Smiles All Around

First off, many many thanks for the emails and comments about my low iron/ferritin levels. I really was quite overwhelmed by the response and the willingness to help me out. Thanks again for taking the time to respond with your suggestions and ideas.

Actually, I have some excellent news about my ferritin levels… Thanks to some prodding from the nurses from whom I get my iron infusions and Marc – I called my doctor and told him I was feeling very tired and just generally rotten. Well, I spent an afternoon at the hospital getting a wide range of bloodwork done and it turns out my ferritin levels have actually risen – and risen quite dramatically. Where three weeks ago I was sitting at a dismal 11, I’m now sitting at a robust and rosey-cheeked 58! What good news. Turns out the reason for my lethargy and fatigue is due to my medicine (Imuran). This drug has lowered my white blood cell count to a too low level and has increased the size of red blood cells – this means I have an anemia caused by this blood cell imbalance. Also, my folic acid levels are too low. So all of this adds up to the feelings of fatigue and exhaustion I’ve been experiencing.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that with a tweak in my medicine and some folic acid supplements, I’ll soon be back to full strength. I have to say I do feel a bit relieved to know that the iron infusions are working but at the same time it is frustrating that the medicine that is keeping me in a remission is also making it hard for me to live my life.

I am eating a lot more broccoli, chomping down on raisins, I even bought some blackstrap molasses and made some gluten-free bars that are packed with lots of healthy Omegas. So hopefully this extra dose of iron fortifying foods will help as well.

But, enough babble about health. Lets get to the good stuff – the riding and the running. Well, I didn’t ride on Wednesday or Thursday – decided to take a few days off to rest my body and my soul. But boy did I make up for this little break! On Friday I had a great ride with my pal Dawn – we chatted and pedaled for a solid three hours. It was just what I needed to break me out of a funk and remind me how much I love riding and racing my bike. Saturday was downright ugly so I retreated to the woods and went on a fantastic trail run – it is funny after a 40 minute trail run I feel like I can take on the world. It must be true that endorphins give us a natural high because I ended that run thinking I might have to train for and run another marathon… Sunday was my intensity day – and it was awesome. I cranked out some of the best intervals of the season and I felt good while doing it. I bent the rules a bit and extended my 2.5 hour ride to just over 4 hours – I simply had to take advantage of the fabulous weather and I soon found myself in Merrickville in a desperate search for a peanut butter bar.

The good news about all this riding and running? I felt really good on Sunday evening. I think I might have bonked a bit on my Sunday ride but a super Double Expresso gel came to my rescue and I found my legs again. But apart from that blip, I felt really good. I expected to be wiped out Sunday evening and to feel a bit run down on Monday – but I’m thrilled to tell you that I felt excellent.

I’m in a short three day rest period and the action heats up again on Thursday. I’m really hoping the rain goes away, but regardless of the weather I’ll be outside – I just cannot ride the trainer in April!

So this is where things are. My mood is coming back to where it should be and I’m feeling optimistic that we can get this health blip sorted out. Really once my doctor gets the dosage sorted out, I think I’ll be feeling better than I have in a long time. I really can’t wait. Now I’m really so excited to get out and race my bike again. Look out Koksijde – here I come!

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