One of the things that helped me journey this cancer trip has been exercise. During treatment, my goal was to keep exercising as much as I could-at least 5 days a week. Check. That helped me so much get through the process. The next goal was a couple of little races in the year. I realized this morning that in 2011, I ran three 5ks and one 10k. Not bad for an ex-chubby girl who hated running since Alvarado middle school!
Of course, the 3 Day walk was a huge challenge in and of itself. Walking 60 miles in 3 days was no joke. Check.
My next physical goal is my first half-marathon next month. The Disney Tinkerbell 1/2 marathon in Anaheim, California. About a week an a half after the 3 Day ended, I started training in earnest for it.
I've got a great app from Runner's World, called "Smart Coach." You put in your goal, a recent race time, how many miles you want to do total each week and out pops a training program. It's great for a newbie like me who has no clue about how to actually train for running.
Smart Coach has me doing between 20-25 miles a week. One long run day (I'm up to 9 miles), two easier days (4 and 5 miles) and one speed work day. That entails either long repeats/intervals, or a tempo run where I run at a faster pace for 3-4 miles. I do those on the treadmill so I can control the speed.
Today I did my second 9 miler. I did it. It wasn't too bad, except for a hill between miles 6 and 7 that I had to slow down to a walk for .10 of a mile. (I made up for it by running 9.1 before I stopped!) I've also started running without being plugged into music, at least when I'm on the street. I thought that would be much harder, but it wasn't. Granted, my pace isn't breaking any speed records. But I'm running the whole thing. That is my goal for this first 1/2 marathon-to run the whole 13.1, even if it's not fast. It will be a PR in any event, right?! Today I averaged a little over 11 minute miles.
As I ran I thought about other physical goals for the year. I've been working with a personal trainer for the last month at the gym. The sessions were a birthday gift from my parents. That has been a lot of fun, and something I'm going to continue. She has taken me into the "big boy" weight training room to show me how to do some new things. As I told my trainer, my goal right now is just to maintain my weight, and keep my running training on track. Come January, I'm going to buckle down and lose the last 10 pounds that I've been carrying around. I feel good where I am, but with my short height, I could go 10-15 pounds lower from where I am. I'd like to see what that looks and feels like. But to try and start that during the holidays is unrealistic. So 2012 it is. With all the exercise, it should just take some discipline on the eating/drinking side for a month or two to get it off.
And what about events? I've already signed up for the 2012 3 Day walk in November, so that will take 13-16 weeks of training in the fall. I decided this morning that, God willing, I'd like to do three 1/2 marathons this year. Tinkerbell in January is already set. I've found the San Diego Rock & Roll 1/2 marathon in early June. I need to find one more before mid-August in order to get 3 in before I have to slow it down to a walk.
I still can't believe this is me. As I was running today, I saw my shadow and couldn't believe it. I was over 5 miles into it, and felt great. It's amazing what you can do if you stick to it. Persistence, perseverance and don't give up. Change will happen. Praise and thanksgiving to God for giving me the strength and ability to do it.
Now if God will keep the cancer from coming back, everything will be great.
About this blog
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.