Why am I Running from Cancer?

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

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Madison Marathon - HALF!

Saturday: I am running the Madison Marathon Half Marathon tomorrow morning. The weather had been pretty nice all week. Thursday was extremely windy and warm, but still nice. Back in 2000 when I ran my one and only Marathon, this is the race I chose (albeit organized by a different group). Back then, the temp's were in the low 60's.
The weather forecasters have been taking about the extreme high temp's expected for Sunday all week long. Today we may have hit 73 degrees . . . Maybe! But tomorrow WeatherChannel is predicting a high of 95 degrees. Simple math - that is over 20 degrees higher plus high humidity for tomorrows race. The race organizer have been talking about the possibility of canceling the Full Marathon all week and Friday afternoon made the call. Lucky for me the Half was still on. ;-)

Written Saturday evening - but not posted.

Sunday AM - up at 4:45. Ate my standard breakfast of steel cut oats, with berries and coffee. Got ready and headed downtown. I was meeting up with Jamie, of Running Diva Mom, HERE and Amy, of Running is Cheaper than Therapy, HERE before the start of the race. They were both registered for the Full, but opted to run the Half after the Full was cancelled. We met up, chatted and took a pic.

Jamie, Amy and me. ;-)

Jamie and Amy headed back to their car to drop off and pick up stuff and I headed to bag drop off. We met back up and headed to the porta potties and waited and waited. We waited in the queue that appeared to feed all of the individual lines for quite awhile like good patient race participants and finally decided to walk forward to one of the individual pottie lines and after about 10 minutes finally hit the potties. As soon as we walked the 1/2 block to the Square, the National Anthem was being sung. Hugs with Amy and Jamie. Since they are faster than me, they moved forward, and although I really wanted to run with them - I wanted to run MY race and make sure that I did NOT go out too fast, so I elected to stay put. It took about 6 minutes to hit the start line.
Since all marathoners were automatically registered for the Half, it was a full race, 4,390 runners. The start of the race was crowded and even I had to do a lot of weaving to push past the 3:05, 2:30 and 2:20 pace groups. I settled in near the 2:20 pace group, figuring I could push at the end, if I had anything left!
Much of the course covered the route I bike to work - so it was fun to run through familiar neighborhoods.
Lucky for us the overcast skies remained until around mile 8, this kept the temp's controlled and I did not miss the sun one bit. Of course when the sun did come out we were done running through the tree lined neighborhoods and were headed to an out and back on a local causeway, with no shade!
I kept telling myself to just slow down and keep going. I walked through most water stops and filled up my handheld. About at mile 11.5 I did give in to weary legs and walked for a little, but quickly picked up the pace ( that is a relative term) again and headed towards mile 12. Of course the last 1/2 mile was up hill! I finished at 2:16, for a pace of 10:26.
Here are my splits:
1. 10:00
2. 10:09
3. 9:53
4. 10:22
5. 10:25
6. 10:15
7. 10:17
8. 10:35
9. 10.24
10. 10:15
11. 10.53
12. 10:52
13. 1.28

Clearly a major slow down after mile 7, but that is also when the sun came out! This was good enough for 10th out of 45 in my age group!

I headed back to a spot where we had decided to meet up after the race, and actually ran into Jamie and Amy walking to our meet up spot. Amy ran in, 1:46 and Jamie ran in 2:00.
We walked down to a Cupcake store on State St. and I enjoyed a 'Not so Thin Mint' cupcake and it was GOOD!

Next week is the Komen 5k and THEN the following weekend I will get to spend 36 hours in a van with these two wonderful women 'cause we are running the Ragnar Madison to Chicago relay. We have an awesome team, The Panty Raiders and it is going to be a BLAST - I can not wait!
Until my next post, PEACE and Enjoy the moments!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lake Monona 20k - 2nd time!

I am starting this post about the 20k as I eat breakfast this morning.  I just went back and read my race report from last year and really REALLY hope that this is not a repeat.  Last year I didn't feel ready for the 20k and I really don't feel ready for it again this year.  I have been running, just not much distance - it has been a month since I ran 8+miles . . . oh well, it is what it is.
I am staying positive and trying to remember to start slow.  My plan is to keep a close eye on my watch and really try to stay to 10 minute miles.  I would be very happy to finish with an avg pace of 10min miles.  And if the running gods are watching over me and feel favorable, I would really like to push that down, especially during the last 4 miles . . . but we will see.

