Tag Archive | "ovarian cancer"

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Lisa Gonzales Looks Back at Her First 100 Races

Race 100

My 100th Race!

My name is Lisa Gonzales and I am RIF #5 (Run It Fast Club). This past weekend, I ran my 100th race! If anyone had told me 10 years ago that I would be running 100 races, including marathons and ultras, I would have said they were crazy. But racing is so fun! And addicting!

I have been keeping track of my races in my running & cycling log (an Excel spreadsheet) because I’m a numbers geek and it makes me happy to see all that I’ve done. The bonus to keeping them in Excel means I can keep a few stats on them. Here’s a summary:

Race Distances:
Ultras – 8
Marathons – 15
Halfs – 36
10Ks – 14
5Ks – 17
Other races – 10

Races in California: 77 (not surprising since I live in Southern California!)
Races in other states: 23 (AZ-5, KY-1, NM-1, NV-4, NY-1, OR-1, SD-3, TN-4, TX-1, UT-1, WA-1)

Races By Year
2009 – 2
2010 – 4
2011 – 12
2012 – 29
2013 – 19
2014 – 14
2015 – 20

I took 9 months off in 2013/2014 because I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on 9/30/14 and I had to have surgery and 6 rounds of chemo. If not for cancer, I would have hit 100 sooner. One of things that made me so angry at cancer was how many races I had to miss. Racing, to me, is a party and I was mad that I missed so many parties! Sure, it hurts when you run hard and sometimes you want to puke your guts out at the end of a race… but I love seeing friends and running with people who are just like me and knowing that you left everything you had on the course is very satisfying!

So without further ado, here are the races I’ve run since April 2009.

  1. 4/5/09 – Renegade 3 Mile Trail Run – San Dimas, CA – The start of my addiction. This race was hilly, hot, and hard but I was proud of myself for finishing it. 
  2. 11/28/09 – San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K – San Dimas, CA
  3. 2/14/10 – Lost Dutchman Half Marathon – Apache Junction, AZ
  4. 5/2/10 – Eugene Marathon – Eugene, OR – This race finishes in Hayward Field. Very cool to run on the track where so many fast, fast, runners have raced.
  5. 10/10/10 – Mohawk Hudsom River Marathon – Albany, NY
  6. 11/27/10 – San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K – San Dimas, CA
  7. 1/22/11 – Buffalo Run Half Marathon – Catalina Island, CA
  8. 2/20/11 – Lost Dutchman Marathon – Apache Junction, AZ – This is a very cool race. Fun start and fun course. This was the first marathon I did where I actually ran the whole thing. 
  9. 4/9/11 – Labor Of Love Half Marathon – Lovell Canyon, NV – I won my Age Group!
  10. 4/10/11 – Labor of Love Half Marathon – Lovell Canyon, NV – I won the Women’s Half Marathon on the 2nd day! I wasn’t sure that running back to back half marathons was a good idea but it went really well, even with the big hill! It was my first time going sub 2 hours too. Woo!

