Iron Woman

Ummmmmm....a draft of this post somehow published unbeknownst to me.  Hackery attack!! Anyway I cleaned it up and re-posted it.  Below.  Sorry if you read the crappy un-edited version.

I figured something out.

I've always suspected I had low-iron issues, as I think many of us women runners do, and maybe men who run as well, particularly if you are vegetarian.  I'm not a vegetarian (anymore) and I eat such a large volume of food on a daily basis, that I often doubt I could possibly be deficient in anything.  I eat a lot for a woman my size/age, and foods from a large variety.

But I often still do suspect low iron levels.  I visit the doctor once every 3 years or something, so I've never had my iron levels measured.  Instead of meeting with a doctor, I got on the internet (so wise) and read this post by Camille Herron about runners and iron deficiencies, after Kristen directed me to it in her own post.

The article discusses, among other things, the fact that runners at elevation are even more at risk for low iron levels, and have to supplement even more intensely than runners at elevation.  Oh.  I just realized something.

Over the past two years, the times that I have been really fatigued and lethargic, and presumably most low in iron, was after returning home from a vacation to high elevation.

I went to Zion national park for a week, came home, and it took me several weeks to get my groove back.  I was so exhausted.

Iron-sapping Zion

I went to Tahoe for three days, and came home unable to pull out even close to my half marathon pace for a 10k.  I  had absolutely no energy.

So I have a plan to supplement my iron when I travel, and perhaps generally throughout the year. Because I think I finally found a comfortable, stomach friendly iron supplement.

Ferrous Sulfate Elixir.

This is the bottle I purchased

Maybe not so friendly...not at first anyway.

I purchased a bottle for $11 from the Walgreens pharmacist (no prescription needed) and forgot about it until later that night, after I brushed my teeth.  I poured one teaspoon into a cup and added about 6 ounces of water.  I took a sip.  And realized I discovered the best new weapon for torturing criminals into telling where the mob king is hiding.  This must be more potent than water-boarding.

I gagged and gagged and gagged a little more.  It tastes like melted dirty pennies mixed with dead rotting fish and old retainer.

The next day, I mixed a half teaspoon with some 7up.  It tasted like 7up with dead fish. And pennies. And retainer.

Finally I bought some orange juice, and mixed 8 ounces with a half teaspoon.  It tasted like OJ with a little fish pennies.  Just a little.  Then I took another sip and it wasn't so bad.  A third sip and I relaxed my tense face and realized I could handle this.

No stomach side effects so far.  We shall see how it effects my energy levels.


I was very, very sadly, not a fan of the new Dark Knight Rises.  I finally found the time to squeeze in a 3 hour movie (how DARE you Christopher Nolan, too long, couldn't watch) this past Saturday.

Everybody told me that even though Anne Hathaway sounds like terrible casting for cat woman, that she was purrrrrfect, and that I would love her; I did not love her.  All she did was deliver sassy lines.


Everybody told me that even though it was 3 hours, it goes by fast; it felt really long.

And a spoiler, so do not scroll over/highlight the blackened text unless you have seen the Dark Knight Rises, and The Avengers:

everybody told me that the ending was FANtastic.  Everybody also told me that the movie made The Avengers look like a children's movie.  Um, did anyone else notice that the ending was exactly the same as the ending to the Avengers?  Villain has huge bomb-type thing that is set to kill EVERYONE in just xx minutes; Superhero saves the day by taking the bomb and flying it far far away from the citizens; everybody suspects that selfless Superhero has died in the act of flying the bomb away from everyone; in fact, the Superhero survived.  And then ate Schawarma.  JK, Batman ate at a fancy cafe, not Schwarma.  

Whatever.  At least Joseph Gordon Levitt was there.


Now to cram one more irrelevant piece of my life into this post.  The Gentleman flipping HAND MADE some pasta dough, HAND CUT it into little strips, hand-fucking-cooked some sauce with Gorgonzola, Parmesan, and cream, and made us a feast.

Raw dough...

Cooked and with Gorgonzola sauce

This has absolutely no redeeming qualities.  No whole wheat, no vegan coconut oil, no cashew cream from the teet of a cashew.  It was just refined stuff and bad stuff, and duh obviously, it was the best pasta I've ever had.  It was so soft and pillowy, it was kind of like eating gnocchi in thread-form.

And because Batman was on my mind, I dubbed the pasta "Razal Goul" (Ra's al Ghul).  It sounds like a pasta, right?  A devilish Liam Neeson, or a pasta.  Or, a devilish pasta.  That's it!


After 5 days of icing, rolling, and TLC with a few easy-slow-flat miles last week to test out my calf, I was able to comfortably run 18 miles on Saturday.  Welllllll mostly comfortable.

See the other thing that happened is due to my calf alert, I paid more attentive to stretching and foam rolling in general last week.  I spent about 30 minutes each evening while watching the Olympics, stretching out my hips and hamstrings, rolling out my glutes and hip muscles.  By Saturday morning, I noted that my hamstrings and buttcrease felt nice and loose, and considered myself proud for really focusing on these things and possibly fixing the buttcrease issue once and for all.

But somehow, I think I made things worse.

My hip/buttcrease became really tight and sore near the end of my run, and miles 15-18 were full of stretch and walk breaks as I made my way home.  

This week will be very little running, in the hopes that I can run hard on Sunday for the Water to Wine half marathon.  I'm pretty certain I will have lost any speed I gained from the track, but as long as my legs aren't hurting I can at least turn it on a little bit and see how it goes.

Also very important: I ate a Charleston Chew as my pre-run fuel.  I forgot about Charleston Chews.  I love them.  Ignore the cult tip of putting it in the freezer; it is so much better in marshmallow form.

Now to recap, we have discussed iron, batman, pasta, injuries, Charleston Chews.  Talk to me.