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Tour Decatur 5k, 2012

This race did not go so well for me. Let me start at the beginning…

Friday night, I got no sleep. I have no idea why. We just got a brand new mattress that I’ve been sleeping very well on otherwise, so I’m not sure why I kept waking up every hour throughout the night. I got up with no problems though, and didn’t really feel tired.

I ate a bagel with goat cheese, which is normally my favorite for pre-workout fuel, but I had a really hard time choking it down and didn’t even finish it. I did manage to gulp down about 8 oz. of water though.

The race started at Decatur High School, which is actually walking distance from my house, so I walked over there about 15 minutes before start time while Jeff finished getting ready so he could take pictures as I passed (the course went through our neighborhood.)

As the race started at about 9:15, I felt totally fine. I knew that I hadn’t really trained for this race because I’ve been busy doing the LiveFit training program which restricts cardio in the first month, but it was a beautiful day and I was feeling good and trusted in my overall fitness level to get me through the 3.1 miles even if I didn’t set any records.

I wasn’t even half a mile into the race before I started feeling tired though. My legs were heavy and achey, my head was pounding, and my neck was tight. I was huffing and puffing and really having to push myself to keep moving, even while only doing around a 12 minute mile pace.

About half way through 5k

As I passed Jeff around 1.2 miles in, I let myself stop for a minute and confessed to him that I was really struggling. I ran around the corner but was walking again by the time I was out of sight.

Turning the corner

As I continued on, Jeff started walking down to the high school to meet me at the finish line. Really, I was hurting so badly and breathing so hard that if I didn’t know that he was at the finish line waiting for me I would have just cut back through the neighborhood and headed home.

I tried hard to run as much as I could for the rest of the way, but it wasn’t a mental game anymore, I had a physical need to walk instead of run. I saved up my energy, and ran the last little bit onto the football field and through the finish line.

Coming into the finish

39:32, my slowest 5k yet.

I’d say that it’s just a product of not having really trained for this race, or that I didn’t sleep enough or ate breakfast too close to the start time, but I know there’s something else going on here. I seriously felt like a might have an aneurism around mile 2, and that makes absolutely no sense for someone who has a very healthy diet and exercises regularly. It also makes absolutely no sense to me that I’ve been trying my hardest to be a runner for nearly 3 years and I still to this day cannot run an entire mile without stopping. I mean, I could, but it’d leave me too exhausted to go any farther than that.

And then something clicked when I was talking with Jeff about this the other day. I just had blood work done recently so he asked me if my iron levels had come out as low because it sounded like I might be anemic. This was odd because I’ve been tested for anemia many times throughout my life because I’ve always shown the classic signs of iron deficiency, the most notable being persistent fatigue, but my iron levels have always been normal. I have; however, had extremely low levels of B12 for at least the last few years which has no dietary explanation. As it turns out, a serious B12 deficiency can manifest in much the same way as iron anemia, with chronic fatigue and difficulty breathing.

So, I’m writing all this because I intend to pursue some options with my doctor to get my B12 levels back into a normal range, and see if that has any affect on my running abilities and my overall energy levels. I want to share a bit of this journey here on the blog because I’m sure I’m not the only person out there who really struggles with exercise endurance, and if low B12 turns out to be the magic answer for me, then maybe that information can help someone else too.

This may have been my slowest race yet, but I’m actually extremely proud of myself because I truly had to fight to finish it. I’m hoping that if I can figure out what’s going on with this intense fatigue, it’ll be the last one that beats me.

 

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The race is (back) on!

The last race I ran in was the Tour Decatur 5k about a year ago. I ran a bit more here and there after that and then pretty much just stopped running entirely until a few months ago.

End of Tour Decatur 5k

There are a lot of reasons why I fell off the wagon with running; I was a bit depressed in our old apartment, I didn’t have a gym membership and couldn’t motivate to run outside in the Georgia heat, and I was stressed out with trying to find a new place to live while packing and starting to write a cookbook. All that is behind me now though. Since October I’ve been getting back out there running around my neighborhood and then pounding the treadmill at the gym after I signed up in January.

Today I signed up for the Tour Decatur 5k again, the same race I ran a year ago. I think it’s a fitting re-entry into racing, don’t you?

I don’t know if I’ll beat my PR or anything, but I’m glad to just be getting back out there.

In other fitness news, I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been doing Jamie Eason’s LiveFit trainer featured on Bodybuilding.com. I just finished week 2 (of 12) today and I already feel amazing!

