13 September 2023

Of blood and carbon

Well, it's just about time for my annual blog entry ...! 

This past weekend I managed to accomplish something which I'd never done before - I gave blood!

There have been a number of friends of mine who have been regular donors and it's something that I've thought about from time to time but never managed to pull the trigger on actually doing it.  Any number of excuses come to mind, but none of them really outweighing the significant impact it could have on someone else's life (which may or may not actually depend on that available blood supply).  I'm proud to say that I overcame whatever reservations I might have had to actually book this appointment, and the team at Canadian Blood Services were incredibly helpful, courteous and considerate.  It was very straightforward and pretty much discomfort-free!


That all being said - did I plan this out smartly ..?


I'm set to serve as a full-marathon pacer again at The County Marathon in just less than three weeks' time, and it wasn't until after my donation that I paid attention to it's potential impact on training and performance.  My radar was immediately alerted when the phlebotomist told me to make sure not to exert myself for 6-8 hours, and that made me wonder about my planned workout for the next morning.  I then dove in my Google researching and found several helpful articles (check out this one, this one and this one) that shared a consensus opinion that the likely time required to full recovery aerobic recovery is about three weeks. 


How long is it again until I have to pace ...?




Perhaps I have not totally set myself up for failure (as last year's DNF as a pacer - due to back spasms - was not pleasant at all) as the race sits right at the boundary marker for the prescribed post-donation recovery period.  I've also decided to drink the proverbial kool-aid and purchased a pair of Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 carbon-plated 'supershoes' specifically for race day.  If I do happen to benefit from the supposed 2-4% improvement in running economy then perhaps that will help to off-set any residual deficit from my reduced red blood cell count.


Only really affordable thanks to a Running Room gift card from a friend ...!

That's how things stand as of right now - and since I've set the stage for this upcoming race I suppose that I'll have to write-up a post-event report to close the loop on how everything worked out.  Here's hoping that after October 1st I will have managed to both help save lives and help runners hit their time goals!


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