Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Awareness

The evidence of the transition from feeling good to not so good is a little bit evident in this one.
Plus lots of Millie cuteness. More of my videos here.

Last year I celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness Month by running my first half-marathon, all the while thinking about the lump in my breast and bracing myself for a biopsy scheduled for the following week.

For the next ten months I continued to brace myself as I moved through each new phase of treatment. Somewhere along the line I started wondering if I might feel well enough in time to run the Hartford Half again this year, scheduled for October 15th. I resisted thinking about it for a long time, didn't want to make a commitment, didn't want to push myself too hard or feel disappointed if I fell short of a goal.

As time passed and I began to feel better, running the half this year has begun to look like a golden redemption, a chance to prove to myself that I am fine, that cancer is behind me, that there will be no lasting side effects from the chemical and surgical assault of the past year.

That race is now less than two weeks away and I am registered. Two weekends ago I ran eleven miles. I've been feeling great. But a strange thing has begun to happen.

I don't feel quite so great as I once thought. My feet hurt. My calves are knotted. I've had some neuropathy in my fingers again. I've woken some mornings lately feeling hungover and hobbled. In fact, the other day I found myself feeling so miserable five miles into a planned twelve-miler that I stopped in my tracks and burst into tears. And since that day, every time I exert myself, in the pool or on the road, the same groundswell of emotion rises in me.

I'm realizing that I can't push my way through everything that feels hard. I can't outrun the toll cancer has taken on my life. Sometimes I'm simply going to have to slow down, to feel things, to nurture and nourish myself, and to breathe.

I'm still planning on turning up at the starting line on October 15th. I am no longer going to look for a finishing time to beat last year's. I'm done with trying to prove the impossible. I'll run when it feels good, I'll walk if I want to. And life, hallelujah from the bottom of my heart, will go on.

3 comments:

Lisa said...

Funny, when I wish my friends well prior to their races, I never say, "Hope you PR!" or "Hope you BQ!". I do wish that for them, if those are the goals. However, what I do say is, "Have fun!"

Anonymous said...

I found this post, and video, really inspiring. Hope you do to.

http://runnersblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/todays-inspiration.html

Good luck with the run. I hope you can enjoy the feeling of just being there, and moving in the sun.

cowprintdoggie said...

Hi Amy,

How are you feeling today? More rest if possible can help with knots in calves, feet hurting and hangover the next day--are you taking days off in between runs?

I am hoping the neuropathy is fading. And I'm glad that your oncologist was very aware of trying to avoid it as much as possible for you in terms of making sure treatment was stopped or adjusted if it was coming on.

Regardless of how long it takes, I will be thinking of you on 10/15, cheering you all the way from California.