Friday, August 9, 2013

So I Might Have Under-Estimated a Bit - Menopause and Training for a Marathon


Well as the title of this blog post suggests, I may have under-estimated the difficulty of training for a marathon while not in what I thought was still peri-menopause (turning into what I believe to be now full on menopause), or I over-estimated my ability to train as if nothing was changing.

Let me start off by saying to you now: Menopause is real ladies. Be prepared.

Certainly not every woman will have the same symptoms, the same level of discomfort, and then there are some that won't even notice a damn thing. I don't know about that last part to be honest, but its nice to dream. If the dream is only for others and not myself, so be it.

So back in Winter when I started really 'training' again for the half marathon in NYC, I am secure enough in that the difficulty I experienced getting back into that distance of running and training was due to just coming off months of an injury, a cross country move and settling into a new life. Running, for 7 months, had taken a back seat to *life*.

Then NYC happened and it didn't suck. So there was that.
Then there was Colfax (Denver) and that kinda sucked but because of the damn altitude; I was just as trained for that one as I was NYC.

Then shortly after that while training but not quite *training* for another full 26.2 miles started happening.

I know that a lot of my difficulty in motivation to get the long training runs stems from the fact that its boring as hell here for running; lets face it a town thats 6 sq ft miles doesn't give a runner a whole lot of options as to routes.

So I overcame that to some degree (not really but it makes it easier to believe everything is awesome if I write it down), and I still *seem* to struggle with endurance and certainly with the little bit of speed I had just a couple of years ago where I PR'd in the half and the full with a 2:06 on the half which isn't bad at all if I do say so myself. 

Then, and I know this might just be my brain, everything seemed to really change once 50 came and went.

For the past couple of years off BC pills, my periods were painful, but generally 28 days to the dot, with the onset of sometimes another one every 14 days to really make things awesome (peri-menopausal occurance so be prepared for that). Additionally when it came, it came with a fury and sometimes without a hint of its coming. One day you are just standing in the elevator for example, and the next thing you know you look down and you look like someone shot you and you're bleeding out. Not a joke. Real. True. Story.

Anyway as I was saying, last few years of this.
Then 50 happened in June. 2 weeks later, period came but something was different. It came, and it was gone. Like one last hurrah maybe?

It was fast. Furious. Plentiful.
For like 5 seconds.
There were no cramps. No chocolate cravings. No real fatigue.

All things I was use to leading up to *the day*.
Then, as I said, gone.

July has come and gone.
Now we are in to August and while we are a couple of weeks away, I'm wondering due to all the other things I am experiencing if we are in full blown menopause?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say "Yes".

I find myself with more 50/50 days of good vs bad as far as how I am feeling.

Some days I feel 'normal' and some days I might feel 'eh' and then some days its just horrible feeling.

I am fatigued a lot more than ever.  Some days I have what feels like an extremely high heart rate, like a fluttering in my chest.

And by fatigued, I mean some days just that, fatigue (tired, not sleepy), but then some days the fatigue=I need to sleep right now!

And then there will be days where I have huge amounts of energy.

It's all quite exhausting and frustrating.
Thankfully I haven't yet had to deal with insomnia or hot flashes.  AND I hope I never have to! 

I am certain my diet and exercise helps tremendously with the majority and severity of my symptoms, but trying to train for a marathon during it has me all in a tizzy!

I know I will get through it, it'll be tougher than I've ever had to deal with, but still, doable.

On race day I may or may not be slower, may or may not be the same.  Who knows?  Thats any time, not just during this trying time of what I suspect as I said is full on menopause.

I am going to start assigning a number to each day:  1-10 for level of severity of symptoms.  1 being the least amount of symptoms with 10 being the worst.
I am also going to start tracking what those symptoms were specifically.

Maybe that will help me figure out a pattern.  Or not.  Either way its some insight as to what I'm going through on a day to day basis throughout the training cycle.

I know that this won't last forever, and I hope its over sooner rather than later, but in the meantime I just have to accept it for what it is.

Mother Nature vs the Chicago Marathon.
This should be interesting.

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