Apheresis

(Some of this post could be triggery to people who find talk about fitness and weight management triggery. FYI.)

I donated blood today! First time in a year and a half (I was having iron level issues when I started eating a more flexitarian diet, and got refused several times. I seem to have a handle on THAT nutrient now, at least.) and for the first time, I gave blood via the shiny new apheresis method, where they take two units of packed red cells, centrifuge it, and give you back your plasma and a bunch of normal saline to bring your blood volume back up.

It took a bit longer, and my arm got cold (the saline is at room temperature, so it lowers your body temperature a little–and in New England in winter, room temperature can be pretty chilly!) but the result is that they get twice as many life-saving red blood cells, and I get to feel like a contributing member of society for a while. ;-)

Supposedly, it takes 650 calories for the body to rebuild one unit of blood, so I’m eating at maintenance today. Which is an awful lot of food, it turns out, given my training schedule–a little under 2500 calories.

I am about to shrink out of my skinniest pair of jeans. I’ve been weighing in at 178-179 for several days now, which is very encouraging. I’m not actually particularly concerned with losing the fifteen or eighteen pounds to my goal at this point, although I mean to keep working on it. I’m not in any hurry, though–that’s mostly just to take some more pressure off my joints running and climbing.

So close! And I’m so happy with my body these days. It does so much, so efficiently, and feels good doing it. I am strong and fleet of foot, and I love that.

Speaking of which, I ran a twelve mile long day last week, which kind of kicked me to the curb for the rest of the day. I need to pay more attention to nutrition while running (carbohydrate and especially electrolyte replacement) when I’m running for longer than two hours. Shamefacedly, I have bought some sports drinks.

And today I did 4.9 miles in 49 minutes. Despite it being cold enough that breathing was a bit of a challenge. I can’t wait until it warms up into the 30s. Anything over 25 and under 65 is a pretty comfortable running temperature for me. 20 is a bit much on my tender alveoli, and below that I’m good for maybe two miles before I run out of oxygen.

Thursday, I have a much shorter long run–9 miles–on the hilly route. I guess I’ll find out what giving away two units of red blood cells has done to my stamina.

Bwahahahahahaha.

In other news, I have broken 60,000 words and 300 pages on Steles of the Sky. There’s still a heck of a lot of work to do–but I’m feeling pretty confident in my ability to do it. The book is more or less cooperating, and although the scene I am working on now is kind of a mess of [Go back and put in this brilliant idea later] notes, and a few [insert awesome banter here] notes, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m working well within myself, and I think I will even be able to take Boskone off without too much guilt.

Which reminds me, I will be at Boskone. And a bunch of other stuff this spring–check the Public Appearances category!

Posted: Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 @ 12:14 am
Categories: Blog, Fitness, Newscrawl, Personal, Public Appearances, Writing, Writing Novels.
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6 Responses to “Apheresis”

  1. Joe Hempel Says:

    Yeah, getting over that 12 mile mark is tough. But you did it! I don’t think you need to start carrying anything with you other than water, if you need it, just yet. That comes when you finish this and run a marathon…you said you know you won’t…but I promise, the feeling of the finish line will push you farther. LOL.

    Nutrition is very important as you know. Carb up! The better you eat the better your run will be be, which in turn motivates you to continue for better performance.

    Congrats on a 49 minute 4.9 mile! In this weather!! Fantastic!! I haven’t got off my butt to run outside since December when it was 60 degrees LOL. Even then I only ran 18 miles that week.

    Kudos to you!! Keep it up!

  2. matociquala Says:

    I dunno, I can about tolerate the boredom of one two hour run a week. Running, for me, remains cross-training for the climbing, and not so much a thing in itself.

    I don’t seem to get exercise endorphins from running, or from anything less intense than climbing, so I have to live through my runs without drugs. Also, my ankles will just about barely tolerate this level of training. At this point, I’m most looking forward to slacking back to a couple of six mile runs a week, and some shorter stuff, once my race is over. :-P

    As for carrying anything with me–I have blood sugar issues, and I needed carbs to get past eight miles. ;-) Alas, another case of what works for one athlete just failing for another.

    (For me, 18 miles is a damned good week!! I aim for fifteen when I’m not training for a race.)

  3. Joe Hempel Says:

    Exactly!! You know your body better than anybody else so listening to it is a good thing. When is the race? At 12 miles it should be coming soon right?

  4. matociquala Says:

    The race is towards the end of March. So I’m in good shape–though today’s run was a bit of a disaster. Apparently an aftereffect of apheresis is that big hills are probably a bad plan for a while…

  5. Joe Hempel Says:

    yeouch! I hear you. From what I’ve been reading it completely sounds like you are on track (even allowing for a two week taper) and will do a great job!

    I will say I fully blame you and reading your half-marathon training for signing up for the Heart Mini, March 17th (free entry). I haven’t run in 7 weeks and for some reason thought a half-marathon 6 weeks away was a good idea.

  6. matociquala Says:

    Sounds like a fabulous idea! Okay, maybe it might hurt a little.

    I mostly run for fitness, and was actually up to over ten miles before I signed up for the half. And there’s the problem of keeping my training schedule up in New England in the winter… so I’m getting more low-mileage weeks than I really ought to. But as long as I can keep my cardio fitness up, the rest won’t really hurt me. Right now, I’m managing a 9+ mile run about every two weeks out of three.