Thursday, July 5, 2012


Following on from my Mayo clinic blog (which has been one of my most widely read blogs) I thought I would give an update on the tests that I personally have had done as a result of the Mayo report.

  1) Blood tests.
    Last week I undertook extensive blood tests and quite simply all were good with very low Triglycerides 0.77. Very high HDL 0.84 and standard low LDL (for my age) 1.0. The ratios were paricularly good; Total HDL ratio 2.5 and Total LDL/HDL ratio 1.32. All my other Biochemical and Haematology readings, PSA, Thyroid etc were all well within the right zones.....So having had these done and everything being fine I moved on to my overall  fitness analysis.
      This was going to be interesting because my regime has changed a lot since last seeing Paddy. My training for the Way to Cool 50k in March was intense so I suspect my fat ratio would have reduced further. After WTC I changed my regime to pure running and stretching........and it was mostly hills and mountains for 6 weeks, ie. No body conditioning. I suspect that this would have maintained the status quo fat wise, whilst increasing my fitness levels further. As you know I completed the 53k UTBA with no problems. After that I took it very easy for one month to let my endocrine system fully recover from all the training and the 2 consecutive ultra's and so my fat ratio will, I suspect, have risen. In the last month I've been doing easy hill runs (300-500 metre height gain) of 10-15k, three times per week and have slowly re-introduced Body conditioning work. During this whole period I have mantained my normal (healthy) diet whilst doing my Glut - 4 openers of 50 squats per day before breakfast......everyday.....Phew! So, I was intrigued to know how all this varied melange of different fitness protocols and rest period would play out in the fitness/fat tests and what conclusions could be drawn.

  2) Fitness tests.
    Well, fitness wise I am pretty much the same though not at my peak as I am not training all out. Paddy suspected that I had probably put on fat AND lean muscle......and thats exactly what has happened. In the past 4 months its 1 kilo of muscle and 1 kilo of fat. He explained that the muscle part is obvious due to my training and that I will have put the fat on in my 4/5 weeks rest period after the last ultra. With my new regime he reckons I 'll get that off in 2 weeks leaving me at 12% body fat. He feels thats low enough and does not recommended losing anymore. The goal is to get my fitness back up to peak levels and then maintain this until my next challenge.........Paddy's suggestion- 'Why not go for the Ironman Triathlon?'.....When I told Sue this her reaction was something like, 'Thats fine but he doesn't have to live with you!'.......We shall see.
  And so finally the all important Cardiac stress tests........ It was here that the Mayo clinics warnings would be revealed and show if I had any major problems.......or so I thought.

  3) Cardiac tests. -
     First, he wouldn't do a stress test until he'd done all the other tests???....I shall explain;- He did the usual blood pressure, heart and artery tests ....'perfect', came the reply, then an electrocardiogram test, 'perfect'... then something else which I can't spell (but it was perfect). He also analysed all the blood tests....'perfect of course' (his words). So feeling very pleased with myself I began to get dressed BUT he he needed to do two more......but not today. Confused, well so was I. Basically before he does a stress test he has to do a two hour echocardiography examination next week and then after that I have to go to a clinic for the stress test so that if something goes wrong they can deal with it..........Now I'm stressed!
     All the examinations he could do would not reveal Atrial fibulation but the final one will. He believes I am super fit etc,etc and I have no risks but the only risk I do have is the fact that I run up mountains for 10 hours at 57 years of age which, as he put it, is a 'self imposed risk'.
He went on that he had been doing this job as a specialist in Paris and New York for nearly 40 years and had never examined a 57 year old endurance athlete before. Not quite sure where all this leaves me. He has great respect for the Mayo clinic report and though he acknowledged that I was 'perfect' he still wants to do more. He was staggered that no one had ever recommended a stress test before.
       To summarise, it would appear that all is well but until he has done everything he would not finalise his thoughts. So there you have it. Over the next two weeks I'll hopefully get them all done and shall then report back..................and all I want to do is run through the woods, chat to the birds and waive to the wild animals....... its all getting very technical.

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