Thursday, March 20, 2008

mediterranean dinner with friends & beeturia

this past weekend kristin & i entertained our good friends zia & heather. kristin was especially excited about the mediterranean dinner she prepared & it turned out fantastic!

appetizer: fresh pita from austin's very own
phoenicia bakery & hummus from whole foods.
salad: arugula & mint salad with oil-cured black olives, oranges, & ricotta salata.
entree: orange roughy baked in parchment packets with fennel, asparagus, & thyme. roasted beets & carrots with cumin vinaigrette. whole wheat cous cous topped with lemon greek yogurt & chamoula.
dessert: baklava (again from phoenicia bakery) with rose water & black tea granita.

as i suggested above - this meal was amazing. so amazing that i had seconds & thirds of the whole wheat cous cous & the roasted beets. i would have had seconds & thirds of everything else but this is all that was left over from the original place settings. remember, this was my BIG (100 mile bike & 21 mile run) training weekend so the calories were well deserved.

*** this is where the story heads south - not sure i should be sharing this ***

later that night i noticed that my pee wasn't the usual clear color that it is from drinking the gallons of water that i do. it was a little pink in fact. i had heard stories of how biking can make you pee blood. i did just ride a 100 miles that morning & i thought that maybe i had injured something. when i woke up the next morning & made my usual bathroom stop before loading up on coffee & i noticed that my pee was even pinker. i began to get a bit nervous at this point. in an hour i needed to be at the trail & running 21 miles & here i was peeing pink. i took down my usual breakfast of oatmeal & coffee, showered, & headed to the trail.

when i arrived to the "rock" most of the t3 team were already there. i quickly grabbed ed & noah & told them about my "pee problem." they said it didn't sound right to them - that only freaked me out more.

regardless of the feedback i got from my training buddies i started the run off feeling physically fantastic. within a 1/2 a mile my legs were warm & i was leading the run. around mile 10 i had to take a pit stop to pee & no longer was i peeing pink - i was peeing blood red. it scared the ever living sh*t out of me. i had 11 miles ahead of me, i was nervous, yet feeling very strong. as i ran strong for those 11 remaining miles all kind of scary thoughts were going through my head. i couldn't understand how i could feel so strong & yet my body was obviously not doing well. i ended up finishing the 21 mile run right around 2-hours & 45-minutes & beyond the pee scare i was feeling awesome.

the t3 group was meeting up at
austin java at 12th & lamar so i thought it a good time to grab mo (our coach) & get his opinion. after the group ate plenty of calories & consumed gallons of caffeine i grabbed mo in the parking lot as we were leaving to get his opinion. i was hoping he was going to tell me that peeing blood is just part of biking. to my surprise the news he gave me was a total downer. he said that the only other time he'd heard of something like this it turned out that the guy ended up having tumors that needed to be removed. talk about being freaked out by some news! i told mo i'd make a doctor's appointment for tomorrow & i would let him know what the outcome is.

when i got home kristin & i talked about my condition. she, like me, couldn't see how i could have something wrong with me. regardless, we setup a doctor's appointment for tuesday afternoon. as the day continued on i felt physically strong, yet mentally trashed. the good news is that my pee continued to get less pink. while gearing up for dinner that night a light bulb flashed in my head. i ran to kristin & told her what i was thinking. could it be that the beets i had consumed the night before were causing my pee to go pinkish? we immediately hit google for answers. normally i stay away from google when looking for medical advice because any symptom you enter suggests cancer & that's the last thing i wanted to read about right then. to my delight there were a many of sites discussing how beets & other foods such as blackberries can actually tint a person's pee. the odd thing was that i've eaten beets almost all my life & never before has my pee been pink. one
website in particular won me over though.

the website introduces what is referred to as beeturia which simply suggests that your pink/red pee is nothing more than the result of consuming beets. the articles i could find on beeturia all suggested the same facts... about 14% of americans have or have had beeturia & it is thought to be linked to an iron deficiency of some sort. given that i have gone semi vegetarian i know that iron is something i've got to be sure i get enough of & it's possible that this training/new diet has affected my iron intake.

anyhow, i latched on to this notion of beeturia & made it a point to *not* polish off the remaining fresh roasted beets that were waiting for us in the refrigerator from the night before. by the time i went to bed the pinkish tint was almost completely absent from my pee. by mid-day on monday it was totally gone. i made it a point to pee clear a few more times prior to getting home later that night & putting the beeturia theory to a test.

when i got home monday night i went straight to the fridge & consumed at least two whole roasted beets. within an hour of having to go to the bathroom my pee was once again pink. so there you have it folks - i've got beeturia! i would have gone ahead & kept my doctor's appointment on tuesday just because it couldn't hurt to have myself checked over given all the training that i've been putting myself through. however, an unexpected trip landed in my lap for work & i had to leave for dallas right after lunch (swim workout) on tuesday. i think i'll go ahead & schedule an appointment first thing next week just to be *extra* safe.

sorry for all the details, but it was your choice to continue to read this very long explanation of how eating beets scared the sh*t out of me for a good 24+ hours. it's the honest truth people - nothing else seems to matter when your health is compromised.

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