For the past few months, I have felt (sorry for the language) like shit. I am exhausted (even with many hours of sleep), unable to focus, irritable, and too dependent on coffee (my poor students). To top it off, my workouts have been suffering even with more and more rest days. My legs are consistently heavy, my recovery time is slower than molasses in January, and I’d much rather take a nap (which my waistline has NOT been appreciating, btw).
Let alone the two times I had to go to the medics tent after races because I couldn’t have a coherent conversation with the people at the end. I wish I was kidding – I have no idea what was happening at the very end of the Madison Half-Marathon in November. After the finish, all I remember is something trying to put me in a wheelchair and me vehemently refusing saying I could do it myself…thankyouverymuch. I guess I had very low blood pressure and went hypothermic very quickly. Anywho…
You might be thinking, “But, Ash, you’re a teacher, all teachers (and students) get burned out after coaching, being a spouse, and teaching full-time.”
Well yeah, OK. But this was more tired than normal. And scary as hell when it came to the blood pressure drop.
At my yearly doctor’s appointment for the ol’ thyroid, I expressed my concerns to my doctor. His interest was piqued, especially with the race results. He said words like, “diabetes,” “addison’s disease”, and “we’re going to test you for…” all in same sentence. Needless to say, I was stressed out over the holidays while my test results came back. The glaring result was (thank god it’s not diabetes) was iron-deficiency anemia (although some of my adrenal hormones are not good either – but thankfully, no addison’s disease!).
After what seemed like eons (read: two weeks), my doctor recommended I begin taking iron supplements (130-195mg of iron per day) in addition to 250mg Vitamin C as ascorbic acid helps metabolize iron better. As of today, I’ve only been on iron supplements for a few days so I’m hoping that long term, I will feel back to normal.
Here’s the thing – I am totally not alone in this. Anemia is super common among celiacs/gluten-intolerant, women, and distance runners (oh wait, I’m all three!). I’m so happy that the doctor found the answer to my conundrum and I’m extremely hopeful that my training will resume with me feeling better than ever soon!
Thanks for reading this novel of a post.