Friday, May 30, 2014
Took A Whole Lot of Tryin' Just to Get Up That Hill.
I will return to my vacation posts shortly, but I figured I'd mix some new with the old as I go. Last weekend was Snake Alley in Burlington. It's a hard race for me in every way. It has an insane climb and a fast downhill with a couple of turns after that. Also, I am all different kinds of perimenopausal and it can be really challenging racing under the hormones. Hmmmm. "Under the Hormones"...New blog name?
It seems a lot of women are squeamish about talking about "The Change". I was talking about it with John and we were pondering why people don't talk about it much. We assumed it was mostly because it was a sign of aging, and so many Americans hate to admit they are at THAT AGE. I also know way too many women who like to pretend it didn't make any difference in their lives after the fact. The women I'm thinking of were generally totally insane and/or self-medicating with alcohol or, like my aunt, at least a bottle of Midol a day. I have never wanted to be one of those women, who after the fact, said they didn't know what anyone was talking about with menopause, they never had any symptoms and never got crazy, while their entire family is kicking each other under the table, trying not to laugh remembering how they all wish they could have armed themselves with tranquilizer guns during those years. So, in the interest of not being in denial, I am going to talk about the issues of being perimenopausal and how it affects me. Because, so far it has affected me some.
Being hormonal can make me weak, tired, dizzy, super spacy, anxious and mess with my confidence. Not in any way that would make me nonfunctional in real life, (yet) but all of those things are REALLY bad for racing. Also, my migraines can be worse and telling when I might get one is way more unpredictable then it used to be. So, I'm on a lovely hormonercoaster and it's hard telling from one day to the next who will show up to any race.
So it was, that I was feeling the hormones last Saturday when I raced up Snake Alley again, and again, and again. I did some prerides and didn't feel very strong or confident. The weather was beautiful and a lot of my friends showed up to cheer John and I on. I was afraid I wouldn't make all the way up the hill unless, I let all of the women go ahead of me and then I could choose my line and go alllll the way across on each switchback, which meant I was last for most of the race. Luckily, a couple of other women either went out too hard or just didn't have it in them to ride up Snake Alley that many times, and had to walk up. Which meant I was 3rd from last. I'll take it!
The next day, I was supposed to race The Melon City Crit in Muscatine, but after waking up with a migraine, I decided it probably wasn't a good idea. I did, however, watch John race and wandered around Weed Park, which was beautiful.
When we got home, I decided to run a nice, slow 6 mile route, because running can help the migraines go away, and luckily, it worked. Later in the afternoon, John and I went to see the new Godzilla movie and that was fun. As long as you didn't expect it to make much sense and you just wanted to watch monsters battle it out and wreck large cities while sitting in air conditioning and eating popcorn - which happened to be exactly what I wanted to do, thank you. We went for sushi after the movie and gave ourselves an all-out Japanese themed evening.
On Memorial Day, I woke up with ANOTHER migraine. We had already decided not to do the Crit in Davenport, so that wasn't an issue. I took my migraine meds and went back to bed. Then I got up and got some serious gardening done. I have some scrub bushes in my backyard that I've been meaning to tear out since I bought the house in 2009. I finally ripped out a little section and replaced them with Asian lilies. So much better.
So, I expect the next couple of years of racing to be a veritable crap shoot, where I work very hard at not getting disappointed when I am not able to do the races I love or decide to do them when I know I won't be strong enough or focused enough to get decent results. And since I have written this blog post, I will never be able to deny that perimenopause affected me after the fact...Unless I happen to accidentally delete this post, that is...