Salty’s Training Log – 6.11.17

This was my first full week back home after our epic 8-day Disney vacation. Before we left, I was running anywhere from 35 – 52 miles per week, probably averaging in the mid-40s. I have not been doing workouts, just getting in whatever miles I had time for, with the occasional strides or light fartlek thrown in as I felt like doing them.

If you are new to my logs, I quit seriously training about two years ago, at the beginning of June 2015. It’s a long story, but ultimately I stopped because I was struggling with a severe case of overtraining. Over the next two years, I have had up and down days, weeks, months. Since 2014, as I train, my performance gets worse not better. I get more tired on runs, rather than feeling fitter. But it’s worse than that. I’ve been a little reticent to admit that my struggles with running are not isolated to running.ย Sometimes I feel good running and excited to train for something. Other days I am so exhausted outside of running that I can barely function let alone run.

As I age and my life changes, it’s hard to know what’s normal or not, but up until a couple of years ago, I never felt like this and so often and so persistently. When I first started feeling this way, I went to my primary care doctor (now almost 3 years ago!) and she was a little dismissive, especially when my test results did not show anything obviously wrong. My ferritin was a little low and with iron supplementation and backing off training for a couple of months I felt better, so I assumed it was just that. Then I thought it was just overtraining and with some time off I’d feel better. You’d think two years would be enough time! But apparently not.

So, I’m on a quest to find out if there’s something else going on. I’m ok if this is my new normal, but I want to know so I can adjust my expectations and manage my life to avoid periods of intense fatigue. Has anyone else gone through this? Any ideas?

Anyway, I felt ok at Disney for the most part. I only ran on the one day we didn’t go to the parks which I’m sure helped. But the week after Disney has been a struggle. I’ve felt sluggish and unmotivated on runs and exhausted, unmotivated, and crabby when not running. I didn’t push myself and “let” myself run a little shorter and fewer days than I normally would, which allowed me to cap off the week with a decent 10 mile trail run and an awesome guided 2.5 mile hike with my son later in the same day without feeling like I was going to collapse as soon as the kids went to bed!

I only took one picture of our hike, but it was epic! If you ever get a chance to go to Holden Arboretum in Ohio, go!

My girls went to a camp in the mornings this week so it was just me and my son.

Mon: 6 miles with my son on his bike. We have so much fun! His bike is a little small for him though, so to do this more often I a) need to get him a better bike and b) figure out something for my girls to do.

Tue: Off. Felt so tired just getting out of bed. My son begged to go to child watch at the Y and yet I just did not feel up to running. Not normal! ha!

Wed: 7 miles. 1 mile with my son running with me to the track next to the Y, but the track was closed for construction. Lame! Dropped him off at the Y and did 6 more on my own with some drills thrown in to try to loosen up my stiff legs.

Thu: 6.5 miles. Son and I hit up another local track, which was a great way to get a run in. I did a mini-workout. I thought maybe if I REALLY ease into workouts that might help me. I did 2 x 200, 200, 400 at “5k” pace. 6:40ish seems to be what happens when I run a 5k and I’m not in shape, so went with that. Two sets felt like a lot. Yikes! But the good news is that the track seems like a great option as long as I don’t care if I get interrupted or don’t have my heart set on getting in a set number of miles. I think all three of my kids could have fun jumping in and out of the run and playing in the infield.

Fri: 6.5 miles easy.

Sat: off. Cleaned my stove. Woo.

Sun: 10 miles on trails + 2.5 mile hike.

Total: 36

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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11 comments

  1. Oh no, I’m sorry you’re having such a struggle! It’s a mystery- I don’t know what your heart surgery was for, but are you in regular touch with your cardiologist? For me, fatigue is usual a sign of my anxiety rearing its ugly head. When other areas of my life are way higher stress, I find they sap my energy and I can’t give as much to my exercising, so I just dial down my expectations. It sounds like this has been going on for a couple of years though, so I’m not sure if there’s been a major change in your life the last three years that might’ve added to your load…anyway, best of luck figuring it out, and I hope, soon!

    1. I had SVT (https://www.saltyrunning.com/my-crazy-heart-supraventricular-tachycardia/). The fatigue started over a year after the surgical procedure for it. Sometimes it feels like depression (I’ve had a few bouts of that in my life) but I think it’s more that I feel depressed/anxious because of the effects of the fatigue rather than it being the source of it. I have no idea! But I’ve always been a little high strung and prone to stress so definitely could be that I’m just generally burned out from the stress of overtraining, parenting, life … Who knows! But thank you! I appreciate the support. Sometimes I just feel like a crazy whiner or something so it helps to vent about it and be taken seriously <3

      1. So sorry this is still going on for you! I definitely think it sounds like depression/anxiety type stuff, but you know yourself best! I’m so glad you had a great trip to Disney, and i never made it to Holden, I regret it!!

        1. I was just telling my husband that I don’t think depression, etc is the cause because instead of not wanting to do all the things, I find myself frustrated that I can’t. It’s not a lack of motivation (most of the time). It’s that I keep getting burned!

          1. So that’s where my nosy self is wondering how your heart rate is. I was re-reading your heart surgery posts (which were awesome, btw), and wondering if you find yourself short of breath or overall fatigued. My MIL had a patch over a hole (totally different thing in the heart) and when her pacemaker is off she is super fatigued and even gets migraines. Needs a little tweaking and then she’s good to go (yeah, I know there’s a lot more than that). But I’m guessing you pay attention to your HR all the time on your runs, so not sure if that’s it…

          2. I have never tracked my heart rate! But maybe … hmmm. I’ll ask about it when I see a doctor. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Do you think it could be lingering symptoms from mono? Is that something that stays in your body for a really long time, like lyme’s disease?

    1. It started before mono. Based on what I know about mono, I never had the mono virus until I was sick last year. I would say it’s not been worse since mono, but it’s not really getting better either. I do wonder if I was so sick with mono because of whatever the hell is going on.