Feeling a bit drained and flat

There is nothing like a long weekend to really kick start out back into life. Though I know not everyone got to enjoy a day off yesterday!

It was a fairly quiet weekend I must say – but sometimes you just need a bit of ‘downtime’ to try and recharge your batteries and, in my case, get into gear with sorting and organising the house. I still don’t have a date for when I’m moving, which is annoying. Especially because it’s already September now and my weekends coming up are getting booked up with seeing university friends, races and a holiday at the end of September. Whoops.

Anyway, rolling back to Saturday I went to parkrun as normal. Because I spectacularly positive splitted last week I wanted to have a strong negative split this time. I find it really hard in a 5k to pace myself. It’s funny because in a marathon I’ve found I can stick to my set paces almost perfectly and have a really controlled race, but when it comes to any shorter races it all goes to pot.

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It was quite a chilly start to the day as we set up all the flags for the course, but at 8.30am the sun came out and it suddenly heated up. I wore my new skort (only Β£12 from Forever 21 – and very comfy and flattering, it has proper shorts underneath as well) and my Paris marathon T-shirt but by the time we got ready to start I decided to forgo the top and just run in my sports bra (I noticed a few others had done the same so I didn’t feel quite so naked). This was perfect.

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I started the first lap slightly more conservatively than I would usually but still found it tough going. I managed to hang on to one of the guys from the running club, Berni, who does a lot of our coaching and leading runs. He was great as his pace was so consistent and we chatted a bit which kept my mind off the effort. On the final lap he told me to push on and I suddenly felt I had more energy knowing I only had one more lap to go.

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Check those splits out! A nice negative royal flush. OK only three miles worth but I’ll take it! I came second female with 21:14. Happy days.

I also tried my very first blondie afterwards which honestly rocked my world. I think I’ve never gone for them as they’re white chocolate and I’m not a huge white chocolate fan but when a small child offers you a blondie, you take the blondie. And I’m so glad I did!

Later on I needed to pop to the shops quickly to top up on apples and came back with…well, more than apples.

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I spotted some tasty looking pork belly and lamb koftas which I just couldn’t say no to, and then spotted the Ben and Jerry’s BLONDIE brownie core. And some frozen berries which I always love having with Greek yogurt at work.

That evening I was round my parent’s house for dinner with family friends. We had smoked salmon to start and steak Diane and roasted sweet potato wedges for main. If you’ve never had steak Diane it is AMAZING. My dad doesn’t even follow a recipe anymore he’s made it so often. The sauce is a cream based sauce with brandy, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce with fried onions and mushrooms. It was delicious.

For pudding there was a choice of Carte D’or ice cream or my Ben and Jerry’s. I went for the B&Js and it was just as good as it sounded.

The next morning was my long run and I was meeting running club guys to join them on a 10 miler. I ran to the meeting point and back to make it up to 14 miles. I’m still trying to be gradual in my build-up for Bournemouth as I’ve only just run Cheddar Gorge. Next week I’m hoping to run 16-17 miles and then 18 the week after and then taper.

It was really humid and from the start I found the run quite draining. I don’t know if it was the heavy meal the night before, tired legs in general or the humidity but it just felt tough. It was nice running with the others though as chatting to them took my mind of my fatigue. I need to be careful to not overdo things as I know recently I’ve done so much. After Bournemouth (providing I get there – I never take these things as a given!!) I’m planning on taking a break from the longer distances. In fact I might take a couple of weeks entirely off of running to just chill and then focus on some 10 milers and a half marathon race instead.

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The route we took was fairly undulating as well in the middle section so this was tough going. Thankfully I’d taken water with me as it was really warm!

IMG_3588 The photo on the left is before I headed out – I look very fresh and unsweaty!

For the rest of the day I felt drained and tired. I’d made sure to have something before I went running (which I never normally do) to help keep my nutrition topped up for the day as I struggle with long run days to refuel. It was one of those Chia Pods which had an ‘interesting’ texture but tasted nice.

