Why am I Running from Cancer?

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

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tired – Blah – Just one of those weeks

We all have these type of weeks . . . don’t we?

I have been absent from bloggie land this last week. Although I have been reading blogs – I haven’t commented . . . just didn’t have anything to say. There are just times that the days slide by and it doesn’t seem like we get our “normal” load of things done. Well this was one of those weeks.

I have been feeling blah since Monday. As a little background – as part of my adjuvant treatment (after chemo, surgery, and radiation) I have been on Arimidex for the last 5 years, a drug that works to block the effect of estrogen. Since my cancer was estrogen positive, Arimidex was the drug of choice. The “gold standard” is to be on this drug for 5 years. My time was up in May. My oncologist and I have been talking about whether to extend the Arimidex or stop. Since this is a relatively new drug, there are no studies showing long-term results. There are current studies going on to see if taking this drug longer than 5 years continues to be beneficial or not. Since my cancer was quite aggressive and staged at IIIb – my Oncologist and I decided at my last appointment that I would continue on the Arimidex. The downside of taking Arimidex is that because it lowers the amount of estrogen in the body, less estrogen reaches bone cells, which can lead to bone thinning and weakening and a higher-than-average risk of broken bones . . . and eventually Osteoporosis

My recent bone density test, (I got the results last Friday), showed Severe Osteopenia – which is the name that the medical community calls the stage before Osteoporosis. It isn’t a disease in itself (in my opinion) – simply a warning that significant bone loss has already occurred. Not everyone with Osteopenia will develop Osteoporosis. To offset the bone loss I was prescribed Fosamax. I was in a pissy mood last Friday and Saturday. Mad that this was happening to me. After all, weigh bearing exercise like running is one of the ways to prevent Osteoporosis.

I finally decided that whether I continued on with the Arimidex or not (I am now rethinking staying on it) – I need to take the Fosamax because my bones were already in questionable shape. So on Monday I took my first Fosamax – it is taken once a week. Monday came and went and I felt OK. Well I woke up on Tuesday and was suppose to run 6 miles . . . I only made it 2 miles all the while thinking that my shoulders and back and neck were really sore from my 45 mile bike ride on Sunday. So I cut the run short and went home to stretch. Well the achy pain continued throughout the day and then I finally had the “ah ha” moment . . . muscle and bone aching is one of the side effects of Fosamax. AAAAAAACK!!!!! So all week I have been feeling like I got hit by a bus. Neck, back, shoulders, hips, knees . . . all hurt.

In the exercise arena – it has been a slow week: On Tuesday I ran 2 miles and biked to work, on Wednesday I had a GREAT 9 X 400 repeat session and ran 5 ½ miles this morning. Tomorrow I am planning on running again – I would like to get in a long run of 12 miles and also have bike rides planned for both Saturday and Sunday. The MS 150 is next weekend – so this weekend will be the last longer training rides that I do before the ride.

I emailed my Dr. about the side effects of the Fosamax and she suggested that I wait a couple of weeks before taking my next dose. She knows that I am doing the MS 150 bike ride and then the Madison Mini Marathon two weeks later – so my plan right now is to wait until the Mini is over and then give the Fosamax another try.

Sounds like a plan. And we all need a plan.


Friday, July 23, 2010

I did it - I finally got my 10 miler in - pouring rain!

I DID IT - I RAN 10 Miles!!!

I was determined to finally get my 10 miler in.  I had been trying to run the 10 miler for the last couple of weekends.  I got 8 &  9 miles in - but just couldn't pull out the 10 miles.  Well I didn't get to sleep early last night - so when the alarm went off this morning I didn't want to get up.  I adjusted my alarm and went back to sleep.  Of course when I did get up I had to eat, take the trash out . . . and make sure I had taken care of some other business.  It was 7:50 when I left and I checked the weather and . . . yup it was going to rain.

As it turned out - the rain felt good and kept me cool.  My garmin had some sporadic issues (I assume because of being wet) and I wasn't able to adjust the bezel to check my pace or time, but after awhile it eventually woke up and at least I could see the time and pace when I hit the mile markers.

