Why am I Running from Cancer?

Why am I Running from Cancer?. . . check out this post for an explanation

Monday, May 31, 2010

Goals for the summer - MS 150 and Mini Marathon

Knowing that I needed something to stay motivated over the summer I knew I was going to sign up for the 2nd Madison Mini Marathon in August.  I did the inaugural race last year and really enjoyed the course.  But I didn't know until Friday that I was going to sign up for the MS 150 Best Dam Bike Ride on August 7 & 8th.  There is a group of people at work that do this every year.  I have wanted to in the past - but we are usually on vacation that week end . . . but not this year . . . so I signed up.  I am very excited - but a little nervous.  I biked 11 miles on Saturday - in the heat and wondered "how in the world I would bike 150 miles over 2 days???????"  I know I will be able to do it - it will just take training.  My 8+ mile bike to work will be nothing compared to this.  Looking forward to it.

On a running front - I am going to follow Hal Higdon's 1/2 marathon training schedule and will add a biking training schedule to the plan.  Today calls for Strength and Stretch - so I will be doing that and add a bike ride.

I biked down to Tenney park to be able to see Chelsea from EarlyRunner and Mary Ann ( a friend from work) running the 1/2 marathon yesterday and Jamie from RunningDivaMom run the marathon.  It was brutal out there.  The temp's were near 90 and the humidity was high. I was drenched from biking 5 miles and really can't imagine how the runners kept it up.  Chelsea and Mary Ann were spotted first - they were in mile 6 of 13.  Then the marathoners started to show up, they were in mile 11-12 . . . and there was Jamie - running strong.  I biked with her for about a mile and then wished her luck.  She did great.  You can read her race report here.  The race was officially called at 4 hours due to the extreme weather conditions.  But she kept running and finished great.  So proud of her.  Now today is a day of rest for all the runners from yesterday.  Oh course as luck would have it - it is cool and overcast this morning - seemingly perfect weather for a race . . . .

Enjoy the day off.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday morning - 4 mile run

Hot and sticky - but feeling great.  I ran 2 miles with Sophie - my dog.  Dropped her off and then did 2 more miles and I feel wonderful.  Oh it is so good to be able to run again.  Speed wasn't there - but I am OK - it was 4 miles in 39:33 - all four miles under 10 minute miles.  Yahoo!  The Komen Race for the Cure is coming up on June 5th and I helped get a corporate team started at work.  I am looking forward to the race.  We are ordering Bondi bands with our corporate logo . . . sweet.  ;-)

Hope everyone has a great Sunday.  My day includes a celebration at church for all of the members who are 80 years old and older . . . I get to pin flowers on them.  ;-)

Time to stretch - do a few push ups and shower for church.

ENJOY the DAY!!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gardens and mulch and Back to running ;-)

I took Thursday afternoon and Friday off from work to spread 7 yards of mulch around my flower beds.  Took some before and after pictures.  My son's both helped, Charlie on Thursday and Friday afternoon after school and Joe in the evening after work.  Glad to say that job is done.

Just about everytime we get mulch delivered - every 2nd or 3rd year - I say, we should really get this done every year and just spread a thinner layer . . . but we don't.  Oh well.  I just love how the gardens look, with fresh dark brown mulch which works to accent the bright green foilage of the plants.

Today's weather is drizzling and cooler - perfect for yard work.  But this weekend we are suppose to get 90 degree temps and that can only mean one thing - spending time on the water.  We have a boat and two jet skis.  The boat is home in the garage - but we still need to pick up the jet skis from storage - we will be doing that tomorrow.  Although the water will be cold - it is just so relaxing to be on the boat and fun to get on the jet skis.

This morning I ran and it felt . . .  GREAT!! - I wore my Garmin for the first time since my stress fracture.  I did 2.67 miles - Just under 10 minute miles . . . slow - but nothing hurt.  I am so excited.  I have been running / walking for the last week and figured I would try a run this morning.  I'm back and so thankful to be able to run again.  YAHOO

Monday, May 17, 2010


I went geocaching for the first time on Saturday. We were in Lake Mills to purchase some metering device that my son had found on Craig's list. We brought the dogs and had a fun time. We did three geocaches at parks in Lake Mills and then did the final one at Token Creek Conservancy, which is near out home.
If you don't know, geocaching is a treasure hunt, using GPS navigation. Individuals hide a container that includes a little notebook, so you can sign in and various other trinkets. You can take something out of the box and replace it with something else. Some of the items we found included bead bracelets, McDonald's toys, pencils, playing cards and play money. The containers that we found, were ammo containers and tubes - but also include tuperware type plastic containers.