    LaborOfLoveAwards

    Labor of Love Half Marathon

  11. 6/25/11 – Seattle Rock & Roll Half Marathon – Seattle, WA – This is where I set my half marathon PR.
  12. 7/4/11 – Freedom 5000 – Claremont, CA
  13. 8/28/11 – Santa Rosa Marathon – Santa Rosa, CA – This is where I set my marathon PR.
  14. 10/16/11 – A Hurricane Jem 16.5 Trail Run – Hurricane, UT
  15. 11/26/11 – San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K – San Dimas, CA
  16. 12/4/11 – Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half Marathon – Las Vegas, NV
  17. 12/31/11 – New Years One Day 12 Hour (45.6 miles) – San Francisco, CA- My first ultra! And I picked a 12 Hour! LOL. This was a really fun race with great views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. It ended at midnight on New Year’s Eve and we watched the fireworks go off over the city. Very cool!
  18. 1/7/12 - Southern California Half Marathon – Irvine, CA
  19. 1/28/12 – Wild Horse Trail Half Marathon – Chula Vista, CA
  20. 2/4/12 – Jackson Jackass 50K – Jackson, TN – This was my first 50K and it was a mudfest!
  21. 2/26/12 – La Jolla Canyon 50K – Malibu, CA
  22. 3/11/12 – Mesquite Canyon 30K – Waddell, AZ
  23. 4/22/12 – Foxy Trail Half Marathon – Rancho Bernardo, CA
  24. 5/6/12 – Safari Park Half Marathon – San Diego, CA
  25. 5/26/12 – Nanny Goat 12 Hour (45 miles) – Riverside, CA
  26. 6/10/12 – Cougar Trail Half Marathon – San Diego, CA
  27. 6/23/12 – Billy Goat Half Marathon Hill Climb – Corona, CA - This is a challenging but fun race. “It ain’t got but one hill” but it’s 6.5 miles long.
  28. 6/30/12 – Mojave Narrows Half Marathon – Victorville, CA
  29. 7/5/12 – Freedom 5000 – Claremont, CA
  30. 7/14/12 – Stonewall Peak Half Marathon – Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, CA – This was one of the prettiest races I’ve done. This was the first race I got lost at but only added about a mile onto my race. Oh, and I got stung by a bee on my ear! What an adventure!

    StonewallPeak3

    Stonewall Peak Half Marathon

  31. 8/5/12 – ET Full Moon Midnight 51K – Rachel, NV- This race is a SciFi running geek’s dream. You run during a full moon at midnight out near Area 51! I’m pretty sure I saw some strange lights out there. 
  32. 8/19/12 – Leading Ladies Marathon – Spearfish, SD
  33. 9/2/12 – Disneyland Half Marathon – Anaheim, CA – The start of my runDisney addiction! Seriously love these races. 
  34. 9/8/12 – Endure the Bear 15K – Big Bear Lake, CA
  35. 9/15/12 – Summer Spectacular 50K – Santa Monica, CA – This is where I set my 50K PR! And then spent the rest of the day in ER from heatstroke. I do not recommend doing that! But I got a PR!
  36. 9/29/12 – Big Sur Trail Marathon – Big Sur, CA
  37. 10/14/12 – Raptor Ridge Trail Half Marathon – Escondido, CA
  38. 10/27/12 - Javelina Jundred (100K) – Fountain Hills, AZ – This was my first 100 mile attempt. Well, my only attempt so far. I dropped to the 100K though.
  39. 11/11/12 – Malibu International Marathon – Malibu, CA
  40. 11/18/12 – Flying Monkey Marathon – Nashville, TN – This is a very popular race put on by Run It Fast Club member Trent Rosenbloom. I was unlucky enough to get into the lottery for it in 2012! It’s a gorgeous place to run but watch out for the Flying Monkeys! And the hills! 

    Flying Monkey Marathon

    Flying Monkey Marathon

  41. 11/22/12 – ARR Thanksgiving Day Classic 10 Mile – Peoria, AZ
  42. 11/24/12 – San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K – San Dimas, CA
  43. 12/8/12 – Santa Monica/Venice Christmas Run 10K – Santa Monica, CA
  44. 12/8/12 – Santa Monica/Venice Christmas Run 5K – Santa Monica, CA – I loved doing the Double. You ran the 10K first and then the 5K. Sadly, they aren’t doing the double this year.
  45. 12/9/12 – Holiday Half Marathon – Pomona, CA
  46. 12/15/12 – Paramount Ranch Trail Half Marathon – Calabasas, CA
  47. 12/16/12 – Holly Jolly Half Marathon – Camarillo, CA
  48. 1/5/13 – New Years Race Half Marathon – Los Angeles, CA
  49. 1/27/13 – Calico Trail Runs 30K – Calico Ghost Town, CA – The scenery in this race is amazing and you finish in a ghost town. What’s not to love?
  50. 2/3/13 – Surf City Half Marathon – Huntington Beach, CA
  51. 2/17/13 – Bandit 30K – Simi Valley, CA
  52. 2/23/13 – Rohring Round The Clock 6HR – Bonita, CA
  53. 3/10/13 – Snoopy Coaster Run 10K – Buena Park, CA
  54. 3/17/13 – Bataan Memorial Death March – White Sands, NM – This race is amazing! Definitely one of my favorites. It’s run at the White Sands Missile Range and it’s a very emotional and moving race that honors the survivors and those who lost their lives in the Bataan Death March. 

