Iron deficient (not anemic)

For the longest time it felt like I was always tired.  Just pooped.  Not much energy.  I couldn’t even wash all the dishes because standing for that long ended with me resting on the couch.

This lack of energy was so persistent that I had to will myself to get up and keep going in order to live a normal life.  Walking for an hour just exhausted me.  And let alone, running.  With running, I slogged through it, moving as if through quicksand.  And all this time I thought the problem was me.

Turns out I’m iron deficient.  My ferritin level is 14.  And it should be over 45 (for me at least).

What’s crazy is that I’ve been trying to figure out why I seemed to have little to no energy for years now.  After I saw my new doctor (who came along with new health insurance plan), she ran a serum ferritin blood test.  This particular test is not usually part of the CBC (complete blood count) they usually run.  Serum ferritin measures the level of your iron stores, which I interpreted as your endurance.  It explains why I couldn’t make it through the day without taking a nap or bullying myself into “getting out there” and running.

I want other women who are feeling constantly tired to ask their doctors for this serum ferritin test.  The usually requested tests won’t measure your serum ferritin, only hemoglobin and hematocrit.  My understanding is that hemoglobin and hematocrit measure the amount of iron that exists in your blood.  And even those levels can be normal while your iron stores get depleted.  Menstruation, blood donation and being a runner can take a toll on your iron stores.  And even though I eat meat and love a good steak, my ferritin level was low.

The doctor put me on iron supplements, 65 mg twice a day.  It’s only been two weeks, but I’m hoping to see improvement at three weeks.

Good luck out there!  And remember to persist about that awful fatigue!


Day 2 of running plan

Did not quite go running today. With the cold and fact that I didnt get any sleep last night. Managed to wander/walk around for three miles this morning. And I met my step goal, so yay me. 

Am I really that bad for not going running today?  I did some PT exercises (not a whole lot), and I still have this cold. How’m I supposed to breathe when my sinuses are this clogged?

I’ll get out there. Meanwhile I’ll put the fritos back in the cupboard. 

Happy New Year…?

Like one comedian said, it may be too early to call it.

As far as goals, I managed to sign up for a marathon.  Seeing through to it, is a whole other story.  This current cold doesn’t seem to be doing doing much for my mental state; so signing up was a bold, brave move.

I’ve done several (3) half-marathons, and I’ve recently discovered trail running, which I’m super excited about!  In the past I’ve jumped the gun and gotten too excited and done more miles than I should and end up injured.  Usually overuse injuries.  I’m going to follow a plan, most likely Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 plan.  I run just about once a week, but the rest of the week I’ve been sedentary, sick or just stuck (with other tasks/duties/errands/etc).

So I’m going to gingerly put my 2017 goal down below, and think long and hard before I start running 20 miles/week right away.  There is so much planning to do for this race, I’m ecstatic for where the journey will take me.

I’m going to run a marathon in October.
I’m going to run a marathon in October.
I’m going to run a marathon in October.

President-Elect Trump

Just writing the title is painful.  There are many emotions I and others are experiencing this week, and may well for the next four years.

I was stunned, stupefied, and flummoxed.  Whatever that feeling is when you think things will turn out awesome, great (“our first woman president”) and then the outcome is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

After I realized Trump had won the election, I couldn’t wrap my head around it for a few hours, and then when my body completely absorbed and accepted the idea, I crapped my pants.  Literally.  I was hiking and had one too many cups of coffee apparently.  And on my way down, I didn’t make it to the bathroom fast enough.  I will carry that memory with me for the next four years.

I am still stunned and petrified about what this means for our country.  Hearing bits and pieces of who is leading the transition team, and who’s going to be in the cabinet, is traumatizing.

But perhaps, it won’t be that bad, perhaps it wont effect my friends and family.  Still, the fact that a first-class asshole can become president reduces our country’s influence.  What kind of a role model is he?  He doesn’t pay taxes, he’s an internet bully, and he’s a man-child.  I don’t see how this will end up well.

While I don’t expect anyone to read this, I just needed to get this down.  I haven’t even really fully talked this over with anyone.  I’m too paralyzed and in a little bit of denial.

So this is the time where I advocate self-care.  Even if it’s just going through the motions, we need healthy citizens of this country.  How else are we going to make it through the next four years?  Let’s be kind to ourselves and one another.  If we can’t, then maybe see a therapist to work out why.

I’m not sure what role I will carve out for myself, but this election has certainly put a fire under my ass.  I can only think in broad strokes right now, but I need to think about how I can help citizens who will definitely be bullied.

How can you heal the entire nation when half won’t listen to facts or simple logic?  Is it even possible?


No running for a while

Achilles tendonitis is the verdict.  That nagging heel pain that’s been bothering me for months finally has a name.  I’m taking aleve, icing and not running or doing as much walking.

Today I get to go to physical therapy and get some new exercises.  I am really really hoping I get to keep running.

Instead of running, I’ve sucked it up and gone to the pool.  I really loathe being in a pool.  The water is usually too chlorinated and it burns my sinuses.  I feel like I’m running through quicksand and don’t like going as slow in the water.  But just playing in the water makes me realize how little my upper body gets worked out.  When I’m out of breath after just treading water, I’m kind of glad I’m doing it because I know it will make me stronger.  And I’ve been going to the pool every day since Thursday.  Hopefully this recovery stint will teach me to learn to love the pool.

I’m supposed to stay away from high-impact sports.  So I’m still doing formal yoga once a week and biking is allowed, so there’s always that.  But I long to feel invincible again, and the only thing that has ever made me feel that strong has been running.

Patience, at the very least I will strengthen my practice skill.  And skip the ice cream until I can stop gaining weight.