The weather is a concern.  Temperature is a little warmer that I would LOVE - but still a lovely 58  at race time and it should remain around 60 for the duration of the race.  Trust me I am not complaining about the temperatures . . . but what concerns me is the HUMIDITY!  I have a hard time running in humid conditions and the humidity level is hovering around 80%.  Obviously my body has a hard time cooling down.  Since the evaporation process works to cool you down - with the high humidity there is little evaporation going on!  I also have a hard time getting my breath!  I know what I need to do . . . slow down!

So that is the plan - wear a sleeveless top and shorts - keep as much of my body exposed as possible!  Trust me that does not sound good for a 56 yr old.  If I were younger I would just wear a sports bra . . . but not at this age.  Skip my hat - it doesn't look like rain, and it is overcast - so no reason to keep any extra heat on my head!  Carry my hand held with water and take it slow!  Find a pace and keep to it!  And most importantly ENJOY the run!  And definitively stop and enjoy the beer sample around 15k.

Update after the run!

I am done!  I finished the race in 2:05:37 - AVG pace 10:07
1 - 9:50
2 - 9:36
3 - 10:08 - had to stop and retie my car key on my shoe - it was hitting my ankle and driving me crazy!
4 - 9:50
5 - 10:24
6 - 10:04
7 - 10:29
8 - 10:29   - enjoyed a Dixie cup of beer!
9 - 10:06
10 - 10:04
11 - 10:21 - was following a runner and sort of sitting back and waiting until mile 12
12 - 10:11 - just told myself to keep running
.42  - 4:01

Overall - based on my training - I was very happy.  I walked through all water stops, even though I brought my own water - it provided me with the break that I needed.  Miles 7 & 8 were a little slower than I would have liked - but I was just telling myself to keep it slower so that I had enough to finish!

The weather was perfect.  Overcast and under 60 degrees.  The humidity was not a factor!  Yahoo!

Next on the agenda for today is a 20mile bike ride.  I am meeting up with a friend to do the Madtown Maiden Alleycat bike ride.  Should be fun.  There are 6-7 stops along the route where you have to do certain tasks - get stamped - and then continue on to the next stop.  We don't get the maps until 5 minutes before the start!  It should be fun.  My husband joked . . . wouldn't it be funny if you had to run at one of the stops!  NOT!  ;-)

Enjoy every moment.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Crazy Legs 2012 version

I am getting ready to head downtown for the start of the 2012 Crazy Legs run.  The forecast called for 40 degrees, wind and rain . . . but at least for now, as of 9:00 the rain has stopped.  I debated all morning whether to run or not . . . a few of my friends decided not to, so I am on my own and the easy decision would be to not run.  But that is NOT what I decided.  Jamie from Running Diva Mom, HERE, posted on facebook that she would be there . . .  and that was just the inspiration that I needed to say . . . Yup, I will be running Crazy Legs this morning.

I have been going back and forth about clothes . . . in the end I decided on Lucy knee shorts and warm long sleeve shirt with high collar, gloves and my Nike rain jacket . . . and of course a hat. Hoping that the shirt and jacket will be offset with the shorts in keeping me "just right".  We will see.

Back for a race update later.

I decided to park at work and walk / run up to the Square for the start of the race.  I stopped into the office to use the bathroom and quickly questioned my clothes choice because it had started to rain again . . . but stuck with it.  I got up to the race start  with about 3 minutes to spare . . . I really could have waited longer, since I was in wave ee.  Anyway, I stood on the sideline of the start and hopped around a little to stay warm the rain stopped for the most part which was a welcome event.  Finally I got it the corral and started to move the start line.  There were a group of UW Hockey players high fiving everyone and next up were the UW Basketball players . . . I high fived Mike Brueswitz, which did take a little hop by me to get to his hand!  He is 6'6".  UW Band played and 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 and we were off.  I actually felt pretty good the whole race.  I didn't go out too fast, which is always a problem with me.  The course heads up Wisconsin ave to the lake and then down fraternity row until you get to Bascom Hill . . . what can I say, there are few races in Madison that don't include the trudge up Bascom Hill, which houses the original buildings of UW Madison.  Remember we are in Wisconsin and there are no mountains, but this little hill on campus is an elevation climb of 850 ft and after a rather long downhill you are ready to run!  ;-)

I made it up in pretty good shape and felt pretty good.  Somewhere after that I took my jacket off and stuffed my gloves in my jacket pocket.  No stopping for water because I brought my handheld.

Once you are past mile 4 - it is a rush to head to Camp Randall and plan for the run through the tunnel onto the field.  I was at a pretty comfortable tempo until about 1/2 mile and then I picked up the speed.

My finish time was 46:28 with the following splits:
Mile 1 - 9:11
Mile 2 - 9:24
Mile 3 - 9:26
Mile 4 - 9:22
Mile 5 - 9:01
little extra - .44

I am a happy camper!