It was a slow pace.  10:27 - but it was 10 miles and I am OK with that.

I bought new shoes last week and hadn't worn them yet.  I decided that I would wear them for my long run this weekend (moved to today because of long bike rides scheduled for this weekend).  So when I knew it was going to pour I had to decide whether to wear them or not.  There is something about new shoes - you want to keep them looking new.  Well what the heck - shoes are meant to be worn and what better way to break in a new pair of shoes than to wear them for a 10 mile run - a run that I had been trying to get in for the last 2 weeks.  Well those shoes are soaked and soggy - but still look clean.  ;-)  They felt good.

My new Nike Pegasus - wet and soggy - ;-)

I was dripping wet when I got home - immediately showered - now blogging - next up . . . stretch.  

Tomorrow and Sunday are two 40 mile bike rides.  



I Won

I won the giveaway for 2 bottles of WIN Detergent from Lindsay at Healthy Stride.  This comes at a great time . . . since I am doing a lot of running and biking . . . I have lots of stinky clothes to wash!  I am anxious to give this a try.

Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

IT is POURING in Madison WI

I am planning on running 10 miles tomorrow morning.  I have been attempting to run 10 miles for the last 2 weekends . . . but just couldn't seem to pull it off . . . I did 8 miles and 9 miles . . .  tomorrow is the day . . . I can feel it.  I swear I will run the 10 miles or ????????  The only problem with my plan is that we have had rain (down pours) for the last several hours.  People are reporting 4 inches of rain in less than an hour.  It is suppose to stay muggy over night - so that means that it will not be a cool run tomorrow morning.  But I am committed to running the 10 miles - I HAVE to do it.  I WILL do it.

All this rain reminds me of the following picture.  In 2000 we had a ton of rain.  One evening the kids and neighbors blew up tubes and floated on the water (river) between the yards.

We had a training bike ride last night - 20 miles over a new route.  We road from Madison to DeForest and back - lots of country - barns and cows.  We were passed by a combine and tractor and lots of trucks.  Instead of warning the other riders of "car back" - the chances were that it was a "truck back"   ;-)

This weekend I am participating in two training rides.  On Saturday, a local MS 150 team is holding a fun ride in Pardeeville, a small community just north of Madison.  There are 4 different distances - a co-worker and I are going to bike either the 40 or 60 mile ride.  Then on Sunday about 10 of us from our MS 150 team (The Power Peddlers)  are going to bike on the Military Ridge trail - biking from just outside of Madison to Dodgeville - 40 miles.  FYI - Dodgeville is my home town.  Military Ridge is a trail made from crushed stone - built over an old railroad bed - so the grade is a gentle 2-5%.  But that also means that there are no downhills - you are pretty much peddling the whole way.  It should be fun.

I will report on my 10 miler tomorrow morning.  Up early - run - go to work for a little while (I am suppose to be on vacation - but have a few things to finish up).

Peace and stay dry out there.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

DONE: Boys and Girls Club 50 miler

The Boys and Girls club's bike ride was today.  There were three choices - 50, 30 or 10 miles.  Since I have the MS 150 in 3 weeks I selected the 50 mile bike ride.  I didn't sleep well last night - I went to bed early - but sometimes that can backfire - and I was awake from 12:30 until almost 3:00.  ;-(    I had also run 9 miles yesterday - figured I would get my long ride in before the bike ride . . . instead of trying to tough it out on Sunday.  When I woke up this morning I had second thoughts that running 9 miles the day before a 50 mile bike ride was probably not the wisest thing . . .

