Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Made It To Taper Week!

Always love running with Jess

A week and a half to go and the Lincoln National Guard Half Marathon will FINALLY be here. Really it seems like forever ago that I convinced Jess (yes THE Run With Jess) to go to Lincoln Nebraska and run with me. She has a quest to run all 50 and when she said that race was on under consideration, I threw the dice and said “I’ll go with you and my BFF lives there so she’ll provide a place to stay!” Jess replied with a simple “Done”.  

When I started the training for this race I knew right off I wanted to be aggressive with training because this race is just 9 days shy of my one year cancer free anniversary! I know the marathon was like my big comeback but it didn’t feel like. Everything about that race was hard and it sucked and I hated all of it! Now here I am one year later, I’m finally back at my pre-hysterectomy weight (when they say it takes a year to heal, they weren't joking) and I’m feeling like the strong runner I was a year ago. To say I wanna ‘rock this bitch’ is to say the least. 

Last weekend was my last long run and I wanted to test my limits so I asked my boyfriend to pace me about an 8:45 pace, after an easy warm up mile. I knew he would push me, I was terrified of it but I was ready for it. My time trial splits were: 8:40, 8:35, 8:37, 8:35, 8:30, 8:30, 8:25 & 8:24! With  just a few miles left I was tired but each mile I knocked off my confidence grew and when I hit my cool down mile I was spent but I knew I could finish the half very close to that pace. 

I have a few short runs left this week and next, my longest being 8 this weekend and 7 on Tuesday. All I can say is I’m ready! Let’s do this!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Exciting Day In Boston For Americans And For Some FAST Friends

I was going to blog today about my training and that I made it taper!!! However, I then herd who won the Boston Marathon today and I have to talk about Meb!

This year I have four friends who were running in the race; Bob Swinehart, Jeff Neltner, Matt Eckberg & Ansel Wachter. As of writing this all have finished the race in what I consider spectacular times. Unfortunately Wachter had to drop out of the race at mile 12 after experiencing some calf/leg issues, regardless, I’m so proud of him and all he’s accomplished and he helps sell me my shoes.  When I congratulated my buddie Bob on a spectacular race (3:18:00), my crossfit partner in crime and fellow Viking fan Neltner finished in 3:19:15 and Eckberg around a 3:20 (and he wasn't even "trying" he was just enjoying). They all inspire and motivate me. 

Bob and I before the Steamboat Classic a few yeas ago.

I also have met the winner, not just once but TWICE! The first time I met Meb Keflezighi was in Las Vegas when I ran the Rock N Roll Strip at night half marathon. He’s always been an inspiration to me since reading his book Run To Overcome. I met him a second time before running another Rock N Roll series race the San Antonio Half Marathon. 

Meb & I at Vegas Race Expo.
Meb Keflezighi, who turns 39 on May 5th, finished the race today in 2:08:36, beating his marathon best of 2:09:13 and became the first American to win the Boston Marathon in 31 YEARS!!!!! He finished his first mile in 4:49 and with today’s win becomes the first person in history, man or women, to win Boston, New York (2009) and an Olympic Medal (Silver, 2004). During the race he said he just kept repeating “Boston Strong. Boston Strong. Boston Strong.”

Monday, April 7, 2014

10th Half Marathon In The Bag: Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon

This past Saturday I completed my 10th Half Marathon in Springfield, Illinois at the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon!!! Wooo hooo!!!
Race Shirt and BAD ASS BLING!!!
How about that medal eh? In years past they normally give out a giant penny (which I have two) I had planned all along to run this race but when I saw the medal this year, a $5 bill, I signed up right away. Every year I always secure a PR at this race (1:55ish last year) but then I end up tanking for the race I'm actually training for.

I decided that I didn't want to ruin my PR chance for the race I'm actually training for, the Lincoln Half Marathon (Yeah ANOTHER 'lincoln' named race), so this was going to be a training run...that plan changed quickly. Last weekend I was in St. Louis and I thought I had got food poisoning but instead I may have picked up some bacteria/virus from the food I ate (I fell ill about 3 hours after eating and so did Matty). This week I haven't felt right, run down, bloated, nauseous and just uggggh. When I woke up Saturday my tummy just wasn't right.

Pre-race photo with the Sole Sisters...hey I finally made a 2nd picture!!!!

After a pre-race photo opp with the Peoria Sole Sisters I dashed off to find a bathroom but the lines were stupid crazy (which is my only complaint this year, I swear in the years past they had more port o pottys).  Matt and I ended up at the VERY BACK of the line ups cuz it was so congested but I figured this was good because then I was forced to start easy.

