3

I was willing to go along with the shutdown for maybe 2-4 weeks but I've had ENOUGH!!  A typical day involves sitting on my ass in front a blank computer screen as I am technically working from home but have nothing to do because I cannot meet with any clients.  I cannot leave because I could get in trouble for not reading an e-mail with a read receipt attached.  What can I do anyway?  Nothing is open!  No doubt, this is hurting my health both physically and mentally. 

Recent revelations about the virus have made it clear that none of this was necessary.  To be clear, I am NOT advocating business as usual.  The close quarters on the subway combined with crowded elevators in NYC is probably the reason it's the hot spot.  We are a LONG way from safely packing a college football stadium in Auburn or Tuscaloosa.  Concerts, parades and other mass gatherings including big time road races certainly should have been cancelled or re-scheduled from at least late March-early May but NOT late summer and Fall.  How about gyms or movie theaters?  Probably not yet but I'd open them within a few weeks.  I would allow small church services but mega churches should remain online for now.   

Wal-Mart and Home Depot remain open as are other grocery and hardware stores.  They are quite crowded too and it is nearly impossible to observe the 6 foot rule at all times.  You might think that those cashiers would be dropping like flies considering the media coverage but that's not happening.  The only real danger zone is nursing homes, where underlying conditions and co-morbidity are common.  While people can go to Wal-Mart, they often CANNOT do the following things, which are MUCH safer.
-Visit to a museum
-Tour of a National Park
-Browse inside a local clothing store or book store.
-Swim in the ocean
-Drink at the bar (no dancing at a nightclub)
-Dine-in restaurant

Police have been known to stop motorists and inquire about their destination and whether or not they are performing essential duties.  A father was recently ARRESTED for playing catch with his child at an EMPTY park.  Now, that's not hurting or endangering anyone!  Ridiculous!  What happened to the all families belong together crowd?

One of the reasons for the shutdown was to prevent overwhelming the health care system with corona cases.  Outside of NYC, that fear has not materialized.  In fact, hospitals are actually more likely to be OVERSTAFFED because non-essential appointments must be postponed.  I know a couple people who lost their jobs for that reason.  Studies show that this virus is MUCH more widespread than previously believed and was probably around as early as December 2019.  Antibody samples show that anywhere from 10-50 times the number of confirmed cases have been exposed.  Most never knew it because their symptoms were minimal.  It has also been found that the virus dies quickly in the presence of sunlight.  Thus, we should have ENCOURAGED people to get out more often especially for exercise in parks.

The point:  Yes, the virus is contagious and the vulnerable should be protected and self-isolated but it is NOT nearly as deadly as feared.  WHO originally said the death rate would be 3.4%.  If the antibody study is accurate, it is no higher than 0.5% and could be as low as 0.1%.   90% of those deaths had underlying health conditions or co-morbidity, which I believe has greatly  inflated the number of deaths.  For example, an old country singer named Joe Diffie was listed as a corona death.  In realty, he had heart disease as well as advanced lung cancer.  I don't think he survives the regular flu or pneumonia.  Can a relatively young healthy person be killed by corona?  Nobody is guaranteed to make it but your chances of death are about 1 in 10,000 if you catch the virus.

If you are a higher risk case and feel the need to stay at home, you should certainly be permitted to do so.  I have a couple of co-workers who are over 60 and significantly overweight.  They certainly should be permitted to work from home when possible.  If you don't feel safe going out, by all means stay in.  If you strictly self-isolate, including appropriate social distancing at home, I'd say you are pretty safe even if others go out, right?  In fact, suppose that you are an essential worker who would normally go out for dinner or a drink but cannot due to stay at home orders.  You actually INCREASE your contact with higher risk family members by being at home more often. 

As for the economic impact, many small businesses may never come back from this.  For every 1% of unemployment, we see a significant increase in suicides and drug overdoses.  It's rough being alone with no human contact.  I've talked with friends and family on the phone and even did a video chat for Easter but that's just not the same.  What about people who live with an abusive partner or someone else that they dislike and cannot move out or even leave for a day.  Fortunately, this madness should be winding down soon as people are getting fed up. 

As usual, the media has been blatantly dishonest.  Trump never called the virus a hoax nor did he suggest treating it by injecting Drano into the lungs yet many believe it because CNN said so.  Polls can be manipulated to get the results that they want.  For example, one said that 72% back continued restrictions.  I call BS.  If the restrictions include cancelled spectator sports, I'm fully in the YES camp.  Keeping beaches closed?  I'm strongly opposed.  So how do I answer? 

