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!!!!