Sunday, June 30, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 4


Was supposed to get up and do 5 miles before work.
Didn't happen.  I woke up off and on all night because of whatever, and then closer to the alarm it was because of severe cramps.

So I just said F that, popped 4 ibuprofen and laid on the couch with the news and my iPad, had 2 cups of coffee and then got ready for work.

The 5 miles still got done today, however the WOD that was supposed to go along with the daily workout, did not.

Womp Womp.




5 miles before work.  Had to set the alarm for 4:45 and was out the door by 5:15!  First time for everything!  AND made it to work by 7:25 so I could be ready for a straight up 8AM meeting.  HATE those!


Another 4:45am wake up call.  Was tough this morning.  Kids were popping fireworks off until 10pm and I was trying to sleep!  Had been up since 4:45 on Wednesday due to running early!

Its been really hot here this week, so running in the morning (its generally about 55-60) is just absolutely necessary.  Thankfully the weather will be going back to normal for the weekend (june 29) and next week.  I don't like the 90's!!!!  LOL.

Gym after work:
12 min AMRAP

10 Burpees
25 Double Unders (75 Singles since I cannot do DU's)

Got through 8 rounds + 3 burpees of 9th round
My fat ass was whupped!



13 miles

This was a rough one today.  But it got done!
It was cool enough when I started (55) but here in Sidney, the sun is up and shining brightly by 5:30, and I started just past that.  Stupid coffee wasn't helping this morning ;) and I was waiting for my body to comply.

Needless to say it warmed up quickly (74 by the time I finished about 2.5 hours later), and the sun just beat down on me the entire time.  Only when I was running S on my route, could I run on the one side of the street for brief bouts of 'shade' from the few trees in some peoples yards.

I ran 4 of my usual loops and after that I decided to head a bit E towards the soccer fields out on Deadwood Trail.  There is NO shade whatsoever, but at least on the way back the sun was at my back.  Helped a little plus for a short time the sprinklers were going off and that felt wonderful!

At least through July and part of August I am going to have to start at 5am if I want to beat the heat a bit more.  Granted its no where near the heat I had to endure in Houston training, but at least there I had others running around me that were suffering right along with me!

At least we have relief coming this week, with temps back in the low 80's for highs and low 50's in the evening and mornings.  Thats gonna be nice to have those back!!!

3 miles

This next week's training is gonna be a bit crazy as I have a friend coming to visit from North Carolina who is training for the 155 miles across Iceland in August.  Thankfully its basically taper time so the miles I help put in won't be anything near what has been necessary!  But this weeks mileage will go up exponentially unless I just end up taking an extra rest day but why would I?

That would be silly.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Houston Marathon / Half Marathon Lottery Selection - 2014

Last year's Training "Badge"

So last year after moving to Nebraska and quickly realizing with the injury, then the move, getting settled and then WINTER...that I was going to defer my (full) marathon to 2014's race.  I could defer it one year and it would be good for either the full or the half.  I already knew that it would be used for the half since training for a January full marathon is not feasible living here  unless I want to run my super long runs on the treadmill.

No thank you.

Well May came around and I was pondering back and forth...go home for Christmas then turn around 3 weeks later and go back?

Back and forth I went.

Then I just decided to let it expire.

THEN wouldn't you know it, just days later the new courses were annouced for both the full and the half and I was like ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  That route is going to RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWK!

So to make a long story short, my buddy from NC and I decided to enter the lottery!  LOL.

We were nervous wrecks, wondering what we were going to do if one got in, and the other didn't...would the other defer?  Would the other do charity?  Would the other bandit?

But we don't have to worry about it because WE. BOTH. GOT. IN!

I am sure the fact that we both have out of state addresses helped our chances as they like out of towners to come in and spend $$$

And what is even better our little 'mud minnow' (new great niece or nephew) is probably gonna be born in January so now I am hoping he or she is born before the race so that I can meet him or her without having to make yet ANOTHER trip home!!

So Chicago is solid.  And now Houston is solid.

Then North Carolina in April will be solid once registration opens up.

Before you know it another year will have gone by since I moved here and then I can start thinking about what I want to do next!!!

