Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with anemia.* I'd been feeling "off" for a couple of weeks at that point--I had an overall fatigue (which is not easy to manage with Spencer around), and had been feeling light-headed when running a few times. I chalked it all up to the increase in activity and didn't really think much of them sending me for extra blood work. So while not shocking, it was disappointing to hear a diagnosis of anemia. Especially when the nurse followed up the diagnosis with the instructions to limit exercise for a few weeks. So instead of ramping up my running... I went the other direction. I took almost two weeks off from running. (And pretty much all exercise.) I skipped my first race of the season in March, because I knew I wasn't well enough to run it. Although, passing out on the course would make for an interesting blog post... no?!
While we're still trying to determine the cause of the anemia, I've been feeling well enough to run again. I laced up my sneakers again last Thursday, and then had my first race of the season on Sunday. It was a 5k memorial run for a fallen officer. It was not my best run, or my best time. I didn't feel great during the run... but I finished. That counts for something, right?! And my fellow runner and friend, Katie, was there cheering me on the whole way. (I may have bagged it without her!) My official time was 35:39. Because I'm very "self-competitive" I really wanted a time under 35:00. (Why is that so elusive for me on "real" runs where the time counts?! For the record, I ran 3.1 on Thursday in 33:00. Of course, that run had no hills.)
Given the circumstances, I'm thinking I need to embrace that time and be happy about it. The important thing is, I'm running again. Last year, a diagnosis of anemia would have been the perfect excuse for me to give up on the running. But not now. I'm facing the challenge that arise and overcoming them. I've got my eye on the next race, a 5k. And the one after that, an 8k. And then a10k before the "big race" of a half marathon.
Aint nothing going to break my stride Nobody´s going to slow me down Oh no, I have got to keep on moving Aint nothing going to break my stride I am running & I would not touch ground Oh no, I have got to keep on moving -Men at Work
*Many people assume that anemia is related to iron. While iron-deficiency is a leading cause of anemia, anemia itself is actually a lack of healthy red blood cells. Low red blood cells means your body isn't getting enough oxygen. At this point, we're not sure if iron-deficiency is to blame for my anemia or not. Public Service Announcement over. :)