Monday, April 1, 2013

Thyroids and Running

I used to be a fan of Anthony Famiglietti back in the day.  You know, the day where he actually ran races.  Now, he is just really coming off as a whiner.  His latest blog post details all of his recent medical ailments, excuses if you will and then he will tell you why he is too stupid to do anything about these problems.  One of these problems is one that I deal with every day of my life.  I don't usually talk about it because I don't want to be percieved as a whiner like Fam.  My issue is hypothyroidism.  Unlike many of these elite runners that Fam eludes to, I have been on synthetic medicine for this condition well before I began running in 7th grade.  I do somewhat agree with one of the points that Fam makes.  That is that some drugs blur the line between medically necessary and PEDs.  I'm not going to call anyone out like Fam seems dieing (but too scared) to do because I don't know their medical history.  Even if I did, I'm not a doctor.  As someone very much against PEDs, I don't feel at all guilty about taking thyroid medicine.  During my third year of college, my TSH levels were off and I was running 30+ seconds slower over 5k than I had been the year before.  I was also gaining lots of weight while running 100 miles per week and not eating an abnormally large diet.  For me, it was medically neccesary to take these pills that I have taken daily for most of my life.

Now back to that blurred line between fair and not fair.  Fam does make some good points but when you go look at the IAAF banned substances list, there are so many rediculous drugs on there that surely they must have thought about thyroid medicine as well.  On the other hand, one could make the argument that any drug could be used to level the playing field with someone who, for example, has a higher natural red blood cell count.  Should we make EPO legal?  Or going the other way, one could argue that Calcium/D supplements should be illegal because they increase bone density and allow runners to train longer without less worry about stress fractures.  I don't think making EPO legal or Vitamin D/Calcium illegal is the way to go.  I think for now, we need to listen to the IAAF.  If they say it's illegal, don't use it.  If they say it is legal, use away.  Fam, I guess I understand why you wouldn't want to use it but if that's your choice, then your running career can live and die by that.

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