Oh and we also decided just this morning to sign up for the Houston Double:  run the 5K on Saturday AND do either the full or half distance (on Sunday) and you get 3 medals!

Didn't take long to convince either of us!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 3

Monday:  4 mile run (AM)

Gym Workout (PM)
3 X:
500m row
20 pull ups (band assisted)
30 box jumps (or step ups since I'm not allowed to do box jumps)

It still amazes me how easy WOD's look on paper and then you start doing it and you're like "OMG I WANT TO JUST DIE"


I also did: 200 single unders
40 air squats
100 butterfly sit ups
(this was my warm up)

Learned my lesson last week; no more leg stuff AT ALL, other than running 2 days or less before long run.  So it's switched to Monday night gym night now.

Tuesday:  Rest

Wednesday: 4 miles; treadmill
I've had a really bad week so far (stressed and anxious), so at 3:30 I left work, went home, changed out of my work attire and crawled into bed.  Woke up at 6:30!
I didn't really want to run, and it was still so hot out and WINDY as hell, so I got my butt dressed and went to the gym for 4 easy.  I felt better for having done it when I clearly didn't want to.

Up and out the door by 5:45 to meet Em at the gym for a WOD
I texted her to make sure we were still going, because well I didn't want to!  LOL, but she convinced me it would make for a better day. 

WOD:  (AM)
20 hanging knees to elbows
Run 200m
20 push ups
Run 200m
20 sit ups
Run 200m
20 Good Mornings (w weighted bar)
Run 200m

x 3

Was a sweaty sweaty mess when it was over and I just wanted to lay on the ground and pass out.

But dang I do feel like its going to be a turning point of a day in what otherwise has been a crappy week!!!

2 miles to clear my head from the day

Friday:  Rest

Saturday: 8 miles (cut back week)
Pushed the pace a bit since it was a shorter run.  Finished in 1:23
I've gone from running 3/1's when I first started running consistently again (December) to now doing 6/1's.  Hoping the 6/1's still work out for me next week when I have 13 to do.  We'll see.  My goal is to get back to running mile at a time with the walk at water stops by the time Chicago gets here.  Seems weird that just 1.5 years ago I was doing 2 miles at a time on training runs with the rests only at the KW water stops.  
My shorter runs I can do the mile at a time without impairing my performance but the longer runs I am just gradually working my way back up.

Sunday:  3 miles followed up with 6 x 100m strides and stretching
Today was the fastest I have EVER done this 3 mile route.  The last 1/2 mile is ALL UPHILL and I always struggle with it.  Today I ran it in 31:37.  Was pretty proud of that.  Thats not to say I didn't struggle with it, but I tried to just push through.  It helped I guess that the first 2.5 miles were done quicker as well.  I will have to download the data to see how much I slowed down that last half mile comparatively.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 2

Monday:  Gym day - 30 min treadmill, 10 min elliptical, 10 min rower
Then I hit a few of the machines (for the back) and in between each set of 8-12 I would either do burpees, sit-ups or air squats.  Rest 30 sec and begin 2nd set.  4 sets.

I also hit up the free weights for more tricep, bicep and back work, all incorporated with a corresponding move before resting; e.g 25 jumping jacks, burpees, air squats.  Sometimes I throw in a sprint around the track as my extra just as an FYI for future reference.

Supersets are great because it gives you a burst and when done quickly, it is almost like a HIIT effect.  Great for fat-burning and overall good cardiovascular coupled with strength.

Double whammy!

I was there for a total of 1.5 hours

Tuesday:  Rest.  Since I ran the 5 miles on Sunday when otherwise I wouldn't have, I am taking the day today instead.
Wednesday: 5 miles

Thursday: Gym day - 40 min treadmill, 20 min elliptical, 10 min rower

Followed that up with:

4 x 25 of:
Wall Balls
Sit ups
Air Squats

Friday:  Rest

Saturday: 12 miles 
Note to self:  Don't do anything that involves a lot of squats 2 days prior to long run.  This was hard y'all but it got done!  I was going to start no later than 5:30 (its light here by 5am and sunrise is actually around 5:20 this time of year; still don't understand that!) but because Mother Nature wasn't cooperating I didn't get started until 6. 