I was so impressed with Janetha’s results on Meals and Moves that I knew I just had to give it a shot. While I knew I enjoyed strength training, I didn’t realize just how much. Before this program, I only knew how to do some very basic weightlifting, and I knew nothing about how to structure a routine or how to use some of the scarier-looking weight machines. With this program, everything is explained in detail and every recommended exercise is accompanied by a video clip showing just how to do it.

At just 2 weeks in, I’ll hold off on a more detailed review until later, but I can say that even after such a short time on the program I can already see muscle definition peeking out and though I’ve gained a few pounds in muscle, it’s obvious to me that I’ve already let go of a little fat.

The hardest part of the LiveFit program to me is the constant eating and guzzling of water! I feel like it’s a full time job to keep myself fed and hydrated. It’s a small price to pay though to look as fit and fabulous as Jamie!

So, it’s been a bit of a fitness-splosion going on over here! Hopefully after my 5k this month I’ll feel confident enough to start looking for a 10k to do, and maybe a half marathon later in the year if I’m feeling crazy.

Do you have any fitness goals for this year?

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Tour Decatur 5k, 2011

35:45!

Done in 35:45!

I did it again. I beat my previous time of 37:38!

I am so proud of how it all went down today. Here’s the details…

I got up before Jeff this morning and did some quick rinsing off in the shower before grabbing breakfast and chugging a bottle of water. Jeff joined me shortly thereafter and we got ready at a leisurely pace.

The original plan was to walk to the starting line from home today, but because we had rain in the forecast, we decided to drive instead. Because we were planning to drive instead of walk, I figured we could leave at ten til 9 and be there by 9am, just enough time to grab my race number and line up for the start at 9:15. Well…I forgot that there was a “tot trot” type race going on before the 5k for Moms with strollers and young children, so the roads we were planning to take were blocked off already.¬†We could not figure out where to park so Jeff ended up dropping me off behind the high school just after 9am while he went to look for parking.

The email I got for the event said to meet in the football stadium, but after sorting through the crowds and asking around, no one seemed to know where packet pick-up was, I guess they all got theirs the day before like I meant to. I finally found it inside the school lobby and got my number just in time.

As we lined up for the race I still didn’t see Jeff anywhere. It was probably 10 minutes before he made it to where I was at the starting line.

Lining up Tour Decatur

Race number on for Tour Decatur

I pawned off my jacket on him and wiggled into the group somewhere in the middle.

Not a minute after I got in line, the race was on!

About to start Tour Decatur 5k

Start of Tour Decatur 5k

Most of the hills in this course were in the first mile, and I told myself that if I thought I needed to that I could allow myself to walk those first hills so as not to wear myself out too early. I was feelin’ good though so I trudged right up them with little extra effort.

I still haven’t been able to run a solid no-walking 5k distance in training runs yet, my lungs don’t seem to be getting stronger as fast as my legs are, but today I nearly ran the entire thing! I stopped for water only to find out they were out, and I walked up part of the very last hill so that I would have the energy to sprint to the finish, but that was really it!

The soft bouncy astroturf of the high school football stadium felt so good as I bolted to the finish line. I flashed Jeff a peace sign as I passed him!

End of Tour Decatur 5k

Finishing Tour Decatur 5k

I wasn’t nearly as tired after this race as I was for my first 5k. I sure was hungry though!

Decatur’s outdoor farmer’s market was set up near by so we stopped in for the second half of our breakfasts for today. There is an awesome stand with fresh pastries and coffee that we stopped at.

Breakfast pastries at market

I got a baked donut with salted caramel frosting, and Jeff grabbed a sausage biscuit. Both were spectacular!

Salted caramel baked donut

Jeff eating a sausage biscuit

Jeff is making his classic “why are you taking a picture of me?” face.

Anyway, we made the walk back to the car which Jeff had to park pretty far away. The clouds were getting darker and darker and the thunder was starting to make a fuss. As soon as we got home the rain started coming down, that was my cue to take a nap! I crashed out for an hour or so with Jeff on his computer at the end of the couch and both kittens snorgling my butt. It was pure heaven.

All I wanted for lunch was eggs. I made avocado toast with a fried egg on top and ate it with some tomato soup.

Fried egg and avocado on toast

Heating up tomato soup

Mmmmm….just what I needed.

The rest of the day will be spent in my pajamas, I’ve earned it!