What Does A Body Good?

As you know, I’ve been struggling with a sprained ankle for a better part of a month.  From what I’ve learned, sprains are more temperamental than a low blood sugared 2 year-old.

When I dashed out for a quick 4 miles last Thursday I got home pain-free but when I went to put on my dress shoes for a meeting, I realized all was not well.  Getting the shoes on looked a little something like this:

Channeling Cinderella’s step sisters, my feet wouldn’t squish into any shoes but one pair of gladiator sandals which I had to wear unzipped and keep my ankle compressed to keep them on.  My ankle was totally swollen, as was my uber ego after pulling off a 40+ training cycle the week before pain free and finally picking up speed only to have this happen after 4 pithy miles.

In the last two weeks I have also learned that my iron counts are low, like really low.  I did a little reading about endurance athletes and anemia.  I found this gem of a blog where this woman promises to make pathology fun.  That’s like telling kids that shots won’t hurt.  It’s a lie.  But the article was informative.

I’m not a big meat eater and being well over halfway through a marathon training cycle and literally feeling the symptoms of the anemia…my body’s telling me something.  Chillax (wo)man!

So chillax I will.

What does this mean?

Bye bye CIM it was fun half training for you.

I’ve realized it’s time to readjust my goals and it’s looking like CIM just has to go….which is a decision I am not super happy about.

My New Goals

1:  Ankle Rehab.  It’s time to teach Amanda Bynes a lesson  and check into rehab.  Again.  Get this ankle rehabbed slowly and surely. The ankle rehab stuff is easy – go low and slow and ease back in hoping not to tweak it again.  I also need to expect that it will be tweaky for a few months.  Sprains are like that.  Just because I get a good week or two in, doesn’t mean that it’s miraculously healed and I can just crank it up.

2:  Pump Some Iron:  I need to learn more about iron, iron reserves, etc.  My iron counts were like one point away from full blown anemia and I was symptomatic so it’s time to get this schtuff under control.

Unlike my carnivorous sons, I’m not a huge meat eater.  I do eat some meat, but not very much.  It turns out this might be much of the problem.  According to the American Red Cross, your body absorbs 20-30% of the iron found in meat products and 2-10% of the iron found in foods.

Caveat:  You can live a vegetarian long-distance runner lifestyle and have plenty of iron…I’m just saying something’s off for me right now and my diet might just be playing a factor in it.

I eat a pretty balanced diet with lots of iron sources (spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, peas, green beans and more beans than my digestive system likes), and I also eat a lot of high Vitamin C foods (which I learned aids in iron absorption!).  But it seems, that I’m not getting enough of what my body needs.

Perhaps it’s the running, or it could just be me (I’ve always been on the low to very low side of my iron counts) – either way, it’s time to take some supplements and start really focusing on how much iron I am really taking in.

So game on.  Time to get moving [or not] but you get what I mean.

Any of you struggle with anemia?
Give me your best iron-laden (veg or meat I don’t care right now) recipe.  

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12 thoughts on “What Does A Body Good?

  1. Sorry about CIM, but I totally respect that you are taking this time to get things right. It will pay off in the end.

    Oh, anemia! My nemesis. I eat a great diet also, but seem to have perpetually low hematocrit levels. I have been supplementing for the last couple of months (am do for a check up, actually!) and I do think it has made a difference. My doctor told me that for my age and miles, it’s very common. Good luck w/ it all.

  2. Bummer about CIM! But a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. I’m really really sorry! I’m crossing my fingers I stay injury free for this marathon in December.
    I’m not a huge meat eater either and the last week have been vegan (I dabble every once in a while) I have this awesome cookbook Veganomics and there is a kale and mashed potatoe enchilada recipe in there that will make you like Popeye!
    Finally…in all seriousness…congrats on Boston!!!!! That is huge!!! Way. To. Go. And love love the ugly cry pitcure!!

    • I’m vegan so I’d say lentils, beets and kale but you may just not metabolize iron very well in which case you could try to greatly increase your intake through food or go with the supplements. Why not hedge and do some of both?

    • I know I’m uber bummed about CIM. I’m not going to lie, there’s a teeny piece of me that’s still hoping, but I really need to shake that. The problem is that all the cool kids are doing it, and I want to too 🙂

  3. Sad about CIM, but it is going to be way better to take care of yourself than keep pushing and hurt it even more. Way to be wise!

  4. I’m sad about CIM, but super proud of you for making the decision to rest up. I hope that all aspects of your body get better soon! I don’t have much to offer you as far as anemia goes…the last blood test I had said I had high iron…so the doctor told me to eat less red meat. He forgot to ask me how much red meat I eat (answer: rarely), so I’m stuck here unsure as to if I should really be concerned or what changes I should make. Um…so that was a long story just to say, I’m no help at all!

  5. I’ve battle anemia for a while now and, as a runner, we are def more prone to it (I also have Crohns Disease). I would absolutely look into iron supplements, specifically Proferrin (which also has folate, one caveat is that they keep it behind the desk at the pharmacy and you might need an Rx for it but it’s awesome) and Ferro-sequels. Take them with a small amount of OJ, but avoid calcium when taking then for about an hr on either side. I take them in the morning with first breakfast, have my workout, then have my snack with yogurt etc after my workout. Don’t take iron at the same time as your multi-vitamin (calcium). You should begin to notice a difference after about a week or so. Good luck! But check with your doc first for sure, just my advice!

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