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.