Thursday, December 27, 2007

Overcoming Exhaustion

After several weeks where I was working long hours, trying to keep up with preparing for the holidays, and trying to keep my training for the marathon going, I hit "the wall" after running almost 16 miles last Saturday.

Like most days, I was up early and running on about 5-6 hours sleep (I typically need 7-8). But I wanted to get the long run in before camping so that I wouldn't spend hours running during the camping trip. I got out and logged 15.77 miles in 3 hours 5 minutes - an 11:45 min/mile pace. Not too shabby for a long run. But the last 2 miles were really tough, as I ran out of gas. After showering and then rushing to get us packed to head to our campsite, it happened. I felt tired. Very tired. I could hardly move. As usual, I pushed to keep going.

After setting up the camper I laid down to sleep at about 8:30 pm and didn't get up until 8 am the next morning. I thought I had enough rest but I felt tired all day on Sunday. We rode our bikes down to the ranger station (probably about a 4-5 mile round trip) and I felt like I could barely make it. I took a nap on Sunday afternoon for about an hour or two. Sunday night I headed to bed around 10 pm and got up Monday around 8 am.

I finally felt human again. It was the first day I felt a normal level of awakeness. I should have run on Monday, but decided against it. We got out and enjoyed a movie and some camping activities. I didn't run on Christmas either. It was a busy day - and I figured I could run the afternoon we got home.

We got home around 5 pm on Wed and I still didn't run. Getting dark and feeling a little drag while unpacking the camper and the truck.

I got up this morning to run a 5 miler after about 7 hours sleep. I was keeping a pace of around 10:45 min/mile but I felt tired the entire time - and my heart rate rose early in the run. It definitely fell into the category of "hard runs."

I think I am still overcoming the tiredness from before camping - but I also suspect a poor diet (lots of red meat and other items) could be contributing. The camping trip helped tremendously - providing several solid nights of rest and just relaxing around the campfire. I think I needed about 3 more days of camping! But alas, I needed to return to work today.

My plan: Get plenty of rest now through the marathon (now just over 2 weeks away), and eat a healthier diet (avoid the sweets and not so much on the red meats).

Any suggestions? I need to find a bit more energy if I am going to survive Disney!

Oh, and we are hosting a BIG New Year's Eve bash at our house....got some work to do to get ready for that event! (I know, I do this to myself....).

6 comments:

Bev said...

How about adding a massage or two a week until the marathon. Might help a bit.

texasrunningjoural.blogspot.com

MarathonChris said...

Now that sounds like a good idea :-)

Maddy said...

I agree. A massage might help. I hope you are able to get some more rest between now and January 13th - It will be an early day - but a great day!

Susan said...

I agree with what you said -- get as much rest as possible and eat very, very well. Tons of water!

I think we have all faced this. In fact, right now (when I am NOT training) it's as if I can not possibly get enough sleep. I think our bodies go through cycles. Apparently our superwoman phase has expired for now. HA!

Petraruns said...

homemade smoothies? They always make me feel like I'm really helping my health. Massage is fabulous but nothing can beat those early nights - get them in. As for doing a big party - just take it easy. And find some shortcuts!

IrishBlue said...

Chris,
Hope you survived the holidays and are feeling more rested now. I think you'll do great at Disney. Rest and eat well.