More on haemoglobin and running…

Dose of reality:  I think it’s not just the haemoglobin.  It was great to hit some kind of magic sweet spot last summer, revived by a two week family holiday in SW France, camping under the pine trees, jogging late in the day to avoid the heat, and reinvigorated by a diet of of vin, fromage, saucisse, and what the the French colloquially call “le dexamethasone”.  Ah steroids, such a beautiful universal language.  But the following months of 2015 also demonstrated to me that even trying to align my running efforts with the weekly boost of steroid wasn’t really resulting in much improvement in the running experience, and in fact to be honest there’s was even more of a slow-down.  Not long after that holiday one of the excellent haematologists I see concluded that my haemoglobin level was back up to as good as it was going to get, and I stopped taking the iron pills, so my irrational hopes of keeping taking them and ending up with super-human haemoglobin levels never quite panned out.

Despite that I’m going to immediately cash in my busy dad / worker card here anyway, and it’s fair to say that the latter part of 2015 was bloody hard work.  Yet a large part of that was due to the travel that I did.  Of course, by the same token, I’m very aware that I’m lucky to be able to travel like I sometimes do for work – both in comparison to others and more significantly, here, despite my pesky “conditions”.  Between the end of September and mid-November 2015 I was in Cambridge, Chicago (one US trip), Minneapolis, Seattle and San Jose (second US trip), Taipei (Taiwan), and Okinawa (Japan).  If you’ve travelled like that for work, you’ll know what a drag such regular long distance travel is.  If you haven’t, yes it used to be cool jetting round the world, but now – the right side of 40 and with a family – it’s 80% a pain in the butt / 20% fun.  I really feel the need to reiterate that my point in spelling out all that travel is not to brag about the air miles I’ve clocked up (or perhaps to publicly atone for my environmental sins…), but to acknowledge that I’m lucky, mainly medically lucky, to still be able to travel so much.

But that didn’t leave a lot of time for exercise, and my fitness reached something of a low ebb by December 2015.  And then throw into the mix a minor hernia repair (hey! don’t look at me like that – I did say I’m the right side of 40 now, right?) in early December, and I, almost literally, just crawled my way into 2016. And then January 2016 brought its own set backs, but read the next post for more on that…

So, running isn’t really happening for me at the moment, but I’ve been pretty good at getting down to the gym recently (twice starting at about 6.30am this week!), so we’ll see what modicum of fitness I can recover…


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