Monday, August 25, 2008

How I Celebrate my Triathlon Finish: Donating Blood

Powder Puff (aka "Puffie"), our cat working hard at sleeping.

Today I donate blood. This is the first time this year I am doing this. I feel a bit badly about this fact. Most years I max out my blood donation by participating in scheduled donations immediately upon being eligible to donate. I am O negative thus a universal donor--which really gets me stalked by the Red Cross but also means my blood can help many folks. Unfortunately this year my race schedule has just been too tight to enable me to feel comfortable with doing this.

I have 2 weeks until the North Face 50km, I am 5 weeks away from Vermont 100, so I think (hope) my body can handle donating just a pint of blood.

A few years ago (the year of Hurricane Katrina) I donated 4 days before the Virginia Beach half marathon in late August. This was before the extent of the damage of the hurricane was known. I am glad I donated because my blood hopefully went to good use; however, I would not recommend donating 4 days before a moderately challenging event. (This was before I was doing marathons week in and week out and I think this might have pushed my body to the limit). At the finish the Virginia Beach Half I was really fatigued.

Hopefully if I am successful in donating (my iron levels are insufficient about 5-10% of the time, perhaps because I am a female) in the next two weeks, my body will recover and at least I will beat the 9 hour limit for the North Face 50 km, which is pretty much my only goal.

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