Keepin' It Real: I'm Tired and Hungry

I've been debating writing this post because I don't want to come across as negative. If you read my blog, you know I'm a positive person, and I don't like to focus on negative topics. There's too much negativity in the world without my contributing to it! But I've been honest so far about my training and want to continue to be honest. So the truth is...

I'm tired.
I read so many blog posts about people training for marathons who experience fatigue. I always assumed it was a result of those 15- to 20-milers every weekend and didn't think it would happen to me. But what I've been forgetting is that I'm following a marathon training plan modified with less mileage to suit a half marathon but with advanced speedwork. My mileage is higher than it's ever been, with the last two weeks between 35 and 38 miles. I've been training longer than ever before since it's a 16-week plan, I've been doing different types of speedwork every week, I've been running long runs on very hilly routes, and I make sure to incorporate some hills on pretty much all my runs. Toward the end of last week I started to feel fatigue. I got really tired at the end of my 12-mile long run, and my pace runs Sunday and this morning were really hard. And after I run and walk the dog in the morning, I feel like I don't have any energy left. It's a big effort just to walk the ten minutes to my office from where I park my car.

This is completely new to me, and Amanda and running friends on Daily Mile have assured me it's normal. I keep reminding myself that the whole point of the Hansons method is to develop cumulative fatigue so that you're always running on tired legs, which mimics the late-stage fatigue you experience in the race itself. While I'm not following the Hansons program, I do like the idea of that method, so I'm hoping the fatigue I'm feeling now will benefit me on race day. I have just a week and a half left with high mileage (38+), then I'll start tapering. I just need to dig in and hold on until then.

I'm hungry.
I'm hungry when I wake up, my stomach is rumbling during my morning runs, and I'm famished when I'm done with my runs. I feel like I'm eating more than ever, but I'm still hungry, but I don't really want to eat even more for fear of gaining more weight. I've mentioned the Racing Weight book I read but haven't had a chance to review yet. Part of the program is to increase your carbs as you increase your training volume. I haven't looked at the book in a while, but I checked it tonight for the recommendation on how many carbs I should be eating. I should have increased when I started running more than 7 hours but didn't. Per the book, I should be eating 471 grams of carbs a day! And that's the low end of the range. Today, I added up how many carbs I ate. I purposefully tried to eat more, knowing I'd be evaluating my carb intake. I ate 310 grams of carbs today.

My fatigue seemed to coincide with running more than 7 hours a week, so I do wonder if part of it is needing more fuel. I'm hungrier in the morning and not really hungry in the evening after dinner, so I think maybe I should add a more substantive mid-morning snack, like a bagel, oatmeal, or cereal. I'm going to try it and see if that helps, even though eating more is mentally hard because I worry about gaining weight. I need to remind myself that my focus should be on performance right now, and I can worry about losing the few pounds to get back to my goal weight after the race.

And, unrelated, I don't have as much time to blog.
With warm weather finally here (knock on wood!), my routine has changed. The time I usually spend after work blogging I now spend taking my dog on long walks or hanging out with my husband outside on our patio. I feel bad that I also don't have as much time to read and comment on all the blogs I love. So I think after my goal race next month, I will likely be posting less so that I don't have to read other blogs less.

So that's what's going on with me! I'm taking a day off work Friday and, while I originally planned to spend the day spring cleaning, I may just use it to rest.

I'm going to try to do the Friday Five this week, but if I don't, have a great weekend!

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