Week in Review: 8/20/18

This week's stats:

On Monday, I headed into a windowless LapCorp office to get my blood drawn.  After four vials were taken, I had to wait six more days to get the results back from Athlete Blood Test.  I've been tracking my ferritin levels since 2001, with my lowest ferritin level of 4.  In those 17 years, I've never received such a comprehensive blood report like the one from ABT.  Not only did ABT provide a summary of the critical steps to be taken immediately, they also provided tables with recommended/ideal ranges for both normal people as well as athletes.    The two main takeaways were:

  1. I do have low ferritin - value of 10, ideal is about 30-35 for me.  Once I dip below 20, I usually feel like crap.  
  2. I likely have over-training syndrome based on the training tolerance panel, including low total testosterone, low DHEA-S, and low free testosterone 

I do have a couple of explanations for why this happened.  For complete transparency, it's entirely my fault because of two main reasons. First, I stopped taking iron supplements over a year ago because I was doing a great job of getting my iron through plant-based sources such as spinach, kale, hemp, quinoa, apricots and other dried fruits.  But, in the last 8 weeks, I've been busy at work from 9AM-2PM leading calls, which means that I wasn't eating until 2:30PM...leading us to the second reason:  I was under-eating.  Therefore, I wasn't getting the nutrients that aid in recovery and the calories that could help me get my energy levels back up.   I'm sure that's why my ferritin levels dropped.  To combat this, I've ordered meals through Thistle so that I have healthy, plant-based meals ready to go for those days when I'm too busy to make my own food.  I plan to do this for at least the next 3-6 weeks.  Additionally, I'm reducing the quality that I'm doing for the next two weeks to see how I do.

One thing that's really tough about having low ferritin / OTS is managing the mental aspect.  It's easier to cave in on a workout now that I know I have a reason.  I usually don't like to get my blood tested until after a race because it generally messes with my head.  

Regardless, I feel like I have a solid plan of action and am confident that I can still race strong at the Rock n Roll San Jose Half.