Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 14th, 2014 – Santa to the Sea Half Marathon

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This entry has been a very long time in coming and I am so so *SO* grateful to be posting it!!!

As you know, a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS). The last 18 months have been about figuring out just how bad things were, what to do about it, doing something about it and recovering from what was done about it.

It has been incredibly rough. Not just physically and emotionally, but mentally as well.

Along with my awesome family and wonderful friends, running remained a constant companion. Even when I couldn’t sit up by myself, let alone walk across my room, running remained very close to my heart and waited patiently for me to return, much like a devoted lover.

My actual devoted lover is also cool. This guy’s my hero! This is us, lookin’ fly (Yeah… I said “Fly”. I’m a proud child of the 80’s. Gnarly!) at our Company Christmas party a few weeks ago. *KISS!!!*

He did one of the most loving things he could have done for me. Upon guessing and stressing about what I might want from Christmas, he asked me, “Do want to do a Half Marathon for your Christmas gift?”

Just like that! Like it was a matter of course that I could train ….. And finish!

I was glad that he felt so confident. I sure didn’t. I hadn’t run more than 6 miles since I was diagnosed. But once my registration was paid (Thanks again, Babe!! <3), that had to change. So, I started running. And running. And running. I ran in the morning. I ran in the evening. I ran on my lunch break, to the apparent chagrin of my co-workers! This is me after a lunch break run, supremely unconcerned that I must reek to the heavens!!

But that’s ok. I was in training. Training for myself. Training for Survivors everywhere. Training for everyone who’d been bullied by something they couldn’t control. Training for the Half Marathon. Training so I would know, really know, that Breast Cancer hadn’t beaten me.

And I did it! I finished!

It was not pretty. Actually the first 10 Miles were rather nice. It was really chilly, but one of the side effects of the Chemo (Tamoxifen) is hot flashes. So I was quite comfortable in a running tank and some thermo sleeves.

This is me with some Muddy Dragons. I ran into a whole adorable group and they were quite bundled up. Aren’t they cute?

Now, off to the Run….

Like I said, it was quite chilly. And were shuttled to the start. This is me on the Shuttle.

This was a little surreal for me. Actually surreal. The first 6 miles went by like a dream. A really pleasant, highly effective dream.

This whole race was more of mental thing than anything else. On some level, I’d kinda talked myself into not being affected by it until I’d finished the first half.

Because once I got through Mile 7, it was actually possible that I might finish!! Especially if I felt good at Mile 7.

And I felt GRRREAT!!!

Still, I knew that Mile 10 is usually when I hit The Wall.

Mile 10 came and went.

I still felt great. I’d refueled at Miles 4 and 8. I thought it might be wise to consider refueling again at the 11.5 Mile mark.

Then right as I passed the 11 Mile Marker, I hit The Wall. Hard.

But it was ok. Honest.

I expected to hit The Wall. It was comforting to find that I could push myself to The Wall. And keep going.

And keep going, I did.

My pace faltered about 15 seconds, but it never stopped.

This is me…. At “The Finish”. And it truly was the Finish. The Finish of me feeling like I’d never be the same again.

Friday, August 22, 2014

August 17th – 23rd – 6.56 Miles Total & A Swim

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

If you speak with me for more than 5 minutes, you will learn 5 Things About Me:

1) You will learn that I believe Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.

2) You will learn that I believe my husband is the sexiest man alive.

3) You will learn that I believe my father is the best pastor in all the world. No offense to any other pastor. My Dad’s just better

4) You will learn that I believe the only real athletes are runners. Everybody else is just playin’ with their balls.

5) And you will learn that I believe that Michael Jackson is THE GREATEST ENTERTAINER WHO EVER LIVED!!!!!!!

You will learn these things because I am passionate about them. Therefore I am always talking about them. Seriously, don’t get me started on my husband! Or my Dad! Or Michael Jackson!!!

But we’re here to talk about running.

But just wait! I have to tell you! A friend of mine won at auction 8 (count them EIGHT!!!!) Limited edition Michael Jackson Lithographs with certificates of authenticity!!!!

