An iron shortage has struck McKayla again! It is fairly common for female runners to get low on iron. This happened to McKayla during the cross-country season of her junior year. We couldn't figure out why her race times were so slow when she was training so hard. Luckily, my cousin's husband is a cross-country coach and suggested we have her iron checked. Voila! We got her on iron supplements and the problem was fixed!
Unfortunately, she decided after cross-country this year that she could probably stop taking iron supplements. She was worried about too much iron in her system since your body does not rid itself of excess.
We've just finished up the indoor track season and it is apparent she NEEDS those iron supplements. Her first 2 indoor meets were disappointing but she brushed it off as "it's indoor" and "we haven't done any speed workouts". Then, last weekend we went to Idaho for the Simplot Games - a huge indoor meet that even boasts athletes from Canada and Mexico. We fully expected her to be in the fastest final for the 1600m.
In fact, not only did she not make the fastest final, she didn't even make the 2 slower finals. She ran a 5:36. She hasn't run that slow since her freshman year. Her coach just looked at me and said, "What is going on? It's like she has iron problems again." Then he asked me if she was still taking her iron. When I told him she quit taking it in mid-October, he told me to get her back on it! McKayla and I discussed it and knew he was right.
The bright spot of he Simplot Games? Three RHS sprinters went and they asked McKayla to help them form a 4x400 team. McKayla didn't know how that would go since she has never run it, she's not a sprinter, and they haven't done any speed workouts yet. However, she gave it a go and truly held her own. She helped her team qualify for the finals. Then in the finals, she helped her team finish 6th overall! Not too shabby! Her time wasn't too bad - she ran a 1:03 which, while not fast, was respectable. It was also fast enough that she wasn't passed by any other team. It's kind of nice that low iron doesn't impact sprints!
Our boys' 4x400 team finished first despite Brandon not being there (he had his tonsils out). They ran the 3rd fastest time in the country so far this year. A representative from New Balance was there and invited them to the New Balance Invitational. I was super proud of them for immediately saying no when he told them it's on a Sunday. They just told him, "We don't run on Sundays."
4 days ago