Thursday, June 13, 2013

keep going

I am just going to keep on going. Things are definitely not easy right now, but my problems could be a LOT worse, so I'm trying to keep perspective.

Yesterday I took a rest day. Today I went to the track intending to do a 3K fartlek. Yup, a little nothing workout. I warmed up for 1600m in 10 min flat, and my legs were so sore you'd have thought I did 10 miles. I know I sound whiny, but really that is how it felt. My legs were tired going up the stairs this morning and tired just casual walking to the track and in to work. I do NOT want to feel this way. I want to racewalk and feel good. This is NOT just in my head.

For some reason, my glutes and hamstrings feel it more than other muscles. Or something. I'm not sure why, but racewalking is much more tiring than doing the elliptical or riding my bike. Not that the elliptical is as easy as usual; after my 10 min walk this morning I did 35 min on the elliptical and that tired me too, but not as much as racewalking.

I did consider doing the 3K fartlek anyway. I am sure I COULD have done it, and it would have been slow, but yeah, I could have done it. However, I felt that I needed to save my strength so that I could at least get some exercise. It is really important to me to get enough cardio to keep weight gain at bay, and if that means racewalking a bit less it stinks, but I feel I have no other option. Yeah, I could eat less, but that is quite difficult too. There aren't a lot of good choices here. It's hard, and I had a good cry and felt sorry for myself for a bit this morning. Loren was a good listener and helped me through it, and I have enjoyed the day today at work despite it all. I'm going to try not to dwell on the negative, as that just makes it worse.

I'll keep blogging because it may help someone else, and if not, well, it might help me in the future or be therapeutic now to get out my thoughts and feelings.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I was going to do a 3K fartlek today, but when I got to the track and started warming up, I decided I might change my mind. My legs were really sore today, and I have no idea why. At 2K they were already painful. This is ridiculous! Frustrating! I'm trying very hard to be positive and stay upbeat despite it all, but it is challenging.

I ended up doing an "easy" 5K instead. I say "easy" in quotes because it wasn't easy. I worked hard just to keep a reasonable pace. To do 3:03, 3:04, and 3:03 for my last 1500m, my HR averaged 156, 160, and 161. That's pretty high for not going very fast. Obviously my performance is still quite impaired. If the problem is B12, it could take a month or two to feel better. If not, who knows? It depends on what it is.

Total: 5K in 30:52 for 6:10/km.

Plus 3 data here (Garmin site still down).


30 min is not enough cardio for the day, not if I want to continue to take off a couple more pounds, so I biked up to work. I felt really tired when I got to work :( but I was functional at least.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Liberty Park loop and cross-training

Yesterday (Sunday), I decided that I was going to racewalk no matter what. I had had enough days off that I could mentally deal with the idea that it was going to hurt. And you know what? It did hurt, but it wasn't awful, and I enjoyed being outside on a beautiful day. It was 60F (15C) pretty early on, as it got up in the low 90s (34C) later in the day. I was smart and took the kids to the pool in the afternoon, but that is its own blog post.

Anyway, I figured I could do the Liberty Park loop, which is about 6.25km. I felt pretty good starting off, but as usual, my legs got tired at 4km or so. I was able to push to the finish and not lose too much on the slight uphill back to the start, which is better than it has been. I'll take it.

I was pretty tired the rest of the day, but managed to play organ and the piano in the band at church, have brunch with Kelly (Leggs Benedict!), take the kids to the pool, and go to my parents' house for dinner. Thankfully, my parents spoiled us because I was quite tired and actually fell asleep on their couch before dinner.

Total time: 6.26km in 38:23 for 6:07/km. Can't see ave HR because Garmin site is down, but looks like about 150.

Plus3 upload here.


Today I cross-trained. I went to the gym and did 4.6 miles in 30 min on the elliptical (which is actually a record for me on that particular machine - why I'm able to do so well on the elliptical right now is beyond me) and then I biked up to work for a bit more cardio. I'm actually feeling decent today.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

gym triathlon

My legs were complaining this morning, and I just couldn't mentally get into much of anything. I decided that a mini-triathlon would be interesting and would motivate me. Hey, whatever it takes, right? Yeah, I know I NEED to racewalk to stay fit, so I'll do some tomorrow (really, I will!). But today this is what I did:

5K on the elliptical in 20:27 (ha! Wish I could RW that fast...), 20K on the stationary bike in 39:02, and then 750m in the pool in a very slow 17:05. In all fairness, 1) I haven't swum in forever, 2) I was outside in the very lovely 50m pool, where you get less push-offs from the wall, and 3) I did this last and took it VERY easy. It felt SO nice to jump in the pool after getting all sweaty from the "run" and "bike" segments.

Someday I'd like to do a real triathlon, but I don't have a good bike (just have a hybrid commuter bike which is really heavy) and I don't run. So, maybe it's not for me. Besides, every time I think about it I realize I'd have to take time off of racewalking to train for it, and I don't really want to do that. Well, at least not right now. Someday though. It's on my bucket list, FWIW.

Friday, June 07, 2013

rough week

It's been a rough week. On the other hand, it could be lots worse, so some perspective is needed. These are definitely "first world" problems!