The GPS coordinates are provided and then you go hunting. The cache might be hidden under fallen trees, under bricks, or other places that make you "search" the area. The simplicity of this, is that generally you wouldn't necessarily ever go to these parks or area's without a reason. So you get out in nature and have some fun.

Our first geocache, was in a playground area at a park, over looking the Lake. It was pretty easy to find . . . but for the first one, that was OK. Our next two, which were located at two different parks, took a little more time to find, but we got to enjoy a peaceful walk through the woods to find them. At one of the parks, there was a old fashion, water pump . . . that worked.

The last cache was at Token Creek. This was beautiful. The cache was very close to were we parked, but we took the time to wonder around the creek. It is a spring feed creek, so there were many, many pools of water coming from the hill side and bubbling up from the ground.

It was really fun. It was really nice because our dogs got to come to all but the last location. As you can see they enjoyed getting out of the car and romping though the dandelion's.

On a running / exercise front:

I have added a little more running to my morning dog walks. On Sunday I ran more than a mile of the two mile path. Foot feels pretty good and I am going to continue to gradually increase my running but also taking days off - where I just walk. I have been doing the Jillian DVD - on and off - but even if I don't do the dvd - I do a couple sets of push ups, some crunches and some arm exercises with weights. So I am pretty happy.

Oldest son moved home from college on Friday - so it was a busy weekend.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Running - exercise - weather

It has been 5 weeks since I developed the stress fracture in my right foot.  This week - I can finally say that my foot is feeling much better . . . so much so, that I have thrown a little running into my morning walks.  On Monday and again this morning I walked a block and then ran a block.  Foot feels pretty good.   I plan on continuing that combination for the rest of the week and then will do a little longer run this weekend.  It just feels so good to actually be running and walking without any pain.  Although I wasn't in a lot of pain - it hurt to walk and especially hurt to walk down stairs  . . . which all worked to make sure that I didnt' run . . .

Exercise has been coming from walking and the Jillian Michael's 30 day shred DVD.  Didn't fit it in this morning . . . running late but will be back at it tomorrow morning.

My weight has been staying pretty constant.  I think I can honestly say that I have lost 1 pound.  Most mornings when I jump on the scale - I am 134 - But I really have been watching what I eat and would have thought/hoped that a couple of pounds would be gone by now.  Oh well - I am clearly still eating too much . . .  I need to constantly re-commit to eliminating some of my sneeky calories.  That extra glass of wine - 3 fun size candy bars - Luna bars . . .

I am so ready for our weather to improve.  We were so spoiled earlier in the spring with beautiful temp's - well we are now getting the weather that we "normally" get in April . . .  rain - rain - rain and cool temp's.  Bring back the 70's.  Looks like this weekend - should bring us back to the mid to upper 60's . . . oh so close to 70.  I would love to be biking to work . . . at least a couple of days . . . but with the rain and cool temp's - it isn't going to happen.

Heading to bed early tonight - need some extra sleep.

Hope everyone has a GREAT Thursday.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Mothers Milestone

My oldest son Joseph is graduating from college tomorrow.  I am so proud of him.  He is graduating from my alma mater - UW Platteville with an Engineering Physics degree.

Here is a tip for mothers with young children . . . enjoy each and every day with your children, taking the good with the bad.  The time passes so fast.

I can still remember bringing my first born home - his first day of kindergarten, 4th of July parades, sleep overs, grade school graduation, soccer games, golf matches, school projects, confirmation, getting his drivers license, prom, high school graduation, moving him into his dorm room.  And now I get to add college graduation.

Neighborhood 4th of July Parade - '93

Joe and I before the Madison Marathon May, 2000

8th Grade Graduation - 2002

High School Graduation - 2006

When I was diagnosed with stage IIIb breast cancer  - I was afraid that maybe I wouldn't be here to see him graduate from college.  I thank God that I am here and healthy.  Plus graduation number 2 is one month away.  My youngest son, Charlie will be graduating from high school and heading off to college in September.

Life goes on and it is Good!!!  

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Biking to work - water, peacocks and mansions . . . oh my!!

I biked to work on Tuesday.  It was a beautiful day - 50's when I biked in to work in the morning and mid 70's when I biked home . . . but windy.  15 miles round trip.  I took some pictures on the way home - so it took me a little while longer.  My foot didn't hurt biking - it was great and really got me in the biking mood. 

Here is my collection of photos from my bike home.  I love the route that I take.   I see everything from geese in the park, a dog park, the middle school and grade school that my son's attended,   the Governors Mansion, really beautiful lake front homes in Maple Bluff, the Tenney Park locks and lagoon, Lake Mendota,  lots of people fishing, peacocks, smoke stacks and the State Capital building.   

