Saturday, December 10, 2016

Stay the course

If I wrote this post a week ago, it would have gone like this.

I hate off season.

I hate running.

I hate swimming.

I hate everything.

I hate the cold.

I want to crawl under my covers and stay there until June.

Instead, I waited a week.

Mr. Tea was sick in Oct. My entire masters team was sick in Oct. I got sick in Oct. This wasn't any normal cold. It was the worst cold I've ever had in my life. I could barely walk from the couch to the kitchen. It lasted a full 3 weeks.

You might also remember we had several people we know pass away.

The week I felt better, I sprained my ankle when I stepped into a snow drift. Fortunately, it wasn't a bad sprain. It was minor all things considered. I started rehabbing immediately.

But THAT day is the day I caught my next cold. WTF?!?! The last time I was sick was 2014, and I get sick twice in two months, not to mention my ankle sprain.

Oh but it gets better. As I was dealing with that I had the worst hormonal issues I've ever had....because 49......I sat in the kitchen one morning in tears as I watched the hot flash and ensuing rash cover my body. It was the most painful experience I've ever been through. I went into the bathroom and stared at this body that I no longer knew. My body was betraying me. This phase of hot flashes lasted a week. Each *flash* lasted 45 minutes and left me completely depleted of energy. It would take me 2-3 hours to recover. That week, I lowered my intensity and did one workout a day until I got through it.

Then our treadmill died. Any off the bike runs meant I had to put on layers to run outside. Running in the cold when I was already sweaty was not at all fun, easy or warm.

And until you have attempted to take off a completely drenched running bra only to put a dry one on a sweaty don't know what it really means to be a contortionist.

During this time, it is our busy season at work. We attempted to hire two people. Neither one worked out.

Then, the staff stepped up (again).

Then, Mike hit his 3 month recovery mark. The 3 month mark is a really big deal. They are the hardest months of recovery. We started noticing that he hadn't been in pain. He was hardly ever coughing. He was walking regularly. (Although, he can't walk outside in seriously cold weather).

My hormones mellowed the fuck out. I doubt they'll ever go back to the nice predictability I had before. At least, for now.....I have re-set my expectations. I'm doing more from a training and nutritional perspective to help me with those times.

If you didn't know this, women and men need to train and fuel differently. Peri-menopausal women need to fuel differently than women under 45 (possibly 40 depending on the woman). AND menopausal women need to fuel differently than all other women.

Did I mention, we need different fueling for different times of our cycle?

In other words, just when we're feeling like we have a handle on things Mother fucking nature throws a curve ball at us.

Most importantly, no woman is the same as another. Each experience is our own unique experience. I'm not like your wife or girlfriend or you. You, your wife or girlfriend are not going through the same thing I am.

Please don't group us together. There are few things that will piss off a perimenopausal woman more than a guy saying, "Oh yeah. You're just like my wife".

I will rip off your fucking face if you ever say that to me. (Yes. I have had men say that to me. Although they lived to tell about it.....they aren't the same person anymore).

But, I digress.

Things improved.

Mike is getting better. We decided to get ourselves a new treadmill as a Christmas present. It arrived on Friday, and I get to use it for the first time today.

In the past 3 days, I feel like my 2nd cold might actually be over.

My ankle is all healed up.

I went to masters 2 days this week, since I hadn't been in a couple of weeks. Nothing will make you feel more loved than a bunch of swimmers running up to you asking, "Where have you been? We missed you"!

I've been figuring out my nutrition and finding new things that work. Two months ago, my old fueling stopped working, meaning that it was making me sick. I couldn't even put it in my mouth with gagging.....which is another very normal thing for women my age.

I'll continue to experiment.

In all that, I'm still on my quest of 235 miles. Back in January, I set a swim goal of 235 miles for the year. (Keep in mind, I only do sprints and oly distance). With my half marathon, surgery, and being ridiculously sick for two months, I didn't think I would hit my goal.

Last week, I realized that I was 20 miles from my goal. I could still meet my goal. I hammered off an email to Liz saying, "You know I don't stray from my plan.....yadda yadda.....but this was my goal....yadda yadda....could we bump up my swim volume?"

She said, "You know what, Tea? Swim as much as you want (up to 5 days a week), until 1/1/2017. Do what you want when YOU have time to do it".

This past week, I swam +5 miles. I now have only ~13 miles left to hit my goal.

Next Saturday, I am running a 10k. It will be stupid cold and probably below 0 for the race.

This will be my first stand alone 10k in YEARS. Originally, I thought it would be a PR attempt. Now, I don't care about that.

The 10K race, my swim goal....they are about what happens when I stay the course; go with life's ups and downs. It's ok to get mad or frustrated but STAY THE COURSE.

Everything is temporary.