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Feeling lethargic


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Excuse the long post below, trying to get as much info in so others can hopefully help me :)


Backstory: Been eating Whole30 style for 2 1/2 years now, generally eat Whole30 day to day, maybe with some added sugar here or there or some occasional treats.  When I did my re-intros, the only thing that bothered me was gluten.  I did find that I might have an egg sensitivity (get post-nasal drip), but after egg-free, back on eggs, egg-free again, it didn't seem to improve too much so I still eat eggs because they are convenient for me right now.  I'm a full-time working mom with three kids.  My husband works nights, so I do have a lot on my plate with working (I'm a business owner) and managing kiddos :)  But, no more lately than before.


The problem: feeling more tired.


Here's the deal: I've been a runner for years - generally run 5x/week about 5-6 miles each time.  In the past couple of months, I started adding strength training to my regimen and then slowly changed over to kettlebells.  It took a little adjusting to feel the difference between feeling tired after a workout to feeling strong, but I liked it and I like feeling like I'm getting stronger.  I've been doing the kettlebells for almost two months now, but felt my cardiovascular system was suffering by not running.  So, two weeks ago, I started running again.  My workout routine basically consists of:


2x/week running

2 days rest

3 days/week kettlebells


My diet is as follows - breakfast/lunch are typically the same, dinner is variable:


B: 3-4 eggs, sauteed veggies, fat (usually 1/2 avocado or sunshine sauce over the veggies)

M2: hard boiled egg (or chicken thigh), clementine or apple, sometimes additional fat like mayo for the chicken thigh

L: huge salad with tons of veggies - I add mushrooms, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, green onions, etc.  plenty of protein (typically leftovers from the night before but always 2 palms worth), 1/2 avocado and olive oil as my dressing.  Typically have a side of sweet potatoes with lunch

D: some type of protein- we vary quite a bit; ground beef, lamb, chicken, ribs, salmon, shrimp, etc., starchy carb (white potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc) and veggies with mayo for dipping the veggies in.


Pre-WO: Usually a hard boiled egg b/c it's easy, but I have eating a chicken sausage or some other fatty protein as well

Post-WO: chicken thigh or leftover hamburger or some type of protein, a few bites of sweet potatoes or carrot sticks


Water: I drink plenty of water - 3-4 32 ounce water bottles throughout the day plus an occasional La Croix.  I do occasionally have a cup of coffee in the morning too.


The problem:  Since adding the running back into my workout I have been SO SO SO tired at night.  I get home from work and eat dinner right away, but then it seems like I crash and am slugging through bedtime routine with the kids.  After they go to bed, I prep my stuff for the next day and get into bed myself, but I am just exhausted.


I try to sleep well (generally in bed by 9 and sleep until 5:30-6ish), but I do have little kids so there are nights when I'm up with them for some reason or another.  I have no trouble sleeping though - falling asleep or getting back to sleep when I do wake up.  I also don't generally snack, but I am still nursing, so I do make sure to do that fourth meal for that and also because I eat breakfast early and don't eat lunch until 1.  But, with the fourth meal, the pre and post-WO meals and my three huge meals, I genuinely am not hungry in between meals or at night.


I know the easy answer would be to cut out the running as that seems to be the variable.  Trouble is, I don't want my cardiovascular health to suffer.  I know kettlebells are supposed to have a cardio element and I do believe that because my heart is pumping (I'm using a trainer as well so I know my technique is getting better and I am doing things as correctly as possible), but for whatever reason, running is working better for me to stay in cardio shape.  Plus, I ran for years, including while and post Whole30 and didn't have trouble, so I don't know why it's changing now?


So.... I guess I'm asking - any other ideas?  Anything I'm missing with eating or working out that could help improve this?

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From my perspective it doesn't seem there's anything wrong with your diet per se, unless you're not eating organic / grass-fed / free-range stuff.  I think that makes a huge difference.  I know that it's hard to do this with your kids, but have you tried just napping when you feel exhausted?  This will let you know if perhaps your body just needs some more rest / sleep to recover vs. your diet vs. mental exhaustion (in which it sounds like you may need some alone time or a vacay).  To me it just seems like your body is going through a lot - nursing, strength-training, cardio.  Your activities are demanding, and it may just need to adjust and take time to recover (perhaps requiring more time than years past before the physical trauma of birthing a child... which really takes a toll on the body).  Anyway, that's just my 2 cents!!  I also got back into running when in the past I would do so much more - swim + crossfit + run.  Not that I got extremely out of shape, but I had to get surgery to remove an ovarian cyst and was out of intense workouts for a bit.  Recently training for a marathon, I was surprised at how exhausted I was after a long run + spin class, and took me a couple naps after workouts to really be back to what I think is closer to normal energy levels now without pooping out.

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You *could* be pushing your body into adrenal fatigue by doing all that you are doing - the jogging could be something that is not right for you .... right now.  Especially since you are indeed nursing.  Respect your body and give it the rest it wants and deserves.


You could also look at our fellow moderator - ultrarunnergirl blog post - on how to feed runs properly while doing a whole 30.

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