And he just GAVE them to me!!!! I couldn’t believe it!! When his wife (my good friend Cynthia, who I used to work with many moons ago and who is also a survivor. Diagnosed at about the same time I was) showed up at my door with this TREMENDOUS gift, I screamed so loud, I triggered a hot flash!

I *love* them!!!! Can’t wait to get’ em all framed!!

Now, off to the Run.

August 17th – 3.51 Mile Run

This was a BEAUTIFUL run! I was visiting my in-laws in Camarillo and on the way to their house, Chris dropped me off 3.5 miles away from the house and I ran it in.

Camarillo is a Runner’s Paradise. Always temperate. Wide, smooth sidewalks. Miles and miles of running trails. Beautiful homes in quiet neighborhoods. Well lit streets. Very little crime. And hills.

Lots and lots of hills.

But there’s also the agriculture, so if you’re looking for something flat and easy on your knees, run the beautiful strawberry fields. It’s lovely.

I took my time on this run. It felt great. The only problem I had with this run is that it wasn’t long enough.

August 19th – 3.05 Mile Run
This was a regular Maintenance run. Nothing to report, really. My legs felt heavy after the hills of Camarillo, so I was just happy to get out there and get the miles in.

August 21st – Swim

I usually track my distance but I didn’t this time, so I’m not sure how many laps I did. I met my friend Kathy at the pool. She is training with her family for a Tri next month. She’s awesome! I have no idea how she got her entire family to train with her!! She’s my hero.

I am still dealing with shoulder impingement issues, so swimming is a little rough for me but it was great to be out there and I plan to do more of that!

I love Kathy!!


About socks: Do you always wear socks when you run? Ever since I started wearing Under Armors, I stopped wearing socks, they feel so good on my naked feet and I've never had any issues with blisters. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with running without socks, but for some reason I tend to think running without socks is something only naughty girls do.

I still tape my toenails on long runs, though. After all, a Pastor's Kid must have *some* decorum! And I'm not hardcore enough to not care if I lose toenails!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 11th, 2014 – 3.30 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This was just a regular Maintenance Run, except I got to take my BIG Boy with me!!!! It was so fun!!!

For me…. Not Him.

He’s grounded. I won’t go into the details out of respect for my little man, but it was enough to generate some residual consequences and repercussions!

Usually this means he has to go running with Mom! Mom *loves* having Jordan as a running partner. He really is the greatest. I have a mad crush on him and for the moment, I’m faster than him, so he stays with me the whole time.

One day very soon, he will overtake me and I will be thrilled to pieces. But for now, I have to slow my roll pretty significantly if we’re going to actually run “together”.

Anyway, he hated it. It took us an hour to complete the 3.30 Mile loop. I had to wait for him to catch up many times. During those times, to keep my heart rate up, I would dance to whatever jam was being pumped into my brain.

But then when he caught up to me, he had to dance vigorously with me for at least 60 seconds. Often longer. He had to shake the hips, raise at least one hand and sing at least one refrain… Loudly.

We sang “Hungry Like The Wolf” by Duran Duran, “Roar” by Katie Perry, “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys and a myriad of Michael Jackson Tunes.

And we don’t live in out in the country. We live in the decidedly middle-class bedroom community of Simi Valley, where people walk their dogs, ride their bikes, visit parks and run on the streets. So we had an audience for most of our performances.

It. Was. AWESOME!!!

His humiliation was just so….. Delicious!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I want my son to behave properly in all situations, but if he’s going to act a fool when he is away from home, then he’s just going to have to dance with his Mom on street corners. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever get tired of it.

And the lesson is: “If you don’t behave in school, instead of making your own rules, you will spend the rest of your life being told what to do. And sometimes it’ll be humiliating.”

That is solid parenting! I love my boy!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 9th, 2014 – Strides for Breast Cancer 5K

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

It has been quite some time since I’ve posted and there really is no excuse for that. I should be posting after every run. It’s much easier to identify tends with consistent documentation.

Also, it is easier to keep track of goals. Here are a couple I’ve been kicking around:

2014 was supposed to just be about getting used to being a runner again. Making it a priority and pretty much just staying in my jeans. But we all know that running is a seductive lover and the more you do it the more you want it….. Whether or not you actually do more, you always want more.