We started the ride at 8:30 this morning.   The ride started at Edgewood High School and then headed out of Madison to the south.  Temperatures were in the mid 70's . . . actually quite pleasant.  There were probably 150 people at the start line . . .  all ready to bike for 50 miles, the 30 and 10 mile groups started later in the morning.  To be honest I was quite nervous - could I keep up - what if I had bike problems - but I quickly got into the swing of things.  There were rest stops set up with fruit, Gatorade, water, etc.  We road by the first rest stop and then stopped at #2 - in Paoli.  Up to that point (other than the initial climb almost at the start) - the hills weren't too bad.  The rest stop was at mile 16.  Well then it got hilly . . . oh my gosh.  I ride on a "comfort" bike - not a road bike and it has made me quite nervous - because obviously I have a lot more tire on the road surface than the road bikes.  This is soooooooooo apparent going downhill.  I get smoked - I pretty much have to shift into high gear and pedal to keep up.  But I have to tell you - I climbed GREAT.  Yeah for me.  Training really does pay off.  After the first rest stop there were three of us that were biking together - I was steady Eddy on the climbs.  

As you can see below - the climbs.

As we were pulling into the third rest stop - we were turning left and heard a car honk. I immediately thought - "oh give us a break" . . . but then one of the other riders said that they were calling my name. It was my son Joe and his girl friend Chelsea. They had drove down to Oregon, figuring that I would be biking at an approximately 14 miles per hour. And sure enough there we were. That was such a wonderful surprise to have them come down to see me. We stopped at the rest stop, chatted a little and I had my brakes checked. The mechanic adjusted my brakes and straightened my handlebars. He said that my front brakes were slightly rubbing on the rims . . . no wonder it was tough. Pretty soon - it was time to hop back on the bike.  

From then on it was pretty much just two of us.  We had actually stayed at the rest stop chatting with Joe and Chelsea a little longer than most of the other people - so it was just a co-worker, Glen and me from then on out.   It actually worked out fine.  We road and chatted and road and chatted.  He kept on teasing me that he bet I would have a road bike within the next week.  ???????  

I checked the winds on the web when I got home - even though there were not strong winds - I have to tell you when we turned north, back towards Madison - the wind was in our face.  It was probably more the fact that there were still hills to climb and it was HOT and the breeze was head on.  By this time the temperature had climbed to 85.  

There was one more rest stop about 12 miles from the finish.  It was a short stop - just enough to grab some fresh water and Gatorade and another porta-potty stop.  I was very focused on staying hydrated.  I checked my weight before I left this morning and when I got home and only lost 1 pound . . . so I know I was drinking enough.  

It felt great to bike into the finish area.  Yahoo - we were done!  Had some fresh cold water and a burger.  There was beer - but I just couldn't stomach it at that time.  We sat for a while and talked and then we had our team picture taken.  

I was glad to get home and shower.  Ahhhhhhhhhh.  Nothing feels better than a tepid shower to wash all the sweat and grim off.  

Thank you all for your support.  I really appreciate the kind words.  (Between you and me - I am actually quite proud of myself).  A few people said that this 50 is actually a lot tougher than the MS 150 because of the hills.  We will see.  

Husband and I went for a walk this afternoon and I am now enjoying that beer - Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy.  Love it.  

Tomorrow ?????  I might do a short run - depending on what my legs feel like.  :-)


Friday, July 16, 2010

Boys and Girls Club 50 mile bike ride on Saturday

So tomorrow is a bike ride for the Boys and Girls club of Dane County - 50 miles is the route that I signed up for, there are 30 and 10 mile routes.  I am looking at this as a "training" ride for my MS 150 on August 7 & 8.  Tomorrow the temperature is suppose to be 91 with a heat index into the 100's - wowza !  Hot - Hot - Hot . . . at least I am biking and not running.  ;-)

I ran this morning - I had wanted to do 10 miles - but only made it 8.8 miles.  I took a path that I hadn't taken in a while and by the time I got back to my neighborhood and realized that I still had a little over a mile to make my 10 . . . I just didn't feel like doing an extra loop.  ;-(  I don't really feel too bad, especially with the bike ride tomorrow.  My average pace was 9:56 - I am OK with that.

I took my handheld with me today and thought I would be able to refill it at the beach / or boat launch area near the Lake - this would be somewhere near mile 6.  There weren't any bubblers (or water fountains) . . . .  I have noticed that in the last couple of years - parks that use to have water . . . no longer have bubblers  ;-(

At least there was a vending machine at the boat launch, and I had brought $$'s, so I was able to purchase some Sobe water . . . it was cold and tasted good.  Last weekend I ran by a convenience store and took that opportunity to stop to refill with water.

