Monday, July 28, 2014

Time Is The Only True Unit Of Measure

Last week was a very good week. I am feeling much stronger and starting to have more fun on the run. Just 2 weeks with the trainer and I've already lost 10 pounds. I weighed 200.3 this morning. I am so relieved. I really though I wasn't going to be able to lose it. But all it took was more focus and little more work.

Totals for last week:
Running - 21 miles (8.5, 4, 4, 4.5)
Riding - 105 miles
Cross training (walking & rowing) - 1.75 hours
Weights - 3.25 hours
Total - 17.25 hours

I may not be doing that much more but I feel like I'm strong enough now that I can start pushing on the run and the bike. I am still really slow on the run but it's getting better. I also fall asleep sometimes around 8 or 8:30 on tough days. And I can tell when I'm tired because my bike commute is a struggle, especially the "hill". I am incorporating rest days into my week. I will still bike commute on those days but just an hourish round trip. Driving is not an option.

Oh...and eyelashes are falling out again. I may be a little paranoid about that but I am definitely losing them. It makes me wonder if I'm doing too much. I don't think so though. I feel better than I've felt in year. Thank goodness.

I made a Vision Board at Fleet Feet Rancho on Saturday. It was kind of funny because the others were all running related. Which you'd expect. But not mine. :)
I put the things on here that I want/need to remember and the goals I have for now: I want to be able to do a pull up. I want to improve my balance. I want to be able to do push ups. I want to learn how to rock climb. I want to be outside more. I need to remember that I have to keep fighting cancer and not let it win. That choosing to go back to a sedentary life would be giving it the ultimate victory. It would be so easy to do that but I'm not going to.

I made a decision to give up my contributions/duties to my running club - Run It Fast recently and I made the announcement over the weekend. I have struggled with this decision for a while but have decided to put myself first and shed some of the things that keep me behind a computer instead of out doing things. I am trying to manage my time better and to spend it on the things I need to do for my health and the things I want to do that make me happy.

The quote at the top is from Lucy, which I saw yesterday. (It was...interesting, I could have waited til it was out on dvd). It did have some interesting concepts/ideas in it. And some good quotes. Like the one above. If it's true, then that makes what we do with our time even more valuable.

Here's another quote from the movie:

"And this is the crucial part of our philosophical reflection we have today: can we therefore conclude that humans are more concerned with "having" than "being"?"

I, for one, would hope that I am more concerned with "being". Or at least I'm trying to get to that point. :)

Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Clueless in So Cal

"I'm pretty sure you have no clue what it takes to do what I do and the focus, energy, and attention to detail it takes and consumes."
I had a pretty good first week with my trainer. I was pretty extremely sore some days but already feel stronger and one of my skirts was not so tight today. I weighed 206.4 this morning so I lost 3.6 lbs this past week. Woo!

This was my training last week (Sunday - Saturday):
Running: 16.4 miles (6.2, 3.1, 3.1, 4)
Riding: 116 miles
Cross training: 2 hours (walking & row machine)
Weights: 3.5 hours
Total hours: 17.5 hours

I had a cold this past week which mostly affected my running with a lack of energy but didn't bother the other stuff. And running wasn't too bad really. I was slow but got out there and even hit the trails again on Saturday. I ran my longest run post cancer/chemo on Sunday (8.5 miles - last 1.5 miles was a run/walk) too. I have a half marathon in one month that I'm trying desperately to get ready for. I had actually signed up for the full but asked them if I could drop to the half because I am not ready for prime time.

I don't want to just slog through races anymore like I did when/since I trained for JJ100. I want to race. So I've decided to stop signing up for marathons and ultras until I've regained my strength and speed and lost the weight I gained the past year. In fact, though I have the half next month and I've signed up for a couple others (Avengers and Star Wars Halfs!), I'm going to concentrate on 5Ks and 10Ks for a while and really work on my speed. I've never trained for 5Ks/10Ks before. The PRs I have for those were set during training for marathons. What could I do if I focused on them?

I told a friend I was going stick to running local 5Ks and 10Ks and they responded with "So quitting running?". I don't see the step back as quitting but I guess it might seem like that to some people. This person also said the quote at the top of this post which was in reference to training for ultras. I was pretty floored when I read it. I was like "Really?" But maybe they were right. I don't know.

I thought I knew what it meant to focus and pour all my energy and attention on something but maybe I don't.

I mean it took me more than a year and half to lose 150 pounds. I thought I was pretty focused on that.

I thought digging myself out of $40,000 in debt in 5 years showed a lot of focus and a lot of energy since I gave up owning a car for 3 years to do it and rode or walked every where.

I pretty much thought going thru chemo showed me what it takes to be focused. I certainly poured all my energy and attention into that so I could work and manage my health. EVERY detail of my life was affected and it took everything I had to continue working. My doctor wanted me to not work during chemo but I didn't have that choice. I had to work or I'd lose my job. So many days I wanted to just curl up in a ball and not deal with anything but I did what I needed to do. Of all that I've done, surviving chemo was the hardest.

