Pumping iron

So just about a week before I’m going to force my body to run 13.1 miles I decide to give blood.

I was more than happy to do it because it not only helped a dear friend of mine but I also helped save lives.  Not to be dramatic but that last statement is 100 million percent accurate.

But for my own very selfish reasons, getting my red blood cells sucked out of me was a really terrible idea.

I learned on my outing that I am already low on iron, which I had NO idea about, and then I opt to dump a whole boatload of iron-rich cells out of my body a week  before a half marathon.

Now… it may seem like a week is enough time to recover. It’s not. Not in terms of endurance training, anyway. It takes a minimum of 45 days to replenish all the cells you lost for optimum performance.

Anyway, I’m not going to get in my head about it for the race and let’s be honest here “optimum performance” for me isn’t anything impressive by any means.

The nurses at Hoag (who were awesome and hilarious, by the way) suggested I start pumping iron to help me along for the race. I’m talking supplements here, not weights. Although weights do a body good too.

Iron was never something I really considered taking as a dietary aide. I know it’s necessary for red blood cells and such but when I think of vitamins that I should be taking I think folic acid (pretty hair) vitamin B (to replenish what those lady pills take away), vitamin E (pretty skin) or acidophilus (good digestion). I try to get most the others from food, which is the best way anyway.

Well considering now I know I am on the lower end of the spectrum I’m going to take a supplement every day and here’s why:

1. Iron promotes red blood cell production, which is essential for carrying oxygen in our bodies

2. Having sufficient iron combats irritability and fatigue (no wonder I crave afternoon naps!)

3. It is essential for protein metabolism

If you don’t want to take a supplement make sure to chow down on food such like leafy greens and red meat, both rich in iron.

So we’ll see how Sunday goes. I’m mostly looking to finish another half marathon and have fun doing it and as the nurse said to me: “You won’t collapse you may just be really, really slow”.

Awesome.

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