Running Breakdown

13 Apr

My relationship with running is suffering a breakdown.  To set the scene, I had a week off before my outing with my little sis.  Oh and by the way, she is coming round on Sunday evening to take me out on another ‘gentle’ 10k in preparation for Wexford the following weekend – fun times.  As I wrote in my last blog, that run with my sis was brutal, I just couldn’t keep up, I was panting, out of breath and my legs felt like lead the whole time.  Well, I have been twice since and each time my body is just saying, no, screaming ‘NO’ every time I go out.  Its not a motivation issue, I am getting into my trainers and getting outside, but from the moment I start till the moment I get home my whole body feels so heavy and it all seems just so much harder than it ought to.  I keep thinking,  next time it will be easier, but it isn’t.  This has never happened to me before and it is freaking me out.  I am going on a run today before my lunch time meeting and I am dreading it because I can tell already it is going to be awful because I am still sore and heavy-limbed from Wednesday’s run.  Wierd.   Could it be psychological – that in convincing myself beforehand that it is going to be awful, it then in fact is awful?  Or is there something wrong with me?  If anyone has experienced this before, please talk to me.  I feel as though my body is failing me.  Oh yes, I have had a headache too for the whole week that no amount of water and neurofen seems to take away.  This is odd too because I’ve never really had a bad headache that persists before (except throughout a three day labour).   The bottom line is, running has never felt this hard for me before physically, and I am desperate to understand why this is happening and make it go away!  Any advice would be much appreciated.

The Grit Doctor says:

It is your sister’s fault.


19 Responses to “Running Breakdown”

  1. coalpress April 13, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    First rule out the obvious – pregnancy, virus, allergy. If none of the above fit, it might be time to see a good chiropractor, physio or structural intergrationist.

    Get a recommendation from someone you trust. I’ve recently had running and gym training friends that have hit a wall – something to do with muscle strain/ fatigue (I”m not there yet, although I do remember when I was) and a good expert can advise you on how to proceed.

    I once found myself with crippled knees 6 miles from home… mostly because I ignored the preceding symptoms. Toughing it out works most of the time, but once in a while (this might be the once for you) expert advice can save you a bus load of grief.

    By the way – thanks so much for the grit, you’ve had me remembering my former self.

    Hope you get to the bottom of it quickly and are feeling good about running again soon. Keep us updated (know you will).

  2. Shonagh Woods April 13, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    I’ve had a similar feeling recently with my running. Some days are great – but the last few runs have been really hard work. It feels like my legs are weighed down by something. I think what it boils down to, is a lack of sleep. You’ve got twins so you must be suffering from broken sleep I’m sure. I’ve got a 5 and 3 year old who have just lately started to wake every night, several times, for something and nothing. But I’m up and that means broken sleep and then followed by an early start is a killer. It’s definitely what’s affecting my running I think. I’m training for a 10k on 6th May, and I thought I was making great progress, but now I’m starting to panic a bit. The headache is probably stress. Try ‘Peace of Mind’ by Origins – you dap a little bit on each temple and it works wonders! Clears your head and de-stresses.

  3. LorPet April 13, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Hi Ruth
    I get like that around period time and I really have to push myself to get out running to the point where yesterday I started out for my run and I turned back to go home twice before deciding to keep going – although I did a shorter run than usual. Hopefully this is just a phase for you.

  4. Renee Finlay-Notman April 13, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Maybe you’ve got a head cold coming on.

  5. Laura P. April 13, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Maybe it’s time to up your good carbs? I just had the same problem working up to a 10k. When I got to the 8k mark (2/3 times a week) body died. I then realised I had increased my mileage but not my calories/carbs. When I did, headache went away and I had a super 8.5k run 2 days after. Hope this helps!

  6. Annie April 13, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    I feel like this a lot when I’m running, especially if I take a break for a week or so, my muscles ache & my breathing is all over the place. For me I think it’s part age(!) and mostly not doing things right like lots of dynamic stretching before a run and lots of core strengthng after a run, I find yoga helps keep my muscles strong.

    You say it’s not motivational but even tho you get out the door you could still not be motivated and if as you say you expect the run to be tough it will be. When im struggling I tell myself to slow down, deep breaths and relax & enjoy it, it works too!

    Hope you get back to your old self soon & thanks for all the motivation you give me.

