Watch the Heat – Especially Over 40 Crowd

We’re set for an 80 degree day here in Seattle. That’s about 30 degrees warmer than we are used to, so all you runners be careful out there! Get your run in early, or follow these tips to get your run in safely. According to the study cited in this blog, older (over 40) runners need to be especially careful since our bodies don’t cool themselves as efficiently as they once did.

fat man lean man

Sweat is Good When it is Hot!

For my Stateside friends it is May and everything is starting to warm up. Time to shake off the winter rust and get ready for warmer temperatures. This is especially important if you are over 40, like me. Why over 40? Because us old folks don’t handle heat as well as the younger crowd.

We’ve long known the elderly don’t handle heat well – just think of all the seniors who suffer and sometimes die during heatwaves each year – but recent research shows that our ability to handle heat decreases as early as 40-45 years. The most recent, a Canadian Study, evaluated 85 males ranging from 20-70 years, who were tested on their reaction to physical exercise in elevated temperatures.

The test subjects were placed in a room regulated to 35deg Celsius (about 95 deg Fahrenheit) and 20% relative humidity. They…

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Recovery Report – Week 6

Yesterday was 6 weeks to the day since my hysterectomy surgery and I am excited because all my restrictions on exercise are finally lifted. I can start running again!

Truth be told, I jumped the gun and ran a little bit last week anyway, but now I am actually allowed to. Yay!

So I ran on Sunday, and again this morning. Technically, Sunday was the day before I was released. But whatever. Close enough – no harm was done. I ran about a mile and a quarter, and 1 mile of that was non stop, albeit going pretty slow. Didn’t wear a watch or keep track, I just ran on feel. It felt fine, though I was definitely ready to stop after that mile.

Today I did about 16 minutes on the treadmill, broken up into intervals of 5 – 6 minutes at about a 10 – 11 minute pace. So, I’m not sure of the exact distance, but I think it was probably a mile and a half or so. This was after I also did 20 minutes on the adaptive motion trainer, and before a core strength class. In core I had to modify everything and didn’t do V-sits at all (just seemed like a bad idea), but I got out there and did what I could.

So I’m proud of myself and feeling pretty pleased with my progress. Even though I don’t have the stamina I used to and my ankle is still a bit sore, I’m not going to focus on that – the important part is that I CAN run. I can still do these things. And soon, I’ll be able to do more – before long, I should be back to where I was. I am healed up, feeling good, and the PT I have been doing for the ankle issues has made a big difference very quickly.

So if you’re reading this, and you or someone you know is going to have a hysterectomy, or similar surgery – please know, it doesn’t have to be a scary thing. I know I was very scared about it and only did it when I really felt there was no other option.

Some people have a hard recovery, but mine has been quite easy since about the 10th day. I would guess my experience is fairly typical. And really, a couple weeks of feeling not so great is a very short amount of time when you consider that it is going to keep me from having to worry about the possibility of cancer developing later. The recovery was hard at first but I think I will eventually feel better than ever.

Disappointed

Had a very disappointing post operative appointment today. I had been thinking that since I have been feeling so good that I would probably be released to resume more of my normal activities. Even if I didn’t get released, I thought at least there would be some sort examination and I would get to hear about how things are healing up. But, neither of those things happened. The doctor asked how I was doing, I told him great and when could I start running. He said he was glad to hear I was doing great, but he never releases anyone for exercise before 6 weeks.

So. Not sure how to feel about this. Guess I will just keep doing what I am doing, maybe ease off somewhat, and continue to wait it out like I have been. Grr.

Resolutions

I have to admit to not being big on New Years resolutions. Not that my life couldn’t do with plenty of improvement, just that I am not usually motivated by the calendar to do it preemptively. Usually something bad has to happen before I make needed changes.

But last year I did make one resolution in January that I managed to stick with – and that was to get in shape and start running again. So, on the heels of that success, I figured I would do it again for 2014. But I have a lot of stuff on my plate this year, so I need to have a lot of resolutions. 14, to be exact.

Here they are:

1) Finish my first half-marathon (the Rain Run at the end of the month).

2) Run one more race in February (have to figure out what this will be).

3) Get some skiing in (this resolution may require travel unless we get some dang snow in the mountains).

4) Be brave about my surgery so my kids won’t be afraid.

5) Have a good recovery, and follow doctors orders (not my usual MO, will probably require effort not to want to jump the gun as far as getting back to my normal routine).

6) Be the best mom I can be – keep the yelling to a minimum. This is a hard one but it’s worth working on since my kids really don’t respond to it very well anyway. The goal is to have them want to cooperate, not to frighten them into it.

7) Figure out my career situation by the end of the year. Back to real estate? Or something else? I am not certain that the unpredictability of real estate works for our family dynamic, so I need to get this figured out.

8) Get back to running (even if slow and not very far) by June. Supposedly I can start doing light workouts again (not running, lifting or twisting) after a couple of weeks so I feel this should be doable.

9) Finish another half marathon between September 1 and December 31, 2014.

10) Lose 8 pounds.

11) Run a 5k in under 27 minutes.

12) Run a 10k in under 54 minutes.

13) Get Christmas cards out before Christmas rather than after New Years.

14) Read more books.

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone’s new year is getting off to a good start. Mine is – we have been having a great time with our boys all through the holidays and it was really fun helping them get into the spirit of New Years Eve yesterday. We had originally been planning to go to a party at some friends house, but that was cancelled when the hostess’s son came down with stomach flu. Such a bummer for him, but at least our family was able to make alternate plans. We ended up eating ham and bean soup, going to see Frozen, then coming home to drink sparkling apple cider and prosecco, and watching the ball drop in NYC before sending the kids to bed. A very enjoyable way to say goodbye to 2013.

This morning we all woke up a bit late and groggy from staying up the night before, but still wanted to do something fun together as a family. So we decided to go to Discovery park in Seattle for a hike, and then to the Lockspot Cafe for lunch. I had smoked salmon chowder and a green salad. I can tell that I am pretty much at the end of the holiday feasting because salad is starting to sound really, really good to me. I am kind of over all the holiday junk and sweets. Even the egg nog in my coffee just doesn’t seem as festive and exciting as it did back in November. It is time to put all the holiday stuff away for next year (except the egg nog – I’ll just drink that, then it will be gone).

Done.

I think I mentioned that I am training for a half marathon at the end of the month. It’s going pretty well. I did a 9.5 mile run on Sunday which felt about as good as a 9.5 mile run can. I didn’t run very fast but I did maintain a steady pace all the way to the end. My ankles were a little sore after, but that was all. Did a 5 mile run a couple days later with no issues at all. Felt great, except for a little bit of a refluxy feeling that I think is from eating junk for the last 2 weeks straight. Oh well.

As far as a training plan for the half, I don’t really have one. What I do is, I run on a three week cycle – short, medium then long. You can’t as a newbie just pile miles on every week, you have to give yourself a break. So for instance, I ran 7 miles for my long run the first week of this cycle, then 8.5, then 9.5 this past Sunday. Now I will cycle back to a shorter distance and do it again. In the next cycle the short run will be the same length as the medium run from the previous cycle. So on my next cycle, I will run 8.5, then 9.5, then 11. And that will probably be the last long run before the half itself.

So far this non-plan has been working pretty well. I guess well see how it goes as I get closer to the big day!