Since the last blog I’ve not done much running. I did try and ignore and not accept the need to stop running altogether for a little while. I was literally wasting my time and if anything just delaying my return to health.
A couple of weeks ago I had further blood tests (a month after starting iron supplementation) which unfortunately revealed no improvement. I also found out my ferritin levels (a measure of stored iron in layman’s terms) to be at 15 ug/l. To give an idea, I was at 77 ug/l in late 2012 and various sources of information I found stated that 12 ug/l and below represents as good as nothing left in reserve. So I’ve literally ran myself into the ground through poor management of training, recovery, nutrition, sleep and stress. Coupled with separate health issues it’s been a tough couple of months since February. I would dial it back to the pull out at Wrekenton in February, it’s all slowly unravelled from there. But as a good mate of mine always said “it could always be worse!”
I had to put the concerns about my blood health to one side as last week I had an operation under general anaesthetic. It was nothing major and all seems to have gone to plan. Ironically I’ll be seeing the surgeon on 9th June just to make sure that is the case. Ironic because I should be gannin alang Scotswood Road. I do feel like I’m on the mend though and mentally as positive about the future as I have been recently. Sometimes a few tests in life are helpful to refocus, remind you you are alive, there is a world around you.
I won’t be rushing this recovery. Once I have the all clear from the operation I’ll be looking to work with the doctor on how I get my blood back to where it needs to be. I do hope I’m on the right track already but I suppose more tests will be needed. In the meantime I’ve been having a good look at my diet. I’m making some changes as I suspect I was undereating and more than likely not eating enough carbohydrates. Iron aside I’m looking to eat more fruit, vegetables and carbs and drink more water. Exercise wise I’m restricted to walking as the nature of the op rules out the bike. Strangely enough I’m really enjoying my walks and I’m already feeling it in the glutes! Me being me I’ve already started improving the pace and added some hills. My hope is that a good period of (power) walking will help rebuild my cardiovascular system without hindering the iron recovery. So if you see a nutter power walking round Kenton/Blakelaw it’s likely to be me!
Overall I feel positive that this has happened for a reason and has helped me understand my body that much more than before. I now feel focussed on what I want to do and what I need to do. I need to live a healthy lifestyle that promotes fitness that is balanced over the long term. I can’t continue the way I was before. If I want to run faster it can’t happen overnight. I can’t allow myself to burn out again… Personally I now know I’m better off under training rather than overtraining.
When I came round from the general anaesthetic last week I had one of those moments, a moment alone in my room, lying in the bed, a little dazed but thinking clearly. One thought was “I don’t want to be here again soon”. The other was “I need to be more grateful for the life I have and lose the victim mentality”… I’m not a victim, only I have been of my own mind…