I received my exam results today. I didn’t study much, although did a lot of cramming for it in April. It was was kind of like an IQ test – a lot of it depended on my DNA and upbringing. But as I listened to the exam results, I felt relief, then pride. After all, didn’t I just do swimmingly?
When I run, I start finding it difficult around the 1 km mark. I have often wondered, “Do other people have the same problems and they are mentally strong enough to will their bodies to carry on?” Or is there something wrong with me? Am I just not built for running? Between pain in my calves and my lungs feeling like they are not getting enough oxygen, I then think that people who are endurance runners are completely crazy and the mentally strongest people on earth. But maybe they have better bodies than me?
For those of you who have followed a Couch to 5K officially program, you know they usually start you out on something like walk 1 minute, run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute etc. When I first saw these instructions, I thought “Who can run 5 minutes?”. Really? There are people who are sitting on the couch who can just get up and run 5 minutes? Wow, I am quite unfit.
But back to acing my exam – except for 1 aspect. Everything else – cholesterol, triglycerides, vitamins, platelets, White Blood Cell Count, Albumin, Creatinine, CK, Glucose Serum Fasting, you name it – exactly where it should be! My blood pressure was 85/40. Alas, the iron ruined my perfect result. My ferritin levels are 12: “Iron Deficient”. (the lowest category on the scale). Interestingly, iron carries oxygen on the red blood cells to the muscles in the body – hmmm.
Did you know that Iron absorption in the body is hindered by some items? Polyphenols in tea; Phytate in legumes, soybeans and whole grains; Oxalate in spinach, chard, kale, and sweet potatoes; vegetable proteins and calcium? Um, is that not my diet right now? I live on tea, I always eat whole grains, I eschew white rice for quinoa, I eat kale and spinach in smoothies, etc? And these things – though required and good for me too – actually help to block iron absorption? No wonder there are so many diet books out there – this stuff is complicated.
My calf pain also may have a cause – Chromic Exertional Compartment Syndrome (CECS). Doesn’t that sound terrible? It basically means that when your muscles expand during exercise they are trying to expand beyond the “muscle compartment”. As you can imagine, this causes pain. But we’ll see about that – I am going to get a referral to a sports doctor to confirm.
May 4th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: It’s not my fault! I am mentally strong! It’s the iron and the potential CECS! I knew it!
Maintenance May Day 4:
Visit to the Nurse Practitioner (NPs in Canada can do anything a doctor can except prescribe narcotics) for a full review of my health. And they actually spend time talking to you. And the appointments start on time. (body)
Consultation with a Registered Dietician with Emile to review our diets and fitness regimes. (body)
Updated my immunizations for Tetanus, Whooping Cough and Diphtheria. (body)
Visit to the spa to get a pedicure. Hello beautiful blue toes! (body).
PS Yes, I have already added a iron supplement to my vitamin intake.