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    Bataan Memorial Death March

  55. 3/30/13 - Chino Hills Trail Run Series 15 Miler – Chino Hills, CA
  56. 4/6/13 – Hollywood Half Marathon – Hollywood, CA
  57. 4/13/13 – Griffith Park Trail Marathon – Los Angeles, CA
  58. 5/5/13 – OC Half Marathon – Newport Beach, CA
  59. 5/19/13 – Horseshoe Lake Trail Marathon – Palo Alto, CA – I celebrated my birthday with a marathon. 
  60. 6/1/13 – Fontana Days 5K – Fontana, CA
  61. 6/2/13 – San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon, San Diego, CA
  62. 6/8/13 – Run Under The Stars (50K) – Paducah, KY – Running for 10 hours under the stars in circles on a horse track doesn’t sound like a lot of fun but it is a blast!
  63. 6/24/13 – Asphalt Jackal Marathon – Pinson, TN
  64. 7/4/13 - Freedom 5000 – Claremont, CA
  65. 7/7/13 – Costume Party Half Marathon – San Diego, CA – This was the last race I really ran before everything went down with cancer. It had the largest medal I’ve received!

    Costume Party Medal

    Costume Party Half Marathon

  66. 8/10/13 – Dove Canyon Half Marathon – Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – My last race before my doctor said I had to stop running. It wasn’t a spectacular run for me but it was fun and I was happy to finish.
  67. 5/17/14 – Renegade 3 Mile Trail Run – San Dimas, CA - My first race post cancer. I went back to my first race from back in 2009. I thought it was a fun way to get back into racing. I was still battling fatigue from the chemo so my time was about the same as back in 2009. 
  68. 6/7/14 – Fontana Days 5K – Fontana, CA
  69. 7/4/14 – Freedom 5000 – Claremont, CA
  70. 8/17/14 – Leading Ladies Half Marathon – Spearfish, SD
  71. 9/21/14 – Girls On The Go 10K – San Dimas, CA
  72. 9/27/14 – San Dimas 5K – San Dimas, CA
  73. 10/11/14 – Brian’s Home Run 5K – Fontana, CA – 3rd in my Age Group! Starting to finally feel like my old self again.
  74. 10/26/14 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half – Los Angeles, CA
  75. 11/16/14 – Avengers Half Marathon – Anaheim, CA
  76. 11/22/14 – San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K – San Dimas, CA
  77. 11/27/14 - Claremont Turkey Trot 5K – Claremont, CA
  78. 12/6/14 – Santa Monica/Venice Christmas Run 10K – Santa Monica, CA
  79. 12/6/14 – Santa Monica/Venice Christmas Run 5K – Santa Monica, CA
  80. 12/14/14 – Dallas Half Marathon – Dallas, TX – First time visiting Texas! Great race and a lot of fun. Got to see lots of friends and fellow RIFers here.
  81. 1/3/15 – Resolution Run 10K – Los Angeles, CA
  82. 1/18/15 – Star Wars Half Marathon – Anaheim, CA
  83. 2/1/15 – Surf City Half Marathon – Huntington Beach, CA
  84. 2/21/15 – Cummins Falls Half Marathon, Cummins Falls State Park, TN – This was my first race in snow & ice and I didn’t die! Hey, I’m from So Cal, it was 80 degrees when I flew it out. It was worth it though it was a fun race and I won my Age Group! 

