I’m Still Alive

And kicking. More or less. 

Since my last post, training has been going considerably better. My hormone replacement therapy seems to be working, and I feel I am about in the same fitness level as I was about this time last year. I’m trying to be content with that, but I must admit I wish I were at the next level rather than returning to my previous peak. I still have off days a lot more than I remember having previously, but my good days are better than where I was last year, so there is that. 

One of the most interesting, measurable improvements is my resting heart rate. When I got metabolic testing done last summer, the tester was perplexed at my higher than expected resting heart rate given my good VO2 max. It fell between 60-64 beats per minute. He thought it was a nutrition thing, that I was perhaps catabolizing muscle by not eating optimally. I do not doubt that I eat sub-optimally, but I didn’t feel like this was the case. However, I didn’t have a better explanation. 

For the past month or so, my resting heart rate has gone down to the mid 40s. It seems like my hormone issues were having an effect. 

In early June, I managed to slightly PR in the 5k at the Freihofer Run for Women. I still ran the race stupid — I massively negative split the race, which anyone who runs 5ks regularly knows is not really the right strategy for 5k racing. I haven’t gotten the hang of how I should feel going out hard that first mile, instead approaching the race like I do half and full marathons by easing into my pace. I suppose I need to race more 5ks to start to understand how to better run these things. 

Case in point, yesterday I had a fast finish long run on my schedule, so I decided to run the last 3.1 miles of my 13.1 run at a 5k in the park I usually run in. So, I ran the ten miles, trying to keep moving until the air horn, then ran the 5k. I did not look at my Garmin the whole race (I had it on the time of day screen) and just ran at a pace/effort I hoped to run next week at the half marathon I’m running. I was chit chatting with some of the other participants as I ran, and felt pretty alright most of the race. 

Turned out, I ran that 5k only 34 seconds off my PR. Aaaaaaaaand I won the women’s race. I kid you not. I got to break the tape and everything. Granted, my 5k time is nowhere near what I would expect to win the majority of 5ks, so it was pure luck that all the speedsters stayed away, but it was still a hoot to win a race. Plus I got a $25 gift card to the local running store. 

But, really, if I can run 10 miles then run that close to my 5k PR, I clearly have a lot of work to do to figure out how to run a goal 5k race better. It’s a mental thing. I also negative split the race, but not as badly as the Freihofer run.

Sadly, I have no photos of the event. It was just part of a training run for me, and my husband doesn’t come to little local events like this anymore (he was also getting ready for his own event — see more below). Boo. 

The other big happening here is that today my husband broke the record time to swim the length of Lake George. It’s 34 miles and it took him 19 hours, about 3 hours longer than he expected. He said it was a rough swim, with navigational issues during the the night (he started at 5pm to avoid boat traffic and take advantage of smoother waters). He’s passed out on the sofa right now, poor guy. I’m so proud of him. He’s a badass who doesn’t know he’s a badass. 
That’s about it, folks. Thanks for reading, those of you who have stuck around despite my lapse in posting. 

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18 thoughts on “I’m Still Alive

  1. I was just wondering when there’d be another post from you. Well done on winning! Woohoo!

    Your husband is definitely badass. Wow.

    Just saw your Star Wars race costume! How fun!

  2. Glad to see you back – and glad to hear that the hormones are doing the job!

    Also great on the 5K … it is really scary for so many of us longer distance folks, because we focus so much on NOT burning out, and the focus of the 5K is to burn yourself out much more quickly, to stand outside your comfort zone the whole time. I would choose to go out for my 19 mile Father’s Day run in a heartbeat over another 5K ! πŸ™‚

    Really cool with your husband – that has got to be quite a challenge, not just the swimming but also dealing with a busy lake! I think that is awesome … I would love the challenge of running LG Village to Fort Ti … but swimming? Truly badass!

  3. Doug says:

    We were about to send out a search party. My wife has started HRT since your last post. I can’t tell you if she has stabilized her out of whackness yet. I am afraid to ask her. We have a stringent don’t ask if you don’t absolutely need to know policy because she is liable to tell you more than you ever wanted to know.

  4. NICE JOB!!

    Re the resting heart rate thing, mine has always been like 55-58, even when my VO2 max is high. I wonder if that’s just normal for some people.

    • Thanks!

      My resting HR had been in the 60s, so it’s a significant drop for me. I don’t really have expertise in VO2 max and resting heart rate outside what the test guy – who is an expert, not just some schmoe in a gym doing the test like I’ve heard some people get – told me. It probably does vary for different people, but he was pretty puzzled by my result. Now it is falling in line with what he expected, but that doesn’t mean that there’s anything abnormal about your resting HR. Although if you seem to suddenly have struggles hitting paces previously no problem for you and you don’t think it’s overtraining, you might want to get a doctor to check you out. The whole hormone thing took me completely by surprise because it happened so quickly and prematurely.

  5. Karen @ runningfifty says:

    I was so happy to see your post come in. Wow! Well done on winning the race! That must have felt great. Congratulations to your husband, as well. Very impressive! I’ll look forward to your upcoming posts.

  6. So glad to hear from you! You’re not the only one who hasn’t posted in a while πŸ˜‰ Glad you’re doing well and that your husband made that crazy-ass swim. Holy moly! Congrats on your 1st place finish!!!!!! πŸ™‚

  7. Welcome back! (I’m on a bit of a blog break myself) Thanks for sharing. I’m very interested to hear more about your hormone stuff. Glad you’re getting it figured out as best you can, and getting back into running. I’ve just turned 50, so having some issues myself, I think, on top of other pre-existing fun stuff. Congrats to you and your hubs!

    • I keep meaning to write more about the hormonal changes, but obviously I’ve not gotten around to it yet. It’s shocking to me what the loss of estrogen did to my running. Why is there so little out there about this?

      Hope you’re able to get to the bottom of your issues and find some relief.

  8. Syd says:

    Still reading you and glad that you are here. You and your husband are an inspiring team. Congratulations to both of you! Amazing feat to swim that distance!

  9. Just wanted to say hi…
    Glad you’re getting your hormones all fixed up and that you’re back to feeling better.
    Congrats on the first place — breaking the tape had to have been pretty rad. And your husband is a maniac. Take care Judith! Talk soon!

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