Way harder than the longest run I've ever done - Javelina Jundred 100K (it was supposed to be my first 100 miler but I dropped to the 100K). Way harder then the training I did for that.

But I haven't done many ultras so maybe it's different when you do a lot of them. I've only done a few 50Ks, 12HRs, and 1 100K. I don't have a slew of 100 milers or more under my belt. Maybe they take more focus and determination than I have? Maybe I don't have what it takes?

Maybe I won't ever do an ultra again anyway. I don't know at this point. Does that make me a quitter? Does it make me less driven if I don't buy into the "you have to keep running longer and longer races or you are goalless" way of thinking? Am I giving up?

Like I said, I do still intend to run and race. And I definitely have hopes for a sub 4 marathon someday But I choose instead to focus on shorter distances for now. I need to get back to where I was in 2011 before I started training for ultras. That's when I set all the PRs for 5K, 10K, 13.1, and 26.2. 2011 was an awesome year. I want that kind of year again.

I think I'm being smart about my comeback now instead of having my head in the clouds like I did a few months ago. I still have 56ish lbs to lose. I still need to gain back the muscle I lost. I need to rebuild my core that was shredded from the surgery. I need to find my speed! I don't know how long that will take.

What I do KNOW is that I haven't given up and I haven't quit.

And anybody who thinks so can kiss my ass.

Clueless In SoCal

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Clearing Cobwebs

*dusts off the screen*


Is anybody there still?

*looks around*

I know it's been a while.

A lot has happened. A lot is still the same. I've learned a few things this past year about myself and about others. Some of it was not always pleasant but there has been some really good stuff too.

I am cancer free now. I had my 3 month check up on July 1st and the last PET scan showed no evidence of cancer, just gallstones (which I already knew about). The only lingering issues I still have are the weight I gained during chemo, fatigue, some stomach issues, and hot flashes/night sweats.

Even though there is nothing there (full hysterectomy), there was the possibility of traveling salesman cancer cells...which the chemo should have taken care of but you never I was really nervous about lighting "up like a Christmas tree" (The Fault in Our Stars). I think I'll always be afraid of that each time I have a checkup. I am not dwelling on that but I would be lying if I said it didn't color how I look at things now. How could it not?

Mostly, at this point, I find it manifests itself in less patience for the things/people that hurt me or give me grief. Life is too short to put up with bullshit. The other thing is that it makes me want to start checking off the list of things I want to do like learn how to rock climb and hike the PCT. And also it makes me want to spend more time on the things I do love and less on things I don't.

One thing I know for sure, beating cancer doesn't make me a superhero. I had a whole team of doctors & nurses and family that did that. I am just a woman who survived as best she could. But I am proud of the fact that I was able to work through chemo and continue running. I think I did pretty well.

Before and after the surgery and then during chemo, I felt like my whole life was focused on cancer. First getting the huge cyst out, then recovering from surgery, then getting ready for chemo, and then chemo. When it was all wasn't all over. I thought being done with chemo would mean I would be me again. I didn't realize I would still be dealing with the effects 4 months later or that it would be normal to experience side effects for 6 months or longer. I mean, I KNEW how horrid chemo was and what it did to my body but I guess I assumed it would bounce back quickly.

I guess I expected too much. Like someone reminded me yesterday, we basically had to "kill" off all the good stuff in my body to kill the cancer and that will take a while to recover from.

I am feeling much better and stronger now. I was a little depressed in May because I wasn't seeing any improvements in my body and I was so exhausted all the time. And then my sweet stripey-rotter, Spike, passed away...from cancer. I admit that I was bitter and angry for a while. I was so angry that cancer had taken so much out of me and was still controlling my life. I just wanted it all to be over with! I want to be healthy again and not worry about getting cancer again. I want to not have to go to checkups every three months and take blood tests and PET scans and worry about the results. Someone told me just this weekend that I was not the same woman I was a year ago. That I was not the happy, fun, and goofy Lisa I used to be. Yeah, no shit. But I'm trying.

The last month has been pretty good though and that's helped my mood. I took a vacation which helped tremendously with all the work stress. And I can run again without pain (had a little plantar fasciitis). And this weekend I joined 24 HR fitness again and had my first training session last night! He's a masochist! But I think it's going to be really good for me and will hopefully help me lose the weight I gained. It's been frustrating not being able to lose it. Though from what I've read, it will take a while for the steroids to wear off and allow the weight to come off, I think adding weight training will help that along.

So, I'm planning on chronicling my comeback here and will try to post once a week or so. I have plans to go social networking free for a month because I need to spend more time doing and less time on the phone and other gadgets but I will still blog. I have a lot I need to work out and writing helps.

Until next time...I hope you are having fun whatever you love doing!