I pretty much headed directly out of the stadium and headed back to my car, running a nice and slow 2.5 miles at a 10:28 pace.

As we always say - you are never disappointed when you decide to run!  As I mentioned I could have easily not run this race this morning . . . but knowing that Jamie was out there too, made it a easier decision and I am soooooo glad I did.

Enjoy every moment!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Biking to New Glarus

We have organized a bike ride to New Glarus today with the New Glarus Brewery being the final destination.  There are 8 of us and I am hoping that the sun starts doing its primary purpose . . .  warm things up.  It is currently 30 and I have to say that is a little to chilly for biking!  But we are leaving at 10 and by then it is suppose to be 45 - which is still chilly - but doesn't compare to 30.  I will be updating my post later today with some photo's and story.

The last time I biked to New Glarus my husband and son were along and about 10 miles from Madison, my husband clipped my rear tire and flew off his bike - breaking his collar bone!  Hopefully nothing that exciting will be happening today.  Biking - drinking some good beer at the New Glarus Brewery and eating!

To be continued . . . .

We had a great bike ride.  44 miles round trip.  beer, subs and a little more beer!  

We made it to New Glarus and stopped at the local Subway before we road up to the brewery.  

Enjoying the food and beer at the New Glarus Brewery!
The gang!

Beautiful copper kettles . . . full of beer . . . just waitng and waiting!

Exiting the tunnel!  
This was the first 40+ mile ride this year and it felt great!  Hoping that this is a good sign - and many more bike rides will be coming!  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

invisalign update

Oh the things that we do!    

I am wearing invisalign braces to align my upper
right incisor . . . of course the trays will straighten all of my teeth - but
that single tooth is my main concern.  

I got my trays on March 7.  I wore the first set of trays for the first month to get use to them.  At times they were bothersome . . . at times they didn't cause any issues.  They were easy to put in and remove and I really didn't think much of them.  I was scheduled for my second ortho appointment on April 4.  At this appointment I got buttons (nubs) attached to 11 of my teeth.  The trays have space built into them for the buttons and will allow the trays to better grip my teeth.  The process of attaching the nubs was harmless, until the Orthodontist had to "grind" off some of the residual material.  Ouchy ouchy!  He got too close to my gum line and boy oh boy did that hurt.  

Once the buttons were smoothed off a bit . . . trust me these little things are almost like fangs or daggers in my mouth . . . I then re-inserted my trays.  Holy smokes this was like night and day.  There was a huge difference between wearing the trays without the buttons and with the buttons.  The trays IMMEDIATELY pulled on my teeth and felt very different than they had when I walked into the office.  I was sent on my merry way with my complete set of invisalign trays and 11 buttons attached to my teeth.  I was told to keep the first trays in for another week and then I could move onto tray number 2.  So two days ago I switched to my second set of trays.  It was exciting . . . in a simple way . . . but it did mean that I was on my invisalign journey.  My teeth are still a little sore.  I especially notice it when I pull them out and eat something.  Tonight we had cream of Broccoli soup with a nice loaf of Italian bread . . . I really noticed my sore teeth when I bit into the bread!  I will wear this and each subsequent set of trays for three weeks.  

He also suggests that I wear each set of trays for 3 weeks instead of the
standard 2 week period.  This is to acknowledge the difficulty in getting
22 hours of wear per day.  At first glace 22 hours doesn't seem that
impossible.  Simply remove them for a couple of hours to allow for eating,

So here is my average schedule of NOT wearing the trays

take them out for breakfast - 30 minutes - brush teeth
sometimes I drink coffee at work, I am a sipper . . . not a guzzler - 60
minutes - brush teeth
lunch - 40 minutes - brush teeth
afternoon snack - 15 minutes - brush teeth
dinner - 40 minutes - brush teeth
drink a glass of wine in the evening - 60 minutes - brush teeth

So on average the trays are out of my mouth for a little over 4 hours a
day . . . so I am clearly not getting to the recommended time of 22 hours
per day.
Here is both a before picture and a current picture for comparison purposes.

Before the trays
After 1month - not much difference - but I can feel that the incisor has started to turn - it isn't really detectable in the picture, but I can feel it with my tongue.
buttons on 11 of my teeth

Pros, Cons and Observations of Wearing invisalign

Con - brushing my teeth at least 6 times a day
Con - the feeling that I have too much saliva in my mouth
Con - the feeling that I don't have enough saliva in my mouth
Con - I am not flossing as much as I use to

Pro - I brush my teeth more ofter
Pro - I will eventualy have straighter teeth
Pro - I will not see my Orthodontist more than my Oncologoist . . .