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    Cummins Falls Half Marathon

  85. 3/8/15 – Snoopy Coaster Run 10K – Buena Park, CA – 10K PR! I love this race! Mostly because I love Snoopy but also because you run through Knott’s Berry Farm and there is pie at the finish! Also, did I mention the pie?
  86. 3/15/15 - Los Angeles Marathon – Los Angeles, CA – This was my first marathon post cancer. I swore I was never going to do big city races again but this one was a great race. It was really well organized, you see some great sights, and the crowd support is awesome. I signed for 2016!
  87. 4/4/15 – Peter Cottontail 5K – Rancho Cucamonga, CA
  88. 4/18/15 – Cosmo 7K – Pomona, CA – 1st in my Age Group! This is a women’s only run.
  89. 5/4/15 – OC Half Marathon – Newport Beach, CA
  90. 5/9/15 – Tinkerbell 10K – Anaheim, CA
  91. 5/10/15 – TinkerBell Half Marathon – Anaheim, CA – This was another race that I missed because of cancer. I was supposed to run it in January 2014 but had chemo just a few days before it so did not get to do it. So happy to finally run it!
  92. 5/16/15 – Renegade 3 Mile Trail Run – San Dimas, CA
  93. 6/6/15 – Fontana Days 5K – Fontana, CA – 5K PR and 2nd in my Age Group! This is a very fast course. The half marathon fills up fast because it is a great PR course.
  94. 7/4/15 - Freedom 5000 – Claremont, CA
  95. 8/16/15 – Leading Ladies Marathon – Spearfish, SD
  96. 9/5/15 – Disneyland 10K – Anaheim, CA
  97. 9/6/15 – Disneyland Half Marathon – Anaheim, CA – My favorite part of runDisney races is dressing up. This was my 3rd time running as Minnie Mouse. I was Chewbacca Minnie at the Star Wars Half! LOL!IMG_20150906_041614
  98. 9/20/15 – Girls On The Go 10K – San Dimas, CA – 1st in my Age Group!
  99. 10/11/15 – Long Beach Marathon – Long Beach, CA – This was a hot day! Like 98 but I finished! It was the completion of the Beach Cities Challenge (Surf City, OC, and Long Beach) so I was really happy. I had started the Challenge in 2013 but didn’t get to complete it because I had surgery just 2 weeks before Long Beach. Every time I ran a race that I missed because of cancer, I considered it a Revenge Race. Getting to run/race again is the best revenge of that stupid, ugly disease. I win!
  100. 10/25/15 – Terrifying 10 Miler – Dana Point, CA - 2nd in my Age Group running as a Pirate! Hard course but great race.

You may have noticed I have a few races that I repeat every year: Renegade 3 Mile Trail Run, Fontana Days Run 5K, Freedom 5000, San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K, Snoopy Coaster Run 10K, runDisney races. These are local races that are a lot of fun! But mostly I use racing to travel and see places I’ve never been. I don’t have a specific plan to race in all 50 States but I’m sure I will eventually. I keep saying I will race less. I don’t know if that’s going to happen though. We’ll see…

Thanks for reading!

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Posted in 10K, 5K, Half Marathon, Marathon, RunningComments (0)

LLHM 2014

Running From Cancer – Queen Of The Road

Note: I’m writing a series on my bout with ovarian cancer and how my running was affected by it and helped me deal with it. You can read Part 1 for a little history on my running and cancer herePart 2  for a look at how I planned my running while going through chemotherapy here Part 3 for how I took things one day at a time here, and Part 4 how I returned to running here.

On Sunday, August 18, 2013, I took what would be the first of many tests in my cancer journey. I remember thinking “I have to pee” (I had to drink a boat load of water before hand) and wondering what they would find as I waited to take the ultrasound. I think at that time I still had some small hope that it was fibroids or something easy to fix. I got my first inkling that it was more than that when the technician (who didn’t have a very good poker face) made a comment something along the lines of “you didn’t feel uncomfortable or pain before this”? She wasn’t allowed to tell me what she saw but I knew then it wasn’t going to be the easy fix I’d hoped for.

The past year has flown by. It feels like yesterday that I was sitting in that waiting room with my mom, both of us scared but not admitting it to each other. So much has changed since then but so much is still the same. I am still the same woman who loves running and riding and reading but now I have fun stuff like hot flashes and a slower metabolism and doctor’s appointments to make life interesting. But really, the only thing that matters is that I am an Ovarian Cancer survivor and I am finally…thank goodness…finally getting back to some semblance of normal.

