So far for this month I ran a 5K, started Round 2 of chemo, and ran a half marathon.
Cardiff Kook Run
This time last year I was training for my first bike race (66 miles in May) with my friend Kathryn. Each weekend consisted of a long ride that usually went up the coast, and one weekend when we were biking through Cardiff I saw a group of costumed runners parading by. Apparently we had happened upon the Caridiff Kook Run. (More about the Cardiff Kook here.) The costumes we saw were hilarious and everyone looked like they were having a lot of fun, and I mentally filed this race away as one that I would consider for next year. As luck would have it a discount code for this race came up late last year and Tara and I quickly registered.
As we were discussing costume ideas I suggested one that I've wanted to do for years - Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss! (I've suggested this as a couples costume to David several times to no avail....) Tara loved the idea and immediately started looking for things we could wear to create the costume. As founders of Glam Runner we of course had to work tutus in! We got blue wigs, red tanks, and "Thing" signs - and we were ready.
Introducing Thing 1 & Thing 2
Girls on the Run Love
Thing 1 & Thing 2 Action Shots
I used to run 5Ks all out, gasping for breath, and chasing down a new PR. Those days are behind me for now and I was relieved to just have an easy fun run along the beach with my favorite running twin. Costumes encouraged? Even better! We had a lot of fun during this race and I would totally come back to run it again. Thanks Tara for being my Thing 1!
Glamorous Life of Being a Thing
Chemo Round 2
The plan for my treatment this year is to take a 'double dose' of chemo (2x the dose I was on during radiation) for 5 days a month in January, and then a 'triple dose' 5 days a month each month from February on. I had a rough start to January and was really sick the first night but okay after that. I was also severely fatigued during the treatment week and a few days after as well ... but I also barely ate for a week so I'm not sure how much that played into it. I'm sure it made me more tired, but was it responsible for all of my fatigue? Thanks to my rough first month on the double dose I've been dreading February and the triple dose. I keep thinking oh man, if I felt bad in January, I'm only going to feel worse in February!
Fortunately, I saw my neurooncologist on Tuesday and he told me to repeat my double dose in February and not to go up to the higher dose yet since I didn't "tolerate it well" the first time. Whew! I was relieved to have another chance to get through the week hopefully feeling fine which would give me more confidence to tackle the triple dose the following month.
Poison Down the Hatch
I'm currently on chemo day 4 of 5 and feeling pretty normal. I also haven't gotten sick at all this round thanks to two different anti-nausea prescriptions. Last month day 4 was when I really started to get tired though and it lasted through day 10 it seemed ... so we'll see.
Mermaid Half Marathon
Last month I was sick Day 1, ran 10 miles on Day 2, felt okay Day 3, and then slowly melted into fatigue from Day 4 on. This month since I was totally fine on Day 1, I started to think about how far I could run on Day 2. My LA Marathon training plan had me running 16-18 miles which were totally out of the question ... but hmm ... what about 13? A number of my friends were signed up for the Mermaid Half Marathon on Saturday and after telling everyone I didn't want to run that race for months, suddenly I did. I figured if I went out on my own and tried to do a 14 mile long run there was a good chance I'd poop out and cut it short. At least in a race I'd have a lot more motivation to get to the finish line even if I had to walk the last few miles.
Tara put out a call on facebook for anyone giving away/selling their bib and managed to find a bib for me at the last minute. Score! To get into the mermaid spirit all of our friends running the race planned on dressing up like mermaids decked out with shells and tutus. Sadly I was late to the start of the race and forgot my tutu in the car, so I decided not to bother with the shells either. Sad face.
Mermaid Half Marathon
This race holds a special place in my heart since it is my standing half marathon PR. I ran this race in 2011 and finished in 1:49! (Race recap here.) I know that PRs are out for this year while I go through chemo, and for the first time in a long time during a race I wondered if I could even make it to the finish line.
The race was tough on me mentally and seemed like it was never going to end, but thanks to the company and encouragement of Rachel and Tara I made it to the finish! Yay! My mermaid bodyguards stayed by my side the entire race, dealt with my complaints and doubt, walked with me when I needed a walk break, and got me to the finish line of my first on-chemo half marathon. Our finish time? 2:13 My slowest half marathon ever, but probably the one that I'm the most proud of.
Running With My Bodyguards
For those of you that are worried that I pushed myself too far ... well did you read how slowly we ran? Just kidding. On a serious note I wouldn't have run the race at all if I wasn't feeling up to it. I also wouldn't have finished the race if something had started to feel wrong. This race was tough for me mentally because I no longer 'know' what my body can do, and it was tough for me physically because it was the farthest I'd run in months.
Running is a huge part of my life and a big part of who I am. Being able to finish this race has given me a lot more confidence in my fight against cancer. Cancer hasn't taken away one of the most important things in my life yet, and I hope that it never will. I may be a lot slower, but I'm still out there running!