I ate lots through the day and think I refuelled like a pro. For dinner I had the pork belly and roasted sweet potato and it was delicious.

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High in calories, fat and protein it went down nicely! I know there’s some dispute about animal protein and fat being the best thing for you, but it definitely filled a hole and left me satisfied. I’ve been tracking my calories and macros using MyFitnessPal to keep me on track of my goal which has been really helpful. I won’t use it forever or get too fixated on it but I need something to give me an idea of what I’m eating as I don’t track calories or macros normally. It also links to my Garmin account so gives me a good idea of how much food I need to refuel after a run. I’ll do a post about it later on what I’ve been eating and how I’ve been tracking things if people are interested!

As I had Monday off (as it was a Bank holiday in the UK, apart from Scotland) I had a luxurious lie-in (I woke up at 7.30am naturally and lazed about until just before 8am, how indulgent) and then headed to the gym at the far more reasonable time of 9am (not my usual 5.30am!).

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I’m still following the New Rules of Lifting for Women and I’ve probably got about two-three weeks left (I tend to do three sessions, sometimes two a week) of Stage 1. I’m so pleased with the progress I’ve made. My deadlift and squat weight has gone up significantly and I feel really strong. I still supplement the listed workouts though with my own stuff though as I want to cover running-specific strength training as well (click the link for a great list of moves).

Then the rest of the day was spent doing the fairly depressing task of sorting through some stuff in the loft and house bits and pieces. Nothing like sifting through wedding cards and old photos to really end your long weekend on a high!

How was your weekend? Did you have the Monday off?

What do you eat before a long run or workout?

Do you track calories and/or macros?

20 thoughts on “Feeling a bit drained and flat

  1. I always wish I could find a running skirt that actually fits me – they always end up being too short and I’m already self-conscious enough about wearing a crop top! Really I’m drawn to them because I want something that covers more of the top of my legs and uber-long shorts just look weird.

    All of my runs have been in a drained and flat state, and I’m just hoping that improves with the weather cooling off (eventually – it’s still too damn warm today).

    I like your version of porridge (top recipe – I’ve been eating it most days) and a smoothie (because I’m in a permanent state of dehydration…) before I run. Sometimes I run without eating and that’s much better for my stomach, but I’m just food obsessed and find it hard to put off having my breakfast after I get up :/

    Tracking calories and macros can be a double-edged sword, but I understand why you’re doing it. I just try to keep it high carb and low fat, and eat enough to stop myself from bingeing but not so much that I feel stuffed all the time…although I can put away enough food to feed two or three people before getting to that point soooo….

    I always love your outfits! I’m always after more dark/black running clothing and I wish I could find more. I don’t know why companies always assume women want bright colours, particularly for shoes. Men have far nicer running shoes and I wish I had bigger feet and ankles so I could wear them.
    Jess recently posted…Review: Jump AttackMy Profile

    • Well I got mine from Forever 21 and they’re really nice. Good quality shorts underneath. Fabletics (more expensive) also do some good ones.
      I agree about the tracking. It can become ridiculous when you find yourself thinking “oh I had a coffee with a bit of milk in it”. It’s more a holistic view on what I eat and the general macros. At the moment I want more fat than I was having before (which shouldn’t be too hard considering how little fat I was eating) and keeping carbs the biggest section of the pie chart (how very technical) as that’s important fuel for running. Once I get to a point when I’m happy with my weight and hopefully things are getting back to normal I’ll probably check in once and while. I can’t be doing this forever!!
      I must say, the majority of my ‘normal’ outfits are pretty much just shades of black, grey and whites, or darker colours like purple. At the gym though I feel like I can branch out and wear crazy bright colours. I feel a bit more free to do it there.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Gel Glorify and Luminus – Pound The Road, Not Your FeetMy Profile

