I collapsed. That is the best description of what happened during November. My last run was on October 30th. After that, I became exhausted. Mentally and physically. And then, the week before and after Thanksgiving was overwhelming, having to deal with the arrival of furniture from the estate of Tina’s mother out of Green Bay. I also had to drive to and from Green Bay in forty-eight hours. So, yeah, I collapsed. My motivation went into seclusion. I stopped doing my schoolwork. I made errors at work with billing for groups. I also forgot to generate some necessary forms for intakes. All the while, my body ached. My muscles felt like they had run three miles every day. My back hurt to the point of keeping me up all night.
This past Saturday was peak collapse. I had no physical energy, no mental energy. I was even starting to suffer emotionally. I ended up in bed early Saturday night.
I woke up Sunday morning to an entirely different experience. My exhaustion was lifted. My body no longer ached. And my motivation came out of hiding. I emailed my professors to arrange for make-up work so I can pass my classes this semester. I went for a run with pleasantly surprising stats. I went on another run this morning, but to lower stats than Sunday’s. And I managed to make it through work yesterday without any charting errors.
I’ve experienced physical and mental reductions before. It seems to be a recurring cycle. Unfortunately, this down cycle coincided with the above-normal life stressors mentioned earlier, possibly worsening the decrease. I can’t help but wonder if it’s due to long COVID. Anyway, it’s lifted for the time being, and I’ll not complain.
Now, to the stats:
I was struggling with sleep and intense, chronic pain for about two weeks. I thought it was my kidneys because it didn’t hurt at the back. However, after a visit to urgent care, the doctor informed me the pain was not located by the kidneys, which are higher on the back, and that the pain was probably radiating from the small of my back due to pinched nerves. So, I was prescribed muscle relaxers and took it easy for a week.
And then memory hit. Back in 2008, I injured my tailbone and lower back due to falling while roller skating. But the pain was initially in my stomach and not my back. That would show up weeks later. Anyway, my chiropractor told me the stomach pain, and later my back pain was not just due to pinched nerves, but to my eating high concentrations of sugar. I took his advice, stopped eating sugars, and started putting more effort into stretching. Within a month, my pain was gone, and I was sleeping better.
Well, I started putting raw honey into my smoothies and realized that was when the pain in my back started up again. So, I’ve also stopped using honey. It’s made a difference.
I went for a quick run today.
I hope to gradually improve to where I am running 3 miles in 40 minutes. But I’m not focusing on improving. I’m focusing on stretching, simple upper body work, and then running three times a week. I’ll let the improvement work itself out.
Oh, the simple upper body work is alternating between push-ups and planking. Three sets for both. I’m currently at 25 push-ups per set and 40 seconds for planking. Around 2016/2017, I managed 75 push-ups per set and 2 minutes per plank. I was also down to 209 pounds and running close to a 9:00-minute mile. I’m not seeing that anytime soon. And I don’t want to become discouraged, so I’m not looking to improve my stats. I’m just looking to put in the effort to work out.
I chose a route that started with an incline – a 60-foot climb. My overall pace remained consistent. Not bad for a second run in as many days.
Something has changed. In December 2019, I came down with something. I don’t know what it was, but it made the left half of my face numb, including the left half of my tongue. It started with a feeling of having water behind my eardrum. I went to urgent care, but the doctor didn’t see anything. Later, I talked to my primary doctor, but he couldn’t tell me what was happening. Around this time, I started feeling exhausted after running, to the point it would knock me out for three days. Then, in February of 2020, I was sick, sleeping for 31 hours straight. I didn’t even wake up to go to the bathroom. Until this last week, I have not been able to exercise regularly without feeling wiped out.
Now, I am feeling like my old self. I can push myself. My heart rate is not going through the roof. I was only managing 15-minute miles, and my heart rate was shooting up over 162 bpm. Today, I was managing a 13:30-minute mile average, and my heart rate only topped 161 for a few moments. So, yeah, something has changed.
Okay, that was a surprise. I managed the first mile in 12.39 minutes! It’s been one hell of a long time since I’ve managed a mile that fast.
I am not only content but happy that I managed a mile under 14 minutes. I cannot recall the last time I accomplished that feat.
I’ll let it speak for itself.
I have taken a bit of a break from exercising. However, I started back up—nothing grand; nothing extreme; just a nice, simple jog. I am content.
Yeah, I took some time off from running/biking. But, back at it today. Stats below.
I finally remembered that Tina’s van had been sitting in the parking lot at the repair shop where my Flex had its bearing repaired. I left it there when picking up the Flex – three weeks ago! So, I put on some running shorts and my ever-popular “Everything Hurts and I’m Dying” t-shirt and ran to get it. And yes, now I am really dying.