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Fitter and Faster

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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:33 pm

@Penelope wrote:
Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Check your serum ferritin, Kathy.  Often if the stores are low, you will get that boost from red meat or at least I do.  You are probably not anemic per se, but have low stores as it is real common in endurance athletes especially female runners.  Here I am playing a doc on the internet and telling a doc what to do.
Ha ha.  You're probably right, though.  I bet my ferritin is low or borderline low but that I'm not actually anemic.  If I can convince my doctor to check it, I will, and if not, I'll probably just start iron tablets.  Or eat more red meat, which I love...although I have food allergies to beef.
Try Bifera for an iron supplement, and can't you be your own doc??
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:00 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:
@Penelope wrote:
Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Check your serum ferritin, Kathy.  Often if the stores are low, you will get that boost from red meat or at least I do.  You are probably not anemic per se, but have low stores as it is real common in endurance athletes especially female runners.  Here I am playing a doc on the internet and telling a doc what to do.
Ha ha.  You're probably right, though.  I bet my ferritin is low or borderline low but that I'm not actually anemic.  If I can convince my doctor to check it, I will, and if not, I'll probably just start iron tablets.  Or eat more red meat, which I love...although I have food allergies to beef.
Try Bifera for an iron supplement, and can't you be your own doc??
I probably will get the bifera.  And yes, but it's not recommended.  If my ferritin is low, great, I know why and what to do with it.  If it's normal (and not low-normal, but true normal), then I still don't know why my runs are so hard lately and wonder if there's something up, and if it's high, something's definitely wrong and I would need to see someone anyway.  It's like trying to do your makeup without a mirror--can you, yes, or at least parts of it, but should you, probably not...
----------------
Half marathon training 9/9-9/15


Mon 9/9/13 0 miles, planned rest day.  My legs, quads most, but also hamstrings, are destroyed from yesterday's race.  I walked about 4 blocks to the nearest Starbucks to get some work done and since I'm too sore to run, wanted to walk a little at least. It ended up being more walking than planned when I left some stuff at Starbucks and had to walk all the way back. Quads are buckling at times. So, so grateful to the guy sitting next to me at Starbucks for calling me--one of the books was full of my notes from 3 years of residency, and I would have been upset to lose it. Enough that I put my phone number, name, and please return in the cover. What a blessing! 
It's good that today is a rest day--I am busier than I want to be and it seems like every time I get 1 thing done, 3 more things come up.  Having trouble keeping up with it and glad I don't have to spend any time running. I will confess that last night instead of being productive, I went again to 3 Dots and a Dash….love their drinks and the ambiance. 

Tues 9/10 0 miles, planned rest day.  I'm still really sore and having sensations that my quads are buckling when I'm walking.  Today, I gave a lecture to physician assistant students on diarrhea and constipation.  What a fun topic! Followed by sushi at Yuzu with work friends for a birthday.  Yuzu was better before it got on Check Please, which is a show about local Chicago restaurants.  Since then it's been way more crowded / harder to get a table.  My friend loves it there---its way farther west than we usually venture.  It was fun, as was the wine. 

Wed 9/11/13 0 miles, planned rest day.  I considered running today, but was feeling 50/50 about it.  I'm still sore, although gradually improving, and if I really wanted to run today, I could have, but just wasn't dying to and wasn't feeling super compelled to do it.  Last night, I didn't set an alarm and allowed myself to sleep in this morning (I'm working another evening shift tonight).  I didn't manage my time very well since I slept in, and there wasn't enough time to run before I had some meetings and such this afternoon before work.  So, today is a no-go, but I think tomorrow I really will be ready to run.

Thurs 9/12/13. Outside, 5 miles 48:25, 9:40 avg. Splits: 10:10, 9:38, 9:34, 9:31, 9:30. Felt good! Was so nice to have less humidity. I was running south right next to the water and thinking how wonderful it is to run, when I looked up and made eye contact with this very hot shirtless guy. He gave me this huge grin, almost like he recognized me, and I smiled back.  It was like a shared moment of "how awesome is this?" I usually wear sunglasses and even when I do look other runners in the eye, they often aren't looking back, so a connection rarely occurs.  It was cool.  I turned around and a little while later, I passed him going the other direction, and again got a big smile and this time a wave.  He was so friendly that I wondered if he knew me and if I am supposed to know him.  Don't think so--I think he was just full of joy to be running on a beautiful day and was being friendly.  Thanks hot shirtless guy for that random connection!

Fri 9/13/13. Outside near Greenville SC, hot, hilly, and humid! 3.0 miles in 32:33, 10:50 avg.  This was an awful one.  I ended up doing laps in a parking lot because there was nowhere safe to run.  The roads are all very narrow with no shoulder even--just the white line and then the bushes/ swamp.  I tried running on the road once, and 5 cars passed in my 0.21 miles.  I was worried I'd be hit.  Just as I was debating turning around, I stepped on something long, thin, 3-dimensional, green, and tapered on the edge of the road.  I'm not sure, but I think it was a (hopefully dead) snake.  Hell if I was going to stop to make sure, though.  In the heat, burning sun, and that, I miss Chicago, and regret not waking up early enough to run in the cool temps there this morning.  This morning was a frantic packing job/ rushing to the airport.  So I turned around (on the other side of the road from the possible dead snake) and went back.  Decided I'd do a tempo run on the hotel's only treadmill.  Not sure what was up with the surface, but I kept losing my footing / sliding every few steps.  My shoes are brand new so it wasn't them, it was definitely the treadmill.  After 3 slips where I had to grab on to not fall, I gave up on that.  I decided I'd try again outside and go the other direction on the hotel road.  I figured I was near an intersection because I could see a Waffle House sign in the distance.  Gosh, do I NOT MISS LIVING IN THE SOUTH!!!  Heat, humidity, hills, swamps, dead snakes, and Waffle Houses.  (To be fair I do miss my friends and my church, though, and Chicago has heat / humidity, just not as often.) Anyway, there was NOWHERE to run--highway and 2-lane roads without any sidewalks.  I found a large office building with a large, half-empty parking lot near the hotel, so did laps.  It was boring.  This area is hilly and even the parking lot wasn't flat.  I started counting steps per parking space-- 3 steps / space on average, occasionally able to do 2.  I didn't really want tomorrow to be a rest day because I like to do 3 in a row and wanting to start doing 4  days in a row before a rest day….but this is a little too hard to run in.  