In general, I didn't feel like racewalking. My glutes and hamstrings were sore and tired even when I didn't do much at all. In fact, on Thursday at work (a day I took a rest day), my legs were cramping up just from sitting a bit at work. As a result of the general fatigue and muscle aches, I didn't do much.

Tuesday I did the elliptical and then biked to and from work. Wednesday I managed 5K racewalking, and did pretty well (30:09), though the result seemed to be total exhaustion on Thursday. I just couldn't make myself get up and work out; I was so very fatigued, and just getting through the day at work was difficult. I'm not sure it was because of the 5K or because it has been a busy week at work, but I was definitely unusually tired.

This morning I woke feeling a bit better, and managed 40 min on the elliptical. After I was done my legs were certainly sore, which is completely unlike me. But I made it through the rest of the day OK, and was definitely not as tired as on Thursday.

I finally talked with my doctor today. I do not have diabetes (not a big suprise); my blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c were totally normal. My thyroid is fine. My B12 level was 384. Less than 200 definitely indicates a problem, whereas 200-400 is a possible indicator of a problem. My doctor suspects this may be the culprit, because since I have been taking B complex vitamins for about 6 months, it's possible it's come up a bit from the lowest it may have been. However, this is not a sure thing. His recommendation? Take extra B12 (1mg/day) for a few months and get re-assessed for neuropathy and see if it is improved and if I am feeling more energetic.

If I do improve, then we'll know it was B12. If not, then we will probably have to get additional tests to see what might be going on. I am hoping that is not necessary.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013


Yesterday I visited the doctor and he worked to troubleshoot my fatigue/muscle fatigue problems. In taking my history he felt a little test of sensation in my feet might be a good idea, just in case. He expected it to be normal, but it wasn't. I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet - I couldn't feel the microfilament (small soft rubber piece attached to a handle) like I should be able to. Later that night I had my friend Sarah, a neurologist, examine me as well. She tested my temperature sensitivity and sensitivity to vibration, and they are impaired in both my hands and my feet.

The most likely culprit is vitamin B12 deficiency. After that the differential diagnosis gets uglier: type 2 diabetes (unlikely given my weight, exercise, etc., but still possible), some kind of de-myelinating disorder, and the list goes on. But as my husband pointed out, "Common things are common", meaning that usually the most common thing is the problem. B12 deficiency is very common, which is probably why my doc thought of testing my peripheral nerves - B12 deficiency is known to cause both fatigue and peripheral neuropathy.

They drew blood and are checking B12 levels along with serum ferritin, thyroid, CBC, and probably some other stuff too. They'll have the results to me in a day or two. Meanwhile, I am a bit concerned but trying not to worry, as it's not like that will accomplish anything. At the same time, I am slightly relieved that something really is wrong, as it makes sense of a lot of things and explains why I have been feeling so "off".


This morning my glutes and hamstrings were sore, and I was mentally too tired to racewalk, so I opted for the elliptical for 45 min followed by riding my bike to work.

I think I'll take a nap after work today if I can squeeze it in... (I work 30 hr/wk so can leave mid-afternoon).

Monday, June 03, 2013


8-10K was on the menu for today.

Weather: lovely! 55F (13C) and sunny and clear.

I really didn't want to walk today. Lately it's just been the same - get to 5K, get tired, grit it out. After a while, you just don't want to walk anymore when that happens. But on the other hand, I'd rather walk tired than do the stationary bike.

I did get tired today, but at least I am faster to start than I was before the 15K race. I did the first 5K at a 6:03/km pace, and finished with 6:09/km (slight uphill at the end) total. My legs did get tired (glutes, hamstrings) at around 6km but I was able to push through it a bit today and finish all right. Hopefully it won't wipe me out for tomorrow. If I can just see some gradual improvement (which I can at the moment) then I will be encouraged. Slow progress is better than none.

Total: 8km, 49:10, 6:09/km, ave HR 150.

Garmin data here.

And I did not bike to work, because I have a doctor appt today to sort things out and need to drive there shortly.

Saturday, June 01, 2013


Yesterday I cross-trained; elliptical at the gym and then I biked to work.

Today Jim said to try 10K and see how it would go. That was what I was thinking to do anyway, so out I went. The weather was amazing again, which always makes things more pleasant. At 49F (10C) and sunny, it was lovely, and it warmed up as I went. Perfect racewalking weather.

The first 5K was great. Though my glutes and hamstrings were a bit sore to start, I felt pretty good. On a slight downhill, I did 30:14 and worked on my technique. started to hurt. My legs got more and more sore and more and more tired. I was able to keep the pace from getting disastrous, and it IS a slight uphill for the last part, but I slowed quite a bit. My last 5K was 32:52 for a total of 1:03:06 (6:19/km) with average HR of 135.

So, while I'm doing a bit better this week, that is still not really normal. 10K shouldn't leave my muscles feeling so tired. Well, I am getting it checked on Monday. If there's nothing obvious wrong we'll just have to deal with it; if there is something wrong, hopefully it can be easily corrected.