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.