I might as well have donated my fitness!

Pride comes before fall – isn’t that what they say? Luckily, not an actual fall – as clumsy as I am I have so far managed to stay upright. No, it’s my confidence that has really been knocked back this weekend which is almost tougher to take than a physical injury.

I haven’t been going to the gym during the summer months so my running schedule has pretty much been:

Tuesday: Long run, anything from 16km to 21km. Usually 21km
Thursday: Intervals at the track, extending cool-down so total distance is 12km
Saturday: 21km run
Sunday: 16km hill run

I mean, the schedule is not set in stone and I have been trying to fit in extra runs where possible and extend each run distance-wise. Looking at my tracking, my weekly distance varies from 66km to 83km. And I have been enjoying it, more or less. I have had a few insights into what kind of running it is that I want to be doing and how I am and will be challenging myself and will post something about this in the near future (cue suspenseful music!).

Not sure if it is the slightly taxing running schedule or the fact that I donated blood on Thursday but my long run on Saturday was absolutely miserable. The most horrendous I have had in a looooong time. It was one of those where you start off hating every step and cursing every uphill, even if only the size of a speed bump. I had moments where my mind started going a bit foggy and I had to really sharpen up not to pass out. The smart thing to do of course would have been to just stop and cut it short but I am cursed with being a stupid, stubborn Finn – Perrrrkele! By the time I got home I could barely even talk and after I had a shower I more or less passed out and had a nap for a few hours – very unusual for me. And to continue on the theme of being stupid and stubborn I refused to cancel my Sunday run but compromised on making it a very short (11km) hill run (well, I call it a hill run when basically I run up to Fenton House in Hampstead so the first half of the run is uphill and the return is downhill). Again, it felt very very hard and I struggled with tired legs and getting enough oxygen in.

Now, I suspect it is mainly due to the blood donation. It really seems to have knocked my fitness side-ways but that should only be temporary while things regenerate. Having said that, from what I have read it isn’t quite as fast as I thought:

RED CELLS – 4-6 weeks
IRON LEVELS – 6-12 weeks

Here is more on the subject: http://www.blood.co.uk/about-blood/how-the-body-replaces-blood/

My last blood donation was in the beginning of June (or was it end of May?..) so maybe I have just overdone it and am zapping resources that are already scarce…

Whatever the reason for my lousy runs, I am about to be tested again tomorrow when I have an early long run planned…

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