Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Am I Back?

I’ve had several people ask me in the past week… “Are you back to running?”  Well, the answer, I guess, is yes.  I’m not AS BACK as I’d like to be, though.  I am struggling.  I’ve been having some difficulty being able to tell if it is the 105 degree weather here, my lower than normal red counts, or just being fat and out of shape (Breast Cancer weight and Post Chemo muscle atrophy) that is causing my struggles.  I’ve been working on the breast cancer weight and I’ve made some progress.  I’ve lost about 3 lbs.  I was working my A** off to eat a diet above and beyond healthy in order to get my red blood counts back up ($12 salads).  4 weeks ago, they were up a little (seemed to be a slow steady rise) but then last week they dipped back down to: RBCs = 3.27 (normal is 4.2-5.4), Hemoglobin = 10.7 (Normal is 12-16) and Hematocrit = 30.5 (Normal is 37-47).  The good news is that this time around my White Blood Cells were Normal at 5.2 with normal range being 4.8-10.8.  So, it is kind of odd or ironic that today, I am actually experiencing a fever/sore throat/illness due to some virus.   Am I back?  Today is a bad day to ask me that.  Ask me in 10 days.  This is how long I’ve got to get over this virus, and get my weekly running average up to 34 miles/week in order to start my 24 week training plan for the 50 mile trail run I want to do on March 3rd.  My highest weekly mileage, yet, (since surgery) has been 30 (mostly trail miles, however).  That was one week ago, the week before my last Herceptin.  Last week during a down week, my calves began to flare up like they used to…Posterior Tibial Tendonitis, plus some gastroc issues.   September 19 is Day One of my 24 week training plan.   I just completed my spreadsheet for this training plan, and I’m going to tell you the truth, here.  I’m a bit concerned that I’m going to be cutting it pretty darn close and pushing the envelope on what is reasonable considering my medical situation.   Mind you, prior to cancer, when I was training for the Bandera 50K, my plan topped out at 62 miles/week and I commonly did 40-55....but that was before.  One bit of good news is that my Herceptin treatments should be over in the end of December, so I should have 8 solid weeks no chemo (except the daily oral Tamoxifen) before the race.  

Here is what the plan looks like: Click on link below :)

Nueces 50 miler Training Plan : Top 60 miles per week                                                

This is a rough draft, and I’m sure there will be some changes in the plan once I start up with
Tejas Trails.  I’m planning on starting up in October, once the weather cools down a bit more.

Besides being initially upset by my drop in RBC counts, the ensuing complications due to my initiation of iron pills in order to improve the red counts, contracting this irritating virus, and my inability to hold my alcohol, I’ve had a pretty darn good week.    You need to know that I did not take this decision to start taking iron pills lightly.  I’ve been holding out on taking iron, since, basically, the beginning of all of this treatment.  Despite being borderline anemic pretty much my whole life, I’ve never been able to tolerate taking iron pills.  I tried taking them when I was pregnant because I was trying to be a good parent, and I’ll just say that that plan ended with me spending 45 minutes in a friend’s bathroom, during a party, giving what I later called “practice birth” to something too hideous to describe. (Severe Constipation).    But, I’m desperate.  I know I need these counts back up to be able to run…especially up hills.  I plan to ask my physician if I can get a transfusion of my own blood, or EPO, or something, but I’m about 100% sure they won’t do it.  My counts are low, but just not critical according to a new friend of mine who is a chemo nurse. (I know, befriending the enemy….you know what they say…friends close….)  Maybe if I explain that it could become critical at mile 40 or so, they’ll listen.

This week, I had some great times.  It was a holiday weekend and I enjoyed a 4 day Staycation!!  My favorite band, Downtube Shifter, played on Friday night and I was able to go to the show.
Downtube Shifter
Next Show: Saturday October 1st  Carousel Lounge 10 PM!

Downtube Shifter Fans!

It was a late show, and here’s where my inability to hold my alcohol comes in.  It’s not that I drank very much.  On the contrary, actually.  I just don’t have the constitution, or the ability to process the alcohol, so I am a pretty cheap date.  I had a lot of fun on Friday night, but Saturday morning was not pleasant, except that Grammy and Dpo took the boy off to Houston for a 3 year old Princess Party, so we had a quiet day.  I think maybe in some ways it was a good thing to have suffered a bit as a reminder that I need to be putting as few toxins in this body as possible, especially once my 24 week plan starts.  

Saturday afternoon, Richie and I got to go out again, together, onto a party Barge on Lake Austin for a couple of my friends’ birthday party.  It was a blast hanging out with my friends from the Outpatient department! and the weather and sunset were beautiful. 
Awesome Chicks of Outpatient!

This time I paced myself and was able to get up the next morning to complete my 5 mile trail jog on Sunday.  Monday was Labor Day and for the first time in about 3 months the temperature dropped below 74 degrees overnight.  It was awesome.  That morning I got to go out to my beloved Hill of Life and run 7 miles with my good friend, and the temperature was between 75 and 78 degrees and not humid.   It was beautiful, and I did not feel like total F****** S*** during the whole run. I actually had fun.  Progress.  Monday afternoon I enjoyed a wonderful nap, and then some of our close friends came over for a barbeque and fish fry and we got to play outside with the kids and enjoy just being out, for the first time in Months!  What a perfect day!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a lot of fun you are having! And your haircut looks fantastic. I can't wait to lose the wild hair do!