Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Rock and A Hard Place

I am in between a rock and a hard place. 

After starting this marathon season with injuries, I managed to over-train in the last quarter  of the training cycle. That resulted in me missing the 18 mile training run as well as the 20 mile training run. Not good. So basically the farthest I have ran in training is 16 miles. And not very well. The 16 miler really kicked my butt and that’s when my coaches told me to take a break.  They said I needed time to let my body re-coop and I had trained enough that missing the 20 would not jeopardize my chance of finishing the marathon. 

I totally agree. However, after taking a week off and doing a ten mile run rather than the full 20, I still had trouble keeping on top of the training schedule. Not only did I still feel sore when running. But the week after I took a week off, my narcolepsy decided to flare up. I mean like a huge super-nasty solar-sized flare that knocks out whole power grids on earth. Which makes sense as it totally knocked out my power. 

Yep. I have narcolepsy. I was diagnosed back in September. But I haven’t blogged about it until now for several reasons. First, marathon training takes up a lot of time.   Second, and primarily, I haven’t wrapped my head around it. Very little research has been done in sleep disorders. Especially when compared to the research on well-known/publicized disorders. Not even my sleep doctor or neurologist could tell me that much about it. 

No one’s 100% sure of the cause. However, the theory currently in the lead is that it’s an auto-immune deficiency that causes the body to kill off brain cells near the hypothalamus that regulate sleep. 

Incidentally, studies have shown that a high percentage of narcoleptics are over weight and don’t respond well to dieting. The theory on this is that the area that is damaged contain cells that regulates weight. So “HA HA!” It’s not my fault I’m fat!. Ok, the jury is still out on the fat theory. But still, it’s fun to say that.  

So since the diagnosis, a lot of things are making sense now. In fact, it’s apparent I’ve had narcolepsy since I was a kid. But there is still a TON of things I’m still trying to figure out. The main thing is how to best manage it.

But all that for another time. It’s Sunday evening, I have a ton to do and I’m really really tired. 

Oh. I do have to mention one thing before I end here; In my research into best practices for managing narcolepsy symptoms a specific diet was suggested. That diet?.......VEGETARIAN!

HA! So all you well-meaning(?) friends, family and strangers who have been worried about my vegetarianism can ......... oh, sorry. Fell asleep there. 

Good night! 

1 comment:

Ron said...

I don't see how you can renew your energy levels without sleeping well. It seems like running would help you sleep, but maybe the stress of training activates the sleep disorder. I hope you can figure out some kind of solution before the marathon, but you don't want to break down your health. That is the priority.