Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm blessed to have my body

That's my affirmation I keep saying in my head.

For the last couple months, running has sucked! I'm so slow and tired, and just don't have the energy to go. It all came to a head during Pat's Run. I just could run. My legs felt like lead. Lead that's on fire (if that's possible), and I couldn't get a breath. I just was remembering running before where I was pushing myself but I could still find a rhythm where my breathing was adequate for my level of exertion. That wasn't happening. I watched Ryan run away in front of me while I trotted and finally walked. When I saw the one mile to go sign I told myself, no biggie, I can pump out this last mile at a good pace with no walking. Nope. I was almost in tears as I couldn't go more than half a mile without walking again! I figured my heart rate must be though the roof and looked down at my watch to see it was at 89! Okay, something was wrong. I ran into the finish, sprinting the last little bit, and my heart rate was still in the 80s. :(

When I got home and plugged in my run, I saw that my heart rate started out good, I was in the 165-175 range, and then before I reached a mile, it dropped down into the 80s for the remainder of my run. I also counted the times I walked. TEN times in 4.2 miles. I cried myself to sleep that night.

Went to the Dr., he took my blood and referred me to a cardiologist. Blood came back that I'm anemic. That explains a lot - why I'm so tired (I've been blaming it on waking up super early), why I'm out of breath when I go up a flight of stairs (I thought it was because my backpack was so heavy), why my legs feel so heavy while I'm running (figured my legs couldn't support my added weight), why i've been getting so many headaches (figured it was all the reading and lack of sleep), and the light headedness (so I'm not just an airhead!). Sweet. Now I take supplements throughout the day giving me an additional 600% of the RDA for iron. Then to the cardiologist with my fingers crossed that the iron is responsible for the irregular heartbeat too. He did an EKG, but it was inconclusive for my symptoms. I'm scheduled to go back at the end of May for a stress test, an echocardiogram and an ultrasound, and he's guessing it's an intermittent heart block that's exercise induced. I'm still crossing my fingers that it's just the anemia, and that it gets better so I won't even have to go do those tests in a month.

So far, after a week of pumping my body full of iron, I'm already noticing a slight difference. Thank goodness too since I have a triathlon this weekend. (I signed up for it in Oct., and didn't realize it'd be RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of finals) I'm thinking of dropping from the Olympic distance down to the Sprint since my training has been so sparse do to the fact that my heart's going through a rough patch. The poor thing.

So there you have it. If you've seen me out running (or walking) and I was sobbing, now you know why.

**Oh, and I want to add, my time for Pat's Run was not terrible. If it was faster than yours, I'm NOT saying you are slow. I'm saying I'm used to being able to run faster than I did, and without such a struggle. That's all. :)


emily said...

Sad! I hope you get it figured out soon. Take good care of yourself!!

Desi said...

You are blessed because you have a rockin body!!

Tara T said...

I think your body is telling you to slow down a little. 5 marathons, 10 triathlons, 15 10K's and a couple ragnars a year is a little much ;)

Chelsea said...

i can so relate to frustrations and setbacks and to giving up a run to walk home crying. i have asthma and heavily curse it at least every fifth run. good for you for realizing something was not right and getting help. hopefully the iron will kick in and your training will not suffer too badly in the meantime. hang in there, rockstar!

JacksonFamily said...

That's how my thyroid makes me feel, only on top of that I am fat too! I hope everything turns out okay for you.

MediocreMama said...

Wish I had an excuse.