Well, I certainly do feel like crap.

Just when I’d convinced myself that my poor marathon run was due to overtraining (in the loose rather than clinical sense of the word), I’m now swinging back to the theory that there’s something wrong with me physiologically (never mind psychologically; we won’t go there). I went out today to do a simple 4-5 mile run and found myself working in the low 70%s of max HR just to run a 10 minute mile. What gives?

I did some runs in Oregon, but they were tough. I chalked them up to various conditions (altitude, running uphill, being hungover or tired from driving). But this morning I was back in familiar territory, on a lovely, cool morning run. And I sucked. I’ll try again this week and see if the suckage persists.

Now I’m trying to scrape up all the information on ferritin, iron depletion, hematocrit and hemoglobin numbers I can find in order to summarize them for my non-running doctor to then facilitate some tests that will actually provide useful information.

I’m not sure what will be worse: Finding out that I’ve got a blood/thyroid issue (and having to possibly spend weeks or months correcting it) or finding out that I don’t and not having that to conveniently blame everything on.

10 Responses

  1. I looked back at your old posts, and noticed in “Pre-Race Potpourri” That your final MPace run four days prior to the race produced an unexpectedly high HR. So perhaps this thing was already happening then. The timing was really unlucky. As for now, the low mileage and weight gain during the last three weeks will be having an effect, so it’s going to be hard to tell if you are recovering or not. Good luck at the doctor’s.

  2. Oh my, this does suck. I hope it’s a mild case of something, convenient enough to attach blame too, but small enough that it clears up by itself in the next week. Barring that, wishing only healthy thoughts for you right now.

  3. That’s no good. It’s never good to find out that something is wrong, but then again, if you can put a name to it, it seems more treatable. I hope that whatever it is (named or unnamed), it passes quickly and you’re able to start thinking about this fall as the fall of the sub-3-hour marathon again.

  4. I was thinking “loose overtraining theory”.

    With the blood test, have the actual numbers. Tell your doc you’re an athlete – haemoglobin varies a lot and can be low (but OK) for a non-athlete. For example, you can be low and not able to donate blood, but still not classed as anemic.

    With the high HR, you had a long taper for the race, and haven’t done much since, so that could account for something. In my experience, the HR can start going up after 3 days off running. It’s quite temporary though, and after a few weeks of training should be back to normal.

    On the taper, you could be one of those runners who doesn’t require much of a taper. Such as David Criniti http://davidcriniti.blogspot.com/ who did 35k runs on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the Canberra Marathon (which he won in a PB of 2:26).

  5. I don’t no Julie!, you know yourself the best….
    Perhaps it is your blood and body that makes the problems?, or it is between your ears ;-).
    I think that you have train a lot for a long time and now it is a easy training time and that makes your body differently’.At the same time you not run the marathon that you want and thats not so easy for your mind(or mine mind ;-).

    If i was you!, i run a marathon for the fun and not to fast and lurn about the marathon…Than train for the “big” marathon in december but train not so much week miloes and take some days rest(rest is training and slow makes fast)…

    And a marathon you can plan, but for a fast marathon must be everything oké at that moment and some times you must go past the pain threshold…
    And that only you can lurn to run a marathon(not whit training)!.

    When it go’s not oké in December?, ik go to Newyork and you run whit my the marathon ;-)..
    Have a nice weekend and have a lot of fun when you run and what i told, this storie is when i was you!!!!.
    xx Rinus.

  6. That’s really rough – I hope you find out what’s wrong and you get back on track!

  7. Good luck! My coach and I had the ferritin discussion last week. She indicated to me that as athletes we can still fall in the normal range and be suffering from low iron. As athletes, we need more iron than most. That probably does not help you but I thought I would pass along the info! I hope you recover soon!

  8. I was going through similar issues last summer. My tri results were fine, but I ended up feeling sluggish. I suspected low iron, went for a physical & blood workup. I was slightly low, but think that it may have to do with over training and not getting enough sleep. When I did the Berlin Marathon in September, I never really adjusted to the time change, didn’t get enough sleep and struggled to break 4 hours. My guess is that you may have had a similar issue with the change to West Coast time. Hopefully, its nothing more serious.

  9. I hope Rinus is right and the deficiency is between my ears.

    All iron test-related info is helpful. I got some good information off various LetsRun threads (“jtupper” — AKA Jack Daniels — has posted some helpful stuff over there) so I’m about ready to set that appt. Still not convinced that’s what’s going on, but it can’t hurt.

    And I *really* hope the issue isn’t time zone change since I’m flying west for the December race as well.

    Ewen, your reply gave me some good perspective. I did notice that my HR was going up during taper and it’s stayed fairly elevated since (10-20%). I’ll see what happens over the next few weeks as I get back into some steady running.

  10. A note on time zones: CIM starts early – 7:00 am, so you could simply stay on eastern time so your body will think it’s a 10:00 am start. Get plenty of sleep.

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