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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Run the Bayou

I had a really bad race at the Run the Bayou 10k, running something crazy like 41:23 - this is a pace slower than my half-marathon pace and also I pace I beat in workouts TWICE very recently (one was a hill fartlek of 5.8 miles at 6:32 pace overall; the other was goal 10k pace intervals that, including rests, averaged to 6:39, for 6 miles). I actually went in to the race expecting a 39-low. But I had a really, really rough week leading up to the race.

I started to feel terrible early in the week. Since the fall, I've had symptoms of anemia, and finally validated my concerns in December. My lab work wasn't too alarming, so I started an oral iron supplement (or actually continued it - I started it when I felt symptomatic, so before I actually had the blood work done). But I had been struggling with what I thought were long, heavy periods, so I made an appointment with a NP. She diagnosed me instead with an active hemorrhage, and put me on a few things to get the bleeding to stop. She also rechecked my iron, and while my hemoglobin had improved, it was still pretty low at 10.3 and my ferritin was all the way down to 8. I was feeling it, too. I was gasping for breath all the time and just felt lethargic and tired. And then things got worse. I started bruising. I started noticing large bruising on my legs and abdomen on Wednesday, all unprovoked, and they got worse on Thursday. So now I'm hemorrhaging and bruising and probably losing all the iron I so faithfully took: all I know is, I felt AWFUL.
Also I won because no one else showed up, but that doesn't make me feel any better. 
Nonetheless, there I was at this race! And as soon as I started to run, I was miserable, unable to breath, dizzy, pain in my legs. I actually stopped during the race and put my head down because I thought I would faint. It was a terrible feeling. I'm disappointed, because that is not anywhere close to my goal time, and also because there aren't many 10ks around these parts. And the worst thing is that now I have had four bad races in a row:

  1. Manchac 10k with a carbon fiber plate, second run back after time off for injury
  2. Turkey Day 5-miler with intestinal bacterial infection 
  3. Marathon - and I can't blame anyone but myself for that one!
  4. and now this, Run the Bayou with raging anemia. 

I definitely need a good race to get me back on track!

The plan for my iron is follow up with my NP once I stop bleeding, and I will probably be referred to hematology if I'm still bruising. I personally think I have a platelet issue because the medication I'm taking to stop bleeding isn't working. If the problem was hormonal, it would work. But it has made no difference at all. Perhaps the issue will resolve, or perhaps I'll need treatment, but in the meantime I am supplementing with iron. Once I get my iron stores beefed back up, I should start to feel better, and then I hope to hit some 10k and 5k PRs. But first I need to get healthy!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Back at it: Boston training begins

The club launched into Boston training this week with a downright RUDE 18-miler (who starts marathon training with 18 miles?!).
Off Monday for acupuncture

I hit 60+ for the week, and finished with six miles fast (seven if you count the extra one I tacked on to get home, but it doesn't really count since I stopped for water at 18).
HELLO, 6:37 at mile 18!

My race-before-the-race plans include:

  • A 10k next week. I just signed up for the Run the Bayou 10k on the West Bank. I don't run a lot of 10ks, and I am *pathetic* at that distance, but I think this one will be a PR. If the weather is nice, anyway. On recent cold workout days, I've been flying - and it felt easy. We had a 10 mile workout last week that was supposed to include 2 miles tempo, 1 mile aerobic, 2 miles tempo - but I ran 6:28, 6:18, 7:02, 6:08, 6:12. And contemplated adding another two-mile segment. Holding those paces for a 10k would be great! 
  • A half-marathon February 10th. I registered for the full, but ugh - I just don't have the endurance. So I'll drop to the half. This probably will not be a PR: we will no doubt be building intensity and I will be tired. But I'll see how I feel. I didn't think Jazz half would be a PR last October, and I PR'd by 2:14! So I might be surprised. 
  • Hopefully a 5k. I still want to work some short-distance speed in somewhere!

I'm excited to see what workouts we'll be doing to get ready for Boston, and I'm really, REALLY, really going to try to stay healthy this time.

Monday, January 7, 2019

2019 races - is it time for the 5k?!

You might not  I think I am ready to focus on the 5K given my current racing schedule: the only two races I’m registered for in 2019 are both marathons. I had Boston on the books already, but I also registered for Rock and Roll New Orleans in February, taking advantage of a last-minute deal that got me registration for about $50. 

 But after that? Maybe it’s time to look at some shorter distances.  Historically, I have treated 5ks as extras on my training schedule, throwing them in when I had to, but never enjoying them. I also don’t think I’ve ever really executed one well. And I certainly haven’t trained specifically for the 5k distance! Why? I don’t know.  Probably it is a combination of really not knowing what I’m doing, and feeling as if I am better at longer distances.  But 2018 made me question that latter statement. In 2018 I ran a mile PR of 5:38 on a challenging, hot and wet day - and my fastest marathon was a disappointing 3:09. Plugging numbers into various equivalent race charts tells me that my mile time was significantly better than my marathon time, comparatively. Maybe I’m not all distance, all the time!
If I do try to secure a 5k PR,  I foresee a few challenges.  For one thing, I am still pretty unsure of myself at this distance. I know what I should be capable of running, and I am off by about a minute!  I have no idea what training to complete to bridge that gap. I can always look up a 5K training plan, but many of those seem geared toward beginners, or runners with lower mileage, such as highschoolers. I’m not sure I’ll even recognize a quality plan when I see one: should I be doing 4x800? 12 x 400? I have no idea! 
Finding a good race won’t be easy, either.  I have both marathons scheduled in the spring, and after Boston in April, New Orleans will already be hot.  There are some good local options in the fall, but I’m not sure if I will already be back in marathon training at that point. I don’t know my winter race schedule yet. I’ll probably have to go with a spring race and just hope I’ve already acclimated to the heat, or get some miracle weather under 80. I’m on the lookout for good races now! 
I’ve also heard that the best 5k training is running 5ks, too - so that’s another thought. Maybe I should just register for a bunch of races! 
Did you ever train specifically for a 5k? How? What was your training like leading up to a PR?