Thoughts On Being 40…

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Forty is a milestone birthday.  I vividly remember my mom’s 40th birthday.  I was 8-years-old.  My dad threw a huge surprise party for her.  My uncle and aunt had traveled “up north” from St. Louis.  My dad hired a singing telegram, my mom got several hundred gag gifts, including an anatomically correct puppet with a finger hole for the male part of his anatomy.  You put your hand in his butt, my mom quickly hid all the gifts before I could ask innocent questions about stuffing your hand up a puppet’s ass.  I moved away after my brother’s 40th, I sent my brother-in-law underlined copies of “Fifty Shades of Gray,” and I threw my husband a huge party (his usually lands around Superbowl and during Mardi Gras).

My 40th is a little bit lower key.  The only gift I care about receiving is the fact that my life has been spared (so far).  I went to lunch with my husband and had a glass of wine.  That’s about all I feel up for.  Other than that, there is nothing extraordinary going on here.  The kids are playing in the pool, my husband has a three hour rehearsal, and I’m worn out.  One of the squadron members is bringing dinner by, and I don’t think they are aware of the significance of the day, they just volunteered to cook for us (I am thankful, most days I don’t feel up to cooking).  There won’t be cake, or cupcakes this year.  The picture above are of the cupcakes from my dad’s birthday a few months ago.  I don’t feel much like celebrating.  My life has been on perpetual hold.

It kind of makes me sad.  Things are planned around chemo infusions and doctor’s appointments.  Dinner’s out are planned on scheduled “good days.”  Good days are defined by my ability to stave off fatigue for a few hours longer (usually I am about done around 4:00 PM), whether I will have nausea (1-3 days post-infusion), and what symptoms I am currently experiencing.  Sadly, I am sicker seeking treatment, then I ever was before seeking treatment.  It’s as if God snapped a finger, and my life changed.

If I hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer, we would have had a party, surrounded by friends and family.  I would have had a birthday cake, and opened a bunch of gifts from my husband and kids. Today is just another day in the 15 weeks in the fight for my life.

 

I Am Retiring…

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On June 18th, 2016 I will be officially semi-retired.  I am going to retire from running marathons.  I will be 40-years-old, and I figure if I don’t qualify for Boston by then, I won’t.  I say semi-retired, because I don’t plan on fully retiring.  I am literally working double time to lose weight and put my best foot forward in training for my “last” marathon, Grandma’s marathon.  Grandma’s will be my last 26.2 race, unless I qualify for Boston, then I intend on running Boston Marathon.

I say semi-retired, because I’m not giving up on endurance sports entirely.  Not in the least.  I have one more thing I have added to my endurance bucket list.  I said I would never do one, but I’ve change my mind.  I learned a valuable lesson the last few weeks and months.  I learned that you have one life, and to live your dreams.  Make goals and accomplish them.  Life is short and fleeting.  So I have decided that after I run my last marathon that I am going to dedicate myself to competing in Triathlons.

Not just any Triathlons, but Ironman Triathlons.  I watched one today, and realized that there are many people competing in this kind of sport that most would not see as triathletes.  My first goal after my retirement is to run a few sprints.  I plan on upgrading to Olympic distance, then eventually half Tris.  After I accomplish a few half Triathlons, I plan on signing up for an Ironman.  I hope to accomplish this before I turn 50.

I have no desire to run ultras, so Triathlons.  But first Grandma’s.  I have cracked the diet code.  I have discovered that I do really well eating small meals every few hours.  Everyone has their own body chemistry to overcome. In the last week I have dropped 5 pounds following these simple steps:

1.  Eat small meals throughout the day.

2.  Have 1-2 cheat days.

3.  Give up sweets and sodas (I have not been dedicated enough to give up my worst vice– wine).

4.  Move A LOT…  Today I burned over 1200 calories, and only 300 of those calories were actual running miles.

1.  Here’s my small meal schedule:

Meal 1 (AM): I eat/drink a protein shake*

Meal 2 (AM):  I have a small container of greek yogurt (it seems to help keep my gut in balance– I have a condition called leaky gut, it’s related to IBS)

Meal 3 (late AM): I eat/drink another protein shake*

Meal 4 (PM): A light meal– usually I eat a salad or similar meal.  My favorite is a Tomato Salad.  A friend of mine and I used to partake in these salads when we were both living in Germany.

Meal 5 (PM): A piece of fruit

Meal 6 (PM): A 400-800 calorie dinner

2.  In between each of those I drink a 16 ounce container of water.  In 4 days that I have done this.  I have lost 5 pounds.  Friday and Saturday are my “cheat days.”  I have allowed myself to have a little bit of wine and some additional snacks– tonight I’m going to eat popcorn while binge watching Harry Potter movies :).

3.  With exception of my last two cheat days, I have not had any soda or sweets.  I have found the best balance of fruits and vegetables to quench any cravings I have.  Salty crunchy cravings, I have a salad and add dried quinoa or lightly salted nuts to it.  Sweet cravings, I eat fruit, or dried fruit.

4.  Move A LOT.  Each day, I make it my personal goal to do my 10,000 steps (or 5 miles).  Most days that feat is accomplished through running, and a little bit of walking.  On my rest days, I still walk.  I started with Jillian Michael’s Body Shred, and I’ve found that that workout has help considerably with my strength and endurance.  I rarely sit down.  Today, I spent the day cleaning my room, which I do about once a season.  This morning, I ran 3 miles, walk another 2 miles, and then spent 3 hours deep cleaning.  I took a break cleaning, and did Jillian Michaels workout 4.  At 6:00 PM, I’m finally just now sitting down and relaxing.  I have learned that activity doesn’t just mean “working out,” it means moving.

Hopefully, these steps will help you as well….

* I use Isagenix Pro Natural Chocolate or Isalean Pro Chocolate for my protein shake.  I am no longer doing the Isagenix Cleanses.

Lent Day 18: Saturday…

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Today was kind of a quiet day.  My husband had to go into work today, there is no rest for the wicked.  I went for a short run on the treadmill.  Our treadmill is starting to make a loud noise, and I have to call Sears next week.  Starting Monday, I was going to start going to the gym to lift.  I’m done with physical therapy.  I’m not discharged, yet.  I can go back if need be.  I have been eyeing a few marathons and half marathons next year.  I will have to take the rest of the year off of races, I need the break to be honest, and it will give me time to get down to fighting weight.  So far my next season is shaping up to be this:

Disney’s Wine And Dine Half Marathon (November 2015):

This marathon is the last marathon in Disney that I have left to do.  I have done all the other Disney races– the full, the half, and the Goofy Challenge.  This will leave me with all the Disney Medals.  We are moving next year (2016), and if we end up going out west, I can go do any one of the Disneyland races, I will be able to get the run across the world medal for doing Disney World and Disneyland races.  This race will jump start my training.

Seaside Half Marathon (March 2016):

I do this race every year.  It’s sponsored by Vera Bradley.  I love Vera Bradley, and the race is a wonderful small half marathon along the Gulf of Mexico in a small community.  The race benefits the South Walton one-room school house.

Destin Marathon (April 2016):

Destin is starting it’s own race!  I’m going to do the inaugural running.  I don’t know if I am going try to PR it, or run it for “fun.”

Grandma’s Marathon (June 2016):

This will be my 40th birthday present to myself.  Grandma’s was my first marathon, and now I’m hoping it will be my Boston Qualifying race.  I have been informed a few weeks ago that I will be a featured athlete at Grandma’s, because I’m an alumni of St. Scholastica, and have run the race before.

After Grandma’s we will probably be leaving Florida for good 😦 (except to visit my parents).