Sat 9/14  0 miles, sort of planned rest day.  I didn't really want / need to rest today from a physical standpoint, but there was nowhere safe to run and it turned out, no downtime anyway.  We got up early and went to the wedding venue and helped get it all set up.  I carried a bunch of chairs over the yard, so does that count as exercise? Then I danced at the wedding…

Sun 9/15/13 0 miles, unplanned rest day.  I landed in Chicago Sunday morning and saw rain.  It rained all day.  In the evening I had plans starting at 4, and got home around 11.  After 2 nights of terrible sleep in the hotel in Greenville, I was wiped out.  Slept the afternoon away.  Considered going to the gym and hitting the treadmill in the evening, but was still exhausted and quite frankly had some stuff to be done that ended up getting prioritized higher than a treadmill run did.  

I did end up deciding today to not sign up for the Winter Warriors training with Chicago Endurance Sports.  I had been tossing around the idea of it, but after weighing the pros / cons, decided that ultimately, I don't want to have to train outside during the winter.  That was the whole point of me joining a gym with good treadmills, because I don't enjoy running in really cold temps and cold winds, and the treadmill is a great place for speedwork.  The race CES is targeting is on a weekend I have to work, and although I could try to switch it, don't really want to.  It's the RockNRoll New Orleans.  I don't feel like a) asking for / arranging a work switch and then paying back a coworker for another weekend in order to go b) spending the airfare / hotel, when there are other cities / friends I'd rather visit with my time and money c) doing the RockNRoll races aren't all that appealing now.  They're over-priced and focused too much on money-making and not enough on running as a real sport since they don't support elite runners anymore.  I may still do the Chicago one, but I don't intend to seek out races around the country with this company.  So, no to CES winter warriors.  But I may still do their spring one.  Same with CARA training; they're goal race is a race along the lake in January.  I'm here in town / not working that weekend but I think I'd rather be in bed with a hot chocolate....

Week: 8 miles (post race).  I think I'm going to stop counting miles / week because often I have to do my long runs on a Monday, particularly the weekends I work, and then the next long run within the same 7 days, so it gets skewed.  My co-workers who run understand.  If this coming week goes as planned, it should be a heavy mileage week.

Mon 9/16/13 outside, 60s, windy. 10.5 in 1:42:03, 9:43 avg.   Splits were: 9:41, 9:58, 9:56, 9:40, 9:43, 9:37, 9:39, 9:37, 9:32, 9:31, for last 0.5 10:17 (tunnel screws with GPS and a hill). Felt tired by the end.  Ran into a co-worker who's training for the marathon on the lake path.  Was also nauseated for some of the early miles, and not sure why. That seemed to eventually resolve itself. I'm a little worried because in the last two miles my right knee began to hurt in the patella region. I don't want to get hurt! This makes me think that instead of starting to run four days in a row and take the fifth day off, that I should stick to three on one off. 
 It feels like fall here, and I'm sad.  I like spring, love summer, sort of like fall, and hate winter.  I don't want the days to get shorter and darker and I don't want it to get cold.  I'm fine with today's weather, but it means the end of summer and that in / of itself is enough to make me sad.  I should live by the equator, except that I also learned that I don't like extreme heat / humidity.  Atlanta was horrible for me, weather-wise.  Seasons are fun, except winter in Chicago, and I haven't even seen the worst of it yet.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:50 pm

Oh girl, I just want to send you a virtual hug.  I have so done those parking lot runs - they suck, but sometimes they are so necessary.  I don't miss the weather in Atlanta either, but I do miss my friends, so I know where you are coming from.  Don't second guess running in the winter once in a while.  It can be a fun adventure especially if you can share the experience with a group which is probably why those training programs for winter races exist.  Not sure if you ran in the winter when you were back in Pittsburgh, but I can tell you that Cleveland is no picnic, but there certainly some days where I am glad to get off the mill and outside.  I will venture to say that you really pushed that race which is good and the quads, etc. feeling it were a good sign that you are making a lot of progress.  Taking a couple of extra days off will not hurt you especially with a crazy schedule like you have.  Just try not to fall completely off the wagon - yet, you still have a race to go.

One other comment, I'm not a fan of RnR either, and I wouldn't be running the upcoming half in Cleveland if we didn't need another half here in the city just to boost our economy.  I doubt CGI will stick with Cleveland as a city as I doubt they can make enough money here - sort of like their dropping St. Pete and Pittsburgh.  The New Orleans race; however, is still one of the decent races they have and one they have not destroyed.  Too bad that the weekend isn't good for you as it is a good and fast course in a fun city.  

