What a difference a year can make…

Today’s Planned Workout:

am- 7 miles at an easy pace

pm- 7 miles with 5K race in the middle as tempo

This morning on twitter I was asked how long I had been running for Running, Etc. and it occurred to me that it’s been almost exactly a year. One year ago I wore a Running, Etc. singlet at my first Virginia Beach area race the Tidewater Striders Memorial Scholarship 5K and I will run that race again tonight. I went to that race knowing maybe 2 people. Over this past year I have met SO many amazing friends and my running support system has grown immensely. I am so thankful for my new teammates and friends!!!!

It also occurred to me that it has been a year since we discovered my iron/anemia issues. Last summer I was seriously dragging on my early morning runs and every afternoon I was terribly exhausted. One morning it hit me that something HAD to be wrong when I saw a perfectly manicured lawn and though “I could just crawl up and nap there.” Who thinks that?!? lol. I had my iron ferritin levels checked and we found I was severely low in the ferritin department. My ferritin was at 12! A distance runner should be above 60. I was cautiously hopeful when we discovered those results.

I do not like to pretend to be a coach or nutritional expert so I won’t but I can point anyone who is interested in the right direction. The best article I’ve ever read on this topic, written specifically for distance runners is by Camille Herron called Iron Supplementation Check it out if you suspect you have iron issues. By the way, I am not the Kristen who commented on her post. People have asked me about that…nope, I’ve never had a transfusion. I also use that exact iron supplementation that she has pictured and it has worked perfectly for me.

How do I know my iron is back where it should be? Well first off, I have had it rechecked. Secondly, I feel awesome!! Yes I am tired but not wiped out. My legs are still feeling bouncy with all the mileage. A HUGE change from this time last year. This week I passed the 90 mile mark. Yes from my attached picture it looks like I hit 96 miles. I did run 96 miles in 7 days, but I have switched my calendar running week from Sunday-Saturday to Monday-Sunday. Sounds weird to nonrunners, but basically I’m not logging on my old online program anymore and I wanted to follow the traditional week that many of my friends do (including dailymilers!) Plus I switched my long run day. So I will not be running 95 plus mile weeks just yet. I will stay in the low 90’s for awhile. Here’s how my week looked:
Top 3

I hope that everyone is having a fantastic week and enjoying the Olympics!! I have LOVED watching the swimming events and have been counting down the days until the Women’s Marathon. Go KARA!!! 🙂


26 thoughts on “What a difference a year can make…

  1. I am SO PUMPED about the Oly Marathon too!!!!!!
    I totally feel you on the history of iron deficiency. 4 years ago I was so low I was hospitalized and just at the cutoff of needing a transfusion! Scary stuff! I remember trying to do a track workout and just feeling like I couldn’t get any air in my lungs and I had no idea why. I’ve been good since then, but it’s always a worry. I have a supplement I take when I fear I’m getting low. I read Camille’s post on it awhile back and should really take her supplement recommendation!


  2. Thanks for the post on iron deficiency. It’s something I’m dealing with right now. My iron absorption level is 19 percent according to a test I had about a month ago.

    Without talking to my doc, I did start taking iron supplements after a 3-mile easy run was exhausting and I had no energy for my 14-mile long run. After a little more than a week, what a huge difference. I ran my fastest ever 14 miles and felt fantastic. It was comfortably hard — perfect. The pace was something I didn’t know I’d be able to do so comfortably.
    The next day, I was bouncing around like I had been tapering. Legs weren’t sore at all.

    Thanks for posting that article, it was an interesting read. Glad to hear things are going so well for you, because I’ve got a lot of hope for the next year. Those big dreams I have might not be so crazy after all!


  3. Monster mileage! That’s so awesome that you feel good at that kind of mileage. I am in the process of getting my levels up. I can so relate to that feeling of exhaustion. I remember coming home from an easy 10-miler and having to immediately take a nap–way out of character for me, which is part of how I knew something was off, too.

    Good luck with your 5k. I have a great group of running friends and club also and I know what a good feeling that is. Enjoy your one-year anniversary with them!


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  4. You are so badass…I love it!!! So impressive girl. 🙂 I am enjoying the Olympics as well! Can’t wait for track events and the marathon. 🙂 Have a great day!


  5. I’m going to read that article, which may answer my question, but I’m going to ask it anyway: no side affects from that supplement at all? I suspect I go through phases of low iron, but have never been able to handle iron supplements without stomach pain or….constipation. I will order this stuff in a heartbeat if it really has been working for you!


    • Yes, it has been working for me. I never take it alone or it will upset my stomach but I handle the liquid better than I could the pills. I mix it with a juice that contains Vitamin C and NO Calcium (interferes with absorption) and eat a snack or meal with it. Also try to avoid caffeine with it too.


  6. Thank you for the information on iron. I’m going to get tested. I know years ago I had really low levels, but haven’t gotten rechecked. I often feel so fatigued, even after a good nights sleep. Could just be my MS, but I wonder about the iron too.

    Amazing mileage! Very inspiring!


  7. I had severe anemia awhile back and my ferritin was 4. AFTER taking supplements for an entire month (my hemoglobin level was actually 7.3, which would’ve meant I needed a transfusion normally, but my doc didn’t do that because I was up and working and able to get around, so I guess it’s a case by case basis). You’re so right about how it affects runners, and clearly you’re a great example that you can overcome it! Thanks for posting this, I actually need to find a new doc down here and get rechecked in the next few months, and I’m going to check that article out.


  8. Thanks for posting! I was anemic before and really try to get my iron in. I remember feeling like I could lay down anywhere and nap at any time, and my legs felt so heavy. Going to check that article out now!


  9. You are amazing! Look at those miles. I hope you have your anemia controlled, that sounds very serious and no fun at all for sure. I can’t wait to watch the USA girls run this weekend! I meet Kara in Boulder in May…love her!


  10. uhhhh, I think about curling up and taking a nap on lawns all of the time. But last time I had my iron checked I don’t have an issue…. I think it’s the heat 🙂 or I hope so. well, I am blaming it on that. Glad to hear you have it all squared away now. Have fun tonight!


  11. Killer mileage! That’s awesome. 🙂

    I’ve read that many female runners suffer from low iron. I personally don’t know my levels, but after reading about it in a running book, I started cooking more on a cast-iron skillet and I add organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses to my coffee on most days (1 tbsp= 20% RDA of iron).

    I have a question, mostly out of curiosity. I’ve always wondered what elite runners do during marathons for hydration/fueling. I realize I’ve never seen an elite runner hydrate or fuel when I’ve spectated a race – do you depend solely on sports mixes, or do you take gels? I’m guessing you get to place water bottles at certain points, right? I know that I’ve fumbled with trying to drink from cups or tear a gel pack open, and I know you wouldn’t want to do anything to slow yourself down!

    Hope your week is going well!


  12. 1st off, I love reading about (and drooling a bit over) your training paces. You rock, but I’m sure you’re well aware of that fact. 🙂
    2nd, good for you for taking such a proactive approach and getting checked out. So glad there was a fix for you, too!
    3rd (I know, I know..wrap it up) I appreciate the link to Camille Herron’s site. I found the best and most encouraging posts regarding stress fractures. Thank you so much!

    Have a great week!


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