Fast forward one year from that ultrasound to August 17, 2014 and the Leading Ladies Half Marathon, my 27th half. That day had so much more hope and joy than the year before. It felt like my rebirth. I was a runner again.

Let me back up a little first. In my last post, I talked about finally getting back to running and racing again. Sadly, I didn’t make much progress after that post. My times were still slow and I still wasn’t losing any weight. I was still exhausted some days. I had to do something drastic! I had been thinking of joining 24 Hour Fitness and decided to make the leap. I not only joined 24 Hour Fitness, but I booked 12 weeks with a trainer! Yikes! I needed someone to push me and help me get my body back. My trainer asked me what my goals were and I told him they were to lose weight, and get total overall body strength so I could do anything I wanted to do – running, rock climbing, a pull up. I want to be ready for whatever adventure pops up.

The first sessions were hard and exhausting. I would get home at night after a training session and fall asleep before 8 pm. I had to do modified everythings because I had no core or upper body strength or balance. I just had some endurance. But I got stronger with each week that passed and I was losing weight! Woo!

2 weeks after I started with my trainer, who I affectionately call Phil The Masochist, I ran a 9 mile run to prep for the half and it took me 2 hours and 14 minutes. I was pretty embarrassed by that time. I’d had to do some walking and even sat down for a few minutes. 15ish minute miles? I was looking at a 3:15 half marathon time. That is not how I want to run a half marathon. And on top of that, I was exhausted the rest of the day. I must admit, I was a little depressed that day but also determined to not give up.

I kept working with Phil and asked him to keep pushing me. I was less exhausted as each week passed and could feel the changes in my body, including weight loss (13 pounds and counting!). And the next week, I ran a 10 miler in that same time as the 9. Then I felt like I was strong enough that I could add tempo miles and fartleks/surges into my runs and they were fun and really helped. And then the next weekend, I ran an 11 miler in 2:13. Things were definitely headed in the right direction! Woo!

So I ran 11 miles at 12:07 pace but I had stopped twice to eat some Clif Bloks and refill my water. And of course, I had little rests at the stoplights. 11 miles was also the longest I had run since 8/10/13 (my last half marathon). I figured I might need to do some walking during the half so I set a goal of 2:45. Just a few weeks ago, I had anticipated a 3 hour + finish time but was confident (mostly) I could make 2:45.

In my last training session before the race, Phil asked me if I was scared. I told him no and that was true. I knew I could and would finish the race. It might take me longer than I anticipated but the race had a generous time limit so I wasn’t worried about being swept from the course. I was more worried about oversleeping than I was about the race.

Race morning dawned cool and beautiful. We, the runners, boarded the bus that took us up Spearfish Canyon, SD at 4:15 am and headed to the start. It was dark and the bus ride was quiet. The race started a few minutes late and we passed the time talking races and states and running in general.

Once the race started, I took off like a bat out of hell. Well, not really. But the first mile was 10:36. Oops. I slowed myself down and ran 11ish +/- miles through mile 9. By then my stomach was feeling queasy and my legs were starting to tighten up. I let myself walk through 2 of the aid stations to grab/eat some pretzels but other than that, I ran the whole way. Slower than the first 8 miles but still moving forward. I really wanted to walk but talked myself out of it with distractions. Did I mention the course was beautiful?

Finally, it was the last mile and I picked it up a little. I caught another woman who was walking and said “Come on, just a little more. You can’t let me beat you at the end!”. And she took off running and I used trying to catch her again as incentive to keep up the pace. I crossed the line in 2:33:42 (official) and was pretty excited to have finished and beat my goal. I felt inklings of the old racing Lisa deep inside. I felt good. I felt proud. I felt happy. I felt like the Queen of the Road! :) (by the way, that was the theme for the Leading Ladies Half this year, which I didn’t know when I signed up for it but is pretty appropriate because RIF #1 Josh (@bayou) used to call me the Half Queen!).