Take a nap and go for a run,girl!
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:40 pm

I don't never plan to run in the winter here, to clarify.  I did it before...but I like the option of the treadmill when the weather is horrible.  And if I pay for a training group, I'll feel like I've lost that option.  So thinking I'll wait til spring for that.

Okay, my weak stomach can't handle Bifera, either, so far not much better than regular iron.  It's like pick your poison--nausea / stomach issues versus lower down issues / lower abd pain.  At more than $0.50 / tablet, I figured the bifera would be worth the money if I didn't get the GI side effects.  I'm on day 2 of it. Yesterday got a little nauseated after I took it, so today made SURE I took it with food.  About 2 hours into work this morning, I started feeling the telltale signs of an impending puke.  Got some zofran in time, fortunately, and a coworker called in more for me.  I felt better but I hope this goes away! Zofran's expensive.  I wish I could get IV iron but insurance would never pay for it, especially when I'm not technically deficient.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:45 pm

Mon 9/16/13 outside, 60s, windy. 10.5 in 1:42:03, 9:43 avg.   Splits were: 9:41, 9:58, 9:56, 9:40, 9:43, 9:37, 9:39, 9:37, 9:32, 9:31, for last 0.5 10:17 (tunnel / hill). Felt tired by the end. Ran into a co-worker who's training for the marathon on the lake path.  Was also nauseated for some of the early miles, and not sure why. That seemed to eventually resolve itself. I'm a little worried because in the last two miles my right knee began to hurt in the patella region. I don't want to get hurt! This makes me think that instead of starting to run four days in a row and take the fifth day off, that I should stick to three on one off. I really just don't feel great anymore on the runs.  Maybe the novelty of my improvement has worn off now and what's left is an achey body, the need for more sleep, and less interest?
 It feels like fall here, and I'm sad.  I like spring, love summer, sort of like fall, and hate winter.  I don't want the days to get shorter and darker and I don't want it to get cold.  I'm fine with today's weather, but it means the end of summer and that in / of itself is enough to make me sad.  I should live by the equator, except that I also learned that I don't like extreme heat / humidity.  Atlanta was horrible for me, weather-wise.  

Tues 9/17/13 treadmill, 4.5 miles, with a 2 mile tempo run, speeds ranging from 6.3 mph to 7.3 mph.  1.5 miles warmup where I eased from 9:31 pace to tempo pace of 8:13, held 8:13 for 2 miles, then eased back to 9:31 pace for 1 more mile.  The 8:13 is not an easy pace for me.  I'm aiming to do 2 miles at 8:13 pace about 1x /week, and then after I do that 3 times, either add a half mile or a full mile on, and repeat for 3 separate runs.  Not sure yet and thinking aloud as I write.  Before I had my hip surgery, I ran a 10K in 49:25, which is about 7:58 pace….I'm not sure I could do that now. If I could, it would be hard / unpleasant.  So with these tempo runs, that would be the goal to work up to. Today, I felt pretty good although by the time the 2 miles at 8:13 were finished, I was glad to slow down.  I probably could have managed another mile at that pace, so maybe next time I should just do 3 miles.  Maybe I'm too easy on myself for these--still learning the balance of not overdoing it, but also not being too self-indulgent when the pace is hard.
      I ran inside because it was dark by the time I had eaten and was ready, but truthfully, I like the treadmill for this type of run.  You just set it to the speed you want it at and go.  Outside, my pace varies a lot and it's harder for me to maintain these harder paces, especially alone, but on the treadmill, you have to actively choose to give in and lower the speed.
          This was an unplanned run today--I wanted to rest.  Because yesterday my right knee hurt on my long run, I was gonna take today off.  It seems wise to me to back off when a niggle shows up.  But stress got in the way of that---and it wasn't enough to just run tonight; I needed to run HARD.  It's from work. My body was gonna run to release the frustration whether I wanted to or not.  I didn't really feel my knee today, but with the faster pace, I felt it in the IT band, so need to roll that out.  

Wed 9/18/13 0 miles, planned. Although this was a day off from running, it was not restful. I volunteered with habitat for humanity and spent the morning and afternoon doing yard work. I was quite sore afterwards, but it was enjoyable. That being said, I think my rest days should be more restful physically. The rest days are more out of logistical / scheduling and are often very busy and stressful. 

Thurs 9/19/13. Outside windy but nice. 4.5 easy miles In 47:15, 10:30 avg. I'm getting tired of the tunnel screwing up my signal and pace, though. At 4.0 miles my average pace was 10:25. Whatever, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter, it's just an annoyance. This was a recovery run, and I needed it. When I started, I was still sore from Tuesday. Today's splits were 10:44, 10:24, 10:20, 10:09, and for the last half mile 11:19 which is definitely wrong. The problem with stopping my runs right before the tunnel is that I have half a mile to go before I'm home. It's faster to run then walk, and for me, even minutes of my day make a big difference.  Maybe it can be a cool-down.
    I am tired of being tired. I'm hoping it is just low iron but I think there is also something to the terrible sleep I'm getting.  Ever since I moved, I haven't slept well, and I moved July 1st.  I keep waking up. Not sure if it's from stress too, but part of it is temperature and noise issues--traffic outside, motorcycles, the wind blowing shut the windows and waking me up, stuff like that. I'm sure some decent sleep would be helpful.  