Observation - people don't notice that I am wearing trays, because they are not "normally" in your space
Ovservation - Efferdent is the best way to clean the trays.  

Heading out for an hour run this morning!  Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sounds of morning

I had a beautiful quick run this morning with Sophie - I had wanted to run 4 miles but pressed the snooze button and only able to squeak in 2 miles.  But boy was it beautiful.  40 degrees - clear blue sky - no wind and the sounds of morning.

Chirping of sparrows
Robins singing
cooing of the mourning dove
geese honking
cardinals calling
trumpeting of sand hill cranes
the distance siren of a emergency vehicle
a dog barking (not Sophie)
the rhythmic fall of my feet on the ground!

Enjoy every moment!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Knee issues

In January while skiing in Colorado I hurt my knee. Initially the ER
doctor thought that I might have torn my ACL or MCL, so my skiing ended
almost before it started. I was bummed . . . but honestly more concerned
about the impact a knee injury might have on my running. To put it into
perspective - I really love to ski, but only do that for 1 or 2 weeks out
of the year . . . I run 52 weeks out of the year and would have hated to
see a skiing injury sideline me for long.

When I got back from Colorado I when to an orthopedic Dr. through my health
provider, it was actually the same Dr. that I saw when I had a stress
fracture in my toe a couple of years ago. He assured me that I had not
torn my ACL or MCL based on moving, pulling and reviewing my leg. We did
not do an MRI, instead he sent me on my way and said to take it easy, but
that I could slowly reintroduce walking and running. I was very happy.

That injury occurred on January 15 and I have been back to running and
biking just like nothing had happened, except that my knee is now hurting.
I could always feel pressure on my left knee, but there was really no pain,
except when I would knee down or come down into a complete squatting
position, like when you are trying to find the tupperware lid that is in
the back of the bottom kitchen cabinet. Well I still can't get down into a
complete squatting position.

I liked this picture a lot better than weight lifters. I can't get into
that pose with my left knee on the ground. I can get there if my left knee
is in the upper position . . . sort of. FYI - I use to play tennis and
would love to do so again . . . but I must find the time.

Since last week, I also have some discomfort while sleeping.

So today at lunch I did the next best thing to going to the Dr. I bought
new running shoes. ;-)

Same brand - Nike Air Pegasus.

I have been wearing these for 20 years . . . I have tried other shoes over
the years, but always end up going back to these.

I ran on Saturday and noticed a little pain in my shins . . . that is
always my tell-tail sign that I need new shoes. So I will try my new shoes
tomorrow morning and see how my knee feels.

I also took Sunday and today off - no running - no biking, just a walk with
the dog.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, March 19, 2012

Race Plans in black & white . . .

I am going to be using a slightly modified ('cause that is how I seem to do
everything) Hal Higdon's 1/2 marathon training program to get ready for a
May 27 Half marathon and the Ragnar Relay on June 8 & 9.  This should work
pretty well with the Madison marathon (1/2 version for me) two weeks before
the Ragnar Relay. . .  or at least I hope that it works pretty well.

Plan for the week:
M - Rest Day - 2 mile walk with dog    DONE
T - 2 M AM and then 7 M PM run home from work
W - 2 M
T - 1 M warm-up - 5 X 400 repeat
F - Rest Day - 2 mile walk with dog
S - 3 M
S - 6 M

We are experiencing unusually warm weather - I mean extremely unusual warm
weather this past week +.  Record highs in the 80's are getting recorded
almost every day with some evening lows in the 60's.  Our normal high for
mid March is 40 degrees.  Although I love snow and cold weather - I will
welcome this type of beautiful temperature any time of year with OPEN arms.

Because of this warm weather we spent a lot of time outdoors this weekend.
Starting with a 7 mile run on Saturday morning - raking some leaves off of
the flower beds from last fall - roto-tilled the garden, working in rich
compost into the soil - walking around the yard multiple times, just to be
outside and washing the outside furniture and screen porch!  Sunday started
with a 6 mile run - installing a hammock chair on the screen porch -
sitting on the hammock chair while enjoying a Spotted Cow beer and a 15
mile bike ride.  I have put in all of my window screens and almost every
window in the house has been open for days.  I know that others have
actually turned on their air conditioners - we won't do that - instead
turning the bedroom fans on and enjoying this little precursor of summer.
After all . . . based on the calendar - it isn't even Spring yet - don't
tell the daffodils, forsythia, magnolias, tulips or many other plants all
budding right now. 

Introducing the Ragnar Relay - A couple weeks ago eight out of the 12 members of the relay team met up in Madison for a run and dinner.  Here is a pic of the Panty Raiders
- how I got lucky enough to be included in this awesome team - who knows!!!  It is going to be a blast.  These women are great.

