My last chemotherapy treatment was June 16. This was my first official week of being finished with treatments. I woke up Monday morning and decided to try a simple fartlek style speed workout. I have maintained a base level of running over the past few months but I certainly do not feel fit or in racing shape.
A common theme for me throughout my treatment was that I had trouble practicing my mantra of “moderation in all things” on the days I felt halfway decent. This continues to be an issue for me. Instead of going out for a couple of miles of speed work, I felt so good and so happy that I ran ten miles at a faster pace than I have become accustomed to running.
I had to ditch my watch long ago. I knew I was getting slower and stressing myself out by looking at my pace as it fell off over a cliff was mentally destructive. I have no idea what pace I was running on Monday, but I know it was faster than what I have been doing lately. I let perceived exertion be my guide. It felt great to really use my leg muscles and work my lungs. When I finished I felt so happy. The physical and emotional boost of getting in a good workout was tremendous. Still, I probably ran too hard for too long. I spent the next couple of days paying for my over exuberance.
On Tuesday, I did a run/walk. I wanted some exercise but I took it easy because I had to. I really had nothing left in the tank after Monday’s run. That evening, my family made it’s first post cancer appearance at a Jack Quinn’s Running Club run. Last summer, we were regulars at JQRC, but after I found out I had to have surgery, we stopped going. I had hoped to go some over the winter and spring, but found that I had absolutely no energy in the evenings during my treatments. It was great to be back this week and it just kind of worked out that JQRC was having a field trip to Boulder Running Company. We ran the route and enjoyed some food and family friendly games afterwards. It was a treat to get to see so many friendly and familiar faces all in one place!
All of this activity caused me to crash by Wednesday. I met Tracey for a run in the Garden of the Gods and I am pretty sure that she thought she was going to have to call 911 while we were out there. To say I huffed and puffed my way through the Garden is an understatement. Even when I slowed to a hike, I was breathing hard and felt dizzy. A couple of times I had to come to a complete stop to return my breathing to normal. The company was great and the scenery as spectacular as always, but frankly I felt extremely frustrated with myself. I felt embarrassed that I was in such sorry condition and wondered aloud if I will ever be back to normal.