Monday, March 24, 2008

Oops! Put that blood back!

Believe it or not....I did a dumb thing. Ok, ok, I know, it's not all that unusual.

I had my routine annual physical and needed to get some labs drawn. I finally got to the lab this weekend and the phlebotomist took 6 tubes of blood (10 ml each). Now granted, that's not really that much blood, especially since we've got 5 liters in pumping throughout our bodies. But "Dang!" I thought as she kept grabbing more and more glass tubes as I watched the blood being sucked from my vein into them. "That's a lot of blood! I don't think I want to give that much away just 2 weeks before Umstead!"

.... "Ahh! Put it BACK!!"

I got worried. Again, I know it's not a lot of blood, but it does take 6 weeks for red cells to replenish. Not two. I can replace the volume easily with fluids but I can't replace the cells (the oxygen transporters) during that time.

I went for a shortish run on Saturday only to find that I was huffing and puffing up the hills, which never happens. Was it a real physiologic effect? Or was it just psychological? Won't EITHER answer ruin my race? Which is more powerful - the physiologic effect or the psychologic effect? What do I do?

Here's what I am doing.

First, what's done is done. They can't put the blood back.

The physiologic effect may or may not make a difference. The difference, if there, will be small. The psychologic effect, on the other hand, can ruin my race. That is the more powerful issue.

So, I started myself on some supplements to support regeneration, which may or may not be helpful. Still, I feel better doing it, so I'm going to do it.

I will ignore any shortness of breath that I perceive. (Note that I wrote "perceive" as I really don't know if it's real or worry or both, and really, it doesn't matter because like I said, even worry has the power to totally ruin my race.)

I will forget that I made the mistake and pretend it doesn't matter at all, which is likely the case anyway.

Here's what I will be taking for the next 10 days. I'm going to stop all supplements in advance of the race, especially the iron as it always does a number on my gut.

Vitamin B12
Omega 3s
Vitamin C
Folic Acid
Vitamin E

I'm also going a bit carnivore this week. I don't usually choose red meat to eat, so it's kind of hard to do it, but I'm firing up the grill this week!

Perhaps more importantly,

Today's Message of the Day is (modified from an email I received):

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile.


AnthonyP said...

I hope this doesn't have to much of an effect on your Umstead training.

olga said...

I vote it has no effect (BTW, I donated blood a week before a 50k, ok, it was a 50k, but I donated a full 454 ml) but psychological, so lets chill!!! Not in "blood chill", please:) I say, you be better off by renewing your red cells, and will carry more oxygen, and will kick bad ass in NC! Now you also need to get some sleep, and that, I hear, is hard to get...

Bob Gentile said...

I agree with Olga.... get more sleep and rest before Umstead since the blood factor is in play.

What is so great about you Lisa is ONCE it's time to race you will focus in and get that clarity you need to do well....and maybe just a but more the huffin' & puffin' along the way.

Have a great week!

Lisa B said...

Tony - Good thing my training is essentially done. Just gonna try to keep loose during the next 2 weeks, eat well and get some much needed sleep.

Olga - YEP!

Bob - focus and clarity, so right on. Cool about Triumph. I'll give him a hug for you at Umstead. :)

kelly said...

Good luck at Umstead!! You will do great there. Keep up the positive attitude and everything will fall into place. Also, remember to keep up on your nutrition these next couple of weeks. Good luck, Lisa.

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

Umstead is a very fun race and you will do soooooo well on this course.
Eat and rest my friend.
Hope to see you soon
The other Lisa B:)

Lisa B said...

Thanks Kelly and the other Lisa B!
Attitude, nutrition, rest, and FUN. Great advice from the pros in the sport. I'll take it (and need it)!!

Thank you!

Mario Lacerda said...

Dear Sweet Favorite DOC....
I would be more than glad to "sponsor" you a Brazilian barbecue.....that is a lot of meat.

You are a hard core girl and you will do great in your next race...

See you soon


Backofpack said...

Now you've got me wondering. I went for a little trip to Urgent Care on Monday and they pulled three vials of blood. My heart rate has been up all week and I've been tired, plus I had a tough time on my hilly eight mile today - felt tight chested. Of course, it's not too unusual for me after a big exertion, but I wonder. I take iron & vit C anyway, and get plenty of B12. I am vegetarian though, so no red meat in my future. I've got Yakima on Saturday. I was already planning good nutrition, hydration and lots of sleep this week. Anyway, good luck at Umstead!

Lisa B said...

Hi Mario - Thanks! A big Brazillian hug to you! See you at Badwater? And congrats again to your daughter getting into medical school!!

Michelle - You didn't say why you went to urgent care. Could that be an underlying reason for the increased heart rate or shortness of breath? It's unlikely that 3 tubes will cause significant anemia with shortness of breath and chest tightness... unless you were already pretty low. It takes a couple of days to get the blood volume back up so that should have been repleted by now. It's the iron that you need. Plenty of ways to get iron as a vegetarian. At this point, with Yakima in a week, iron supplements are probably not going to do much more than cause some GI distress. Probably best to do just as you say and eat a healthful diet, but you might want a further work-up to see what's up. Really, 3 tubes is not that much blood. Even with 6 for me, I'm back to feeling fine. Stay well!

Backofpack said...

I went in for chest pain - but they ran ekg & heart monitor and did the blood test that checks for heart attack and all was clear. It's more of the usual for me - an unidentified problem. The chest pain is already gone. There was no shortness of breath or anything to go along with it. It's what my cardiologist called ideopathic. I hadn't had it for a while, so after having it all day Monday decided to get it checked. Plus when I get it, it's usually during a run, and this was just sitting around.

I just read some interesting stuff on mitral valve prolapse and dysautonomia (someone I know was suffering from this). It's interesting to me, because it sounds like what I experience, but without the mitral valve prolapse. I have a slightly leaky bicuspid aortic valve, but the rest of it sounds similar.

Thanks for the info though!

Alene said...

Lisa you crack me up. I thought I was the only one who thought about those things when I get blood drawn! I get paranoid after two tubes!

Take care and don't perceive any SOB!

Lisa B said...

Hi Michelle, I'm glad you got checked out for that. Bummer you have to deal with those symptoms. Glad your tests are ok. As long as your doc says its ok to run, well then, I wish you all the best at Yakima! I wish I could be two places at once... I'd be there too.
You must've had a good recovery from your 50-miler to be running a marathon so soon. That's excellent.

Hi Alene - I've been following your preps for Badwater. I'm excited for you. As I said before, you are so strong and will do great there. Looking forward to seeing you again.

Backofpack said...

I'm not sure if I'm fully recovered - my legs feel great, but I'm still tired all the time. And now I have a cold! Oh well, I've slogged through a marathon before, I can do it again. Plus, it's only Tuesday, maybe I'll feel energized by Saturday. I hope you have a blast at Umstead!

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...


Have a great Umstead!!!

Laura H said...

Looks like that little blood loss didn't hurt you much! Congrats on your race at Umstead! Maybe you were running lighter without those pesky heavy RBCs! ;D

Bob Gentile said...

Congrats Lisa on ur Umstead100 finish you reached ur goal of under 20 hours...So Awesome!!

I Look forward to your report...Recover Well!!