Ooooh, yes Baby! Right there. YES!

Ahem! 'Scuse me. Where were we? Goals, right!

Goal #1: Get the miles in. I’d like to get to a point where 4 miles is my regular maintenance run and 6 or 8 is my long run that I do at least once a week.

Right now, 3 miles is my regular maintenance run and I have no designated long run.

Goal #2: Run every day that I can. Being a busy wife and mom, it doesn’t work out every day. But there are plenty of days when it could work out but I still don’t go for one reason or another: I ran the day before, I’d just had a race, I’m not feeling super well, Grey’s Anatomy is on, etc.

Enough of that!!! I need to be at least walking every day that I have the time. It never fails that when I think I’ll be able to run the next day, something real comes up and I can’t go.

Goal #3: Do hills. I am hesitant about this one. The last time I claimed that 2013 would be The Year of the Hills, I got diagnosed with Cancer. I’m not superstitious, but any excuse to skip doing hills is alright with me. I hate hills. Still, that’s the goal.

Goal #4: Start looking for races. In 2015, I would like to do one organized race a month for the entire year. I did that in 2011 (and part if 2012) and I *loved* it.

Goal #5: Blog more. It helps.

Now, on to the Race!!!

This was not really a “race”, but a Walk. A fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research. I’m all for running for a cause but this one is, of course, very dear to me. Many of the organizations that helped me with my journey were represented there. So I was happy to be there with many other Supporters and Survivors.

I ran it. Most people walked it. It was an out and back course, which is not my favorite but it was a beautiful day in Thousand Oaks, so you can’t really mess it up.

The run felt good. It wasn't super well marked but there was plenty of support staff so there was no chance of getting lost.

There were beautiful people there and it was a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning. I kept it around a 12-min pace, which is good for me, and finished in decent time.

All in all it was pretty good.

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 22nd, 2014 – 5.76 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This run was really fantastic! It’s the first time I’ve run with Race Pace since I was diagnosed, so it’s been over a year! Race Pace was *extremely* warm and generous to me when they learned that I’d be fighting Breast Cancer. There were ladies on the team who had never met me before but were adamant about being on the list to drop of food and words of encouragement while I was recovering. I am forever in their debt and even though I don’t run with them often, I’m proud to know them and to be a part of the Team. I love Race Pace!!!

Lisa was one of my biggest supporters. She dropped off food and healthy snacks while I was recovering and she sat and chatted with me (in person and online) many many times. And she never saw me as anything less than amazing. I love her for that. She believed in me and never lost faith that I’d be back out there in no time.

She was right. But right along with my fitness, my confidence had taken a major hit whilst I was recovering. And for quite a while, I didn’t feel like I was ready to run with the Team.

Don’t get me wrong, at the absolute *height* of my fitness, I could never keep up with the Team. They are AMAZING!!! I mean, Boston Qualifiers are Pansies amazing! I ran the L. A. Marathon, came home and gave birth, then ran the San Diego Marathon a week later amazing! I’ve completed so many Iron Man Competitions, they should start calling it “Iron Me” amazing!

My point is……. AMAZING!!!! And more than just a little intimidating.

But Lisa wrote me last week and asked if I was going to run with the Team on Sunday. My first reaction was, of course, “Hell no! I can’t run with them! There’s no way I can keep up!”

Lisa, who was still recovering from her last marathon coaxed me around by telling me that she would tell rest of the Team that they didn’t have to stick around and wait for us to finish and that she would stick with me all the way through it.

Not only that, this weekend was not to be one of their typical 10, 15 or 20 miles runs. This was to be a very doable 5 to 6 mile run.

Also, Rochelle, who is one of my all-time fitness heroes was to be leading the run. Rochelle is beyond amazing. Learn more about her here and vote for her in the “Women’s Running” Cover Model Contest. You can vote once a day every day, until July 2nd. Go Rochelle!!!

Rochelle also wrote and asked if I would run with the team.

Oh, fine!!! As long as everyone knows what my limitations are, and we’re not running all the way to the beach, I’m in!

