Next day I walked into the medical centre (an at-most once-annual occurance for me) and as luck would have it there was a walk in appointment available in 10 minutes. My luck got even better when the doctor not only was a friend of a friend, but also knew about my running and was a runner himself. He totally understood that I didn't want to just be told to take a bit of time off running. Though he did concede that maybe more sleep might make me feel less tired! But he was more than happy to do a blood test and explain what he was looking for and what levels I should be looking for as a runner, rather than just as someone who was mildly active.
Less that 24hrs later he called me with the results (got to love small town living in a mountain community!) and said that I was not anaemic but my levels of stored iron (ferratin) were low enough that this might explain some of my lethargy. He also said that my B12 levels were a little low and getting those higher could only help.
So for the last few weeks I've added B12 and Floradix Formula to my daily regimen that already included Udo's Oil. I've also been focusing on getting lots of leafy greens and beets every day. Floradix (made by Flora, who also make Udo's Oil) is chocked full of liquid iron (most easily absorbed, rather than the tablets) and vitamins. I've definitely been feeling much better for it. Although I've always said that I prefer to eat real food over taking supplements I definitely feel there is a place for the right supplements based on good medical advice. I personally feel too many people buy things off the shelf based on thinking what's good for them rather than following advice on the basis of tests. And it is also important to take the right supplements rather than simply believing all that the packing says.
It was also a good reminder that it can be worth once every so often getting tests done to see where you are at, especially when training for or keying for a big race. Next big race for me...World 100km, 2 weeks today in Winschoten, Netherlands!
Happy trails (and tarmac!)