And finally there is a solution to the problem…

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.

Before all the glorious mud. Shiny just washed shoes!!
Before all the glorious mud. Shiny just washed shoes!!
No matter how bad a race, I'll somehow always find  smile when necessary. This smile masks the pain!
No matter how bad a race, I’ll somehow always find smile when necessary. This smile masks the pain!

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.

Soaked to the core and failing through fatigue, but I'll still smile for you Mr camera man!
Soaked to the core and failing through fatigue, but I’ll still smile for you Mr camera man!
Wee County runers turned out en masse for the Devilla run. And we kicked butt :)
Wee County runers turned out en masse for the Devilla run. And we kicked butt 🙂

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.

3 Comments

  1. Hello, im just getting back to running (well.trying to) following injury and could identify with your post. I also think you are a bit “off youlr head”, in the nicest sense which I so like – life is serious enough at times. I am plagued on and off with anaemia (can never give blood) and low folate levels (never sit down long enough to eat right) We runners will need to look after ourselves a bit better if we want to slash our pbs. I am sure you will pick up soon and would be happy to hear how you get on.

  2. Glad to hear you have a diagnosis. From what little I know of anemia (my Mum had it and regularly took iron) it makes sense too. Hopefully you will notice a positive effect soon, then be able to put the recent challenges behind you and continue from where you left off in December.

    1. I’m so sorry I forgot to reply to this comment! I’m feeling like a new person now – the iron has kicked in majorly and I’m back to how I felt pre marathon and Ultra. Maybe I just over did it a bit with those back to back and it sucked all the life out me? Who knows, but I’m so glad I got a diagnosis quickly!

      Hope you are injury free now and back to your best as well 🙂

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