Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vacation running, and the run funk

It's been four weeks of bad running around here, starting the week I ran at Afton. During that run, I had no gas in the tank, walked the hills, felt wiped out. The next day I tried to run trails with some friends and, even with them going slow for me, still dropped out after 30 minutes. No energy.

I rested. Didn't run at all for five days. Heck, I even took a pregnancy test, just in case. (Spoiler: it was negative.) Did 11 road miles with a friend training for the TC Marathon with me, and once again I was spent.

What was going on? I increased my carb intake, got more sleep, did some yoga and strength work instead of running. I was getting muscle cramps at night and I craved salt. I put together a very mediocre week of vacation running in western Minnesota, then a decent week of running here (including a 3.5 hour run at Lebanon Hills and the Endless Summer Lebanon Hills 7 miler). 

I headed to the North Carolina coast on vacation last week with plans to try and get an 18-miler, to continue my marathon training. But once again, I just couldn't put together a decent run.

The temperature was 70s to 80s and muggy, with a breeze on the beach. The scenery was certainly beautiful. The first full day there, my mother and I set out for a run from our rental house in Duck, NC, on the Outer Banks:

We headed up Duck Road (the only north-south road that far north on the island), and quickly found the boardwalk that skirts the sound. :
This part led right down into the sound.
The boardwalk goes for maybe half a mile, along the town of Duck.
Lots of trees with wet feet. The sound is freshwater, ever since the northern end of the island sanded/silted over in the 1800s. Geology is happening in real time out here.

Live oaks grow all over the Outer Banks. They're cool old trees.
Wetlands bordering the sound.
After the boardwalk ended, we continued north on the much less charming highway. We were in good company -- the whole area was jammed with runners and cyclists (everything from serious looking road cyclists to families on beach cruiser rental bikes). But by the time we turned around, 25 minutes into the run, I was already getting pretty tired. (And it wasn't the speed -- Mom's running motto is "Old, Slow, and Persistent"). By the time we were back to the boardwalks, I was taking frequent walk breaks. Maybe it was the heat or humidity, maybe it was being tired from traveling, but whatever it was... the run was not happening. I tried three days later and despite starting in the comparative cool at 6 am, I couldn't even put 5 minutes of running together.

I did get some nice sunrise pictures, though.

So after that, I pretty much gave up on vacation running. Oh, I did some yoga and bodyweight strength work (squats, lunges, calf raises, planks). We were certainly pretty active, swimming in the pool and ocean almost every day and riding bikes. I caught up on sleep, read a trashy book, played games with my family, and got a lot of sun (but avoided sunburn). It was a good vacation. It was actually a very good vacation.

When I got back this week, though, I called my doctor for an appointment. It was time to figure out what the heck was going on.


  1. Having four bad weeks of running after that run in Afton is MY thing! Copycat. I'm doing better now; hope you, too, are soon.

    1. Uh-oh. If there's one thing I've learned, it's NEVER COPY WHAT STEVE IS DOING.

      Glad you're doing better now!

  2. OBX are really awesome! Glad you figured out the iron problems. Here's to a fast recovery!

  3. Oy. Well, things that have affected my running: low thyroid, low estrogen, not enough sleep, heavy training. I imagine that all of these have occured to you, though. e