Political impact:
That remains to be seen but so far, it appears that if you liked Trump before the pandemic, he hasn't lost your support.  If you didn't like him before, he hasn't changed your mind.  It could be a wash overall but if it becomes clear that excessive restrictions were an over-reach, it's probably advantage Trump.  Trump did restrict travel from China very early and Biden called him xenophobic.  I do believe that the media will keep trying to keep the country in panic mode until the election.  After that, especially if Biden wins, the virus may not go away but the panic will fade even if there is a second wave.  I've heard of drones monitoring people for social distance violations and even a snitch hotline too.  That's pretty scary stuff. 

In the USSR, people often could not choose their occupation or their city of residence.  Everyone lived in a planned high rise with government officials watching your every move.  If you blew off work, you would not be fired but imprisoned instead.  In China, there is social credit in which your rights can be severely curtailed if you simply post things that are deemed offensive by the communist government.  Could that really happen here in the Land of the Free?  Yes, I'm afraid so.  Nobody thought Venezuela would become such a hell hole just 20 years ago.  I have been encouraged by the number of Patriots who are willing to fight socialism so I bet it doesn't happen in my lifetime.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Training 4/20-4/26

4/20- Demand for CoQ10 has hit HARD.  Opened with a 3:58 (11:54 pace) without it.  Took 200 and was down to 2:56 (8:48 pace) then down to 2:23 (7:09 pace) on 400 for a total gap of a staggering 4:45 per mile. I'll bet that I would have improved a bit on 600 for a 5+ minute gap but didn't try it. Nothing unusual for the first day.  I know the drill.  Not surprisingly, I had nothing in a real workout and quit after just 1 mile at a crap pace.  If I can't hold a sub-7 pace for 1/3 mile, what do you expect?

4/21- AM-Better today as expected.  This time I took ONLY CoQ10 as I'm sure everything else is a non-factor.  This time I jumped from zero to 400 then added a cool down.
Opener- 3:11 (9:33 pace)
Closer- 2:04 (6:12 pace)
The floor improved by 2:21 while the ceiling rose by 57.  That's to be expected.  I'm encouraged by the ceiling and I'm sure there is room for much improvement.  Gap has closed from 4:45 to 3:21 and it ought to be under 60 by the end of the week and under 15 within 10 days.

PM- Lakeshore 4 in 38:56 (9:44 pace).  Struggled.  1st half- 18:44, 2nd half-20:12.  I would have done better if I popped an extra CoQ10.

4/22-AM- Encouraged by the opener in 2:48 (8:24 pace) but this time, the closer got WORSE.  I stupidly assessed my tolerance for caffeine.  One cheat day won't hurt.  Two consecutive will.  At least I know.  At any rate, I slipped all the way to 3:37 (10:51 pace) but actually improved to 3:28 (10:24 pace) after a beer.  I'm sure the alcohol didn't really help.  It was clearance of caffeine/CoQ10 but at least I know it won't hurt.  That's good news.  Only caffeine must be avoided.

4/23- Opened with a 2:58 this time (8:54 pace) but improved only marginally to a 2:54 on CoQ10 (8:42 pace).  Was it really ineffective?  No.  Most likely, I would have been considerably better on 200 but slipped with 400.  No caffeine today.  I did drink a can of non-caffeinated Sprite and it did not seem to hurt me.  Though both should be limited, alcohol won't hurt and neither will sugar.  It is only caffeine that must be strictly limited.  I'm betting that NADH coupled with CoQ10 in addition to caffeine is just too much treatment for the NDUFS issues.

PM- Added a junk mile around the block in Homewood.  This shutdown is really getting to me.

4/24- Very pleased with the opener in 2:35 (7:45 pace).  Not pleased at all with the closer in 2:16 (6:48 pace).  I barely held a sub-7 pace for just 1/3 of a mile.  Not good at all.  Perhaps something was holding me back.  This doesn't make sense after I did a 2:04 earlier this week.  Indeed it was the non-caffeinated Sprite.  Alcohol is NOT okay either.  It's got to be water only.  I am prepared to endure a rough day tomorrow to find that out but I had to know what I can and cannot take going forward.

4/25- Felt terrible today as expected.  Did improve a bit after an afternoon nap.  CoQ10 was tolerated but not very effective.

4/26- Followed the usual pattern.  Very pleased with my 2:26 opener (7:18 pace).  Not pleased at all with the closer in 2:15 (6:45 pace).  Gap is down to 33 and may soon become insignificant.  Not surprisingly, I didn't do very well in my real workout, 2.5 at Lakeshore untimed.  I should not have THIS much reaction to forbidden drinks.  Perhaps, that will improve when the CoQ10 dosage goes down.