Post-marathon fatigue continues


Naturally, it's more fun to write about great workouts, new PRs, and races that went well than it is to write about struggling with running. But that's what this post is about. I want to be transparent in this blog, so that you can see how normal it is to encounter bad running spells like the one I am encountering one right now. 

I've continued to struggle with fatigue this past month after the St. George Marathon. I usually have a natural, barking chihuahua-like energy, even without coffee. The past few weeks, I have felt more like an English Bulldog. Even with reduced mileage and workouts, my running felt stale and I wanted to nap more than usual. I've also had a harder-than-usual time recovering from harder workouts, with lingering soreness.

 Me, usually

Me, usually

The weekend before last, for example, I had a 10-mile long run scheduled – not very long when you're accustomed to running 16-22 miles coming down from marathon training. I was feeling so poorly that I was only able to squeak out 5 miles. I NEVER cut runs short, so for me to cut my run in half was significant and telling. I felt a bit better during the week and enjoyed a few zippy days. But my "by feel" track workout on Tuesday evening with my team last week – 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 - also felt sluggish. I was nowhere near the paces I am capable of running.

 Me, with post-marathon fatigue

Me, with post-marathon fatigue

My diet is stellar right now, since I am doing the 21-Day Badass Adventure Cleanse so I don't think that's the cause. I am eating and drinking (via juice and smoothies) tons of leafy greens, which are high in iron as well as taking in tons of plant protein. This high alkaline-low acid way of eating is flooding my body with nutrients, and there's no deprivation involved: I am eating all I want.

Feelings are not logical

To be honest, the fatigue and my slower pace feels frustrating, especially since I am itching to run more. My intellect and the coach in me tells myself that these indicators are normal for the end of a hard, long training cycle. But feelings have no logic: you cannot reason them away or talk yourself out of feeling a certain way. Feel your feelings, let them go and move on.

The body is wise. This is simply my body's way of keeping me in check. For now, I am taking things day by day.

Luckily, I think things are on the upturn. Fingers crossed! The past week felt a bit better; hard sometimes but better. Although I felt tired, fatigue did not follow me around all day long like an annoying dark cloud. Most days, I felt well rested and I had a great long run (11 miles) on Saturday.

So what's the lesson in all this? Patience.

I like to think of running as a necklace, made up colorful beads of many different runs. Some beads are streamlined and sleek. Others may be cracked and scratched. But they all contribute to your necklace: your individual strength as a runner.  I have said before that one run will not make or break you. Neither will one period of running poorly – IF you are wise enough to listen to your body and cut back instead of pushing harder.

Changes coming to this blog

I've been saying this for awhile but a heads up that changes are coming for this blog. I will still focus on running but will also be adding recipes, travel, environmentally friendly lifestyle posts – on other word, mo' better content. Moving a year-old blog to another platform and changing the name is a big job that's taking longer than I had hoped.

You should not experience any issues other than perhaps having to initially click on a different link. I will keep both sites live for awhile. If you are signed up for my newsletter, you should get it uninterrupted. Thanks for all your support, friends!