Me, Jen, Amy, Kim, Falon, Lisa, Amy, Rachel. Missing from the meet up were Amy, Jamie, Marcia and Kim. We have a super great team and I just know it is going to be a blast!  

Since we are in the middle of March and I have yet to commit to any races - I figured I would post them . . . helps to make me accountable.  

Black Earth 10 mile run - April 7 - this is a really small race that I
participated in last year - course is FLAT and it is an out and back - I
enjoyed the run and would like to do this again.
Crazy Legs - 8k run - April 28 - I missed this local "must" run event in
2011 because I was in New York biking and in 2010 I walked it because of a
stress fracture . . . so I must do this race this year.
Lake Monona 20k - May 5 - another local favorite, with a small glass of
beer offered around the 15k mark.  While I ran this last year, I really
struggled with the distance and would like a re-do!
Madison Marathon (running the 1/2 marathon distance) - May 27 - Although
not this exact race, but a marathon (called the MadCity Marathon) by a
previous race organizer was my one and Marathon, back in 2000 -
I love this course, right here in Madison.
Race for the Cure 5k - June 2
Ragnar Relay - Madison to Chicago - June 8 & 9

So there it is - my race plans thru June 2012.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Running, rolling and aligning

Random thoughts for Friday

I had some good runs last week when I was on vacation in Florida - both at Cape Coral and Key West.  It is so great to head out the door with water, a running skirt, hat and sleeveless top and leave behind pants, thermal shirt, jacket, warm hat, gloves and still worry about the first mile with cold hands.  While in Cape Coral I had a couple nice, get use to the humidity runs of 2 and 2.5 miles and then in Key West I ran on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning - 5, 4 and 4.  On Friday morning I got up early to run and catch the sunrise.  Although Key West is well known for its Sunset party every night at Mallory Square - if you visit - don't forget to get up early and see the sunrise over the Atlantic.  Just as pretty and way WAY less people.  
We got back to WI Saturday afternoon - and we were welcomed back with fresh snow from the day before.  ;-)
My running back home has been OK.  Sunday - 4 miles in 25 degree temps vs. the 80 degree temps just a few days prior.  Monday 2 miles, Wednesday 4 miles and Tuesday and Thursday 2 mile walks.  So not the greatest week - but certainly not a total slacker week.  (in my book) 
Totally excited for Saturday - some of my Ragnar team - The Panty Raiders is meeting up here in town to enjoy a nice run and get to know each other.  It will be great to meet these wonderful women and spend some time talking tough - I have to talk tough, since I am bringing up the rear in age!!

I know that most people say that they "earned" each and every wrinkle and frown line . . . while I agree that I earned them - I am not quite ready to simply accept them and do nothing about them.  In full disclosure - I have had both a little Botox between my brow and a little Restylane filler in my nasolabila folds and under my eyes.  I have been extremely happy with the results and don't think that anyone is the wiser!  

A couple of women my age have asked me what I have done, because they notice that I don't have the sunken look under my eyes or the normal smile lines.  Some I have told and some I have not.  

I found a great salon in Madison, Radiance Skin Therapy and trust the owner with my face!  This morning I tried a technique called Dermarolling.  It is an interesting process, similar to aerating your lawn.  A tool with very very fine needles is rolled over your face and neck, which punctures the top layer of skin, promoting new collagen growth.  Here are some after pictures - looks like a bad sunburn, but it should be cleared up by tomorrow.   You will notice that my neck is especially red - I have a lot of pigmentation in my neck due to years of sun worshipping!  Trust me it looks much worse in person.  


In addition to wrinkles something that has happened to me as I age is that one tooth, my left lateral incisor, has started to twist and actually move back "out of sight" in my mouth  I  don't have perfect teeth and never had braces as a child but have been OK with my smile - but this recent tooth issue bothers me . . .  so I decided to get Invisalign trays.  Today is my third day . . . so far so good.  At times I have had second thoughts - but am committed to doing the trays and straightening my teeth.  Of course you can't just fix one tooth - both my uppers and lowers will be realigned (it is a package deal / well really not a deal / but the purchase price includes both upper and lower trays).   I will be documenting my Invisalign journey on my running blog.  Probably a once or twice a month post.  Anyway - here are two before pic's  
WOW my nose looks big in this pic . . . 

