Fighting Fatigue & Fogginess (Week 24 of 30)

After the Whistler Half Marathon, I experienced severe fatigue. For the next week I didn’t feel at all myself – my legs were heavy, my brain was foggy and despite getting enough sleep I remained very, very tired. It wasn’t until one week later, the next Saturday, that my strength had somewhat returned and I managed a 36km run.

It’s interesting to note I can clock 82km in a week while feeling awful.


Notes on how I felt that week on my @runfastersarah IG

The big question, however, was how did that happen to me and was there anything I could do to ensure it never happened again? Because, it was truly a miserable place to be.

And then I answered that question.

I’d spent 2 weeks prior to Whistler eating very ‘clean’. Truth be told the race outfit I wanted to wear was a bit tight… I had to do something. In those two weeks, I felt better and better, and also dropped the few pounds I needed in order to feel good in my cute little matchy-matchy outfit.

However as soon as the race was over, I didn’t pay quite so much attention to food. Not that I ate terribly – but I had real ice cream, some goat cheese, a piece of hubby’s banana bread… read – dairy and gluten. And after two days of this, I went right back to eating very clean.


The offenders.

As a rule, I generally avoid dairy and gluten. Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that these two foods probably aren’t best for me. Why? Well, I’m not one hundred percent sure, but I’m positive it has something to do with my extreme dieting history (albeit many years ago now) and the fact I lived extremely stressfully for many years, day in day out. Not good for ones health. Not good for ones digestive system. Problems inevitably develop.

Am I shocked that gluten and/or dairy can cause such an extreme reaction in my body? As a nutritionist I’ve got to say I’m not at all surprised, just a little disappointed. I’d like to think that I eat so well that I’ve reversed past damage done and healed my body. However, I forget the training I’m doing (high mileage – lots and lots and lots of running) is a form of stress to my body – this must be taken into account (plus, let’s be honest… I do not eat ‘perfect’!!). It may also explain why I can eat dairy and gluten with zero adverse reaction when I’m under little to no stress (physically and psychologically).

I’m not celiac or anything – I was actually tested for celiac years ago when my health was very poor and the test came back negative. Instead, my immune system reacts inappropriately to certain foods when it is under a certain amount of stress. This makes eating an anti-inflammatory diet extremely important (stress causes inflammation) – and I try my best to do this on a daily basis. But as of my post-Whistler half marathon experience and now moving forward you can be sure I be diligently avoiding all gluten and dairy also.

As you’ll hear in my next two posts… It’s totally working. During my Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon I felt unbelievably strong… And the week after that race is one I’m most proud of to date…


I may have run 36km, but look how many times I stopped to take pictures (on top of my 4 gel breaks + 2-3 additional water breaks, haha)!!!

  1. Dec 30 to Jan 5 – 50km (actual – 57km)
  2. Jan 6 to 12 – 60km (actual – 63km)
  3. Jan 13 to 19 – 60km (actual – 63km)
  4. Jan 20 to 26 – 75km (actual – 77km)
  5. Jan 27 to Feb 2 – 105km (actual – 108km)
  6. Feb 3 to 9 – 90km (actual – 90km)
  7. Feb 10 to 16 – 75km (actual – 75km)
  8. Feb 17 to 24 – 105km (actual – 100km)
  9. Feb 25 to Mar 2 – 135km (actual – 135km)
  10. Mar 3 to 9 – 120km (actual – 105km)
  11. Mar 10 to 16 – 135km (actual 110km)
  12. Mar 17 to 23 – 150km (actual 83km)
  13. Mar 24 to 30 – 120km, with specific pace runs (actual 100km – no pace runs)
  14. Mar 31 to Apr 6 – 120km, with specific pace runs (actual 100km, nailed my pace runs)
  15. Apr 7 to 13 – 105km, with specific pace runs (actual 75km, got sick in the middle, but nailed all my pace runs)
  16. Apr 14 to 20 – 135km, with specific pace runs (actual 100km, nailed my pace runs)
  17. Apr 21 to 27 – 70km, with specific pace run and The Vancouver Sun Run 10km race (actual 48km, good pace run, race = 45:43)
  18. Apr 28 to May 4 – 105km, with specific pace runs and The BMO Half (actual 74km, race = 1:40:40)
  19. May 5 to 11 – 150km, with specific pace runs (actual = 58km, with pace run)
  20. May 12 to 18 – 135km, with specific pace runs (actual = 89km, with pace run)
  21. May 19 to 25 – 120km, with specific pace runs (actual = 128, with pace run)
  22. May 26 to June 1 – 150km, with specific pace runs (actual = 94km, with pace run)
  23. June 2 to 8 – 135km, with Whistler Half (actual 64km, race = 1:45:11)
  24. June 9 to 15 – 105km, with specific pace runs (actual 82km, no pace runs)
  25. June 16 to 22 – 150km, with Seattle Half 
  26. June 23 to 29 – 120km, with specific pace runs
  27. June 30 to July 6 – 105km, with specific pace runs
  28. July 7 to 13 – 105km, with specific pace runs
  29. July 14 to 20 – 90km, with specific pace runs
  30. July 21 to 27 – final taper week

3 thoughts on “Fighting Fatigue & Fogginess (Week 24 of 30)

  1. Pingback: Catching Up (Weeks 18-23 of 30) | For the Love of Running

  2. That sucks, too bad to hear that sis! It was a tough half and I feel like I’m only recovering now?! I know it’s about 90% diet.. I fell off the deep end after that race 😉

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