Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Magic Wands & Tiaras

Last week, I finally hit 40 miles running for the week. I thought I was never going to break 30 mpw again and then boom...41.5 miles. Woo!

I added a day so now I'm running 6 days a week (Mondays off) and am planning to keep the 6th run to an easy lunch run on Fridays.

Here's the stats for last week:

Running - 41.5 miles (14, 7, 4.2, 8.3, 2.6, 5.4)
Riding - 124 miles
Weight - 5 hours

I had some very solid runs last week too. The 14 miler was awesome and I ran 10x200s on Tuesday and then Thursday was a tempo run. So, so fun to see the pace for those 200s. Speed work is hard but there is a bounce in my step after. It makes me feel accomplished. :)

This week is a rest week. I usually do 3 build weeks and then week 4 is a rest week. I am cutting back 25% on running, riding, and weights. That's the plan anyway. Still running 6 days but easier and shorter though still with some intensity.

I hadn't decided whether or not to really race the Rock 'n' Roll LA Half on Sunday or not. I hadn't really planned on it but am curious to see where I am now for it. Based on my 5K time, I should be able to run a 2:10 Half but I don't think I'm there yet stamina wise. But I don't know! Am I? Am I just being too conservative?

I was thinking of going for 10:35-11:00 min pace. That would let me shave 10 to 15 min off my time from the Leading Ladies Half. Should I try for faster though? That is the million dollar question.

Well, at least I have my outfit for the race ready. I made my tutu this weekend.
I had the wings already and this weekend I found a magic wand and a tiara to wear. Luckily, I had a coyote to model it. (really supposed to be a wolf but I consider it a coyote because there AREN'T any! And why not? Coyotes are cute! Right?)
I just have to figure out what to wear to keep my hair under control and keep the tiara on. Might look for a headband at the expo on Saturday.

I'm thinking if anyone asks what kind of fairy I am, I'm going to say I'm the PB Fairy (Pink & Blue Personal Best Fairy). So if I see you on Sunday and you want me to grant you a PB with my magic wand, just let me know! :)

In the meantime, I'm going to take a page out of Jenks' book (he is a pro napper) and try and rest the next 4 days.

 Have a great week!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five For Friday - 10/17/14

I had a great week! I hope you did too. :)

Here is my list of 5 things I'm thankful for this week:

1. I'm thankful I got to spend time with my nieces, nephew, and sister on Sunday. It was a wonderful surprise! And a double bonus to have my favorite partners in crime for an ice cream run!

2. I'm thankful for all the Halloween decorations which make running and riding so fun now.

3. I'm thankful my staff doesn't think I'm a bad boss and I get things like this for Boss's Day:
 
Caramel Smores Brownie cupcakes! Which I shared with the rest of my staff and my boss. 

4. I'm thankful for a great trainer who pushes me and listens to what I want out of our sessions. Last night we measured me and I weighed 177.6 and my body fat was 22.5%. And I could do a Pilates Roll Up which I could not do at all in July! Woo!

5. Finally, I am thankful for my Amazon which helped me buy the last piece for my costume for Rock 'n' Roll LA Half next weekend. Hopefully, they help me fly!

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Weekend Of Fun

So...I had a totally awesome weekend!

Oh. Yeah.

Here's what went down.

On Saturday, I ran a 5K. It was kind of impromptu because I had been planning for one next week but it was cancelled. I found this one that was not too far from me and signed up for it on Thursday. I was pretty sure I could shave more time of my 5K because I've been feeling amazing during my runs lately. I had run a pretty hard 8 miler (with 3 miles at tempo) on Thursday but didn't feel too tired from it.

On race morning, I got up...and went for a 17 mile ride. Yes, I rode first. I wasn't sure I could get it in after and it had to be done so I did it. I came back, ate breakfast, changed, and headed out to the race. After I got my bib, I ran back to my car and then ran a 15 min warm-up. The race started a little late and it was already getting a little warm.

I ran hard and tried not to let my pace drop. It was an out and back course so I could see how many women were in front of me and I didn't want any one to pass me. I passed 6 women and 1 one woman passed me near the end. Damn it. I heard her coming but couldn't fend her off. We had a slight uphill and two turns and then it was a tiny downhill to the finish. I saw the clock said 27 something and ran like hell to see if I could make it under 28. And da da da! I did!

27:57 for my official time. That's 2 faster than the San Dimas 5K I ran 2 weeks ago! Woo!

I also knew that there weren't very many women in front of me so I was excited to see how I did. They had computers where we could look up the times and see the stats:

Yeah! 5th Woman and 3rd in my AG. Hey, it still counts even if it was a small race, right? RIGHT? I'm counting it. :)

I waited around for the awards ceremony which wasn't too hard since they had people there to stretch you out and then for food there was Chick-fil-A. Yum. Turns out that woman who passed me near the end was in my AG and they did awards for 40-49 instead of 45-49 but I was still 3rd. Woo!

