Friday, August 23, 2013

Hormones (or lack thereof) men consider yourselves warned ;)

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” 
Eckhart Tolle

It's already been three weeks since I last blogged. Overall, marathon training continues to go relatively well. 

A nice mountain run with Uber H, my bro et my SSIL.

It was tough on some of the climbs, but we flew on the downhills!

Today was our longest run in this training cycle...almost 25km, and althought it went okay, I felt tired through most of it. However, our pace managed to stay the same and we chatted almost constantly. Although sometimes, I just listened :)

Here's the little fountain I mentioned  where we go rinse our hands and face. That picture is from two weeks ago...since then, I've lowered my fuel belt to the hips (not as stable) because it was chafing at my waist.

Lately, I have some good runs, but also some difficult runs. Lots of ups and downs, like my energy level these days. I was hesitant about addressing the issue of menopause this week...but, coincidentally, the Mother Runners decided to talk about it a few days ago. However, it was talked about with humour and not very seriously. Which is totally fine, but not what I was looking for. I'm in my mid-fifties and had not been very symptomatic so far. I was feeling lucky, "No not me, I don't really have any bothersome symptoms". Not anymore! It seems that things have changed over the last month and the hardest part is the general feeling of fatigue that overtakes me sometimes. I'm finding it harder to get out there for my weekday runs...and the long runs are often harder to get through than just a few months ago. Also, on long run days, I know I won't get much else done, because I need the whole rest of the day to recover. This partly explains my lack of motivation to sit and write a blogpost. Thank goodness the fatigue is not constant, it tends to come and go over the day, but I'm not enjoying the drain and mild nausea that sometimes accompanies the fatigue. So...what's your secret ladies? How do you deal with the fatigue, the hot flashes, the headaches, and training?

Myself, I've been very diligent about getting to bed between 9:30 and 10pm. I try to eat enough protein and, well, enough healthy food! I've added a day off to my work schedule every second week. I still get out there and complete my workouts. Even if I'm tired, I still get them done. It's just rarer that the workouts feel easy. Oh and in case you're wondering...I just had my annual check up and all is good - no anemia, and thyroid, cholesterol, blood pressure are all good. Only difference from previous months - this is definitely TMI for the men and some women, but hey let's be real...the biggest difference is a period that never ends (it's been on and off since July 23rd)...this has never happened before. 

What's happening though is that this is affecting me mentally, not just physically. I'm worrying that the long runs will be too difficult and that now may not be a great time to run a marathon. That's on the one side, on the other side, I'm just trying not to think...getting out there and doing what I have to do and hoping that it all works itself out.

Like many of you, I write this blog for myself mostly, to be able to read back and see what went well and what didn't and how it turned out. I felt this was important to remember when I looked back on this marathon training cycle. Thanks for any input you may have!



Jill said...

Oh gosh can I relate. I think the exact day I turned 50 last spring, I became instantly lethargic (and couldn't hear nor see ... and a billion gray hairs!). Recovery is just so much more longer now and it's frustrating some days. I'm glad you're taking the extra day off and early bedtime - those are going to pay off for you big when race day comes.

(btw, just because we're on a TMI period for me since I was 45. It's kinda nice actually, but I wonder sometimes if I shouldn't be on this or that and could be part of my mood swings. My kids would tell you yes! :)).

Keep up the great work, it will all be worth it on race day! You are doing so well (and how fun to run with friends on the trails!)


Gillian said...

Hi there, I am 51 and in the same boat. In the end I went to my doctor as I was awake most of the night with hot flushes, long periods with awful headaches, etc. She looked at my long list of symptoms and said it was due to low oestrogen. As a result she has put me on the contraceptive pill called Zoely which will even out my hormones and get rid of all those issues. I will take it continuously and only have a period every 3 months. After the marathon we will see how my body is going in terms of what the hormones are doing. Good luck with everything including the marathon:)

Pahla said...

