I head to Tennessee this weekend with mixed feelings. On one hand, I love racewalking and love my racewalking friends, and I look forward to being part of all things racewalking at the National Masters 5K. On the other hand, I know I won't race as well as I'd like to. Of course, I also feel lucky that I get to race. It's confusing and perplexing, this mess of feelings.
This week in review...
Monday - 3K fartlek in 17:13, and my legs felt stronger than they have in a while, probably because last Thursday & Friday I only did 30 min elliptical each day, and I rested Saturday & Sunday. Way to taper! Hahaha...
Tuesday - rest day.
Wednesday - elliptical plus biking to work = 45 min cardio.
Today - 20 min racewalking. 3.2 km in 19:35 for 6:07/km w/ave HR 139. I felt pretty good while I was out walking, and felt smooth and in control. My muscles felt stronger than they have overall. I'm a bit sore now, but not too bad. 20 min shouldn't make me sore, though...sigh. At least I feel optimistic that I can do 5K and finish at the race on Saturday. Goals? To race as well as I can and be happy with that, whatever it is.
New thoughts on what might be wrong with me.
1) Protein deficiency. I eat a fairly carb-heavy diet, when I've tracked it in the past. I read that for a sedentary woman my size, 46g/day is the minimum. Some recommend as much as 125g/day for an active female athlete my size! I would guess I've been eating around 40g normally...that's not much. A small deficiency like that over time could lead to fatigue and muscle soreness and poor recovery. This seems likely, and hey, it won't hurt to eat a bit more protein and fewer carbs. It's something I know hasn't been quite right about my diet anyhow.
2) My friend Sarah (an M.D.) suggested possibly a food allergy/sensitivity causing inflammation. She suggested dairy and gluten as two possibilities, but didn't limit it to that. I think this is definitely possible, though I'd expect I would have more GI symptoms if this were the case. Still, it's not hard to try dairy free or gluten free for a few weeks to see if it helps.
I'm going to try 1) first and eat more protein for a few weeks and see if I feel better. I started on Tuesday and this week has been better than last for sure; however, I've done less exercise and also have ditched the cold that was dogging me, so it's not a perfect comparison. I have to give it a good try - several weeks - and then evaluate again.