Thursday, October 29, 2009

And a Round, and a Round, We Go!

Just when I thought I had things, and when I say "things" I mean my iron level, all figured out, I'm back to square one again.  The past few days haven't been very pleasant for me.  I have been experiencing all the wonderful symptoms I had months ago which include and are in no particular order:  high heart rate during cardio exercise, leg cramps, migraine, chest discomfort/pain, and fatigue.  I'm trying to keep myself from not freaking about this.  This is not good news at all, particularly when my full distance race is in mere days! 

I called my doctor's office to obtain a doctor's order for another blood test for my iron levels.  Instead, of giving me the order, the doctor wanted to see me again. I scheduled the appointment for the first available appointment which was Tuesday afternoon.  It turned out to be a very frustrating visit with my doctor.  I informed the doctor of my symptoms.  I told her about an article I had found on the website regarding iron and athletes.  Something I didn't know nor did my doctor, is that you can lose iron through sweat and in addition, aspirin and ibuprofen can inhibit the absorption of iron.  She scanned the article, and asked me about my over-the-counter use (which the answer is "very rarely).

Doc: "I want to listen to your heart and lungs.  (she listens) ...ok, they sound fine."

As she pulls out a gown, she tells me she wants to have an EKG done...a what?  She starts explaining what it is and what it involves. 

Me: "Yes, I know.  I've had one done months ago."
Doc: "Oh?  Here, at the office?"
Me: "Yes"
Doc: She looks at chart, "Yes, you did. Sorry didn't see it, the file was in the wrong spot."

Doc:  "We may have to do a stress test and a echocardiogram."
Me: "I've already had those done by a cardiologist.  My heart is healthy"
Doc: "Oh, ok. How's your stomach? Any issues?"
Me: "No, my stomach is fine.  I've had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. Everything is normal."
Doc: "Oh, well I guess we already ruled out the obvious factors."

Me thinking....yes, we have.  Would you please look at my damn chart!

Me:  "My heart and everything else is fine, I believe my iron levels are low again."
Doc: "I believe you are right.  We should get you on some iron supplements"
Me: "I'm already taking them."
Doc: "You are? How much?"
Me: "One to two pills a day"...just like you told me I should do.

Doc: "Looks like we should do an iron test again."
Me thinking ....that's what I asked for in the first place.

Can you say "frustrating"?  Now I don't expect for the doctor to remember everything about me and my medical issues but for crying out my chart before entering the exam room.  Holy crap, lady!

I got my order for the iron test. She also decided to test my Vitamin D and a thyroid levels.  What the hell, why not!  And why not scan my brain while you're at it!

And now I (impatiently) await  for my results and doing my best to keep calm, cool and collected.  Did you know my race is only 8 days away?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Racking Up the Miles and Counting Down the Days

You know it's serious training time when you just don't have time to blog, meet with friends, or simply just to shop for groceries.  Excuse me for my absence from blogging, but I've been racking up the miles on the road, on the treadmill and even in the pool.

For the last 5 weekends I have rode 100+ miles--whether it be on one day or two consecutive days for each weekend.  I've had several long runs consisting of 13-15 miles each as well as several long swims of 2.4 miles (that's 76 laps in a 25 meter pool).  Those are my long workouts, on the other days of the week I usually squeezing in brick workouts after a full day's work.

I know that THIS, all THIS training, is what it is all about when reaching for such a lofty goal.  With less than 3 weeks to go, I'm tired physically and mentally.  It's starting to show.  It's harder to keep focused and moving lately.  The cold weather is getting to me, the constant wind is wearing me down, my muscles ache, ... I simply want to rest.

Luckily, this coming week's training will back down a slight bit in preparation for my Race Rehearsal #2.  I completed Race Rehearsal #1 last weekend which consisted of a 2.4 mi swim in the pool on Friday, and a 112 mile bike ride followed by a 6 mile run on Saturday.  The cold and wind in the Chicago area has been brutal lately.  That 112 mile ride was one of the most miserable rides I've ever rode.  The temperature was in the high twentys and into the mid- thirties; the wind was torturous.  Some how, some way I managed to reach inside myself and find the will and strength to finish.

I know I can and I will get through my training.  But for the next 3 weeks, I also need to find a way to refresh my mind, body and spirit so that I will be ready come race day. 

Splashing, pedaling, dashing and counting down the days to race day.