This last week I did 8 x 400 repeats and again was happy with them.  The times were a little sporadic - I am clearly not a consistently timed runner - oh well.

Wednesday's 8 X 400 repeat splits - pace.  Now if only I could take those paces and run 13 miles at that tempo.

9:10 1
11:34 2
7:57 3
11:17 4
8:38 5
10:52 6
8:21 7
10:33 8
8:47 9
10:21 10
8:56 11
12:24 12
8:26 13
10:48 14
8:42 15
10:33 16

VACATION Day today - I took today off of work, I need to get a new bag for my bike and do a little maintenance on it.  I only have one water holder on my bike and really need to carry two water bottles.  On my training rides, I usually duck tape the second one to by rack on the back and then use that to refill my regular water bottle - works OK - looks pretty lame.  ;-)  Who knows - maybe that is what I will do for tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a good running and biking weekend.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Run and Bike

I had a 10 mile run planned for this weekend.  When I woke up I checked the weather and went Oh My.  While the temp was 73 - the humidity was something like 95% with a dew point of 70.  Arggggggggg

I shouldn't have checked the weather- I was pretty much defeated before I started.  I ran 8 instead of the planned 10.  Although I am happy with the 8 - it just means I will be doing 10 again next weekend.

I just could not convince myself to run the last 2 miles.  Came home and stretched and then watched some of the Tour.  Wow they can bike. 

I then convinced my son to bike with me.  I took advantage of having a good pacer with me and we did a 35 miler.  It was hot and humid and I swear the wind was ALWAYS in our face.  That always seems to happen - I am always heading into the wind.  ?????

I am using my hybrid bike.  Maybe I am crazy.  I am going to go try out a road bike tomorrow????  I have been trying to figure out if a road bike will make that much difference.  We will see what I think.  Any opinions from other bikers?  Am I crazy to try and ride a hybrid that is pretty heavy for 150 miles - especially when I am the oldest person on the team????

Tomorrow I am biking with a friend.  We will either do 15 or add another 12 to make 27.  She hasn't biked this year - so I am thinking that the 15 will be plenty for her.  But we will have to see. 

I will let you know how my ride went and how I liked the road bike.

PEACE - stay cool out there and make sure to drink lots of water. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Just might be the best salad EVER

OK a short post about my lunch salad.  Oh my gosh - not only is it totally delish - it is also beautiful.  The secret ingrediant is from last weeks CSA box and something I have to admit I have never tried before - but I am now sold on . . . .beets.  Beautiful, sweet flavored, fushia colored beets.  It was a pretty simple salad, with a couple different types of lettuce, compliments of the CSA box, cucumber, yellow and orange peppers, blueberries and shredded beets - all tossed with a little pomegranate balsamic vinegar. 
Take a look at this - it is almost too pretty to eat.  Almost - NOT.  I am being extremely careful to not spill any on my clothes - that would be a mess. 

Back to finishing my lunch.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tall Mom is Super Nice

As many of you know- Mel, of Tall Mom on the Run, recently completed the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon as part of Marathon for the Cure - because of her "fun" fundraising ideas she raised over $1,800.  WOW!!!

As an almost 6 year survivor (diagnosed Sept 8, 2004) of breast cancer - I am drawn to the Susan G. Komen organization.  I, like many many readers, contributed to the cause.  In case you missed it - Mel dedicated mile 21 to me.  See her post here.  Needless to say - I was honored when I read this.  We have never met - but from the start Mel has always had kind words and thoughtful responses.  Love her.

Anyway - she emailed me to see what size I was - the Komen organization had sent her a small running tank and she wanted to send it to me - if it would fit.  Well it was the perfect size and it arrived today.

