Folks, I need your counsel. It’s now been over a week since I dropped out a third of the way into Hellgate and I’m still not at 100%. Nowhere near it. I went to the VHTRC fatass 50k this weekend, turned around at 10 miles and walked most of the 4 miles back to the previous aid station where I dropped. Yet again, I had nothing in my tank. Similarly, last Monday, while running the 6.5 miles home from work I had to stop and walk a flat stretch about 5k into the run. Just sitting here at work today, I feel weak – even my barely existent triceps are tired for no reason. When my tank hits zero while running it’s very much like the feeling I had sporadically for a few months following my first 100 (Western States 2004) and to a lesser extent following one or two other 100s. I need to stress that my legs don’t feel tired or overtrained at the moment; rather, when things go wrong on a run (and they don’t go wrong on every run), it’s a body-wide exhaustion. The sort of exhaustion that had me literally laying down and curling up in the leaves on the side of the trail multiple times on Saturday.
Obviously something is wrong with me, I just don’t know what it is. Yes, I ran three 50 milers at a decent clip over the span of 15 days (1, 2, 3). That might have something to do with it. Ok, that might have a lot to do with it, but it’s also worth noting that I’ve been working many 12 +/- days of late and have been dealing with some personal stress of late. Having previously dealt with depression, I am careful to look in that direction when I’m tired or blasé, but I’m not depressed at the moment. Likewise, work stress have wiped me out before, but even though I’ve been really busy at work of late, I’ve been doing a great job of not stressing about it.
So, any thoughts as to what is wrong with me or what specifically has me feel so weak running wise. What should I do? Should I stop running entirely for a couple weeks? Would I still recover if I cut out long runs and continue avoiding hard runs, but keep running an easy 5 to 7 miles most days?