Fri 9/20/13 outside perfect conditions (70) 5.01 miles in 49:25, 9:52 avg. Splits were 9:46, 9:58, 9:56, 9:51, 9:51.  Today I started iron supplements; 2 x 65 mg. My multivitamin has iron, but my levels are still on the lower end of normal.  I'm not truly deficient but I figure if red meat helps me not to struggle as much, maybe iron will help me.  I'm going to try it for a month. I also ate a hamburger in preparation for tomorrow's long run. I just feel tired. I felt a little bit tired of running too Sad I suspect if I felt better the joy would return. 

Sat 9/21/13 outside, nice. 4.5 miles in 46:16, 10:16 avg. Splits were 10:08, 10:32, 10:15, 10:16, 10:07.  Felt like crap, with abd pain that forced this run to end early. I think it's the iron.  I took both 65 mg at the same time and maybe that's it.  Haven't gotten the bifera kind yet.  I think I bounce too much when I run, and my left lower quadrant hurt / cramped the whole time with the impact. This run was just miserable until the final step.

9/22/13  outside, perfect weather, 12.01 in 1:57:37, 9:48 average.  Splits were 10:15, 10:05, 10:03, 9:58, 9:53, 9:59, 9:46, 9:42, 9:34, 9:39, 9:24, 9:15.  This was the first long run in several weeks that went well, where I didn't feel awful by the end and had it in me for a faster finish (without it killing me).  Every recent long run has been a struggle by the end.  My first 2 miles were bad and I wondered if I'd be able to finish 12 at all--what a huge contrast from the last 2 miles, which were pure joy. Even though faster paces are harder, I swear that they feel better than the slower paces--like something clicks and I find my groove. I know it seems like it's too soon to have helped, but I wonder if the iron is kicking in.  If I can tell a difference from eating a big hamburger the day before, I guess it makes sense that 3 days of extra iron (like 3x more than usual) would also help.  Started the bifera this morning before the run so hopefully less GI issues with it than regular ferrous sulfate.

I ran 6 days this week! First time ever….so I'm really proud of myself.  41 miles this week, also a new high. 
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  nkrichards on Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:34 pm

Congrats on the new high mileage and 6 days of running.  No wonder you're tired!
Glad to hear the long run went well...much better to finish fast than to start to fast. Very Happy
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:52 am

Sorry about the continued fatigue. My insurance wouldn't cover Zofran even with my hyperemisis gravidarium not being helped by 2 other cheaper meds with my twins (oh yes another reason why twins are harder - way harder pregnancies). It stunk but I just had to deal with not having it.  I  know some women find a liquid iron supplement that is easier on stomachs but I don't know what that is. If you can get it through diet I would think that would be easier on yourself. I hear you on fall. It's our best weather time (in Nebraska, similar weather to Chicago) but it's depressing that winter is around the corner and the days are getting shorter.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:10 pm

Well, I hope that the Bifera will work itself out (pun intended) as it is one of the only ones that I know that usually doesn't cause GI issues.  However, it does warn that you might have some issues initially but they should clear up.  I hope so.  Keep up the good work, Kathy.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:26 pm

So you're chronically tired, but you still had the energy to run 6 days.  If you were in the clinic, what would you tell that person using proximate cause?

Gratz on the week, but...seriously?Suspect
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:19 am

@nkrichards wrote:Congrats on the new high mileage and 6 days of running.  No wonder you're tired!
Glad to hear the long run went well...much better to finish fast than to start to fast. Very Happy
Thanks Nancy! Yeah, agree, I'd rather start slow and finish faster than the opposite!!

@Julie wrote:Sorry about the continued fatigue. My insurance wouldn't cover Zofran even with my hyperemisis gravidarium not being helped by 2 other cheaper meds with my twins (oh yes another reason why twins are harder - way harder pregnancies). It stunk but I just had to deal with not having it.  I  know some women find a liquid iron supplement that is easier on stomachs but I don't know what that is. If you can get it through diet I would think that would be easier on yourself. I hear you on fall. It's our best weather time (in Nebraska, similar weather to Chicago) but it's depressing that winter is around the corner and the days are getting shorter.
Zofran is awesome.  I'm lucky that my insurance does cover it, fortunately.  If you ever switch insurances and can get it cheaper, it's great stuff to have around...It is generic now, too, so hopefully it'll get cheaper.  I get nauseated so easily that I have a stash at home, in my purse, and we call it in for each other all the time at work.  It has saved me from puking at work many times.
Hyperemesis gravidarum sounds awful.  I'm sorry you went through that!

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Well, I hope that the Bifera will work itself out (pun intended) as it is one of the only ones that I know that usually doesn't cause GI issues.  However, it does warn that you might have some issues initially but they should clear up.  I hope so.  Keep up the good work, Kathy.
Thanks, Michele! Yeah, other than intravenous iron, bifera is the only one I know of that's not as bad.  Day 3 was better than day 2, no nausea, so maybe it just takes some adjusting to.  I do think it is helping.  I feel on my runs every day now the way I used to feel after eating meatloaf or a hamburger.  Probably should eat more red meat anyway.
@ounce wrote:So you're chronically tired, but you still had the energy to run 6 days.  If you were in the clinic, what would you tell that person using proximate cause?

Gratz on the week, but...seriously?Suspect
I had to google this one.  According to Wikipedia: In the law, a proximate cause is an event sufficiently related to a legally recognizable injury to be held to be the cause of that injury.....followed by more legal talk I don't have knowledge / understanding in.  One perk of my job: I DON'T HAVE A CLINIC!!! Smile Smile Smile If you're not sick enough to be in the hospital itself, you won't see me Smile   Anyway, the fatigue was most manifest in running, but running was not the cause of it.  Poor sleep quality, maybe the iron issues, and this past week it was some girl stuff that gets me every time. Sorry but you asked....