Enjoy the moment and heck is you are not happy with the way you look do something about it!!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Florida vacation

We are vacationing in key west again this year. I tried to yupload a post on Tuesday morning but the wireless network would not allow it. Trying again this afternoon. I had some beautiful pic's but the upload wouldn't happen. Anyway we are having a great time. Kayaking, relaxing, eating, running, sailing and fishing. We spent the weekend with my husbands brother and wife in Ft Meyers and then came to Key West on Monday. I ran both Saturday and Sunday about 2.5 miles each morning and then did 5 on tuesday morning. I ran to the southernmost point and had a pic taken. There are only a few people there in the morning, but we have biked by there in the afternoon and there seemed to be 100's waiting for the opportunity for a photo. On Tuesday, a car speed by, stopped abruptly, 3 girls jumped out and a mom took their photo from the car. She said they do that every morning! Living in paradise, going to school in paradise - do you think they appreciate that fact? Or do they just call this place home? This morning we got up early and fished for 4hours on a fishing charter. We caught beautiful fish but only kept one. We took it to a Thai restaurant, and had it for lunch. It was delish. Back to relaxing by the pool. Enjoy every moment!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blogger Blues

Seems like I am not the only one experiencing the Blogger Blues.  Many of the blogs that I have followed in the past are done - signed off - on winter break - or just in a funk.

I had been wondering about signing off at the end of last year - but decided that I would commit to another shot at resurrecting my enthusiasm for blogging.  I enjoy chronicling my running life . . . although there hasn't been much of that lately.

So it appears like I am at a cross road, a fork in the road, a decision point.

Keep going - but to do that I need to Inject some more energy into blogging and commenting - because continuing on as is . . . doesn't seem worthwhile.   When I answer the question:  Why did I start blogging? - I have a couple of reasons, including simply chronicling my running life and trying to figure out how cancer plays an integral part of who I am and where I am in my life.

To be honest - I don't know if I did either very well.  I don't talk a lot about cancer.  It was a HUGE - Life changing - never look back event.  But I feel like I am moving on.  I still think and obsess about cancer almost every day - but it is different . . . somehow.

Do I still have things to say . . . yes . . . BUT do I want to take the time . . . that appears to be the real question.  How do I want to spend my time?  

Here is a typical work day:
5:30 - alarm goes off - hit snooze
5:40 - alarm goes off - 50-50 I get up or hit snooze one more time
5:40 - out of bed and into bathroom
5:45 - put on running clothes
5:50 - head downstairs - let Sophie outside - scoop out litter boxes - vacuum laundry room if there is litter on the floor - let Sophie back in - maybe throw in laundry, or switch to dryer
5:55 - head back upstairs - feed Sophie, give her fresh water, feed the two cats
6:00 - out the door for a run or walk with Sophie
6:40 - return from run / walk - head to back yard and pick up Sophie poop.
6:45 - wipe Sophie's feet off / snowy / salty / gunk.
6:50 - pick out work clothes / shower / make-up / hair
7:20 - prepare breakfast and lunch, empty dishwasher
7:45 - in car and heading to work
8:00 - 6:00 work (or longer - depending on what is happening)
6:30 - home and prepping for dinner
7:00 - dinner done, clean kitchen
7:15 - watch a little TV, pay bills, check blogs, clean the house, do a load of laundry
9:30 - head to bed

What I need to figure out is how do I WANT to spend my available time.  I want to ACTIVELY decide how my time will be spent.

Drop out all together - this option is attractive - but I am torn.  I still enjoy the whole idea of blogging and reaching out through the virtual world.  But am I willing to devote the time . . . or do I simply think that I enjoy the concept and that is why I have not been motivated?  Only I can answer that . . . and at this point my answer is I DON'T KNOW!

Still comment - just don't blog - The frustrating part is that I am spending time reading and I simply move onto the next blog without making a comment.  I have nothing constructive / new / enlightened to say . . . so why say anything?  While this approach will free up some time - I still spend a huge block of time reading blogs . . . and if I don't comment . . . I am really not sure that I am getting anything out of what I am reading.  Do I learn anything?  sometimes, but not always.  Do I enjoy reading about other bloging adventures?  yes, but honestly - much of it is a repeat!  Come on - admit it!

As I said before I want to decide how to spend my days - my weeks - my life!  It is, after all, the only LIFE I have and I want to get as much out of it as possible.

The question for me is:

Does blogging add to my Life experiences???????

As always - Peace and Enjoy the moment!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Run for Sherry Arnold

Like many bloggers I have been saddened by the story of Sherry Arnold - keeping tabs on the events from Shut Up and Run - Here and always wishing for the best . . . but that was not to be.  Beth, from Shut Up and Run organized a virtual run for yesterday . . . or any day we wanted . . . and I chose today.  Temp's were in the low teens, with winds, bringing the windchill to zero.  Chilly, but doable.

I did 3 miles with Sophie and thought about life - Sherry's life, her families life and my life.