So I got up early on Sunday morning, fueled up with some good carbs, lean protein and half a cup of coffee and headed out the door to run with Race Pace for the first time in over a year. Was I crazy?? Why drive all that way, just to end up running by myself?

I could run by myself in my own neighborhood and at a more reasonable hour!

But God bless Lisa, she was as good as her word and she stayed with me the entire time. Normally, Lisa and I are pretty evenly matched. But with me recovering for so many months and trying to get back to my old self, she can run laps around me now! But she was recovering now too, so she let me set the pace and we had a very nice relaxing run.

It was great. Best time I’ve had running in a very long time, which I hadn’t expected. Like I said, I love the Team, but I am not at all a social runner. With a busy daytime schedule and a very young family, frequently, my run is the only Alone Time I get during the week and I love it like that…. Alone.

But Lisa is an ideal partner for me. We stick together, we run our course, we really like being together and we don’t expect each other to hold a conversation. We don’t see each other much outside of a workout and that’s ok with us too.

Thanks for getting me out there, Lisa! It was great!

And Christina and Rochelle stuck around and waited for us to come in!! Thanks Ladies, you rock!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 20th, 2014 – 3.03 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

I have been remiss in getting my blogging underway, but in my defense, you cannot expect me to be undistracted when Michael Jackson reaches from beyond the grave to not only produce a new album, but to also appear “Live”, onstage at the Billboard Music Awards, performing “new” material!!!!


After I got over my initial Weekend-At-Bernie’s vibe , that was slightly creepy, I loved it!!! I thought it was amazingly well done. Technology is miraculous and I can only imagine where this will take us in the future.

Someday soon, I’ll be able to send my Hologram out for an Easy 3 when I’m not in the mood. But until then…..

Off to the Run!!

Since I last wrote, I have been running regularly and I have been working on form and speed. I have even run one organized race. I’d like to run a 10k early next month, but I have not yet registered for it. I’ll post the details when I do.

This is me at the 2014 EIF Revlon Walk for Women’s Cancers. This is me, my mother-in-law and two cousins at the race. This was amazing good fun for me. Halle Berry was there, Bruce Willis, Samantha Harris and a myriad of other celebs who support research for womens’ cancers.

It was a lot of fun. This is me at the Finish. I was proud to wear my “Survivor” hat & bib, but there were far too many “In Memory” bibs.

I walked the first 2-miles with my family, then ran the last mile. It felt great.

My last run (this 3.03 Mile run) was a regular maintenance run. Jordan has one last major project to do before the school year is through, so he works on it at the public library while I get in an easy 3. It’s a beautiful area and makes me love where I live.

My goal on this run was to keep it under a 12 min/mi pace and I was able to do that. I felt good. If I can keep that pace for 6 miles, the 10k PR is in the bag!!!

See ya on the next run…….. and get your Mammogram!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

April 27th, 2014 – Gator Run 10k

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

I know that it has been quite a while since I've posted. But I have been running with *some* regularity for months. I promise. I’ve even run an organized race since the last time you heard from me.

This is me at the Move ‘N’ Groove Bruins 5k last month on the UCLA Campus.

That was *such* a good time! The campus is so beautiful. Being around young, healthy people is a medicine of its own.

Speaking of medicine, dealing with my own health issues is one of the reasons why I’ve excused myself from posting regularly. But it’s a poor excuse. Exercise and Exorcise are very important to me.

Running fills in for the exercise of course, and writing helps me to exorcise the demons that plague my soul. If you’re a runner who’s been on his/her back for an extended period, you know of these demons. The ones who say:

“Why are you running anyway? If running could save you, you would have never gotten Cancer.”

“And what good did running do you once you discovered you had Cancer?! All the lean muscle and low body fat meant you couldn’t even use your own tissue to rebuild your body! What a waste.”

“Now look at you. You have these silicone bags strapped to your chest for the rest of your life, constantly reminding you that you will never be as healthy as you were.”

“Oh look…. You’ve started running again. You’ve lost so much of your fitness. What a shame. You’re so slow, you might as well just have the burger.”

“This new body is weird. It’s not just the GIANT new rack. Running doesn’t feel the same, does it? I wonder what it is….. the extra weight maybe?”