After that, I went to the gym because there is no rest for the wicked. Here's last week's stats:

Running - 37.1 miles (13.1, 6.5 (8x1 min hill springs), 4.2, 8 (tempo), and 5.3 (5K + warm up/cool down))
Riding - 121 miles
Weight training - 5 hours

On Sunday, I ran 14 miles. I was slightly tired from the day before but took it easy and ran a 11:27 pace for the run. I feel like I'm ready for Rock & Roll LA Half in 2 weeks!

The rest of Sunday was filled with family fun since my AZ family was in town. Always a good day when I get to hang out with them!
I am pretty darn lucky to have such a good life. Sure, I wish some things could be different but I am pretty happy right now. I thought a lot about my friend Scott this weekend, especially while running. The Ironman World Championships were Saturday and Scott is an Ironman. I don't even know how many he's done, he's done so many. And many, many Halfs & Marathons. Scott is a member of the Running Elvi and just brings a lot of fun to endurance sports.

Scott also has ALS. He told us earlier this year and it is devastating. He is handling it with grace and humor. Much better than I would. Than I am. I just keep thinking how unfair it is that he finally found happiness and has a 5 year old son and then he is hit with this. IT'S NOT FAIR! :(

But Scott is the kind of person who cheers people up. This past weekend, he went to Comic Con and went as Professor X. Instead of being depressed about being in a wheelchair, he turned it around to something fun. I need to do that. I need to make sure I bring the fun to running. For him. For me. For whoever I can.

That's why I am wearing the Running 4 Those Who Can't shirts. This weekend, I ran for Scott. Because I can.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five For Friday - 10/10/14

Yay! It's Friday. And a payday! And I'm racing tomorrow!

I had originally signed up for the Skirt Chaser 5K next Saturday but they cancelled the race (boo!). So I decided to run a local one tomorrow - Brian's Home Run 5K. Wish me luck!

Without further ado...here's this week's list of things I'm thankful for.

1. First and most importantly, I'm thankful for an all clear from my oncologist at my 1 year follow up on Monday!

2. I'm thankful I was able to get my blood sugar under control so I don't have to take meds for that. I have a history of diabetes in my family (my dad is and my sister is pre-diabetic). I hate taking meds so would much rather it be normal on it's own.

3. I'm thankful I got to see the Blood Moon and run while I watched the eclipse.

4. I'm thankful for Halloween decorations because they make my rides to/from work more fun...and some of them are just hilarious! Love this one!

5. I'm thankful for a great staff and a great boss who make going to work fun (even during crazy, busy times like now) and who never get tired of me talking about running. Or at least, they don't let me know if they are. ;) But they do ask about it so I am hopefully not too obnoxious about it! :)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Actually, I Can

I saw this on Twitter the other day.

It was kind of funny because I'd just said that to myself on my long run on Sunday. It was supposed to be a hot day (104) and I had scheduled a 12 miler. Well, truthfully, it was supposed to be a 13 miler but I had flipped the last 2 weekends knowing this weekend was supposed to be hot.

As I started out, I thought about my goals for the run. First and foremost...don't die. Don't overheat. Don't over do it. Just get it done.

But then as I ran I thought about how good I was feeling and whether or not I could make this a more solid training run instead of "just surviving". I keep seeing M (@ReadEatWriteRun) and her race pace long runs on the weekends and it reminded me that I used to train like that. And honestly, I have been a little envious. Okay, a lot. ;) I miss training like that. I thought to myself "I can do this" and made the decision to go for it.

So instead of just doing 12, I decided to do the 13 that was part of the plan AND run it more aggressively than I'd planned. I still ran easy for the first 9 miles but at a slightly quicker clip than I had planned. Then for mile 10, I picked it up and I felt good and went for it. I ran miles 11 & 12 at half marathon pace. And then the last mile was a cool down. I ended up doing an 11:30 pace and finishing in 2:30:57 for 13.1 miles. Which as it turns out is a post cancer PR for the Half! Woo!

The best part is that I felt like I could have run more when I finished.

It felt awesome!
And that was after a pretty solid training week and working legs on Saturday for Phil.

Stats for last week:
Running - 36.1 miles (13.2, 6.2, 4.2, 7.2, and 5.3)
Riding - 123.4 miles
Weight Training - 5 hours

It's less than 3 weeks now until Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half and I feel pretty good about where I'm at for it. I am hoping for 2:20 and that feels really doable now. :)

In other news, I had my 1 year check up with my oncologist on Monday and that went really, really well! The ultrasound showed nothing so no new growths and the "lesion" that had shown up in my CAT scan 6 months ago was gone too. My vitals were awesome as well: heart rate 51, blood pressure 101/69, weight 179.4. And best of all my blood sugar was down to 94! It had been as high as 139 in March and only dropped to 129 in July. We, the doctor and I, were worried that I would be pre-diabetic/diabetic going forward. But losing the weight and eating better has really helped. She was very excited to see the changes in me and reminded me that being overweight not only increased my risk of diabetes but cancer as well. Which I already knew and is why I was so determined to lose the weight. I don't have to go back for 6 months and I only "need" to schedule a mammogram every 2 years.