  2. Nice work on the royal flush! Brilliant pacing πŸ™‚
    I am so impressed with all your long runs too – honestly after Brighton I was shattered for about a week, and doing the 10K in Southampton two weeks later was quite enough for me- I was very relieved that I had not signed up for the half. A break after Bournemouth sounds good.
    Ah, it is so easy to fill up weekends- at the moment I only have a couple of spare weekends in the autumn it seems. There is a 10 mile race in Brighton in one of them, and I am trying to decide at the moment whether to sign up, as all I have in the autumn so far are 10k’s. I think I am away too much to get up to half distance, but a 10 miler is doable. But the work will be busy so I am not sure if it is sensible to be away all the time as I often use weekends to catch up. Decisions!
    I really have no idea what I prefer to eat before a long run. Well, nothing is my preference, but I know that beyond certain distances this isn’t sensible, and when going to a race I need something because I will be up for a while before I start running. I used to like porridge, but that started sloshing about a bit too much, so then I tried toast which was OK, but the energy doesn’t seem to last. Sometimes I have a clif bar and that seems OK- something smaller and a bit denser like that seems better now. It’s tough though, because when you are trying these things out you can end up mucking up a long run- it doesn’t seem to matter before a short run so much.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Do you have any nectarines?My Profile

    • Well the long runs have been tough. I feel like I definitely need a break soon though.
      Porridge seems to work perfectly for me. But I tend to have it quite stodgy so maybe why I don’t feel the ‘sloshing’. It is hard though. I’m trying to work out what to eat before my long runs, where the gap from eating and running is a lot shorter…
      I need to get some 10 milers in. I have yet to master the pacing for them!
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Gel Glorify and Luminus – Pound The Road, Not Your FeetMy Profile

  3. Hehe I’m glad there’s someone else who sees 7:30 as a lie in πŸ˜‰ And I second Jess – your outfits are giving me proper gym clothes envy! Interested to see how you get on with NROLFW – I actually read the book and like the sound of routine in general but never did it 100% – I always end up tweaking things to suit myself!

  4. Funny you ask about food before long runs – that’s something I’m figuring out at the moment before race day next week. I had rice before my run yesterday and it just made me sleepy, as grains so often do. I like to have carbs (with some fat and protein) so think I’ll be sticking to sweet potato πŸ™‚
    The macro counting must be interesting, I’d like to try it again but 1) I’m scared of getting obsessed again and 2) I’m too lazy to count it all…
    That Ben & Jerry’s looks amazing!! I saw it was on offer this week and was so tempted…
    Pip {Cherries & Chisme} recently posted…Rewind: AugustMy Profile

  5. Ha! 7.30 am is a massive lie in for me too, it always feels like such a treat. I have NROLFW and think I might have to give it a try again as I enjoyed it the first time round, but never really gave it a chance. I’m looking to tone up and up my game in the strength training department at the moment. The Ben & Jerry’s sounds amazing!!!
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted…I HEART August 2015My Profile

  6. I really liked NROLFW when I did it, I’m tempted to give it another round actually as that was years ago. I started the Kayla Itsines bikini body guide workouts, but they’ve ruined my knees, I just can’t do anything with jumping in for more than a few weeks, I had this problem with Insanity before as well, so I’ll think I’ll just stick to some more basic strength training as I would rather be running!
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted…Beating Treadmill Boredom with RunSocialMy Profile

    • It’s funny actually as I’ve found some of your posts you did about NROLFW so I’ve been having a little mosey – very helpful thanks!
      Yeah jumping is a bit of a dodgy one. I will do box jumping and lunge jumps occasionally but once a week if that.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Not panickingMy Profile

  7. Hey! So I’m wondering whether a. we go to the same gym and b. if I’ve seen you because I normally hit the gym 5:30ish weekdays and I have definitely seen someone of your description there lifting super weights – maybe it’s you! Obviously I don’t know for sure because I don’t stare weirdly at people at the gym but it may be you so I will look out to say hey πŸ˜€

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