After such a high mileage week (relative, obviously, to me) and 4 days in a row of running, I thought that I'd be more exhausted by the end of it, but by the weekend my energy level picked up.  Monday was a rest day and I was actually feeling good and wanted to run.  Made myself not do it, but the desire / energy were there.  Today work was tough and there was some tension that needed to be released.  I only had time for 3 miles but I made them 3 good ones, 9:17, 9:14, and 9:03.


I forget if I wrote about this before, but there is something so much better about running faster for me.  It comes with a price, of course.  I'm not naturally fast and it takes a toll on me.  Like, now, I'm a bit sore, and I can't push myself hard every day this way, but when I do, I feel so good.  9:17, 9:14, and 9:03 are not an easy, relaxed pace--it does take some effort and focus, but that pleasantly challenging exertion level is where I find the joy in running.  It seems like most of my runs are done at an easier level.  There's a sweet spot with pace, and the slower from it I go, the harder it is and more unpleasant it is. I hate the recovery runs for that reason, even though often my body wouldn't go any faster even if I tried. In some ways, it seems like my body needs to grow into tolerating that pace level without it being too much....although in retrospect I wonder if it's not so much a pace but a target heart rate zone that my body likes.  Whichever it is, I think it's all endorphins.
This week is a crazy busy work week expected to be right around 80 hours.  So I think my runs will be shorter and harder as a result.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:24 am

Behind on the blogs but on a night shift so hopefully can get caught up soon. 

Mon 9/23/13 0 miles, planned rest day.  I made myself take this day off, but I didn't really want to.  My body actually felt better than I expected.  Sometimes it seems like the more I run, the more I want to run.

Tue 9/24/13, outside, 3 miles, and evidently I forgot to write down total time / pace.  Only had time for 3 miles but due to stress, wanted to run hard.  Splits were 9:17, 9:14, and 9:03.  Physically, I felt wonderful.  The iron is no longer making me sick, either.  It seems to be helping with energy, too.

Wed 9/25/13 outside, 4 miles easy.  My legs were somewhat sore from yesterday's harder effort.

Thurs 9/26 outside 3.01 in 29:46, 9:53 avg. Splits were 9:55, 9:49, 9:59. I started after the tunnel that always screws my GPS up. Turned around at 1.25 miles to save time, so the last mile is off again. 

Fri 9/27/13 0 miles, planned rest day. This has been a very busy / long week for me. I think I need to give myself permission to only run 3-4 times per week on clinical weeks like this.

Sat 9/28/13 0 miles, unplanned rest day.   I was supposed to do a long run today and didn't. Then I decided that I would do 6 instead. And didn't. I feel achy, tired, like I needed another day. But the bigger reason: my heart just wasn't in it. I just didn't feel like it. Not so much laziness but boredom / lack of real interest. I'm not even sure I want to do these last few races (1 more half in Oct and maybe a 10 miler in Nov) before I take a break. Not sure yet. In any case, I had the time to run, great weather, but a body that is tired and a mind that's bored. 

Sun 9/29/13.  Outside, 4 easy miles. I tried to do this run earlier in the day and my body just didn't want to run, and I guess my mind didn't, either.  I took a nap and then felt more energized for this run.

Total miles in September 82, a new low.  My goal is 100.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:27 pm

Mon 9/30-Thurs 10/3/13  0 miles running.  Traveled to Utah.  We stayed at the Red Mountain Resort, which I would go back to.  Hiked in Zion National Park the first day--a very hilly, technically challenging hike over rocks / sand.  Day 2, the national parks are all closed due to the government shutdown, so we went to Snow Canyon state park, which was about 1/2 mile from the hotel.  We did a 5 mile hike, more flat today.  It was very hard, though, in loose sand, like the dry kind on the beach, the whole time.  Every footstep was unstable / we'd sink a few inches in.  Between that and the heat, we were quite tired and sore.  There was one point where we were lost and estimated by our map that we were another 2-3 miles away from where we started.  The paths are not as well-marked / designated as they  could be and it is very easy to get lost.  The scene from The Two Towers where Frodo and Sam realize they're going in circles came to mind.  I had my garmin on, but it didn't help us find the way.  With the heat and the unstable footing / deep sand, we were doing about 25 minute miles, and the idea of being out for another few hours was concerning to me.  We both had camelbaks, but it was very hot and we were thirsty.  At one point, to try to help save water, we chewed gum.  The story of Margaret Bradley kept running through my head.  (She was a sub-elite runner / marathoner who died of dehydration in the grand canyon after not bringing enough water and getting lost / leaving the path in search of water. The friend I was with on this trip was actually her classmate / knew her personally.)  I'm sure Margaret Bradley had no idea her excursion was going to cause her death....we were fortunate to be totally fine, but there were points we didn't know that and I couldn't get that story out of my head when we were sort of lost, tired, thirsty, and hot. Fortunately, we were near a road and a truck went by.  Turns out we were close to the road, but just didn't know it.  I was so happy to see the car and not have some horrible story to tell about getting truly lost.  On Wednesday, we hiked up Cinder Cone trail, which was actually a dormant volcano.  It was steep, with loose gravel. We each fell once but they were minor falls.  It was quite difficult because it was steep, but worth it at the end.  Thursday we hiked maybe a mile on flat dirt path, the easiest so far.  Then we spent the rest of the day getting  lunch, massages, facials, pedicures, and then dinner at Raku, a Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas, before flying back Thursday night.  It was great.  I have a new appreciation for hiking, especially in the deep sand.  It was harder than I thought.

