Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Now?

Conversations I had over the weekend helped me to realize that I need to put some of my running goals on the back burner.  I hate to do it and I don't want to, but I need to.

Once upon a time is how I'd like to start this, but it isn't a cinderella story.  Not long after getting married, but before having kids I was diagnosed with Orthostatic Hypotension.  Huh, what?  Mayo Clinic says:

Orthostatic hypotension — also called postural hypotension — is a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down. Orthostatic hypotension can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded, and maybe even faint.
Orthostatic hypotension is often mild, lasting a few seconds to a few minutes after standing. 

The thing is that it only took numerous doctor visits and three specialists in different areas to diagnose.  It took a while to figure out how to maintain my blood pressure high enough so I wouldn't white out or faint when I stood up.  First there was medication then I altered my diet so I could do it without medication (eat more salt, eat more salt...and after over a decade I still have to remind myself daily to eat more salt).  I was fine for years and years.

Now, all of a sudden it's happening again.  Only it is happening not only when I change positions, but also when I run.  Talk about frustrating!  I had my blood work done to eliminate some medical-type-things that could be causing the light headedness.  I'm healthy with all my numbers in the normal range except vitamin-D.  So, now I'm taking vitamin-D.  I have a follow-up doctor appointment in March and I hope to figure out what is going on.

This doesn't affect my life all that much, but I don't want to push myself running (distance or speed) until I get some answers.  If last weekend's race is any indicator, I'm fine with a few miles, but once I start adding on more miles I have more troubles keeping my electrolytes level, which in turn allows my blood pressure to drop enough so I get light headed.  FRUSTRATING!!!  So, who knows what my running will be like this year.  Once I get some answers and stop getting light headed while I run then I'll get back to longer distances.

FWIW, I was fine running my 2 miles this morning on my squeaky treadmill.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Winter Marathon Relay, Year 3

Three years, three ladies and a lot of miles.  Last Sunday Amanda, Felice and I ran in the Winter Marathon Relay for the third year!  Just like 2011 and 2010 it was a lot of fun and worth every moment.  Unlike 2011, when it was 16F outside, it was warm (36F).  Unlike 2010 when we had 40 mph gusts stopping us in our tracks, there was only a light breeze to help cool me off.
Last year and this year there was a second relay team of runners that we know (well, Amanda and Felice run with the group from this year and I know them through an online running group).  We managed to get a group picture before the start of the race!
Notice the LACK OF SNOW in the pictures!  Grrrrrr.  I love running when it is dry and a little warmer (a.k.a. 40F), but we have had next to no snow this winter and it is a real bummer to me because I love snow.

I was able to snag the shortest leg of the race for the second year in a row.  Amanda took the first leg and Felice brought our team in strong.  Amanda (to the right) ran the 9.73 mile leg and then tagged me and I was off.  The first two miles were beautiful.  My breathing was great.  My body felt great.  The "hills" (the on-ramp to the circle) didn't even wind me.  It was glorious.  And then at the end of mile 3 I started feeling light headed.  I stopped at the water stop at the beginning of mile 4 and had a glass of water, recouped and tried to pick it up again.  It was hard going for miles 4 and 5.  I kept on moving though - I needed to finish so I could send Felice out.  I tried to pick it back up for the last half mile.
Amanda tagging I go
I told Felice 54-55 minutes for my leg of the race (supposed to be 5.49 miles) and I finished 5.52 miles (according to my garmin) in 54:55 for an average of 9:37/mi.  I am happy with the first three miles (9:36, 9:36, 9:46), frustrated with the next two miles (10:31 and 10:37), and glad I could finish strong (.52 mi in 4:50 for an equiv of 9:22).  Despite being light headed and having a rough two miles, I'm happy with my time because I came in right when I told Felice I would be there.

Felice had the longest leg of the race at 10.99 miles.  (Where did they come up with the distances 9.73, 5.49 and 10.99?)  She ran a good race and I am sure you'll find her race report interesting to read here.
Felice at the finish line
Our official time this year was 4:11:06!  We are all pleased with the time and cannot wait for round four.  Although, it has been said that I haven't run the long leg yet so next year I will probably be running last.