seemed no sooner than the entry was in things started to change. I started getting hot flashes! What!? Already? Can't be....I'm only 52! Oh hang on, yup, this could be the start of "the change"!!!
What followed was six months of really interesting body changes. Overnight it seemed I picked up weight. Not a lot, but I noticed it - around my middle! The sweats continued, not badly but they came and went. My periods became very unpredictable, and I had less energy, again not too bad but noticeable. I take Maca and DIM to support my hormones and added to that sage supplements which definitely helped with the sweats. But I still felt different and training for the race seemed like way more hard work than it had in the past
I put it down to my motivation levels, maybe I didn't want to do this race. I put it down to not trying hard enough, not doing the correct training, being lazy. And it wasn't until a few days after the race that I realised what the actual issue was. But back to race day first.
It was at about 13km that I "hit the wall". Now if you're a runner,you'll know what I mean by that statement. All my energy left me, I wanted to throw in the towel, my legs felt like lead and I couldn't keep running constantly. And I still had 8km to go! So I shuffled and walked the rest of the way until I finished in a very slow time for me 2hrs and 37 mins. The photo is the one of relief....I got back and it was all over!
And then a few days later the message and learning of this 21km race journey hit me straight in the forehead. I am at a stage in my life when things change quite quickly. This is our womanly path as we are linked to our hormones in a very intimate way. Even small changes can affect how we cope with day to day stuff, and so the "change of life" can disrupt things in a way that once again challenges how we operate within our lives. This is not the first time this has happened to us, we've all been through puberty, most of us through pregnancy as well, and some of us perimenopause and menopause as well.
These times are a time for reflection, reassessment, adjustment and acceptance. We will pop out the other side and how we treat ourselves through these times of change make all the difference to who we pop out the other side as. Are we stronger or weaker? Do we allow ourselves to go with the flow, acknowledge our journey and support it, or do we fight against it and burn out? We have a choice, and really it means making lemonade out of those lemons.
So here's what I got out of this. Yes, things are changing and now is the time to nuture myself a bit more. Listen to what my body is telling me, slow down a little and let things change, but don't stop completely. At the same time of entering the Colville Connection I entered the Auckland Xterra Series. This was my motivation for winter. It still is, and now it will be at a less competitive level. I am not going to go out there to try and beat any of my times, set new records for myself. I can wait, I can take it a little easier, I can let my body do what it needs to until I pop out the other end, still moving but stronger.
Fast forward 3 years....
I am now 55 and have had an interesting 3 years. I shared my current journey here a few week ago. I am still running and have entered the Xterra Series every year, plus other running races. I have had to contend with the fact that I am slower.
My latest race was yesterday - 8km in Coatesville. (Funny, I was wearing the same running shirt) I took it easy, I reminded myself that I am still dealing with the effects of menopause, and I need to be kind to myself. Trying to do things the same way as I did when I was in my 30's and 40's just doesn't work right now, and I am finally okay with that. I am making lemonade.
What do you need to put in place to support yourself? How can you show yourself some love and self-care right now? Let me know in the comments.
Click below to listen to a podcast episode I was interviewed for, about building resilience and my journey to being a Health Coach