Monday, July 14, 2014

Training log - Week ending 7/13/2014

This week was 62 miles of running and 4000 yards of swimming  -- training log is here.  

This was a bit of a tough week.  I'd been feeling run down and fatigued for the past few days, but I stuggled on Tuesday's hill workout.  My legs felt very heavy, and I was wheezing.  Eventually, I got  kicked out* of the workout by my teammates- a first.

(and by kicked out, I mean that when, after struggling up a hill, I gasped something about perhaps taking a few seconds to catch my breath, my teammates emphatically supported me and convinced me to drop.  I have awesome teammates.)

There's many possible explanations for this, including the simplest (but oh so hard for us over-analytical types to accept) -  it might just have been a bad workout.  They happen. 

But the same time there was a potential suspect.  About 10 days ago I had doubled my dose of the drug I take for my Raynauds, Nifedipine.  It's a calcium channel blocker that's very well tolerated by athletes, including a lot of runners, and so I hadn't been anticipating any issues with the increased dose (I've been doing really well on the lower dose - we just increased because I was still having a few Raynauds attacks).

However, there did seem to be a correlation between my increased dose and my dead legs and strained breathing - it was really within the past week or so that I had just been dragging a bit more each day - which matched the time I'd been on the increased dose.  So, I contacted my doctor, and we dropped the dose back down to see what that did.  In the days since, I've been feeling a bit better each day.   Placebo effect?  Who knows.  In the end, doesn't matter that much - I just care about the end result.

I also got my ferritin checked again this week - I check it pretty regularly, both when I'm running well and when I'm not.  And yup, it was down again.  So, back on the iron supplements.  When I was googling Nifedipine, I noted that it's now being researched as a possible treatment for iron overload in humans - it has been shown to cause iron loss in small animals.  So maybe a connection between the increased dose and the drop in my iron.  Or not. Who knows.

But good news is that I've been feeling better.  I did crash and burn during Sunday's long run, but  that had nothing to do with anything other than the fact that it was pretty hot out there.  And both the bad workouts and the good ones are pebbles in the bucket of one's fitness.

And even on the humidest or lead-leg-iest of days, it's damn good to be out there.


Monday:   In the morning, 1500 yards of easy swimming and a yoga class, also did some quick injury prevention work and upper body strengthwork.  Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday:  In the morning, 9.5 miles, including a workout of 5 hill repeats - nonstop circuit of up a hill for about 2 minutes, a 90 second easy jog, a stride, and then some more easy jogging to the bottom (whole circuit takes ~5 minutes).  Followed with some injury prevention/leg strengthening work.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  In the morning, 5.5 miles very easy (8:44 pace), followed by  a yoga class.  Later another 6.5 miles very easy (8:30).  Massage at night.

Thursday:   In the morning, 6.5 miles easy (8:39), followed by yoga and then a bit of upper body and injury prevention work.  Foam rolling at night.

Friday:  10.5 miles, including a cruise interval workout of 1600, 3200, 1600 (6:27, 12:52 (6:27/6:25), and then 6:12).  Followed with injury prevention work and 1500 yards easy swimming.   Foam rolling in the afternoon.

Saturday:   10 miles aerobic (8:14); later did some upper body and injury prevention work, plus swam 1000 very easy yards to cool off.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday:   14 miles.  Can't really call it progression - though I started in the 9:00s and ended at about 7:30 pace, I had to take several breaks to catch my breath.  File this one under got it done.  Followed with a yoga class.  Foam rolling in the evening


  1. From what I know about nifedipine's effect on iron, it shouldn't cause anemia, since it mobilizes stored (excess) iron - but I will do some research and get back to you if I find anything. Exercise intolerance though? That's definitely the nifedipine!

    1. Huge thanks - I really appreciate your expertise. And....did another hill workout this morning (one week after cutting back on the Nifedipine), and I felt so.much.better even though it was significantly hotter and more humid. So Nifedipine definitely had something to do here.

      Isn't serum ferritin stored iron?