So…I am pretty happy with the progress I’ve made in the past 6 weeks. I am still way off my PR time of 1:57 but I feel like it’s not out of reach anymore. The weight loss has plateaued a little but I know it will continue to happen eventually. I graduated to knee pushups from wall pushups this week and am able to lift more. I feel good about things. I feel hope and I feel content.

I think probably the biggest thing that has made me less frustrated and a lot happier was coming to the decision to put marathons and ultras on hold for a while and to cut out some of the things that I no longer had fun doing. I feel less pressure and more relaxed and I am having a lot more fun now. I want to work on my speed and strength first before running longer again. If ever. I know it probably seems blasphemous saying that on this site but I am okay with it. I used to think I had to be the perfect cancer survivor, whatever that is. I felt like I was pressured to always be positive, always have a smile on my face, to be an ultrarunner…because that’s what heroic cancer survivors do. I don’t see myself as a hero. I am just a girl who survived one of the scariest things out there with the help of some great doctors and my family and friends.

I want to share 2 great quotes that I saw this past month that really hit home to me.

The first is by Gabriele Grunewald (@gg_runs), an awesome, inspiring runner and cancer survivor: “I don’t try to live harder, I just try to live more authentically. It’s not about just fitting more in, it’s about fitting in the things that are most meaningful to me.”

The other is from Kara Goucher (@karagoucher), another of my favorite runners: “I know that there are people that think I am done and that’s fine, they can think that. But I’m not running to prove anything to them; I’m running to prove everything to myself. I know what I am still capable of, and I know the last couple years haven’t shown it, but I know what I’m capable of and I know how my body is responding to the training. I guess, yeah, it is a comeback.”

The first one by Gabriele perfectly expressed the thing that surviving cancer taught me. Do what you love and what is meaningful to you and don’t let anyone tell how you should live or what you should do. It’s my life. I am not going to waste it on the things I don’t enjoy or don’t bring me peace. I’m not saying I’ll never run marathons or ultras again but right now, I don’t feel the need to prove my self in that way. More is not always better (unless it’s chocolate, pancakes, or burritos), at least not right now.

Kara’s quote feels like she is talking about me. For me, the past year was about surviving cancer and the year before that was dealing with the effects/symptoms of it. I haven’t been at my best running-wise for about 2 years too. I also feel like I’m making a comeback and I also know what I am capable of.

I’m going to prove it to myself.

Just watch!

***

Check back soon for the next chapter in my running from cancer journey! And don’t forget, if you missed earlier chapters, you can read them here:

Running With Cancer – Part 1
Running with Cancer – Part 2 The “Moderate” Runner?
Running With Cancer – Part 3 One Day At A Time
Running From Cancer – Part 4 Running Reboot…Again

If you’ve been through cancer and chemotherapy and are a runner, I would love to hear how it went for you. Please let me know in the comments or email me at the link below.

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Lisa Gonzales Fontana Days 5K

Running From Cancer – Part 4 Running Reboot…Again

 

Note: I’m writing a series on my bout with ovarian cancer and how my running was affected by it and helped me deal with it. You can read Part 1 for a little history on my running and cancer here and Part 2  for a look at how I planned my running while going through chemotherapy here and Part 3 for how I took things one day at a time here.

I changed the title of the series from Running With Cancer to Running From Cancer because I’m cancer free now! I found out for sure on April 7th that there was no more cancer in me. I’d beat it!

I was relieved and happy that I could go back to being normal. Woo!

It’s been more than 3 months since my last chemo treatment and I’m still waiting for that to happen. Sigh.

I never thought that 14+ weeks after I was done with chemo I would still be dealing with fatigue and an achy body or that my body would still have issues processing food…efficiently. I thought I would be in the midst of marathon training and on my way back to my former speedy self.

Instead I feel old, tired, fat, and slow. Especially when I’m running. Which totally sucks.

