Friday, March 30, 2012

Racing on Sunday

Lately, I haven't been doing pre-race posting, just doing write-ups after.  Not sure why.  I think part of me is nervous that if I talk about the race beforehand, it will make me more nervous.

I'm racing on Sunday, doing the Flip Flop Half Marathon.  I haven't had any heart palpitations since my last race, have cut way back on the speed training, and have been taking the last couple of weeks very easy.  Hopefully that will all add up to a strong, recovered heart for Sunday's race.  I'm not going to try to P.R. or anything.  I will try my best to keep it under control, just going slightly harder than my normal long run effort.  If I go over my heart rate zone and I'm running 13 minute miles, then fine, that is my pace for that day.

1) I want to finish
2) I don't want to walk (which basically means I don't want heart palpitations, my only reason for walking
3) I want to enjoy myself

I'm reading Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, so I'm sort of paraphrasing his goals for the 2005 New York City Marathon.

I've never read any of Murakami's other books, and I'm not sure whether I ever will.  I think I must be a boring kind of person who runs as a hobby and lately is only interested in books about running.  He's a great writer, and I'm sure his novels are wonderful, but lately I'm sort of a two-note person:  mommy and runner.

There's a lot in the book that I'm enjoying, and quotes that I could bookmark, but the one paragraph that struck a chord with me the most is this one:

"I don't care about the time I run.  I can try all I want, but I doubt I'll ever be able to run the way I used to.  I'm ready to accept that.  It's not one of your happier realities, but that's what happens when you get older.  Just as I have my own role to play, so does time.  And time does it job faithfully, much more accurately, than I ever do.  Ever since time began (when was that, I wonder?), it's been moving ever forward without a moments rest.  And one of the privileges given to those who've avoided dying young is the blessed right to grow old.  The honor of physical decline is waiting, and you have to get used to that reality."

Friday, March 09, 2012

Fine, I'm Overtraining

I was kind of bummed to find that changing my diet yet again, avoiding high FODMAP foods didn't help me avoid heart palpitations.  (If you read up on FODMAPs, please know that I don't have IBS.  I just have stomach distress while exercising sometimes, and I thought I might have mild fructose intolerance.)   But you know, I'm kinda glad.  Not eating so many of my favorite foods on my already very restricted diet was too much of a bummer.  I'm an athlete (sorta), but I'm also a bit of a foodie.  I like to cook, and I love me my onions and garlic.  I've given up ice cream, but I don't think I could be happy and give up onions and garlic.  Take away my sweets, but don't take away my aromatic veggies.

I had some homemade pumpkin bolognese for dinner tonight. Yum..

If I had to choose between running marathons and eating high FODMAP fruits and veggies (onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, pears, etc. etc.) I'd have to choose the fruits and veggies.  I don't have IBS or Crohn's disease, or any of the symptoms, so it's not like it is a huge deal.  I'd give them up if I thought it was seriously affecting my health, but I doubt it is.

Giving up those foods on top of everything else was a huge bummer.  I ended up cheating and eating sugar and french fries, which are allowed on a low FODMAP diet, but I know are bad for me.

At first I was bummed at the idea I was overtraining, rather than eating the wrong foods.  But I'm willing to accept that now, and look on the bright side of it.  Yay, onions and garlic!

It's kind of funny how long I've been avoiding what now seems like an obvious answer to my problem.  The first time I had heart palpitations, it was while doing a set of 800's.  The next time was under the same circumstances, and they then started creeping into less intense workouts.  I blamed it on Benadryl.

I rested up, seemed to get better.  Since I figured I was cured, and no longer took Benadryl, I started training again.  Problem started again.  I then figured it was my diet.  I rested up again, ate a little better, and thought I was cured.  Then the problem started again.  Rested again, changed my diet again, and thought I was cured.  Nope...

It was probably the rest that was helping me.  I would start training again, feel good, be able to do some intense workouts, and figure I was better.  Eventually the problem would always start again.

I think I have to just figure out how to workout in a way that doesn't cause palpitations.

Before I had Benji, I had shinsplints all through my Honu Half Ironman training.  Maybe those were a blessing in disguise, a constant reminder I shouldn't push too hard.  Since I haven't had any serious connective tissue problems lately, I've been able to train hard without my body screaming at me to slow down.

Should I try to run 9 minute mile pace instead of 8 during my interval work?  8:30?  Do I need to decrease my mileage temporarily, too?  Should I just do 10K's instead of Half Marathons or Marathons?  I don't know.  Err on the side of caution?  Let my tiredness after workouts be my guide?  Heart rate? Lots to think about.  


