Chanhassen's Castanias feeds the iron need for speed

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 13, 2014 - 6:28 PM

Chanhassen’s Emily Castanias, felled by an iron deficiency, has regained her ranking as one of the state’s best distance runners.

hide

Chanhassen distance runner Emily Castanias, center, tested her speed by competing in a 400-meter dash during a recent meet at Wayzata High School.

Photo: Photos by MARLIN LEVISON • mlevison@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Emily Castanias thought she was giving everything she had while running in the Victoria Lions Invitational cross-country meet in October. But the results didn’t jibe with her effort, baffling the Chanhassen senior.

“I felt like I was running at a good race pace,” she said. “But in reality, it was a good two, three minutes slower than what I was used to. I just couldn’t get my legs to go faster.’’

A natural at distance running since taking up the sport in seventh grade, Castanias never had dealt with anything more than typical soreness or occasional blisters. Her track and field times in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs had been good enough to land her a partial scholarship to the University of Minnesota.

But now, something was obviously wrong.

After discussions with her coaches, Castanias took a midseason break and consulted doctors. The diagnosis? Severe deficiencies in key nutrients vital to running.

“There was an iron deficiency on top of a lot of other random deficiencies,” she said. “I was feeling fatigued all the time.”

Her coach, Anita Woodrow, a former University of Minnesota runner herself, knew iron deficiencies were common in runners but had never seen a case this serious.

“Even the coloring of her skin was pale,” Woodrow said. “She was barely keeping her eyes open.”

As bad as she looked, Castanias felt worse. Not only could she not run as she used to, but her goals as a runner were fading away.

“It was such a shock,” she said. “I was like, ‘Is my running career over? Am I done?’ ”

Woodrow said many runners don’t understand the need for proper nutrition.

“You burn so many calories running that, for girls especially, the whole 1,800-calorie -a-day diet is not for you,” she said. “You need more like 3,000 calories a day.”

After nearly three weeks of resting without running and overloading on iron-rich foods, Castanias returned for the cross-country section meet. Her improvement was drastic.

“I felt so good. It was like a whole different season,” Castanias said.

She finished in the top five in the section meet, then ended up 35th in the Class 2A state meet. Not quite what she envisioned when the season began, but she considered her result a victory.

“I’m totally happy with it,” she said. “I finished with my best time ever at the state meet.”

Six months later, Castanias’ recovery is complete. She still binges on iron-laden foods — “It’s not that hard to whip up a spinach smoothie,” she said — but her running never has been better.

  • related content

  • Emily Castanias has overcome an iron deficiency and posted times in the 1,600 and 3,200 that put her among Class 2A’s best.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco 7 Bottom 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 2 3rd Prd 7:48
Chicago 0
Arizona 2 3rd Prd
Edmonton 2
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Thursday in Green Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close