Then early evening I mowed the front and back.  I wore my Garmin because I was curious how far it was to do both.  Both the front and back together equaled 1.4 miles and the back is a LOT of up hill.  Took me 40:10 min for an avg pace of 32something.

This week is a cut back week!  WAHOO and thank the baby Jesus!

Sunday: 3 miles (I think for now I like the run on Sunday and rest on Tuesday instead!)  We'll see if that stays intact once my long runs exceed 15 miles on Saturdays.

Friday, June 14, 2013

On The Road Again - Literally and Figuratively

So we are 120 days out from the Start of the Chicago Marathon – Take 3

It’s been difficult ramping up again, I haven’t ran this much in quite some time. And let’s face it, I half-assed both half marathon trainings that I've done this Spring.

Just do enough to feel comfortable with the distance. In my defense I never half-assed the Saturday training runs, but the ones during the week? Totally half-assed.

The past 2 weeks though I have been making certain to get the miles and the workouts in. I haven’t started any sort of speed or hill workouts during the week yet, but in a couple of weeks I will.

Right now I am still trying to acclimate to the running longer more regularly with the 2 gym days in there as well.

Turning 50 is hard y'all!!  :O)

I seem to be NOT recovering as quickly as I once did; I am sore most mornings to different levels of severity, but ibuprofen seems to help although I try to NOT take anything unless its absolutely necessary.  Or MAYBE its because I just don't remember what marathon training felt like because I was ALWAYS marathon training!  LOL

Another thing I am having to deal with is the insatiable hunger! I had gotten so use to it way back when I was running all the time like a maniac but the increase in both endurance and strength training is making me cuckoo hungry 24/7.

It’s like when I am not eating, I am thinking about eating! Since I would like to NOT be a statistic i.e. gaining weight during marathon training, actually drop about 6 or 7 lbs, I have had to start the old mantra of: Embrace Your Hunger

In other words (or rather pictures) NOT THIS:

But this instead:

Fridays I give myself sorta-kinda a pass on how much I eat because well tomorrow is long run day, but if I am going to eat off-plan its before dinner time.  Then all bets are off.  I have to eat what I know works for me come mornin-time and I don't want to wait around for my GI tract to do its job.

Each week I am getting better and better at least when I feel like I HAVE to eat or else I shall die ;o) at having the food on hand for fuel and not a craving or just to satisfy me in that moment.

Most times though it doesn't even satisfy me.

I just want more...

Totes agree.

It's not complicated.

Here's to what will hopefully be a successful weekend of running AND eating!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Woman, The Runner, The Athlete, AND Menopause - Weight Gain/Nutrition

If I think back to about the time my thyroid decided to go kaput and the impact that had on weight gain, and then after being put on Synthroid, when my symptoms went back to normal, or somewhat normal, the one thing that from that point on I had changes in was my mid-section. So I wonder if it was at that time when my body decided to go into peri-menopause. Anyway it wasn’t until a couple of years later that I realized I wasn’t destined to have the middle aged spare tire extra weight in the mid-section that everyone knows starts occurring for the majority of women entering into their older years.

While I was running and running a lot in those first years from finding out I was hypo, it was no longer enough. As far as I am concerned it is true what most studies say is that it will no longer be enough to just be an extreme cardio crazy person. Exercise too must be approached differently. Cortisol is produced during intense exercise and long duration exercise. This includes long duration jogging or running and high intensity interval training (HIIT), metabolic conditioning or weight training. However, intense exercise that is short also raises growth promoting hormones like HGH and testosterone and these hormones work with cortisol to burn fat and build, or at least maintain, muscle.

Long duration exercise works differently. It has a different hormonal impact and may exacerbate the negative effects of cortisol, because it raises cortisol without the balancing action of the growth hormones. And raising cortisol this way during menopause, a time where the female physiology is far more susceptible to the negative impact of cortisol, can frequently cause more issues than it solves for weight gain. For this reason, shorter intense exercise is probably more beneficial compared to long duration moderate intensity exercise.

