Friday, September 20, 2013

Pre-Race Blahs

I really don’t want to be writing. Haven’t wanted to for days.  But, the husband said I should. The point of me starting this blog was to talk about what I’m going through with the whole menopause and bHRT.  OK. Fine. You’re right, Dear.

The past week (maybe even 2 weeks now) have been rough. More than half the time I am feeling blue. I have no drive and no interest in most things. I want to stay hidden. I want to cry.  I want to yell.  When I DO go out, it’s because I have forced myself to do it.  The thing is, there are times when I just CAN’T force myself. 

Please, please, please do NOT give me the “You just have to make yourself happy” or “you just have to make yourself do it” bullshit.  Because it does NOT work for everyone.  One of the WORST things you can tell someone who suffers from major depression is “Just THINK yourself happy.”   Because when they try and they are not able to do it, that is just ONE MORE THING they feel they have failed! 

I am not saying that cognitive therapy is not helpful. FAR from it.  It is vital! But know it is not as simple as “just think happy thoughts.” It takes a LONG time. It takes “retraining” your brain.  It’s not just a simple switch that you can flip on or off.  It is a total rewiring!   
OK. OFF that soap box.

I’ve also been a bit more snippy.   The husband has been irritating me.  He actually had the nerve to try to recommend a solution to a complaint I had the other night.  I was getting really mad at him.  When he wouldn’t stop talking I finally yelled “IT'S NOT ABOUT THE NAIL!!”  At least that soothed things a bit and we were able to laugh.

 Then yesterday morning, I got mad at him for trying to make me a ham sandwich.  WTH?  He was trying to be nice. He was doing something I had asked. But it wasn’t fast enough and I changed my mind and I snapped at him.   I did apologize.  He said he was sure it was the hormones and that I’m really not that much of a bitch. (OK, he didn’t add the bitch part. That was me) And that was when he suggested that I write about all yuck that I am feeling.

For whatever reason, I am feeling far more down than I did while I was recovering from my surgery. More irritable.   I think I got overconfident when I was feeling so upbeat emotionally (most of the time) those first few weeks.  Now, I guess the hormone roller-coaster is in full swing. 

Hell, this is Air Force Marathon weekend. I should be super excited!  But I’m not.  I had to force myself to leave the house yesterday morning. Yes, I was looking forward to seeing my friends and family, but I’m not excited or really happy about the rest of it.  I’ve only had a couple minor episodes of pre-race butterflies. I am hoping that changes as the day goes on. But I’m not terribly hopeful as the weather is looking iffy for tonight. 

This will change. Things will get better.  I know I was foolish to think that maybe anxiety and depression would somehow be surgically removed with the uterus. But hey, can’t blame a girl for hoping.   On the plus side, I’ve dealt with depression enough that I am not blindsided by this.  I can’t imagine how it must feel for women who have never been depressed to suddenly be swallowed up by it after surgery or once menopause starts.   

So now, time to force myself out of the house. I need to hit the bank and then go back to the expo to buy a couple items.  Retail therapy?  Maybe a little. But these were two things I’d already allotted for. (Don’t worry Farmboy, I promise not to go overboard.)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Better Day! C25K Week 2 Day 4

 Emotionally…MUCH BETTER today.  At least thus far. I’ve learned that it can change in a moment’s notice.  Which is always a lot fun.   But so far, so good.

This morning the husband and I went back out to Fort Ben to get some more hill work in before Friday’s 5K.  I decided I wanted to do the whole loop, rather than keeping mostly to the flat areas. I know I’ve said it before, but there are some really good hills out there!

My running partners for this years AFM 5K.
I really wanted to improve my best post-surgery time, but wasn’t confident that I could, given the terrain.  Somehow I pulled it off.  47:54.   Last week, I’d dropped my time down to 50:50 and that was all on the flat bike trail.  So I am thrilled that I dropped nearly 3 minutes with all the hills!  AND my last split was my fastest post-surgery mile at 14:43.  Hoping the excitement and energy of the other runners will help me cut those last 2 minutes off my time on Friday night. 

I will also have my posse running with me. My husband and my two younger girls and one of my sole sisters. They’ve all promised to help me reach my goal time.   And then dinner with friends to celebrate! (and to fuel the hubby for his 7:30 am 10K…in which he hopes to beat the time he set as a 22 year old. And honestly, he has a good shot of doing that. If not in this race, in one later this season!) 
My Sole Sisters at last year Columbus Hot Chocolate Run. Love these women so much!

