Apologies once again for the lack of activity around these parts recently. My running has been basically non existent since the beginning of the year and any running I have done has been met with pain, fatigue or just no motivation what so ever and it has left me baffled as I was doing so well right up until mid December. Then I just seemed to hit a brick wall and I’ve been dragging my heels ever since. My training was going down hill, I was unbelievably empty and I came home from countless training sessions in tears. I just couldn’t run any more and I felt I was watching all my hard work from the last year slip away from me. Just over 4 months ago I had completed a marathon and an ultra marathon 6 weeks apart and I was feeling stronger than ever and now, nothing. No drive, no push, no energy. Nothing.
But there is a light at the end of the hugely long, dark and damp tunnel.
After feeling rotten for far too long and dropping way back in the pack at training, due to not even being able to lift my legs and feeling tired after the first mile, I decided to go to the doctors. He recommended I get a blood test to check my iron levels and low and behold – I’m highly anaemic! I’d read a lot about anaemia before I went for my blood tests as when I went for a sports massage in February my therapist, being a keen hill runner herself, mentioned it was quite a common occurrence in female long distance runners. I went home and googled it all and realised suffered from ever single symptom. So when my test results came back and my theory was confirmed I was quite relived that now I had an answer and with a course of iron tablets to take for the next however long, I’d hopefully be back to my best.
However this was all found out after I had performed terribly at the ‘sabotaged’ Devilla 15k. I knew from the start I wasn’t going to run well and yet my stubbornness made me go along and do it anyway. Big mistake. From 2 miles in I was huffing and puffing and my legs didn’t want to go on. Had I been on my own I would definitely have pulled out about then as I was just not enjoying it, but as I was running with a few club mates who were pushing me on, I decided to stick with it.
Jemma did a fabby race report so I won’t go into detail, but feeling the way I did on the day I was quite glad that the course had somehow been shortened. When I passed the 10k marker and my watch only said I’d ran 5.3 miles I was confused but when I ran past the spray painted 13k sign on the ground, I was secretly overjoyed. I was done in and the finish line couldn’t come soon enough. All the way through the race my club mate Karen had stuck with me and pushed me on, which she didn’t have to do as this was her race as well, but I was so thankful she was with me. At a race in the future it will be my turn to return the support to someone else and I will gladly do it. It really spurs you on when you are feeling at your lowest and that you have no more push in you muscles.
So now I have a diagnosis I guess I just have to bide my time and inhale iron. I’ve had to pull out of 2 of my favourite races so far this year – the Alloa half which I had high hoped for a pb in and also the scenic Loch Katrine half. My next big run after that is at the end of April when I should be sweeping the Highland Fling. No matter how rubbish I’m feeling I’ll be doing that. Can’t wait to meet up with all my Ultra buddies at the end and celebrate with them!
Anaemia – you suck.