>General Running>Recovery from first 50K race stalled
Hi all, long time reader and first time poster. I'm reaching out to see if anyone might share their thoughts or experiences with recovery time from their first long races. I ran my first 50 K trail race back on March 5, and now more than 6 weeks out I can still barely get through 3-4 easy miles and am starting to get frustrated. The race was difficult and I was not as prepared as I could have been, my mileage during raining kept yo-yo-ing until I learned to sloooow down for most of my runs, but I averaged 35-45 miles per week for about 4 months prior. But still, I don't think it was significantly harder than any difficult marathon I've done in the past, and based on experience with those, I expected to feel at least close to normal, even if not 100% recovered, by one month afterward.
After the race, I took one week completely off, then did an easy 2-miler, then took the next 10 days off while I was on a trip to Puerto Rico. I was active the whole trip, with a lot of hiking/walking plus snorkeling, but it all felt manageable at the time. I resumed running when I returned, 2-3 slow miles roughly every other day, and have essentially not been able to progress beyond that and have felt more or less the same throughout that time. I also get sore easily - my glutes got sore one day from gardening and stayed sore for 5 days! And they're now sore again from a bit of yoga I did a few days ago.
Suspecting iron deficiency anemia as a possible culprit of such slow recovery, I got a series of blood tests and consulted with a quick care physician today. The only results of note were slightly high hematocrit (48) and hemoglobin (15.0), though my doctor did not seem to think that was cause for concern in an endurance athlete. Ferritin levels are marginal (20), I don't know if that could have such an effect though without any associated anemia. Everything else was smack dab in the middle of normal, and my doctor didn't have much to offer, other than waiting a few more weeks to see, or to check with a cardiologist.
Maybe I'm just getting impatient and my body is just slow to recover from such an ordeal. I don't know if I should keep running this low mileage or stop entirely for a few more weeks, and I don't know if low ferritin could be contributing to delayed recovery. I do think I've always been a slow/low responder to training. FWIW I am female, 40 years old, have been running since age 12 and running marathons off and on since age 22, though this was my first race greater than 13 miles in about 8 years. I've been getting plenty of sleep most nights this whole time. Does anybody here have thoughts, suggestions, or similar experiences? Thanks in advance.