I Did It

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“The View” at the top of Clawhammer, Black Mtn Trail, Pisgah NF, NC.

As part of my recovery from acute myeloid leukemia, I set some fitness goals for myself. Early goals were more running and general fitness related. I ran a 5k. I ran a few more 5k’s. I eventually ran a half marathon. My knees were furious with me over that and I vowed to never do it again. After that, I swore off running because riding my bike is WAY more fun. My goals became more bike-focused after that. I set two goals for myself, and it’s taken a couple years to meet them, but I’ve done so…and then some. The first one I set for myself was an annual mileage goal. That was the first one I achieved, also. My goal was 500mi of mtb riding on the year. I met that goal in the late summer, and revised it to be 1,000mi of all-purpose riding. To date, I’ve ridden over 730mi on my mtb, and over 900mi total, so I’m within reach of hitting 1,000 all-purpose miles for 2015. The more difficult goal for me to reach was a 50 mile single ride distance. The roads around here are mostly flat, and in good weather, anyway, 50mi is not that difficult. It’s another thing on the mtb. Most of the mtb trail systems are comprised of smaller segments and loops, so a 50mi ride on those becomes more of a mental game, as you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel after awhile. With Yellowwood State Forest opening to mtb use officially, I got a chance. Not all of the potential connections are open yet, which will make even more options for long rides available. But I took advantage of one option this fall with a few other riders also interested in a long adventure-type ride. This was a most excellent ride. Because not all of the trail connections are open yet in this area, we had to make use of more gravel (and a little pavement) than I’d prefer. I didn’t take a ton of photos on this ride, especially towards the end when we were all hurting. Sasquatch Ride
The intrepid adventurers

2013 OneAmerica Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon

On Saturday, I completed my first half marathon! Take THAT, cancer!

That was a really difficult race for me. You can see in my GPS track below that my legs just blew up after about mile 10.

Frankly, I didn’t train enough in the few weeks preceding the race. After I reached about 8 or 9 miles, I started having knee issues. I took time off of running and spent more time biking in hopes that those knee issues would heal up. I know now, after my trip to the med tent for ice after the race that my knee issues were IT band problems. I could have stretched that area out and continued running and felt better at the finish of the race.

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!

Thesis Defense is Done!

If you’ve been following me, you’re aware I’ve been working on a master’s degree. This week I took a huge step towards moving on to the next phase of life. I had my thesis seminar, followed by the defense of my thesis. My committee chose to sign off on my work, so I’m that much closer to graduating. I do have some edits that need to be made to the thesis document itself, so I have about a month of work left to do. After that, I should be increasing my trip frequency and gear use, which should increase the frequency of my posts.

Cancer to 5k

I haven’t written in a little while, but I wanted to write about my experience in the Cancer to 5k program today.  The Cancer to 5k program is put on by the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (see their blog, too).  I can only say positive things about the experience.  I wanted to use the program as a springboard to regain my physical fitness and lose the weight I had been wanting to lose before I got sick.  I had packed on a good 25lb in the couple years prior to getting sick, and my overall fitness was suffering.