Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Way to Dull

This was a Dull Week. A Dull Week is a week where nothing inspires me for a blog title. That dull it was.

Each of my three runs of the week were 6-mile runs, although I had plans for a 24-mile week. As I had my first appointment with the oncologist on Thu, I moved my tempo for Friday, which would conflict with my Saturday's 12 miler. Per my plan, and I totally agree with that, tempo and long runs should have a day of rest in between, but to move the 12 miler to Super Bowl Sunday was not feasible.

My first two 6 milers of the week were really good. Saturday 12 miler was another story, it was a disaster.

I left home to the gym as happy as a little girl going to an amusement park. I was very enthusiastic thinking on my long run, and remembering the success and happiness of my last week's 13 miler. Treadmill was again the chosen "medium" as 34F and rain still is not my choice of outdoor running.

For the
first three miles I was under total control and feeling good when side stitches hit me. I had to walk a lot between mile 3 and 5. As soon as I started with a decent pace, they would come back. I have had them in the past, but always have managed it somehow. Today, they certainly prevented me from having a good run and to continue with my plan of 12 miles. At mile six I decided to stop. I really wanted to keep going but I was not enjoying the moment. I called it a day and went home to get ready to have a nice afternoon with my son and his fiancee in Bellevue.

I confess I am craving for running outside, but I don't complain. I am happy I can run. Period. Even if I run My Way To Dull.

Have a great Super Bowl Sunday!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

13, A Lucky Number

"Numerology is any of many systems, traditions or beliefs in a mystical or esoteric relationship between numbers and physical objects or living things... Today, numerology is often associated with the occult, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts. The term can also be used for those who, in the view of some observers, place excess faith in numerical patterns, even if those people don't practice traditional numerology." (1)

Numbers have an important meaning since we are born. They are important for Chinese, in alchemy, science, in the Bible, and, I bet each of you have a favorite number, or a bad number.

In most of our weekly reports, we, runners, post our numbers. At the end of the year, we, runners, sum them all, and post the grand total: numbers of miles we ran, number of races we participated, number of hours and/or minutes that took us to complete a race, number of calories we burned, number of colds we got throughout our training, numbers of days we couldn't run, etc...etc...etc...

Number 13 has been a very famous number. Though related to bad luck in many countries, it is also seen as a lucky number. We've been across the States in buildings that skip that floor; Friday the 13th is a superstition about a day of good or bad luck depending on where in the planet we are; Tuesday the 13th (Spain, Greece and Latin America) is a day of bad augury. I am not a superstitious woman, and three members of my direct family were born on a 13th, so there was no way that I could look at that number as a bad thing.

Yesterday I went to pick up my final cancer results, the oncotype dx test. A test that study 21 genes within the cancer tumor determining the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence in 10 years and predicting the magnitude of chemotherapy benefit. When the doctor came into the room, the only thing I asked was: "What was the number?" She said "I think I have good news." I said: "Please, just tell me the number". She replied: "13" and I cried of happiness.

13% means the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence in 10 years. 13% indicates that there is a low risk that my breast cancer will return. Any number below 18% is categorized as low risk. 13% also means that the benefits of chemotherapy is almost zero, so chemo is NO NEEDED. 13% means that after five years of hormonal therapy (tamoxifen) my likelihood of breast cancer recurrence will be reduced to 8%.

My favorite number will always be Seventeen 17. My brain will always register number 7 as THE lucky number as my dad always had faith in the 7th inning to get the Detroit Tigers ahead of the other team. But the number 13 now has a new meaning to me: 13, A Lucky Number, the number that removed chemotherapy fears and a burden off my shoulders.

To celebrate such a wonderful news, other than a glass of Chianti, I got out this morning to run. But I needed to run big. I didn't have a plan on how many miles to run, when I thought: 13%? Then the light bulb went on: I had my Half Marathon Celebration. What better way to celebrate a 13, than with a 13.1?

My total miles of the week were 22.9 miles. I feel so alive and thankful for my life, that running the half distance on the treadmill (35F and cloudy outside) was not boring at all; it was wonderful and I was full of joy.

I have a question for you: What's your number?

(1) Wikipedia

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Giulietta In Verona

Doctor told me to use double sports bra when running, advice I followed the prior week; however, I forgot last Tuesday. With 5 miles planned, the bouncing testing proved that bouncing still hurts, a little, but hurts. I completed only 3 miles and like Giulietta in Verona (Romeo and Juliet) half of them were done supporting my boob with my left arm. You gotta do what you gotta do!!!

I could not have forgotten the double support
on Thursday, so my five miles were successful. Testing of the day? Sprint Testing. I needed to know how fast I could go without hurting. I did two sprints of half a mile each at 8:34 min/mile. Successful.

Waiting still for test results that will determine if chemo is needed, but I am already planning on having my first 5K race of the year for Valentine's Day,
Love ‘em or Leave ‘em.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Believe In One God, The Father, The Almighty.

Today, after ten days of my breast cancer surgery and with my doctor's permission, I am back to my passion of running. I am literally up and running, back on track, completing 6.25 miles / 10K. Impossible to explain or describe how it felt, it was a wonderful gift to me.

Just one month ago, on December 08, I got the diagnosis. Then, the five stages of grief started. But denial, anger, bargaining and depression lasted less than one week. I was determined that, when in my power, cancer was not going to rule my life. With the Jingle Bell Race on December 14th, I put those stages behind to give room to the last stage: Acceptance. One of the most beautiful Christian Holidays was ahead of me, and I was going to celebrate. As my husband put it, I went from cancer victim, to cancer warrior in one week, and with God's help and technology, by the end of the year, 22 days after the diagnosis, I was already a cancer survivor. And the description about me in the upper right corner of this blog, hasn't changed a bit. I am as happy as could be. I adore my husband, I adore my kids, I love my life.

My 2008 Christmas Holidays were amazingly beautiful, quite and truly full of love: The love of my angels on Earth was shed on me day after day, love from my hubby Randy, my kids David, Diego & Alejandra, my mom, my brother and sister, my nephews and nieces, my dear cousin Gladys, my son's fiancee Shelly, and an impossible-to-count number of true friends from many corners of the US, Venezuela and the world .

My 2009 race plan cannot yet be designed because will depend on my therapy which will be defined at the end of January. For sure, I will get radiation and hormonal therapy. Chemotherapy will depend on the results of the oncotype dx test that will indicate the likelihood of recurrence. This test takes 14 days, and it is the driver to define the treatment to follow.

I feel strong physically and emotionally.
My strength comes from the love of my family and friends, and from Heaven above. I Believe In One God, The Father, The Almighty, Maker Of Heaven And Earth, Of All That Is Seen And Unseen. That's my profession of faith.