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. 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!
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.