  7. Emily Elkhoury April 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Feeling flat when motivated may just be your body telling you that you may need a bit more rest. I always feel crap for about a week after a hard run (race or competitive sister). My theory is if you feel like you are just sucking at running then you may as well at least look good while doing so. I know you are not big on “buying gadgets and gear” but I find if I have a fresh new top on or some awesome looking shorts it makes me feel better and then I try harder. At the end of the day slap your Grit Doctor for blaming your sister as it’s not her fault, take a teaspoon of cement, harden up, go buy yourself something smashing to run in and show it off to your sister on your next run. At least then if she kicks your butt you can make her jealous at how good you look. Rest, shop, show off.

  8. Christine April 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    I felt exactly like that a few weeks ago, and I was quite panicked about it because it was during a taper week before a half marathon. Even a 3 km trot felt like too much. Whatever it was, I got over it. The few days before the half I slept a lot – I think this REALLY made a difference – really took care of my hyrdation and I ended up having a great race. Go figure!

    In your case, though, it sounds like a low level bug of some kind – maybe you just need a few days off? You have the fitness there for the 10k and it won’t actually make any difference to your time, might even improve it.

  9. Carol Hart April 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    This is happening to me too – although I don’t have the sister factor. Every time I’m out there it’s as if someone’s tied weights to my trainers and it’s not getting any better – hope someone comes up with the answer!

  10. Helen April 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Sometimes I think these things just come and go. I find that I’ll go thru a really rubbish week or two and then without changing a single thing, my running just gets easier/more enjoyable/less of a head-wreck again. Its cyclical. I think what I’ve learnt is to just ‘go with it’, if that doesn’t sound too much like ‘knit your own lentils’ philosophy. You are great at this, its something you can do, but there are times when stuff just doesn’t blend in the way you need it to. We can over-think stuff, I think. Then again, maybe I just don’t think enough and am missing a major running nirvana….

  11. tildyteacake April 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    i’ve felt like that a lot lately, but similar to one of the other replies here, have had my three-year old up almost nightly over the past 6 weeks or so with either growing pains or nightmares and broken sleep and running just don’t seem to mix well with me at all, so maybe its that?
    For me, i’ve decided to give running a rest for a while and go back to yoga (vinyasa so still get bit of cardio) to get back into a better frame of mind. Have a 10k in May but trying not to beat myself up about it. Perhaps you just need a break from it and competition with a sibling never helps:-)
    good luck!

  12. Clare April 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    i agree with all the above comments. And maybe time to try some other form of exercise for a break but to keep you fitness levels up. I find swimming good for that as it gives my legs a rest and really challenges me. Try mixing it up for a bit and keep your runs short and easy. Have you tried running to your heart rate too? Wearing a heart rate monitor and reading/using heart rate monitor training could help. It worked for me!

  13. Caroline April 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Been feeling very similar all last week but I do have my periods and think I just hormonal and tired. I am running 28 mins continuous all this week and can’t believe how far I have come as 7 weeks ago I couldn’t breath after 3 mins so I keep thinking to myself ….look how much you have improved so keep going! Good luck!

  14. Sarah April 13, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    I’ve found, over 10+ years of running, that sometimes your body just doesn’t want to cooperate. Maybe it’s because of an underlying bug, or lack of sleep, or whatever. Sometimes for no glaringly obvious reason, you just can’t do it. It’ll pass, just grit your teeth! Keep getting out there, even if it’s slow, and one day soon, it’ll be back to normal. Good luck!

  15. Una April 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Maybe get back to some interval running to give your body a break. Or else maybe your body is crying out for a rest and you should listen to it (which I know is SO much easier said then done !)

  16. Denise April 13, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Sorry to hear your feeling crap. The headache wont be helping. Do you think you are coming down with something? I’ve had a chest infection for the last week and now have an inhalor for a while. You know your body. Your certain its not motivation so listen to what its saying and rest up for a

  17. Michelle April 15, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    This happened to me before I found out I was pregnant, each run was super difficult even though I was pretty fit and ran 5-8kms daily!

  18. Margaret April 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    You poor thing…. I feel your pain. I often get where I can’t even manage 20 mins running and then another day could run forever…..
    Sounds like you need a break for a few days, could you go for a cycle or swim instead?

  19. cybill April 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    I think you should get your iron levels checked out & good luck.

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