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Miscellaneous Thoughts on Blood Donation Day

Monday, April 29, 2013

Today was my scheduled blood donation. I took the day off, with the original plan being to recover from a half marathon and see if I could still manage a successful donation. That turned out to be a good plan, even though I backed down to the 5K yesterday.

Got up this morning, and developed a minor headache doing pullups. Thought about that, and similar headaches earlier. Realized that I was quite dehydrated, which sometimes happens the morning after I run. (This morning's weight of 159.8, down 1.4 pounds from yesterday, was a big clue.) So I set out to drink more water than usual, and spread it out over the morning.

The sore leg didn't complain about this morning's light joggging up and down the hallway. It felt like I could do run/walk intervals today; but that would be stupid. First, running before donating blood when I'm already dehydrated would practically guarantee a failed donation. Second, I need today to be a non-running day as a matter of principle, because the bad foot *still* isn't 100%. So this morning's cardio was a 5K walk, which took 43 minutes. That's not as fast as the walks last week before the 5K, but it averaged just below a 14 minute mile. That's a good sign for tomorrow's normally scheduled run, which I ought to take as intervals.

I sipped water all morning long, and made sure I had a salad at lunch plus grapes and an apple for snack. Got to the blood appointment with 10 glasses of water logged. Didn't get to sit still very long there, which is a Good Thing when you're a runner. Pulse was measured at 50, and BP at 96/70. That wasn't low enough for the nurse to have to call a supervisor, which has happened with a pulse of 48.

The blood flowed slowly, but it did flow. In some past appointments, there have been needle adjustments that are uncomfortable. This nurse chose to let the blood flow slowly, and the donation completed successfully. The canned speech about what to do if the puncture site started bleeding again seemed a bit unnecessary, but protocol must be followed.

I never had any trouble at all donating blood before becoming a runner. My sister had mentioned some of her issues with blood donation since becoming a runner, so it wasn't a total shock when I started having some of the same issues. The low pulse and low blood pressure are easy to understand, as that's cardio conditioning. The poor blood flow is more of a puzzle. I wonder if that's because I'm maintaining pretty low in the healthy weight range, and my body wants to defend the blood I have? There's probably a better explanation than that, but I don't know what it is.

Other than dehydration, blood donation, and recovery from running the 5K yesterday, today is noteworthy because it marks an obscure streak. I've been doing the pullup du jour for a year now. I didn't record when I first became able to do a pullup, but the first date I recorded them in the fitness tracker was April 27, 2012. I did 3 sets of 3 neutral grip pullups. I didn't record any on 4/28/2012, then on 4/29/2012 I recorded 3 sets of 3 neutral grip pullups again. From then on, I rotated daily through neutral grip pullups, narrow grip pronated pullups, chinups, and real pronated pullups. Today marks a year of that rotation from 4/29/2012, with 3 sets of 20 pronated pullups. A year ago, I was impressed that I could do 3 pullups, and 10 was a fantasy. If I had believed I wouldn't just lose the ability to do pullups, I might have started a SparkStreak for them; but the significance of the streak didn't occur to me until months later. I had to go hunt through the fitness tracker just to figure out when it started.

Tomorrow is a scheduled work at home day. My current thinking is run 4, walk 1 intervals at lunch and see how the leg reacts. That could be downgraded if the leg feels unaccountably worse tomorrow than it did today, but I shouldn't upgrade it even if the leg feels nearly perfect. Let's get to where 4/1 intervals are No Big Deal before I try running continually three days a week.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I shall try to remember your lessons as I have a donation scheduled for next Monday, the morning, make that noon, after the HM.
    1820 days ago
    Do you ever weigh yourself before and after your run? I've started doing that and have been watching my weight. Three weeks ago I lost 4 pounds during my run. That's not a good thing.
    I have always had trouble giving blood. I get nauseous, lightheaded and found myself throwing up 30 to 60 minutes after giving blood. Ice on the back of my neck seemed to help. The other thing that has helped with this problem is not giving blood any more, so I'm glad you continue to give blood.
    1821 days ago
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