Week Nine… Not Such a Good Start

So after the highs of Sunday’s half marathon PB, I started to feel pretty ropey Sunday evening, and woke up Monday morning feeling really rather rotten. I dragged myself to work, and tried to get as much done on the ward as possible before giving up at lunch time and heading home. The rest of the afternoon was spent lying on the sofa snoozing, curled up in a blanket with Zeus. We had Simon’s cousins over for dinner which provided a nice distraction in the evening, but I collapsed into bed and was asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow.

On Tuesday morning, my alarm was set for 6am as usual to head to the pool for a swim session. It went off, I woke up and felt as though I had been hit by a bus… Headache, whole body ache and just an overwhelming sense of exhaustion. I knew there and then I wasn’t going to be moving far from my bed today! I turned the alarm off and went back to sleep, let work know I wasn’t going to be in and just slept a couple more hours. Sleeping on and off all day I started to feel minimally better, but couldn’t help but wonder why this incredible tiredness and feeling really run down had happened.  

It’s not the first time I’ve felt rough after a hard race, and Sunday was particularly tough given that I pushed harder than I’ve ever run before. This made me think about why this is, you often hear that endurance athletes have a tendency to catch more colds and flu than your ‘average Joe’, which is strange considering we are likely to be a whole lot healthier than the majority of the population. I generally have a pretty healthy diet, OK minus the fairly staggering amounts of sugar that I consume, and on Sunday had a hearty meal of roast beef and veggies following the run so ticked the protein and carb boxes there. Granted it was likely that I had something brewing before the race, then raced harder than I ever have, which has made me feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, which then reversed…

So moving forward, I’m going to take a closer look at my diet, considering I’m an endurance athlete and also have my fair share of autoimmune conditions, it would be sensible to reconsider where I might be going wrong when it comes to food.

After a bit of Googling, have come up with a list of foods I really need to work hard to incorporate to help build and strengthen my immune system, which is funny as I tend to have all of these in my diet already:

  1. Garlic
  2. Yoghurt
  3. Bone broth (ewwwww…)
  4. Spinach
  5. Broccoli
  6. Grapefruit
  7. Cinnamon
  8. Mushrooms
  9. Ginger
  10. Turmeric
  11. Blueberries
  12. Carrots
  13. Beetroot

So for the next few weeks I’m going to try and incorporate a few more of these into our meals… We’ll see!

Wednesday was a much better day and set the tone for the rest of the week. I hammered out a 3200m swim Wednesday morning followed by a day back at work then a 7.6 mile run which felt brilliant with an average pace of 7:38/mile!

Thursday morning I was back in the pool as normal this time for a swim test… New coach, new testing! This time it was a critical swim speed (CSS) test… 400m and 200m time trials basically. 400m in 5:50 and 200m in 2:51, so considering I had been ill it wasn’t too bad. After work it was turbo time again, a solid hour session… My legs just couldn’t get going, it was really frustrating to see an average of around 14mph 😦 

Friday morning I had a bit of a lie in before taking Zeus for a little walk then headed off to another day of the course I did a few weeks ago. In the evening I churned out a 1:30 turbo session… Dulllllll but made better by Simon doing it too πŸ™‚ the turbo is one thing this new coach is differing from Ellie on, her sessions were much more interesting however at the moment it’s just churning out the time specified… So boring!  

On Saturday I headed back to the second part of the course, and in the afternoon after a little snack I headed out for my long run. The plan said 18, I felt really good running despite being tired mentally my body felt ready to go. I ended up doing 20 miles at 7:36/mile average and was chuffed!   

I headed out for dinner at my friend’s house on Saturday night, her husband is an Ironman and went to Kona last year… It got me thinking, would that ever be possible for me? Hmm… Something to think about especially with the way things are going at the moment for my running and swimming!

On Sunday I was brought back down to earth again after the dreams of Kona… A good swim in the morning, the first swim with Simon in a while, we had a yummy smoked salmon and scrambled egg breakfast then headed out on the bikes.  

As with a lot of rides for me the first 10 miles or so were horrid! I just felt like I couldn’t get going… I got into it after about 15 miles and it felt pretty good, guess my legs were just tired from Saturday’s long run. We ended up doing just over 53 miles in 3:31, not as quick as I would have hoped for but hey. There’s time!

Sunday afternoon I cooked a roast for Simon and two of our friends and we had a lovely chilled one filled with food and catch ups πŸ™‚

So despite the tricky start to the week, I only ended up missing two sessions (strength and conditioning) which were ones I never do anyway!

Totals for the week:

Swim: 2:10

Bike: 5:57

Run: 3:33

Here’s to a good week next week! πŸ’ͺ🏻

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