Monday, March 05, 2012

Feeling Better Today

I felt pretty beat up this morning (groggy, irritable), but I'm feeling better now.  I also feel more optimistic about racing in the future.

I still am not sure I will do the marathon in May, or the half marathon on April 1st.  I may do a 10K instead of the half in April.  I may do the half instead of the full in May.  I may not do either.  I'll see how recovery goes, and if I feel like it when the time comes.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Waah, waah, waah

So sometimes I get heart palpitations.  So maybe I can't run as fast as I want.  Maybe I'll have to give up racing...

I'm kind of embarrassed/ashamed of my problem.  I think it means I'm not tough.  My body is failing me.  I'm not a real athlete.

I had a palpitation in the pool for the first time last month.  :(.  Usually only happens when running.  I had moved up a couple lanes, and was keeping up pretty well, even leading on the kicking sets.  I was feeling good and even started leaving 10 seconds back to avoid catching up to the person in front of me.  Then it happened.  I said something about it to my lanemates, and one of them laughed.  I was appalled.  As I got out of the pool, one of my other lanemates suggested I was swimming too fast.

Sometimes I feel like people throw it in my face.  Maybe you were going too hard?  Well, you were going up hill, and you suck at hills.  Maybe they don't mean it that way, but comments like that are annoying, especially since it happens occasionally when I am going easy.

In my last race on Superbowl Sunday, people made a big deal when I told them about my palpitaitons.  This race, I decided just to say I wasn't feeling well.  I felt dumb, DNFing in a race simply because I didn't feel well, but I didn't want to be a drama queen about it.  Heart issues sound so serious.

It is bothering me a lot, but I feel like I don't deserve to whine about it.    It would seemingly be a small part of my life.  I work out far less than 10 hours a week now.  I'm not in the top tier of my events.  Why does it matter to me so much anyways?

I'm otherwise in good health.  (Knock on wood.)  Supposedly my palpitations are harmless.  Many people have life threatening problems or severe disabilities, and I'm whining because I can't race and train like I want to?  We're all getting older and are mortal anyways, right?  I may as well get used to it.

I'm tempted to make a list of all the things I'm glad are not wrong with me, but that would be just way too petty.  I'm in a weak, selfish, horrible person kind of mood.  That would be kind of a rotten way of counting my blessings.  Problems I don't have, that other people do.

I have a lot in my life to be happy about.  I hope I'm feeling more energetic, well rested, and less anxious tomorrow, and can refocus on all of that.

I get one day  to whine, right?  And this is my blog...  Feel lucky I didn't call you, I guess.

Drowning My Sorrows in Pizza and Chinese Food

I did the Jenny's Light 10K today.  I tried to go really easy (10:30 pace) and had heart palpitations before I reached mile 3.  I just turned around, rather than finishing.  I took off my bib, didn't cross the finish line, and tried to tell them I really DNF'd so they wouldn't wonder why someone started the race but didn't finish, but somehow my name ended in with the finishers anyhow.

I had a feeling this could happen.  I did a track workout last weekend where I did 5 x 800's at 8 min/mile pace,  interspersed with easy 800's, and had palpitations on my last 800.  I didn't want to race today, but figured, maybe if I just went easy enough and didn't get my heart rate too high, I would be OK, but that strategy didn't work out.

I have been trying really hard to watch my diet lately, although I haven't been strictly paleo, allowing some non-gluten grains.  I've been trying to follow a low "FODMAP" diet, which for me has been harder than being Paleo in some ways.  No onions?  No garlic? No broccoli? No kale?  Are you kidding?  I already didn't eat tomatoes and potatoes, wheat, sugar, chocolate.  The list goes on.

I made myself a gluten free pizza crust last night, intending to use a butternut squash sauce.  When I got home from the race, I topped it with some homemade marinara I made for Raybon (yum, onions and tomatoes), organic pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese.  Raybon is out getting chinese food now.  It's gluten free, but screw the whole garlic, onion, nightshade avoidance nonsense.

I don't know...  Maybe diet is part of it.  The rice flour I've been indulging in lately does feel awfully heavy in my stomach, and I feel kinda sluggish after eating it.  But I really think it is too much stress and overtraining.  I am cheating by doing interval workouts where my marathon plan doesn't call for them.  I want to go faster, not just farther.  :(  Now I wonder if I should take a couple weeks or months off training altogether.

I don't want to think about this too hard right now.  Giving up on the marathon I wanted to do (but haven't signed up for) makes me sad.  Thinking about whether I need to give up racing long in general makes me sad.  I guess I'll find other ways to fill my time it it comes to that.