Life is short - an often said comment.  But until you face a tragedy or a serious illness, it is hard to understand and appreciate.  Events like this, make us all stop and appreciate where we are in life.  Good or bad - rich or poor - healthy or not . . . there is always something to be Thankful for.

Things can change in an instant - Again, you leave the house in the morning, just like every other morning, but then something happens.  Something that you could have NEVER planned.  I am not  advocating acting like today is your last . . . but there is an aspect of organizing and making peace with things or people that is important . . . why wait until it is too late.  Do it now and then ENJOY life to its fullest.

Let those that you love, know it - Tell the people around you.  Show them that you love them by treating them lovingly, with respect, whether that be your spouse, your children, your neighbor or the homeless . . . doesn't everyone deserve your respect and love.

I hope and pray that Sherry's family finds a level of Peace and builds a new "normal", albeit without Sherry in person . . . but still loving the person Sherry was.

Peace and Enjoy the moment.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some thoughts on Cancer

Although the title of my blog is Mom Running from Cancer, I don't tend to talk a lot about cancer.  I think a lot about cancer . . .  but I don't talk a lot about it.

There is something about having had cancer that is hard to describe.  It is a club that you are a member of . . . but I am not really proud to be a member.  Whenever I start a post, it starts out OK, but I always delete the post prior to posting.  Well not this time.  

To refresh, for anyone who doesn't follow my blog closely, I was diagnosed with stage 3b Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) on Wednesday, September 8th, 2004.  I started chemotherapy 8 days later on Thursday, September 16th.  From there my treatment included:  1)  4 chemo treatments using A/C,  2) a right side mastectomy, 3) installation of a port under my chest skin to make infusions easier 4)  4 chemo treatments using Taxotere, 5) weekly chemo with another drug, Herceptin for 1 year and 6)  30+ days of radiation.

I have remained cancer free for the last 7 years and plan to continue living cancer free for the rest of my life.  I didn't use to think that.  I was convinced, based on the severity of my cancer staging and aggressiveness of Inflammatory breast cancer, that my breast cancer would return.  When I was diagnosed I never once asked my Oncologist what my chances were or whether he thought I would make it.  I am smart enough to know that a single individual is not a statistic and I figured that the data is available on-line so I could always look it up myself.  Per the 5 year survival rate for patients with IBC is between 25 and 50 percent.   Trust me, these are not statistics that you want to hear out loud - the only time you want to look at statistics like that are late at night, alone, on the computer.

Today . . .  I think I just might make it out of this world without breast cancer coming back . . . maybe!

Now every once in a while I allow my thoughts to head towards the possibility that, I just might live a long breast cancer free life . . . . and who knows, instead of breast cancer returning, I just might get hit by a beer truck, which if that is the case I hope it is Spotted Cow or some other small brewery . . . I would absolutely HATE to get hit by a Pabst Blue Ribbon truck.  

Anyway - Here are 11 random things about cancer.
  1. I lost ALL of the hair on my body during chemotherapy.  Yup - everything. 
  2. That includes the little hairs inside your nose  . . . which means when your nose runs it really runs.  Those little hairs in your nostrils help slow down the drips . . . without them . . . watch out!
  3. Chemo brain is a real issue.  It is no wonder, when you consider the chemicals flowing through your body - even though there is a brain / blood barrier - you get foggy. 
  4. I hated the taste of water while I was undergoing chemo treatment.  Grape Propel was about the only thing I can drink.
  5. I received approximately 5000 centiGrays, delivered at the rate of appox. 180–200 rads per day for 28 days and then 1 week with an additional boost of 2000 centiGrays for a total of approx. 7000 centiGrays  (measurement of radiation) during treatment.  A standard mammogram delivers 0.2 centiGrays and a chest x-ray is 0.025 . . .   Thank goodness for targeted treatment!  
  6. When my hair came back - it was grey . . . oh - wait -  that probably started to happen before my diagnosis, I just didn't know it!!!!
  7. I wish the hair on my legs would have never came back.  Seems like there should be some benefit that comes from all this.
  8. I did not have reconstructive surgery after the mastectomy.  I wear a silicon prosthesis inside of my bra - I don't think anyone knows.  
  9. I love my oncologist and believe it or not, love going to see him.  I get to see him every 6 months.  
  10. I believe that the drug, Herceptin was critical to my successful treatment.  My Dr. started me on Herceptin, "off label".  At the time, per the FDA, Herceptin was only prescribed for Stage IV, malignant breast cancers.  But there were several large drug studies going on and he felt strongly that Herceptin would also benefit earlier stage cancers that expressed a Her-2 gene and started me on it.  I received Herceptin weekly for 1 year.  Mid way through my yearly Herceptin, the studies were called off because of the success rate.   During a study, some patients receive the drug and some patients receive a placebo . . . since it was so clearly successful, they wanted to make sure that those individuals involved in the study received the drug . . . not the placebo and stopped the studies early.  Lifetime had a movie, back in 2008 staring Harry Connick Jr. called "Living Proof", which chronicles the discovery and push for the drug.  It is based on a book by Robert Bazell, called "Her-2, the Making of Herceptin, a Revolutionary Treatment for Breast Cancer" which is in my ibook library.  
  11. Cancer does Suck