Cortisol can also be controlled and lowered nicely by relaxing activities. These include leisure walking (to be distinguished from power walking), restorative yoga (to be distinguished from intense yoga), Tai Chi, as well as massage, sauna and other restorative non-exercise practices. I don’t do any of those, although after Chicago round #1, I got into Bikram yoga and love love loved it! Obviously I don’t have that opportunity here where I live currently, and I actually stopped doing it after about a year due to expense. I still do some of the positions though just as general stretching after running or when I wake up in the morning I make sure I do at least 5 minutes of just good old fashioned stretching; nothing fancy, just streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch your arms up, out whatever. Bend over, touch your toes, or as far as you can and just hang there…

If you don’t have a lot of expendable cash I can give you an idea that is completely free and that I take FULL advantage of: Sleep. Rest. Stop. Seriously just stop and ENJOY being still. And for those of you reading out there that have kids, or twenty thousand places to be, errands to do…Bah! Stop using that as an excuse. Learn to say NO. And as far as kids go, if you have a spouse, then by God have them take care of kid(s) for an amount of time. QUIT. QUIT. QUIT. Just quit with the excuses. Lord knows I read it enough either on Facebook, blogs, Twitter or just in conversation.

Besides once you get to be older (for those readers), you have no excuse about children being the problem.

There is nothing more than I love to do than whenever I can, and that’s at LEAST once a day, I just do nothing. Maybe I will go crawl in my bed (weekends) in the middle of the day in between errands, cleaning, meal prepping, and just take a nap for as long as my body wants to sleep, and if I can’t sleep then I just lay there with my eyes closed, no TV no nothing, under the covers. In the evenings maybe take that hour for yourself and even though you’ve ran or worked out or whatever, take a slow walk even if its just a mile. I love being able to go sit up on my upper deck with the sun setting, but yet shaded from the suns glare and just hear the wind blowing through the highest of the trees there that line it, and just. Be. Quiet. It’s a way for me to cool down if I’ve run or went to do CF after work…and just enjoy the peacefulness.

Building in restorative and relaxing activities into your life early on is preferred, but it wasn’t until I hit 45 that I really started it regularly and am certain it is a contributor to my overall good mood and good health. I am SO SO SO much more relaxed and able to just let things slide off like water on a duck whereas before I was tense, quick to lash back, argumentative, didn’t sleep well, among many other things. This is also known as rest-based living.

The other changes I have made (but I fall off from) that either make or made a significant difference is picking up the weights OR using your body as weight (e.g. CrossFit types of workouts). I mention the body weight stuff because I know CrossFit is expensive but you can do CF on your own for free! Maybe not all the stuff you would at a CF box (unless you slowly build up a home gym with a pull bar and what-not :o) But a lot of times I will do a CF WOD in my basement with just me, some hand weights to use instead of a kettlebell, on 20lb weighted bar, and a jump rope. There are air squats, push ups, sit ups, SO many things you can do on your own and will increase muscle over fat.

It has been more of a challenge for me here, at least initially, because well, there isn’t a whole lot of motivation in this small town. So its either I do it with my willpower and determination or it won’t get done. There is no Kenyan Way, or FIT group…no couple of times weekly workouts with runners, or even just a easy run with a friend. I’m getting better at it and now am finally falling back into my groove of managing my workouts with my self-motivation and well honestly there isn’t much more I can do. A lot of my waning early on was due to just being a bit depressed about my surroundings or lack thereof. Anyway that’s another post for another day..or not.

Once I started running more, adding pace, tempo and intervals AND upping the strength training I started seeing results yet again.

So if there is one thing I am certain of, strength training at least a couple of times a week make a HECK of a lot of difference once you get older, but if you are young now and not to be insensitive, overweight, obese even and have a lot fat as opposed to muscle if you don’t do something now its just going to get worse. Being a former gym rat all my life, I have had muscle more often than not, so I am certain that helped as well once I started getting older. To be honest I didn’t have trouble with my weight until the thyroid thing and then running. So that would lead me to believe that at least for me, running DOES make me jiggly :O) And probably for you too; if not now, eventually.

Weight train intensely at least one time per week and preferably three. These sessions should be short. Shoot for less than 60 minutes or even better less than 30. Right now I am shooting for twice a week AT the gym, and off and on in random spurts when at home. It might just be that I randomly do some air squats, jumping jacks and push ups in the living room watching AGT. :O) Whenever the mood strikes me I guess!