Mile 3 on I had stomach cramps and felt nauseous, miles 5-7 I debated taking at "DNF" (did not finish) because it was so bad, in fact I couldn't GU my tummy was so upset. With about 4 miles left I finally caught up to Heather and Cassi but I really had my sights on catching Jessica. Who I finally saw just ahead of me at the bottom of one of the last hills so I just chucked it down and was able to catch her half way up another hill. At this point it helped me take my mind of my belly and I just kept moving along. I had forgotten about pace so long ago and now it was a 5k to go, then before I knew it only a mile was left and it seriously was a blur it flew by so fast. It was my fastest mile the whole race.

Overall I'm super happy with the race, it was a training run...while sick and I still managed to pull off a finish in 2:07. Averaged a 9:46 pace which is a lot slower than my previous training runs but I was sick. Placed 63 out of 209. Also to give you any indication of my health...I've lost about 5lbs in one week! Granted my weight is FINALLY where I was pre-surgery I wouldn't recommend this kinda diet to anyone lol.

Last note, I decided I was just going to be a goofball for the camera and make silly faces and stuff. Usually I always try to look like this cool runner chick and end up looking like a jackass. I figured no matter what I always come off looking stupid so lets just be's the results, what do you think?

Completed the look with duck lips!!!
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I did have a litter seriousness going on!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

One Year Ago Today I Was Told I Had Cancer

Proudly wearingmy teal today for cervical cancer.
One year ago I heard those words no one ever expects or is prepared to hear ‘you have cancer’. On my anniversary I’d like to take you back to that day….

All of this began with my yearly pap exam back in February, which came back abnormal. It lead to a colposcopy and ECC, which lead to a LEEP and that lead to this. My LEEP was done on March 19th and I was supposed to have the results in a week. Well that week went by very slowly and although I never spoke it, I knew it was going to come back as cancer. When that week came and went without a call from my doctor my anxiety went on overload and I kept saying “I’ll give it a day or two.” I think my boyfriend got sick of me constantly worrying because once it hit the two week point he said that I had to call and find out what was going on.

On April 2nd I called and the first thing my nurse said was she was just on the phone to find out what the holdup was. She told me for some reason the pathology lab was showing they sent the results last week, but my doctors’ office had never received them. So they were expediting the results and I’d know the next day. Let me tell you, if I thought the past two weeks were long, that 24 hours was nerve racking to say the least. I knew the answer, I knew it was unlikely and crazy talk, but deep down I knew.

April 3rd, 2013: I sat on ends all day with my phone glued to my hand and always within earshot and wouldn’t you know it when the call came…I missed it! The message was from my doctor himself and I knew it was not good. The doctor never calls people! I immediately dialed back but he had left for lunch. I had to wait another excruciating 20 minutes before he’d call again and when I saw the number finally pop up on my phone my heart began to race and as I said “hello” I got up  from my desk at work and went to an office where no one was at and closed the door. I knew what he was going to say.

All I can still remember from call is doctor first retelling the mix up at the pathology, apologizing for the wait and then those words…. “You have mild invasive cancer of the cervix.”… After hearing that all I remember is hearing a buzz…my mind…my body…it all went numb and into some sort of haze and then after a few seconds it slowly started coming back to his voice talking, explain how he’d pass me along to an oncologist and him putting me at ease how this is early and very easily treatable, more than likely they’ll do a hysterectomy and that’s all I’ll need. There is a chance for radiation but more than likely just the hysterectomy.

In the following weeks I remember having periods of acceptance and periods of denial, I think it was the "mild invasive" that caused it. I kept thinking that once I met my oncologist he was going to tell me it was nothing to worry about and come back in 6 months. I’ll share more about that later as anniversary dates come.

I was a bit hesitant about blogging on this today but then I got a message from someone thanking me and it reminded me why I do share. Cervical Cancer is a gynecological cancer and one of the cancers we don’t hear too much about. Cervical, Ovarian, Uterine, Vaginal, Vulvar are all gynecological cancers and when found early, treatment is more effective. Almost half of the 78,000 women diagnosed with a gynecological cancer every year are diagnosed in the later stages. Mine was caught so early and only because of my yearly pap exam; I had no signs or symptoms. Please visit to learn more and how you can protect yourself.

Thank you so much for all your support this past year, it's ment the world to me.

F*ck Cancer! PS: I've been cancer free since May 13th 2013!