Hey guys! Once again, I took a hiatus from blogging. Things have been crazy since my last post (in July 2019!?), so I will use this post as a little refresh before I go into what is currently going on.

UPDATE (August 2019-February 29, 2020)

Previously, I had shared the recent launch of my business, Ashlee’s Powers, naiively thinking it would not take over my life on top of transitioning to the marathon. Things escalated quickly, and before I knew it we went from 1 product to 5 in a span of 6 months to meet the demand of our customers.

Bank of America Chicago Marathon, debut marathon

During the same time, I began building up my training and focused on running a 2:45:00 at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I wish I had blogged about that build up and the results, because it was such a wonderful (and exhausting) experience. I had absolutely no injuries and ended up debuting with a 2:39:04 marathon – qualifying me for the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials and being a Top 30 American Debut in history (the upside of OCD is I did my full research after the November 16th Amerian Debut list which had been listed after Jordan Hasay’s debut).

Flat Powers the day before the US Olympic Trials

Training for the US Marathon Trials was a lot different, I had dropped a large marble coaster on my foot about a month after Chicago, and struggled for weeks to run without my foot hurting. I never had to take complete time off thanks to my CBD balm, Paineracer, but it was definitely frustrating to have a bone bruise during such an important time in my life. I also have to admit I was a bit irresponsible for traveling during the Holidays when I should have been focusing on training. I thought I was going to be able to handle the Holiday travel with my training, but there was a lot of scheduling conflicts and my lack of sleep caused me to catch a terrible cold before my final tune up race at the Houston Half (it all ended up working out because I PRed at the Houston Half while tempoing it with a 1:14:48).

PRESENT aka Corona Era

After the Trials, things didn’t feel quite right. Initially, I thought it was normal post-marathon fatigue, but as the months passed I didn’t feel better… in fact, I only started feeling worse. About 3 weeks after the Trials, I was convinced I had contracted a mild case of COVID-19, I mean it made sense: I’m young, I am extremely active, and I was traveling to an extremely crowded area (the Trials) during the raise of the Pandemic. There was a small point where I saw my condition improving, and then in the last 10 days it got worse.

Going out for my runs felt like a drag. I was unmotivated and routes that once felt easy were almost impossible to do without stopping. Often, I would stop and cry out of frustration because I knew something wasn’t right and I was scared this was my new reality. Everyone around me was urging me to get my blood work done, but even that was scary. Not only were we at the height of the pandemic and the idea of going to a doctor’s office seemed unfathomable, but I also have an extreme fear of needles that often brings me to faint. I tried delaying it by working with my nutritionist, Wilfredo (Will) from On Pace Wellness, which was helpful, but my inaction was having him navigate my diet in the dark. We were able to guess I was potentially anemic based on my symptoms, and he did notice I was deficient in Vitamin D. We added some supplements, but within a week it got to the point where I couldn’t play the guessing game and caved. I found the best Urgent Care in the area (in Ashlee language that means I looked for an Urgent Care in Beverly Hills with a lot of positive reviews). The urgent care was great, they ran a full panel blood test and had the results back to me the next day. That simple… only cost me a minor panic attack and a slightly bruised forearm.

Turns out, I am anemic due to my Hemoglobin and Ferritin being low despite my iron being high. On top of that, my Vitamin D was in fact extremely low. The funny thing is, everyone said I would feel better once I found out what was wrong, but I am still tired and do not feel better. The doctor said it could take a couple weeks until I start to notice anything. All jokes aside, there is comfort in knowing we were going in the right direction with my supplements. However, I am slightly disappointed in myself for putting the blood tests off for so long. It’s a lesson well-learned.

I am working on being smarter about how I deal with this. I am practicing being more kind to myself and allowing myself time off. I started cutting my runs back Saturday, and stopped running altogether Monday. I will probably take an entire week off before I slowly reintroducing running (4 miles EASY). I was going to do body circuits to maintain sanity, but the last few days have felt as though I’ve run 20 miles back to back.

Hopefully, I will start getting the energy to do some physical activity soon, but I am enjoying the extra time to sleep, work, and enjoy time with my family.

Have you ever dealt with anemia? How did you find out and what did you do to overcome it?