Tuesday, August 01, 2006
  Bad Run Beats Ephedra

My run was horrible today. It was so bad that, for the first time since I began running, I stopped running in the middle of it and started walking instead. Even my walking was just about the slowest ever, since I recovered from last year's giving birth and later surgery.

Part of me is very irritated with myself, disappointed.

The other way to see it is that:

a)I got out there.
b) I stayed out there, and kept on walking at least, for the full half hour.
c)I was recovering from a small bit of food poisoning the day before.
d)I was listening to Stephen King's On Writing and learning good stuff
e)I'd stayed up late the night before, writing a story.

So I guess it isn't all that bad, really.

It is much, much better than taking Ephedra.

Also known as Ma huang, selling this herb was prohibited in the US a couple of years ago, with good reason. What I knew of it was that there had been several deaths from heart valve problems in otherwise healthy women, some sports guy had died, and the radio was splattered with "if you've ever taken phen-phen, call Cha Ching Lawyer firm for a free test to see if you've suffered heart valve damage".

Which was why I was surprised to see signs popping up in front of the local herb places. "Ma huang sold here, while supplies last." and "Ephedra is here!". It appears that in 2005, Utah courts ruled that lower doses of the herb were okay. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20050416-9999-1b16ephedra.html

I've gotten some spam email with headers like "That drug ephedra that was banned because it was too effective." A short search reveals that, in fact, this is the claim that sellers of the product are touting: that ephedra was banned by evil pharm because it worked too well. Of course, this goes against the studies that showed that it worked very poorly at the higher doses supposedly effective while stressing the circulatory system too much.

I'm not going to get into the fact that lawyers overstated the problem, or that the supplement companies are understating the problems and vastly overstating the benefits, especially overstating the benefits of the lower dose (It wouldn't suprise me that though it is being sold now in lower doses, people are taking it at the higher "more effective" dose). It's just frustrating how short a memory people have, or how much they are willing to risk to lose weight 'effortlessly'.

There is no substitute for effort, people. No diet, no pill will provide all the benefits exercise can provide, even on bad run days.
One of my favorite quotes, "Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." Edward Stanley.

We're always looking for the easy way out but there is no substitute for regular exercise, good nutrition and old fashioned moderation. I love your blog. Keep it up!
Hey, Jules, thanks for the comment.

I tried to comment on yours but, I'm sure you're aware of the problem. It might be hard to leave what you've gotten behind, but I think it is really going against the spirit of free exchange of info in blogs to make us sign up for hotmail. Matter of principle and all that...

Anyway, you could always link to it, like archives, and start over here at the other dark side, on blogger. Or if you are into hosting your own account, I recommend Wordpress
hey granola...i just noticed that part at the front where you said you were irritated with yourself. What is it that makes us so self deprecating when we don't live up to very high, sometimes almost impossible standards? So, my question for you is this...how far have you come in the last year? And here is another one....isn't everyone entitled to a bad day once in a while? I am pretty sure you learned that neat little trick from your parents, but your parents would love for you to unlearn it. And, just because I am your mom....what on earth were you doing running when you were recovering from food poisoning? Another day would have seen you through it I am sure! Ok...enough of the mom stuff. I just want you to know that I admire your grit and perserverance. You are an incredible woman and you have totally turned your health around in the last year. I am very proud of you, and not just for running! (ok...that is mom stuff too)
Beth Israel notes Traditional Chinese Medicine dictated the use of ephedra sinica just in ''strong people'' for brief periods of time, which implies using it is perhaps not the most effective supplement for people in less than optimum health. Ephedrine HCL may connect to many different types of drugs. They contain MAOI's, drugs that stimulate the central nervous system, aspirin, sedatives, digoxin, theophyllin and, beta-adrenergic agonists.

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A Mormon housewife who loves truth, science, rational thought, and reasonable action.

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Location: Utah

Granola is a mix of things: grains, nuts, bits of dried fruit, maybe some coconut. There's some fat in it, and it's a good source of fiber to keep those arteries and colons clean.

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