In other news…OUCH! First time my shins have hurt since starting intervals!  But even with the sore body, I feel so much better than I did this weekend. Might be my body and spirit’s way of telling me that 5 days without running, makes for one sad, cranky mama.   

Oh yeah...tomorrow marks 2 months since my surgery. Hell yeah! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hormone Stuff

Getting a little worried.  Friday was a rough day.  Started off OK at 5:00am, but 2 hours later I was anxious and agitated.  And the day just got worse from there. Nothing set it off. Just felt “bad.”   By the time we hit the road for Bloomington, around 7:00pm, I was a mess.  And the fact that all the crazy drivers in Indiana appear to live on the south side, did not help. 

One woman intentionally tried to run us into the lane to our right, where there were other cars. (and yes, I am POSITIVE it was intentional.)  In my 24 years of driving, I think I have only flipped the bird 2 times.  Friday night was my 3rd.   I also called her some names that I am not terribly proud of and wished terrible things on her.  Maybe, if I had been alone in the car, I would not have said that I hoped she would have a horrible, single car accident.  But I wasn’t alone. My girls and husband were with me and all I could think about was ripping that woman’s throat out with my bare hands.  The sheer RAGE that I felt was incredibly intense. And it took over an hour for me to calm down.  Once I did, I was really ashamed of myself.  It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde.  (Given the chance though, I’d still like punch her in the face and burn her driver's license.)

Saturday morning was better.  I spent it outside at Lake Lemon with my family, watching my sister in law compete in her first sprint triathlon.  And I got to spend hours doing one of the things I love the most…taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Sadly, I am an idiot and did not check to see WHICH SD card I had.  I didn’t even KNOW we owned a 2gb card!  I hit 500 pictures and the card was FULL!  Thankfully, I had time to go through and delete a bunch of pictures so I didn’t miss any shots of the sister.  (who, by the way, got 2nd in her age group!)   I did a lot of running around and ended up a bit sore. But it was a good sore. (on the other hand, I feel like a total wuss for admitting that after watching all those people finish racing.) 
Lake Lemon the morning of the triathlon.

Later, we went out to dinner at a restaurant with a beautiful view of the lake and valley.  We listened to live jazz and had a great meal. Unfortunately, I was still feeling “off.” I can’t put my finger on it, but I was still agitated.  The band was great, but a bit too loud for me.  The people sitting behind us were far too close.  It was very difficult to just immerse myself in the surroundings and ENJOY it. I was never able to just relax. Even after a glass of wine.  Perfect weather, good music, very yummy wine, my beautiful family…what’s not to love?  Why should I feel less than happy?  

Statue in front of Scenic View restaurant.

Today has been more of the same. But a bit worse. Feeling blue. Feeling anxious. Tears for no reason.  A bit of anger…for various reasons.  Can’t shake it.   Desperately wanting to “run away.” 

Really hoping that this is just a bad couple of days.  Just some of the fluctuations that come with menopause and hormone therapy.  The doctor told me to chart days like these. Might mean I need to adjust my treatments.

 I know this will take a while. Levels need to adjust and all that.  I just HATE feeling like this when I know there is no real “external” reason for it.  


* I HIGHLY recommend The Scenic View resteraunt if you are ever in Bloomington. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

So, THIS is Happening...

The Dirty Girl 5K, here in Indy.  May 17th.
My best friend from Chicago, the one I often share a brain with, is making me do it. She held a gun to my Facebook page and said that I HAD TO! I HAD TO or she was going to hold MY half the brain hostage! 

OK, she really just asked if I had a 5K planned for that time. But the pressure was immense!

I've wanted to do an obstacle run for a couple of years now, but I just kept putting it off. I'm pretty nervous about it. I want to be able to complete ALL the challenges.  I am going to have to find out what the different obstacles are and figure out ways to train for them.Won't lie, more than a bit worried about the climbing. Especially for anything over...7 foot tall. On the other hand, I DID walk across the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, so I am pretty sure I can handle a 10 foot wall. (let's not talk about the fact that I cried when we were in the middle of the bridge. But we can talk about how the hubby and I RAN half way across on the way back. And that was pretty awesome.)

Picture from:

Not sure whether to thank The Riding Librarian or not.  I probably should. I'm betting it will be fun.  

So yeah, if you are in the area, get some of your girlfriends together, form a team, and get muddy next May!