The first pic is the bike path.  This is only a few blocks from my office and somehow there is no one in the shot.  In the morning and afternoon the path is like a biking / running / walking highway. 

This is the bike path looking towards downtown.   You can see the see the top of the capital (I should have gotten a nice shot of that) over the stacks of MGE (that is a power plant that my company owns)

          I love this signage . . . Bicycle Boulevard.  


To the left is a warehouse / office space that the bike trail is near.  Notice the two really huge birds made out of metal in front of the building.  Peacocks - I think.   And a collection of birds along the bike path.


This is just before I take the tunnel under East Washington Avenue . . . which I would be driving on NOT under if I had taken my car.  But down near the water it is so peaceful and lovely. 

This is a picture of the Tenney Park Lock system and Lake Mendota.  Downtown Madison is built on an isthmus - between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona.  Lake Mendota is approximately 5 feet higher than Lake Monona and the Tenney Park Locks controls the flow of water and allows boats to cross between the Lakes via the Yahara River.                                                 

This is the Governor's Mansion in Maple Bluff - I don't normally ride past this - but it is only 1/2 a block off my path so I thought I would stop by and take a picture.  

Little tid-bit of info.  I was invited to the Gov's Mansion for a bridal shower years ago.  I was invited by the Governor's daughter - she was hosting a shower for a mutual friend.  I certainly felt pretty special when I had to be allowed to enter the gate. 

The Mansion is on the shores of Lake Mendota.  This is the lake that we boat and jet ski on during the summer months.  We often drive by the Governor's mansion . . . just to check out the activity.  ;-)

I felt sort of guilty stopping and taking this picture.  It is a personal home on Lake Mendota and I always check it out when I bike by.  I dont' have a telephoto lens . . . actually these pictures were from my cell phone.  Anyway,  this home is located in Maple Bluff and is on the Lake.  From the windows that you see on the front of the house you can see all the way through to the Lake.  I can only guess how beautiful this home is on the inside.  We also see this home from the Lake when we are boating and it is beautiful.   

Beyond Maple Bluff - it is up a really big hill and down again to my home.  

I will not be biking the next couple of days - I have to be at work for 8:00 meetings . . . which means I would need to leave before 7:00 . . . not going to happen.  
That is the only problem of biking.  I have to leave earlier in the morning and although I am a morning person - I just don't get out of the house early.  

Have a great day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Losing weight and Lymphedema

Since I have not been able to run . . . did I mention . . . I feel like a broken record. . .  I have a stress fracture . . . I have to add some other methods of exercising.   I purchased a Jillian Michaels 30 day shred DVD and as of today I am on day 5. So far so good. I am still doing level 1 - but figure I will move on to level 2 tomorrow.  I am committed to doing this 5 days out of 7.

I am also going to try and lose 6 pounds. I have lost a couple of pounds since winter - in February I was at an all time high, except during my pregnancies ;-)  of 138.  I am currently at 135 . . . but would really love to be under 130.  Beyond the "normal" reason that it would be nice to weigh less - I actually have a medical reason to lose some weight.

As a result of some of my treatments for breast cancer, including surgery and radiation, I developed Lymphedema in my right arm. Lymphedema is a swelling of the soft tissues caused by a build-up of lymph fluid. The swelling can be accompanied by pain, tightness, numbness, and sometimes infection.  Any excess weight can be the enemy of lymphedema . . . so losing 5-6 pounds should help with my arm.

In 2004, at the time of my mastectomy I had 13 lymph nodes removed, as a result of that - my remaining lymph nodes are not adequate to transport the lymph fluids through out my right arm.  Although I do not have an extremely serious case - my right arm is at a minimum 1 inch larger than my left arm. I wear a compression sleeve most days.  I am very thankful . . .  actually I am extremely thankful, that my hand is not really effected by the lymphedema.  Otherwise, I would have to wear a compression glove on a daily basis.

I am suppose to wrap it each evening.  I have not wrapped my arm in months.  Trust me - I had done it almost every single night for almost 5 years - and this last winter I just got fed up with it and decided that I would take a break. The wrapping should help reduce the swelling over the evening - but honestly - it doesn't make that much difference.

So my mission for the next 3-4 weeks is to lose weight - and use other methods to exercise.  I was in my flower gardens for 5 hours yesterday and about 4 hours today.  Plus today I biked for 10 miles - 8 by myself and 2 with my dog, Sophie.  

My goal is to be 130 and maybe - just maybe 129 by June 1st.

I will keep you all posted.