Starting Over as an Athlete

I’m hard pressed to call myself an athlete right now, since running just 2 minutes at a time is exhausting. But deep down I’m pretty sure my body remembers. I know my brain does, and for once in my life when I look in the mirror I see a different kind of body – I don’t see the body that is 30 lbs heavier from a carb-fueled chemo, but a body that is stronger overall – one that will reach the goals that I have set. In the mirror I see an athlete on the path back.

I have been asked what I’m doing differently ‘this time’, as I make my way back to my athlete self. I’ve done a lot of reading about returning to (peak) fitness after chemo (first person account blogs and medical journals), and listened to advice from real live friends who’ve been through it. I have been following the generic advice to start training slower than I feel I can do because chemo is so dehydrating it has basically made my ligaments into jerky. So I have to take a less is more approach.
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Training Recap – January 2018

When I last posted about my training it wasn’t going as well as I had expected, but was going exactly as it was supposed to go! I was ambitious (steroids!) and excited to get started, but post chemo fatigue was setting in, and I had surgery coming up and

Training is all about adjusting the program as we go along, right?

Continue reading “Training Recap – January 2018”

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:

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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 🙂

Interviewed by Ultrarunner Podcast!

Well this is an exciting way to start 2018!

Una Beaudry | Health Scares, Breast Cancer, and a Positive AttitudeI was contacted by Eric Schranz, host of Ultrarunner Podcast, to be a guest on the show. We talk about training and races, cancer and recovery. You also get to hear how well I react under pressure!

Check out the interview here. Or here for the direct link to the interview. Better yet – subscribe to the podcast (iTunes, Android)! You won’t regret it!

 

2018 – The year of faith

Happy New Year!

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, each year on the 1st of January I choose a focus word. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days and the word I have chosen is:

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My previous years’ words tended to be control-centric (except 2016 – Flexible!). If I learned anything in 2017 it was that as much as one tries to be in control, shit happens that can throw it all out the window. I had no choice but to accept what was happening and roll with it. This is something that was really difficult for me, but made me grow as a person. Continue reading “2018 – The year of faith”