Monday, January 30, 2012

Good News!

The past two weeks have flown by with more visits to doctors and tests than I have ever had—surgeon, oncologist, gynecologist, genetic counselor and radiation oncologist……
I received good news on Friday from the genetic counselor—I am negative for the breast cancer gene! The was a huge layer of stress that was peeled away and now I can move forward with a lumpectomy and then 6 weeks of radiation. Hopefully I can get my surgery scheduled in the next week or so, as I will have to wait 3 weeks after that to begin the radiation treatments. I cannot run for a couple of weeks after the surgery, but can do low impact exercise—cycling and swimming—deep water running (once the area has healed). During the radiation I can continue to do my regular workouts as tolerated—fatigue will be the biggest side affect from the treatments….. I want to at least maintain my base as St. Croix is my first “A” race in early May.
Over the last two weeks I have hit my goal of cycling at least 2 times per week (either spin, trainer or outdoors), but have missed a run each week and missed one swim last week. This week is the last week of prep and my two goals are to go to yoga once this week and hit the pool three times. The weather will be nice and I should be able to get out on the bike a couple of days and will do my usual 3-4 runs and 1-2 strength sessions. This may all be a bust if I can get my surgery scheduled this week…..
With each blog entry I am going to include my favorite workout of the week. Last week I needed to be by my phone so I did my hill repeats on the treadmill.

Hour Treadmill Hill Workout:

30 minutes easy at .5% to 1.5% incline—slowly increase speed until you are in high zone 2. Then:

2 minutes @ 2%, 1 minute @ 1%--2 minutes @ 3%, 1 minute @ 1%--2 minutes @ 4%, 1 minute @ 1%--2 minutes @ 5%, 5 minutes @ 1%. Then:

Increase your speed .25 to .5 MPH every couple of minutes so that you negative split the final 10-15 minutes of the workout. After the hour slow the speed and walk for 5 to 10 minutes for your cool down.

Make it a great day!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I spent the first part of this week in NJ to be with my mom while she had her surgery (double mastectomy) and get her settled in at home. She was admitted on Monday and home on Wednesday—she is one tough woman! My workout schedule took a bit of a hit while I was traveling and I was only able to get in two short (35) minute hilly runs while I was there. Thursday as I came into town, I went right to the gym and swam easy for 30 minutes and then a short core session. Friday was an early biopsy (in the MRI) so workouts were a bust as I am a bit sore. Once I find out the result of this biopsy and that information, along with a genetic test later next week, will determine the course of treatment….
Since my last tri in October, I have been staying fit, exercising more that working out. My training has been “run” heavy and I have competed in a couple 5k’s and a ½ marathon. The Myrtle Beach ½ is on my upcoming schedule as is the Winter Flight 8k, but all is dependent upon when I need to start treatment/have surgery….
This week finishes my 2nd week of Prep and I have three more weeks at 10 hours of training before things ramp up a bit. I am being very flexible in my schedule, not fretting if I miss something or need to move things around. I am home all week next week with just a couple of appointments, so working out will be a priority—it feels so good to accomplish the workout, happy that I can get out and do what I love to do.
Training goals for next week are:
1) Hit the pool three times
2) Cycle at least 2 times
3) Strength train at least 2 times
4) Run four times including an 1.5 to 1.75 hour run
Get after it,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Three words I never thought that I would hear....

This week I was to begin my focused training for the 2012 NYC Ironman. I signed up for this event, my 10th IM, to compete in memory of my brother Jeff who died this past July from colon cancer at the age of 55. One of my local clients, as well as one from CA and one from MI, will also be competing. My local client, Phil and one of our training partners, Dina and I have decided to “race for a cause” for this Ironman. Our cause will be hospice—they spent 8 weeks at my home, helping me care for my brother and I could not have imagined caring for him without their help. So, we have created Team Tri for Hospice and will look to raise money that will go to a local hospice (triad region of NC) to help patients with necessities that insurance and Medicare will not cover. More information on this as we move forward…..
I had planned on blogging about my training for my 10th Ironman in my 50th year—I turn 50 on August 8th, three days before the IM. My training for long distance events has evolved quite a bit since my first IM in Florida in 1999, and I thought that I would share my preparation as I attempt to qualify for Kona (my last time at the big dance was in 2004)—yes, I am going for it! But as 2011 came to a close things changed a bit—a routine mammogram (I have been getting them once a year for about ten years due to dense breast tissue) caught the attention of radiologist (with luck on my side it was my training friend, Dina) who just didn’t like what she saw. After another mammogram and with Dina’s pushing, a biopsy of my right breast, I found out on December 29th that I have breast cancer….
I never imagined in a million years that I would hear those three words, “it is cancer” and I am still not sure if it has sunk in…. I am active, healthy, eat well, have all of my routine medical exams, love my work and have a wonderful husband and two great kids. So, as I learned through my brother’s cancer, the disease is indiscriminate—you never know…. To add more stress to the pot, my mother (81 years old) was diagnosed with breast cancer two days before me and will have a double mastectomy on Jan. 9th. Her diagnoses really put mine in perspective and what I will go through pales in comparison of what she will have to endure.
I am generally a private person but felt that writing this training blog, “with a twist” might help athletes and non-athletes who have breast cancer the deal with the disease---that it might bring to the light the importance of early detection (my mother had not had a mammogram in 30 years)--and that you can’t let bumps in the road deter you from your goals, hopes and dreams. I am looking at this cancer as an “inconvenience” and will continue training for the August IM. What I will have to do to adjust my training, I do not know yet. But I will forge on, doing what I need to do to “take care of this inconvenience” while supporting my mother while she deals with her cancer.
It would be great to hear from others who have been diagnosed with cancer, not just breast, and how they managed their treatments while training. My plan is to update this blog at least one time per week. I am off to the surgeon on Friday, to NJ on Sunday to be with my mom for her surgery and then another biopsy (MRI) for another spot in my breast on the 13th.
Take charge,