Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why You Might Be Tired and 6 Steps To The Best Salad

Confession: My runs have been horrible this week.

I have run three times (so far). The first was a 6.5 miles with 4-one mile repeats It sucked balls because I had nothing to give and it was miserable. The second run was a 6 mile trail run. Every step felt rough. The only good part was the scenery.


Today’s run was 8 miles. I had stomach cramps almost the whole time and took 2 pits stops (my polite way of saying “craps”).

I feel exhausted this week. Like the kind of tired that you feel in every cell of your body. The kind of tired where you are certain you have some disease and you Web MD “fatigue” and learn that indeed you do have either diabetes, a thyroid condition, heart disease or the big one – Ebola . Or, maybe you have just been trying to pack too much into your life (I don’t think I told you this, but I now have SIX jobs and a new exchange student – who loves to make Rice Crispy Treats!).


Today I came home from the run suck-fest and made a super salad because this is what you are supposed to do to be healthy. I am not a recipe inventor or food photographer, but  I did create this today.


You may be wondering how you too can have such an amazing salad.

1. Take a chipped bowl that you have had for 15 years.
2. Layer bottom of bowl with leftover spinach salad.
3. Top with roasted vegetables from yesterday’s lunch and chicken orzo from last night’s dinner.
4. Throw on some feta cheese and avocado.
5. Top with ranch dressing.
6. Make sure a spinach leaf is trying to escape from the bowl.

I am still tired after the salad and think it is because I need some chocolate cake to balance out the healthy salad. I just happen to have some around. Costco rules.


One of my points of this post (and I just realized it) is that when we have an “off” week where we are more tired, irritable, bitchy than normal it doesn't necessarily mean we are physically tired. Mental fatigue can actually cause significant perceived physical fatigue.

Research shows that a while our hearts and muscles may not perform differently when we are psychologically fatigued, we feel as though we are more tired when we physical exert ourselves.

“Researchers found performance of a mentally fatiguing task prior to a difficult exercise test caused participants to reach exhaustion more quickly than when they did the same exercise when mentally rested.” {source}

Two other fascinating things to note about how mental fatigue can affect our running:

  • Mental fatigue causes us to want to quit more quickly
  • Mental fatigue affects dopamine, a brain chemical that plays a role in motivation and effort

So, if you are feeling especially and unusually tired during your runs, do an inventory of your mental state. Then just shut up and run anyway.

How have your runs felt this week?

What ingredients are in your favorite salad? I love spinach, blue cheese, edamame, avocado, sunflower seeds. To name a few.