|Happy to be finished!|
So let's talk about speed, shall we? I have none.
This summer has been really, really hard for me. I took time off after the Gold Rush 50K, and really thought I was ready to get back to training. June's mileage was low, but I managed a fast-for-me 5K and was excited about ramping up the miles again for the CIM in December. But then July came and went with a mediocre half marathon and every mile seeming harder and slower. Every time I've gone for a run lately, I've come home feeling worse and more worn out than when I left. I've started dreading running, which I can honestly say has never happened to me in the almost 8 years I've been doing this!
I kept telling myself that it was the heat, it was my schedule, it was this or that, but in spite of running slower and taking more days to rest, I could still feel myself dragging down even worse, rather than getting better. I can't remember another time in recent years when I have felt so utterly drained. Adding to the fatigue has been these awful allergies, that I thought I had kicked to the curb after this spring, but have come back with a vengeance this past month. My chest feels tight all the time and my breathing always seems labored. This, in case you were wondering, is not exactly a winning combination for running well!
Uncle! I can't handle this! So off to the doctor I went. A thousand vials of blood and a lung capacity test later, here's what I know: I'm anemic right now, with iron levels way under the normal range, and there's a possibility that I've got some allergy-related (or possibly exercise-induced) asthma. How does a person who eats as healthfully as I do and exercises as often as I do suddenly have health problems like this at age 44?? So freaking crazy! And yet, in a weird way, such a relief to put a name to all the suckage I've been feeling. Honestly, I was a tiny bit worried that all the tests would come back normal and the doctor would tell me I was just being a big baby.
Dr. Google has assured me that my iron loss came about from overtraining (rather than scary internal bleeding or some such thing), so I'm taking days off from running like it's my job. Sadly, though, my actual job does include running with a handful of clients, so I'm still doing that, but thankfully that tends to be at a manageable pace and lower mileage. I'm going to give it a couple of weeks of rest. We'll see how I feel then. I'm glad I still have so much time before the CIM - I have several other races on my mental calendar, but I haven't plunked down money on any of them, so it's not a loss if I can't compete.
I have high hopes of getting back to the business of being badass pretty soon.