Saturday, March 24, 2012

Recovery after running

I felt sluggish this week, and with my calves still tight after the race, I didn't feel much like running.

On Wednesday and Thursday, my early days when I tutor, I did what I often do: I fell asleep in the car on my way home. It's not a long drive, but I get so sleepy I feel like I just have to pull over. Wednesday, it happened twice. I took a brief cat nap at the gas station and then, after I parked in my driveway, fell asleep again.

I've been pretty good at going to bed early enough that I get almost eight hours of sleep, but maybe I need to go to bed even earlier. Also, when I see Melissa in two weeks, I'm going to ask if we can go over my meds for pills that cause sleepiness. I know that Neurontin, the drug that I take for neuropathy in my feet, causes sleepiness, and since it's not a "must have" pill, I am experimenting with decreasing the dose.

Anyway, I ran Thursday for just about 3 1/2 miles and felt OK. But in keeping with that hard-to-kick habit that many cancer survivors have, I had wondered if possibly my fatigue signaled a drop in my red blood count and was a sign of relapse.

I told that to Barry, who always listens patiently and then presents the rational answer.

"Maybe it's because you ran a race on Saturday," he said.

"But I always recovered more quickly than this," I replied.

Obvious answer: I'm older and that was before cancer and coma, and this is after.

Coincidently, I was just going through some saved newspapers from the week and came across this headline in Tuesday's health section of the New York Times: "Road to Race Recovery is Littered with Variables."

Columnist Gina Kolata, who was trying to figure out her recovery time after her first marathon, looked into different theories on race recovery time after her coach told her it would take four weeks to fully recover.

"One popular notion holds that however many miles you race, that's how many days it takes to recover. A 10-mile race requires a 10-day recovery," she writes.

She quotes an exercise physiologist who says that theory was never proven, but it works for me because it explains why I wasn't so perky this week.

Well, actually, my 6.2 days ended yesterday, unless you hold over the .2 into today.

But wait. None of us are machines, and if some theory gives us a certain number of days to feel a certain way, we have to remember that we might not fit this mold.


Anonymous said...

Way to Go! i could never run a block...let alone a race...You are a Champion Runder-Woman and Analyst -- figuring out the reason...



Ronni Gordon said...


I don't think I have. I'll ask when I go in two weeks.

Thanks for the thought.

Robin said...

I find the recoveries are all over the place, and I haven't gone through what you have. Some times it's quick, others not so much!

Girl With The Swirl said...

Hi there, found you through Being Cancer Network. I also blog about my journey. I applaud you on your run, however frustrating. I Loved running before AML happened and also noticed a decline in my mileage prior to diagnosis. Makes me glad to see there are others out there back to the daily grind. Take care! Love the blog. I'll keep following you,