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!


Hi there. It’s me. Oakland Running.

So I went MIA for a bit. Sorry about that. I’ve been out running. Nothing intense, just trying to get into a regular schedule. And I think I’m almost there. Are you on Strava? This is my favorite app to use to track my running mileage. Right now I’m running roughly 20 miles a week. Which is great. Slow and steady pace, not worried about time. It’s awesome. I’m sleeping better and getting a lot more tanned.

This past week we said goodbye to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Like everyone else I am so sad and bummed that the show will not exist in that form again. He and his staff were SO talented and enlightening. He was such a great TV host, with integrity, and compassion. Oh, and he was funny too. Not all the time funny, because that would just be un-human-like. He was a human and I hope ONE of us out there can become more involved in politics and calling out our politicians.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say because I need to go out running. It’s already past 9:30 a.m. Way later than I expected to go running today!

Happy Running out there!

Officially suck at this blogging thing

I’m so sorry you’ve stumbled across this page.  You ought to really just move along.

So, I’ve lost track of what day of (non)blogging today is.  I was supposed to post something once a day.  Seemed simple in the beginning.  And I didn’t even care if it was a crap post.  But after not blogging all weekend, I knew I had to get back on track.

So this weekend, we had an anniversary dinner, a birthday party, cat-sitting duties, typical errands and lots of napping.  I did accomplish one goal for the week, which was to run 12 miles this week.  For week 2 of running, I’m using Jeff Galloway’s Half Marathon Plan.  I like that you just punch in the program on your iPhone and do whatever he tells you to do.  I don’t have to think, watch the clock and it feels like I have a personal trainer.

Tomorrow will be Day 2 of the Jeff Galloway walk/run program.  It’s totally doable, and in this morning’s heat, it was a big sweaty workout.

Day 7: Cooking and Nutrition, how do YOU do it?

I am much more comfortable eating greasy food, junk food, processed food and occasionally vegetables with butter.  But nowadays I need to eat for health and to be the best I can be.

This eating style isn’t new.  I’ve been trying to counter my crappy eating habits since post-college.  It hasn’t been easy.  For one, I don’t enjoy cooking.  It’s usually been a chore.  Nobody in the family seemed to enjoy cooking, so I kind of adopted that behavior.  It’s only recently that I’ve been spending time in the kitchen.

Here are some of the my favorite resources to learn recipes and figure out how to cook:

To track my nutrition I use My Fitness Pal.

What tools/tips/suggestions do you have for cooking and learning about nutrition?  There are so many resources out there, it’s difficult to cut through the chaff.  I know about not eating processed food and I no longer eat McDonalds or fast food (ok, ok, occasionally In n Out Burger).  But on a daily basis, I limit the processed food I eat.

So, if you have books, websites or any easy cooking tips, let me know in the comments.


#cooking #eatingright #nutrition #running

Day 6: Back to Running

Am back on the road to running.   It’s always harder to get back into a regular routine than maintaining one.  So I’m starting conservatively, with a  beginning running routine.  My beginning routine will start with 20 minutes of running five days a week.  After I maintain that for a few weeks, then I’ll start increasing the mileage/time.

AND, I promise to start a cross-training program.  Following a program has always been my weakness.  This will be the toughest part.  Cross-training is super important because it strengthens your running by building muscle other than the ones you use when running.  (Sorry that’s a crappily-written sentence).

My fave power song  these days is: “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten.  Watch “Fight Song” here (links to You Tube)

Also, it feels AWESOME to finish a run.  No matter it’s length.  🙂