So that kind of covers what I think is important and/or what has worked for me during the peri/menopause era but honestly if you do these things early on, it will be a lifestyle as opposed to having to try and make up for lost time later on. And I guess the thing I want to stress to those reading, or know someone, who is overweight now, struggles with their eating habits, if you don’t take care of it now, not next year, or 5 years or just before you hit 40, then you or that person is going to be in for a shocker. Because guess what? The longer you wait the HARDER, and I mean HARDER its going to be later on, however long later on is.

And if you are scoffing reading that, so be it. But don’t say no one ever told you.

One last note, I think its important to mention that while I have at times, when I gain a few it generally will be spread out over my body parts, but when I lose it falls off quickly and easily EXCEPT in the mid-section. A lot of women while yes gain weight during this ‘season’, it will primarily be in the center of their body: waist, hips, and thighs.

Now about that eating thing….

Realize you are far more carbohydrate reactive and stress sensitive after menopause. Which means the carbohydrates you used to be able to eat that did not effect your waistline may now be too many and do just that. The stressful exercise and lack of sleep you could tolerate in your younger years, while still remaining lean, will now start to show itself on your waist.

Now you need to know that it is not just refined sugars that are the issue. You will need to start controlling all the foods that have potential insulin promoting action. This includes many foods that are regarded as “healthy”. Whole grain breads, sweet fruits, dairy foods and starchy vegetables, which may have once been a central part of your lean diet, may now be working against you. Reducing these foods while simultaneously increasing low starch vegetables, low sweet fruits (berries, apples and pears) and protein foods, has to become your new solution to burning fat.

I take the approach, and have for some time, if I eat something and I become bloat-y, I chalk it up the first time to just one of those things. I will eat it again at some point, making note of the previous time and if I get bloaty again? Guess what? Kabash on that. I miiiiight try it one more time in a smaller with brown rice, it’s the quantity for me. Anything more than half of a cup and its all over. To be honest, with me, all the foods that make me gassy, bloaty or just feel like crap generally it has to do with quantity rather than the food itself.

To deal with these hormonal impacts, requires a far more insulin centric approach versus a caloric one. In other words, whereas a lower calorie diet may have been enough in your younger days, you now need a hormonal approach to body change.

• Drastically increase your non-starchy vegetable intake while cutting back on starchy foods, grain and dairy (this does not mean not to eat these foods, just eat less).

• Raise your protein intake with foods that are mostly protein (fish, chicken, etc) versus mostly starch or fat (beans and nuts have some protein but WAY more starch and fat). To help, consider a protein powder replacement shake 1 or two times per day.

• Oh, vegetables and protein are more slowly digested, so if you notice increased gas, that is because your stomach HCL and pancreatic enzyme secretion can also fall with age (and stress). A shot of vinegar or a nice green salad before meals will almost always solve this. When they don’t, an OTC enzyme preparation is great. I know the vinegar sounds gross, but it works.

  • Additionally I would tell you to begin NOW in eliminating processed food, GMO, HFCS, you know the drill...STOP STOP STOP eating low fat, out of any box...ANY box.  Bags are OK because well frozen veggies and fruits are in bags and are a great go to for when fresh is either not available or you are in a hurry.  OMG IT MAKES ME SO STABBY TO SEE PEOPLE EATING crappy diet Lean Cuisines and what-not thinking they are healthy!  And Subway?  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...unless its a salad with veggies or chicken NOT NOT NOT processed crap lunch meat!!! 
  • Don't eat a ton of fruit and be selective!  Again it will be trial and error what works for you as it pertains to how your body processes (or doesn't process it). I still to bananas, usually drizzled with honey, nut butter on the side, sprinkled with cinnamon!  YUM!  I also eat strawberries quite often, melon...generally whatever is in season and again only in moderation.  It's just not worth the sugar in my body making it that much harder to ward off the mid-section issues.

