16 Comments

  1. Matthew said:

    The best thing about running (and racing) is that it will always be there. The mountains will be there, the great comrades, the focused mindset you find on the trails…still there. With patience, we can walk away from these setbacks with renewed vigor and, if we are lucky, a bit of wisdom. Cheers to your health and many more miles.

    July 22, 2013
  2. Maureen said:

    Your next book might be one about A-Type personalities. I’m a lot like you + it’s most compulsive and annoying. Progress never seems to be satisfied.

    July 22, 2013
  3. Ray said:

    Weird. Just make sleep a priority. Get 8 hours and you’re fine.

    July 22, 2013
  4. Eric said:

    Must be tough on you. I wish you a steady recovery and that you will return better than ever!

    July 23, 2013
  5. said:

    I’ve had a similar experience this year after getting sick in January, I was wiped out and unable to really run again until late April. To get back on track, I did a lot of the same things you are doing – eliminated caffeine and alcohol, increased sleep (I stopped using an alarm for several weeks), and cut out any extra work stress that I could. From May to June I took a very conservative approach to training just to get the bare minimum preparation for Hardrock. I paced friends at their 100 milers instead of going out to run my own training races. And I ran long runs and hard hill workouts whenever I was recovered and ready to run them – not because they were on the schedule for a specific day of the week. And I took a lot more recovery days when I didn’t do anything more than walk with my 13 year old dog. Hardrock actually turned out much better than I expected – just a few hours slower than the 2011 puke fest …minus the puking this time and overall a much more enjoyable experience with good friends. Now I’m looking forward to taking as much time as I need to rebuild and hopefully get back into racing shape for 2014.
    I’m sure you’ll rebuild much faster than you expect. And along the way you might actually enjoy the experience running without pressure or expectations, meeting new people who normally couldn’t keep up with you, and contributing to other runner’s achievements.
    Good luck!
    Pete

    July 23, 2013
  6. said:

    I really enjoyed your article. I’ve unfortunately felt many of the same symptoms as of late so appreciate hearing your diagnosis and treatment. Funny how hard it is for us to rest, take it easy, sleep in, but good for you for trying to stick to it! I fear I may have to do the same sometime soon. Best of luck!

    July 23, 2013
  7. Mary Beth Driscoll said:

    Be very careful! I have an official diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency. Twenty years after – life has regained much of its normality, but I still have to be careful not to experience water intoxication or hypoglycemic incidents. Take your doctor seriously and don’t cause yourself to go through a life altering experience.

    July 25, 2013
  8. Damn Duncan I feel for ya man. I suffered with Adrenal Fatigue in 2011… my worst year of racing ever. A horrible Hardrock 100 and a horrible Grindstone 100. I couldn’t function without massive amounts of coffee, which left me only able to sleep after taking melatonin. I was pretty broken, totally burnt.

    I read and read and read, which is necessary and great — but it wasn’t until I employed the experts that I finally got my shit under control. It took months to come back, thankfully not a whole year. I would suggest a consult with Dallas and Melissa at Whole9Life (tell them I sent you)… and read Dr. Wilson’s book Adrenal Fatigue ~ http://ow.ly/nsRhz

    Good luck man…. let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to share my experience.

    July 30, 2013
  9. Thanks for the comments all. Matt – thank you for the advice. I appreciate it. Feeling like my capacity is absolutely coming back on line now – just day-to-day life though. Training can wait a bit longer. The break was needed.

    July 30, 2013
  10. Jeff Woody said:

    Tough call Duncan! I know this is hard on you. Perhaps things happen for a reason, and you will come back even stronger in the near future. It is very good of you to document your ordeal so that others can learn from your situation! Hang in there and thanks for your help in getting me ready for Leadville!

    July 31, 2013
  11. Heidi said:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with adrenal fatigue, Duncan. I can relate completely. It took me months of thinking I wasnt working hard enough, or even worse, lazy or uncommitted, before I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue.

    Now, like you, I have cut back stress (from endurance training and in my professional life), given myself permission to ‘sleep in’ and have cut back to only decaf coffee and tea… I am on the right track and feeling better, but am still just a shadow of the athlete and business owner that I (thought I) was.

    These things take longer to recover from than one would think!

    August 1, 2013
  12. ben said:

    I find your blog to be very inspiring. I enjoy your blog, because of the struggle and honesty you share with us. Thank you for that!

    When I read your blog it reminds me of the chapter ‘Right Effort’ in the book ‘Zen Mind, Beginners Mind’ by Shunryu Suzuki. I cut and pasted the first couple paragraphs of the chapter below.

    I’m wondering could more searching and seeking only drive you deeper down the hole of fatigue? Just run, Just walk, once you find the joy in just running again it will come from giving in, not from trying harder.

    RIGHT EFFORT “If your practice is good, you may become proud of it. What you do is good, but something more is added to it. Pride is extra. Right effort is to get rid of something extra.”
    The most important point in our practice is to have right or perfect effort. Right effort directed in the right direction is necessary. If your effort is headed in the wrong direction, especially if you are not aware of this, it is deluded effort. Our effort in our practice should be directed from achieve- ment to non-achievement.
    Usually when you do something, you want to achieve some- thing, you attach to some result. From achievement to non-achievement means to be rid of the unnecessary and bad results of effort. If you do something in the spirit of non-achievement, there is a good quality in it. So just to do something without any particular effort is enough. When you make some special effort to achieve something, some excessive quality, some extra element is involved in it. You should get rid of excessive things. If your practice is good, without being aware of it you will become proud of your practice. That pride is extra. What you do is good, but something more is added to it. So you should get rid of that something which is extra. This point is very, very important, but usually we are not subtle enough to realize it, and we go in the wrong direction.

    August 9, 2013
  13. Neil D. said:

    Great post. You pretty much described the way I have felt over the past 6 months after a heavy year of Ironman/Marathon training and racing, coupled with starting a new business. Nice to know I’m not alone and hopefully will come out the other end a smarter athlete and person. Good luck with your recovery! 🙂

    August 21, 2013

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