Friday, May 3, 2019

Another mtn bike PR / annual blood work

Today was another killer effort on the 10k mountain bike course.  Another PR.  I was toasted afterward, felt like I just ran 3 x 800m.  It definitely pushed my aerobic capacity.  I was huffin' ... hard.
5:01 - end of gravel road
12:10 - turnaround
25:28 - Total

Last night did my usual stationary bike intervals, 20 x 15 sec sprints w/ 45 sec rest.  Quite a bit easier than the mtn bike circuit.  Also did a few upper body machines, leg extensions and my first leg curls.  I'm living the 'sports camp life.'  I will be completely done with MTSU on Monday and finished Sewanee up last night.

Annual blood work

As expected, my bloodwork declined from last year when I was sprint training and taking a lot of supplements.  I guess this is anecdotal proof that supplements - both for vascular health and hormones, together with HIIT do help.   My cholesterol jumped from 163 to 213 which was a bit surprising since I gave up eggs and butter, and have NOT eaten red meat in 18 yrs.  It's totally genetics.  But the Dr.  said it was nothing to worry about because, as proven by my zero score on the calcium heart CT scan, 'it's not sticking' ... I have no plaque in my heart.  He said even if my cholesterol were 20 or 30 points higher, I still would be comparatively low risk.   When I had my excellent readings last year, I was eating oat bran in the morning and taking 2 heart supplements - CoQ10 and niacin.  Haven't in a while.

What concerned me more was my total testosterone dropped from 560 to 380.  This is likely the result of some calorie restriction and a 40 hr fast and having the test taken later in the day after a poor nights sleep.  I do think taking legal herbals in conjunction with hard HIIT, T levels will improve.  I will never supplement testosterone - because as my Dr.  said, "once you start, it destroys your body's ability to produce testosterone naturally, and you're dependent on it for life."  Not to mention, it's illegal in my sport.  I'm on a 'over-50s fitness blog and it's startling how many guys my age are on dope (they call it 'gear') and the grey market internet sites they get it from.  Many of these poor idiots self esteem is apparently wrapped up in the size of their biceps.   That, my friends, is why 'body building' will never be a real sport, like an Olympic sport.

My Dr. also whole heartedly agreed and and endorsed the concept that intermittent fasting is extremely beneficial.  It stimulates hormones, helps fat burning, and the immune system.  The rub is that I'm trying to rebuild muscle and I find it extremely difficult to consume what is the accepted amount of protein an athlete should have to build muscle and support good T levels. For me that would be about 120 grams / day.  I almost never eat that much protein, rarely get over 70g / day.  I guess I'm going to have to supplement.  Thinking I can get half from shakes, and half from food.  The trick is to do it and keep calories low.  The protein powder I just ordered has 28 g / 170 cal.   With some milk thats about 70g protein in about 500 cal, which is good.  I found a way to make a tasty "ice cream" - almond vanilla flavor - with protein powder, milk, ice, and almond butter.  Also,  testosterone production is hurt by eliminating cholesterol from the diet, unfortunately.

At the gym, I did some drills and for the first time did about 10m of high knee running drills just to see what it feels like.  It's fine, no pain.  I'm pretty much off the brace, I did my bike PR without the brace, no issues.

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