I have always struggled with running during the winter months, but I am having even more difficulty this winter. My usual struggles include being cold all the time and my muscles not working well in the sub-freezing temperatures, plus the dark mornings aren’t very inviting either and motivation lacks a lot more. However, lately I have been struggling with breathing and feeling really winded. I find myself being out of breath just walking up the stairs and paces that should come pretty easily have been hard to hit.
I stopped taking my iron supplement during the middle of August–right around the time of the marathon. I simply ran out and didn’t think it would make that much of a difference. I guess now I know though that it does! I am 95% sure the reason I’ve been struggling with my running is due to being low on iron. I’ve been anemic before in college and a couple years ago when I was retested. I started taking my iron supplements again on Thursday, so hopefully I will start feeling better soon. Edited: I previously wrote that it takes 120 days for a red blood cell to grow, (The red blood cells carry the iron.) but in reality it only takes seven days. A red blood cell’s lifecycle is 120 days, which explains why it took me about 4 months to feel the way I do. Hopefully then I will feel the effects of the iron supplement sooner than later! I am just glad I don’t have any important races coming up.
Luckily I just had an easy 6 miles to run today. I ended up pushing the stroller because Cullen was up until midnight last night. (I challenge anyone who thinks they have a worse sleeper than our little rascal.) So I opted to sleep in and push him in the stroller for my run.
The run went fine, but Cullen started to get really fussy towards the end. Tomorrow I have a short interval workout on the treadmill in preparation for a second chance on my 5K time trial. I’m worried it isn’t going to go that well again. I think it will be better because I won’t be coming off a cold, but I think it is still going to be pretty challenging.
Oh well, we live and learn, right? I’m just glad I can still run. And really it is an easy fix, but it will just take a little bit of time.
Finally, happy solstice, and here’s to only gaining daylight from now on!