Sunday, August 3, 2008

Saguaro 8 mile training run and other miscellaneous running related stuff

I was pretty sore from yesterday's race and the small hike I did afterwards, but I still got up and headed over to Saguaro East for a run on the 8 mile loop. I was bummed because I forgot my annual pass and had to cough up $5 for today's run! Bill Cuculic from SAR was heading up the training run and about 10 people showed up. I tried to keep up with him and others, including my friend Mark from the Workout Group, but after about 2 miles, I had to drop back (they are a pretty speedy crew of guys).
It is a very hilly loop and it even felt more so today than normal. I have not walked any portion of that loop in several years just because I was tired; today, I had to stop and walk at least 3 or 4 times. I'm really starting to suspect an iron deficiency again. I was diagnosed with that last year through some regular blood work. I started taking a supplement and watching my diet to make sure I include iron-rich foods on a regular basis. I've since learned that athletes (seems a little surreal to be in that class, but I guess that is what I am) have high iron needs for two reasons: iron is lost through sweating, and physical activities create a demand for more red blood cell production, which you need iron for! An iron deficiency means less oxygen is delivered to the cells. This can lead to fatigue and other problems, including breathlessness and paleness. That's exactly what I have been experiencing for several weeks now; extreme fatigue and breathlessness.
It dawned on me yesterday after my exhausting race on the mountain that I shouldn't be THIS tired. I realized that I have been leaving my iron supplement out of my vitamin regimen for the last 2-3 weeks, and since my husband has been gone for over 6 weeks now, I have not eaten any red meat. I'm not vegetarian, but I do tend to eat a lot of beans and grains when he is gone instead of meat. When he is here, we have hamburgers about once every two weeks. I do think it is possible to get enough iron if someone is a vegetarian, but it really takes a concerted effort, especially for vegetarian athletes. Iron from red meat is absorbed by the body in greater quantities than from vegetarian items, so it is just easier for me to add red meat in to help offset the iron deficiency. Plus, I love a good burger every now and then, but I'm just too lazy to fix one for myself, and I'm not a fan of fast food at all (I'll buy lean ground beef). Anyway, I'll be working on getting that back in line and if I don't feel steadily better in a month (reversing iron deficiency doesn't happen overnight), I'll head to the doctor for some blood work.
I was happy with my time today for the 8 mile loop, though, given all the walking I did - 1:16. Last year, I ran the Saguaro race in a little over 1:13. I think if I can start to feel better before Labor Day, which is when the race is held, I definitely have a chance of beating last year's time.
I followed my run up with a wonderful fruit smoothie (the Acai Energizer) from Robek's. I received a $10 gift card from Everyone Runs when I signed up for the Catalina State Park 11 mile trail race, which was nice!
I then did a one hour weight and core workout. I have been doing
this core workout for the last two weeks. It is intense and I'm already seeing results.
What a fun running weekend! I had a great time at Blue Pants Racing's trail race yesterday; they always do fun events. After the race, I got a $15 gift certificate for a Road ID, which I have been thinking of getting for some time now (my wrist ID band will be pink, of course). I run alone a lot and it really is a good idea.
I love the fellowship with other runners. I'm excited about all of the upcoming races. I'm thankful to God that I am able to run, for it has opened up a whole world for me.

2 comments:

HappyTrails said...

I hope you get the iron leveled out-it feels horrible when you're dragging every day. Nevertheless, you ran a good time - you'll be flying once you're balanced out!
We tried a great beef recipe last night - www.discoveryhealth.com - A Lyon in the Kitchen w/Nathan Lyon-Bulgogi Beef - delicious! He has great recipes!

Joyce said...

I have to work Labor Day weekend and so cannot do the 8-miler, but we're planning on Mt. Wrightson. See you then!