Well, I guess it has been a full week since I updated the blog. I actually went back for another “
Easy Breezy” run with the Runner’s Den group tonight, despite nearly suffering from heat stroke last week. I decided that since I needed to get today’s run in anyway, I should go back and join in the group again so that I get more comfortable with it. Today, a rep from Asics was there with lots and lots of shoes for us to try out with our run tonight, if we wanted. She didn’t have a big selection in my giant shoe size (11!) so I ended up trying out the Asics Gel Electro 33’s, which is a minimalist 0 drop running shoe. I normally wear a “neutral” shoe and I believe these are for those with pronation, but it was pretty comfortable for today’s run. It was just fun to try something new – even though I have only had one run in my new Brooks Glycerins so far too.
Most of the group did a 4-6 mile out and back but I decided to head back after 1.5 miles instead of 2, to make it a 3 mile run for today. I did this mainly because it was really warm and I knew I had a really full night ahead of me with a giant painting/staining project I have going on at the house – one that has a deadline (I’ll get to that in a moment….) Anyway, the run was, indeed, sweltering but different than last week in that it was very overcast and humid – and also over 100 degrees. It seemed a bit easier though since the
sun was not beating down on us. Even at 7pm after I finished and headed back towards home, my car thermometer read 104 degrees. The “out” part was pretty nice since there were a few familiar faces and a few women that I didn’t recognize from last week that seemed friendly. Since I turned back early, I also ended up running over half of the time tonight by myself – which completely defeats the idea of a “group run”. It was a little creepy running back on my own. I thought some of the faster runners would catch up with me and I’d have more company, but that really didn’t happen. I’m sure I was pretty safe, but I’m not very familiar with that area so I just wasn’t sure. At one point I had to run into a dark underpass tunnel where I have seen some homeless people camped out – nobody was in there today, fortunately.
So, moving along – the real topic of this post. Iron. I have been neglecting regular assessments on the KokoFitCheck at the gym, mainly because I usually forget about it until after I have started my workout and I have consumed so much water at that point, I don’t want to mess up my body composition readings. Yesterday I finally got on after a long hiatus. I was hopeful I would see good results because I have been killing it at the gym with strength training. For what I have gotten lax with on my running, I have made up for with weight lifting. Well, imagine my huge disappointment when I registered a huge (like 2+ pounds) of muscle loss since the last time I was on there! I know the results can be skewed a bit, but I wasn’t expecting that. It really crushed my spirit. I know, physically, I feel stronger and my muscles are more defined, but I was so disappointed. I continued on with my workout though and started thinking it through…rationally… because I’m an engineer at heart and that is what we do. I have been getting plenty of protein, haven’t I? Yep, I think so…. My calories are still pretty low…but that shouldn’t matter, should it? I know I have been using meal replacement products, especially protein bars, probably to excess but that seems like it shouldn’t be hurting things. Hmmmm… Then it hit me. I’m anemic. I started doing some quick Google searches on anemia/weight training/building lean muscle mass and realized that I am really going to have a hard time building muscle fiber when I don’t have enough iron. Aha! Last week I got my recommendations from my doctor about starting iron supplements for the next 3+ months and I had yet to even go buy the iron pills. I decided that I really needed to start there – get some iron pumping through my body finally AND make a concerted effort to eat iron rich foods (dark green leafy veggies, shell fish, red meat) – all stuff that I actually like.
I am so hopeful that this is the answer to my inability to put on muscle mass and, possibly, help to improve my running as well. I don’t feel like I am particularly “tired”. I’m always on the go and don’t get much time to sit down and rest, but I’ve been able to keep up and not feel very run down. I’ve heard of a few stories from others about friends that have seen great improvement from iron supplements after finding out they were anemic so that give me a little bit of hope that I could be on the road to improving my fitness. I’m not terribly disappointed with where I’m at, I guess I just figured I’d have some better results by now. But, maintaining my weight loss and keeping healthy and active is really all I can ask for.
I also learned from my primary care doc last week that based on the tests done the previous weeks, there was no signs of anything obvious that has been causing my heavy periods (which is where I’m pretty sure the anemia is stemming from). She told me that it was most likely just a part of my “advancing age” but she did want to those tests to rule out anything else before moving forward with treatment options. I’m hoping to pursue a low dose progesterone birth control pill to reduce the lining of my uterus and, therefore, reduce the bleeding some. There are several more invasive procedures (ablation, IUD) to attempt the same thing, but I think I’ll try this first. I’m already going to be popping iron pills and some other recommended vitamins, I might as well add birth control back into the mix. From the little bit of reading that I have done, I think there is a chance of some weight gain from progesterone but that seems to happen initially in the first couple of weeks – and then, actually, progesterone can serve to help reduce weight over time. Since I see Dr. Z next week, I hope to ask him about all of that and see what he thinks. The last thing I want to do is jack up my weight with a pill….
So, back to my painting/staining project. The house remodel is coming along pretty well now and that is where I’ve spent about 95% of my attention and energy the last couple of weeks. The baseboards are in and painted and most of the house was painted last week as well. I’m really happy with the way it turned out, but it really draws out the fact that our oak banister is really going to clash with our new wall color and flooring. I knew that, but decided I wanted to try to take care of it before our new carpet went in. Since I didn’t really have time to find and hire a new contractor, I decided to take the staining and painting on myself after reading up on it online. I found a gel stain that, of course, didn’t work out quite as easy as everyone on Pinterest claimed, but it still did a nice job. There are just millions of spindles and lots of details involved in this project – it is definitely time consuming. But, it is coming along nicely. I don’t know if I’ll finish before the carpet gets installed on Friday, but I do have the portion that actually touches the carpet done now so that is good. You can see in the pictures below what I have done so far (actually I started priming the top spindles tonight in white paint, it takes me about 8 spindles/hour…) I’ll post some pictures of the finished project – if that ever happens!