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.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Two down, one to go!

One of my goals for 2012 was to run three half-marathons. Yesterday, I made it 2/3 to the finish line.

I ran in the Inagural San Diego Half Marathon.  It was a bit rough having it scheduled on the morning of the Spring "forward" time change. The race itself started at 7:15 a.m.  I was carpooling with a group of runner friends from church, so we met at 5:45 a.m., which meant I needed to get up at 4:45 a.m.  Fine and dandy, except my body thought it was 3:45 a.m.!

It was fun to go down with friends. Before we left the parking garage, we prayed together.  The guys left us in the dust (they ran under 2 hours), but I ran with a new friend. We've been a part of the church together for nearly 10 years, have boys the same age, but never had an opportunity to really get to know one another.  We ran together.

It was a pretty fun event. My primary goal was to beat my time from the Tinkerbell half marathon, which was 2:17:56.  A secondary goal was to keep my average pace under 10 minutes per mile.  I'm pleased to report that I acheived both!  My overall time was 2:10:31, and my average pace was 9:58.  The course was hillier than Tinkerbell, so I feel pretty good about it overall.  The last couple miles were downhill, so it felt like we were flying. In fact, at that part, our pace was under 9 minute miles!  It felt amazing.  When it got hard, I would chant in my mind, "Wings like eagles...wings like eagles....run and not grow weary....run and not grow weary..."

My quadriceps are a little sore this morning. I thought ahead for once and booked a massage for today. That will feel good!  I'm going to take more days off of running this time too.  Last time, I started back on Wednesday and had some knee issues.  I'm going to give my body a chance to recover for a couple days and then ease back into some cross training later in the week.

My next race is the Carlsbad 5000.  Isabelle is signed up for it too.  I will run in the masters division race and try to PR. Then I'll run for fun with her in the young people race.  I need to focus on running faster for shorter distances now.  I'm not sure how to do that, but there are plenty of resources out there, especially on Runners World.

 For you timing geeks like me, here are my splits per mile according to my Garmin for both races:


Friday, March 2, 2012


I can't seem to focus for my blog right now. I've started a few different posts, but just can't seem to get them finished. I even started a post on the whole controversy about Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood, but didn't get around to finishing it.   So this post is going to be a stream of consciousness, random listing of stuff that has been floating around my head.
  • I'm training for my next half marathon, the San Diego Half Marathon, which is coming up on March 11th.  I'm hoping to keep as close to a 10 minute mile pace for the duration of the race. I'm excited about the race. Races are so much more fun than training!  The shirt we get looks cool, and even cooler...Meb Keflezighi (2004 Olympic silver medalist, 2009 New York City Marathon winner and Team USA’s #1 Marathoner at the London 2012 Olympic Games) will be the honorary starter.  
  • I'm tired of all the Komen bashing. Yeah, they made a mistake which ended up making EVERYONE mad at them. Many of the harshest critics were critics before the brouhaha over affiliates being able to grant money (or not) to Planned Parenthood. The whole thing made me really examine whether or not I was going to continue to support them by walking in the 3 Day this year. I decided that I will.  Komen has done a lot of good in advancing the conversation about breast cancer, in educating the public, in bringing awareness to the disease. Maybe they don't spend their money the way critics would like. This is America. Komen is a private charity. They can spend their money the way they see fit. If you don't like it, support another charity. But above all, everyone....PLEASE BE NICE!  (And no flames, please.)  
  • If you do want to support me in the 3 Day, I need to raise at least $2,300 by November 16th.  You can go to this page and donate online.  I'd really appreciate it. 
    Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day
  • If you are a pro-life person and are concerned that supporting to my 3 Day effort will raise money that will go to Planned Parenthood, fear not.  I did some research on the San Diego affiliate's website. 75% of the funds raised stay local and are doled out to grant applicants. 25% of the funds go to Komen national where they grant research money. Planned Parenthood is NOT a grantee in San Diego.  You can learn more about where the local money goes and local funding priorities here
  • I'm really sore today!  I did an 11.3 mile run on Wednesday, my last long run before the next race. Then the next day (yesterday), I had a session with my trainer at the gym.  She had me do this one exercise that was a doozy.  Try it!  Lay on your back with your hands under your tush. Put your legs straight out, and lift them off the floor several inches.  Now trace the alphabet in the air with your feet. A to Z.  Keep the feet up in the air!  She had me do it 3 times!  My hip flexors have never been so sore!  But its a good sore...it is making me stronger! Hoo-ya!
  • My bible study in the book of Hebrews has been wonderful.  I've been given the opportunity to do a little teaching every other week.  It has been a little scary, but by the grace of God I've done it.  Amazing how much I've learned about God by going through breast cancer.  Amazing how much more there is for me to learn!  
  • I keep feeling like I need to write a book.  Not just a re-hashing of this blog, but something relevant that will help other people facing breast cancer themselves or in a loved one.  Pray for me to have insight and wisdom as I consider this. 
  • My brother, a Captain in the U.S. Army, is set to deploy soon to Afghanistan.  The coverage I see on TV about what is going on over there sickens me.  Please pray for all of our troops, and for wisdom in our military leaders.  If it were up to me, I'd bring them all home.  I fully supported the effort back in 2001, but enough is enough.  I don't think man can ever solve the problems that are so deeply ingrained over there.  I'll stop there before I go off on a political rant. 
That's all I have time for now.  I hope to be more faithful about updating the blog.  In a way, no news is good news, right?