Blood Donation and Long Runs Don't Mix

I know that I'm stating the obvious here, but maybe my experience will help some other runner take the blood center more seriously.

Last Friday afternoon I gave a pint of blood, something I try to do every 20 weeks or so. While squeezing the cush ball they give you, I realized that my 20 mile long run of the week was less than 36 hours away. The phlebotomist game my final instructions as I was about to leave:
  • 3 hours - No smoking (CHECK)
  • 12 hours - No drinking (CHECK)
  • 3 days - No strenuous activity (Uh-Oh!)
I didn't mention it to them, but I had to get my run in over the weekend. I figure, no problem, I always give blood, I'll just drink a lot of water and gatorade, and I'll be fine.

Sunday morning after an early 4:45am start, I head out with my running buddies in search of 20 miles. About 14 miles into it, I was still feeling strong, and BONK, it hit me. I couldn't get any more oxygen to my legs. They were spent. Now, this probably had something to do with too little to eat during the run, but I'd never bonked so hard before. So, next time you have a long hard run or race, don't do what I did and lose a pint of precious red blood cells, as that's the transportation to get oxygen from the air your breath to your legs.

I did do a couple of Google searches and found the following articles: According to them, it doesn't make as much a difference as I thought. Oh well, makes for a good excuse... :-)
Comments:

Ok that was obvious! Next time give blood and then wait one hour and have a beer (just one). You'll enjoy that a lot more than bonking yourself!!

Posted by tim on October 17, 2005 at 09:24 AM CDT #

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