Vitamin D

A fellow runner Adam asked me to send him my Vitamin D experience. He wanted to get the word out since it impacted me, significantly. This is what I sent to him and thought I would post it here as well.

In the Fall of 2007, I extended my endurance longer than I ever have imagined. I attempted the Superior Trail 100 mile race and quit at 77 miles. From that point on, I never recovered. I took some time off, ate well, and thought I was doing everything right. I continued to train but felt fatigued. My bones hurt often. I had so much trouble sleeping.

I tried numerous things including changing the training from less running to more biking and walking. I tried massages and purchased a computer program to monitor my diet. Everything seemed like I should be feeling fine, but did not feel right.

In February of 2008, I went to Kansas City to run Psycho Wyco 50K. My chest was tight and I had a cold the week before the race. I went anyway and quit at 20 miles. Now besides, aches and pains, inability to sleep, and overall fatigue, I had a chest issue I just could not shake.

I continued to try to run through it and in March, I fell and hurt my knee and my lungs we so stressed when I ran. To make a long story short, I had steroid injections in the knee and a steroid inhaler for the lungs. (Later discovering steroids are a major reason for lack of Vitamin D absorption.)

When Summer came, I started to feel a little better and was hopeful I could attempt the Superior 100 again. I had finished grandma’s (over an hour slower than 2007) and finished Afton in about the same time. So I thought I could make the attempt. Although, my weight had climbed 40 pounds as I just felt so fatigued for over a year and food was my choice to make it better. My second attempt at Superior resulted in fatigue and pains in the bones by 30 miles, I quit.

I quit having the desire to run, bike, and walk. Depression had now set in. I just lost any enjoyment in so many things. It had been over a year and things were not better. I decided to totally quit working out. I decided I just needed to repair the mind, body and soul. So for 6 weeks, I did nothing but work and relax. I entered everything into my diet software and checked the nutritional balances, and did not feel any different. I did lose 2 pounds, but still felt sore, could not sleep, totally worn.

So being a man who had to be at the end of the rope before seeking help, I finally called the Doctor and made an appointment in November. He did a blood test. He said everything was normal except my glucose was 104 and my Vitamin D was 11 ng/ml. The recommend Vitamin D level is between 30 ng/ml to 50 ng/ml. So he put me on Vitamin D therapy which meant I was to take 50,000 units once per week, 12 weeks. In case you are doing what I did, yes, 50,000 units is correct.

I did not notice much difference for the first few weeks. I continued to take my calcium pills I always take with the Vitamin D. Then after four weeks, I started feeling better. I woke feeling 60 years old, as opposed to 100… (I am 47) I started to workout. Then in the second week of December, I felt a sharp pain in the abdomen/groin area that radiated through to the back. I went to the physician and he thought it may be a sports hernia. I was bummed as for the first time in over a year, working out did not make me feel worse. But I thought, how can it be a sports hernia when it is the entire mid-section and the pain moved. So I took more time off.

I researched the web and found that in some cases, high doses of Vitamin D and calcium result in Kidney Stones. So I laid of the calcium. Then in January, I started to workout. A few runs, lifted some weights. What I noticed most in January (after 8 weeks of 50,000 Units of Vitamin D) I was able to sleep. I could not recall the last time I was able to sleep like I was, a full 5-6 hours, without drugs.

Since I was planning a trip to Germany to visit my son, I decided just to spend time with light workouts, nothing structured until I returned. So on February 20 when I returned from Germany, I went back to the Doctor to have my blood tested. I was 43 ng/ml for the vitamin D count.

I felt better than I had in a long time. No bones hurt, I was now sleeping 6-8 hours and waking without pains, I started to run again. After a long time off and a net gain of 45 pounds since the summer of 2007, I decided to take it slow. I would do 15 miles the first week with runs of 2-4 miles and increase about 5-10% a week.

Since February 20, 2009, I have weeks of 14.4 miles, 20.2 miles, 21.3 miles, 22.2 miles, and 26.1 miles. I also have biked, walked many miles and I do not feel fatigued, I am breathing just fine, I am enjoying runs and many other things.

Now I am not saying Vitamin D is the only reason… well, yes I am. I did everything I could to resolve the issues on my own, my diet looked fine on the computer, but the computer did not know I started with a pathetically low Vitamin D count.

So now I am felling better and running again. I have no thoughts of running the Superior 100 or any other races at this time. I am just getting outside, enjoying the runs, and whatever I decide as I go, will be what I will do. Of course, I do have to finish Grandma’s… it would be my 25th consecutive year!

Carry on…

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Vitamin D

  1. Get Primal

    Thanks for the story Londell, glad to hear it’s made such a dramatic difference. I’m linking it to my blog now.

  2. anesha

    Hi Nice Blog . Whether you are Knee , cramming for an exam, or just have a curiosity to find out more about what makes you tick, WinkingSkull is an amazing.

  3. Beth

    Hi Londell, thanks for stopping by my blog! I would love to be a tough girl and trail run, but it seems like the races are so long! Are their shorter races? I’ll keep reading to see how your weekend went with your run and camera.

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