Well, here’s an update to answer that question. It’s more one of self-reflection than anything but the answer is clouded with all sorts of issues. Short version, “No, not right now”. When I moved back to the mountain full time in the fall of 2014, I was still running. Because that was a drought year, I ran off and on through the winter months and was still in decent running shape. When we got the puppy my running schedule took a nose dive and we did a lot more hiking and walking that spring and summer than running. Last fall however I was still running into October. Then things went south… real snow meant limited access to running routes and I ended up doing a lot of hiking around in the snow, snowshoeing, xc skiing and snowboarding. All of this is great. It’s just the “specificity” principle that started to hurt my running. What else?
Shoes…yup. I have had a terrible time finding shoes that are “right”? has that happened to you ? They change shoes so often that even shoes I have loved became, in new versions, terrible! This spring I was in love with my Altras but , being that I pronate and have some other alignment issues, I only wore them for two months before they began to bother me. The Asics road shoes I purchased also didn’t seem to last very long before they became squishy and lopsided. I wear them still. In the lake. I’m hoping for my birthday, next week, to go purchase a pair of shoes that work for me. I may go back to Adidas trail shoes , which have always been my go to shoe.
Menopause….son of a bitch. Menopause has been kicking my ass this past year. My journey through it began several years ago but this year I had some really bad, strange set backs. First of all, I don’t sleep. Not sleeping is just not okay. It messes with your ability to recover from anything , let alone if you are doing anything athletic. That 3 mile run or hike becomes like a marathon to your sleep deprived body and the changes in hormones also inhibit your recovery. The two together, nice combination! I’ve tried lots of ways to remedy my sleep issues . I’m still working on it.
Muscle aches, leg cramps, fatigue….back in April at the end of the ski season I was doing a lot and more or less dealing with the recovery problems. But then I got hit with this stretch of awful leg and muscle pain, night time leg cramps, muscle fatigue and general weakness. I went to my doctor (all my blood work was normal) and also to a physical medicine specialist trying to solve the problem. Some of it was related to previous issues, like the bursitis in my right hip, an old groin pull that popped back up and piriformis syndrome in that same leg. But the pain at night, feeling of exhaustion and complete melt down was something new. what was it? well, it finally subsided in June. What was different? I had a period after not having one for 11 months and 2 weeks! When it was over, I felt totally fine!!!! Son of a BITCH. Then I realized that I had other clues that all along it was hormones messing with me. But because I hadn’t had a period in so long I didn’t recognize them. My asthma was really bad, which can happen with menopause, and definitely was an issue in the past few years. I also had experienced the same type of aches, just not to that extreme. Oh and I admit….some changes in mood. (well who wouldn’t at that point?) I never experienced any of that stuff when I was younger so it came as a big surprise.
Anyway, there’s the long version to what happened with my running routine. I’ve started back at it and have been doing a little walk-run stuff around the mountain, really paying attention to my hydration and nutrition needs, trying to sleep, and trying to not let menopause mess me up! If it’s been kicking your ass what do you do to kick back? If you had problems during the transition have they gone away? Body chemistry is a really complex but intriguing topic. If you , as an athlete , have any insight to the aging body and how to get the most from it, I’d love to hear it! Mostly I just try to ignore it and overcome it by sheer will! Happy Running friends!!