MarathonMaiden's Blog

October 1, 2010

A Lone Warrior. A Suit of Armor. Our Only Hope

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:08

Any guesses as to where I got the title to today’s post? Nope not a search term.  Although it’d be cool if it had been!

Happy October everyone! As I say every month I can’t believe another one has gone by.  September was a good month for sure. I’m in the process of tallying the numbers and data for a monthly recap and it looks good so far! Hopefully that bodes well for October as well

In both running and life.  Because I can’t wait to make myself one of these guys:

Thank you google images

But onto the running.  Which was not as cool as a carved pumpkin this morning.  Neither in temperature (75* and 87% humidity) nor workout. I was going to do speed work today (originally mile repeats).   Yeah, about that.  It didn’t happen. My legs felt dead.  I tried to brush it off, it was 0600 and dark and hot and humid and I figured that my legs would feel better after a warm up and some pickup strides.  Which they sort of did.  My last few strides actually felt good and decent.

Then I tried to go into my first mile.   I always know to expect the first mile or repeat of anything to suck.  That’s just how I roll.  And I can usually override the “OMG I am going to die. Stop NOW” feeling.  But this morning was different. I felt glued to the ground and that no matter how hard I tried my legs were not going to move.  I’ve contemplated whether or not I just need some rest, sometime I obviously don’t do much of, but this felt different than just normal tiredness and fatigue from training hard.  I’ve felt this exact way before (wayyy back in the day) and it was because of  low iron.

The best way I can describe it is that my legs, specifically my quads, felt suffocated.  Which makes sense as iron is part of what comprises hemoglobin and helps bind oxygen to the red blood cells (RBC) and deliver the important gas to the muscles.

Thank you google images

So I’m going to pick up supplements soon.  My friend gave me one of her pills today at work with another 4 in case I don’t get to the store right away.  I can’t remember how fast they worked last time but I’m hoping they kick in soon.

Thank you google images

I still got the total miles in that I was planning on.  They just were run easy rather than interval style: 10@ 8:45. I ended up kind of waxing and waning on the pace.  Because I bailed on my speed work I re-routed my run because I didn’t want to be running easy on a “course” that I’ve reserved for speed.  So the run itself was nice because it was new and the whole concentrating on not getting lost helped keep my mind off of the fact that I bailed.  as I thought about the fact that I BAILED.

Sooooo I guess I’m going to throw the question to you guys: How do you deal with not completing a workout? This is the first time I’ve EVER bailed on one.  There have definitely been times where I’ve been unhappy with a workout because I didn’t nail it but I’ve never 100% nixed one before.  I don’t know what to think. Am I smart for doing this? I feel a little uneasy just because I’ve never out and out stopped a workout before like that.

I think I’m going to retry a speed workout tomorrow? I feel like I need redemption and a mental boost that I can do it. But if the iron doesn’t help then maybe attempting something hard again isn’t a good idea.  Both physically and mentally.  I don’t want to have to bail on another workout.

Though it won’t be mile repeats.  The sting of failing today might be a little raw.  Maybe 800 repeats. I think that after two days of iron (I took one last night too.  I wasn’t sure why at the time. I didn’t have a definite reason at the time but I felt like it was something I needed to do.) and after T.S. Nicole comes through tonight (because she’s STILL not here yet!) and decreases the humidity.  It’s a little funny: my clothes from yesterday are still not dry!

Since I can’t really tell how the tone is coming across in this post I just want to state that I’m not TOTALLY bugging out about the failed workout.  Yes it sucks and my Type-A perfectionist ways don’t like it at all but I have some exciting things planned for this weekend and life is still, overall, going really well.



  1. this is not failed. just postponed. there’s really no sense in doing speedwork if your legs are still tired. and they are tired for a reason. just be patient 🙂 i postpone all the time and i never consider it a failure.

    you know you are still fast. nothing has happend to change that (or am i missing a 5 month break filled with beer and junkfood?). 🙂 BREEEEEEEEEEEATHE and think “i will do speed work soon” instead of “i failed”. happy friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    Comment by Lacey — October 1, 2010 @ 14:24

  2. Don’t worry about it–if you tried to do speedwork today you would probably just be unhappy with your times, so best to leave it for a day when you can run really fast and get the most benefit from the workout.

    Comment by Jess — October 1, 2010 @ 14:44

  3. Don’t stress! I agree with Lacey – your legs are probably tired for a reason. You’ve been rocking it lately. Are you getting enough iron in your diet? Animal sources are best, and iron can be abosorbed more easily if taken in along with vitamin C! (things like tea and coffee do the opposite and help inhibit absorbtion). You probably already know this though 🙂 Happy Friday, right??

    Comment by mealsformiles — October 1, 2010 @ 14:56

  4. +1 to the above comments. Save the speed workout for when you can kick its a**. Have a good weekend!

