I may not hit 50, but…

iron deficiency

The infusions seem to be doing some good

I will hit 50, the age, all too soon. But 50 as a hematocrit level? Nah, nor do I want to.

One of the things I’ve learned from The Secret Race is that 50 was the top hematocrit level the pro cyclists could hit during major races before receiving a 15-day ban. So as they took their EPO and did their blood doping, any time they got too close to 50, they’d take massive amounts of salt tablets and drink ginormous quantities of water to bring the levels back down a bit. Still, it was nothing for them to race at 48 or 49.

Given my recent bout of anemia, I can now appreciate how ridiculously high that is. Mine has been stuck firmly in the low- to mid-30s for some time. But now that I’ve had two iron infusions (my third is scheduled for today), I think things are looking up.

All the way into last weekend, I was horribly, horribly tired. I was hitting bed as early as I possibly could–trust me, if 7 p.m. were an option, I would have taken it. Since late last week, however, I’ve been noticing a little difference in how quickly my legs have been recovering. The same holds true for this week. I did a double on Tuesday and that second run felt amazing. Let me tell you, this is not the norm in my world.

As to energy levels–those seem to be making a little turn, too. I still like my early bed times and will snag a nap whenever I can, but I think I am improved over just last week. And that’s while hitting my highest mileage week this training cycle.

So I am hopeful. Not hematocrit of 50 hopeful, but maybe low 40s hopeful. Normal hopeful. Can’t wait to know exactly how that feels.

Who out there has had anemia and then turned the corner? What do I have to look forward to here? 




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  1. says

    I am glad to hear that it sounds like your iron infusion is working. Will you need to continue getting them? From your picture, it looks painful. Was it? I am just not one for needles and such. They freak me out, but I have a really high pain tolerance. I just don’t like the looks of them.
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Happy Birthday TO ME!My Profile

  2. says

    I am so so so glad you’re starting to feel better! I had/have iron deficient anemia, and still take Iron every.single.day. I don’t think I’ll ever see a HCT in the upper 40’s, but I also haven’t had to go down the road of infusions.. Would love to chat w/ you about this.. xoxo
    Meaghan recently posted..Stone Cat 50-Miler Race Report, Part IIMy Profile

  3. says

    Oh man, those infusions. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling bits and bits better for sure. I was anemic in college and the lethargy was so odd, especially for active folks like us. They had me on iron supplements until my stomach couldn’t take it anymore, and my doc told me I had to start eating animal protein (despite my iron rich plant diet). I haven’t been tested since, but I feel noticeably better these days than I did back then. It gets better!
    Efo recently posted..Rushing to workMy Profile

  4. says

    I was just reading this post, I was checking my blood test results from a while back – my hematocrit level was 44. The normal level listed for the test was 40-52. I had no idea that EPO boosted the hematocrit levels, that is a real bummer if yours were in the low 30s, that seems really low.
    Nelly recently posted..Football, Running, NYC marathonMy Profile

  5. says

    No fun, I hope by now it’s better! I have struggled with anemia and it does make a person feel horrid. I don’t know my hemocrit #’s, though. They always tested another number that was more like a normal of 12-ish…hemoglobin?
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