Thank yo so much for writing this post!!!! I'm pretty sure my change is a-comin' because of all the crazy moods and the extra five pounds, and I just really needed to read something like this. I don't have any helpful advice, mind you, but it's so nice to know that somebody else is going through this longer recovery/more fatigue feeling. I'm pretty sure the best thing we can do is get out there and keep plugging away. Good for you!

Darlene said...

Thanks for this. I have only run in my 50s so no comparison. No help to offer either. Best advice is just do it.

ajh said...

I"ve only run in my 50s too and had a pretty easy menopause. Stopped periods many years ago. Wish I could be more helpful. I assume you talked to your doctor about your symptoms?

Caroline said...

My speciality
Ok en Francais. Moi je suis en surgically induced menopause depuis 2009 Annee de mes 40 ans.
Ok je recommande pour les cycles qui ne finissent pas et pour la fatigue : progesterone. NATURELLE. Pas synthetique. Pas de pillule. En creme.

Bio identical hormone replacement therapy.
Je prends les 3 hormones comme ca. Estrogene, progesterone et testo.

Je recommande le livre Ageless.

Robin said...

I can relate as well...I'm almost 49. I find that the rest is often the most important part of the training. I typically cut my plan a little shorter than intended to compensate for age, assuming the plans are designed for younger runners lol. Hormones really play a part too I think, up and down...crazy. Hang in there. I find that if you taper sufficiently it all comes together in time for race day.

Robin said...

I can relate as well...I'm almost 49. I find that the rest is often the most important part of the training. I typically cut my plan a little shorter than intended to compensate for age, assuming the plans are designed for younger runners lol. Hormones really play a part too I think, up and down...crazy. Hang in there. I find that if you taper sufficiently it all comes together in time for race day.

RunningFromCancer said...

I hear ya!
I constantly go back and forth between wondering why am I tired and can't keep up with the younger women
what the heck am I doing comparing myself to younger women.
Super important
Rest days
Obviously these are important for the younger women - but I find them critical for me.

Char said...

Hormonal imbalances can be such an energy drain and I consider menopause to be the ultimate in hormonal imbalance. I'm just starting on that slippery slope myself - occasional night sweats and irregular periods. If only we could go through it without any of the nasty little side effects.

Cinthia said...

Don't have any advice on the hormones/energy issue. I floated through menopause at around 49 and have felt great since: no more mood swings or monthly bloating. I did experience symptoms at the onset: heavy bleeding, moodiness, lots of tears. Running and exercise helped. (Now you've got me wondering: Would I run faster on hormones? This will nag at me for days, hee, hee.) I also took herbs: Black Cohosh helped, and so did Red Clover and Dandelion. But that's a personal preference.
Anyway, hope you're feeling more energetic. P.S. I always wear my fuel belt low on my hips, can't stand anything around my waist. Cheers and keep it up.

Teamarcia said...

I've been struggling with this for a couple of years now. Fatigue, running performance spiraling downward to the point that every run sucks. My doc has been 'guaranteeing' me that it's menopause yet periods are like clockwork. I'm sure it's a hormonal imbalance but they won't test anything until periods are abnormal. As you know they're testing my heart. I'm wearing the monitor (finally) now. :)
I say go for the marathon gusto now, while you can. Who knows what tomorrow holds?
Yay for my high school French prowess, I can read Caroline's advice! Ha!

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Pat said...

I use bio identical hormone creams - biest, testosterone and progesterone - helps tremendously! Also, even though my thyroid tests were in the low end of normal I began taking a low dose of Naturethroid about 6 weeks ago due to extreme fatigue and other symptoms. It has helped a lot! What's considered a 'normal' range doesn't mean it's normal for us. Lab test ranges are just guidelines.

Black Knight said...

The fountains on our running paths are blessed!

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Paul said...

Guy not scared of biology ;)

I think eventually your body will settle down and you'll be back in a groove.

The biggest thing I noticed when my wife went through this was she complained about being too hot when sleeping. I got her a little fan that sits 3 meters away that she can control from bedside and that helps.

Keep up the training!