Fri 10/4/13. Outside, nice conditions.  Sick with a cold. 12.02 in 1:56:38, 9:42 avg.  Splits were 10:03, 9:40, 9:43, 9:38, 9:40, 9:37, 9:49, 9:37, 9:45, 9:42. I took a bit of a risk by attempting a long run while sick. I've had a very sore throat and congestion and low-grade fevers. But I actually felt okay today below my neck so decided to risk it. When I turned around halfway, I did begin to feel it, and right around 9 miles just stopped for 30 seconds to recover. I felt a tiny bit lightheaded but it past when I stopped. I thought about getting a cab home, it decided to just take it easier and see if I could manage. Guess I started to feel better or I really would have stopped. 

Sat 10/5/13 outside, 75f and humid! Still sick with a mild cold. 4.04 in 40:42, 10:05 avg. Splits were 10:01, 10:04, 10:09, and 10:10. I felt exhausted. Last night I took a sleeping pill (sonata 5mg) for the first time ever.  I woke up without my alarm eight hours later and it was the best night of sleep I've had in several months.  But for several hours after I felt groggy. I'm not sure if it was the sonata directly or if I am still sick and only got five hours the night before. I don't think I could have run any faster today even if I tried.  I REALLY need to start stretching, daily.  Every time I get up, I feel stiff.

Sun 10/6/13 0 miles, planned rest day.  I did a night shift Saturday night.  Those always kill me and I sleep the next day.  I'm thinking after my last half marathon this fall, I may either take 10 days off completely, or just reduce mileage and not time myself.  Or maybe do reduced mileage after time off.  Also considering focusing solely on speed for awhile and less on endurance.  Not sure yet.  Or find some places in the suburbs to run to re-energize myself.   
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:06 pm

Kathy, I want to apologize for leaning on you too hard about your sleep a couple of weeks ago.

And my understanding of "Proximate Cause" relates to a doctor and his not following accepted medical practices that he was taught, e.g. lower cholesterol for heart health.

If a doctor tells a patient that it's okay not to worry about LDL-C, in favor of a <1:1 ratio of triglycerides/HDL and eating saturated fat. If the patient does that and dies or has a heart attack, then the family could sue the doctor for Proximate Cause because the doctor didn't follow accepted medical dogma, whether or not the dogma is correct.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:28 pm

@ounce wrote:Kathy, I want to apologize for leaning on you too hard about your sleep a couple of weeks ago.

And my understanding of "Proximate Cause" relates to a doctor and his not following accepted medical practices that he was taught, e.g. lower cholesterol for heart health.

If a doctor tells a patient that it's okay not to worry about LDL-C, in favor of a <1:1 ratio of triglycerides/HDL and eating saturated fat.  If the patient does that and dies or has a heart attack, then the family could sue the doctor for Proximate Cause because the doctor didn't follow accepted medical dogma, whether or not the dogma is correct.
No problem! 
I admit that in terms of the legal aspects of medicine, I need to learn more.  But now I know what proximate cause is Smile
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:30 pm

Mon 10/7/13, outside, in Lincoln Park, still sick--feeling worse today. 3 easy miles in 29:57, 9:58 avg.  It was such a beautiful day that I wanted to do more. But I'm just feeling pretty lousy overall. It was the right decision---feeling a little shaky now that I'm done. 

Tues 10/8/13 outside with Fleet Feet with 1 other girl.  6.01 in 57:21, 9:33 avg.  Splits were 9:32,9:34, 9:33, 9:33, 9:30, 9:35.  I almost didn't run because I felt so awful today. The cold I have moved into my sinuses now.  The kind of thing where your head is heavy and you just feel awful.  I worked in the morning and then in the afternoon came home and took a long nap.  I was trying to get myself to accept that this was just gonna have to be a rest day--my mind wanted to run and my body did not.  I took tylenol and decided I would do yoga.  But it was so nice out, and I just wanted to run, so gave myself permission to go and take it easy.  I felt a lot better after that run.

Wed 10/9/13 outside, still pretty sick. 4.01 in 37:42, 9:24 avg. splits were 9:41, 9:34, 9:14, and 9:10. I was surprised that I could run that fast based on how crappy I felt. And I felt pretty shaky again afterwards.  This was supposed to be a rest day because this cold is getting worse and not better.  I felt horrible.  But stress was really high and I couldn't not run.  

Thurs 10/10/13  0 miles, planned rest day.  I still feel like crap, but at least I got the stress from yesterday out so was able to take a rest day. 

Fri 10/11/13 0 miles, unplanned rest day.  I wanted to run, but I have fevers and feel weak / dizzy and stayed in bed instead.  I'm still coughing all the time and going through a million kleenex so decided to stay in instead of going to the pre-marathon dinner.  I watched the episodes of The Voice I'd missed before, on my computer, in bed.  Feel awful.

Sat 10/12/13, outside 2.0 miles in 20:17, 10:08 avg. I'm still sick.  I wanted to at least try to run--sometimes when I run when sick, I feel better.  Not today--I felt so awful I had to stop at one mile to walk.  Since I was right near the Lincoln Park zoo, I decided I'd walk through it to see the new rhino that was born a month ago. The baby is adorable and just follows the mom everywhere. I ran back home, felt like ass, and I went back to bed as soon as I got home.  I had planned to do my long run today in Tinley Park Forest but was afraid to do it sick.