I had to take more time off of running to deal with some plantar fasciitis after my last chemo treatment plus some aching in my hips and legs and I feel like I lost whatever endurance I had started getting back during chemo. I am still dealing with all of that but I started again on May 11th because I missed it. I am so slow and so tired at the end of my runs! Argh! I thought for sure I would be over the tiredness by now. I thought I would be back to being peppy and speedy and running happily along. I just found out last Thursday that it’s not uncommon for fatigue to still be an issue by a tweet from Dr Robert S. Miller, MD (@rsm2800) “Fatigue often the chemo side effect slowest to resolve. Fatigue at 3m quite common”. Well, at least now I know it’s normal. Sigh.

If it was just fatigue and achiness, it wouldn’t be too bad but probably the most frustrating side effect that ovarian cancer had for me was the weight gain and my current inability to lose that weight. I was warned about possible weight gain during chemo school. They stress that you should not lose weight and that the steroids in the nausea meds might cause weight gain. The fact that I was also thrown into instant menopause because of the cancer didn’t help since it decreased my metabolism (not to mention hot flashes, mood swings, and trouble sleeping). Still, after having lost so much weight before, I SWORE I wouldn’t gain any. In fact, I secretly planned to keep trying to lose weight. But that didn’t happen and I was horrified to see my weight creep up. I would cringe whenever I went to see my doc because for sure she would yell at me for gaining weight, right? But no. Apparently she was fine with that. It was expected.

I thought once I was done with chemo that I would be able to lose weight but that hasn’t happened. I tried being casual about it but the scale wouldn’t move. I find myself obsessing now and keeping track of calories and adding more protein to my diet but it’s sticking to me like glue. It just won’t budge. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. I have lost 5 pounds in the past 2 months. Which is good but I need to lose about 50 more and I don’t want to wait 20 more months to get rid of the weight! It’s not helping with the slowness and the achiness and really, I just hate being like this again. Ugh.

The problem is that I don’t know what is still from the chemo and what is from menopause. I’ve looked at forums for answers to both and the things I’m experiencing other women are experiencing because of chemo OR menopause. So maybe I won’t ever be the same Lisa I was before cancer again. Maybe I need to figure out a new normal and how to make the best of it. I need more information! Why isn’t there more information out there? I know. Because everyone is different.

BUT…I am running again. And I am “racing” again. On May 17th, I ran a 3 mile trail run and on Saturday, I ran a 5K. It was my fastest mile and fastest 5K post chemo!

And while I’m happy that I’m moving in the right direction, the fact that it was 6+ minutes off my 5K PR of 24:59, that I needed 10.5 hours of sleep that night, and that I’ve been as sore as if I ran a marathon since are a little depressing. But I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep running (and riding – great cross training for me because there is not impact soreness after) and I know eventually I’ll get where I want to be. In the meantime, I think I need to stop signing up for races and just concentrate on getting healthy and finding the fun again. I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself to be super marathoner/ultra runner Lisa again and my body is obviously not ready for that yet.

I know I sound like I’m whining. I guess I am. Part of me is still so angry about the cancer and that it continues to affect my life. A friend made a comment to me when I said I was still fighting it along the lines of “wasn’t I happy to be alive”. Yes, I am happy to be alive. Yes, I know I’m lucky that I survived. But everything is not all rainbows and unicorns now that chemo is over. I thought that would be the case but it’s not. Everyone deals with things differently, especially cancer and chemo. I have seen stories of people who ran marathons and ultras while going through chemo and I put pressure on myself to be that strong. And when I wasn’t, I felt like a failure. Like a wimp. Like I wasn’t good enough. But I did the best I could. I’m still doing the best I can.

I just have to remind myself of that and the fact that I do love running and it IS fun and it IS good for me… as long as I listen to my body. So I keep running. Because I am NOT going to let cancer have the last laugh!

***

Check back soon for the next chapter in my running from cancer journey! And don’t forget, if you missed Part 1 or Part 2, you can read them here:

Running With Cancer – Part 1
Running with Cancer – Part 2 The “Moderate” Runner?
Running With Cancer – Part 3 One Day At A Time

If you’ve been through cancer and chemotherapy and are a runner, I would love to hear how it went for you. Please let me know in the comments or email me at the link below.

 

 

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