Nothin’ on top but a bucket and a mop

I’d like to start out by thanking everyone for their thoughtful and supportive comments on my Fine Lines post.  It really meant a lot to me to see how many people have struggled with similar issues, and to get such a strong show of love and support from people, most of whom I have never even met and only know through the blogosphere.  Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.  I hope we can all continue to bring issues like these to light, even if it is for a small community.

For those of you who have no idea what the title of this post refers to, it’s a Nirvana song called Plateau.  I chose the lyrics because A) I love using lyrics for post titles; B) I’ve always liked that song; and C) I feel like I’ve taken up residence on ye olde running plateau for some reason. Let’s recap, maybe we can pinpoint the moment it all started to go wrong!

Last week, I ran a total of 32 miles, and toward the middle of the week, I started to feel like I was running through gum.  Since this time, my pace has pretty much stalled out at a mid- to high-9:30, which is disappointing only because I would like to be seeing some sort of improvement.  I know 32 miles is kind of a lot at this point, so this week I thought I would take it a bit more gently and aim for mid-twenties…maybe part of the plateau has to do with over-training?  I’ve also added weight training, though, in the hope of giving my muscles some non-running activity and hopefully a bit more strength to tap into on longer runs.

Yesterday I found out that recent blood work revealed that I’ve got mild hypokalemia as well as imbalanced electrolytes.  After a bit of research, it looks like the low potassium isn’t really to blame for the stalled running (as well as the fatigue I’ve been feeling, although I haven’t slept well for half this week which I thing probably goes a long way in explaining that), although overall dehydration and the poor diet could both definitely be factors.  I keep hoping that the more I run, the more desire I will have to eat in a more balanced way.  So far, though, I’m still at the point where I feel like anything more than three small meals and possibly one snack per day is overly indulgent and calls for a purge.  I get the impression that until I get my eating disorder under control, my running is not going to be so hot.  One of the worst things about it, too, is that part of what keeps me from eating is the running since I somehow developed this ridiculous idea that the thinner I am, the faster I’ll be able to run.  Of course, it’s true that body weight and speed are related, but I don’t think that losing weight through restricting and purging are really going to improve your foot speed.  Call that a hunch, but I think it’s a good one…

I’m anxious to get off this plateau, and anxious to start running well again.  I want to start training for major events soon, and I want to be healthy when I do it.  Hopefully this can motivate me to continue working as hard in treatment as I’ve been doing on the pavement.



  1. Well, the notion that you will run faster if you are thinner is probably not supported by fact. But you have hit on one thing – that is, that you need to work on your ED for now and not worry about your running pace. That will come back. If you love to run and want to keep running, you need to tell yourself that at this time your pace is not as important as just getting out there and running. Concentrate on the distance and not the speed for now. It’s hard to do, I think – to resign yourself to a slower pace when you think and know that you should be running faster. Put your speed on the backburner for now and just work on healing! And yes, I know, this is probably not the advice you want to hear.

  2. Running more will not make you want to eat more (which I believe you know, logically, but might not be letting yourself completely acknowledge). The two are completely separate. Just keep that in mind and don’t let yourself start to believe otherwise. I can understand that there could be a psychological connection between the two for you – you think you’re *allowed* to eat more if you run more – but I don’t think it’s a healthy one so I’d advise against rationalizing it as a physical fact. 🙂

    And I’m with Momma Sue – don’t worry about what you’re capable of doing on the running front. The fact that you are running is enough, and maybe you can try to use it more as therapy than as a goal: you know, just run to enjoy it, and not pay attention to any numbers?

    As always I’m sure this is a lot easier to say than it is to put into practice, so I’ll understand if it just comes off as know-it-all, but y’know. Just a voice in the ether for ya. 🙂 Oh, and also, when I was still running right before I got pregnant last year, I found my pace slowing down when I started trying to lose about five pounds while I was training. The calorie deficiency definitely hurt my pace and stamina. Probably there was more to it than that, but the entire time I was trying to lose the five or so pounds I’d put on over the summer, I had major trouble maintaining my pace.

    Incidentally, I’ve been listening to guided meditations on YouTube while at work (I don’t know, I find them ridiculously soothing and I don’t have to pay attention to them at all) and I like this one: Her accent is *beautiful*, she reminds me of Cate Blanchett in “The Lord of the Rings”. (That link is to a playlist of like, 40-something different videos, sorry)

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