Hills, Hormones, Hours of Running

I have a big race coming up, Savage Gulf Marathon, 15 women and 66 men.  No trail race is complete without repetitive hills. The hills are tough, but I love hills! It’s going to be tough. Elevation gain is 4300′. In my mind, I would rather enter a race knowing that without a doubt it is going to be hard to impossible to finish. That way, finishing is winning. 🙂 I cannot wait to race.

Well, today was my last long training run before my race. Why is it that the last long run before taper is tougher than the race? Ugh. I ran for 4 1/2 hours on the trail. Elevation gain was 3810′. When you are running for 4 1/2 hours on the trail, you have to plan A LOT. I am getting good at it. Here’s how I fueled, quinoa bar, cliff bar, almond trail mix, and my favorite drink Perpetuem. It is the best. My favorite flavors are Strawberry/Vanilla and Orange/Vanilla. It is for the runner who is running over 3 hours straight. I cannot say enough about this drink mix. I ate every hour. I also drank about 60 ounces of water. I planned for extra clothes and a hat because it was raining. I also wore compression socks. The hills are relentless and tend to be punishing after 3 hours. I want my calves comfortable.

Okay ladies, let’s chat a bit about hormones. I’m mentioning hormones in this post because it was a hormonal day. The older that I get the more I am willing to admit that I am affected by my hormones. Each month, without skipping a beat I suffer from loss of memory, the inability to make decisions, lack of focus, a sweaty night and sometimes insomnia. Let me be frank, for years it was about when I was on my period and when I was ovulating. My husband knew that when it was close to my period that I would be ‘cranky’, and that when I was ovulating, it was time to get pregnant! Now, it is almost more important to know the ins and outs of my cycle, because not only does it mess with my mind and body, but now I am learning how much it intrudes into my running routine!! This can be worse for my husband, and let me explain why.

Running is a hobby that brings endorphins to my day. Training hard helps me to reach my targets. It is a huge stress reliever for me as a wife and mom. Well, when hormones surge and decline, my training surges and declines, my stress reliever is not working so well. My targets are not being hit. It is almost worse than the bloating and memory loss. Do you see? I think I am going to sit down with my husband and explain how estrogen and progesterone teeter totter together between the  follicular and luteal phases. This teeter-tottering can act as a detriment to my running. Once I am finished explaining, I will be able to walk in from a run and call out, “luteal phase!” He will know that I probably did not sleep well because my core temperature is higher, thus I will felt hotter running and my run may not have gone as hoped. Which might predispose my day to be not so good. BUT, when I trot in and call out, “follicular phase!!”, he will know that I ‘rocked’ my run and it’s going to be a good day. These insights into the female (hormonal) world might help him know how to love this hormonal, runner better.

These links are great for some more information on hormones and running.

http://www.runtheplanet.com/trainingracing/training/women/menstruation.asp

http://www.runnersworld.com/health/how-menstruation-affects-your-running?page=single

http://running.competitor.com/2012/08/features/the-role-of-hormones-in-running_57112

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4 thoughts on “Hills, Hormones, Hours of Running

  1. rondasreactions.blogspot.com

    Liz
    Great job on your blog. As you know, I do not share your passion for running. I like your blog because I learn more about you and why you enjoy running so much. Although I don’t love running, I do love you and you are doing a great job!

    Reply
  2. Amy

    Hormones suck! I always eat an entire bag of M&Ms right before I start! Good luck on your race – I know you will rock it!

    Reply

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