Post-chemo exercise plan

A few people who listened to my interview on Ultrarunner Podcast reached out to ask what my training plan looks like now that I’ve finished chemo. I thought this would make a great blog topic (and one of my 2018 goals was to write more!), so here is my January plan, along with the origin story…

It was the week before Christmas and I was full of energy (*cough* steroids) so I drafted an itsy bitsy training plan:

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 11.31.01 AM

Right?? Steroids, they are something else.

In my defence, I was walking at a really good clip on the treadmill at the gym and had started planking and was feeling pretty good, but I was unprepared for the post-chemo fatigue and crash coming off the steroids. At training implementation time I held firmly to the attitude of ‘settle down Beaudry’ and to not let my enthusiasm push me beyond my abilities. I intended to follow this plan using the MAF method. It’s going to be interesting because my heart rate was far too high on those first few runs.

I was also reminded by some very wise friends that recovery from chemo takes time, and its dehydrating effects will (of course) affect ligaments and joints, and was warned I should take it VERY EASY.(I’ve always wanted to use effect/affect in a sentence! 🤓) This plan would be ridiculously easy for Una 1.0. But I’m not her.

So guess what? I haven’t been to the gym much since last week. I had every intention but I was dragging my butt, so I opted for planks and mobility work at home. I’m also on a self-imposed quarantine because EVERYONE IS SICK and with my immunity still not at 100%, well, you can find masks and gloves at my front door. Surgery is happening TODAY people.

Back to my plan… strength training has been replaced by home maintenance training, for example, on Monday I shovelled the snow off our balcony into our recycle bin, which I carried downstairs through the living room and out our backyard to dump it. Repeat.  We have been lacks on the balcony snow maintenance because there wasn’t a whole lot, and suddenly there was, and to be honest, we were hoping it would melt like it has almost every other year. And I know it makes logical sense to shovel it OFF the balcony onto the laneway, but the impact makes it a solid mound of HEAVY – been there, learned that.

Anyway, for kicks I decided to capture this activity on my Suunto:

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Average heart rate = 121 bpm

I’m happy to report that we’ve had enough snow to keep me shovelling right up to surgery! Don’t yell at Steve for not doing it because I’m beating him off with the shovel when he goes near it. This activity helps me get back to living while working on my strength (and cardio).

So January isn’t starting out as planned. After surgery I’ll continue to work on my fitness through easy gym time, some snowshoeing (not up to snowshoe running yet), and other fun activities. Apparently during my December steroid stupor when I drafted my January plan I overlooked (ignored?) the section in the Breast Cancer Surgery manual which mentions the 3-4 week post-surgery lifting restriction (10 lbs). So here’s a sneak peak at my February plan (I didn’t include the daily physio):

image1 (1)Works for me 🙂

2 thoughts on “Post-chemo exercise plan”

  1. Patience combined with your super woman willpower will get you there. One step at the time, but each and every step a strong and steady one. Again, all the best wishes for today! Much love, G, E, F & M 😘 🤗

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