I’m Back, Baby! Rebounding From Iron Deficiency

Guest Blogger Libby Jones

When we last saw our heroine, she was reeling from two DNFs, blood test in hand showing low iron levels, and doctor’s orders to take iron pills 3x a day…

My iron saturation % was 9% when blood tests were initially done. 2 weeks later, after following the plan of iron pills every time I turned around (okay, just 3 times a day, but I hate taking pills so it felt like a lot), I returned for my followup blood test. The results? Iron saturation was now within the normal range, although still the low end of that range, at 23%! The doctor was pleased. I still feel kind of tired.

But that’s my life… I’ll stop being tired when I’m dead. But don’t let that make you think I am not having a ton of fun in the process and making indelible memories! I do feel less lethargic during my workouts so that’s been a plus.

And the whole experience helped me realize I need more sleep generally, so that was another positive notch. The doctor has now taken me down to iron pills only once a day, trying to move me to more of a maintenance phase now that I’m in normal limits. But is that a maintenance amount of iron intake?

It never hurts to ask for a recheck that fits your workout life! The doctor wanted to recheck in another 4 weeks to make sure I didn’t dip back down with iron pills only one time a day. However, I knew I was running the San Francisco Marathon 3 weeks and a couple days after this doctor visit. When I brought it up, he agreed, that’s a lot to put my body through, physically and mentally, without confirmation that my iron is on track.

Race week (next week, eeee!), I’ll have blood drawn Wednesday and meet with the doctor Friday to discuss the results. Everything should be good for me to enjoy the race Sunday. In the meantime, I feel pretty good. I’m back to 35-45 mile weeks of runs, with a total workout time per week of 10-12 hours. So yes, I’m tired, but it’s a reasonable tired! And I can’t wait to be back in San Francisco soon, run across the Golden Gate Bridge, and complete my 2nd San Francisco Marathon!

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