To veer slightly from running for a few moments... I've been a regular blood donor for years, and donate every 8 weeks or so when I'm not training for a marathon. This year and last, I've been more a sporadic donor as I've been in training a good amount of the year. One can only donate blood every 8 weeks, because that is about how long it takes to folly replenish the lost red cells. Since red cells carry oxygen to the muscles, it makes sense to me that donating within 8 weeks of a race (full marathon) will dramatically impact performance. For that reason, if I have a marathon in the next 8 weeks (or a half in the next month or so), I wait to donate.
I went in this morning, a few weeks post marathon and about 14 weeks from my next marathon. Perfect timing. They did the first finger stick (test for hemoglobin, or iron in the blood), and my count was 0.1 too low. I didn't sweat it, because I failed on the first try last time, since they got the new fancy machine instead of the "blood drop test" they used to use.
This time, my second test, I can up a whopping 0.8 short! Not only can I not donate today, I'm ineligible for a full month! Practically speaking, this means I won't donate until after CIM, since by then I will be two weeks out from an important half marathon, and 8 weeks after that will be CIM.
I'm pretty bummed out. I feel that donating blood is a small way I can help others, and I take pride in doing my part. Donating blood is easy, and it really does make a difference. I don't volunteer much, and so donating blood really is my little way to give back. To make it worse, I would have hit 3 gallons donated today.
Furthering my bummed-out-ness, I saw on my form a new code. I asked the person testing me, and she said that they code everyone for eligibility to donate platelets, since that is a more important product and expires more quickly. They apparently tested me last time I came in, and I didn't have enough platelets to be eligible. Double rejection! She said I'd likely be ineligible anyway because I don't weigh enough, but still...
Okay, rant complete :(