Tag Archives: ferritin

My week of Training: January 11-17

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It’s hard for me to share this post.  I’m one that tends to talk about only the good in my life. I don’t like talking about the bad but that’s not being honest.  About a month after that race I ran a 5k and performed horribly. Well, it felt horrible. I was short of breath even on the downhills! My legs just wouldn’t turn over quick and they lacked that certain “snap.” I was confused as I thought I should have PR’d coming off of all that marathon training.  My runs in general were sluggish; I was sleeping a lot and I was irritable.  My coach suggested I get my ferritin level (iron level) checked and sure enough it was low…really low. I wasn’t, however, anemic.

Why is ferritin important to runners? To put it simply, the body needs ferritin to make red blood cells and red blood cells are what carry oxygen to our muscles. More RBCs=more oxygen=more speed. Here is a link to a good article about ferritin and it’s importance in runners.

I started taking iron pills in mid-November. Those of you who have taken them know they can cause a lot of GI upset.  By Christmas my stomach was torn up and I had to stop them and go on medicine for gastritis. With all this stomach stuff my back has become unhappy with muscle spasms from the referred pain from the belly. I haven’t been sleeping well either.  Suffice it to say, running has suffered a bit.  I was beginning to get anxious about training for Boston.

Last week I finally saw my doctor and we figured out  a regimen of drugs to settle down my stomach and I am happy to report it’s working!  Happier stomach=happier back=better sleep = happier Mary.  All that adds up to better training.  It will be a couple of weeks before I can resume iron pills so in the mean time I’m making sure that I focus on  iron rich foods like clams, oysters, beef, and kale. Vitamin C is important, too, as it enhances iron absorption but I can’t have citrus right now so I’m getting it in the form of strawberries, kiwi and sweet potatoes.

This past week of training started off rough but after seeing my doctor mid-week things started turning around. I was pleasantly surprised by my long run Saturday.

Other good things this week:

I found out I was chosen to run for Team Zensah!  I love their compression sleeves. They really make a difference in my recovery.  Be on the look out for a review and give away in the near future!

My 85 year old dad ran the Houston Chevron 5k on Saturday.  He was the oldest runner and finished 900 out of 4700 runners!  His finishing time of 27:53 was a minute faster than last year!  He attributes it to increasing his volume and adding strides (he finally listened to my suggestions!) I am soooo proud of him!  He continues to be a source of huge inspiration.

Training for Boston officially starts tomorrow!

Monday–  (4-5 miles easily with 6 x 20sec strides post run + core)– Skipped it. I had not slept well the night before and just felt poorly.

Tuesday– 6-7 miles with a gentle fartlek run within the middle of run of 2 x (3min-2-1) with an easy 2 min jog btw each; Rough.  Lots of hills. My quads really burned. I’m thinking it was the medicine I was on (Prilosec). My quads weren’t burning like this in November or December.  I stopped it and was started on Protonix.

Wednesday– OFF + core- Rest day. 20min of core work.

Thursday– 3-4 miles easily-  4 at 10:15. Felt good. 

Friday– 4-5 miles easily with 6 x 20sec strides post run + core– 5 @ 10:03 with strides ranging 6:30 ->5:30. A good run. No burn. I think changing meds helped.

Saturday– 13-14 miles relaxed running- 14 miles averaging 10:16. 2:24:30.  733ft of elevation gain. I was anxious about this run given how the week started. I tried not to look at my watch because typically I would feel like I was running 9:30 and only be running 11:00. And then my brain would start the negative talk… This run, however, went great. I think endorphins played a big role in the second half. I didn’t slow down. When I reviewed my Garmin upload it showed that I had held a steady pace the entire time even on a 3 mile 300ft climb. There is hope!  I’m turning a corner! 

SundayOFF- walked the dog. Feeling pretty good.

It’s been a bit of a rough patch but things seem to be turning.  Have you been through a rough patch with your training?  How did you deal with it?