I biked to work today and was TIRED biking home.  This was my first day back to work since last Thursday - and I didn't leave work until 5:45 - so that means that I got home around 6:20.  I went to the mail box and there was a package - addressed to me - from Mel.  ;-)  Isn't it GREAT to receive something in the mail - there is just something exciting about getting a package - it is a special day.

what's that - under the Costco connection?
a present from Tall Mom  ;-)

A heartfelt note

a cute tank and ???

a ribbon ornament

I tried it on - over my sweaty (just got home from biking) body.   It fits perfect.  
My shorts snap is sort of sticking out - looks sort of odd  !!!!!
I can't wait to wear it for a run - it will be part of my Saturday 10 mile run outfit.  

THANKS Mel - your kindness MADE MY DAY!   The fun and joy of blogging and meeting so many nice people . . .  priceless.  

Enjoy the weekend

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Super comfy shoes

I had purchased another pair of biking shorts at REI over the weekend and purchased the wrong size.  If I would have tried them on there - I would have figured that out - but I HATE to try on clothes at the store.  I generally can tell by the cut if something will fit and if it doesn't I am fine with returning it for the correct size.  This was simply the wrong size - I thought I had picked up a medium - but had a small instead.

Anyway I took them back today to exchange them for a medium and also to look for a wind / rain jacket for my bike.  I found a really super bright florescent jacket with zippered sleeves - so that it would become a vest.  Love it.

And I found these shoes.

First pair of dansko's

Super comfy / a little heal / and plenty of room for tootsies

wow this photo makes my right calf look huge!!!

I saw these shoes this weekend - but didn't try them on . . . OK I always try on shoes - just not clothes.
These are super comfy and "sort of" stylist.  I can't wait to wear them to work tomorrow.

Does everyone have too many shoes?  I know that I do.

On the running / biking front:
Ran a short 2 miles on Sunday, July 4th
Biked 35 miles on Tuesday
Ran 40 minutes tempo this morning - I was going to bike - but my legs were too tired.
Tomorrow I am back to work and am planning on starting the morning with a 4 mile run and then bike to work.  I am hoping that the rain stays away or gets over with by the time I leave for work.  

Time for bed - tomorrow will be my first morning up at 5:30 in a week.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Komen Race for the Cure photo's

Just thought I would share a couple of photo's from the Race for the Cure.
Here I am crossing the finish line.  This was my 6th Race for the Cure.

This next shot is of my son Joe at the finish line - he didn't train at all - but he is 21 - does he need to train to run 3.1 miles?  Would I have had to train when I was 21?????  He finished the race in 20:22- 10th in his age group - 30th overall.

Joe and I after the race.  ;-)

I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend.  We had family here yesterday - they slept over and left this morning.  Relaxing - relaxing - relaxing.  


Friday, July 2, 2010

My longest bike ride so far

I took today off of work - and started the day with a 44 mile bike ride.  I finished in 3hrs. 3min.  I felt pretty good and kept a pretty good tempo - 14.5 miles per hour.  When I got home my quads were killing me.   I stretched and stretched and used my roller and finally felt much better.  The MS 150 is August 7 & 8 - which is 5 weeks from tomorrow.  I feel like I have been biking quite a bit - but I need to dedicate some time to get some long back to back rides in.  After I finished the 44 miles - I am pretty confident that I can bike 75 miles the first day . . . now all I am worried about is the second 75 miles on day 2.

I did my running repeats on Wednesday and have a 3 miler tomorrow and an 8 miler on Sunday.  I think I am going to try and bike tomorrow morning again - it will be good to do a back to back.  I just don't have too much time - so I will probably just try for a 15 to 20 miler . . .  after my 3 mile run.

Tomorrow is Madison's Rhythm and Booms celebration which is a large fireworks display set to music.  This is the 18th year and we have attended almost every year.  The fireworks display is absolutely beautiful.  There are usually 200,000 people that come to Warner park on the North side of the city to enjoy and of course everyone will be leaving the park at the same time.  It is crazy - but since we only live 2 miles from the park we have a pretty easy escape route.  ;-)  We have family coming in to join us.

I hope eveyone has a great holiday weekend.  Enjoy and have a very Happy 4th of July!!!!