and last but not least . . .        I final comment about the news this past week . . . With the uproar regarding the Susan G. Koman organization pulling funding from Planned Parenthood facilities because they were under investigation . . . to reversing their decision . . . I am left with very confused feelings towards the organization.  How about you?  Were you bothered by Koman's withdrawal of funding?

Peace and 
Enjoy every moment!

Friday, February 3, 2012

What I wore to work this week!

Instead of showing what I wore running during the week, I thought I would show you what I wore this week to work.  To be honest I think I look a little better dressed for work than before or after I run.

It was a pretty typical work week.  10+ hour days.  Tuesday I had a lunch meeting and outside of that lunch meeting I ate a salad at my desk.  I did sneak out at lunch on Wednesday for a 20 minute walk.
Work wise, it was a really stressful week.  I am involved in lots of meetings, so getting time to actually do "work" at my desk is a luxury that I don't often get to enjoy.  Thursday was one of those rare days . . . I had NO meetings and actually got a lot of work done . . . . but still have a lot more to do.

Here goes.

Monday - Black slacks - pink/peachy sweater set and scarf from Chico's.

Tuesday - Black skirt, blue sleeveless sweater with a black outer sweater. And on my feet, my favorite shoes by Think!

Wednesday - Black slacks with blue pinstripes and a blue sweater and my awesome new cowboy boots that I purchased at the F.M.Light and Sons store in Steamboat Springs.  Every women needs a pair of cowboy boots.

Thursday - Brown slacks with orange shirt and orange boiler wool sweater jacket and brown Mary Jane shoes.

Friday - Jeans with a print shirt and  . . . .  yup . . . my cowboy boots!

How was your work week!

Peace and enjoy every moment   ;-)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Random 11 things . . . my turn!

I was tagged by Kimmy at My Life Running....   HERE for the Random 11 things going around the blogosphere.  Last but not least I will participate.  

  1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in your tagger's post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blogs and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about "you are tagged if you are reading this." You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

11 randoms about me.

1. Copying Kimmy . . . I too am a morning person.  I love to run while others sleep and I especially love to enjoy a hot cup of coffee in morning out on the patio is the warm morning hours of summer.  

2.  My eyebrows are tattooed 
3.  My father died from an accidental drowning when I was 9 years old. 
4.  I learned to drive a manual transmission using my boyfriends (now husband's) BMW.
5.  I learned to drive a motorcycle and had my permit - but never got my motorcycle license.
6.  In college I was a music major and then switched to accounting.
7.  I get irritated with people who are too lazy to scrape their car windows off  - we live in Wisconsin, carry an ice scraper!
8.  I use botox on my forehead!  
9.  I use Restylane as a filler for my nasolabial folds and LOVE IT!
10.  My indulgence is watching Mad Men on Netflix
11. I consider myself lucky to have had breast cancer

Kimmy's questions for me.....

The questions to those I tagged..

1.  Whats your favorite workout?
Start the day with a 8 mile run and then hop on my road bike for a nice 30 mile ride.  

2.  Whats your favorite running food?
Before I run - Oatmeal with fruit and coffee, While I am running - Gu and After I run - sliced avocado with Laughing cow cheese on Sandwich thins.

3.  If you could do one favorite thing what would you do?
Downhill skiing

4.  Whats the perfect running temperature for you?
50-60 degrees

5.  If you had a choice between doing a long run or speed work what would you pick?
Long run

6.  What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving.  I like that there is no "stuff" for sale or major material stuff surrounding this holiday  . . . it is such a simple idea . . . give thanks for what we have.  

7.  Would you go to a friend who needed you no matter what?

8.  Do you like to workout inside or outside?
Run Outside wins all year long.  I have my bike set up inside on my trainer, but would rather be outside.

9.  What is your favorite training schedule?
Run 5 days out of 7 and be able to bike outside

10 How long have you been running?
I have been running for 20 years!!!!!

11. Why do you run?
I love the empowered feeling and the physical fitness benefits.

I am leaking out . . . Since I am clearly one of the last bloggers to participate . . . I am not going to tag people, because it seems like everyone has been tagged and responded.

Peace and Enjoy every moment!