My Story

My life had been rolling along pretty normally. Nothing really too exciting about me. Actually, I'm boring, let's be honest. Small town country girl who married her college sweetheart. Been married over 15 years and I guess taking "life" for granted. Because on January 2, 2014, our lives changed forever when the husband was diagnosed with cancer. Wow, there's a wake up call! Fortunately, we were blessed to learn he had a solitary plasmocytoma and no other cancer was located. His cure odds are high with treatment. Unfortunately, this plasma cancer can always rear it's ugly head elsewhere or progress into multiple myeloma. That uncertainty leads me to raise money for multiple myeloma research. Why not help fund research that one day could save my husband's life? Many things are out of my control in C-town but this, this I can control. I run to raise funds and awareness for an illness that I hope to never personally meet.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Building Endurance

Would it surprise you that my easy weekday runs usually test my limits more than my weekend long run? Strange, huh?  Well, I tend to push myself on my easy runs.  It's only three miles so I can run faster, right? 

Today was one of those days.  My first mile felt good.  I was keeping a faster pace.  Second mile was 30 seconds faster than the first.  Then by mid-third mile, I was tired.  My faster pace had exhausted my tank.  That's when you feel it.  Your body says it's done.  You've exceeded it's limits.  Your legs are ready to quit.  Did I stop, give in?  Nope!  Moments like this I think of the husband.  All the tests he endured after diagnosis.  Many times he said he couldn't take another test.  I reassured him that he could.  Radiation took a toll too.  I know there were days he didn't want to go.  His body said it had enough.  Yet he persevered and reached the finish line.  I use that to keep my legs moving.  My "tiredness" has nothing on what the husband's body dealt with so there's no way I will stop.  At the finish line you realize the body could endure more despite what it was saying.  You just have to find the strength to push it past it's so-called limits.  And having pushed through those limits, I know my next run will be even better.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Think I Can

As I was running this week, I thought about my self talk.  It was quite positive.  I was keeping a faster pace than last week and pushing myself to keep it throughout the runs. Towards the end of my miles, my body grew tired but my mind kept saying I could do it, just push for a little longer.  I agreed and pushed myself making my ending miles the fastest!

A runner battles their thoughts more than anything else. They can either help or hurt you. You choose what mind set you're gonna believe, the positive or the negative. Once that decision is made, your destiny awaits. Will you tell yourself you can't make it another step and stop? Or will you believe there is more deep down inside to reach the finish line? Believe me, I have my negative runs. Ones where I just stop and give in. Then I walk back completely frustrated with myself thinking I'll never meet my goals. But guess what, I redeem myself on the next run. Always. Runners never dwell on a bad run. We get back out on the road and go again with even more resolve.

I believe my running background prepared me to handle the husband's cancer diagnosis. I focused on positive self talk. No other thoughts of not accomplishing our goals. Yea, I had an occasional "bad run" that brought me to my knees but like every time before, I got back up and finished.  Then reset my mind on more productive ideas.  I know my attitude seemed strange to some. I wasn't breaking down and crying all the time. But I chose positive.  I'm sure there are people out there that say it's a type of deniaI. I don't think so. I am very much aware of the ugliness of cancer. Why wallow in that? I picked the mindset that would be most beneficial for me and the husband to reach the finish line.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

First Long Run

My training is slow. I keep it slow to reduce the chance of injury. I run 3 miles twice a week then a long run on the weekend. This weekend my long run was 5 miles. I actually felt good the entire run which is a great morale boost. That was the furthest I've ran since my injury. Plus it was unseasonably cool during my run. What a blessing! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Released From Burden

Running along my country road, I always look for the plastic 55 gallon barrel in a pasture.  Sound strange, huh?  Well several months back, as I drove down that country road, I saw a cow with her head in that plastic barrel.

Of course I stopped and crawled thru the fence.  As I walked up to her, she didn't move.  She had no idea I was even there and didn't have the opportunity to not accept my help.  I maneuvered her head out the square hole that had been cut in the top.  Once she realized she was free and I was standing there, she ran away.  I placed the barrel, open side towards the road, against the fence.  It has remained there ever since.

You may be wondering what this has to do with my running.  Well it doesn't have much at all to do with my running.  But I relate it to how we were when we first learned of the husband's cancer.  It felt like we had this huge barrel over our heads.  You don't know which way is up.  For the life of you, you can't figure out how to GET OUT of the damn barrel!  You seem to wonder aimlessly as "normal" life continues around you.  Then, someone walks up, and lifts the burden off your shoulders.  You don't have a chance to ask for help, or say no. You really don't even know what to ask for but special people just show up to release burdens.  We experienced this with many of our friends and neighbors.

With the husband's diagnosis and treatment, he was restricted from doing a lot of stuff.  This really impacted him around the ranch especially with our bull wandering as he pleased.  Our neighbor showed up with welders to complete the bull pen that the husband was no longer able to do.  Burden lifted!  Another neighbor put out hay for us.  I would come home from work and hay would just have appeared in our pasture.  Another burden lifted off of us.

We are truly blessed with amazing people in our lives.  So every run down my country road, I look over at that plastic barrel in the pasture and smile.  It reminds me of all those burdens others lifted off us as we wandered aimlessly down an uncharted path we were forced upon.  Blessed are we...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cancerville Athlete

After the husband was diagnosed in January, I felt helpless. I needed something to "do". While reading one of my support books, I came across this, "See yourself becoming a Cancerville athlete and going the distance for your loved one." -William Penzer, Ph.D.  I took it more literal being a runner. I will go the distance for the husband. I was already registered to run the Miracle Match Half Marathon at the end of January. The focus of the race was to support bone marrow registration.  Never did I expect when I signed up months before that it would hit so close to home!  I was able to rally friends and family to get swabbed for the registry.  The husband may one day need a bone marrow transplant. Now I'm a proud member and if I match a person in need, I will happily donate.

I couldn't stop with the Miracle Match. I needed something to focus on further down the line to keep me busy. So I checked out some websites and located the Multiple Myeloma Research Fund Endurance Team.  I signed up with the team and pledged to raise at least $1500 for research. In doing so, I had to find a race to compete in and I chose the Fort Worth Half Marathon on November 9, 2014.

Now the training has begun. Unfortunately, I had a three month setback with an injury but I was recently cleared to run again. Yay! It's a slow return but I'm going to be ready. I told the husband if I have another injury, i will walk the 13 miles. Regardless, I am going to complete this race.

So this blog will be my training journey and thoughts while I go the distance for my hubby. My training just started this week. Today I ran a slow 4 miles but my heel felt great. Two thumbs up!