Yet Another Reason to Love Running

I’ve been struggling with some minor health stuff lately, which I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts.  None of it is major, but it  is affecting my running, which is frustrating.  I know I’ve mentioned that I’ve had some hair loss and weight gain, but I’ve also been having more trouble than usual with my low blood pressure/low blood sugar issues, and my normal plan of cramming in more salt and eating frequent high-protein snacks isn’t cutting it anymore.

I’m doing everything short of snorting Morton’s off my glass coffee table.

I’ve also been really fatigued…like exhausted when I shouldn’t even be tired.  I’ve been crashing on runs…I didn’t make it more than 2.5 miles on Friday before I knew I needed to stop.  I can carry laundry up the stairs at 11:00 in the morning, and it makes me tired where I want to just lay down on my bed for a minute to pull myself together.  Total fatigue…total aggravation.  Now I know what the doctor is asking when he/she asks, “Are you tired?”  In the past, my answer has always been, “Yes, but who isn’t?”  Now I know…now I can say Bleep Yeah, I’m Tired!

When my blood pressure crashes, it’s hard to describe what it feels like.  It’s almost like my brain jerks awake and sends a signal to my body.  I feel this rush of cold?hot?–I can’t describe.  I have heart palpitations…almost like a kick of adrenaline, but not really.  I feel nauseous.  Sometimes I yawn.  I know that I am either about to faint or fall asleep standing up–and my body might throw in a little puke to boot.  I’m dizzy, but it’s more like lightheadedness than the actual room spinning.  Let’s not forget the total lack of energy that comes with all this…I feel like a lazy lethargic sloth.

It’s like fight or flight kicks in out of nowhere, and my heart wants to fight and the rest of my body says tell me all about it later, I’m going to take a nap right here on the floor.

I felt terrible on Saturday.  I knew I couldn’t run 3 miles, much less 10.  At one point, I walked up the stairs to our bedroom and had to sit down.  I was crashing, and I was dead.  I sat on our bed and remembered that we have a blood pressure cuff in the nightstand (HH had to monitor his once for a little bit.)  I registered a lovely 84/49…not so good.

It honestly made me feel a little better.  Instead of beating myself up for my lack of energy/laziness in not trying my run, I gave myself a pass and took the day off.  Forget the upcoming half marathon…I might be there or I might not.  The point is, I’m doing the best that I can.

I had my first visit with an endocrinologist last week.  She was very nice, and she ordered blood work to start.  Here’s where the joy of running comes in—do you know how hard it is for a woman to walk into a doctor’s office and say, “Um, yeah, I’m 40, and I’m gaining weight and I’m REALLY tired!”  Yes, there was more, but that’s what it felt like!  I felt like a dork saying that—and do you know what made me feel better?  Being able to also say that I am a runner…that I take care of myself.

Running embraces life.  It makes me a better person.  I show myself AND the world that I matter, and that my health matters.  I’m not lazy about my weight, or my health.  Right now I have a problem, and the blood work may or may not reflect that, but I know that I am doing the best I can to be healthy, and I was so glad to be able to tell the doctor that–to say that I’m tired, and this is not me.  I am not myself.  I’ve treated my body better than this.

I went for the blood work yesterday—glucose, thyroid, cortisol, etc.  We’ll see what happens.  Unfortunately, feeling like I want answers makes me feel like I’m asking for trouble.  Does that makes sense?  If the lab work all comes back okay, then it’s a relief, but yet that would be frustrating too because then I still don’t know what’s wrong.

Oh well!  If something is off with my levels, these issues that she’s looking at are not serious.  I’m thankful for my good health.  And if the labs don’t show anything, then I just move on, I guess–as long as I don’t pass out and hit my head on the kitchen counter! 🙂  

And just so you know?  I went out on Sunday because I was having a much better morning.  I didn’t take any fuel or G2, because I had no expectation of being able to run more than a few miles.  I was blessed with energy to spare, and I ran over 7 miles, all at splits under 9:10.  My last mile was an 8:43, and it was effortless.  I could have run further, faster–I could have run forever.  It was a glimpse of what I am capable of, and I enjoyed every second of it.  I only stopped because I hadn’t allotted more time and because I really wanted to finish on a high note.

Here’s to happy running and normal blood pressure!  And if anyone has similar issues with blood pressure or has tips/advice to share, I’d love to hear from you!