“Better take it easy…. You’re still sick. You’re not the person you used to be. Get used to it.”

“What are you trying to prove? Just quit. No one will fault you for it. Who’s going to tell a Cancer Survivor that she needs to get off her ass?”

Those are the thoughts that run through my mind whilst I am trying to strap on my running shoes and get out the door. I have to confess that sometimes the demons got to me.

Writing helps keep them at bay.

However, running blows their heads off!!!!

I’d been training pretty regularly, but hadn’t covered more than four miles at a time. My runs had been slow and extremely clunky, but my focus hasn’t been speed lately. It’s just been to work on form and to run without pain. That’s been a pretty tall order lately.

My surgery sites (i.e. My knockers) don’t give me as much trouble as they used to. With sufficient support, they’re no trouble at all. Although, after the race yesterday, there was some aching. I felt *great* during the race and the ache didn’t last long, but it was enough to remind me that I am still recovering.

The issue that I am dealing with at present is Shoulder Impingement. Shoulder problems are not uncommon after breast surgery. I ignored it for far too long and now the pain is with me constantly. It’s pretty significant pain, too. Not as bad as passing a stone but far worse than a third degree ankle sprain. It’s been pretty bad.

I’m doing physical therapy twice a week now, hopefully, it will be much better soon.

Now, on to the Race!!!

This was the 8th Annual Gator Run, hosted by the Simi Valley Rotarians. I love these folks. They do good work. This year, they were supporting Special Olympics but they’ve also supported Wounded Warriors in the past. Also, I love to support them cuz they’re in my home town.

It was a beautiful morning, as Spring mornings in Southern California are apt to be.

I was feeling good and even though I hadn’t covered this much distance since my surgery, I had a plan. I was reasonably certain I could get to the Finish, but I wanted to do it comfortably and at a pretty consistent pace.

My plan was to take a salt tab before the start, hydrate every half mile, have another salt tab at mile 3, refuel at mile 4 and hydrate until the end. And above all, to avoid hurting myself!!!

The first 3 miles felt great, though they were slow. It was my plan to start out slowly, but I did a gut check at the 3 mile mark and felt like I could kick just a little harder. So the second loop was a little faster than the first. That felt good.

Speed will come later. And I can wait. I was never really fast anyway. Right now, I wanted to be sure to keep moving. But more than anything, I didn’t want to set back my recovery.

My personal best in the 10k is only about 1:10, so I was hoping to come in before the 1:30 mark. I finished in about 1:20. Not a great time, of course. But really, I was just glad to finish!! And super glad that Chris and Jordan were there to see me do it!!!

This year is going to have to be about recovery, running without pain and just covering the distance!!

Next year, when my Cancer Story is (fingers crossed) firmly behind me, I can start working on speed and maybe even get in a Mud Run or two.

For now, I’m just trying to feel good and get back to fabulous!!!

See ya on the next run..... And get your Mammogram!!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 17th, 2014 – 3.02 Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This run was just a regular maintenance run. I sprinted between a few road signs, just to see how far I could open up.

There was a slight incline going out and a climb of any kind just wears me out. Always has. Fatigue makes my form slip and when my form slipped my surgery sites protested and reminded me that I am indeed still recovering. So I relaxed on the return turn trip and just let the slight decline carry me home.

Felt GREAT!!

When I got home, I roasted a giant tray of cauliflower and ate the entire mound all by myself while the rest of the family had Chicken Parmesan. I probably should have gotten some protein. Instead I had ice cream. Ah well.

Feels good to be out there.

I was given two samples of a new Energy Gel called Huma. I thought tonight would a good time to try it. It is “all natural” and Chia Seeds based and I really like that. I’m a big fan of chia seeds. They are an almost perfect food source and excellent energy food.

Unlike many Energy Gels, this one went down easily and one packet easily fueled my 3-mile jog. Also I didn’t have the unpleasant cramps and jumpiness that I often get with energy gels packed with preservatives and caffeine.

The strawberry flavor was not bad at all! You can definitely taste the salt, which is par for the course. But it didn’t make me feel overly thirsty during the run.

