Monday, August 15, 2011

A VERY Informative Doctor's Trip

Truth be told, I've been feeling pretty tired/sluggish since I wrapped up training for the disastrous Brooklyn Half Marathon.  First I chalked it up to the rough race experience, and then I figured it was just the increase in my mileage as I was getting ready to segue into marathon training.

When I met with my group for the first week of marathon training, I mentioned it to one of the coaches who is also a registered dietitian, and she urged me to go get my bloodwork tested.

But my fatigue issues got pushed to the back burner soon when I experienced a minor knee injury that put me completely out of commission for about a week.

And soon after getting back on track, I came down with a nasty cold that I had to push through as best as I can. Of course I was exhausted, but hey, I was trying to run through a cold...who wouldn't be exhausted?

Fast forward to the past two weeks. I have been running fairly strong with no injuries and no colds (knock on wood!) I've been getting in all my miles and finished two long runs so I was pretty pleased with myself....but I still just felt pretty wiped.  Sure my pace is slow - but hey, my legs are tired from all of that marathon training, right? And I might have felt very lightheaded after an easy run or two...but it's the summer, no biggie.  But I made an apt to see my doctor anyways to have some blood work done last Friday, just in case.


Well good thing I went in - turns out I am indeed iron deficient! It's very common in female runners, especially as we build up our mileage (apparently we need up to 30 percent more iron than the average person.)  

The doctor recommended some supplements as a short-term solution....
Three cheers for the supplements that will make me feel normal again!
But I plan to work in increasing more iron in my diet (tough because I don't love fish and try to avoid red meat) but there are plenty of other options including eggs, spinach, dark chocolate (who knew?!), sunflower seeds, sundried tomatoes, and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Honestly, I'm just relieved that there is an answer to why I've been feeling the way I have been...and more importantly, an easy solution. Hopefully I can start making these diet changes now, so come marathon day, I can flyyyy.  Watch out New York....I'm coming for you!

3 comments:

  1. ooo gosh glad you figured it out. i had that issue too but now take lots of iron to make me good and healthy lol. whenever i feel sluggish my doc says test for iron please!!! good call from your nutritionist. i am in nyc this week and going to do 10 on friday between 8-9 minute pace if u r interested in joining for some miles!

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  2. Good to know, that's great that you figured this out. I recently started taking a multivitamin with 100% of my daily iron content because I know that I'm likely to have issues with this as well because I'm not a red meat fan.

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  3. Yup, happened to me as well. My counts were SUPER low. I had to be on prescription iron pills for 3 months. Now I do the diet thing, adding iron rich foods to my diet. I try to stay away from red meat but am contemplating it. It's hard but important. I think I'll also start taking supplements.

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