Sure I still eat things I shouldn't, and I would classify myself at about 90% awesome eating, 10% not awesome about 80% of the time.  The other 20% of the time I am about 80/20.  :O)

What do I eat when I cheat?  Hey I might have a frozen pizza but its the higher end one(s) and I pay attention to the ingredients and still try and go as good as I can even with the bad you know?  I still eat toast about once a week, 2 slices, usually for one breakfast on the weekend but always with double the protein to counter-act the starch/carbs.  I eat cake, ice cream...just about anything but IN MODERATION.  This past weekend, birthday weekend I ate Mexican food for lunch one day but breakfast was on par, and well I didn't eat dinner because I was still full.  I had a cupcake on Friday and on Sunday but every other meal was on par and I didnt have my usual snacks those days.

However, I did pay for the weekend eats today.  Bloaty, puffy, and just a bit miserable.  Was it worth it?  Thinking about it now, not really.  I still would have had the Mexican food because I don't get good Mexican food up here but we found a great place in Cheyenne.  Thats 97 miles away so its not like its a weekly or even monthly thing.  We usually eat very 'normal' when we go there about once a month.

Gosh I have written a lot and hopefully haven't lost too much in translation.  If anyone reading this has any questions, just email me at the email link up there in the right hand nav section.

And finally...

Why is this important?

All of this is important because the dominant message sent to menopausal women, from their nutritionists and doctors as well as the mainstream press, runs completely counter to all we just covered as it pertains to ME PERSONALLY.  The message is to do more jogging and power walking not less. Women are instructed to eat more grains and dairy and less protein. And they are rarely told to lift weights or educated on the benefits of rest and recovery centered acitvities.

Together a lower insulin promoting diet, and a smarter stress inducing exercising regime, can make a huge difference. Remember, the menopausal physiology is more carbohydrate reactive (estrogen is no longer there to help offset insulin) and more stress sensitive (estrogen and progesterone are not there to dampen cortisol’s negative effect).

The changes to diet, exercise and lifestyle can help combat menopause weight gain.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 1

Saturday: 11 miles
Sunday: Nada
Monday: 5 miles (3.5 in the morning before work; overslept, then had to follow up with 1.5 at the gym in the evening followed by sprints on the track incorporated with CrossFit WOD)
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday:  5 miles
Thursday: 4 miles AM; weights/CF at gym PM
Friday: Nada
Saturday: 11 miles
Sunday:  5.0 birthday miles :)

Normally I would take Sunday off after a long run, even if it is just 11 miles, but it was my birthday and well one has to do birthday miles right?

So in making out my calendar in training for my 3rd Chicago Marathon, and 10th overall full marathon, I am relying on my knowledge from all the years I trained with Kenyan Way.  I could pay the $50 for an online schedule from Sean to get me through, but I figured I could wing it just fine.

Several weeks ago I plotted out my long runs, cut backs and taper on the kitchen calendar and would take the daily week stuff week by week.

I did go online to see some of the intermediate plans like from Hal Higdon just for comparison and well when I compare them, it seems I am ramping up a bit sooner than Higdon would have me do.  I am already at 11 miles for a long run, and this plan starts out at 8 and that is still 2 weeks from now.


Well I am going to keep my schedule as is, knowing though that I can cut if I need to, but its also nice knowing that I am ahead of the game.  With so much time off in 2012 due to injury and moving, I'm not starting over but man sometimes it feels like it.  Its been 18 months since I've done a full marathon!  And obviously longer than that since I've trained for one!

Still this is going to be one long training cycle for me up here all alone in this teensy tiny town.

On to week 2!

Peace Out!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Woman, The Runner, The Athlete ............. AND Menopause

Gosh I am not even sure where to start with this topic, but I do know one thing and that is it probably won’t be very interesting to any men readers out there…

You’ve been warned.
I have been wanting to write about the issues that tend to start affecting women in their early to mid-40’s for quite some time, but lately its been on my mind a bit more because of what I am seeing with so many that I know either directly or indirectly.
That something is that it seems that even in the 30’s, women just aren’t either taking care of themselves as they should be, or they are just blind to the fact (as I was) as to what lies in wait for them with each passing year.

Now that is not to say it affects all women because there are a couple women I know that hit the genetic lottery and haven’t seen the side effects of diminishing hormones and increasing years.

