Technically this was my recovery week from the fall training cycle. Although, I didn't have much to recover from after running an easy paced half marathon and extremely low overall mileage throughout the season (my lowest average weekly mileage ever for a training cycle). But I do have a lot to recover from after 11 months of stress and sickness. So this week was a mental recovery and the start of my physical recovery.
I finally have answers for what's been going on with me with this gradual decrease in performance and complete and utter exhaustion (along with lots of other symptoms that really affect my everyday life).
My lab work came back and as suspected, my ferritin/iron levels are extremely low. Surprisingly, I also have a pretty big vitamin D deficiency. But both of those things combined are why I've been feeling so awful. Vitamin D deficiency can even account for increased infections and asthma issues because lack of it increases inflammation. Low ferritin can also make asthma worse and of course, causes for all kinds of issues, especially for runners.
Looking at the list of symptoms for running on low ferritin, I've got them all: dramatic drop off in race performance, unexplained fatigue, no kick whatsoever at the end of a race, lengthy recoveries even from easy runs or workouts, terrible asthma and breathing problems, and inability to adapt to new training levels. Plus I've got other issues associated with it including skin paleness (beyond my normal pale color), dizziness, headaches, leg pain, and brain fog. Some of these symptoms overlap with vitamin D deficiency, so it's no wonder I've been feeling terrible and my running has been abysmal.
This week in workouts was an easy week and included a leisurely run/walk at the Nexton Cocoa Cup 5K with D and B in the stroller. I've run this race the past two years and this year's weather was perfect for PRs so it pained me to take it easy, but I know I'm not in PR condition at all right now. I'm not even in racing condition.
But even with all I have going on, I still managed 4 easy runs and 2 barre classes.
- Monday: Off
- Tuesday: Easy run - 3.06 miles (9:08 pace)
- Wednesday: Easy run - 4.04 miles (8:40 pace) + barre class
- Thursday: Easy run - 5.03 miles (9:27 pace)
- Friday: Barre class
- Saturday: Nexton Cocoa Cup 5K (easy family run/walk with D plus B in the stroller)
- Sunday: Off
Total miles: 15.23
Total workouts: 6
And really, that was no small feat with other crazy things happening this week. It seems like someone in my family is always going to the doctor or the vet. This week was no exception. In addition to my Monday and Thursday visits to the allergist for my first clusters of shots, we had a last minute vet adventure with our foster/trial adoption pup, Macy.
Macy got into B's marker stash and ate a ton of them. Fortunately, the ink was non-toxic, but she ingested a lot of plastic (about 12 markers' worth) and she started frequent vomiting shortly thereafter. So we had an emergency vet visit with her. Fortunately, she seems to be doing well, doesn't have any blockages, and won't need surgery.
In other pup news, my sweet little cancer ass kicker, Meadow, is finally sprouting fur back on her face after losing almost all of it from radiation treatments. Even better, she's so spunky and playful now, more playful than I've ever seen her. She must be feeling really good!
As for life - December is shaping up to be the best month of 2016 for me, which to be honest the bar is very, very low so it doesn't take much. But nonetheless, this week I got good news about my job - my team was concerned for the past few weeks that we were all going to get laid off. Fortunately, none of us did and I landed on some interesting projects.
When it comes to taking care of me - I finally started allergy shots, which should get some of these raging allergies and sinus infections under control (and asthma, too).
And of course, once I got my lab work back, my doctor prescribed supplements. Over the next few months, I should start getting back to my old self. In addition to supplements, I'm fixing up my diet and paying much closer attention to what I eat and when I eat.
All of those things are positive, but it will likely take months for me to fully recover and feel better, both with allergies and my host of issues related to ferritin and vitamin D. But for the first time in at least a year, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. I don't have a knot in my stomach, anxiety has calmed, and I could finally be seeing the end of my running and health issues.
Over the past year and a half with asthma, allergies, and now ferritin/iron and vitamin D deficiencies, I've definitely lost some fitness, especially in the past few months. My paces now are about back to where they were when I first started running.
Of course, that's not just a loss of fitness there. It's illness, so once I'm well, I'm hoping to bounce back quickly. As I recover, my coach is going to work with me to maintain low mileage and easy paces, and slowly build back up as I feel better.
After I get all of my issues fixed, I'm anxious to see how my running performance increases. Maybe I'll finally start speeding up and hitting PRs again!
What you missed this week (I actually posted more than once!):