This blog will be two weeks worth of revelations rolled into one. Lucky you, Mr & Mrs Reader…
Recovery is important.
I know. Shockingly new information, right?
I seem to be incredibly good both at underestimating and overestimating my body. Some days I am really impressed with it’s tenacity. And then there are the days I’m reminded of it’s fragility.
I had one of those days last week…
Boyfriend and I had planned to donate blood in the evening. Something we do at every opportunity. I never usually change anything in my routine on the day. I eat regularly and drink plenty. Except I didn’t on Tuesday. Unless you count a bacon sandwich and 1/2 a giant tub of toffee popcorn, 300ml of water and a few sips of Pepsi as good nutrition… oops. And then there’s the fact that I’m training 4 times a week at the moment. Something that is entirely new.
Off we went (I felt fine. Just a bit tired) and went through the usual checks. My iron level was normal. Good, in fact. But the needle prick to test levels made me queasy – not normal.
Through in the big, cold gym hall, a nurse says “just a sharp scratch” as she inserts the largest bore needle I think I’ve ever seen. Again. Normal. But for some reason I have to grit my teeth and the pain explodes through my arm. Something I’ve never experienced with donation before. (If you’ve never donated blood before, do not let me put you off. This is not normal)
After a few minutes, a concerned nurse tells me I need to squeeze the ball in my hand harder. The blood isn’t coming out quickly enough. A machine is going ape shit beside me. In the time it has taken my Other Half to come in, wait, donate, and be released, I’ve only given 300ml. Pathetic.
I finish eventually and gingerly make my way to the recovery area where the Tunnocks tea cakes await.
I do not feel right.
Sitting at the table, I grab OH’s hand and say “I’m fainting” he replies “you’re not, you’re just panicking” and then I’m out.
That’s what dehydration will do to you.
A human body of 60-70kg has around 4-5 litres of blood. I gave 650ml. Which isn’t lots. But while I’m training and pushing my body to it’s limits, I need as much as I can get. It takes the average human 3-4 weeks to get back to normal amounts of blood. While the fluid is made up quite quickly (from what I’m told 48 hours ish) the red blood cells take longer to re-produce.
So by being dehydrated in the first place, I had already lengthened my recovery, which in the end took 8 days, by the way. 8 days of feeling completely drained (‘scuse the pun) and like my body had no juice.
This leads me to my next adventure. The Hen Weekend.
My dear friend is getting married in July this year and as one of her Bridesmaid’s, I was invited to 2 nights of girly madness in Edinburgh this weekend. I decided this would be my final foray into the land of booze until May 26th. The day after the Marathon.
Not to be deterred from my training plan, I decided I would do a long run on the Saturday. I knew after our crazy night out on Saturday night, this Sunday would be out. (How right I was)
I planned to keep Friday limited solely to carbs and maybe one or two small Prosecco’s. That went well… I managed about 6 hours sleep until the fuzzy mouth woke me up. Luckily one of the other Bridesmaids is training for The Half in Edinburgh so we had planned to run to Portobello and do a few miles of the route that morning. We left at 7am thinking it would be lovely to wake ourselves up.
It was not lovely. We had to turn back after 5.8 miles as I was about to fall asleep in a bus stop.
So I learnt that running after 6 glasses of bubbly, 2 of questionable wine and 3 gins is not brilliant. And I’m still paying with pain in my hip flexers from gunning it a bit too hard to begin with.
My final night on the booze last night, was fairly spectacular seeing a record breaking early-to-bed fail of 11.30pm having chased my best friend down Leith Walk holding both our shoes and 2 bags of chips… My feet are in tatters from 6 inch platforms and I have a shooting pain in my neck from all the many, many, MANY shots of Whisky…
Needless to say, I’m quite looking forward to the next 7 weeks of total sobriety….
From here onwards, my body will become a temple… (after this bowl of mac and cheese…)