Four Years of Remission and Mini Marathon Training

I recently had my 4 year checkup at MD Anderson to see my progress. It was mostly good. My platelets are still low, but consistent with previous tests. My small “trend” of slightly increasing counts has stopped. I talked to my Dr. and got the report about my brain MRI from 6mo ago, and learned that Harold (my brain stem lesion) is now completely gone. Yay!

While I was there, I met with Kris who was being prepped for a bone marrow transplant. I was put in touch with Kris by a mutual friend who knew I was a patient at MD Anderson and Kris had recently learned he was being transferred there. He looks to be doing well, especially considering this will be his 2nd bone marrow transplant for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Though apparently he does have quite a bit of organ damage. Here’s hoping this transplant takes and keeps him in remission.

I had to fly to Houston from Indianapolis this time, so I got a hotel and stayed a couple of days. I had almost a whole day free before my appointment, so I took some time to myself. I visited the Fleet Feet running shop in Rice Village to inquire about running routes, and got a good recommendation for an 8mi route for my long run. I started at my hotel, the Wyndham, and ran a lap around Rice, then did a loop around Hermann Park, followed by a 2nd lap around Rice. It wound up being right about 8mi when I stopped at Main and University. My GPS battery died (curse me for not starting with a full charge and thinking I’d make it) before I finished, hence the discrepancy in numbers on my track.

This was a great route. It was totally flat, as you can see. What I liked about it was the surface (the loop around Rice and most of the park is chipped stone, so less impact than concrete) and the shade. The park is very open and sunny (and hot) but the loop around Rice is lined with live oak trees. It’s very picturesque and very shady. It’s also quite popular. Garmin’s new heatmap layer shows it as being one of the most popular spots in Houston.

I’m still dealing with running without my Forerunner. This time, I used my Oregon 450 and I held it in my hand the whole time. It worked, but it was annoying. There is no Pace field option, and the “stopwatch” trip computer screen acts funny at times. For example, if it was a long time since the last time I touched the screen for anything, it would “stop” the timer when I would press the “lap” button. Grr. You can tell this device is not intended for fitness work. Also, when I pressed the “lap” button on the Oregon, it only affected the timer screen and not the track. So loading my track into Garmin Connect does not give me my lap splits that I use to make sure I was running at a consistent pace the whole time. My Forerunner 205 is most likely in my house in TX, but I did not have a chance on this trip to go there and look for it.

I think I will probably wind up upgrading before I find it. I’m looking at the Forerunner 310XT now. It has the advanced training features that I like on my 205 as well as the capability for the HRM and foot pod I want for the upgrade. As an added bonus, it is also compatible with the speed/cad sensor on the bike, my Tanita BC-1000 scale (so I could finally get my body comp metrics on GC), and it can do wireless uploading. I could use it while riding when I want simple tracking and/or fitness monitoring and don’t need the mapping of the Oregon.

At any rate, my training for the mini is going well. Except for the fact that my technique for running downhill sucks and has resulted in some knee pain. I need to work on that. But for now, I will have to be careful I give my knee plenty of recovery time after a run so I can still do the mini at all.

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