I gotta say, I recommend it. I’m not sure where it is sold in stores, but it can be had online here.

It was given to me by my mother-in-law (she rocks!), who is a friend of the mother of the creators of this fine product.

I still have an Apple-Cinnamon flavored packet that I’d like to try on a longer run. Maybe this weekend. I’ll let you know how it stands up to greater distance.

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 16th, 2014 - 3.03 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

It has been months and months since I have posted. I would bring you up on every detail, but you would surely get bored. I will just stick with a rather long list of bullet points.

1) I made Breast Cancer my bitch!!

Well, I guess it was just the one bullet point.

Over the past 7 or so months, I have been dealing with a diagnosis that came and rocked my world. I had never been so scared in all my life. It was really… Really….. Rough. All of it.

Not everything went according to plan and believe me, even if it had, it was a really rotten plan to start with! Breast Cancer is a cruel and evil beast and it affects so many wonderful people. I hope that one day, we can be rid of it forever.

I am one of the very lucky ones. My story has a happy ending.

Strangely, the cancer itself is not a problem. Believe it or not, cancer doesn’t hurt. Not at all. I probably had it for years without a single sign or symptom. It’s the treatment that literally knocks you off your feet…. And out of your running shoes.

My friends and family stepped up and took care of me like you wouldn’t believe. The food, the gifts, the company, the love…. Was unbelievable. Even friends who questioned the very existence of God were on their knees on my behalf. It was amazing.

This crazy dude is my hero and the star of all my dreams.

He cooked and cared for me with unrelenting love and patience. I was on my back for 6 weeks and He was there for all of it. He never made me feel anything less than beautiful and sexy. He really loved me through a rough time.

These two knew what was going on and they were very careful with their broken-down mum. Smooches!

These folks were in my corner the entire time, of course. Loving me and helping me when I needed it.

This is Mr. Carpenter, a dear friend, fellow warrior in the fight against cancer, and mentor.

He advised me brilliantly on a number of actions and procedures. Talked me down off a ledge or two. He and his husband, Marc, have been wonderful to me.

They were part of a group of many many people. I couldn’t even begin to name all the wonderful people who helped me through this horrific time: My family and friends, not to mention my surgical teams.

My oncologist is a miracle worker and my plastic surgeons are magicians! It is quite possible that I have come out of this thing even more fabulous than I was when I went in.

And now, On to the Run……

This run was extra special because it was the first doctor-approved run I’d done in many a moon.

As I stated previously, not everything went according to plan. I ended up back on the operating table more times than anyone thought I would and to put it quite mildly, it was getting rather irksome.

After the last emergency procedure, I decided I would follow my doctors’ instructions to the letter and that meant absolutely, positively, no running. None. Not even a little bit.

This meant I had to pass on a fun run that I’d registered for the previous weekend. But I got Devin to run it for me. Thanks, Devin!

But this run was to be different. This time is was ok. Or was supposed to be.

I started out on Sunday morning, just trying to get reacquainted with my body and the act of running. I knew it would be hard. I knew my legs would feel heavy. I knew I would have to take several walk breaks. I knew that I would have to take it *extremely* easily. I geared up and got ready to leave.

I set out with a lot of preconceived notions and I was ready for this fight.

Only it wasn’t a fight.

The very moment that I laced up my running shoes and stood up, my posture changed.

For months, without realizing it, I had developed a rather flat-footed, duck-like waddle, striking with my heel.

But this time, once I’d laced up, I took a step….. and I struck with my toe. This was a good sign. Looked like I was well on my way to becoming a Runner again.

Only I wasn’t.

Becoming a runner again, that is.

Yes, this run was slow. Yes, it was clunky. Yes, my legs felt heavy. And yes, a high percentage of my fitness had been lost. Sacrificed to this demon monster we call “Cancer”.

But it turned out, I had never stopped being a Runner.

My body knew exactly what to do and immediately slid right into a comfortable pace that I had no trouble keeping for 3 miles.

Like many of the wonderfully, beautiful, generous and helpful people in my world, running too, turned out to be a true and faithful friend. Thanks for waiting.

Oh! And, get your mammogram!!!