Cold weather here Finally

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Thanksgiving yesterday was nearly over 70 degrees here in Topeka. I went out with a group from my house at 11:30 and rode 40 miles. I could have went back out and met Bill, who was riding back from his Aunt’s house out west, but I didn’t have the energy. It would have been nice to get in 4 hours, but it wasn’t in the cards. Today, it is in the 30’s right now and the wind is howling. Maybe that’s a good thing?

I’ve been feeling subpar for a while now. Even today I woke up feeling like I drank all night in a loud bar. It’s not good for the motivation for training. I’d been hoping that I would be going at least okay by now after riding in California for more than a week, then in Texas for the same amount. But, I’m still at square one.

I know that I need to do some intensity, a lot of intensity, but I find doing that useless if I’m not riding well. From personal experience, I don’t ever train hard, effort-wise, when I’m not pedaling good. I’ll race when that is the case, but not go out and ride hard.

So, I’m just sitting around waiting for the “good blood” to take effect. The problem is that it has been a while and I’m out of my normal comfort level waiting. I can usually handle these ebbs and flows pretty well, but there is only a couple months until Master’s Worlds in Louisville now, so I’m getting very impatience.

So, the weather changed and I’m hoping that my form will too. Many times when it gets cold, I start riding better. Hopefully that is the case now. I think I’m going to have to start racing again, even though it will be humbling. Cross isn’t like riding a road race or criterium, where even if you’re going badly, you can get something out of it. Cross is full gas with very little chance for having a result other than you deserve. That is one of the things I like about it. That’s one of the things I hate about it also.

Here’s a blood test I took last week. Anybody see anything?

14 thoughts on “Cold weather here Finally

  1. Joe

    Page 2 does not look all that great to me. Having had Thyroid cancer I see some issues with your TSH, well really the whole thyroid panel. Also, iron doesn’t seem to be working all that well for you, your RBC is a bit low. Funny thing is that all of these are related.
    When I began to have problems around 6 years ago, I was racing masters and pro 1-2. I made it through a weekend, came home from California, and then couldn’t do anything at all on the local group rides. My HR wouldn’t go up past 165 when it normally hits 200. T4 was all messed up, my TSH was high, and a variety of other things were going on.
    I was recommended to a endocrinologist at that point. Just food for thought.

  2. The Cyclist

    Cholesterol is not high at all. The heart protecting LDL is compensating for the high total. And with tryglycerides being rather low it’s all good in the hood.

  3. John

    Good God.
    You post up some lab values and within 3 posts we’ve already heard about how you might have thyroid cancer and how LDL is “heart protective”. Compiled with your recent history of a DVT, it seems like maybe you should elicit advice from people trained to interpret these results?

    Just sayin’.

  4. Bernd Faust

    Steve, everything is okay with you! You are getting older and things will slow down even more..what’s wrong with that..that’s the way of Life .Live Life, before Life lives you!

  5. Zach

    Thyroid results are fine. LDL is not heart protective. You cannot just out and diagnose someone based off a random sampling, with unknown control for hydration and fasting.
    You have great hct and the testosterone of a college kid, good times. Youre probably alluding to the low iron binding buffer, as a result of your relatively high serum iron and relatively low binding capacity.

  6. Curtis Martell

    Steve, maybe you are old AND pregnant? Seriously I hope you start feeling better. See you at Epic Cross tommorrow? I have your TOL T shirt. Also you can tell me what a fool I was for skipping the F1 in Austin.

  7. old and slow

    For what it’s worth, my thyroid issues and calcium absorbtion issues both deviated back to the mean after starting 2000 units of Vitamin D3 every day. (Based on what a real endocrinologist had told a close relative with similar values.)

    Some people are taking a whole lot more than that but I’ve always felt that less is better if it still works and I’ll even skip days in midsummer.

    My bone density improved so much in the space of a year that I question the accuracy of the first test now. That result had me very rattled at the outset because it fit in with a known syndrome for people who spent all their physical training time on bikes. Curiously the only reason that I’ll take a calcium pill now if is I think that I rode hard enough to get cramps in my sleep.

    (And if that’s just a placebo effect then I’ll take it as opposed to a cramp that you still feel the aftereffects of two days later.)

  8. The Cyclist

    Hahaha… of course LDL doesn’t protect your heart. HDL does. Apparently my keyboard got a troll inside it. Time to get a new laptop. My bad.

  9. Jeff


    I would say 90% or more of the time labs are normal in elite athletes i work up for chronic fatigue.

    Anemia is a spectrum and many folks think you can have performance deficits with iron deficiency prior to becoming anemic. I typically will check a ferritin level for this as as opposed to an entire iron profile. Serum ferritin is the storage form of iron.  Ferritin is iron that is used to make new red blood cells. Serum Ferritin is the best index of an athlete’s iron status.  It is a very good measure of “iron depletion” (Stage 1 anemia) and “iron deficient non-anemia” (stage 2 anemia).  You definitely don’t have that based upon your available studies, though.

    In fact, if you are supplementing with iron, stop. Excess iron can also create a feeling of fatigue.

    Low levels of Vit D can cause increased muscle soreness and a run down feeling as well. Worth checking.

    You are certainly not overtrained…typically see low testosterone. You are far higher than most pros I see. This will fluctuate when you are training hard.

    TSH is totally fine…good to have for a “personal” baseline.

    LDL is definitely higher than you would like; fortunately your HDL is pretty decent.

    Cortisol is commonly in my suggested labs are well, but again would not expect an observable difference b/c you haven’t been overtraining.

    If you had a viral illness this year, consider EBV profile.

    Hope this is helpful. Fatigue and underperformance isn’t fun. Rule out the bad stuff and then take time off. Most successfu older elite athletes figure out a rhythm of competing and time off to lengthen careers.


  10. Robert Ellis

    All the lab is normal except the mildly elevated LDL, which would not make you feel bad. Did you have a CMP? That’s chemistry metabolic profile? That includes electrolytes, creatinine (reflection of kidney function) and liver enzymes? $35 -45 bucks at lab one. Also I like the cortisol idea, but adrenal insufficiency is exceedingly uncommon. Do you snore? Sleep apnea is a common cause of day time tiredness, though I would think that would be unlikely give the fact you are thin and fit. You had a blood clot? Lungs are leg? Not sure if you are on blood thinners. With those long flights, car rides, if you aren’t on something you need to prophylax and be well hydrated. On any medications? Consider side effects. Our ability to metabolize meds changes over time and some adjustments maybe in order. Finally if you are unable to generate as much cardiac output, consider getting an EKG and an Echocardiogram. That would take a look at the hearts electrical system, muscle and valves. Feel free to contact me if you wish. [email protected]. Enjoy your writings! Thanks!

  11. Thomas

    If you see a animal with 4 legs with black and white stripes you would say it is a zebra. We wouldn’t guess that it is some rare horse. The point is start with the obvious and work from there. I have coached some cross country runners with the same sort of thing you have going on. After testing and treating their iron they were able to go back to training at a high level.

    A doctor who is either a runner or cyclist is the kind of guy you should go see. People on the internet, we mean well but would you trust your future health to strangers? Me either. If you wont do that you need to test your ferritin. If your iron levels are not in check you wont ride well until they are.

    good luck


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