Sun 10/13/13 0 miles, unplanned rest day.  I'm so sick, there's no way I can run today.  I'm getting worse rather than better as it's now in my sinuses, and it's been 11 days since it started. I keep spiking fevers, I'm exhausted, and feel weak / dizzy when I stand, and requiring about 2 naps per  day.  I managed to rally and get out to see people post-marathon today, but even that was tiring and I came home and crashed.  THis week was extremely unproductive because I mostly took naps and laid around.  Tomorrow, unless I feel better, I'll probably start a medrol dose pack since I'm getting worse and not better. 

 
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:19 am

Sorry to hear that you are getting worse, Kathy.  Rest up and recover!
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:12 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Sorry to hear that you are getting worse, Kathy.  Rest up and recover!
Thanks Michele! Your good karma helped.  Yesterday I turned a corner and I'm 90% better now.  

So, it sounds like Chicago 2014 will be a lottery.  I have to say, after thinking I'm done with marathons for some as-yet-unspecified period of time, I sort of caught the marathon bug again.  I ran Chicago in 2004 (but my chip fell off in mile 1, so there is no official record of it.  But I have my medal.)  I moved here in 2011 and watched it near my building the first year.  In 2012, I registered for Chicago and for NYC and managed to get into the NYC lottery, so figured I'd do them both.  And I just HATED the training.  Chicago 2012 ended up a DNF for me.  I was running with Julio's brother, actually. (Julio himself had a good day and was far ahead.) I was having a HORRIBLE day, was sick, and felt like crap and was miserable.  So, around mile 4.5, when the course went right by where I used to live, I gave Andy the tylenol I had and went home, and went right back to sleep.  NYC was cancelled obviously, and honestly, I was relieved that I didn't have to do it because I felt underprepared.  2013, I was wiser and remembered how all during 2012 I'd tell myself this was my last marathon and hated the training, and so I didn't sign up.  This year I ended up not even watching the race (although I heard it) because I was sick and needed to sleep in.  But being at the post-marathon festivities with the people on these boards was fun, and it really is infectious.

So, I'm thinking I may do it next year if I get in through the lottery.  In order to not hate the training, I probably will join a group.  It's just the long runs that I hated, and if I could do even some of them with others, it would really help.  And I also found some podcasts that help make the miles go faster--which I didn't do last time.  So, I think with those 2 things (entertainment and people) I could get through the training.  It was also motivating to see my co-workers on the lake on Mondays doing their long runs. We work weird schedules and lots of weekends.  As they all talked about their training, I was sort of wishing I was doing it, too.

The issue is....I'd want a sub-4.  If I can run a 1:55 half (which I can), it is MATHEMATICALLY possible for me to run a sub-4 marathon.  Now, physically, I'm not so sure and I'd have to really work for it.  I mean, I bet if I really really tried, I could go sub-4 at some point.  I'm just not sure if I want it badly enough to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to get it.

The only other issue I'd have to fight against is the temptation to just go home.  When I did Chicago in 2004, it was my first time in this city, and I didn't know HOW to logistically DNF.  Otherwise, I probably would have.  Where I live now, the course is within 2 blocks of my building at 4.5 and 10.5, so if the race isn't going well, I'd be tempted to bail again.  Or just to take a $20 and get a cab from wherever I'm at.

So, before I put myself in that lottery, I need to decide how much I'm really in it.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:25 am

Or pick another city where you can't DNF Wink!  You can do it Kathy and a year is a long time.  I think those CARA training groups are good and the Fleet Feet group runs will help too.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:45 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Or pick another city where you can't DNF Wink!  You can do it Kathy and a year is a long time.  I think those CARA training groups are good and the Fleet Feet group runs will help too.
Thanks Michele!
Another idea I'm toying with is doing Chicago for the American Liver Foundation group.  It could be a way to network / combine running with a career interest.  As opposed to doing it with Team World Vision, which is probably what I'd have done this year had I done the marathon.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:15 pm

Ugh, a really frustrating week!  Monday afternoon I started feeling a WHOLE lot better, like almost completely normal.  Decided to play it safe 1 more day.  That same morning (Monday), I cancelled plans for the afternoon due to feeling so lousy.  I felt better by the evening, but it seemed morally wrong to cancel on someone because you're sick, then go out and run that same day even if you feel better.  Ran Tues-Wed, took Thursday off, felt fine for 3.5 days, and Friday, woke up freaking sick AGAIN with acute sinusitis.  This time I'm more sure it's a bacterial superinfection after just a regular bad cold.  The window of doing great for a few days then getting re-sick is classic for that.  I've been febrile, feeling awful, and actually really lightheaded/dizzy when I stand up. I think from not drinking enough while having all these fevers.  Saturday night, I was still hoping I would turn a corner because my last half marathon of the year was Sunday.  I want that sub 1:55 that I have in me that I know I can do, and I wanted to end my 'season' on a high note, a PR / great race.  The weather Sunday was perfect, too.  I'm sure I'd have gotten that PR if I wasn't sick. But, it wasn't meant to be.  I nearly passed out Saturday evening and knew I was just going to be too sick to run it at all.  It was such a hard decision--like common sense that there is no way I can do it this ill, but I so wanted to run. 

I started steroids on Sunday and felt a little better, so managed to run Sunday, but have had fevers Sunday night again and all day Mon and today. Sigh.  I hate antibiotics but it's been 19 days and long enough to justify it, it's getting worse after I got better, and I've seen some horrible complications of it.  So I reluctantly started antibiotics today.  

