Exhaustion!

It is 12:40 AM and I am awake.  This normally is pretty routine for me and no big deal.  However earlier tonight as I was leaving work at 5:30 I was feeling tired.  Really tired.  My eyes had that exhausted burning feeling of someone who hasn’t slept in days.  (This is not true of me, just the way my body felt)  As I tried to plan my run route in my head, knowing I had 5-6 miles to do tonight, I felt tears come to my eyes.

I can’t do it.

I need to sleep.

I was extremely hungry, far more so than usual for right after work and just wanted to eat.  Not in an unhealthy way, mind you.

But I need to run.  My plan calls for a run.  How can I not run?

I texted Aaron and Coach to let them know I was considering not running and why.  I think what I was really looking for was someone to tell me that it is ok if I don’t run.  That it won’t mean I am a failure or that Nashville won’t happen if I don’t run one night.

Coach gave that to me and I really started crying.  I felt so relieved.  Like the pressure that had been building was suddenly released.

But then I heard from Aaron, who encouraged me to just go one mile at a time.  I thought, I can do one mile.  If I can just start I am sure I can do one mile.  Maybe that is what I will do.  Commit to one and only one and see from there…but not until after I got some food in me.

As I continued home, I planned a one mile run route and I felt ok.  Still exhausted but mentally I felt like I could do one mile.

I got home, made some dinner, and tracked my calories for the dietitian.  While doing this, I was still thinking about and wondering why I am so exhausted.  The last several nights I have been falling asleep before 11PM (unheard of for me) and waking up at my normal time.  Here is what I came to.

  • For one month now, I have been running intensely 4 days a week.
  • According to my Polar, I have been burning more and more calories with each workout…often over 1000 calories a run.
  • In the last 2 weeks, I have begun adding strength training with Jessica and on my own.
  • The last 2 weeks have been 6 days a week of very intense workouts.
  • My calorie intake has not changed.  Still working at 1800 a day.

My conclusion.  I think my body is just exhausted and if my calorie burns are remotely accurate then my calorie intake is CLEARLY not sufficient to fuel my body and I don’t think any amount of sleep is gonna really help.

I have noticed that any food I do put in my body lasts about an hour before I am hungry (starving) again.  My body is burning what it gets really quickly which I am sure is a result of strength training or perhaps from my body finally trying to get me to understand that I am NOT helping it function well.

I talked to Jen tonight too while eating dinner. She said this to me. “Kimmie K, oh how far you have come that you are crying because you don’t want to miss a run but you need to listen to your body!”

So I decided, for my mental and physical health, I was going to finish dinner and go to bed without running.  Yes, I decided not to run.  So by 8:30, I was in my jammies and in bed and suddenly I couldn’t fall asleep.  I just kept thinking, I should at least go do one mile.

I think I have flipped over to the crazy side of exercise obsession…not good folks, not good.

I forced myself to stay in bed and to simply lay there and to simply let my body rest.

A little while ago, I woke up.  Very hungry.  I figured it must be almost time to wake up so I went to the bathroom, looked at my watch and saw that it was only 12:15 AM.  Shit!  I slept for 2 hours, sort of, and now am wide awake, HUNGRY, and trying to figure out what to do and what is going on.

I know that now that I feel my emotions more, it can cause me to not be able to sleep…but I am not sure what is going on there, other than the earlier emotions I talked of.   My eyes still burn with that really tired feeling but I can’t sleep.  I am melting down folks as I struggle to find the balance I need for success.  The balance I said this year would be full of and the grace I need to be able to let the balance happen.  I feel out of control.  Oh crap…THAT is probably the sleeplessness…that is what it was when Crazy Kate visited last…and that is a primary feeling right now.  Good grief…I need to give this up!

I am not sure I am going to be able to keep up this 6-7 day a week schedule.  On Monday, I will talk to Jess.  On Thursday I will talk to the dietitian who happens to be running Nashville too!  Tomorrow, I will stop by the running store and see if they can’t help me tweak my run schedule/plan.  Perhaps I can take my running down to 3 days a week so I can do strength training 3 days a week.  Perhaps I will lower my expectations for Nashville and give myself a mental break and tell myself it is ok if I walk portions of it.  Right now I have it in my head that it is only a success if I RUN the whole thing straight.

Right now, my schedule calls for 7 days 4 run, 3 strength…I just haven’t been able to do it yet!

This journey continues to be about whole health, not just losing weight or running a half-marathon.  This means I need to sometimes look at the big picture and take a time out so that my body can be better in the long run.

I know this is rambling all over the place.  This is more for me to get my thoughts out of my head so perhaps I can sleep…hopefully.

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6 thoughts on “Exhaustion!

  1. Oh, Kim, rest days are absolutely ESSENTIAL for runners, especially when you are training for a longer distance. A half marathon is a serious undertaking. Running 4 days/week is serious. Strength training 3 days/week is serious. But REST? Rest is, or should be, non-negotiable.

    I’m not a trainer or a coach, but I do have some suggestions for you:

    1. Run 3 days/week instead of 4.

    2. Strength training 2 days/week OR do one day where you double up – strength training in the a.m. and running in the p.m.

    3. Make sure you are stretching and foam rolling at least once/week.

    4. AT LEAST one day per week needs to be total rest – a stroll is fine, tooling around on your bike is fine, but no strenuous workout.

    5. Up your protein intake, if you haven’t already, so you’re getting at least 100 grams per day, if not more. Protein is what rebuilds your muscles after you run and strength train, and there are also studies that show that high protein intake aids in weight loss.

    6. Consider upping your calories to 2,000/day. See how it feels. Give it 2 weeks.

    Anyhow, hang in there, know that you’re not along and know that YOU ARE A SUCCESS SIMPLY BY VIRTUE OF THE FACT THAT YOU ARE DOING THIS! Whether you have to walk a few intervals in the half-marathon can’t change that. Pulling back to 5 or 6 workout days/week can’t change that.

    • SRG-all of this is being tweaked as we speak. I recognize that I am shooting myself in teh foot as I simply learn all this new stuff as I train more and more…Dietitian is getting added to the mix this next week, personal trainer is on board and will be talking options with, running store experts plus dietitian is a runner….all sorts of tweaking going on…thanks for the good words…all things to consider…

  2. Wow, as an aspiring runner I am totally taking seattle girl’s advice for my future training. (Note to self, visit her blog!)

    Kim, I hope you got some much needed rest and get all of this figured out. Balance is key, and listening to our bodies is crucial too. I know you know that already, but yeah. You’re doing awesome…

    • Dedicated runner?!?!? That makes me LOL…I do not think of myself as that…I think, Crazy! Nuts! Insane! Desperate! Scared Poopless….but dedicated runner??? Not once did that thought cross my mind….perhaps I will switch my thinking on this and start calling myself that!

      hehehe….still giggling…thanks!

      And ummm yes you can do it…here is what you do…..think of the distance you think you can do…then sign up for a race that is the NEXT DISTANCE up…..pay the money….cuz then you are committed…and trust me…fear will motivate like nothing else and before you know it…you will be running four days a week..calling yourself “crazy”, “nuts”, “insane”…and some other blogger will see YOU as a dedicated runner…and you will find yourself giggling at the thought!

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