Everything is falling into place now. I'm so relieved and so happy that I can put this behind me and not have it hang over my head every day. I'm sure I'll always have the fear that cancer will come back but I am not going to let that fear rule my life. I'm just going to live as healthy and happy as I can and have fun. :)

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five For Friday - 10/3/14

It's time to show a little gratitude to the people, places, and things that made me happy this week...

Here's the list of things I'm thankful for:

1. I'm thankful for the my doctors and nurses who took care me the past year and helped me beat ovarian cancer! If you missed it...Tuesday was my Re-Birthday. The 1 year anniversary of the surgery that removed the stupid tumor that was growing inside me like some alien baby!

2. I'm thankful for books and being able to finish the amazing and fun Hollows Series by Kim Harrison. It took me a while to finish book 13 because I didn't want it to end. I named Jenks after my favorite character in this series.

3. I'm thankful my hair is at a stage where I feel feminine and sexy again.

There is a quote in The Fault in Our Stars that perfectly describes what it is like to lose your hair from cancer & chemo: "That was the worst part about having cancer, sometimes: The physical evidence of disease separates you from other people. We were irreconcilably other."

I felt like an alien when I lost my eyelashes and eyebrows and hair. There was no hiding it, not even with a wig or scarf. I was "other". Not Lisa. Someone else. Now I feel like I'm Lisa again.

4. I'm thankful I'm healthy enough to enjoy trails on a beautiful day.

5. And I'm thankful for ice cream! Which I treat myself with after long runs and hard workout days.
 
Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's My Re-Birthday!

Today is the 1 year anniversary of my Re-Birthday, the day a basketball sized tumor was removed from my abdomen.

Before I went into surgery at 9 am, my surgeon told me it would take about an hour to remove the tumor and if they found cancer, it would be 3+ hours so they could make sure they got it all and clean my organs/lymph nodes.

When I woke up in recovery, the first thing I did was ask the nurse what time it was. She told me it was 12:30.

That's when I knew I had cancer.

To be honest, I pretty much knew before that but I was in denial. Hey, if there's no proof, it might not be cancer, right? But the signs were there...I just ignored them and/or didn't realize they were symptoms of ovarian cancer.

When the surgeon came to see me in recovery and told me that it was probably Stage 1 C, I was relieved. Worried about that C but relieved. It was caught early and he was pretty certain they'd gotten it all and they hadn't seen signs of it in the other organs. I was VERY lucky.

I can't tell you how scared I was that morning of the surgery. I really, really did not want to have it. I was afraid they would open me up and say "Too late". I planned for that possibility. I didn't really tell my family but I had cleaned up my apartment and made notes about things for them. I didn't have a living will but we had talked about what I wanted and they knew I didn't want extraordinary measures. I can't tell you how weird it is to make plans for the possibility you might not be here long.

I had to put on my big girl panties though and just do it. So I had the surgery and it all turned out okay. Though I had a bit of a scare in recovery. Before I woke, I must have had a dream because I "heard" someone ask about me and the nurse replied "She didn't make it." and I was trying to shout "Yes, I did. I'm here!" But no words came out! I think I must have fallen asleep again because the next thing I remember is asking the nurse what time it was and since she responded, I knew I was alive.

Thank God.

I was alive but it took me a while to feel like I was living again, first with the recovery from surgery, and then chemo, and then the recovery from chemo. It was more just existing and trying to get better. But it was that day - September 30, 2013 - when I started the journey back to me.

Today, I celebrated by going for a run and doing speed work (6x400s). I am finally strong enough and running well enough that I can do speed work and it feels wonderful. I feel amazing and I have to say I am really happy right now.
 
Sure there are things I wish were different or that I didn't have to deal with - like night sweats and hot flashes and a life time of worrying if it will come back. But I have finally put those small (relatively speaking) challenges in a place where I deal with them and move on.
 
You know, I also had a little bit of survivor's guilt this past year...still do, in fact. Ovarian cancer does not have the best survival rate. I sometimes wonder WHY I was so lucky. A few times I have gone to the doctor or urgent care and the nurse would see that I had ovarian cancer and ask me how I caught it so early. Because it's not usually caught until Stage 3 or 4. And I have to tell them dumb luck. If not for that tumor growing so big, so fast, I wouldn't have caught it so early.
 
I  also wondered/wonder if I have the right to call myself a survivor because I found out I had cancer AFTER it was gone (for sure anyways). I didn't have to deal with the knowing it was in me and trying to get it out with radiation, chemo, and surgery. It was gone and chemo was a just-in-case because the tumor had burst. In so many ways, I was lucky. I don't know why.
 
What I do know is that I DID survive and all I can do is live life to the fullest and do what I can to spread the word about Ovarian Cancer and it's symptoms. And hope that's enough.
 
I am excited to see what my future holds for me now!