Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Can Iron Supplements Really Make a Difference?

I get annual physicals for my job and my blood test have always shown I am on the low side of normal for my red blood cell count.  Last year and this year, I dipped below "Low normal" to "anemic" according to two different docs.

Typical signs of anemia are paleness (yup, but that's normal for me), being tired (who isn't?) and low blood pressure (uh, yes...noticeable drop in the last year).  Ordinarily, low blood pressure is a good thing, but this caused my doctor to test my blood.

Image Source:  Hospitalsoup.com

I took iron supplements for a while last year and didn't really notice any difference, so stopped and forgot to go back for a follow up test.  This year, my doc suggested supplements and re-testing in July.  And I am on it.

I really think it made a difference this time.  About three weeks ago, I was struggling with a 3 mile run.  Two weeks of iron supplements later, I had a very easy 5 mile run.  My average pace wasn't great (10:51), but I was consciously taking it easy to baby my left foot/ankle. But the point is, I felt good throughout the race.

Today I ran a very comfortable 3 mile race at about a 10:23 pace (that included walking up the hills per foot doctor's orders).  Better, and I definitely had more gas in the tank at the end.  Could be a coincidence, but I don't think so.  Sometimes doctors actually know what they're talking about...

Half Marathon Training Progress Report -
  • 3 mile run (10:23 pace)
Total Distance - 3 miles
Total Time - 31:09

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