In Exercise, Hormones

This update on my hormone testing process during Ironman training follows blog posts on Thursdays I’ve selfishly dedicated to sharing with you. Not a fan (at all) of using Facebook as a place to post crazy fanatical workouts assuming anyone else should be doing them, I do this with slight hesitation. If you’re jumping in here without having read past week’s blogs, please do! It’s important you know the context of the testing and training dance I’m doing. I really don’t know what will happen, and didn’t know there might be a liver enzyme oddity, certainly! That’s where this post picks up. I’m in week 5 of a 20 week training to prepare for Ironman Cozumel.

Hormone Testing, Romancing, and Dancing

This week is a bigger training volume week. Even with reducing overall volume in exchange for more high intensity and power to reduce hormone chaos, there does still have to be a progressive increase in volume. Slipping in more volume hasn’t been easy however. I’m eager to get in more training before additional hormone testing to see results.

Thankfully I set my own schedule and I can rise early and take a long break before coming back to it. But like you I have obstacles too. Family visitors, evenings out, not wanting to wake the household too early, and out of town guests change the landscape!

They make life messy. And worth it.hormone testing improving exercise

So while entertaining last weekend I enjoyed three hikes (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) with my cousin and a stand up paddle board sesh that was my first. We enjoyed meals out three times while he was here. I snuck in a bike trainer ride and a swim prior to our hikes.

The low intensity but high volume time can be perfect foundation building. It is also hormone balancing. Just try hiking across Colorado landscape through canyons (I shared a few pictures on Facebook), or Stand Up Paddle boarding with a view of the foothills on a still late summer day.

Time on your feet this way and cross training often are a good transfer for slogging miles. During goal pursuit, finding ways to be creative is always going to be necessary. It doesn’t always have to happen in a gym (weights), on a mat (yoga or core), or even on long bike rides.

I flipped a long bike into about 2/3 the length and followed it with a long hike that still focused on lower body muscles and endurance. It mimicked a workout we call a “brick” in triathlon training: a bike ride followed by a run, in this case a hike.

hormone testing exerciseI flipped a long swim into 2/3 of the length with some intervals and followed that with a steep hike and two hours of paddle boarding that requires significant amount of core engagement and pulling (both assets for swimming as well as biking and running).

After three days of that, Monday, though not in the plan, was a rest day. You have to be willing to listen and adapt. When you change one part of your program, you don’t resume or pick right back up where you left off. A coach helps you or you need to help yourself, plan the changes during interruptions (like travel, projects, or company) and then also plan the re-entry.

How is this related to coffee? So far it’s not. However, the pre-exercise coffee I have does improve performance, there’s no doubt about it. Coffee has long been an ergongenic aid for athletes. My coffee is full of antioxidants, much less acid, and I add fat to it. Perhaps you’ve heard of Bulletproof coffee. It’s not the only coffee I drink but it’s quickly becoming a favorite. To it I add some Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil, or clarified ghee, and a tad bit of chocolate or vanilla crème stevia. Delicious, rich, and it offers not just the performance enhancing kick from caffeine, but a little fat for mental clarity and physical endurance.

Hormone Testing Takes Me Down a New Path

Here’s the “other” coffee I’ve had. I’ve written about flirting with a liver and gallbladder cleanse. I got to the end of the week and then chickened out from actually doing the enema(s) and the overnight cleanse.

Since getting a third round of tests back after having made a few changes to see if that’s what was throwing liver enzyme numbers off with no change I’m more motivated to get fully in.

Images of lying on my bathroom floor or in bed waiting for the urge to expel gallstones wasn’t really romantic enough first time around to woo me. Several of my functional health doctor friends and colleagues all chimed in with the suggestion of coffee enemas and a liver cleanse.

So I’m into a cleanse consisting of apple cider vinegar, coffee enemas, milk thistle, broccoli sprouts, and more to support my liver and following through with the whole thing this week.

Yesterday I had an ultrasound on the liver, which included blood flow to and from and images of the gallbladder. I’m waiting on results from that and have an appointment with a GI specialist. I’ll keep you posted. Somehow my hope is that I don’t actually have to follow through with that appointment and this resolves itself but we’ll see. If heavy metals are a part of the problem, doing a heavy metal detox should improve things. A new blood test should reveal that.

Next Week’s Hormone Testing Reveal

Too much information? You may not want to read next week. I’ll share it all here and how I fit another weekend of training and tending to visitors into my already busy life! I know you’re doing it too. It can be done!

OK, your turn! I’m dying to know if you’ve done a liver cleanse?

P.S. to this post! This past week was not the training week I’d hoped for. Though I did have hormone testing redone, a heavy metals test returned and the liver ultrasound results are back, too. Normal levels but high normal of arsenic and mercury could be effecting my liver enzymes so we’re going to detox them beginning tomorrow. I’ll be doing the liver detox here at home this weekend as well and then I’ll report! I know you’re as excited about that as I am.


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