Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Leigh For The Win

Last night we got home late for the millionth consecutive night.  Leigh got home before us, and I found these when I hauled sleeping Cooper in from his carseat...

That one's a keeper!

On a more running related note, I came across this article on my facebook feed, it links to this article from The Globe and Mail.  Both articles talk about iron stores (ferritin) and athletic performance and recovery.  I found out 6 days before running Ottawa that my ferritin level is very (VERY) low.  At the height of my taper I started to panic.  Was the fatigue I was feeling more then end of training cycle fatigue, was it fatigue that wouldn't be remedied by my taper, how would it effect my race?  As you know by now, the race went well...But I must admit that I wonder if my training and my race performance was effected.  What if, what if, what if??

Endurance athletes have higher iron needs then others due to a number of factors, with female endurance athletes even more at risk of iron depletion.  Iron loss through heavy sweating, GI issues, red blood cell destruction from heel strike hemolysis (red blood cell damage from repeated foot strike), and blood loss from menstruation all work together to make keeping iron levels up a losing battle.    I eat a fairly high iron diet, although most coming from non-heme sources like dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains, fortified cereal, and very little coming from heme sources like red meat.  But despite this my levels have tanked.  The articles talk about how low ferritin negatively effects energy metabolism, immune function, and brain processes, and other sources have talked about low ferritin slowing physical recovery from hard running efforts.

We are over 4 weeks out from Ottawa and I am still tired.  I was sick for a week.  My legs still feel heavy on many of my runs, and I am finding it tough mentally to push through.  It seems to be getting better, but recovery has been slow.  On the other hand, Leigh is back to normal...Or maybe better then normal.  I have reprimanded him several times over the last few weeks because he comes home from his runs reporting very very fast splits.  I have to reprimand him because running too fast to frequently is a sure fire way to end up injured and hanging out with Ben regularly, and because I'm jealous that I don't have that pep back in my legs.  So while Leigh is out running blazing fast training runs, you can find me eating spinach, downing iron supplements and slogging through until my legs decide to wake up.

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