Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finding Some Balance .. (warning long post)

I read the comments that all of you are so kind to post but sometimes, quite frankly, they don't sink in. If they had, perhaps this week would have started a little better.

You see Peter, in response to my "Cancer Free" post, had said:

"Absolutely fabulous! I am so pleased for you. Just don't overdo it until you really build up again."

And so what happened? I completely "Overdid" the rest of my week.

Early in the week, Jim and I had lots of very welcome COMPANY in the form of family and friends. My workouts were non-existent from Friday to Wednesday but we were busy and it was worth it to spend time with the people I love.

Thursday was the bike commute to work which, as I said before, was probably 10 extra miles too many. I did 34 miles for the day when the entire commute trip is actually 24 miles roundtrip.

Friday, in prep for a Hike on Saturday, I did my normal 5K route from the house. I didn't worry about my pace and just jogged when I felt good and walked when I needed a break. I was out for about 45 minutes.

On Saturday Jim and I met up with friends to hike "Old Rag" out near Lurray, VA. It is a 7 mile hike that starts with about 2.5 miles of woods hiking and rock scrambles to the summit followed by 4.5 miles of wood hiking and long wide fire roads and takes up the morning, usually about 3-4 hours of moving with a stop at the top for a hearty snack.

I had expressed to Jim that even though I did this hike last fall, while on Interferon treatment, I wasn't so sure about how well I would keep up with the group. I have put on 30 pound since that hike last October '05 and even though I was on chemo, I was just a week out from the Marine Corps Marathon and in much better shape. Jim reassured me that I would be able to finish and that some of the folks we were hiking with were coming back from injuries themselves.

"This would be a fun hike, not a timed ascent."

I kept that in my head as we began the hike. I did my best to keep moving but found myself needing more rest breaks than in previous hikes. Even though our hiking partners were recovering from injuries, these folks were still keeping a good pace and chatting away, while I hung onto the back of the group, head down, breathing deep.

We got to the first major marker, where the hike become a series of rock scrambles, and I thought about stopping for the day and letting Jim go on with the rest of the group. I few sips of Gatorade and a moment to rest soon changed my mind.....

for about 5 minutes, until the real rock scrambling began and my legs started "screaming" and shooting "lactic acid" all through my muscles....

I stopped, in place, looked at Jim and said: "Two hours of hiking is enough for me today. I'll take my snacks and a bottle of Gatorade and meet you guys at the trail head. Go on and catch up." I reached into the fanny pack that Jim was carrying and took my ham-n-cheese on wheat, my trail mix and was grabbing for the Gatorade bottle when it hit me...

I don't QUIT!

I looked at Jim, who had said nothing except, "Okay, if you need to do that, I understand" and said "Damnit!" and I stuffed my food back in the fanny pack, handed him back the Gatorade bottle and started moving up the trail, at my own pace.

We finished the hike after nearly 5 hours on the trail. Both tired but content to have had the chance to enjoy a beautiful day in the woods.

Sunday I took off from exercise and simply ran around the house all day doing errands and little projects. Seemed like a good day of recovery.


Which is why on Monday, I was the most miserable person you have ever met. I was high strung, cranky and snacking out of control. And for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why I was having such a HARD TIME. It wasn't like I got up and did a workout or had a stressful work day ahead of me. Why did I feel like I was going insane?

I kid you not, it took me all day to figure out where this funk was coming from ...for the last week I have either been ON or completely OFF. There has been no balance. It was like I go that "Cancer Free" diagnosis and decided: "Okay, get back to life as you knew it last spring ... as FAST AS YOU CAN!"

Funny thing is that my body and soul don't work like that. There is no "getting back" at this point. Sure the fitness will return over time and the weight will drop back to normal but that doesn't happen by "going back".

It happens by moving forward.

And it helps if you take a little time to make sure you are "steady and balanced" and know the general direction you are headed in. It is a simple rule but so easy to forget. I forgot but now I am beginning to remember.

And as Peter, so kindly recommended, I am going to take it a little slow and not "overdo it until you really build up again."

Live STRONG Everybody!


nancytoby said...

Just one question:

Do you have a training *PLAN* in place? Or weekly minimum swim/bike/run distances?

We all KNOW FOR A FACT you're not a quitter. You have nothing to prove to us!!!!

nancytoby said...

Crap, that was 2 questions.

Holly said...

I do have a training plan in place for the 1/2 Marathon in October and a minimum bike distance idea in my head ... I can't go without any planning.

In terms of the running, i am going to do a beginners 15 week program ... simply going to start from scratch in the hope that my body will rebound and stay "un"injured too!

(is that a word? Hmm .. it is now.)

Cliff said...


Dont' worry..i am like that too.

Last Sun went to beach to play vball with my friends.

After two hours, I am tired and sleepy and got really really cranky.

I whine all the time and left early.

I am glad u didn't push yourself in the climb.

I also have to learn to leave some of my energy for social stuff :0

There are also other times where i bail on social "sports" b/c i am too tired from training :)

Cliff said...

My friend was laughing at me....he said "you would expect someone train everyday to have a lto of energy"...

ha ironic indeed :D

Iron Benny said...

I have been absent, I'm sorry. But I wanted to tell you how happy I was to hear of your wonderful cancer free news. That is great!

Peter said...

We all fall into the same trap!
Tuesday was one of the best days this winter, and I started a major project at home. Outdoors, up and down step ladder,... I said just one hour, and then I'll stop...
And what did I do? After 3 hours I packed up, feeling quite good... And then suddenly the fatigue set in, and I knew I had done too much. And we had to go out to a dinner! ("Plan ahead...")

Miss Melanoma said...

Girl, I give you my props- you're a trooper. You and I are in the same boat: it's tough for people like us to give in to being human sometimes, I guess. I admire you, though, and check your blog often for news on how you are. We'll be competing before too long on who can outdo themselves first.
Hope you're recovering well. Keep up the high spirits! We're all rooting for you!

jeanne said...

just don't go trying that yoga pose yet! sounds like you are getting to know your body again...don't worry about starting over again...i do it ALL THE TIME. and aren't we lucky we have the time to start over?? :)