While I certainly struggled my whole life with weight issues, body dysmorphia, low self-esteem and what-not, still when I put my mind to it I was able to lose and lose quickly. Then after years and years of while still maintaining a semi-active lifestyle, but not a very healthy one (drinking, lack of sleep, etc), it started catching up with me.

Right after 40 is when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and after that well even with medication, my genetics and Mother Nature was starting to set up house in my body.

In 2010 at the age of 47 though I got in the best all around shape of my life. While I wasn’t the skinniest, I was certainly the healthiest, body, mind AND soul. People discount that when describing their level of fitness.

One should never do that. If your body is right, but your mind is not, what’s the point? Anyway..

I kinda went back to ‘normal’ after Chicago and then Houston (2011). Then I started CrossFit and started to see changes again.

But the one thing I keep thinking back to in 2010 is that at 47 I was still able to whip my body into shape with a LOT of hard work both in the kitchen, the roads AND at the gym.  So its been 3 years...surely I can do this again, but yeah, its going to be harder than it was then perhaps!!

Anyway most of you readers know all of this.
What I am here to tell you is that with the past 1.5 years of injury and life, I clearly found myself out of shape a bit, and let me tell you that’s not the half of it.
And this next part will hit some women as early as 40, or maybe longer like me…but its going to happen and its going to suck.

With each time you either fall off the health wagon weight wise, or you ignore the fact altogether thinking its not going to make a difference you are wrong.
I have been in peri-menopause for quite some time now, couple years if I had to guess, but its getting now to the point where I am approaching full on menopause. I cannot stress enough that if you don’t want the ‘middle age’ spread (and by spread I mean, the F word), then you better do something about it now.

Get yourself on a healthy diet, a basic exercise routine and shed some weight and make a lifestyle change you can live with. HOWEVER, one you can live with needs to be EFFECTIVE. A mile a day a few times a week is not doing one damn bit of good. Sorry but its not.

And at the end of the day, if I have said it once, I’ve said it a million times, but you CANNOT exercise away a bad way of eating.
Also…excessive cardio is not going to cut it. It might have at one time but the older you get the less effective it becomes.

Now the ONLY time I see any sort of real results in my mid-section and overall fat content is when I incorporate strength training, whether it be with actual weights, CrossFit or just your body weight, it seemingly becomes the one thing that can help counteract the effects of peri and actual menopause.

All of this will also help with other side effects of this natural occurance for women: insomnia, hot flashes, etc. While I still have trouble staying asleep, that has more to do with my thyroid meds than anything but when I don’t eat well, I can tell a difference, and thankfully all the other symptoms I have been able to fend off and I credit that to my healthy choices that I make.

I want to write more about the individual topics surrounding pre/peri and full on menopause because I have learned A LOT and honestly when I went to do research on some of this, well there wasn’t a lot of information out there by real women; mostly just doctors, or research facilities, or some kind of jacked up studies…it all just seemed whackacrazy to me. I was like where can I read about what really I should be feeling; what can I expect…from a normal everyday next door type of woman who kinda/sorta has the same lifestyle I either had, or currently have..everything else was just generic: get older, hormones decrease, belly fat increases, insomnia, hot flashes. Statistics and general observation.

I don’t know maybe I am the only one that was looking for answers…mostly its just because I see so many maintaining a certain lifestyle and because I care, I wish they would make better choices now, or risk the consequences of bad health later on; not just possible weight gain, but a loss in their quality of life! That is the most important thing I guess!!

Thankfully I got right in my early 40’s and have reaped the benefits from that: increased exercise, better food into my body, no alcohol (or on EXTREMELY RARE occasions), no drugs, more sleep, less stress, all have delivered to me what I honestly can say is as of right now, my best life.

I don’t know, maybe none of you out there reading my blog care one way or another but I have to think if I was looking for information on this stuff, surely someone else is.

So again keep in mind if you ARE reading this and read the next few installments, that every woman is different, every body is different so while my symptoms and what works and doesn’t work for me might not be the same for you, but still, I’m hoping what I have to say helps SOMEONE out there!!!

Future Installments:

Weight Gain


Hot Flashes

Mood Swings

Physical Limitations/Exercise