For the last five to six weeks I’ve felt pretty awful. Whether or not this is ‘since Ironman‘ or ‘since moving to LA’ or ‘since starting the grad program’ is hard to tell. Those things all happened within three days of each other, so who knows. Obviously, I’m not stupid, so I figured at first that I just felt Ironman/moving-across-the-state awful. It would pass.
But, it hasn’t really passed. To a degree, yes, when I started sleeping some, I felt somewhat better. And, eventually, the post-race why-do-my-legs-now-weigh-200-pounds thing went away. The problem is, though, that it hasn’t gone all the way away. Most of the time I just drag myself around. I try to do some workouts, but they sort of mostly suck. Sometimes the workouts suck more than just in a generic way, like Sunday when I was so dehydrated and tired and struggling that I couldn’t make it through a 55 minute easy run without dry-heaving and walking. Somedays I just wake up and can’t even keep my eyes open. It hurts to walk. It’s exhausting to try and converse with people. I find myself standing in the middle of a room trying to decide what to do next.
This past Friday was one of those days, so was yesterday. Yesterday, it was like some mini-depression shit. I was dragging myself around. It was the worst I’ve felt on a random Wednesday for no reason in a long time. Of course, naturally, when I finally made myself go swim — because I have not been swimming and who knows how this Big Kahuna race is going to go — it was fine. It was slow and miserable, but it wasn’t the worst I’ve ever swum.
Anyone who’s ever felt a generic shitty knows that half the problem is the uncertainty. Are you just imagining this? Do you just need to snap out of it, pull it together, stop being lazy? Do you really feel that shitty? Lots of people feel shitty; maybe this will go away? Can you quantify what is wrong exactly? And why do you feel so shitty anyway? Maybe it’s something straight-forward: more sleep, eating better, active recovery? Maybe it’s not? Maybe there’s something wrong with your actual body: low iron, depleted stores that never bounced back, chronic allergies? Or some kind of massive serious illness?
These kinds of things can be hard to pin down for anyone, but for athletes it’s especially difficult I think. You might not even have noticed if you weren’t trying to do more with your body. Or, you might have noticed, but it wouldn’t make much of a difference in your daily life. But, when every tiny soreness and aching muscle prompts concern or cut workouts, then massive general fatigue is going to be noticed. And, it’s going to make a difference.
I’m giving it another few weeks to see if this shit gets less shitty. In the mean time, I’ll sleep and eat and rest and get my life in order and finally figure out my new schedule and unpack and finish all my homework and do moderate workouts to get moving and hope. I’ll definitely hope.