running & me. a love/hate/love to hate/probably saved my life relationship

For some reason, getting motivated to work out on Wednesdays is really hard for me.  I start my workout week on Saturdays so this is the fifth day of going strong and it’s always hard to just get it in.  That being said, for the past two weeks, my Wednesday workouts have been insanely satisfying.  One thing that the BBG has really done for me is increase my endurance especially when it comes to running.  Please see today’s compiled portrait of my workout for evidence:


I stumbled upon Tone It Up’s Making Waves Cardio when I was perusing Instagram the other day and it looked like a nice little challenge and boy was I right.  My relationship with running has always been a bit on again off again.  I started out running when I was in college, usually about a mile in 10 minutes (which today would feel like torture!) or more and only one.  I upped my game a little bit as the years went on, but it wasn’t until my aunt Mari declared at Thanksgiving one year that she was training for a half marathon that I really started to take it seriously.  My dad and I, being the competitive duo that we are, decided we were going to best her and tackle that half marathon as well and the first week of December we started out.

Things went well for awhile until about the 8 mile run mark when I got hit with tendonitis in my foot and my Dad tore his meniscus.  We were sadly sidelined.  After about a month or two of keeping it easy, we were back at it.  This time, I kept the mileage low, but aimed to shave time off of my shorter distances.  By playing around with intervals this became a breeze and I as quickly running 8:20 miles like it was no thing.  Enter Thanksgiving Round Two.  Aunt Mari had successfully completed her first half marathon at this point and my father and I couldn’t have been more jealous that our bodies had failed us and we could not compete.  So, as one would suspect, we aimed for a second go around.

First week in December, we laced up our sneakers and got at it.  I has successfully run over 10 miles in one of my training runs when my leg said, “Haha, funny joke” and hit me with excruciating pain right behind my knee.  My initial thought was that, like my father, I had torn something.  Lucky for me, it was just an IT band injury.  So I signed off of running and signed up for physical therapy.  I was out of commission for running for about 4-5 months.  I really craved it, but it just wasn’t happening so I stuck with ellipticaling and straight up walking on the treadmill.  I did my PT exercises religiously and when it came time to start running again, I was in awe of how horrible I was at it.  Paces I had been at before just seemed impossible and I was wildly tired running for even five minutes.   I chocked it up to just being out of shape since I hadn’t been hitting the milelage like I once had for a really long time, so I started out slow.

I was so insanely bad at running that I just kind of stopped.  I would try to run for five minutes at the end of my workouts but it just seemed like those five minutes laster five eons and I hated it.  It wasn’t until November 1st, 2013 that all the puzzle pieces fell into place.  I was at the gym working off a brilliant hangover I had acquired from celebrating Halloween with my friends the night before and it was the very end of my workout when I went over to the mirror to watch myself lift weights and my vision started getting blurry.  Spots appeared in my eyes and I immediately felt unsteady.  I left my apartment gym immediately and called my mom as I raced upstairs to get my roommate to take me to the ER.  I was 100% convinced that if I didn’t get help then I was going to die and I had no idea why.

When I reached the ER, they began spitting questions at me; name, date of birth, where I lived, how old I was.  And I was having the hardest time answering. I couldn’t think about any of it.  Tears were rushing down my face, I couldn’t breathe and I was terrified.  They rushed me into the backroom and immediately started taking my vitals.  They hooked me up to an IV and ran a bunch of tests to see if I had had a stroke or if any severe damage had been done.  The final verdict was the my iron was wildly low.  My hemoglobin was a 6 which to put in the exact words of my doctor “Is something we only see in 80-year old, sedentary women”.  Technically, I should have gotten a blood transfusion right then and there, and to this day I will not understand why they didn’t.  I was sent to a series of 5 different doctors, had 3 different procedures done all to determine the cause to no avail.  It turns out it is hereditary and my body just does not absorb iron well so I have to take pills every other day just to make sure I’m on track.

Upon getting my iron levels back up, my running and endurance has increased 10 fold.  My fastest mile was a 6:49 recently and my endurance is through the roof.  This is just a friendly reminder that if you are feeling tired, sluggish, losing hair, constantly feeling cold etc. it could be a way of your body telling you somethings up.  Pay attention to the signs.  Your body won’t lie to you.


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