Sometimes you have to learn things by doing them or having them happen to you. I had one of these grand lessons happen to me on Saturday.
Friday we had a blood drive at the school where I work. I initially wasn’t going to give, but decided at the last-minute to go ahead and donate blood. I have been donating blood since I was 18, and have been pretty successful and comfortable doing this for a really long time. This time was also okay – no immediate after-effects, no dizziness, light headedness, or anything else. I went home, had a quiet evening, went to sleep.
I got up Saturday, had breakfast, ran a few errands, and then went to meet a friend for a ride. I wasn’t feeling bad when we began the ride, but I got to the 3rd mile and thought I was going to keel over. My heart was racing, the blood was pounding loudly in the veins, and breathing was labored. By mile 5-7 I was not doing well – I was overheated, still breathing hard, starting to feel sick, and still having the pounding. When we got to where the road turned back towards town, my friend and I went back to town.
The lesson here was: Don’t give blood on Friday and then expect to ride much, if at all on Saturday. It’s fundamentally a bad idea. I won’t make this mistake again, that’s for certain. I hadn’t given my body enough time to recover, and boy, did I pay for it!!!!!