After finishing one of the most terrifying, self imposed challenges I have ever done.
Damn, those legs are pale!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Depression Monster

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I wanted to share my experiences with this topic.  I have been sitting here for 2 hours trying to type this up. Trying to outline it like a formal paper.  Trying to figure out how to be elegant.   Trying to give this the “respect” I think it deserves.  It’s not happening.  So, I’m just going to start typing and try to regurgitate my memories of dealing with this monster as best I can. 

Uncle Clyde and me. June 1989

I have dealt with depression and anxiety for a very long time.  The first time I vividly remember being depressed was when I was 12.  I don’t think I realized there was a term for it, but I knew it was something far more than just “sad.”  It was also the first time I thought that maybe the idea of death wasn’t so bad. Whether the pre-pubescent angst of “I wish I were dead!” or the start of teen depression, it was a very real thought and it was scary.   

I continued to have thoughts of suicide over the next few years. Then in April of 1987, due to family and school drama, I decided that dying was far more appealing than living.  I took a handful of prescription pills that belonged to my grandma and went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night dizzy and sick to my stomach.  I did not tell my parents about it because I knew that would lead to even more drama. Weeks later, when my mom DID find out, she did not know how to handle it. Instead of seeking help for me, she said “Great. I have a nutcase for a daughter.” The topic was never brought up again.  I’ve long since forgiven her. She was dealing with her own issues and needed help every bit as much as I did.

I used to believe that I was depressed solely due to my environment and circumstances. But after leaving home when I turned 18, the depression did not go away. And as I grew older, I learned that it had as much, if not more, to do with genetics as it did with my environment.  Depression runs in my family.   On my mom’s side and on my dad’s.  It’s why my mom was not able to deal with my depression. She hadn’t yet dealt with her own. It’s why we suffer from addictions. It’s why my dad was not able to be part of my life for so long.   It’s why on September 3, 1992, one of the greatest men I knew, walked out on a beach in Provincetown Massachusetts, held a gun to his head and took his own life.  I will never know all the reasons my Uncle Clyde felt death was his only option, but I do know depression and addiction were the real killers.  

The path leading down to the beach where my uncle spent his last moments. A beautiful place. As morbid as it sounds, I understand why he wanted to be there.

Thoughts of suicide still haunt me.  There are days, though now few and far between, when I feel death would be preferable to life.  But I refuse to leave my children with that legacy.  I refuse to let the temporary feelings of despair lead to permanent grief for those I love.  Because those feelings are just that, TEMPORARY.  And they do not erase the joy and the love that I feel on the good days.  And the good days now far outnumber the bad ones. 

Recently, I came to the realization that God had a plan for me when I got pregnant at such a young age.  I was given a gift. I was given something that I felt was worth living for. For that, I am eternally grateful. 

The rose bush near the hotel room where my uncle spent his last days.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

C25K Week 2 Day 2…Still waiting

At this point my runs are still terribly draining.  I am really looking forward to the day when going out and running 3 to 4 miles energizes me for the rest of the day, rather than knocking me on my backside.   No, I am not beating myself up. I know this is normal, especially given the circumstances.  But I can still look forward to when it changes. 

Once again, I worried today’s intervals would prove too much for me.  Especially since my eating has been less than great the last two evenings.  I know from past experience, what you put into your body the day before a run can really affect how you feel.  THANKFULLY, that did not seem to be the case today. 
Mist hanging over the field next to the trail for this morning's run.

It was really a great run this morning.  Probably the best so far.  I had a lot of tightness in my calves during the last 3 required intervals. Really need to work on my stretching.  But other than that, it was really good.  And of course Fort Ben is beautiful.  I love being out there. (even if the hills are killer!)

One of my favorite parts of the paved trail at Ft. Ben

After the 6 required intervals were over, we continued walking up the trail to get some hill work in.  I was also determined to get in at least 3.1 miles. We did about 10 more minutes of walking, then I felt like running again. We did another 4 run intervals with the last one being a 30 second “sprint.”  (OK, it was a sprint for me anyway!)   

Love being out there when the sun comes up.

Finished up 3.1 in 52:10.  So I KNOW I will be able to finish the AFM 5K in less than an hour.  Now, I’ve got 2 weeks to get stronger and a little faster. I think I’ve got a real shot at 45 minutes.

I'll also be a bit faster because I won't be stopping to take pictures.