800’s & Iron

Morning Workout- 60 minute Runners Core Class at Running, Etc. followed by 2 Mile Warm Up, 10 X 800 (2:44-47) w/ 2 minute jog, 2 mile cool down

Evening Workout- 4 miles at 7:45 pace

The above is a tweet for those not twitter-interested. Speed work was on tap for today and at any distance less than a mile or two, the pace always feels a bit crazy. I’d like to start getting a little more detailed about my workouts on this blog instead of my typical once in a blue moon recap. I appreciate reading about hard workouts on other blogs so it’s only natural to do the same on my own.

This workout was started after an hour long core class. I was hesitant to attend the class when I knew I had a hard workout following but having skipped the class for three months of summer- like I said in my last post- no more excuses. So with wobbly arms and a 2 mile warm up, I set my Garmin to 10 by 800 meters with a 2 minute recovery. (If you are not using your Garmin “Intervals” feature, you are missing out. I avoided it for years and now it is easily my favorite feature. It takes 30 seconds to set up and then you press “Start” and touch nothing else until you see the joyful “Workout Completed” sign.) I was pretty proud of myself for running all of these at almost the exact same pace (between 2:44-2:47) in the Hadley prescribed range. It is not my fastest set by far but it is my fastest set in the middle of high mileage weeks, run through the curvy streets of my neighborhood, and alone. When I ran my sub 2:40 800s they were on a track, during a lower mileage period, with a speedy pacer. The plan is to hit 96 miles this week…which while exhausting is exhilarating.

To give you an update on my blood work, it came back lower than desirable. Minimally I’d like my ferritin level to be 60, some runners claim 80+ is best. Mine was 30. This is not nearly as bad as it had been at it’s worst (8) but considering it dropped significantly from my last check (52), I’m a little concerned. Luckily I have time to get it back up for the Philadelphia Marathon in 9 weeks. We’ve adjusted my iron supplement dosage and will recheck it again in four weeks. Lots of iron-rich foods for me!

I’d like to send out prayers and kind thoughts to everyone involved in todays Navy Yard incident. We have many friends who work in the Navy Yard and (thanks to modern conveniences) we were able to learn that they were safe almost immediately. My heart is broken for those who were not. Thank you to everyone who sent messages my way. The Mr. and I are in Virginia but not near the Navy Yard by hours. I have always, and will always, feel proud to call myself a Navy Wife, so while this is a running blog, it didn’t feel right to write without so much as a mention. Stay safe everyone!


17 thoughts on “800’s & Iron

  1. Solid workout! It’s funny because when I read the core class –> workout part I read it multiple times like “she did an hour long class BEFORE the run workout?!” Then you explained it… After I reread 4 times! πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I think it’s great you fit it in and still killed the workout!

    I really need to use the intervals feature on my garmin. My brothers tell me that all the time and I never listen! I will do 20x 1 min hard/easy and hit the lap button every time! Madness!

    Glad your iron is ok and yes you still have plenty of time to increase more before the big race! Keep up the great work!


    • Ideally I’d do the core class later in the day but they won’t move the class just for my connivence, ha ha. Your brothers are right, check out the interval feature. I promise it is set up to be as simple as possible. Especially for a speedy runner like yourself, you would love the speed/distance settings.


  2. I’d love to hear more specifics about your training and how crazy your neighbors think you are, Kris πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to getting my blood test results later this week as well. I have a feeling that iron is causing a lot of my energy problems. I was thinking about you and the ones you love a lot this morning. I’m glad to hear that those you know are safe and with loved ones tonight


  3. I’d love to read more about your training and your coach and all of that, it seems fun to read about since you have much lofty goals (much loftier than mine). Glad you still got the core class in too.

    My ferritin was actually 4 one day, my hemoglobin was 7.3 and my ferritin was 4 a month later so possibly I had no ferritin at all the month before (they didn’t test). I was crazy anemic! That was a few years ago and I still take iron supplements because of the ferritin, which I have read about on my multiple blogs but my doc doesn’t get.

    The last time it was tested, my ferritin was like 35 and my doc said it was fine! Yeah maybe for a person whose exercise is walking the dog but not for someone training for half marathons or a marathon! So, glad yours understands and good luck with getting it up. I take either the liquid iron or an iron/b12 complex from Earth Fare, both of those seem to help me a bit :).


  4. You always inspire me Kris. I am the same way. I’m pretty sure my nike watch has the same feature I just hasn’t looked into it too much.

    I’m glad your iron wasn’t terribly low and I certainly hope you are able to build that back up again. I really should look into getting my blood checked.


  5. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that, as a runner & scientist, I had no idea my ferritin was “supposed” to be in the 60-80s. Add me to the list of young female runners who’ve suffered anemia – when I finally got to the doc (after – cue the same story heard everywhere – months of feeling really, really MEH), my hemoglobin tested fine, my ferritin was at 2.

    Thankfully, I was under the care of a nurse practitioner who knew that low ferritin – even in the presence of sufficient hemoglobin – could be the cause of my problems. After a few months of supplementation, my ferritin was back to 30 or so…and I was told that was fine. Whoops…. Although I’m feeling good now, I haven’t been tested recently. Would be interested to know what those numbers look like now….


    • When yours was at 2, I bet you wanted to nap everywhere, right?! πŸ˜‰ Technically your 30 level IS fine. If you are running higher mileage though, you might not be running your best. Here is Camille Herron’s blog post on the subject. It’s the best post I’ve ever read on iron and was my initial trigger to get tested for the first time when she published it. http://camilleherron.com/2011/05/25/the-little-things-iron-supplementation/ She suggests over 60 and (I can’t find a link for it now) I had once read about the McMillian elite group believing over 80 was best.


      • At the very least, I wanted to pass out when I got to the top of the stairs!

        And sleep for about a year.

        Thanks for the link – I’m nowhere near an elite, but I am a nerd where the subtle and complex biology of the human body is concerned. πŸ™‚


  6. – I recently discovered the intervals function and it has changed my life.
    – I’ll be hoofing my little butt over to CVS for some liquid iron pronto.
    – 96 miles = really exciting! Are you hitting triple digits this training cycle? Hadley should send cookies with any training week where mileage is that high.


  7. I got tickled at you talking about sprinting past your neighbors house. Do you just prefer the road, or were you not able to get to the track that day? Either way- love it! I am not a fan of the track and often choose to do my intervals on the road. There is a local park here with a 1/2 mile loop. It’s mostly used for walkers and parents with kids on bikes. You should see their faces when I come weaving past doing 800 repeats. I’m sure they think I’ve lost my mind. Haha. I’m so excited for your upcoming marathon! You’re so fast!!!!!! I’m also in the low-iron boat, but found help with a supplement. Which one do you take? I take the gel cap “Ultimate Iron.” It has Vit C and D in it, too, for better absorption. Take care!


  8. My acupuncturist once prescribed an herbal formula that was traditionally made with real iron shavings. Could you imagine? Instead she had me get a liquid supplement which was metallic enough. Hope it’s all up where it should be soon!


  9. Wow! Another run blogger with iron deficiency. I had no idea it was as common as it it until I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia a month ago (ferritin 6.8, hemoglobin 8.9). I’d had weeks of crappy running and it was such a relief to have an explanation. Here’s my blog post on the subject: http://thesethingshappentootherpeople.blogspot.com/2013/09/run-funk-explained.html

    I used to do speedwork on a long straight neighborhood road (each block = 1/8 mi). I’d run past the same girl waiting at the bus stop every Thursday morning, over and over again, and I’m sure she thought I was 100% nuts.

    Best of luck in your training!


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