My runs this week: 


Tues 10/15/13 outside with another girl from Fleet Feet, 5.0 in 47:14, 9:27 average. Splits were 9:01, 9:12, 9:17, 9:28, and 10:19.  Yesterday I turned a corner and today feel a whole lot better, 90% now.  Coming off a few rest days, my legs felt fresh / peppy, and I started out that first mile way too fast trying to stay with the running group. My legs felt fresh, but I'm still not 100% better yet and the rest of my body let me know it.  I knew 9:00 / mile pace was faster than I wanted to exert myself and backed off, and settled into pace with another girl. It was dark and harder to see; remind myself to get a light so I don't have to use my phone.  I think that contributed to the slower pace, too. We turned around at 2.5, and I learned that we had enjoyed a very nice tailwind for the first half that I hadn't noticed.  Running into the headwind on the way back was a lot harder.  By the time we finished the 5 miles, I was just trying to hold on.

Wed 10/16/13. Outside 3.0 miles in 28:52. Splits 9:43, 9:42, 9:26.  I didn't feel good from a stomach standpoint, and was in danger of a code brown, so sped up a bit at the end to get home. 
 
Sun 10/20/13 5.01 in 47:04, 9:23 avg. splits 9:40, 9:31, 9:28, 9:04, 9:14. Felt alright but have to admit to some bitterness.  My half marathon, the last of the season for me, was today, and I was way too sick to do it.  Like, it would be downright stupid to even try and I'd probably wind up in the ER.  I took a nap, and then started steroids in the afternoon to try to get over the hump. This run just goes to show how steroids really do lower your perceived exertion because this was an easy effort. A few hours after the steroids, I felt well enough to run, so I did, but it was with a lot of disappointment.  In my head, 10/20 was going to be my last race of 2013, and then was going to take some time off or shift my focus some to re-group mentally, and physically I guess.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:55 pm

Ugh so sorry you're still not feeling well. I'm especially sorry you had to miss you race :(I am not an antibiotic happy person either but when I have  a sinus infection for months I'll take them. I really hope you get completely long term well soon. And yes if you want a marathon further from home there are so many good ones!
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:57 pm

@Julie wrote:Ugh so sorry you're still not feeling well. I'm especially sorry you had to miss you race :(I am not an antibiotic happy person either but when I have  a sinus infection for months I'll take them. I really hope you get completely long term well soon. And yes if you want a marathon further from home there are so many good ones!
Hey Julie, thanks for stopping in.

There's not a lot of running to report for me.  A few scattered miles, but mostly I've been really sick with sinus symptoms and fevers.  I'll have a string of 3-4 days where I feel fine / fully back to normal, I'll get in 1-2 runs, and then bam, sick again.  I think it's a string of serial colds and not a bacterial sinus infection, but it's getting hard for even me to tell--my colds tend to hit my sinuses anyway.

I'm playing it very conservatively and not doing any running until I really feel totally fine. If it's questionable, I've been taking the day off just to be sure I'm not the one hindering my immune system by running.  

Since I moved, my sleep has just sucked, horribly, and I think that's why I'm getting sick so much.  I'm on my 3rd cold since 10/2.  Saw my doctor about it (the sleep) because it's getting more and more out of hand.  I just lay there bored and frustrated and after about 5 hours of laying there wide awake, I eventually do fall asleep but very lightly, and even though I dream, it feels like I'm still awake.  More like delirium.  I wake up exhausted and groggy.  I've started playing games--like try to not move / change positions / roll over for 1 full hour.  When I discussed it with my pcp, we decided I'd try sonata for a week to try to break the cycle, but that stuff is habit-forming and not a long-term solution.  There are 3 issues with the room itself (bright, really noisy, and hot--even in winter!, and I can only address those to a certain degree) but what used to be only physical has now evolved into physical + psychological as I worry about it now. I've tried eliminating caffeine and all naps, but it's hard to restrain yourself from a nap when you're sick.  Fortunately, I haven't had as much patient -centered work to do, and when I have, coffee has saved the day. 
This all started when I moved.  The idea of moving again next summer makes me want to throw up, so I'm hoping I can learn to sleep here, but quite frankly I'm really frustrated / discouraged and I don't want to have to take medicine just to sleep, but it's probably going to come to that.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:20 pm

So sorry Kathy that you are still struggling with your health.  I had sleeping issues when I first entered Menopause (maybe TMI for you guys), but nothing like what you are experiencing. I used melatonin and it helped. I hope you can get this under control, get better, and get back out there. in the meantime, please try to take the best care you can.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:22 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:So sorry Kathy that you are still struggling with your health.  I had sleeping issues when I first entered Menopause (maybe TMI for you guys), but nothing like what you are experiencing. I used melatonin and it helped. I hope you can get this under control, get better, and get back out there. in the meantime, please try to take the best care you can.
I actually have a bottle of melatonin a friend gave me.  I probably should just try it, but I've heard it's better for people who need to adjust their sleep cycles--like shift workers.  Although, at this point, I have pretty much nothing to lose by trying it….
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  nkrichards on Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:01 pm

Sorry to hear about the illness and the struggle to sleep.  Maybe the lack of sleep is affecting your immune system (?). 

I've been struggling to sleep well since I became an "old lady".  Not suggestions for you just sympathy.

Best wishes for a quick resolution...
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Re: Fitter and Faster

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