    Comment by Chelsea — October 1, 2010 @ 15:01

  5. I agree with Lacey. Its hard to change your thoughts from feeling like you failed when you had planned to run a workout. But its important to listen to your body – which you did – and I am sure tomorrow’s run will be better. I have bailed on workouts before, even mid workout when I have just felt tired and not really doing the workout the best that I could. its better to not push through a workout and not have it reap the same benefits as if you had waited and done it another day!

    Comment by J — October 1, 2010 @ 15:17

  6. No stressing allowed! It sounds like you know your body and did what was best. The mental aspect of completing a working much more slowly then you wanted is much worse than knowing that you made the best decision to postpone.

    RE; iron. Do you knwo WHY it is low? I have known people to go on and off supplements and while they’re a good help, I think it is important to know what the underlying cause is. Which I’m sure that you do, because you are you afterall! 🙂

    Comment by tmart — October 1, 2010 @ 16:39

  7. If I feel particularly crappy on a day I’m supposed to do a workout, I’ll typically head down to the track and at least start the warm-up. If I don’t feel any better, I have no problem bailing. Getting more experience running will get you more in tune with your body and what it needs. Listening to your body and backing off from a workout is never a bad decision, quite the opposite. Save yourself for a better day instead of running yourself into the ground just because ‘it’s on the schedule’ — part of why my schedules are written in pencil.

    Comment by runningmanz — October 1, 2010 @ 17:06

  8. i agree, not a fail, you’ll get that workout, just not today. Happy October!

    Comment by Marcia — October 1, 2010 @ 17:39

  9. I am just a lurker here, but as a dietitian, I encourage you to get a blood test before going ahead with the iron – it’s risky to self-supplement with the heavy metal minerals if you’re not totally certain you need to. Sounds like something you’ve done before with success, but just in case … if you can get insurance to cover it, especially please do it. The doctor can also then tell you how much iron to take for the best effect. Good luck and I hope you feel better!

    Comment by RD — October 1, 2010 @ 17:41

  10. Sometimes you have to change your plans, don’t feel bad! Easier said than done, I know! I hate it when my legs feel like that sometimes it just feels hard no matter what and you just don’t know why!

    Comment by Laura — October 1, 2010 @ 17:48

  11. Hi, Ryan jsut showed me the email you sent, sorry. Yes, i will be at the Tufts 10k, i’m gonna be running it real easy bc my marathon will be less than a week away. where are you guys meeting up?

    I’ve bailed on a workout/training run a few times before. It doesn’t bother me at all. If i don’t have it that day, then i don’t have it that day. I know i can do it,so it doesn’t bother me at all. i usually don’t even think about it again. better to bail than push thru, that’s where the injuries occur!

    Comment by Bethany — October 1, 2010 @ 20:29

  12. Nicki Minaj is everywhere. And I kinda love it. She knows how to really make a remix!

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — October 1, 2010 @ 20:43

  13. it is so crazy how fast this month sped by…yikes! it is funny how us health care minded people think…hope the iron supplements help!

    i think it’s ok that you bailed on a workout…especially because you aren’t feeling 100%. because you don’t do this alot, it’s not really a flake issue, and it was probably better bc injuries are bred from fatigue. i always find that i do better after a day of rest or two.

    hope you have a great weekend!

    Comment by emily — October 2, 2010 @ 09:05

  14. Well it is probably too late to offer advice, but there is NO shame in taking a day off from a hard workout when you’re feeling run down. You’ve been getting up early and putting in mega miles. My prescription, if you had asked would be +sleep, -mileage, wait two days and try again. Oh. And eat well!

    Comment by sarah — October 2, 2010 @ 09:17

  15. Skip the workout for the week. Don’t try to make it up, just forget it. I know, easier said than done, but really nothing good will come from you revisiting it. Move on in your training to whatever workout would be next.

    And… one bad/sluggish run may or may not mean iron issues. I’d have a bloodtest before you started taking iron. Runners are human, and sometimes we just have bad days. 🙂 HUGS!

    Comment by Rebecca — October 2, 2010 @ 10:55

  16. If you aren’t feeling the speed, you’re totally allowed to save it for another day. Not sure if this will ease the ego bruise, but I’ve read about a lot of elites who do that all the time — if they’re feeling achy or otherwise cranky-legged, they just postpone the speedwork to a different. It’s not a failure, just being in tune with your body. Good luck with the iron stuff!

    Comment by sweatykid — October 2, 2010 @ 13:50

  17. […] of which I feel really good about. Don’t get me wrong: I did have my first aborted speed workout ever this month too — and on the FIRST DAY. Way to start off the […]

    Pingback by Previously On MM…..October 2010 « MarathonMaiden's Blog — November 3, 2010 @ 15:10

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