Thursday, March 29, 2012

11 down....

I just had my 11th radiation treatment today. I go every day, five days a week at 8:50. It is about a 30 minute door-to-door trip so I try to tie it in with workouts and or errands. 3 days per week I leave a bit early and hit the pool for 30 to 45 minutes, 2 days per week I head to another pool that has a deep end and water run and then lift. Tuesday’s I have a set ride with two of my Tri for Hospice Teammates, Becky and Dina. They are nice enough to meet me at the Battleground Park around 9:30, right after my appointment and we head out for a 2 hour hilly ride.
Getting my workouts in early has been key, as I have been feeling a bit more fatigued each day. This Monday it really hit me and I just took the entire day off—no pep, no motivation, just blahhhh. This is really hard for me to handle as I am a “doer” and just “resting” is definitely not my style. But, the coach in me says, “Listen to your body” and I am doing my best to practice what I preach to my athletes. I have also found with my training these past couple of weeks that anaerobic efforts really toast me—so, I am trying to stay very aerobic (building a solid base for the IM). With St. Croix on the horizon, my hill strength is not where it needs to be, so I am trying to settle into a comfortably hard pace and spin up the hills as best as possible. If my heart rate goes to high, it generally settles down quickly after the climb—a good sign.
This afternoon will be my first “key” brick, a 1.5 hour ride followed by a 45 minute run… I have completed some short runs off the bike all winter, but this will be the longest and a real test of where my fitness is. I am 7 weeks out of St. Croix and 19 weeks out of the IM—time is flying by….
The nurses, technicians, aids and doctors at the Cancer Center are all really nice and upbeat. I generally see the same people who treat me each day as well as other patients coming in for treatments. It is a very sobering feeling to walk into the main waiting room and see so many people, from all walks of life in various stages of fighting cancer. Often, I feel like I do not fit in, as I do not look sick. As I have learned from Ironman racing, “just when you are feeling really bad during a race and start to feel sorry for yourself, you just need to look around because there is always someone else out there who is feeling worse than you or dealing with bigger issues….” This is how I feel when I go for my treatments—I am sad, frustrated and sometimes angry that I have to deal with this, but it goes away quickly when I see all of the other patients who are much sicker and dealing with much bigger issues than me. That is the point when I tell myself that I am the lucky one—mine got caught early…..
So about 19 more treatments to go—I will finish about 2 weeks before St. Croix. I will continue to train as much as my body allows and enjoy whatever happens in St. Croix. I am a lucky one—I am strong and healthy; my cancer was caught early; I have great doctors, wonderful family support, terrific friends and training partners. I will get over this “bump in the road.”
Train Smart,

Workout of the week:
One-Legged Drills on the Trainer:
Warm-up for 10-15 minutes of easy spinning
Then complete 30 seconds right leg (unclip your non-working leg), 30 seconds left leg, 30 seconds both legs focusing on proper form at a comfortable cadence (Aim to build the interval to one-minute as your form and fitness improves).
Repeat 3 times through.
5 minutes of easy spinning and repeat the sequence.
Cool-down for 10-15 minutes of easy spinning.
Total Time: Approximately 44 minutes

Monday, March 12, 2012

And I said that I would never get….

A tattoo and now I have three—well three tattoo dots…. These are markers for radiation, which I start this Thursday.
I am four weeks out of surgery—the recovery has gone much slower than I expected and I think that it is due to the two surgeries in one day and the loss of blood. I have found myself much more tired than usual (the doc said I am anemic) and am wiped out after workouts. From this I have learned that I need to get my workouts done early in the day. If I wait too long, I am just too tired and very unmotivated. Last week was a solid week with three swims, two long bikes (2.5 and 3.0 hours), three runs (with the “long” run at an hour) and a couple of strength sessions.
I am 8 weeks out of St. Croix and 21 weeks out of the IM…. I am focusing now on building back my base and building back some strength. I have lost about 5 pounds over the past month or so—good for running, but not so good on the bike as I am very “weak” on the hills. I rode last week with a group of five guys and just could not hold on---very frustrating as I am not used to having people wait for me (they were nice and did). I keep telling myself what I would tell my athletes, “be patient, it takes time and you will get your fitness back.”
So, I am plugging along, slowly increasing frequency and duration each week—I will keep St. Croix in perspective, looking at it as a workout, not a race and just enjoy being out there. I have two clients attending and it will be good to be there to support them. Spring is here in NC and my kids are home for spring break—life is good!