I wrote, post stress fracture(s), that my ferritin level was low.
It is, as of yesterday, 12. Which is pretty awful still. Not any better, in fact, than what it was.
This is frustrating for the obvious reasons that it would be. But it's oddly encouraging to think I've managed some not embarrassing fitness while essentially taking reverse EPO.
"Optimal" is a viscous concept in both fitness and nutrition, so of course it's even more vague where they intersect, as here. Some suggest levels should be at least 50, others 75. I've seen some recommend as high as 135. Which, I dunno. But not 12. Nobody thinks that's optimal for basic healthy functioning, much less distance training and racing. The reference range of my particular blood test bottoms out at 30, so I need to more than double it to simply reach that - still "deficient" - range.
The answer, of course, is a pill. I'd love to say I'd simply fix it "naturally", with diet, but then I'm no purist on such matters. I want what works. Give me the pills, not fucks.
In the meantime, I'll imagine a hidden well of fitness, just waiting to be oxygenated.